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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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How to Get into Foster School of Business: UW Foster Essay Tips and Ex [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into Foster School of Business: UW Foster Essay Tips and Examples
[url=https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/UW-Foster.jpg?ssl=1][img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/UW-Foster.jpg?resize=200%2C200&ssl=1[/img][/url]

Applicants to the University of Washington (UW) Foster School of Business must provide two average-length essays but have the option of submitting two more, allowing candidates to cover more of what they feel are the most compelling parts of their candidacy. The school’s first required essay focuses on applicants’ desire to attend business school with respect to their career plans and professional needs, and the second tasks candidates with sharing their personal definition of resilience and examples of times when they have exhibited it themselves. The first optional essay provides a rather open-ended opportunity to discuss anything significant, whether positive or problematic, while the second optional essay deals exclusively with the weighty issue of encouraging and supporting diversity, inclusion, and equity. Read on for our full analysis of UW Foster’s 2023–2024 application essay questions.

[b]University of Washington Foster School of Business Essay Analysis, 2023–2024 [/b]
[b]Essay 1: Post-MBA Plans (750 words maximum) – Tell us your ideas about what lies ahead for you in your career. What are the gaps or deficiencies currently preventing you from pursuing these potential career paths? How do you plan to use your time in the Foster MBA program to fill these gaps and advance your career?[/b]
The overall essay the school is essentially requesting here covers many of the primary topics covered in a traditional personal statement—what your goals are, why you need an MBA to attain them, and why you need the degree from the school you are applying to—though the wording is obviously different in Foster’s prompt. To access our extensive guidance on how to craft such an essay, download a free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide,[/url] which explains ways of approaching these subjects effectively and offers several illustrative sample essays.

[b]Essay 2: Personal Resilience Essay (500 words maximum) – Resilience is one of the most important values of a successful Foster student. Tell us about what resilience means to you and share some of the ways that you have demonstrated resilience in overcoming personal or professional challenges. How do you anticipate showing resilience during your time as an MBA candidate? [/b]
With this prompt, the admissions committee wants to know how you act, react, and think when things do not go according to plan and you are required to reassess, pivot, and persevere. Foster 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. This essay is your opportunity to reassure the admissions committee that you possess the powerful combination of flexibility, tenacity, and drive that will position you to realize your goals.

Foster does not stipulate that your example(s) for this essay must be either personal or  professional, so explore all your career, family, and community life experiences for instances that you believe are particularly significant and illustrative of your adaptable and irrepressible spirit. Either directly or indirectly, you must clarify for the admissions committee how you personally define and perceive of “resilience.” What kinds of qualities does a resilient person possess? How does such a person act during trying moments? What motivations keep them moving forward when they encounter setbacks? Offering your portrayal of someone who exhibits resilience will give the admissions committee important insight into your goals and mind-set, so be sure to be honest, rather than trying to guess what you think the school might expect or want to hear. This part of the question has no definitively right or wrong answer—only sincere ones and insincere ones.

With respect to “showing resilience during your time as an MBA candidate,” the issue at hand is pretty straightforward. The admissions committee wants convincing that you are truly ready for the challenges of earning an MBA. The business school experience is rigorous and demanding, in more (and different) ways than many candidates expect, and enthusiasm can only take you so far.  Foster wants to know that you have truly thought through and are prepared for the journey you are about to undertake.

Challenges should often 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, explain why this is so, and reassure the admissions committee that you are ready to bring that spirit to Foster as an MBA student.

[b]Essay 3: Optional essay (500 words maximum) – Include this essay if you have additional information you believe would be helpful to the admissions committee in considering your application.[/b]
Here is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a low GRE or GMAT score, an unexplained gap in your work history, an unusual recommender choice, poor areas of academic performance, or a legal or disciplinary incident. Because Foster does not stipulate that this essay is strictly for explaining potentially problematic aspects of your profile, the door is open for you to share other types of stories and information, but do not simply try to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. And however tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer some anecdotes you were unable to include in your required essays.

If you truly feel that you must emphasize or share a key aspect of your profile that would render your application incomplete if omitted, write a very brief piece about it. Keep in mind that by submitting an optional essay, you are requiring the already overtaxed admissions readers to do additional work on your application, 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. If you feel you might have a reason to submit this additional essay, consider downloading a free copy of our [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/url], in which we offer detailed advice on when and how best to take advantage of the optional essay (along with multiple sample essays).

[b]Essay 4: Optional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion essay (500 words maximum) – At the Foster School of Business, we embrace diversity as one of the foundations of both successful business strategy and a world-class educational experience. We share the University’s dedication to promoting the understanding and appreciation of human differences, and the constructive expression of ideas. We welcome you to share some of the ways you have practiced inclusion, promoted equity or supported the advancement of underrepresented groups.[/b]
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are inarguably important, and ubiquitous, topics these days in business school essay questions, so we are not surprised to see that Foster asks its candidates to address them, though we are a bit surprised that the query is presented as an optional essay (and the second optional essay, at that). If you have something meaningful or impressive to offer in response to this prompt, we definitely encourage you to share it with the admissions committee, but on the flip side, do not feel obligated to write this optional essay for fear that not doing so will make you look insensitive or apathetic. You are far better off skipping this essay entirely than trying to force or embellish a weak story that will not ultimately contribute anything positive or compelling to your application. 

The past few years have certainly offered a multitude of opportunities for people to “show up” for others who are different from them, such as by participating in or even organizing a protest or march, or by speaking up or stepping in when an individual was being harassed or marginalized in some way. Foster wants to know how you act on your values and ideals within this context, so you need to go beyond just sharing why you believe “practic[ing] inclusion, promot[ing] equity or support[ing] the advancement of underrepresented groups” is important and describe your actual behaviors and actions. Fully illustrating and exemplifying the “how” element is crucial for this essay to be its most effective. Because the school places no restrictions on the environment in which your experience(s) occurred, be sure to consider all the areas of your life (personal, community, professional) to uncover your strongest examples.

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].
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Five Things to Do During Your Pre-MBA Summer to Prepare for Your Inter [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Five Things to Do During Your Pre-MBA Summer to Prepare for Your Internship
In this blog series, our mbaMission [url=https://www.mbamission.com/about/?display=team]Career Coaches[/url] offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/?display=career-coaching]click here[/url].

With the start of orientation less than two months away for many MBA programs, we know some of you are finishing up your jobs, planning cross-country (or international!) moves, and thinking about how to transform your career goals into reality.

Business school will offer you tremendous opportunity for personal and professional growth, but preparation is key to taking full advantage of this opportunity. Here are five actionable steps you can take to lay the foundation for a successful internship search before you even set foot on campus:

[b]1. Evaluate and narrow down your career goals.[/b]
Write down each major job/role you have had to date, and for each one, record the following information: what you liked most/least about the role, what skills you developed in the role, and how the role related to and/or influenced your current career goals. Employers want to know why working at their organization makes sense for you; this exercise will help you identify information and examples you can use in your career narrative.

[b]2. Update your network.[/b]
Send personalized emails to your contacts letting them know you are leaving your job and will be attending business school. Explain your career goals and thank them for their support. Change the headline in your LinkedIn profile to reflect your upcoming MBA experience (e.g., “MBA Candidate @ XXXX | Focused on XXXXX”), and in August, post about your arrival on campus on your LinkedIn news feed.

[b]3. Become an “insider” in your target industry.[/b]
Identify and read trade publications and relevant industry news sources to understand the challenges facing your target industry (as well as recent hiring trends). Use the information you gather to develop a perspective on your target market. Learn how your intended industry hires MBAs. Via on-campus recruiting? Or will your job search need to be very networking driven ?

[b]4. Identify at least ten potential target companies.[/b]
As you do your research, make a robust list of potential employers. Look beyond the obvious ones (e.g., Google, McKinsey & Company) and consider other firms. Which ones provide similar services? Which ones offer the opportunity to develop some of the same skills? Follow these companies on LinkedIn. See how they position themselves and what they are doing to address changing market dynamics.

[b]5. Write down any potential obstacles to your internship search.[/b]
We know that the internship search can be overwhelming, and feeling apprehensive is totally normal, but discussing your concerns with a career advisor and/or your peers will help you discover actionable ways to overcome them. For example, many international students might realize that American-style networking is completely new to them. Finding ways to learn the nuances of this networking approach and gaining comfort with it will be critical for job search success.

[b]Here is one final tip[/b]: read all emails from your MBA program—especially those from the career management office! Schedule an advising appointment with the career center as soon as such meetings are made available to incoming students. Given the tighter job market, getting an early start and incorporating job search best practices into your process will help you optimize your time and differentiate you as a candidate.

