Last visit was: 23 May 2024, 04:44 It is currently 23 May 2024, 04:44
Close
GMAT Club Daily Prep
Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History
Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.
Close
Request Expert Reply
Confirm Cancel
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [1]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [1]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [1]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [1]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
How to Assess and Fortify Your Academic Record for MBA applications [#permalink]
1
Bookmarks
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Assess and Fortify Your Academic Record for MBA applications
As you contemplate your MBA candidacy, you might wonder whether your academic record is strong enough. Admissions committees evaluate this element of your application because it is an important predictor of your ability to handle the rigors of an MBA program. Standardized testing is another essential component in this evaluation, but in this post, we focus on the academic record from your undergraduate studies and from any other graduate programs you have already pursued. 

So, where should you start with your assessment? First, check your overall (or cumulative) undergraduate GPA. Compare this to the average GPA of the most recently accepted class at your target programs. To find this information, check the schools’ class profiles on their websites. 

If your GPA is above the average, you should be fine, but you should still review your transcript in detail to check for anomalies. As you do, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Did I have any individual courses in which I received a failing grade? Or a D grade? 

  • Do I have only a small number of quantitative courses on my transcript? (Typically, these are courses in math or statistics but can also include finance, economics, and accounting.) 

  • Did my GPA drop significantly in any individual term, semester, or quarter? 

  • Do I have multiple “withdrawals” on my transcript? 

  • Did I transfer schools? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you will most likely want to explain the issue in an optional essay. You might also want to consider pursuing additional pre-MBA coursework. For more on this option, check out this blog post: Boosting your Academic Profile with Supplemental Courses

If you answered “no” to all these questions as you evaluated your transcript, and your GPA is above average, the admissions committee should view your academic record positively. Although the caliber of your undergraduate university and the rigor of your major will play some role, the top MBA programs accept applicants from a wide range of universities and majors, so neither of these factors should be a significant hindrance on their own. You should be good to move on to preparing other aspects of your applications! 

If, however, your GPA is below the average for your target programs, the degree to which this will affect your odds of acceptance depends on how far it falls below the average. At most leading U.S. business schools, having a GPA under 3.3 (out of 4.0) will make your acceptance odds much more challenging. After asking yourself the aforementioned questions to identify any issues you should address, you will need to reflect even more deeply on your academic background. Consider the following questions: 

  • Did I struggle with certain types of courses? 

  • Did I perform better in the courses for my major? 

  • Did I have a rough start my first year? 

  • Did I perform better after switching my major? 

  • Did I check out early in my final year? 

  • Did my low grades coincide with other events (e.g., heavy extracurricular activities, health problems, family troubles, other personal issues)? 

  • Was I distracted by working to pay my tuition or by demanding athletic commitments? 

  • Was I lacking maturity? 

This reflection is not intended to help you come up with excuses but rather to heighten your self-awareness about factors that negatively affected your academic record. Once you have pinpointed the relevant issues, you must decide how to mitigate them. For most applicants, this includes a combination of the following tactics:

  • Invest more time in preparing for standardized testing (achieving an above-average test score is the best way to balance a weak academic record).

  • Take supplemental pre-MBA courses (and get A grades in them!). 

  • Pursue professional certifications (e.g., CPA, CFA, Six Sigma). 

  • Write an optional essay (download our free Optional Essays Guide).

  • Secure a supplemental reference letter (e.g., from an academic advisor).

  • Wait to apply until you have more work experience (to show more maturity).

  • Use your resume to highlight quantitative skills, and ask your recommenders to highlight your quantitative skills.

  • Adjust your list of target schools or apply to more safety schools.

An appropriate mix of these strategies should help you proactively manage any weaknesses in your academic record. 

We also want to address some special considerations for three specific groups of MBA applicants. 

First, if you have already earned a graduate degree (e.g., Master’s in Management, Master’s in Engineering), that is part of your academic record, too. Although making class average comparisons for master’s program GPAs is more difficult, having a weak GPA could be a hurdle. On the other hand, a strong master’s program GPA can offer a nice boost to your academic profile. Most business schools ask you to list all undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended, so if you started a master’s program but did not complete it, you will still need to include this information in your application and explain the situation in an optional essay. 

Second, if you are an international candidate, your GPA might not be on the standard 4.0 scale. WES (World Education Services) can “translate” your transcript, but be aware that this is just directional; it is neither a perfect translation nor required by business schools. Also, carefully check the English language requirements for your target MBA programs because you might need to take another exam (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS) to demonstrate your English proficiency.

Third, if you were ever put on academic probation, involved in an academic or disciplinary hearing, or dismissed from a school, you must be up-front about the situation and carefully craft an optional essay to explain the circumstances. These kinds of academic violations can be a significant concern for admissions committees. Depending on the severity of the issue(s), you might even want to consult legal counsel.

To summarize, we find that MBA applicants often think that admissions committees will not pay much attention to weak areas of their academic records. Or that simply not bringing attention to them is better. But trust us; these issues will not go unnoticed! Your best plan of action is to be self-aware and proactively address any concerns the admissions committee could have about your academic record.

If you would like to receive targeted guidance on your business school application, simply sign up for a free 30-minute consultation with an mbaMission admissions expert.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
Can I Get Accepted to an MBA program If I Have Never Led a Team? [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: Can I Get Accepted to an MBA program If I Have Never Led a Team?
MBA programs are looking for several key factors in applicants, but leadership is always a particularly important one. Why? The admissions committee is assessing what you would bring to their program, and you will need leadership skills when working on team projects. The admissions committee also want students to be involved in leading student clubs. And if you have leadership experience, you can share with your classmates what you have learned from it to help them develop as well. 

Is not having team leadership experience an admissions deal-breaker, then? Thankfully not. Leading a team is certainly a great form of leadership, but do not worry if you have not done that specifically. Leadership can take many forms. Mentoring others and contributing to their development is also leadership. You might have also led a project, or even part of a project, where you set the vision, made key decisions, and solved problems, even if the others working on the project were not your direct reports. You could have also championed an idea and gotten others’ buy-in, which shows initiative and a willingness to take risks.  

Certainly, you want to be able to show examples of leadership from your workplace, but you can also exhibit leadership in other parts of your life, such as community service, including serving on a committee, leading a program or event, or being a mentor. Perhaps in your personal life, you stepped up to care for or support a family member or friend, or you overcame a significant personal challenge. You also might be heavily involved in organizations related to your personal interests, such as a running club, for which you led or drove an initiative. These are all leadership examples. Offering the admissions committee a broad range of examples shows a depth of leadership throughout all aspects of your life. 

As for how to build your leadership story in your MBA application, start by brainstorming what you have done at work, in your community service, and in your personal life. Use a broad definition of leadership to identify a variety of examples, and write them all down, making sure to clarify exactly what you did that shows leadership and the impact you had on the person, project, or organization involved. Pinpoint the ones that are the most significant and show the depth of your leadership experience; consider requesting others’ input to get their objective viewpoints. Then, strategize which examples fit best with your target school’s essay topics, and include your professional and community service on your resume. You will want to discuss your primary leadership examples with your recommenders so they can include complementary leadership examples in their recommendation submissions. Finally, when you are invited to interview, identify some more recent examples of leadership that you can discuss to build on the experiences you have already shared with the admissions committee. If you take this approach, you will be able to effectively convey your leadership story to your target MBA programs.

If you would like to receive targeted guidance on your business school application, simply [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/mba-admissions/][b]sign up for a free 30-minute consultation[/b][/url] with an mbaMission admissions expert.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
Harvard Business School Essay Example [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: Harvard Business School Essay Example
How do you write a standout Harvard Business School (HBS) admissions essay? The answer might surprise you. Your goal is not to “wow” the admissions committee with fancy adjectives or to share spectacular achievements that admissions officers have never read or heard about before. Instead, your HBS admissions essay is your opportunity to share your values—to stand out on the basis of who you are and what you stand for.



Let us start with the basics. HBS actually has just one essay question, with no word limit: “As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?” 

The first thing to note about this question is that it is totally open-ended. Because it is so open-ended, many applicants have no idea where to start. And without a word limit, many also have no idea where to stop! Let us address the end first. We recommend that applicants target 1,000 to 1,250 words, but some candidates’ essays might be as short as 800 words or as long as 1,500. However, anything longer than 1,500 words can start to seem like an imposition on the admissions reader, while anything shorter than 800 could mean that you are short-changing yourself and not giving the admissions committee as full a picture of who you are. 

As for the open-ended nature of the question, the whole essay really hinges on the word more—“what more would you like us to know?” The admissions committee should already be able to learn a lot about the path you have taken via your resume and short answers, and they should also learn about your professional performance and character via your recommendations. But through your essay, they should truly learn more about you. As I noted earlier, the goal of your essay is to share more about your values—possibly even about your soul. 

To help illustrate my point, I would like to review here a successful application essay from my book “What Matters?” and “What More?”: 50 Successful Essays for the Stanford GSB and HBS (and Why They Worked), titled “Shhh! Can You Hear Me Listening?” If you do not have a copy of the book, you can download the essay here. I want to start by highlighting a few key takeaways. First, this is not an essay about the kind of vocal leadership many people expect from an HBS MBA. In fact, it is the exact opposite; it is an essay about the often undervalued skill of listening and how it is reflective of the applicant Paul’s empathy. Those are the values Paul highlights throughout the essay: listening, empathy, better listening, more empathy. Rather than trying to hew to some perceived notion of who he thinks he “should” be for HBS, Paul discusses who he actually is! By doing so, he gets to a truly authentic place—he shares his soul. Second, this essay, like almost all essays should be, is a story of growth and change. We get a sense of both who Paul was and who he is now, and although he is not a radically different person, his growth and his ability to effectively wield his sense of empathy reveal themselves as very powerful, making his story compelling for the reader. 