We at mbaMission are so excited for your new journey and wish you the best of luck. And remember, we are always here to support you and can supplement offerings from your school’s career center, if needed.

Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/?display=career-coaching]free 30-minute consultation[/url]!
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Setting Yourself Apart on LinkedIn: The About Section [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Setting Yourself Apart on LinkedIn: The About Section
This post was written by our resident Career Coach, [url=https://www.mbamission.com/who-we-are/team/elissa-harris/]Elissa Harris[/url]. To sign up for a free 30-minute career consultation with Elissa, please [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/career-coaching/]click here[/url].

An effective LinkedIn profile for job searching or increasing your professional visibility requires more than cutting and pasting information from your resume into the online platform.

You can craft your About section in lots of different ways. To help you determine what is best for you and your profile, here are five questions that can help you create an About section that makes a positive first impression:

[b]Does it tell your story?[/b] [b]Does it clearly convey how you add value in a professional setting?[/b]
Use the About section to explain who you are as a professional (e.g., industry, function, and level of seniority), your skills and contributions, and your passions. The About section is basically the “pitch” (or introduction) you would give verbally during a networking conversation. Do not shy away from incorporating a bit of your personality.

[b]Does it appeal to your target audience? Does it adhere to your industry’s norms?[/b]
Your About section should not be a summary of everything you have done but rather a forward-looking curation of the most relevant things you have done that you want to keep doing in the future. Who is your intended audience? What information is most compelling to that audience?

[b]Does it quickly grab the reader’s attention? [/b]
Although you have 2,000 characters in the About section, only 200 characters are visible to the reader without their clicking “see more” to read the rest. Write a catchy (not cheesy) first sentence that captures who you are and encourages the reader to continue engaging with your content. Maintain the reader’s attention by writing in short paragraphs or using bullets; limit the total length of your About section to no more than 300 words.

[b]Are you using relevant keywords?[/b]
Avoid overused words (e.g., “passionate,” “expert,” “experienced,” “leadership,” “creative”), which can become meaningless unless you demonstrate those attributes. Consider the terms a recruiter might plug into the search bar—perhaps job titles or industry-specific vocabulary—looking for somebody with your expertise. Use those words in your About section.

[b]Is it error free?[/b]
Proofread! Ensure that the content is easy to digest quickly and has no grammatical mistakes or typos. Confirm that all the information is factually accurate and appropriate for a public platform.

If you get stuck, try the following tips to identify appropriate content for your About section:

[list]
Reflect on your values and goals. What are your guiding principles? Why are you passionate about your current job or industry? Do you have any unique knowledge?  [/*]
Review the LinkedIn profiles of people in your industry and/or people who have your target job. Identify what you like and dislike about their About section. [/*]
Read job descriptions that interest you, and take note of recurring hard skills and keywords—especially in the responsibilities/tasks section. [/*]
Record your verbal introduction. Write down what you said, and then tweak the language to be appropriate for the written form. [/*]
Ask friends and colleagues to describe you and how you contribute at work.[/*]
[/list]
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A Second or Third Look, but Not a Fourth, Fifth and Sixth [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: A Second or Third Look, but Not a Fourth, Fifth and Sixth
With deadlines looming for many candidates, we thought we would share a piece of advice that might help alleviate some of the deadline-related stress you might be experiencing. After you have completed (but not yet submitted!) your application(s), find a person you trust—whether a professional consultant or someone with insight into the MBA application process—to read your essays one last time and give you feedback. However, we strongly suggest that you request feedback from no more than two individuals.

Because the application process is subjective, you will discover that the more readers you consult, the more new and different opinions you will get. Soon, you will be facing a multitude of alternatives, and although none of these varying ideas will necessarily be “right” or “wrong”—considering that a single candidate’s stories can be marketed in almost countless ways—they can create unnecessary uncertainty. You do not want to find yourself second-guessing everything about your essays when the submission deadlines are imminent.

We are not suggesting that you ignore critical feedback, of course, but rather that you not complicate your final days and create doubt or confusion where it might not be due. If one or two readers support your ideas and feel that your application needs minimal additional work, that is probably a good sign that you can end your feedback loop there and move forward with submitting your application.
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Three Tips for Crafting an MBA Resume That Stands Out Including Sample [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Three Tips for Crafting an MBA Resume That Stands Out – Including Sample Bullet Points!
As you prepare to start your MBA program, we recommend updating your resume prior to orientation. Once you are on campus, one of the first recruiting-related tasks you will need to complete is updating and submitting your resume, but you will already be busy with other activities. 

So, take the time now to put together a compelling resume for landing your target internship. Here are our top three tips for creating a resume that will stand out from those of your peers.

1. [b]Curate your resume content for your target audience[/b].

Your resume is not intended to be your autobiography, detailing everything you have ever done. Research to understand what the most important skills are for your target role, read our [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/career-guides]mbaMission Career Guides[/url], look at job descriptions, and talk with friends in your intended role.  

Action Items:[b] [/b]Read each bullet point on your resume. Next to each one, write down the main skill or theme that the bullet point communicates (hint: pay special attention to the action verb that starts the bullet point). Review the list and evaluate whether your resume shows that you meet the needs of your target employer. Remove any jargon that is overly industry specific. 

2. [b]Showcase your impact[/b].

If your bullet points read like those in a job description, you are missing an opportunity to differentiate your candidacy and show your track record of success. Compelling resumes also help the reader see the scope of your responsibility and the level of complexity in your work.

Action Items: Reread each bullet point and ask yourself, “So what? Why did I do this task? Whom did it help? How did it help them?” Each bullet point should include a quantification of the impact you had on your department, company, or client (e.g., actual number, forecasted number, year-over-year comparison, scale or scope of work). If you cannot quantify the impact, look for qualitative metrics of success.

Try this framework for bullet writing: 

[list]
[*]Verb (e.g., “led,” “created,” “collaborated,” “implemented”) [/*]

[*]What (i.e., the subject of your project or activity) [/*]

[*]How (e.g., by analyzing, negotiating, cold calling) [/*]

[*]Impact (e.g., improved efficiency, reduced downtime, amount of cost savings, increased revenue)[/*]
[/list]

Here are a few examples of the bullet point transformation that occurs when you focus on showcasing your impact:

[b]Before[/b][b]After[/b]Lead communications workstream, ensuring timely communicationSelected by CEO to lead cross-functional communications workstream for company’s acquisition of ABC Stores. Wrote 10+ communications viewed by 1,000 employees.Created market penetration strategyInitiated and developed market penetration strategy; presented recommendation to SVP. Efforts led to 47% sales increase within 12 months.Responsible for new promotion for Shine brand detergent to target customerSurpassed sales targets for $10M brand detergent within three months. Transformed approach to internet advertising based on analysis of 500+ customer surveys.

3. [b]Pay attention to the details[/b].

Your resume must have consistent formatting and be aesthetically pleasing. The format should never detract from the content.

Action Items: Proofread your document (multiple times). If you are a non-native English speaker, make sure that a native speaker reviews your resume. Look for typos or inconsistent spacing. Start each bullet point with a skill-based action verb. Limit bullet points to no more than three lines, and avoid having more than six bullet points in a row. Remove vague language (such as “multiple,” “responsible for,” and “successful”).

And finally, do not forget to update your document to adhere to your MBA program’s resume requirements. You can access the template—along with your school’s resume writing resources and (potentially free) resume reviews—through the program’s career management website.  

With [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/services/products/hourly-services]mbaMission’s hourly services[/url], you can choose to work on any task relating to any stage of the MBA application process, including resume review. As an hourly client, you dictate the process and decide how and where you want to dedicate your purchased time with your consultant.
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Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management Essay Analysi [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management Essay Analysis, 2023–2024


In addition to completing a short video, applicants to Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management must submit two brief (200-word) statements as part of their application. The first prompt is professionally focused and requests that candidates expound on their intentions for their career after graduation and explain what capabilities they already possess that will position them for success. The second, very open-ended prompt asks simply for applicants to share more about themselves. The brevity and scope of the program’s required statements do not offer much opportunity for creativity, but we encourage applicants to try to make their responses as personal as possible to help them stand out better among the multitude of similar submissions Owen will receive. The school’s optional “explanatory statement” prompt allows candidates who might need to clarify any elements of their profile to the admissions committee to do so. Our more in-depth analysis of Owen’s statement prompts and video component follows.