Third, Paul makes almost no mention of his work. In his 11-paragraph essay, his work does not come up until the ninth and tenth paragraphs, and even then, his workplace is merely a setting. Paul does not reveal a big product launch or a huge win for the team.  He simply shares how he used his listening and empathy skills to break down interpersonal logjams at work, as he also does in his community and personal life. Now, I am not saying that you cannot write about your work accomplishments in this essay. My point is that you should not feel compelled to do so, and you definitely should not make your essay a work biography. Lastly, Paul does not mention his career goals or why he is targeting HBS for his MBA, and if you reread his essay, you will probably recognize that for him to suddenly shift gears at the end and begin discussing them would be very odd. His professional goals do not have much to do with listening or empathy, though these skills will serve him well. In short, the HBS prompt does not ask you to write about your career goals or “why HBS,” so do not feel that you must share this information in your essay, especially if you would have to force it to fit!  

Okay, so, let us dig into how Paul gets to that authentic place with his story. He does so by writing with honesty and simplicity. In this case, it is almost an equation: honesty plus simplicity equals authenticity. Consider this excerpt from the essay:

The 10-hour surgery, though harrowing, was a stunning success. Assuming my work was done, I flew home to San Francisco with an enormous burden lifted. In the subsequent months, though, my mother would call me almost every day crying. Sometimes she was upset that my father—struggling with his recuperation—wasn’t appreciative or, worse, was harsh with her; other times she was stressed by the body- and mind-numbing labor that goes into postsurgical care. I listened and would tell her that everything was going to be alright, but no amount of reassurance seemed to make her feel better.

In this short paragraph, we learn that Paul and his family have experienced a medical miracle, but Paul is not giving us the Hollywood ending. He talks about the emotional struggle of the recuperation and the helplessness he experiences during this time. Because of his straightforward language and his honesty in terms of the ups and downs, we can trust him as a narrator. In short, he reveals his authentic persona, and the admissions officer reading the essay will know that this applicant is a real person. 

I want to highlight in a little more detail how well Paul uses that simplicity in another part of his essay. The directness and clarity of the language is really wonderful.

One evening, I stumbled upon an opportunity to volunteer at Helping Hands, a suicide prevention hotline that focuses on providing emotional support. I knew that helping strangers would be rewarding in itself but also thought the program could expand my own perspective and help me guide my family through this emotional crisis, so I signed up on the spot.

Paul did not need to write, “I stumbled upon a compelling opportunity and urgently lunged for the phone. It was now my dream to volunteer with Helping Hands!” In short, creating faux drama is not an effective tactic. Your story either has a compelling angle or it does not. Because Paul’s does, the language does the work for him.

Of course, authenticity on its own is not enough. As I noted earlier, Paul’s story is compelling because we experience his growth. In the following excerpt, Paul discusses the impact of a challenge he faced, one for which he had to listen thoughtfully to a deeply troubled person as part of his volunteer work with the hotline. Clearly, he is tested when he has to empathetically listen to someone with whom he never would have engaged otherwise, and this becomes a unique catalyst. 

Working with Helping Hands also taught me the importance of knowing my own emotional limits, so I learned to practice self-care as a means to engage others. I started journaling regularly and became far more open to being vulnerable. Having inherited a stoicism from my father, I had to take an honest, critical look at myself in order to manifest this shift. When I allowed myself to truly unmask my feelings, I started to find real strength and resilience within.

As you write your HBS essay, remind yourself that you are not just sharing your journey or a theme—that is an oversimplification. Almost everyone, at some level, is going to be sharing how they have grown, developed, and become the person they are today. 

In the end, Paul’s essay is straightforward, yet fiercely original, not because he climbed Everest or cured cancer, but because he has engaged in life with tremendous self-awareness, faced deeply personal challenges, and grown by helping others. There is no magic recipe for how one should write their essay, but we can recognize a few key ingredients in Paul’s essay.

Of course, your story will be your own, and it will be distinct. For even more successful HBS essay examples, be sure to download a copy of our book “What Matters?” and “What More?”: 50 Successful Essays for the Stanford GSB and HBS (and Why They Worked). If you would like to learn more about what your best story might be, or if you have any questions about your profile, sign up for a free 30-minute consultation. Members of our team are available to connect and give you thoughtful advice and feedback.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
Common GMAT Concerns: Taking the Test Again and Dealing with a Low AWA [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: Common GMAT Concerns: Taking the Test Again and Dealing with a Low AWA Score
When candidates who have already taken the GMAT once ask us whether they should take the test again, we always reply with this key question: “Do you think you can do better?” If the individual does indeed believe that they can improve, the next question we inevitably get is “What do business schools think of multiple scores?”

Fortunately, most MBA admissions committees do not frown on candidates taking the GMAT more than once. Many applicants feel that they must be “perfect” the first time and that any subsequent test they take—particularly if they receive a lower score on it—might be damaging to their candidacy. This is not the case.

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

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

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

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

So, if you did well on the GMAT and have a low AWA score, that is unfortunate, but it will not be the difference in a school’s decision about your candidacy. Rest easy—as long as you truly did write both!
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
Researching MBA Programs Virtually [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: Researching MBA Programs Virtually
As you get ready to tackle your business school applications, you might be wondering: what is the best way for me to research my target MBA programs? For schools that are in your city or within a relatively short distance, you should plan to attend in-person info sessions, class tours, and campus visits now that COVID-19 restrictions have largely been lifted. Conducting this sort of research is essential to delivering a strong application. Just think about all those “Why our program?” essays. Perhaps even more importantly, visiting a school and seeing it firsthand can help you determine whether it is right for you. 

However, you might also wonder whether you are expected to visit schools that are across the country from where you live—or even in another country?  Admissions officers understand the financial expense of traveling to a campus that is far away (especially given how expensive flights and hotel stays have been lately), so they do not expect candidates who are outside their geographic area to attend in-person events. However, they do still want you to research their MBA program in detail to assess your fit. Fortunately, many resources are available that allow you to get to know the different schools remotely.

The first step is to make sure that you can answer three basic questions for each program you plan to apply to. Although the schools might not necessarily ask you these specific questions directly, being able to answer them for yourself will ensure that you have thoroughly done your research.

[list]
How will the school’s academic/professional offerings (classes and clubs) help you achieve your short- and long-term goals?[/*]
How will you both benefit from and contribute to the school’s nonacademic/professional offerings?[/*]
How does the culture/feel of the program fit you personally? Does it match your character and personality?[/*]
[/list]
Now that you know what you need to learn from your research, we can offer you some ideas for getting started. Approach each step as a fact-finding mission. The single most important piece of advice we can give is to take notes—incessant and copious—the minute you have completed any of these steps. Months from now, you are going to want to remember anecdotes, contact names (along with email addresses!), and other key details, and you cannot simply rely on your memory.

[b]Sign up for school webinars.[/b]
Often, schools that are not conducting online information sessions will be conducting online webinars. For example, check out this list of [url=https://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/admissions-events/Pages/default.aspx]virtual admissions events at Harvard Business School[/url]. Likewise, some programs post recordings of previous online events; see this list of [url=https://academics.gsb.columbia.edu/mba/admissions/events/recorded-events]past Columbia Business School webinars[/url], for instance.

[b]Tap into your network.[/b]
Check LinkedIn to see if you have colleagues—or colleagues with contacts—at any of the business schools on your list. And ask your Facebook friends if they know anyone at the programs you are targeting. Connecting with someone new is typically easier when you already share a connection. Reach out to schedule one-on-one chats and collect information about classes, clubs, professors, career opportunities, and school culture.

[b]Take advantage of “admissions ambassador” programs.[/b]
Most MBA programs designate a small number of students to be available to answer questions from prospective applicants. Schedule a phone call or Zoom session with one of these student representatives to learn more about their school’s classes, clubs, and culture.

[b]Reach out to local alumni organizations.[/b]
A number of business school alumni clubs might be active in your area. If so, contact the groups to request a 20-minute phone call or a coffee chat with one or more members. How the club responds to your request will also give you insight into how active the alumni association is and what types of resources it provides for the school’s graduates and students.

[b]Check out YouTube.[/b]
YouTube can be a treasure trove of information on the top business schools. Chicago Booth, for example, has posted [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqwN_8US7Es]a tour of its Harper Center[/url] conducted by Nobel Prize–winning professor Richard Thaler. Another of the school’s videos addresses [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeKcnP94sfc]the school’s flexible curriculum[/url], and in yet another, students explain how they manage [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlc8nGbPwh4]Chicago’s infamous winter weather[/url]. Consider subscribing to your target programs’ channels or at least make a note to yourself to check them periodically for new posts.

[b]Follow programs on social media.[/b]
Schools regularly post news and program updates on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The Berkeley Haas School of Business, for example, has promoted some of its innovation programs, posted about events, and spotlighted the achievements of professors, students, and alumni on its [url=https://twitter.com/BerkeleyHaas]Twitter[/url] account. Be sure to tune into these channels for the latest information.

[b]Read schools’ employment reports.[/b]
Every top MBA program publishes its annual employment report online, and these reports include data for both full-time and internship recruiting. For example, [url=https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/-/media/files/careers/2022/kellogg-full-time-mba-and-internship-2022-employment-outcomes.ashx?la=en&hash=815EC0F2D97EBB69EBB772DECC3111D6]Northwestern Kellogg’s 2022 employment report[/url] reveals that 38% of its graduates last year accepted jobs in consulting, while 24% entered positions in technology. In addition, most schools present a list of their top recruiters, and some even publish a comprehensive list of all the companies that recruited and/or hired their students.

[b]Download and consult mbaMission’s [/b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/insider-s-guides][b]Insider’s Guides[/b][/url][b].[/b]
More than 15 years ago, we began publishing our suite of Insider’s Guides to the top programs to help aspiring MBAs get to know their target schools in depth, more quickly and easily—and we have been updating and expanding them ever since. Informed by direct input from students, alumni, and other school representatives, and consolidating information on the programs’ unique resources and offerings, faculty, environment, social life, and other defining characteristics, these free guides allow you to bypass the stereotypes and efficiently gain a profound understanding of a school’s structure and culture.

In addition to these options, the time-tested approach of directly contacting alumni and students remains a great way to gain firsthand insight into your preferred programs. Many of them did the same thing when they were applying to business school and are happy to “pay it forward” by speaking with you now.