Statement 1: Tell us about your post-MBA career goals by describing  two concurrent paths you plan to explore while in the Vanderbilt MBA program. What skills have you developed that will help you achieve your career goals? (200 words)
With this question, Owen is asking for a standard element of a traditional personal statement—one’s short-term career objective—with the addition of one rather nonstandard component—a second short-term career objective. In a way, the admissions committee is asking you about your Plan B without your having to specify which goal you consider your Plan A. Candidates often feel they must be totally unequivocal in their career goals to impress the admissions committee, but in this case, Owen actually wants you to speculate on and articulate multiple options. The admissions committee understands that sometimes even the best-laid plans do not play out as expected, and they want to know that you are also aware of this possibility. Even more, they want proof that you are prepared to switch gears and commit to a different path, if necessary—and that you are fully capable of doing so. The key in answering this question is showing that both goals you present are equally connected to your skills, interests, and ambitions, so that neither seems to come “out of left field,” so to speak. For example, you would probably have a difficult time convincing the admissions committee that you hope to enter either technology consulting or human resources, because these industries, for the most part, require entirely different skills and personalities. Both options you present must be plausible and achievable.

Owen also wants to know what you already bring to the table with respect to your potential to be successful in reaching your goals. To be convincing (and to best work with your limited word count here), you need to highlight skills that are relevant and helpful to both paths you have presented, rather than specifying different capabilities for each goal. This is a chance for you to demonstrate that you understand what is required of someone in the professional roles or industries you are targeting and have the self-awareness to know which of those requirements you already meet. 

As we noted, this question concerns some of the core topics covered in a traditional personal statement, so we encourage you to download your free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. This complimentary publication offers detailed advice on approaching and framing these content, along with multiple illustrative examples.

Statement 2: Please highlight something about yourself that isn’t already captured in the application. (200 words)
First, let us emphasize the word “highlight” in this prompt. This is not the place to explain a gap in your resume or a shortcoming on your transcript. Save such stories (if you have them) for your explanatory statement. Instead, this is an opportunity to share something meaningful about yourself that you believe would make a positive impression on the admissions committee and that they would otherwise not get the chance to learn. Ideally, what you present in this short statement is something that reveals how or why you would be a good fit with the Vanderbilt program, though we caution you to not overtly frame your response that way. Simply craft a brief submission that presents an illuminating new aspect of your candidacy that is somehow relevant to the Vanderbilt community and/or offers evidence that you would be successful as a student there and in your post-graduate professional life. Your goal is to provide some key additional information for the school to use in deciding whether to include you in its next incoming class. 

Take time to consider everything the admissions committee will already be able to learn about you via the other parts of your application, from your statistics and resume to your recommenders’ contributions. With this statement, you want to round out that information in a positive way that pushes your candidacy forward in the direction of acceptance. Focus on ensuring that your response is authentic and natural, and do not use it to pitch your candidacy, express your admiration for the program, detail your career goals, or pander to the school.  

Optional Explanatory Statement: You may provide an additional statement to explain anything you think is important for the Admissions Committee to know about you that is not already addressed elsewhere in your application. Many applicants use this statement to explain significant gaps in full-time employment, lack of recommendation from a current supervisor, or subpar academic performance. 
With this rather “catchall” prompt, Owen obviously wants to give applicants an opportunity to clarify any potentially problematic elements of their profile, but the admissions committee is likely not interested in long-winded expositions or unnecessary filler. So do not view this as a chance to squeeze in another accomplishment story or pander to the school in any way, and only take advantage of the optional essay 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 help in deciding whether and how to respond to this kind of prompt, download a free copy of the mbaMission Optional Essays Guide.    

The video response is a chance for you to provide a glimpse of the authentic you, speaking without a script. The video questions are designed to be easy to answer and help us to get to know you as a person. You will have time to prepare your response and the application will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to record your answers.
First, take a deep breath. We understand that video essays can be intimidating and nerve-racking, but the admissions committee is truly not trying to scare you or set you up to fail. Video essays are generally meant to provide a more dynamic representation of an applicant’s personality than can be conveyed in a written essay. Owen is not looking for the next prime-time anchor or expecting an Oscar-worthy performance—the school just wants to get a sense of your spoken communication style, personality, and perhaps demeanor. Because the different questions you might encounter are not provided in advance, 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 Owen classroom as an MBA student.

When the time comes to record your video submission, you will receive a question and then be given 30 seconds to prepare your response. You then have 90 seconds to record your response. If you are not satisfied with your submission after reviewing it, you can actually record another video to replace it. The twist, however, is that you will not be asked the same question, and you are limited to just three attempts, so you cannot simply keep repeating the process until you perfect your response. Take care to not be too exacting, or you might paint yourself into a corner.

Again, you will not know ahead of time what question(s) you will receive, but this does not mean you cannot prepare in advance. You could, for example, ask a friend or family member to help you get ready by asking you questions and providing feedback on the content and presentation of your responses. To find practice questions, consider Googling “MBA interview questions” and/or downloading a free copy of the mbaMission Interview Guide, which includes a list of 100 questions commonly posed in MBA admissions interviews. This will give you a feel for what delivering an oral response within the school’s 90-second timeframe feels like (ideally without speaking 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. Do not feel that you must fill the entire 90 seconds if you do not have good content with which to do so, but also, take care to not be too brief. This is the admissions committee’s chance to get to know you better as an animated, three-dimensional person, so do not shortchange them on getting to see how you speak and behave.

And do not panic. If you make a small mistake or bungle your words, just pause, smile, and get back on track. If you make a more significant blunder—perhaps you run out of time before you have finished answering the question or totally draw a blank and fail to provide any real answer at all—take comfort in knowing that you can try again. 

Let us reassure you that none of the 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. If possible (meaning you can do so without forcing the issue), 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 insight into the unique individual you are. Respond to each query honestly and as smoothly as you can (despite any nervousness you might be feeling), and be yourself.
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How to Get into The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management: Conso [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management: Consortium Essay Tips and Examples
[url=https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Consortium.png?ssl=1][img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Consortium.png?resize=119%2C95&ssl=1[/img][/url]
The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management asks its applicants to provide several short essays, one of which is a very standard explanation of the candidate’s professional aspirations and motivation for pursuing an MBA. The three brief Membership Application essays are meant to reveal the applicant’s active dedication to The Consortium’s goals of inclusion and progressive diversity in higher education and the business world, not just in the future but also as an MBA student and in the past. If needed, an optional essay is available for offering clarification on any ambiguous or potential trouble areas in one’s profile. Key to all these submissions will be honesty, clarity, and enthusiasm. Read on for our full analysis of The Consortium’s essay questions for this season.

[b]Consortium [/b]2023–2024 Essay Tips

[b]Core Essay 1: Please describe your short- and long-term goals post-MBA. How has your professional experience shaped these goals and influenced your decision to pursue an MBA degree? (2,000-character limit)[/b]
[b]The first essay is required and used for admission purposes only. It provides an opportunity for you to express your strengths, attributes, experiences and other traits or abilities you believe are relevant to your educational goals and career objectives.[/b]
With this rather no-nonsense query about your expectations for where you will go with your MBA after graduating, The Consortium simply wants you to spell out what you have in mind as you approach this phase of your life and career. You have only 2,000 characters with which to respond, so avoid going into excessive detail about your past, but be sure to offer enough information to provide context and support for your stated goals so that the progression from one stage of your professional career to the next is clear and reasonable.

Although the word “why” never actually appears in this prompt, the overall query actually involves some implied “why” requests. In addition to soliciting the reasons behind your specified career aspirations, the school wants to know why you believe an MBA is the next logical step on your professional path. We believe that the crux of the prompt as a whole is that The Consortium wants to know that you have considered this next step in your career very carefully and thoroughly and are applying to business school for very clear reasons—not because you feel you are supposed to or because you are following in a parent’s footsteps, and definitely not because you do not know what else to do at this juncture in your life! (Believe it or not, these are all actual reasons some people choose to pursue an MBA.) All business schools want engaged, driven, and focused students who are ready to be an active part of the MBA experience and to do big things with the knowledge and skills they acquire from it, and this prompt is asking you to reveal yourself as such.

Because this prompt encompasses several of the core elements of a traditional personal statement essay for the most part, we encourage you to download our free [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/url][/b], which helps applicants respond to these types of questions. In short, though, the most effective way to address this query is to simply provide the information requested, though we encourage you to also try to incorporate a sense of your personality and individuality into your essay to make the delivery of these basic facts more interesting to your reader.