If you have questions about your MBA application or wonder which schools you would be competitive at, sign up for a [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/mba-admissions/][b]free [/b][b]30-minute consultation[/b][/url] with an mbaMission Senior Consultant.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
Upskilling: Invest in Online Coursework  [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: Upskilling: Invest in Online Coursework 
During the COVID-19 quarantine days, career professionals wrote a lot of articles about using one’s available time to build up and learn new business skills, and many people did just that. But this is a valuable activity to consider anytime, not just during a global pandemic.

So, where should you start? Although completing an internship is a great way to develop skills and gain exposure to new ideas, you can also expand your knowledge through online courses.

Check out the low-cost—or in some cases, free—opportunities available through the following online learning platforms:

[list]
[url=https://www.coursera.org/]Coursera[/url][/*]
[url=https://www.classcentral.com/]Class Central[/url][/*]
[url=https://www.linkedin.com/business/learning/blog]LinkedIn Learning[/url][/*]
[url=https://www.udemy.com/courses/free/]Udemy[/url][/*]
[url=https://generalassemb.ly/browse?format=all]General Assembly [/url][/*]
[url=https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/]Google Analytics Academy [/url][/*]
[url=https://www.aws.training/]AWS Training and Certification[/url][/*]
[/list]
Other platforms offer certifications that might be even more relevant for your industry or function but might require more of a commitment of time and money. Additionally, many universities offer access to their online courses, such as [url=https://www.uclaextension.edu/]UCLA Extension[/url].

To find the right course or program for you, reflect on your goals and do your research, then consider these criteria:

Your objective
Why are you interested in enrolling? What do you want to learn? What skills do your target companies seek? Do you need a certificate of completion? Do you want to take one course or multiple courses?

Industry or functional standards
Ask current and former colleagues, friends, mentors, and others for recommendations. Look at the LinkedIn profile of people in your target role to see what types of certificates and/or coursework they completed.

Quality of content
What do the course reviews and ratings say? Who is the instructor, and what is their level of expertise? What are the learning outcomes?

Logistics
Will you need to purchase any materials? What is the price of the course? What is the class size? What is the format of the course: asynchronistic or synchronistic? What is the duration of the class/required commitment (i.e., number of hours)?

Finally, once you select and enroll in an online course, maximize your learning opportunity by approaching it in the following way:

[list]
Treat it like a “real” course. Show up! Have the discipline and dedication to listen to classes and complete your homework. [/*]
Hold yourself accountable. Set goals at the beginning of the semester, and check in with yourself weekly. Allot sufficient time to complete the required work. [/*]
Create a regular study space, stay organized, and avoid distractions. [/*]
Figure out how you learn best, and actively participate. [/*]
When completed, add the course/certification to your resume and LinkedIn profile. [/*]
[/list]
What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/][b]free[/b] 30-minute consultation[/url] with an expert from mbaMission’s [url=https://www.mbamission.com/who-we-are/team/]team of consultants[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
Four Key Qualities of a Successful Job Seeker [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: Four Key Qualities of a Successful Job Seeker
This post was written by our resident Career Coach [url=https://www.mbamission.com/who-we-are/team/elissa-harris/][b]Elissa Harris[/b][/url]. To sign up for a free 30-minute career consultation with Elissa, please [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/career-coaching/][b]click here[/b][/url].

We have all been reading a lot about how the economy is affecting job availability, and although that is true, we also need to recognize that the key principles of job searching remain the same. You might just need to expend more energy on your job search and apply these principles in a more creative way.

This post outlines mbaMission’s guidance on how to leverage four key qualities of a successful job seeker in any job market:

[b]Generosity[/b] (definition: the quality of being kind). In the context of a job search, generosity means giving back to others, building genuine relationships, and expressing sincere appreciation for help. Here are some ways of expressing generosity.

[list]
Take the call. When a graduate of your undergraduate or graduate institution reaches out for advice or guidance, respond to them. Offer feedback on the skills required to land a specific job, make introductions, and share the graduate’s resume with a hiring manager. [/*]
[/list]
[list]
End every networking call by voicing your appreciation. Ask a question like “Is there anything I can do to help you?” or extend an offer like “If you think anyone in your network would benefit from my areas of expertise, please feel free to make an introduction.” Write a thank you email after each call. [/*]
[/list]
[list]
Offer assistance on LinkedIn. Share open positions within your company (using the keywords “I’m hiring” or “We are hiring”).[/*]
[/list]
[list]
Keep your network updated. Thank your contacts for their introductions and connections. Let them know what actions you took based on their advice. [/*]
[/list]
[b]Resilience[/b] (definition: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties). In this economy, believing in yourself is more important than ever. You will likely get a lot of “no” answers before you get a “yes.” Show employers that you do not view hurdles as insurmountable; overcoming failures develops your adaptability, grit, and persistence.

[list]
Learn from each interaction. Track feedback on what you can do better, and find ways to improve. Rejections do not mean you are not qualified or that you will not find another opportunity of interest.[/*]
[/list]
[list]
Focus on your transferable skills and functional expertise, not just your industry knowledge. Consider a pivot that will help you secure a role in the short term but keeps you on your target career trajectory.[/*]
[/list]
[list]
Demonstrate comfort with ambiguity. Hiring processes might be slow. Remember that even though landing a job is your number-one priority, your hiring manager could have more pressing priorities. [/*]
[/list]
[list]
Give yourself time to be frustrated when an opportunity of interest does not come to fruition, but do not spend too much time dwelling on it. Find opportunities for self-care; reenergize and celebrate mini-milestones. [/*]
[/list]
[b]Curiosity[/b] (definition: a strong desire to know or learn something). Learning does not stop when you graduate from school.   

[list]
Develop and share your perspective on an industry of interest—including products, business models, innovations, and disruptions—and use it as a basis for networking conversations. Post about it on your LinkedIn newsfeed. [/*]
[/list]
[list]
Be a scholar of business. Consider how different industries and senior leaders are adjusting to the changing market.   [/*]
[/list]
[list]
Take online courses to build skills or learn the latest on specific topics of interest. Learn by following target companies on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. [/*]
[/list]
[list]
Tap into your networks to ask for help. Brainstorm questions to ask in networking meetings that will solicit robust conversations and show the depth of your passion. Seek guidance from them on courses to take or websites to read.[/*]
[/list]
[b]Preparation[/b] (definition: the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration). The job market has more candidates now than in the recent past, so find ways to stand out. 

[list]
Set realistic expectations. Have a Plan A and a Plan B (and even a Plan C). Craft a larger than usual target company list (approximately 25 organizations). Double (or even triple) your efforts. Do not settle for one or two networking calls a week; aim to conduct three to five every week. [/*]
[/list]
[list]
Know your career narrative/your story; check out our [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/crafting-or-updating-your-pitch/]blog post[/url] on this topic. Be clear with your value proposition, and focus on how you can help your target employer (not just what you have done in the past). Practice articulating your experiences. Find partners for mock interviews. [/*]
[/list]
[list]
Update your resume, and optimize your LinkedIn profile. Ensure that they align with your key messaging and include relevant keywords so you get additional visibility on the platform.  [/*]
[/list]
For more career advice, [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/career-guides]download our free guides[/url]. Our MBA career guides were written in conjunction with industry insiders who provide intriguing perspectives on the fields.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
How to Get into Johnson Graduate School of Management: Cornell Johnson [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into Johnson Graduate School of Management: Cornell Johnson Essay and Examples
[url=https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Johnson-logo-rgb.jpg?ssl=1][img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Johnson-logo-rgb.jpg?resize=300%2C64&ssl=1[/img][/url]

With its straightforward goals statement and single required essay, the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University seems interested in getting right to the heart of the issues it considers most valuable in evaluating its applicants. The admissions committee wants to first know your professional aspirations and motivations for pursuing an MBA degree and then how you see yourself being a contributing member of the Johnson community. An optional essay is available, if needed, to address the usual topics of problematic candidacy issues or any outstanding qualifications that are not represented elsewhere in one’s application. Read on for our full analysis of Cornell Johnson’s application essay questions for 2023–2024.

Cornell Johnson 2023–2024 Essay Tips

[b]Goals Statement: A statement of your goals will begin a conversation that will last throughout the admissions process and guide your steps during the MBA program and experience. To the best of your understanding today, please share your short and long term goals by completing the following sentences and answering the enclosed short answer question (350 words maximum):[/b]
[b]Immediately post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) [Role] at [Company] within [Industry].[/b]
[b]Targeted Job Role:[/b]
[b]Target Job Company:[/b]
[b]Industry:[/b]
[b]In 5–10 years post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) [Role] at [Company] within [Industry].[/b]
[b]Targeted Job Role:[/b]
[b]Target Job Company:[/b]
[b]Industry:[/b]
[b]How has your experience prepared and encouraged you to pursue these goals?[/b]
With this incredibly direct approach to gathering information about candidates’ professional goals, Cornell Johnson is clearly conveying a desire for information only. The school states in the preamble to this prompt, “If you’re invited to interview, you will have the opportunity to elaborate further,” signaling to us that the admissions committee really wants just the facts here. So, respect both the format and the school and be as direct and clear as possible, saving any embellishment or additional explanation for another time.

That said, the inclusion of the mini essay prompt indicates that the admissions committee wants to have some context for your stated aspirations, so do your best within the 350-word allowance to be thorough and clearly connect the dots between where you have been and where you are striving to go. An effective response will provide evidence that you (1) have done your research as to what is required to attain your goals, (2) recognize where you are on that trajectory (what skills and experience you already possess that are key to success in your desired roles and field), and, to some degree, (3) understand why/how attaining an MBA from Cornell Johnson will move you further in the right direction.

Although this prompt is not a request for a full-length personal essay, we offer a number of tips and examples in our free [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/url][/b] that could be helpful in crafting your responses. We encourage you to download your complimentary copy today.