[b]Core Essay 2 (Optional Essay): Is there any other information you would like to share with us that is not presented elsewhere in your application? (1,000-character limit)[/b]
[b]The optional essay lets you bring additional information to the attention of the admissions committee. These may explain gaps in employment or shortcomings in your academic record, specific plans to retake the GMAT®/GRE or other relevant information. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions in the Personal Certification/Signature section, you must provide an explanation. If necessary, you may use this essay to explain your circumstances.[/b]
This optional essay question starts out sounding like an open invitation to discuss almost anything you feel like sharing, but the explanatory text dials things in a bit and puts more of a spotlight on addressing problem areas and unclear issues specifically. This is not an opportunity to simply share another cool story or otherwise try to impress or pander to The Consortium reader. If you do not truly need to explain an issue or potentially confusing element of your candidacy such as the ones listed (and have no “yes” responses in your Personal Certification section), we do not recommend that you submit an optional essay, and if you do have issues to clarify, keep things concise. In our free [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide][b]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/b][/url], we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

[b]Membership Application Essays: Our mission, through the strength of our growing alliance and extended network, is to enhance diversity and inclusion in global business education and leadership by striving to reduce the significant underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in both our Member Schools’ enrollments and the ranks of global management across the following sectors: For- profit corporations, Nonprofit corporations, Government agencies and contractors, and Entrepreneurial ventures in both for-profit and nonprofit environments.[/b]
[b]*Please address the three questions noted below. Please use specific examples pertaining to our target populations and clearly articulate your involvement, actions and results.[/b]
[b]– What have you done pre-MBA in your business, personal or academic life to demonstrate commitment to this mission? (2,000 characters)[/b]
[b]– What will you do while enrolled in your MBA program to demonstrate your commitment to the mission? (2,000 characters)[/b]
[b]– What will you do post-MBA with respect to community service and leadership involvement to demonstrate your continued commitment to The Consortium’s missions of diversity and inclusion? (1,000 characters)[/b]
Understandably, The Consortium wants to be confident that the candidates it accepts as members (and especially those to whom fellowships are granted) are individuals who are devoted to and will be effective at promoting its aims and continuing to effect positive change for the underrepresented populations it seeks to support. And these three prompts get directly to the heart of this—what have you already done, what will you do as an MBA student, and what will you do in your career after graduating that can demonstrate your commitment to championing The Consortium’s mission?

With respect to what you have already done in the past, you need to offer clear evidence of your dedication to what The Consortium is working to achieve. The past few years especially have offered numerous opportunities for people to “show up” for or act on behalf of others who are different from them—such as participating in an organized protest, speaking up or stepping in when someone was being harassed or marginalized, or actively working to bring diverse people together in a harmonious and productive way—though the longer a history of involvement you can provide, the better. The Consortium wants concrete examples of how you have acted on your values and ideals and wants to understand what compelled you to do so. Your goal is to show initiative and input in the interest of others and to make sure both your actions and motivations are readily understood so The Consortium reader gets a clear picture of what you have accomplished and the aspects of your character that have inspired and enabled you to do so. To do this, you can draw examples from your career, academic past, community endeavors or volunteer work, and/or personal life. Be sure to clearly specify, if applicable, the populations you have served (African American, Hispanic/Latino, and/or Native American) rather than speaking more broadly about working with diverse groups of people.

The prompt does not specify that you must have served as a leader in the effort you are describing, though an example in which you did lead would likely be ideal if you have one. You could also share a story in which you acted completely independently. Perhaps, for example, you instituted a mentorship program at your company, in which employees with different tasks and personal backgrounds were matched to learn from and support one another. In any case, you need to be sure that both the extent and the nature of your contribution(s) are front and center.

With respect to what you will do as a business school student, examine your target programs carefully to identify existing activities, groups, and events that align with the organization’s goals. Also consider opportunities that are lacking at your selected schools that you might establish while enrolled there. Authenticity is important here. Your goal is not to simply offer a list of things you could do, based on your research, but to show where you believe you would be most useful and demonstrate your enthusiasm for those options. Only discuss ones that you truly intend to become involved in or that you at least feel strongly hold such potential. Your choices will also show The Consortium where your priorities lie within its broad goal and which skills and strengths you are prepared to commit to your efforts. We have no doubt that The Consortium evaluators can easily discern pandering or shallow claims from true passion and dedication, so be sincere in both your claims and your ardor.

And finally, with respect to what you will do after graduating, first keep in mind that the group’s mission is not just about increasing diversity and inclusion in the workforce but also “in global business education.” So, bringing greater numbers of underrepresented individuals into the MBA and other higher-education realms is just as valid as the focus of your anticipated efforts as increasing their numbers in the business world. And these efforts could target or involve potential candidates, the schools, The Consortium itself (e.g., participating in local events or orientation activities), or even other organizations like it. So again, dig deep to uncover the areas and opportunities that resonate most with you—that genuinely match what you feel is important to focus on, what you believe you can offer, and what you will be inspired to engage in wholeheartedly.  

The character length maximums for these three prompts are fairly restrictive, giving you roughly 300 to 500 words for each of the first two essay sections and approximately one-half of that for the third. So, you do not have room for subtlety or extended explanations. Choose your words carefully and focus on conveying your core messages as clearly and directly as possible.

[b]Are you considering applying to business school via The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management? Join us on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, as Senior Consultant Nisha Trivedi explains The Consortium’s application process and provides valuable insights into how to execute a submission that shows your commitment to The Consortium’s mission of enhancing diversity and inclusion in global business education and leadership. [url=https://www.kaptest.com/class/MB1MP22008]Enroll for free today![/url] [/b]
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How to Get into Rotman School of Management: Toronto Rotman Essay Tips [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into Rotman School of Management: Toronto Rotman Essay Tips and Examples
[img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Rotman-School-of-Management.png?resize=300%2C92&ssl=1[/img]

Applicants to the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management must submit one traditional written essay and are invited to attach up to three photos to support the message and claims made in that essay. In addition, candidates are required to complete a two-question video “interview” that involves a short, additional written component—none of which can really be prepared for in advance. Together, the school’s “essays” seem designed to round out the essentially one-dimensional stats and data points provided in the rest of the application to give the admissions committee a dynamic impression of each candidate as a unique individual—basically, to breathe some life into their profile. Read on for our more in-depth analysis of Toronto Rotman’s prompts for the 2023–2024 admissions season.

Toronto Rotman 2023–2024 Essay Tips
[b]Essay: Our admitted students stand out by doing interesting things with their personal and professional lives — something we describe as the ‘spike factor’; what are the things that you have done in your life that demonstrate Passion/ Grit/ Resilience/ Innovation/ Drive/ Ambition and more? This can cross all or any aspects of life outside of work – hobbies, volunteerism, awards, entrepreneurial ventures, sports and the arts. We believe that exposure to a rich diversity of viewpoints makes for a superior learning experience, and pride ourselves on building a diverse class of exceptional individuals who will go on to make the School proud as professionals and alumni. Explain your spike factor (something unique about yourself) that you believe will contribute to the Rotman community and is aligned with Rotman values. (up to 500 words).[/b]
[b]Optional: Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures to the supplemental items section of your application. Note: Your photos must be uploaded as a single PDF.[/b]
“What makes you you?” “Introduce yourself.” “What will you contribute to our community?” This prompt appears to be Rotman’s twist on these kinds of essay questions, and it uses the interesting angle of the “spike factor” as its framework. We assume that if you are targeting Rotman for your MBA, the “spike factor” concept is already familiar to you, but if it is not, you will clearly need to do some research before you can craft an effective essay response. In short, the concept was originally developed by (and subsequently borrowed from) McKinsey & Company to refer to an individual’s primary differentiator, what makes them special or sets them apart. It could be something they do, an aspect of their personality, a unique or particularly impressive ability, a compelling background or upbringing—the options are understandably personal and practically limitless.

The prompt specifically mentions passion, grit, resilience, innovation, drive, and ambition, so when you are considering options for this essay, you might want to focus—at least at first—on stories that align with and demonstrate one or more of these qualities. However, the prompt also says, “and more,” so these are obviously not the only traits or values that would work here.  You want to share stories and aspects of yourself that are the most revelatory of the unique person you are, so that should be your core goal.

A good way to identify your best options for this essay is by making a list of things you believe are notable about you. Ask for input from your friends and family members, who might mention or remind you of qualities or incidents you had forgotten or simply take for granted but that others value and find interesting. Then, home in on the option(s) that best reflect(s) who you are as an individual today and that you can clearly tie to aspects of Rotman’s culture, community, and/or academic and experiential offerings. So again, you need to make sure that you are not just showcasing traits and achievements that you think are compelling or singular. Those aspects also need to clearly fit well with the overall Rotman MBA experience and position you to bring something distinctive to the school’s community.

Rotman has gone back and forth in recent application seasons with whether or not uploading “spike” photos with the essay was optional or required. This year, including photos is optional, and because you do not have all that many words with which to make your case in your essay, we strongly encourage you to submit supporting pictures—and ideally, to submit three. You generally want to take advantage of any opportunity to build or strengthen the admissions committee’s impression and knowledge of you. Take time to identify strong options that clearly reflect and validate whatever you are claiming in your essay. You do not simply want to upload artistically appealing pictures (unless, perhaps, you are claiming to be a skilled photographer); you want the photo(s) to substantiate and thereby reinforce your core message. Consider the mnemonic technique in which one creates a mental image to help them more readily remember certain facts and numbers. If selected wisely, your spike photos will help create a deeper and longer-lasting impression with the admissions reader by giving them corroborating nonverbal information and a kind of visual “anchor” to associate your profile with.

To learn more about Rotman’s academic program, unique resources, and other key features, we invite you to download a free copy of the [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/rotman-school-of-management-program-guide]mbaMission Rotman School of Management International Program Guide[/url].

[b]Required Video Interview: Required video interview (2 questions) with a timed written response component (10 minutes in length)[/b]
[b]The video interview component is a required part of [the] Rotman Admissions process designed to give all candidates guaranteed “face time” with the Admissions Committee and showcase your personality, characteristics, passions, and values.[/b]
When this video component of the Rotman application was introduced in 2012, an [url=https://inside.rotman.utoronto.ca/admissions/2012/09/14/innovation-in-the-admissions-process-introducing-the-video-essay/]admissions blog post[/url] clarified that it was “not an introduction of a video creation contest—we are interested in the content of your answers and not how well you can produce videos.”

Within the Rotman application, the admissions committee provides this further clarifying information about the questions candidates will receive for the videos and accompanying written portion: “Both questions are personality/values based and are designed to be answered without any advanced preparation and will only take a few minutes to complete. The written question is designed to simulate the typical email communications you will create as a Rotman student.”

When the written component was added in 2015, a [url=https://inside.rotman.utoronto.ca/admissions/2015/09/03/rotmans-2016-intake-application-is-open/]blog post[/url] clarified the reason behind its addition: “We were missing an opportunity to see the more casual and real-time style our students use most frequently to write emails communicating with team members, professors, etc. and a style that they will carry forward in their careers.”

Very simply, this application “essay” is all about demonstrating how well you can think and express yourself on the spot, both verbally and in writing. For typical application essays (including video ones), candidates can take time to consider their options, prepare and compose their potential submissions, ask others for input and/or feedback, revise or practice, and even start over from the beginning and try a completely different approach or use totally new content. Rotman’s video essay and written accompaniment completely preclude all of this, leaving you nowhere to hide, so to speak. They demand your natural, authentic instincts and nature. The admissions committee is basically banking on the idea that “what you see is what you (will truly) get.”

However, we encourage you to not see this as something bad or scary. You undoubtedly have much to offer as a potential Rotman MBA student, so view this as an opportunity to show the admissions committee what that looks like in action—how you will act in the classroom, in job interviews, as part of the school’s greater community. We simply cannot say this enough: as with all MBA application essay questions, there is no “right” answer. You either mesh with a program or you do not, and you definitely do not want to have to fake being someone you are not for two years, so just be yourself. Answer the school’s questions honestly, in your usual tone, voice, and words. Be confident, relaxed, and true to yourself. The content of your responses will not count as much as your presentation and authenticity.

That said, we recommend starting to work on minimizing your use of filler words and phrases (e.g., “um,” “uh,” “like,” “you know”) right away so that you are less likely to depend on or default to them when the time comes for your actual video session. This will serve you well in the classroom and in interviews down the road, too, so you might as well begin retraining yourself now.
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How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essaysand Mor [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essays—and More on Being Appropriately Personal
Longer and more complex sentences often require parallel construction. Simply put, parallel construction ensures that any given longer sentence has a balanced rhythm or structure. With parallel construction, each pronoun corresponds with another pronoun, each verb corresponds with another verb, each adjective corresponds with another adjective, and so on. Parallel construction can certainly be found in shorter sentences as well, and to great effect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always keep in mind that in many ways, the admissions committee is meeting you for the first time via your application. So, a simple way to judge whether you are being too personal in your materials is to ask yourself, “Would I be uncomfortable if, immediately upon meeting someone, they were to share this sort of information with me?” If your answer is “yes,” you should most likely consider changing your topic.
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20232024 MBA Insiders Guides are Available to Download for Free! [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: 2023–2024 MBA Insider’s Guides are Available to Download for Free!


We at mbaMission are proud to announce the release of the latest edition of our MBA Insider’s Guides! Since we first launched these extensive guides in 2008, we have fine-tuned them each year to provide our readers with the most detailed and recent information on each school as possible. We revamped the structure of the books last year, which ensures that our 2023–2024 edition makes getting to know the schools easier than ever.

Informed by firsthand insight from students, alumni, program representatives, and admissions officers, each guide offers detailed descriptions of the following:



  • Defining characteristics of the school’s location, class size, curriculum, teaching methods, facilities, alumni base/involvement, and rankings
  • Courses, experiential opportunities, faculty, and clubs related to MBAs’ most common career areas, including consulting, finance, and entrepreneurship
  • Each admissions committee’s stance on GMAT/GRE/TOEFL scores, recommendations, the waitlist, layoffs/unemployment, and other application elements
  • Notable professors and social/community events
  • MBA rankings along with class profile statistics and top industries for each program to better illuminate certain trends and characteristics
We encourage you to download your free copy of our comprehensive guides for every school to which you plan to apply. And to obtain further advice on applying to business school, please contact us for a free 30-minute consultation.

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How to Stay Sane During the MBA Application Process [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Stay Sane During the MBA Application Process
Admissions events, the resume, essays, short answers, recommendations, interviews, and of course, waiting to see whether you got accepted. Given everything that is involved in the MBA application process, you will understandably feel stressed, or even overwhelmed, at times. However, by keeping things in perspective and giving yourself sufficient time away from your application work, you can ensure that you stay as grounded as possible while applying to business school.



Before you start working on your applications

The best way to minimize stress is to plan ahead, to the extent that that is possible. Ideally, get the GMAT/GRE/Executive Assessment out of the way a few months before your target school’s deadline, talk to your recommenders early, and connect with students and alumni before you start thinking about essays. That way, you will be able to focus fully on the applications in front of you when the time comes.

While you are working on your applications

  • Keep things moving, and work on your application materials consistently throughout the week—do not save everything for the weekend! This will ensure that you have enough time to reflect on what you are creating, that you avoid burnout, and that you get enough rest while juggling the demands of application process with the other priorities in your life.

  • Consider having a “buddy” during the application process, perhaps a friend or close colleague who is also applying to business school. Although you do not want to feed into each other’s worries, having the support and ear of someone who is going through exactly what you are can be therapeutic.

  • Make sure you give yourself enough breaks. While you are working on your essays or another part of the application, regularly do some light stretching, engage in some deep breathing, drink some water, eat a healthy snack, or chat briefly with a friend or family member about something unrelated to your applications.  

  • Check in with your recommenders regularly. Doing so will help ease your anxiety and ensure that writing the letters for you does not fall off their radar.

  • If you find yourself getting fatigued by an essay or hitting a wall, set it aside, and review it later with fresh eyes. You will be surprised at how much more effective you will be once you have had some time away.  

  • Once the deadlines are near, remind yourself that you are in the home stretch. You will be ready to hit “submit” soon!

After you submit your applications

  • Do not agonize over what you wrote in your applications—move forward! Rest assured that given the holistic nature of the application review process, something minor like a small typo will not sink your chances of getting in. We have definitely had clients who found small flaws in their application after submission, but we always assure candidates not to worry about such inconsequential slipups and to focus on the strengths of their candidacy. In the end, small errors will never prevent a strong candidate from being accepted. 

  • Focusing on your end goal—an acceptance—is easy, but you should also celebrate the small victories along the way: a great conversation with a student, a completed application, an interview invite. You have worked hard, and you deserve to feel good about your efforts.   

  • Try not to ruminate too much on your interviews after they are over. You can easily fall into the trap of wondering whether your answers were good enough or whether your interviewer liked you. Leave a final positive impression by sending your interviewer a thank you email within 48 hours of your meeting, and then let it go.  