[b]Essay 1 – Impact Essay: This essay is designed to explore the intersection of engagement and community culture. Our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve. To help you explore your potential for impact, we encourage you to [url=https://www.johnson.cornell.edu/programs/full-time-mba/admissions/community-search-tool/]engage with our students[/url], alumni, faculty, and professional staff before submitting your application. You may choose to connect with them via email or phone or in person during one of our on-campus or off-campus events. As you seek their input and insight, please be respectful of their time and prepare a few discussion points or questions in advance.[/b]
[b]At Cornell, our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve. Taking into consideration your background, how do you intend to make a meaningful impact on an elite MBA community? (350 words maximum) [/b]
Note that with this essay prompt, the school is not asking you to discuss a time in the past when you have made an impact but rather about your expected impact going forward, and specifically as part of the Cornell Johnson community. We always encourage candidates to connect with students, alumni, and others in an MBA program’s greater community when preparing their application, but in this case, Cornell is essentially demanding that you do so with its rather forthright “encouragement” and direct link to the resources it offers to facilitate such connections. If you have not already been making these kinds of connections, now (immediately) is the time to get busy. The admissions committee undoubtedly expects your efforts to yield useful insights, so saying that you have merely contacted a few people will not suffice. You need to show that the insider information you subsequently received has further solidified your choice to pursue an MBA at Cornell Johnson by discussing the ways and areas in which you now feel you can contribute to it.

The school’s specification that you reflect on your past as you determine your best way of adding to the Johnson community means that you need to provide some context for your proposed idea(s) that proves that you are equipped to follow through on your plans. If nothing in the rest of your application indicates that you have experience doing what you say you will do at Johnson, or that you possess the necessary capabilities or qualities, the admissions committee will have difficulty believing that you are being authentic—and might even suspect that you are offering a response you think “sounds good” rather than one rooted in reality and actual possibility. So, we recommend first familiarizing yourself with the Johnson MBA experience well beyond what the school offers in its promotional materials (e.g., read press releases, news stories, and student blogs; check out the [b][url=https://www.youtube.com/c/CornellSCJohnsonCollegeofBusiness]Cornell Johnson YouTube[/url][/b] channel) and identify elements that resonate with you. Then use that information and inspiration to prepare for thoughtful, productive conversations with multiple members of the Johnson community. And finally, use this essay to reveal what you have learned, the ideas you have developed as a result, and the reasons and ways you are prepared to put those ideas into action at Johnson.

[b]Optional Essay (required for reapplicants): You may use this essay to call attention to items needing clarification and to add additional details to any aspects of your application that do not accurately reflect your potential for success at Johnson (350 words maximum). [/b]
[b]If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application since the last time you applied for admission. Please also review our Application Guide for additional information about reapplying. (350 words maximum)[/b]
If you are a Cornell Johnson reapplicant, this essay should be pretty straightforward. Whether you have improved your academic record, received a promotion, begun a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or taken on some sort of personal challenge, the key to success with this essay is conveying a very deliberate path of achievement. The school wants to know that you have been actively striving to improve yourself and your profile, and that you have seized opportunities during the previous year to do so, because a Cornell Johnson MBA is vital to you. The responses to this essay question will vary greatly from one candidate to the next, because each person’s needs and experiences differ. We are more than happy to provide one-on-one assistance with this highly personal essay to ensure that your efforts over the past year are presented in the best light possible.

If you are not a reapplicant, Johnson’s optional essay prompt gives you the typical opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, or a gap in your work experience. Yet it is sufficiently broad to also allow you to emphasize or explain something that if omitted would render your application incomplete. We caution you against simply trying to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. And of course, however tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes you were unable to include elsewhere in your application. Keep in mind that by submitting an optional essay, you are requiring the already overtaxed admissions readers to do additional work, so avoid being overly verbose or sharing more information than is truly necessary. You must ensure that the admissions committee’s extra time and effort are truly warranted, so write just a very brief piece to explain your troublesome issue or offer the essential (and otherwise uncommunicated) aspect of your profile. If you feel you might have a reason to submit this additional essay, we encourage you to download our free [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/url][/b], in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, along with multiple illustrative examples.

[b]Park Leadership Fellows Program Essay Prompt: Describe a past formal or informal leadership experience and how it informs your goals for growth as a leader.  How would the [url=https://www.johnson.cornell.edu/programs/full-time-mba/two-year-mba/curriculum/leadership/leadership-opportunities/park-leadership-fellows-program/]Park Leadership Fellowship[/url] assist with these goals? (500-word limit)[/b]
This is a fairly straightforward essay prompt, and we recommend responding in an equally straightforward manner. Launch directly into the story of your leadership experience, and detail the specific actions you took in directing others in pursuit of a desired result. We recommend using a narrative approach to present your story, but be sure to also share the thought process and motivation(s) behind your actions. This way, the admissions committee will take away a clearer picture of the aspects of your character that inspired you and guided your actions and decisions. Note that Johnson recognizes that the leadership experience you share could have been a less formal one. Leadership does not need to have an official title attached to it, and it can be expressed in a community service or even family life setting just as much as in a workplace, so explore all the different areas of your life for possible stories.

A particularly important element of this essay is showing that you recognize where your leadership skills can improve and why doing so is important for your long-term success. Although you are expected to discuss areas for development, take care not to deride your strengths. Rather than solely discussing the ways in which you are lacking as a leader, focus on the ways you could become a more complete and capable one. Equally important is tying your educational and experiential needs to the Park Leadership Fellows Program specifically, so of course, your first step (if you have not already done so) is to familiarize yourself thoroughly with what this program entails and provides. Then, in your response, you will need to draw clear connections between the areas you hope to strengthen and the offerings in this program that will enable you to do so.

For a thorough exploration of Johnson’s academic offerings, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, community/environment, and other key facets of the program, please download your free copy of the [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/samuel-curtis-johnson-graduate-school-of-management]mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Samuel Curtis Johnson School of Management[/url][/b].

[b]The Next Step: Mastering Your Cornell Johnson Interview[/b]
Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. We therefore offer our free Interview Guides to spur you along! Download your free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/cornell-johnson-graduate-school-of-management-interview-guide][b]Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management Interview Guide[/b][/url] today.

To learn more about the essays for other top business schools, visit our [url=https://www.mbamission.com/mba-essay-examples/]MBA Essay Tips and Examples Resources Page[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
Essential Reading from mbaMissions Career Coaches: July 2023 [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: Essential Reading from mbaMission’s Career Coaches: July 2023
This post was written by our resident Career Coach Elissa Harris. To sign up for a free 30-minute career consultation with Elissa, please click here.

Whether you are getting ready for business school, looking to change jobs, or wanting to excel in your current role, we think you will appreciate these recent career-related articles that caught our attention.

    “Research: Your Love for Work May Alienate Your Colleagues” (Read time: one to two minutes) Companies are seeking employees who are passionate about their work because research shows that such employees are more productive, innovative, and collaborative. But there is a downside. These passionate employees are more likely to judge colleagues who are motivated by other reasons. Leaders should tap into the diverse motivations of their staff.

    “How To Move Forward When You’re Overwhelmed By Uncertainty” (Read time: two to three minutes) The anxiety of searching for a new position in an uncertain and a less-than-robust job market can become paralyzing. Although we cannot remove the inherent uncertainty in a job search, seekers can focus on ways to make it more manageable. This article shares four strategies for reframing your thinking to view uncertainty as an opportunity rather than the cause of anxiety. “Why Non-Linear Career Paths Are The Future” (Read time: one to two minutes) As employees’ priorities change and the workplace continues to evolve, candidates following nonlinear career paths will become more common. The trick is to be strategic about the reason for each of your career pivots and to communicate a common theme that runs through the diversity of your work experiences. Before deciding to accept any new opportunity, think about why you want to join the organization. How will the experience help you grow? Harvard career expert: Job openings are ‘tightening’–3 strategies to land a new role now”(Read time: one minute) We have all heard about the strained job market, but great roles are still available. How do you find one of them? Here is a hint: you must have more than just a Plan A; you need to be able to tell your story and explain how your skills and interests are relevant to the available job. 
mbaMission’s Career Coaches are happy to explore with you any career-related topics, including selecting potential career paths, crafting your professional narrative, and maximizing the effectiveness of your job search, during a complimentary, 30-minute career consultation. Sign up for your free session today!
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
How to Get into McCombs School of Business: Texas McCombs Essay Tips a [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into McCombs School of Business: Texas McCombs Essay Tips and Examples
[url=https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/U-Texas-McCombs.png?ssl=1][img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/U-Texas-McCombs.png?resize=300%2C143&ssl=1[/img][/url]

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin asks for just one relatively brief yet still revelatory essay from its applicants. Applicants are asked to write a cover letter to the admissions committee essentially making a pitch for why they want (or need) to earn a Texas McCombs MBA. Anyone with a potential problem area or unclear element in their profile can also submit an optional essay to address the issue(s). While minimal, the Texas McCombs essay still gives applicants ample opportunity to provide meaningful insight into their characters and strengths. Our more in-depth analysis of the program’s essay prompt(s) for 2023–2024 follows.

[b]Texas McCombs Essay Analysis, 2023–2024[/b]
[b]Essay 1: Please write an application cover letter summarizing your aspirations, qualifications, and personal and professional experiences that make you a strong candidate for the Texas Full-Time MBA program. (Limit: 500 words)[/b]
We can understand that this essay prompt might initially be intimidating for some candidates, but once we break things down for you, we hope you will feel more confident in your ability to write a strong essay in response. Along with this prompt, McCombs offers the following elaboration: “The application cover letter is a critical means of assessing an applicant’s motivation for attending the McCombs School of Business, their background and goals, and their communication and writing skills. Strong applications convey careful research on Texas McCombs and enthusiasm for the program.” In short, the admissions committee wants to know (1)what your professional path and goals are, (2) why you feel you need an MBA, and (3) why you want to earn your MBA at McCombs. These are all just basic components of a traditional personal statement that most schools ask for. Not so scary now, right?

The broad scope of this essay prompt allows you a great amount of freedom to choose and share the information you believe is most important for your candidacy. And the 500-word maximum is equal to roughly four or five short paragraphs. Basically, McCombs wants to know about your professional past, your goals, and why you need its MBA program to facilitate or accelerate your career. Be sure to relate your strengths to your professional aspirations, sharing illustrative examples. Definitely take the time to research your desired path and potential firms, if you have not done so already, to understand what is involved and the skills and qualities required.

After discussing your accomplishments along with any other elements of your profile that you feel make you a strong candidate for the Texas McCombs MBA program, strive to relate these achievements and qualities to the school’s offerings and community. Without using the actual words “why McCombs?” and “how do you expect to engage with our community?,” the school is nevertheless asking you for precisely this line of information. The admissions committee essentially wants to know what has compelled you to choose McCombs in particular for your MBA and how you will take advantage of specific resources and experiences it offers. The assumption is that something you have learned about McCombs leads you to believe that its MBA program will provide the experience, knowledge, skills, exposure, and/or other element you need to reach your goals. Likewise, something makes you feel you would fit well with the McCombs environment and be comfortable there. So what has given you that impression? All the top MBA programs want reassurance that the candidates they admit have not applied simply because of the school’s reputation or ranking but rather because they are truly excited to be a part of the community and to benefit from that specific learning experience. McCombs is not simply seeking warm bodies with which to fill its classrooms; it is striving to add to a long history of effective global business leaders and a network of alumni dedicated to the school and each other. Demonstrating your authentic interest in the program by offering concrete examples and drawing clear connections between who you want to be and what the school offers is key to crafting a compelling essay response.

If you have targeted McCombs because you feel it is the right program for you, you likely already have an idea of why that is true and how you would function as part of its community. If you do not yet have a handle on these points, you definitely need to start (now!) researching the school thoroughly, including interacting directly with students and/or alumni. Identify at least one (ideally more) resource, offering, or quality that McCombs has that is unique or that it excels in that directly relates to what you need to attain your post-MBA goals. And do not just offer a list—you must explain how the identified element(s) will fulfill particular needs for you.

As we noted earlier, this essay covers the core components of a traditional personal statement, just presented in a different form. To better prepare yourself to write your essay response, download a free copy of our [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]Personal Statement Guide[/url], which offers more in-depth advice on addressing these topics, along with illustrative examples.

[b]Optional Statement: Please provide any additional information you believe is important or address any areas of concern that you believe will be beneficial to MBA Admissions in considering your application (e.g., gaps in work experience, choice of recommender, academic performance, or extenuating personal circumstances). (250 words)[/b]
We tend to believe that the best use of the optional essay is to explain confusing or problematic issues in your candidacy, and this prompt offers an opportunity to do just that. So, if you need to, this is your chance to address any questions an admissions officer might have about your profile. Consider downloading a free copy of our [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide][b]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/b][/url], in which we offer detailed advice on deciding whether to submit an optional essay and on how best to approach writing such a submission, with multiple examples.

However, because McCombs does not stipulate that you can only discuss a problem area in this essay, you have some leeway to share anything you think might be pivotal or particularly compelling. We caution you against trying to fill this space simply because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. Remember, by submitting an additional essay, you are asking the admissions committee to do extra work on your behalf, so you need to make sure that time is warranted. If you are using the essay to emphasize something that if omitted would render your application incomplete, take this opportunity to write a very brief narrative that reveals this key new aspect of your candidacy.

To learn more about the essays for other top business schools, visit our [url=https://www.mbamission.com/mba-essay-examples/]MBA Essay Tips and Examples Resources Page[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
How to Get into Fisher College of Business: Ohio Fisher Essay Tips and [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into Fisher College of Business: Ohio Fisher Essay Tips and Examples


The application essay question for the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University gives candidates the opportunity to add a little detail and depth to their profile beyond the statistics and other basic data conveyed in the rest of the application. The school’s required essay is a rather traditional career goals statement, allowing candidates 500 words in which to outline their professional aspirations and explain their need for an MBA. If needed, a 500-word supplemental essay is also available for applicants with unusual or unclear elements in their profiles. All aspiring Fisher students must complete a video interview in conjunction with their application, and although this is not technically an essay, we offer tips on preparing for it as well in our complete analysis, which follows.

The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Essay Analysis 2023–2024
You will be required to complete one written essay response. The essay question gives you the opportunity to present yourself more fully to our MBA Admissions Committee and to provide insight into your experiences, goals, and thought processes.
ESSAY TOPIC 1: What are your short-term and long-term goals? How/why will an MBA help you achieve those goals? (Maximum words: 500)
The Fisher admissions committee is hardly breaking any new ground with this essay prompt, though the information it is requesting is important to all top MBA programs. Fisher is interested in learning where you see yourself going after you graduate and how you believe a business degree will equip you to fulfill your vision. Because this essay question covers several of the main components of a traditional personal statement, we encourage you to download a free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on approaching these topics, along with multiple illustrative examples.

SUPPLEMENTAL ESSAY (OPTIONAL): This optional essay can be used to address any circumstances you’d like the Admissions Committee to be aware of (gaps in work history, academic performance, choice of recommenders, etc.). (Maximum words: 500)
This essay is your opportunity—if you need it—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GRE or GMAT score, or, of course, one of the issues Fisher lists in the prompt. If you feel you might need to submit an additional essay for such a reason, consider downloading a free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (along with multiple annotated sample essays) to help mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

Video Interview: Each applicant will be required to complete an online assessment comprised of pre-recorded video questions (delivered via Fisher’s Kira Talent platform). Since live interviews are by invitation only, the video interview is a way for us to virtually meet you and get a sense of your personality and potential beyond what you’ve included in your application. When you start an application, you’ll receive an email invitation to complete your video interview.  While it’s recommended to complete the video interview within 2 weeks, the link will not expire. Your application cannot be reviewed until all items are complete, including your Kira video interview.
HOW IT WORKS: The process is simple—you will be asked a question, given prep time, and a set amount of time to respond. It should only take 20 to 30 minutes to complete and can be done on your own time. We recommend watching our “7 Tips to Ace Your Kira Video Interview” webinar to understand how it works and to improve your application.
WHAT YOU NEED: You will require an internet-connected computer with a functioning webcam and microphone. The system allows for unlimited practice sessions but once you start the formal interview questions you only get one chance—this allows us to see your candid responses. Be yourself!
We know that required videos often strike fear into the hearts of business school candidates, but let us reassure you a bit and unpack this component of the Fisher application process, in hopes of helping you relax and put your best self forward. First of all, keep in mind that these video questions are not meant to trip you up or entice you to do or say anything that would get you immediately disqualified from consideration. Video submissions, as the Fisher admissions committee largely explains here, are opportunities for the admissions committee to put a “face,” so to speak, on your written application and learn a little more about your personality, energy level, communication style, and other such intangibles. In an admissions blog post from the year this video element was first added, a Fisher representative stated, “We really like to get to know all of our applicants but given the volume of applications we receive, it is not possible to meet or speak to everyone. This platform allows us to get to know you much better than anything else you’ll submit.” If you focus on being authentic and sincere, you will provide the admissions committee with exactly what it is seeking.

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

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

For additional sample questions—albeit more traditional ones than the example in the school’s video—you can use to practice, consider downloading a free copy of the mbaMission Interview Guide, in which we present a list of 100 common interview queries.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
Projected Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: Projected Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision on MBA Applications
[b]What did the Supreme Court decide on affirmative action?[/b]
This past Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court barred using race as a factor in college admissions, ending a decades-long struggle wherein successive courts have endeavored to square affirmative action with the Constitution’s guarantee that all races be treated equally.

The first test came in 1978, when racial quotas and minority set-asides led to court challenges to affirmative action as a form of “reverse discrimination.” In the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case,  brought by a white man denied admission to the UC Davis School of Medicine, the Supreme Court banned colleges from setting racial quotas but allowed schools to consider race as a “factor” in the admissions process. In 2003, a divided court in the Grutter v. Bollinger case reluctantly allowed colleges to consider race, deeming attracting underrepresented minority groups a “compelling governmental interest,” but one that was subject to strict scrutiny. At the time, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor noted that affirmative action was a temporary corrective measure, however, stating the expectation that “25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.”

This week, the Supreme Court found that Harvard and the University of North Carolina had simply gone too far. The two schools’ race-conscious admissions programs failed to abide by the narrow restrictions the court had laid out in previous cases and “unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful end points.” Chief Justice John Roberts concluded, “Many universities have for too long wrongly concluded that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned, but the color of their skin. This Nation’s constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.” In short, “eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it.”

At the same time, Justice Roberts commented that “nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise. But . . . universities may not simply establish through application essays or other means the regime we hold unlawful today.” He added, “What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly.”

[b]How will this decision affect MBA applications?  [/b]
Probably not in any significant way.

Nine states already ban using race in admissions, including California, Washington, and Florida. Moreover, affirmative action is primarily a burning issue at the most selective colleges, where grades and scores are the dominant assessment criteria, so not all schools will see much change.

Unlike undergraduate or other more-academic graduate programs, top MBA programs are looking for leaders. In addition to evaluating more-mature candidates, typically with four to six years of experience, they assess a holistic set of factors, looking at the applicants’ professional background, career goals, and outside leadership experience, as well as their grades and test scores. Moreover, the schools are consciously trying to assemble a broadly distributed class of students who represent different jobs and industries, career goals, and socioeconomic and personal backgrounds. So, MBA applicants have ample opportunity to highlight their individuality and differentiate themselves in their essays, recommendations, and outside activities.

Although schools can no longer use race as a factor in admissions, MBA applicants can still describe in their essays how race has affected their life. This means that even though underrepresented minorities no longer receive an automatic “plus,” they can nevertheless discuss their differentiating background in their essays. At the same time, students from overrepresented populations (e.g., Caucasian, Asian, South Asian American) can do the same and will now be on an equal footing.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
University of California Los Angeles Anderson Application Essay Tips, [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: University of California Los Angeles Anderson Application Essay Tips, 2023–2024


The UCLA Anderson School of Management requires candidates to provide just one essay, asking them to discuss a time when they refused to give up on a goal and persisted in pursuing it. For this sole essay, the admissions committee has set a maximum length of just 250 words, meaning that applicants must be concise and direct in their response. Some candidates might be tempted to use the optional essay to squeeze in more information about themselves, but anyone considering this option must be prudent about doing so because Anderson very clearly states that the essay is specifically for “extenuating circumstances.” Our full analysis of all the school’s 2023–2024 prompts follows.