  • When you get your results—whether you were accepted, waitlisted, or released from the process—keep them in perspective. Sometimes, things really do work out for the best. We cannot count the number of times that applicants who ultimately attended their second-choice school ended up loving it so much that they were actually happy their first choice did not work out. And the truth is that the school you go to will not dictate your career. Once you start a job, your performance is what matters, not your alma mater. We have also seen many candidates who were not accepted to a program one year but successfully reapplied the following year. So, sometimes “no” just means “not now” and can turn into a “yes” later. And if you are fortunate enough to receive multiple admissions offers, evaluate various factors before making your decision, but do not let your options overwhelm you. Go with your gut, and then get excited about the experience ahead.  

Overall, throughout your business school application journey, avoid letting your MBA application situation take over your life by making time to step away and enjoy yourself and stay connected with loved ones. They will support you no matter how things turn out. And of course, if you feel you need more help navigating this process and your feelings about it, do not hesitate to seek out a qualified admissions professional.

If you have questions about your candidacy, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with an expert at mbaMission. We can discuss how best to position yourself to be a competitive MBA applicant.  
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Assessing the MBA Job Market: Fall 2023 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Assessing the MBA Job Market: Fall 2023
This post was written by mbaMission resident Career Coach [url=https://www.mbamission.com/who-we-are/team/elissa-harris/]Elissa Harris[/url]. To sign up for a free 30-minute career consultation with Elissa, please [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/career-coaching/]click here[/url].

As job recruiting for full-time MBAs begins, many students are pondering questions such as the following:

[list]
[*]How competitive is the job market?[/*]

[*]Who is hiring? What types of opportunities are available right now?[/*]

[*]How can I position myself for success?[/*]

[*]How will the economy affect my career options?[/*]
[/list]

Unfortunately, these questions have no simple answer. The information coming out of consulting firms—which are traditionally big MBA employers—is less than positive. According to a spring article in the [url=https://www.wsj.com/articles/mckinsey-bain-hire-new-m-b-a-s-but-they-may-not-work-for-months-d805f14b?mod=e2tw]Wall Street Journal[/url] and a more recent article in [url=https://poetsandquants.com/2023/08/03/another-major-consulting-firm-delays-start-dates-for-its-mba-hires/?pq-category=business-school-news&pq-category-2=mba-jobs]Poets&Quants[/url], start dates for the Class of 2023 are being pushed back by major consulting firms, and overall, full-time hiring for the Class of 2024 is lighter than in past years. 

But the full picture can be a bit more complicated and sector specific, and we know that the job market can change rapidly.

To better understand what kind of job market you might face, consider these factors:

Career interests

What are your professional goals? Are you making a big career change? Which organizations are you targeting? Do they hire a large number of MBAs?

Experience and skills

What functional and industry expertise do you have? What are your strongest skills? What types of problems can you solve, or what contributions could you make to a prospective employer?

[b]Storytelling[/b]

How well can you connect the dots between your experiences and your desired position?

[b]School [/b]support

Does your MBA program have strong relationships with its alumni and with your desired employers? What type of career coaching support is available?

Marketplace realities

What are the business and hiring trends in the industry you hope to enter? What challenges are your target companies facing? How much hiring have these companies done in the past 12 months? Have they had any layoffs?

Personal resources and attributes

How strong is your network? How comfortable are you reaching out and leveraging that network? Will you hustle in the job search?

Setting realistic expectations and positioning yourself for the best opportunities will require that you develop an informed perspective on your target industry.

Start with these steps:

Speak with representatives from your school’s career management center.

They are often in close contact with major MBA employers.

Connect with people currently employed in your target area –

– and with classmates who just completed internships at your target companies.

Identify and read industry-specific business news

Discover related trade publications and websites.

And finally, remember that regardless of the strength of the job market, you always need to position yourself as a compelling candidate. The following mbaMission blog posts offer actionable advice on standing out in a positive way:

[list]
[*][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/05/28/four-key-qualities-of-a-successful-job-seeker/][b]Four Key Qualities of a Successful Job Seeker[/b][/url][/*]

[*][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/08/26/storytelling-talking-about-yourself-to-potential-employers/][b]Storytelling: Talking About Yourself to Potential Employers[/b][/url][b] [/b][/*]

[*][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2021/03/25/five-ways-to-improve-the-effectiveness-of-your-job-search/][b]Five Ways to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Job Search[/b][/url][/*]

[*][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2019/07/22/impressing-a-hiring-manager-requires-a-lot-of-preparation/][b]Impressing a Hiring Manager Requires (a Lot!) of Preparation[/b][/url][/*]
[/list]

For more career advice, [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/career-guides][b]download our free career guides[/b][/url], which have been written in conjunction with industry insiders who provide intriguing perspectives on the fields.
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Which Schools Will Accept the New GMAT Focus Test During the 20232024 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Which Schools Will Accept the New GMAT Focus Test During the 2023–2024 Application Season?
Are you applying to business school this application season and are wondering whether you should take the “regular” GMAT or the new GMAT Focus? The answer depends on several factors, most importantly when you are planning to apply. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) announced in August 2023 that the GMAT Focus will be available for test takers starting November 7th, 2023. However, GMAC provided a much less specific timeframe for when the original GMAT will be phased out and stated that the test will be available “until early 2024”. Since most business schools have their Round 1 deadlines in the early fall, the GMAT Focus will not be available for applicants who are hoping to apply in the first round. For Rounds 2 and 3, which typically have deadlines between October and April, many schools will accept the GMAT Focus. Keep in mind that since GMAT scores are valid for five years, you can still take the old GMAT test and apply with that score until early 2029.

Some schools, including Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, made the decision to not accept the GMAT Focus until 2024—HBS will accept the test only from applicants to its 2+2 program, which has its deadline set in April 2024, and Wharton will only accept it starting January 2024, when the regular GMAT will not be available anymore. For more schools and their policies on the GMAT, see our chart below.

Accepted in Round 2?
Accepted in Round 3?

Berkeley Haas
Yes
Yes

Chicago Booth
Yes
Yes

Columbia Business School
Yes
Yes

Cornell Johnson
Yes
Yes

Dartmouth Tuck
Yes
Yes

Duke Fuqua
Yes
Yes

Harvard Business School
No
No*

INSEAD
No
Yes

Michigan Ross
Yes
Yes

MIT Sloan
Yes
Yes

Northwestern Kellogg
Yes
Yes

NYU Stern
No
Yes

Stanford GSB
Yes
Yes

UCLA Anderson
Yes
Yes

UPenn Wharton
No**
Yes

UVA Darden
Yes
Yes

Yale SOM
N/A
N/A

* HBS will accept GMAT Focus scores only from 2+2 applicants during the 2023–2024 application season.

** Wharton will accept GMAT Focus scores beginning at the end of January 2024.

As always, information is subject to change. Be sure to check the schools’ websites for the most up-to-date information.

Information is subject to change. For the most up to date information, consult the school directly.
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How to Get into Esade Business School: Esade Essay Tips and Examples [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Get into Esade Business School: Esade Essay Tips and Examples
[url=https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Esade_logo_nuevo-1.png?ssl=1][img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Esade_logo_nuevo-1.png?resize=180%2C180&ssl=1[/img][/url]
On its site, [url=https://www.esade.edu/mba/en/programmes/full-time-mba/admissions/apply-for-admission#:~:text=We%20deliberately%20limit%20the%20number,competition%20for%20places%20is%20intense.]Esade states[/url], “We deliberately limit the number of places on our MBA programme to ensure that your Esade Business School experience is focused and personalised. As a result, competition for places is intense.” We would add that the process of completing its application is also rather intense, considering that candidates must write multiple essays on a variety of topics, when most MBA programs have been cutting back on the number and lengths of their essays in recent years. Be ready to do a lot of brainstorming, introspection, and research—and a decent amount of writing. Read on for our full analysis of all the school’s prompts for this season.

ESADE 2023–2024 Essay Tips
[b]Short Answer 1: Are you applying to other Schools? Please provide detail of Schools and Programmes. This information is for our own records; it will not affect the Admissions Committee’s decision. Maximum 255 characters (including spaces).[/b]
This is really just a straightforward request for information, so simply present the information Esade wants clearly and directly, with no extraneous verbiage. As the school notes in the prompt, your response will not have any effect on your chances of being accepted (or denied), so you do not need to overthink this.