University of California Los Angeles Anderson Essay Analysis, 2023–2024

Required Essay: UCLA Anderson seeks to develop transformative leaders who think fearlessly, drive change, and share success. We believe the ability to persevere is an essential component of effective leadership. Please share an example from your personal or professional life where you demonstrated perseverance to accomplish a significant goal or milestone. (250 words maximum)

Setbacks are important learning opportunities. With this prompt, the admissions committee wants to know how you act, react, and learn when things do not go according to plan. Anderson clearly knows that many of life’s greatest successes require one to “try, try again,” as the expression goes, and that this attitude is necessary to gain and accomplish the most, not just in business school but also in the world after graduation. Ideally, a person will take what they have learned from a challenging situation and use it to achieve better results with similar ventures going forward. This essay is your opportunity to reassure the admissions committee that you have the kind of resilience and dedication that will position you to realize your goals.

Anderson notes that for this essay, you can share either a personal story or a professional one, so explore all your career, family, and community life experiences to identify one you believe was particularly significant and influential. The statement within the prompt that “the ability to persevere is an essential component of effective leadership” is essentially an acknowledgement that managing failures and setbacks is a fundamental part of the leadership experience. Challenges should therefore be viewed in a positive light—as inspiration to keep trying and sometimes even to aim higher than before. You want to convey in your essay that you are not easily deterred and instead use obstacles as learning tools or stepping-stones on the path to your desired outcome. 

The failure or hindrance you discuss in this submission could be one you experienced as an individual or as part of a team, and its scale or scope is not as important as how affecting and influential it was for you personally. You must present a complete narrative that shows momentum toward some kind of goal, describes the inflection point at which the situation turned, and explains how the original plan was interrupted or ultimately failed, while revealing your particular role in the setback. Avoid starting your essay with a bland statement like “I had to start over when [fill in the blank].” Instead, leap directly into the action of your story and immediately convey what was at stake in the situation. Next, briefly explain the obstacle or setback you encountered, and then dedicate the rest of the essay to outlining your reaction to it and the steps you took to either soldier on with your original plan despite the impediment or begin anew. Be sure to address what specifically inspired you—what kept you from giving up on attaining your objective—and how you maintained your motivation as you pursued your goal. This must be the core of your message in this essay.

Optional Essay: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)

Anderson’s optional essay is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, or a gap in your work experience. Do not simply try to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. The admissions committee states very clearly on its application requirements page, “No preference is given in the evaluation process to those who choose to respond to this optional essay, so please use your best judgment.” This means that no matter how tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for a different school or to offer an anecdote or two that you were unable to include in your required essay. However, if you truly feel that you must emphasize or explain something that would legitimately render your application incomplete if omitted, write a very brief piece on this key aspect of your profile. But before you do, we suggest downloading your free copy of the mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on deciding whether to take advantage of the optional essay and how best to do so (with multiple sample essays), if needed.

Reapplicant Essay(s): Reapplicants are those who applied for the MBA program within the last two application years, so those who applied three or more years ago are considered new applicants. Reapplicants may answer one or both of the essay questions above as options, and they must provide additional updates within text boxes given in the application for any new test scores, career developments, or other changes since their last application.

Rather than asking reapplicants to provide an update on their candidacy and reassert their interest in Anderson’s MBA program, the school invites them to write either or both of the essays first-time applicants submit. This seems to underscore the importance of the required essay question and the admissions committee’s interest in learning about this aspect of their candidates’ character.

To learn more about UCLA Anderson’s academic program, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, standout faculty members, and other key features, download a complimentary copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Anderson School of Management.

The Next Step—Mastering Your UCLA Anderson Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. We therefore offer our free Interview Guides to spur you along! Download your free copy of the UCLA Anderson Interview Guides today.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
How to Get into Anderson School of Management: UCLA Anderson Essay Tip [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into Anderson School of Management: UCLA Anderson Essay Tips and Examples
[url=https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/UCLA-Anderson-New-Logo-2019.png?ssl=1][img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/UCLA-Anderson-New-Logo-2019.png?resize=300%2C63&ssl=1[/img][/url]

The UCLA Anderson School of Management requires candidates to provide just one essay, asking them to discuss a time when they refused to give up on a goal and persisted in pursuing it. For this sole essay, the admissions committee has set a maximum length of just 250 words, meaning that applicants must be concise and direct in their response. Some candidates might be tempted to use the optional essay to squeeze in more information about themselves, but anyone considering this option must be prudent about doing so because Anderson very clearly states that the essay is specifically for “extenuating circumstances.” Our full analysis of all the school’s 2023–2024 prompts follows.

UCLA Anderson 2023-2024 Essay Tips
[b]Required Essay: UCLA Anderson seeks to develop transformative leaders who think fearlessly, drive change, and share success. We believe the ability to persevere is an essential component of effective leadership. Please share an example from your personal or professional life where you demonstrated perseverance to accomplish a significant goal or milestone. (250 words maximum)[/b]
Setbacks are important learning opportunities. With this prompt, the admissions committee wants to know how you act, react, and learn when things do not go according to plan. Anderson clearly knows that many of life’s greatest successes require one to “try, try again,” as the expression goes, and that this attitude is necessary to gain and accomplish the most, not just in business school but also in the world after graduation. Ideally, a person will take what they have learned from a challenging situation and use it to achieve better results with similar ventures going forward. This essay is your opportunity to reassure the admissions committee that you have the kind of resilience and dedication that will position you to realize your goals.

Anderson notes that for this essay, you can share either a personal story or a professional one, so explore all your career, family, and community life experiences to identify one you believe was particularly significant and influential. The statement within the prompt that “the ability to persevere is an essential component of effective leadership” is essentially an acknowledgement that managing failures and setbacks is a fundamental part of the leadership experience. Challenges should therefore be viewed in a positive light—as inspiration to keep trying and sometimes even to aim higher than before. You want to convey in your essay that you are not easily deterred and instead use obstacles as learning tools or stepping-stones on the path to your desired outcome.

The failure or hindrance you discuss in this submission could be one you experienced as an individual or as part of a team, and its scale or scope is not as important as how affecting and influential it was for you personally. You must present a complete narrative that shows momentum toward some kind of goal, describes the inflection point at which the situation turned, and explains how the original plan was interrupted or ultimately failed, while revealing your particular role in the setback. Avoid starting your essay with a bland statement like “I had to start over when [fill in the blank].” Instead, leap directly into the action of your story and immediately convey what was at stake in the situation. Next, briefly explain the obstacle or setback you encountered, and then dedicate the rest of the essay to outlining your reaction to it and the steps you took to either soldier on with your original plan despite the impediment or begin anew. Be sure to address what specifically inspired you—what kept you from giving up on attaining your objective—and how you maintained your motivation as you pursued your goal. This must be the core of your message in this essay.

Optional Essay: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)
Anderson’s optional essay is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, or a gap in your work experience. Do not simply try to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. The admissions committee states very clearly on its application requirements page, “No preference is given in the evaluation process to those who choose to respond to this optional essay, so please use your best judgment.” This means that no matter how tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for a different school or to offer an anecdote or two that you were unable to include in your required essay. However, if you truly feel that you must emphasize or explain something that would legitimately render your application incomplete if omitted, write a very brief piece on this key aspect of your profile. But before you do, we suggest downloading your free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide][b]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/b][/url], in which we offer detailed advice on deciding whether to take advantage of the optional essay and how best to do so (with multiple sample essays), if needed.

[b]Reapplicant Essay(s): Reapplicants are those who applied for the MBA program within the last two application years, so those who applied three or more years ago are considered new applicants. Reapplicants may answer one or both of the essay questions above as options, and they must provide additional updates within text boxes given in the application for any new test scores, career developments, or other changes since their last application.[/b]
Rather than asking reapplicants to provide an update on their candidacy and reassert their interest in Anderson’s MBA program, the school invites them to write either or both of the essays first-time applicants submit. This seems to underscore the importance of the required essay question and the admissions committee’s interest in learning about this aspect of their candidates’ character.

To learn more about UCLA Anderson’s academic program, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, standout faculty members, and other key features, download a complimentary copy of the mbaMission [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/ucla-anderson-school-of-management-insider-s-guide]Insider’s Guide to the Anderson School of Management[/url][/b].

[b]The Next Step—Mastering Your UCLA Anderson Interview: [/b]Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. We therefore offer our free [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/interview-guides][b]Interview Guides[/b][/url] to spur you along! Download your free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/ucla-anderson-interview-guide][b]UCLA Anderson Interview Guides[/b][/url] today.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
How to Get into Goizueta Business School: Emory Goizueta Essay Tips an [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into Goizueta Business School: Emory Goizueta Essay Tips and Examples
[url=https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/emory.jpg?ssl=1][img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/emory.jpg?resize=179%2C282&ssl=1[/img][/url]

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School demands three relatively brief written essays and a one-minute self-introduction video essay from its applicants. The school’s first essay question asks candidates to discuss their short-term career goals and why the choices are fitting ones. For the second essay, applicants need to discuss a past leadership experience—perhaps one that relates to or demonstrates one or more of the qualities of the school’s namesake that the prompt extols, though this is not explicitly requested. In the third essay, candidates must explain why they are interested in earning a Goizueta MBA degree in particular and the give-and-take relationship they anticipate having with the program overall. The school’s video essay might cause some applicants a bit of anxiety because Goizueta provides no advance information about what the questions will be. Candidates must therefore be ready to respond extemporaneously. If needed, applicants can use the optional essay to provide clarification or explanation about elements of their candidacy, but with only 200 words maximum, they will need to do so very succinctly. Read on for our full analysis of all Goizueta’s 2023–2024 application essay questions.