[b]Short Answer 2: Did you learn about this programme through an Alumnus recommendation? If so please provide us with the name and graduation year. Maximum 255 characters (including spaces).[/b]
This prompt is another straightforward request. Again, simply convey the information the school is seeking: the name of the alumnus or alumna, their graduation year, and perhaps which program they completed, especially if it is different from the basic full-time MBA.

[b]Essay 1: Which aspects have you improved on during your academic and professional career so far? Which tools or values have helped you achieve this? (Maximum 3,000 characters, including spaces)[/b]
With this question, Esade wants to know what you already bring to the table, so to speak, perhaps in part to get an idea of your potential not only in your stated area of interest but also in the other areas you might not have considered but could be just as successful. This is also a chance for you to demonstrate that you understand what is required of someone in the professional role or industry you are targeting and have the self-awareness to know which of those requirements you might already meet. Highlight the specific skills you have developed and the knowledge you have acquired that you feel represent your strengths. To fulfill the latter portion of Esade’s request, pinpoint the qualities you possess that have helped you in your development. Were you raised to be ambitious or intellectually curious, perhaps? Are you a quick learner who uses logic and deduction to intuitively master new concepts and tools? What aspects of yourself personally (whether innate characteristics or learned behaviors) have facilitated your growth?

[b]Essay 2: How will your background, values and non-work-related activities enhance the experience of other ESADE MBA students and add to the diverse culture we strive for at ESADE? (Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have accomplished). (Maximum 3,000 characters, including spaces)[/b]
With this essay prompt, Esade clearly wants to see evidence that you have done your research on the school’s culture and community and developed a true and thorough understanding of it. Ideally, your essay will convince the admissions committee that you are eager to take advantage of opportunities to participate and contribute, that you have thoughtfully considered your place within the school’s community at length, and that as a result, you know the value of what you can offer and have a clear vision of how this will manifest when you are an Esade student. If you hypothesize incorrectly about what you could add to the school—meaning that what you propose is just not possible there or does not align with the program’s values and culture—this will definitely not help you get in. Read student blogs, peruse discussion boards, catch up on the past year or more of the program’s press releases, spend some time on [url=https://www.youtube.com/c/esade]Esade’s YouTube channel[/url]—these are all good places to start (or better, continue!) educating yourself about what life at the school is really like. 

By not specifying that what you discuss should relate strictly to either inside or outside the classroom, the admissions committee keeps the scope of the query broad, offering you equal opportunity to discuss ideas that relate to course work and those that are extracurricular. Perhaps, for example, you could assist in writing a case on a topic that relates to your professional background and that will be used in future classes for several years. Or maybe you have a depth of knowledge or years of professional experience in a particular business area or industry, so you could serve as a kind of subject matter expert for those around you in the program or as 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. Like all other application questions, this one has no “right” answer, so do not try to guess what you think the school wants to hear. Authenticity and enthusiasm are the keys to your success with this essay.

Another tool to help you gain a more thorough understanding of what the school offers is our free [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/primer-esade-program-guide]ESADE Program guide[/url], which explores its curriculum, campuses, international opportunities, and other key aspects. Download your [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/primer-esade-program-guide]complimentary copy[/url] today!

[b]Essay 3: What are your motivations in pursuing a full-time MBA at this point in your life? Describe your mid-term and long-term visions for your post-MBA career path. What is it about ESADE you think will help you reach your goals? (Maximum 3000 characters, including spaces)[/b]
Your essay response to this prompt will include several key factors of a traditional personal statement: what your post-MBA career goals are, why you need an MBA to be successful at this particular point on your professional path, and why the school you are applying to is the right one for you.

To craft an effective essay response, you will need to accomplish a few things (though not necessarily in the order we list them here). One, present your post-MBA career objectives for a few years down the road as well as in the more distant future, making sure that the connection between them makes sense. Avoid going into excessive detail about your past, but be sure to offer enough information to provide context and support for your stated goals so that the progression from one stage of your career to the next is clear and reasonable. Two, explain why an MBA is the crucial factor in your being able to attain your objectives. A good way to frame this argument is by noting the skills and experiences you need to develop via the MBA experience to be successful in your desired role/industry (thereby demonstrating your understanding of what will be required of you). Three, clarify what makes now the right time for you to earn this degree. And four, explain how being an Esade MBA student is key to achieving your goals.

You need to demonstrate that you have dedicated just as much thought—or maybe even more—to why you want to study at Esade as you have to where you want to go professionally. Think carefully about what you need to learn or experience (e.g., skills, network, knowledge base), and then detail which specific resources and opportunities at Esade you believe will allow you to do so. Your goal is to convince the admissions committee that the school is the missing link between who and where you are now and who and where you envision yourself in the future.

The school’s limit of 3,000 characters (with spaces) translates into anywhere from 425 to 750 words, which is not a lot, but you can absolutely cover all the necessary points in that space with enough forethought and planning. We encourage you to download your free copy of our [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/url], which offers a detailed discussion of how to craft an effective essay response to such queries, along with multiple illustrative examples.

[b]Essay 4: Complete two of the following four questions or statements (Maximum 3,000 characters, including spaces)[/b]
[b]– I am most proud of…[/b]
This essay option offers you the opportunity to offer the narrative of an outstanding or personally significant accomplishment. We emphasize “narrative” here, because you must truly describe the full nature and story of your experience, not just bluntly state the accomplishment itself. Many candidates will start their essay with a sentence that gives away their entire story, such as “I am most proud of having convinced my boss to implement a new retirement savings plan for all firm employees.” Where do you go from there? Once the story’s most important revelations have been presented, no mystery exists, so maintaining the reader’s attention becomes very difficult—as does writing the remainder of the essay!

To better set yourself apart from other candidates, consider choosing something for which your reason for feeling proud might not be immediately apparent. For example, anyone would be proud of growing revenues by a large percentage or landing a prestigious account, so these options would not reveal as much about you as a unique individual with your own style. Or, pick something about which anyone would be proud, but the reason you were proud was different from what someone might expect. As a simplified example, if you used your great-grandmother’s cookie recipe to win a baking contest, you might be proud of having beat out numerous competitors for the top prize, but you might also be proud of the win because it gave you a greater appreciation for family and ancestors, or it imbued you with confidence that then inspired you to start a small bake shop.

However, you could also take a different approach and discuss a personal characteristic or ability about which you are proud. Perhaps you take great pride in your reputation for staying calm and focused in trying situations. Or maybe you have an impressive talent or ability that not only allows you to stand out but also to give back to others in a meaningful way. Another possibility might be your unshakable commitment to a value or belief system. Whatever you choose, make sure of two things—first, that you discuss not just what you are proud of but also why, and second, that it reveals for the admissions committee more about who you are as an individual and complements the information provided in the other parts of your application.

[b]b) People may be surprised to learn that I…[/b]
Stop now and consider what the admissions officers will already know about you at this point from the other elements of your application. They will probably have read your resume and thus gotten a sense of your career path to date. Your other essays should have provided an understanding of your goals and why you want to study at Esade. The admissions committee might have had some brief glimpses into your personality through these avenues, but this essay is your overt opportunity to provide a better sense of your character.

The key word in this question is of course “surprised.” Although you certainly want to offer something unexpected, you do not want that surprise to be unpleasant. “Surprise” should not be taken to mean “shocked.” Do not think you need to totally revolutionize the admissions committee’s understanding of who you are.

Also, do not worry if you do not have something earth-shattering to reveal, such as having climbed Mount Everest or learned to build a car engine from scratch in just a month. You are not expected to knock the admissions committee off its feet—Esade just wants to get to know you better by learning about an interesting aspect of your life. Perhaps you spent a summer volunteering at a butterfly farm in Peru, helped pay your sister’s way through college, taught yourself American Sign Language just for fun, or are passionate about flamenco dancing; these are all suitable stories, and one is not necessarily better than the other. What is important is that you offer a narrative that engages the reader and showcases something new and unpredictable about yourself.

[b]c) What has your biggest challenge been and what did it help you learn about yourself?[/b]
Although this is a rather direct prompt, some candidates might shy away from choosing this option because most people do not like to admit when they have been knocked down, made mistakes, or had to struggle. But Esade wants to know that you are a real person—that you have some hard-won victories under your belt and have had to fight to some degree to get to where you are today. If you have simply been coasting along, with no cause to develop any coping mechanisms or adapt yourself in some way, we can pretty safely predict that you are not Esade material.

For this essay, you could discuss a challenge from any area of your life. It could be a professional setback or obstacle, an influential personal matter (e.g., overcoming family expectations), or a problem as narrow as difficulty developing a certain skill. The challenge you choose to highlight is not nearly as important as your ownership of it, meaning that the situation or event you discuss needs to clearly be unique to you and would not be easily applicable to multiple other candidates.