[b]Emory University’s Goizueta Business School Essay Analysis 2023–2024[/b]
1. POST-MBA CAREER GOALS: Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience, and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)[b]

[/b]
Like most business schools, Goizueta wants to learn the reasons behind its applicants’ decision to pursue an MBA, but unlike many programs these days, it still asks candidates to actually write a full essay on the topic. Very simply, the admissions committee wants to know that you have given serious thought to your professional trajectory and have identified where you want to go, how equipped you already are to get there, and how an MBA will help you move forward. The specific goal you present is less important here than showing that you understand what is involved in progressing toward your objectives and recognize the qualities and abilities you currently possess that will help position you for success.

Because this essay covers several key elements of a personal statement, we encourage you to download a free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide][b]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/b][/url], which discusses in depth how to approach and write these types of submissions (with numerous annotated examples). 

Like most business schools, Goizueta wants to learn the reasons behind its applicants’ decision to pursue an MBA, but unlike many programs these days, it still asks candidates to actually write a full essay on the topic. Very simply, the admissions committee wants to know that you have given serious thought to your professional trajectory and have identified where you want to go, how equipped you already are to get there, and how an MBA will help you move forward. The specific goal you present is less important here than showing that you understand what is involved in progressing toward your objectives and recognize the qualities and abilities you currently possess that will help position you for success.

Because this essay covers several key elements of a personal statement, we encourage you to download a free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide][b]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/b][/url], which discusses in depth how to approach and write these types of submissions (with numerous annotated examples).

2. LEADERSHIP IN BUSINESS: The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling
Goizueta Business School clearly appreciates the leadership abilities and professional success of the former trustee after which it is named. The leadup to this second essay prompt mentions the business leader’s core values and lists some of his most impressive accomplishments at Coca-Cola’s helm. However, the prompt itself neither references values outright nor requests that applicants discuss a comparable or related achievement. The idea, perhaps, is simply that the school has high expectations for its graduates and community members and seeks individuals who aspire to make a real impact on the world around them. They are guided by their values and seek to create positive outcomes for others as well as themselves. The admissions committee is not expecting you to be able to claim an accomplishment on the level of Roberto Goizueta’s, but you should strive to identify a story that illustrates both your leadership style and your long-term potential.

Because you have only 300 words for this essay, we recommend responding in a straightforward manner. Launch directly into the story of your leadership experience, detailing the specific actions you took in directing others to achieve your result. Although we often note that not all great leadership stories end in success, in this case, you should discuss a situation that had a positive resolution. The key here is to show you shared a valuable experience with colleagues, extracted the most from your team members, and attained a desired outcome.

We recommend using a narrative approach for your story, but be sure to include the thought process and motivation(s) behind your actions. This way, the admissions committee will take away both a clear picture of what you accomplished and the aspects of your character that inspired you and helped enable your success. Lastly, do not forget or neglect to explain what you learned from the experience—the admissions committee specifically requests that you do so! Omitting this element from your essay could be viewed as an indication that you are not good at delivering what is asked and/or at engaging in constructive self-reflection, and you definitely want to avoid this. You also want to avoid sharing that you learned a specific skill or business truth, because the prompt specifically says, “learned about yourself” (italics ours). To craft a compelling response, you will need to give serious thought to how the situation made you aware of a facet of your character that you had not previously perceived.

3. WHY GOIZUETA? What are you looking to gain from Goizueta’s MBA degree and how do you see yourself contributing to the Goizueta community? (200 word limit)
With this rather straightforward and traditional essay prompt, the admissions committee is requesting fundamental information that will help it understand your motivation for pursuing an MBA from Goizueta specifically and why you believe its program is the right one for you. By asking this question separate from its request for your short- and long-term goals, the school leaves the decision of how to frame your motivation(s) up to you. Briefly explain why you are inspired at this point in your life and career to earn this advanced degree.

To illustrate how Goizueta can help you, you must demonstrate a thorough understanding of what the program offers and a well-thought-out game plan for engaging with these offerings. Effectively doing this and subsequently writing a reasoned, nuanced essay requires that you familiarize yourself with Goizueta’s various resources and pinpoint those that truly pertain to you and the direction in which you hope to head. Go the extra mile in learning about the school. If possible, visit campus and sit in on a class, or at least attend an admissions event in your area. Also, connect directly with students and alumni (online or via phone, Skype, Zoom, etc.), read student blogs and the program’s recent press releases, and peruse [url=https://www.youtube.com/user/EmoryGoizueta][b]Goizueta’s YouTube channel[/b][/url]. This will provide the kind of in-depth insight that will show the admissions committee you are serious about the school and are confident you belong there. Simply presenting a list of classes and opportunities you think sound interesting will not suffice, and absolutely avoid vague, pandering statements about how great the school is. You must reveal clear connections between your aspirations, what you need to achieve them (e.g., skills, experience[s], connections, exposure), and what studying at Goizueta can provide that will enable you to fill in those gaps.

Thoroughly exploring what and who make up the Goizueta program is also key to identifying what is unique about you viewed against this backdrop—so you can then highlight what you would bring to the mix and how. As you research the school, pay special attention to the aspects of and areas at Goizueta that resonate with you personally in some way, and consider social events/clubs and professional development opportunities along with course work and academic offerings. Business school is meant to be a comprehensive environment and experience that enriches students in ways not just related directly to business, and perhaps your best potential for contribution lies in one of these areas. If you have years of experience teaching, for example, you could perhaps help facilitate discussions among the students in your study group or on team projects. If you have a depth of knowledge or years of experience in a particular area, whether through your job or in a personal capacity (such as being a dedicated wine aficionado), you could serve as a kind of subject matter expert for those around you in the program or even a valuable component in someone’s recruiting network. If you are particularly funny, creative, or athletic, you might be the ideal fit to lead an extracurricular group or play a significant role in a nonacademic project or event.

This prompt, like the school’s first, deals with several basic components of a typical MBA personal statement, so we again recommend downloading a free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide][b]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/b][/url].

[b]VIDEO ESSAY: Telling your story in the written essays is an important part of the application process, but we also want to hear you tell some of your story. The video essay lets every candidate talk to the MBA Admissions Committee and we enjoy getting to know you through the “small talk” questions. [/b]
First, try not to panic. Most MBA programs that include a video component in their applications do so just to get a better idea of who their candidates are beyond the statistics in their files and the written words in their essays. They are not looking for the next prime-time anchor or expecting an Oscar-worthy performance—they just want to get a sense of your spoken communication style, personality, and perhaps demeanor. Because the school does not offer applicants a choice of questions to which to respond or let them know ahead of time what their question will be, the admissions committee is likely also using the video as a way of gauging how you deal with the unexpected, think on your feet, and convey relevant answers in a time-conscious way. This is, after all, similar to what you will be doing in the Goizueta classroom as an MBA student.

Although the school does not present any sample questions in advance and refers to the queries as “‘small talk’ questions” in the prompt, a slight possibility exists that you could encounter one (or more) of the options offered in past years:

[list]
Of Goizueta Business School’s core values (Courage, Integrity, Accountability, Rigor, Diversity, Team, Community), which one resonates the most with you and why?[/*]
What is the best advice you have received and how have you used it in your life or career?[/*]
Outside of family and work, what is something that you are passionate about and why?[/*]
[/list]
If nothing else, these are good practice queries. You could also ask a friend or family member to help you prepare by asking you questions (consider Googling “MBA interview questions” and/or downloading a free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-interview-guide][b]mbaMission Interview Guide[/b][/url] for some options) and providing feedback. This will give you a feel for what delivering an oral response within the school’s 60-second timeframe feels like (ideally without talking at lightning speed!). As you practice, strive to minimize your use of filler words and phrases (e.g., “um,” “uh,” “like,” “you know”) so that you are less likely to depend on or default to them when the time comes for your actual video submission.

But again, do not panic. If you make a small mistake or bungle your words, just pause, smile, and get back on track. Let us reassure you that none of Goizueta’s questions will have a “correct” answer, and you are not going to be judged on how energetic or enthralling you are in delivering your response. You should speak as naturally as possible so that the admissions committee can get a feel for your true character and bearing. And if possible, sharing a story from your life that helps illustrate or support your answer will make your response even more compelling. Otherwise, simply breathe, relax, and give the school a brief glimpse of the unique individual you are.   

OPTIONAL ESSAY: If there is an important part of your story missing from your MBA application (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic probation issues), please use this section to provide a brief explanation. Please use bullets if you need to address more than one topic. (200 word limit)
With this prompt, Goizueta obviously wants to give applicants an opportunity to clarify any potentially problematic elements of their profile, but the admissions committee is clearly not interested in long-winded expositions or unnecessary filler. Its note in favor of bullet points is evidence of this. So do not view this option as a chance to squeeze in another accomplishment story or pander to the school in any way, and only take advantage of it if you have complementary information the admissions committee truly needs to hear to be able to fully and fairly evaluate you as a candidate. For more information about deciding when and how to respond to these kinds of prompts, download a free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide][b]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/b][/url].   

[b]REAPPLICANT ESSAY 1: Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)[/b]
[b]REAPPLICANT ESSAY 2: Explain how you have improved your candidacy for Goizueta Business School’s MBA Program since your last application. (250 word limit)[/b]
Interestingly, Goizueta asks its returning applicants (defined as those reapplying within two years of their previous application) to respond to the same first essay question that new applicants face. And because this has been the program’s first prompt since 2015, we imagine that most of the school’s reapplicants this season will have written an essay response to it before. If this is not the case for you, we direct you back to the first part of this essay analysis, in which we discuss our advice for the question. But if you are a reapplicant who has addressed this query in recent years, you will need to revisit your original answer. If your goals have not changed, do not simply resubmit what you provided in the past. Instead, give some thought to what more you have learned in the interim about the career you are targeting or about why it is fitting for you, and use these insights to enhance your essay. If you have not gained any additional knowledge on these topics, now is the time to do so—before you make any amendments to your essay. Read industry magazines and websites, for example, or reach out to individuals in your preferred field or role to get their first-hand perspectives. You want to show Goizueta that you are truly committed to your desired path and have continued to progress and learn, despite the temporary setback with respect to your MBA goals. If, instead, you have revised your post-MBA aspiration, you will obviously need to craft an entirely new essay.