The other crucial element of this essay is demonstrating that you learned something key from the experience. Esade wants evidence that you are capable of reflecting, learning, and growing, so do not gloss over this part or offer a trite or clichéd statement as a kind of afterthought. And specifically, you must share that you learned something about yourself. So, claiming that you gained a new skill, for example, would not constitute an appropriate response. You will need to delve more deeply into how your understanding of yourself changed and clearly explain what the experience brought out in you that you had not known about yourself before. Your unique thoughts on this point can differentiate you from other applicants, and showing that you recognize how the experience or issue affected you—and has thereby contributed to the person you are today—demonstrates your self-awareness and capacity for growth.

[b]d) Which historical figure do you most identify with and why?[/b]
Although you will be discussing another person for this essay, the aspects of your chosen figure that you highlight will help convey to the Esade admissions committee who you are. We assume that you would not choose an individual who is generally regarded as an unsavory character (or worse), right? The specific qualities, values, and/or strengths you highlight in your chosen figure will reflect to some degree which characteristics you view positively (e.g., ones that are commendable, impressive, honorable, deserving of respect, appealing, worthy of emulating).

Like all application essay questions, this one does not have a “right” answer, so do not spend any time or effort trying to guess who the admissions committee wants or expects you to pick. Authenticity is key to your success with this essay, so start by thinking of people who really do resonate with you—who elicit a strong response from you in some key way. Then identify the qualities in these figures that correspond most closely with your own view of yourself and describe what kind of feelings these qualities elicit (which will help illustrate the why behind your choice). This essay is a great opportunity to share with the admissions committee aspects of your personality and profile that you have not been able to include in the other parts of your application. Focus on highlighting qualities that you feel would indicate that you are a good fit with the Esade community or that set you apart from other candidates—or ideally, both.

[b]Essay 5: Please, provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include gaps in employment, your undergraduate record, plans to retake the GMAT or any other relevant information. (Maximum 3,000 characters, including spaces)[/b]
This essay is not explicitly noted as being optional, but the prompt certainly reads that way to us. In general, we believe applicants should use this kind of essay to explain confusing or problematic issues in their candidacy, which this prompt does indeed allow. So, if you need to, use this opportunity to address any questions the admissions committee might have about something in your profile, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, or a gap in your work experience. We encourage you to download a free copy of our [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/url], in which we offer detailed advice (and multiple annotated examples) on how best to approach the optional essay to mitigate any problem areas in your application.

Technically, though, ESADE leaves the door open for you to share any other information about your candidacy that you feel might be pivotal or particularly compelling. Be judicious in deciding whether the admissions committee truly needs any more input to be able to evaluate you fully and effectively. Every additional submission demands that the admissions committee do extra work on your behalf, so be absolutely sure that the added time is warranted. If you feel compelled to impart information that you believe would render your application incomplete if omitted, do so, but keep your submission concise, direct, and on point.
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mbaMission Offers Free In-Person Consultations in San Francisco! [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Offers Free In-Person Consultations in San Francisco!


Are you a business school applicant in need of some guidance from an admissions advisor? If so, then we want to meet you for a free in-person consultation in San Francisco, California!

  • mbaMission Senior MBA Admissions ConsultantNisha Trivedi will be holding free in-person, one-on-one consultations at the The Palace Hotel in San Francisco on October 11, 2023.

During your free in-person consultation, your admissions advisor will answer all your most pressing MBA application questions, including the following:

  • What are my chances of being admitted?

  • How can I differentiate myself from so many other applicants?

  • What is the best way to showcase my accomplishments or mitigate my weaknesses?

If you would like to meet with Nisha to discuss your MBA applications, please provide some basic information about your candidacy via the submission form. We will reply to you within one business day with a link to schedule your in-person, 30-minute consultation.

We look forward to getting to know some of this season’s best and brightest business school applicants!

*This offer is valid only for those applicants who have not already had an mbaMission free 30-minute consultation.
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Crafting (or Updating) Your Pitch [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Crafting (or Updating) Your Pitch
With many people now actively engaged in their full-time job search, we at mbaMission are fielding a lot of questions about how to be more effective in that search. One key element is knowing how to talk about yourself, whether that is in a casual networking situation or a more formal interview setting. 

This can be tricky to master. You need to find a balance between demonstrating humility and confidently promoting your track record of success. To help develop your “pitch” (also known as your “career narrative,” “positioning statement,” or simply “story”), consider using one of these two frameworks.

Framework 1

Consider the approach explained by communications expert and LinkedIn Learning instructor Jodi Glickman in this video. She talks about the importance of starting with your destination (i.e., help your listener quickly and easily understand what you want) and then delving into your background—and most importantly, explaining how your background connects to your target destination.

Framework 2

Craft a story around themes from your professional life, such as your strengths (i.e., focus on three or four key skills that are relevant to your target audience), your work experience (i.e., how you can contribute and what type of problems you can solve), or the attributes required by your target organization. The content of this statement should be based on your understanding of your value proposition as well as what you learn about the needs of your target audience. You then provide evidence of these themes using details about where you have worked in the past and your specific accomplishments.

Of course, the content and length of your pitch should be adapted with respect to several factors, including the following:

  • Audience: How close are you to your target audience? What are their needs? What is culturally appropriate?

  • Type of Delivery: Will your pitch be delivered via email, over the phone, or in person? Will this be in a networking/informal setting or a formal interview?

  • Purpose: What is your goal for the interaction?

You need to help the other person understand your areas of interest and how you can contribute. If you are too vague, the contact will have a more difficult time helping you with referrals, facilitating new introductions, or promoting you to the hiring manager.

Remember, this is all about relationship building. Be conversational, and create a connection between you and your contact.

Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation
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While Waiting Patiently for Interview Invitations, Consider What to Ex [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: While Waiting Patiently for Interview Invitations, Consider What to Expect
As interview invitations from business schools roll out, do your best to remain calm and let the admissions committees do their work. Although becoming a little apprehensive is natural if you have not yet received an invitation, you will certainly not increase your chances of receiving one by calling the Admissions Office and asking if the school does indeed have all your files or if an interview decision has been made. In fact, such calls can actually have a negative effect on your candidacy, inadvertently making you seem pushy or even belligerent.

Admissions Offices are increasingly transparent and should be taken at their word. If they say they are still releasing decisions, then they are in fact still doing so. If they say that the timing of your interview decision does not signify an order of preference, then it does not. Unless something has changed materially in your candidacy, all you can really do—as painful as it may be—is wait patiently and try not to think about the decision or second-guess your status.

As the 2023–2024 MBA application season approaches Round 2, we thought now would be a good time to discuss some challenging interview situations you might encounter. Most business school interviews are straightforward opportunities for an interviewer to learn more about a candidate’s personal and professional background, goals, reasons for selecting a specific school, and leadership/team experiences. Yet interviews can vary dramatically from school to school, and they sometimes include a few peculiarities. So, what constitutes a “tough” interview, and how can you best navigate one?

Stoic interviewer: Some interviewers can be unemotional, refusing to give you any indication as to whether you are making a positive impression or not. And amid the intense pressure of an interview, you may perceive this lack of clear positive response as a sign of disapproval. The key to managing such a situation is to tune out the interviewer’s lack of emotion. Focus on your answers and do your best to not be distracted by anything about the interviewer, ignoring everything except the questions they are posing. “Reading” the interviewer in real time can be challenging, so concentrate instead on showcasing your strengths.

Philosophical questions: Most candidates are ready to discuss their experiences and accomplishments, but many are not prepared to discuss their values and philosophy on life. Harvard Business School, in particular, likes to understand applicants’ motivations and will ask questions like “What is your motivation to succeed?,” “What drives you?,” and “What gives you purpose in life?” The key to answering these sorts of questions is pretty simple: expect and prepare for them in advance (after all, you are being warned right now). Do not assume that all the questions you will receive during your interview will be experiential.

Persistent questioning: Sometimes a tough interviewer will continuously delve deeper into a subject, such as by repeatedly asking, “Can you be more specific about [the topic under discussion]?” after posing an initial question. These kinds of unusual pressure tactics can be disconcerting, but the key is to simply stay on topic. No matter how persistent they are, interviewers are always essentially asking you about a subject you know quite well—you! So, again, by avoiding the distraction of the tactic and sticking to your agenda, you should be fine.

mbaMission offers even more interview advice in our free Interview Guides, which are available for 18 top-ranked business schools.
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