For the school’s second reapplicant essay, whether you have improved your academic record, received a promotion, begun a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or taken on some sort of personal challenge, the key to success with this essay is conveying a very deliberate path of achievement. Goizueta wants to know that you have been actively striving to improve yourself and your profile, and that you have seized opportunities during the previous year to do so, because an MBA from its program is vital to you. The responses to this essay question will vary greatly from one candidate to the next, because each person’s needs and experiences differ. We are more than happy to provide one-on-one assistance with this highly personal essay to ensure that your efforts over the past year are presented in the best light possible.

To learn more about the essays for other top business schools, visit our [url=https://www.mbamission.com/mba-essay-examples/]MBA Essay Tips and Examples Resources Page[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
Professor Profiles: Vijay Govindarajan, Dartmouth College Tuck School [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Vijay Govindarajan, Dartmouth College Tuck 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 Vijay Govindarajan from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Vijay Govindarajan, 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 mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

 
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 4407
Own Kudos [?]: 336 [0]
Given Kudos: 1
Send PM
How to Get into Cambridge Judge Business School: Judge Essay Tips and [#permalink]
Expert Reply
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into Cambridge Judge Business School: Judge Essay Tips and Examples
[url=https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/judge.png?ssl=1][img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/judge.png?resize=300%2C113&ssl=1[/img][/url]

Although some top business schools have been gradually reducing the number of application essays they require, the University of Cambridge Judge Business School still demands four separate submissions from its candidates. The program’s first essay is about applicants’ career goals and related preparation, the second focuses on a “professional mistake” and the candidate’s analysis of it, the third requires that applicants discuss a meaningful past team experience, and in the fourth essay, candidates must focus on a time when someone made a difference in their lives. Read on for our full essay analysis, with tips on how to approach each question and create strong essays for your 2023–2024 Judge application.

Cambridge Judge 2023–2024 Essay Tips
[b]Essay 1: Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:[/b]
[list]

[b]What are your short- and long-term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?[/b]
[/*]
[/list]
[list]

[b]Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate. [/b]
[/*]
[/list]
[list]

[b]How confident do you feel about meeting your short-term career goal? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them, and what preparation are you doing now? [/b]
[/*]
[/list]
Although the school does not frame this essay as such, with this prompt, it is basically requesting a rather traditional personal statement, so our first recommendation is to download your free copy of the [url=http://info.mbamission.com/MBA-Personal-Statement-Guide][b]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/b][/url]. This complimentary guide offers detailed advice on how to approach and frame the information requested in these three bullet points and includes multiple illustrative examples.

More specifically with respect to Judge’s multipart question, the school wants to know not only the basic facts of your career aspirations but also how prepared you currently are to achieve them and how certain you feel about ultimately doing so. How equipped are you already, and how much closer to your goals will earning a business degree from Judge move you? What have you done thus far (and plan to do) that will help ensure that you graduate with the skills, experiences, knowledge, and/or connections you need to build a bridge between where you are now and where you want go? You must refer to specific resources and offerings at the school that connect directly to these areas of improvement so that the admissions committee knows you have thoroughly considered and researched your options and determined that Judge is the best fit for your particular needs and interests. The school also wants to see evidence that you understand you must play an active role in achieving success and that you are ready and willing to do your part, rather than simply relying on the program and its name or reputation to move you forward on your career trajectory. Perhaps you have engaged in job shadowing, arranged informational interviews with individuals in your desired industry and/or role, or read related trade publications; whatever preparation and edification you have thus far completed, make sure the admissions committee is aware.

The school understandably also wants to know that you are coming to the MBA program with a fire in your belly, so to speak—that you are striving toward your goals with a sense of determination and an assuredness that you will achieve them. Confidence is a crucial factor in success, and demonstrating a sincere sense of enthusiasm and conviction will make a positive impression on the admissions committee. Judge is not interested in candidates who are hoping that the school will simply drop them into their desired role after graduation, so show beyond a doubt that you are determined to attain your professional objectives and ready to get to work.

[b]Essay 2: Tell us about a time when you made a professional mistake. How could it have ended differently? (up to 200 words)[/b]
Failures and slipups are important learning opportunities. With this prompt, Judge’s admissions committee wants to know what you take away from situations in which things do not progress as seamlessly as you had planned or hoped. Do you place blame elsewhere and try to make excuses? Or do you view these sorts of setbacks with an analytical eye, using what they can teach you to achieve better results with similar ventures going forward? The scale or scope of the situation in an objective sense is not as important as how affecting and influential it was for you personally. That a world-class business school would be interested in candidates who are self-aware, eager, and open-minded learners only makes sense. Judge has posed similar essay prompts in the past, so the core idea is clearly one that the admissions committee views as pivotal in identifying applicants they feel will be successful in its MBA program.

Finally, “how could it have ended differently?” is a roundabout way of asking you to share what you learned from the experience. By being able to articulate what a more favorable outcome would look like and how it could be achieved, you are showing the admissions committee that you were able to find lessons in the experience and that those takeaways have prepared you to better navigate similar situations in the future. Convey that the information, insight, and/or skills you acquired via the mistake have changed how you view or operate in the world in a positive way. Ultimately, Judge wants to know not only that you have faced and worked through the demanding process of overcoming a misstep but also how the situation has contributed to the person you are today. 

Note that Judge specifies that the story you share in this essay must be a professional one, so you might want to consider sharing a personal story for Essay 3, to provide a broader sense of your personality and background.

[b]Essay 3: Tell us about the best team you worked with. What made the team successful? (up to 200 words)[/b]
Many schools ask about teamwork—leading a team, navigating a team, failing as a team, innovating as a team, collaborating with teammates—but an essay prompt about one’s “best” team experience is new and different (not one we have seen in our multiple decades of working with MBA applicants and programs). Do not get tripped up by thinking “best” automatically means “most successful” or “easiest.” After all, we rarely learn the most from situations and interactions that go completely smoothly. We are not saying that you should not discuss such a positive team experience if you have one but rather that you should objectively consider all your past teamwork—as both a team member and a leader—to determine which example was truly the most rewarding. You might be surprised to discover that an experience that on the surface seemed rife with difficulty was actually the most fruitful in terms of what you learned and gained from it, and the resulting essay will likely be much more interesting and memorable to an admissions reader.

As a student at an international business school, you will naturally be enmeshed in a widely diverse environment and will need to work in tandem with and alongside your fellow students when analyzing case studies, completing group projects, and participating in other activities both inside and outside the classroom. Judge clearly wants to hear about your mind-set and working style in such situations. To craft an effective essay response, describe via a narrative approach the nature of your collaboration with the others in the group, showing both what you contributed and what others brought to the dynamic (though much more succinctly). If the experience you choose to highlight was a successful or easy one, explain what decisions, skills, and attitudes made it so. If the example you offer is of a team that did not perform so well but that taught you incredibly valuable lessons or capabilities, clarify for the admissions committee what those important takeaways were and why you view them so positively. A submission that demonstrates your collaboration style, your ability to contribute to group projects, and your capacity to analyze and learn from such experiences is almost certain to make an admissions reader take notice.

[b]Essay 4: Provide an example of when someone else positively impacted your life. What did you learn from this experience? (up to 200 words)[/b]
Judge poses four essay questions to its candidates, and three of them have to do with learning from life experiences. The school obviously seeks individuals who absorb lessons by interacting with and participating actively in the world around them, not just by listening to an instructor in a classroom. For this essay, you need to consider all the people in your life who have been additive to you in some significant way and determine which one has had the greatest impact (you will also need to explain why, of course). This individual could be a mentor, friend, supervisor, coworker, professor/teacher, coach, family member, neighbor, even a total stranger—who the person is actually does not matter! Judge is not looking to see if you are spending time with powerful business leaders, wealthy investors, or influential celebrities; the admissions committee wants to get a better understanding of who you are as an individual, the major influences in your life, and your personal values. So the important element here is the significance and lasting effect of your interaction with the individual you discuss. What did you take away from this experience, and how has it (we assume positively) influenced your life ever since?

The nature of the person’s impact could relate to financial support, an opportunity to belong or participate, the acquisition of a skill, life advice, or any number of other concepts. Judge’s prompt offers a pretty broad and blank canvas and opens the door for you to reveal a truly meaningful and revelatory part of your life. Take a walk or meditate and let your mind fully explore all the different phases of your life and the people who have crossed your path in some way and left a mark. The interaction you had with this individual could be an ongoing or long-term thing, though the wording of the prompt seems to encourage the sharing of a briefer or even one-time experience. Essays that focus on a single encounter might also be more memorable to an admissions reader, so if you are deciding among multiple options for this essay, give a little extra consideration to the short-term ones. That said, the degree of impact and lasting influence is inarguably the most crucial factor here.

Judge also wants you to explain the knowledge you gained from the person’s impact on you, the implication being that it subsequently altered how you behave or think. In what way has the interaction changed your life ? Do you approach making decisions differently? Have you tried to become closer to or distance yourself from certain types of people? What experiences have you since sought out or made a point of avoiding? What behaviors do you now engage in more often or have chosen to discontinue? Exploring these kinds of questions should help you identify possible topics for this essay. Then, focus on conveying how the assistance, information, insight, skills, or whatever else you acquired has changed how you view or operate in the world today.

Business schools outside the United States are increasingly popular among MBA hopefuls, and we at mbaMission are proud to offer our latest publications: [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/international-program-guides]International Program Guides [/url][/b]for international programs. In these snapshots we discuss elements such as core curriculum, elective courses, locations, school facilities, and rankings. Download your free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/cambridge-judge-business-school-program-guide][b]Cambridge Judge Business School Program Guide[/b][/url] today.

To learn more about the essays for other top business schools, visit our [url=https://www.mbamission.com/mba-essay-examples/]MBA Essay Tips and Examples Resources Page[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
   1  ...  174   175   176   177   178   179   
Moderator:
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
1457 posts