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The mbaMission Blog

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Professor Profiles: Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan School of Management [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan School of Management
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand, but the educational experience itself is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we profile Robert Pindyck from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Robert Pindyck
(“Industrial Economics for Strategic Decisions”) has won multiple teaching awards going back at least a dozen years, including an MIT Sloan Outstanding Teaching Award in both 1995 and 2005, the MIT Sloan Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002, and the school’s Teacher of the Year Award in 2007. Students and alumni with whom we spoke made note of his intense passion, which inspires his students to involve themselves ever more deeply into the material they are studying. An alumnus described Pindyck’s “tremendous authority,” which the professor balanced with “immense accessibility,” and a second-year teaching assistant in Pindyck’s “Industrial Economics” course noted in a January 2012 MIT Sloan Students Speak blog post that working with him was “a great learning experience.”

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

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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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B-School Chart of the Week: Will You Visit Your Target School Before A [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2014, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: Will You Visit Your Target School Before Applying?
Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. Each week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.

We recently surveyed a number of visitors to our site to get a feel for the concerns, plans, and mind-sets of this season’s MBA applicants. Now the results are in, and for those who are curious about their fellow applicants’ views on business school, we will be sharing some of the collected data in our B-School Chart of the Week blog series.

When we asked participants in our informal survey whether they planned to visit their target business school(s) before submitting an application this season, we were pleased to see that 64.1% of our survey takers responded “yes.”

As we have regularly advised MBA hopefuls, visiting your selected programs can be an incredibly important and informative step in your application process. We even suggest that candidates visit more than once, if possible (and of course, be on their best behavior). Not only does making the trip show the admissions committee that you are serious about your candidacy and actively interested in the school, but it also allows you to better determine firsthand if the campus environment is right for you.

 

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

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA News: Financial Times Releases 2014 European Business School Ranki [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2014, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Financial Times Releases 2014 European Business School Rankings
Moving up two spots, the London School of Business now tops the Financial Times’ 2014 list of the best MBA programs in Europe—released November 30—unseating both HEC Paris and Spain’s IE Business School (which tied at number one in 2013). Esade Business School in Spain and France’s INSEAD placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Financial Times 2014 European Business School Rankings compile results from the publication’s previous lists released throughout the year—including MBA, executive MBA (EMBA), masters in management, and executive education rankings.

If you are interested in studying abroad, or simply want to learn more about MBA programs in Europe, view the full list on the Financial Times Web site. The publication’s top ten are as follows:

  • London Business School
  • HEC Paris
  • IE Business School
  • Esade Business School
  • INSEAD
  • University of St. Gallen
  • IESE Business School
  • SDA Bocconi
  • IMD
  • University of Oxford: Saïd
 
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: The Indian School of Business Student Life C [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: The Indian School of Business Student Life Council
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

The Student Life Council is the catalyst for all social activity planning at the Indian School of Business (ISB), and as a former council director told mbaMission, “The campus has a very vibrant nightlife.” The group’s job is to ensure that ample social opportunities are available for students and their significant others, and one student with whom we spoke claimed that at least one major party is held each week in the “08 Lounge,” allowing students to get together, relax, and socialize. The Student Life Council also publishes the school’s annual yearbook and manages student participation in competitions between business schools, including those of the Toastmasters Club—many of which, claimed one student we interviewed, ISB students have won.

The Student Life Council also organizes opportunities for students to explore the city of Hyderabad. Guided heritage walks to the old city and the markets of Charminar allow ISB-ers to learn more about the history of the area. Trips to Banjara and Jubilee Hills on weekends give students the chance to mix it up with Hyderabadis and sample the local nightlife.

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

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Diamonds in the Rough: Simon Graduate School of Business [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2014, 18:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Simon Graduate School of Business
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

The full-time MBA program at the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester offers a broadly finance-oriented general management curriculum featuring particular strengths in analytics and accounting. With the option of choosing either a traditional two-year MBA or an accelerated 18-month program, all Simon students begin with a management core rooted in three foundational skill sets: Frame, Analyze, and Communicate (known collectively as FACt). The core curriculum encompasses two different required course sequences—“Framing and Analyzing Business Problems” and “Communicating Business Decisions”—in addition to such courses as “Managerial Economics,” “Capital Budgeting and Corporate Objectives,” and “Economic Theory of Organizations.”

Students complete their core with an assigned study team before exploring more specialized professional interests. The school’s elective courses represent a variety of industries and functions, such as entrepreneurship, consulting, and real estate. Students may choose among 15 optional career concentrations, ranging from Competitive and Organizational Strategy (which includes a more specialized Pricing track) and Marketing (which includes both a Brand Management and a Pricing track), to such analysis-heavy fields as Business Systems Consulting and Computers and Information Systems. Simon’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Center for Information Intensive Services, and Center for Pricing offer curricular and research support to supplement the specific career concentrations. Simon is also home to more than 20 professional and social student-run organizations aimed at coordinating networking events and professional development resources to assist students in advancing their careers.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA News: Stanford GSB Tops Poets & Quants 2014 Best B-Schools List [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Stanford GSB Tops Poets & Quants 2014 Best B-Schools List
Last week, Poets & Quants released its 2014 composite list of the top 100 MBA programs in the United States.

In a big change this year, the Stanford Graduate School of Business replaced Harvard Business School in the top spot for the first time since the list’s 2010 debut. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Chicago Booth, and Columbia Business School also appear in the top five, with Wharton surpassing Chicago Booth for the first time in several years. Making the most significant positive shift of any program ranked, the Yale School of Management jumped five places to land at number 12—its best placement yet.

The Poets & Quants list synthesizes results from the latest rankings released by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, and The Economist. Click here to access the full list.

Poets & Quants 2014 Top 20 U.S. MBA Programs

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Harvard Business School
  • UPenn Wharton
  • Chicago Booth
  • Columbia Business School
  • Northwestern Kellogg
  • MIT Sloan
  • Dartmouth Tuck
  • Duke Fuqua
  • UC-Berkeley Haas
  • Michigan Ross
  • Yale School of Management
  • UVA Darden
  • UCLA Anderson
  • Cornell Johnson
  • NYU Stern
  • Carnegie Mellon Tepper
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler
  • UT-Austin McCombs
  • Emory Gozuieta and Indiana Kelley (tie)
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Friday Factoid: Chicago Booth for Marketing [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2014, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Chicago Booth for Marketing
You may be surprised to know that Chicago Booth is making inroads into an area that its crosstown rival (Kellogg) is known to dominate: marketing. Through the James M. Kilts Center—named for the Chicago Booth alumnus who was formerly CEO of Gillette and Nabisco (and is now chair of A.C. Nielsen)—Chicago Booth offers students roughly a dozen marketing electives. In particular, the school is growing its experiential opportunities in the marketing field, with students recently taking part in marketing management labs (semester-long consulting projects) at Abbott, Barclays, and Honeywell. Further, professors in the department saw opportunities for increased practical involvement and created “hybrid” classes in “Marketing Research” and “Consumer Behavior” that involve a lecture component but also allow students to work on shorter-term consulting projects.

Students can also sign up to be paired with an alumni marketing mentor or participate in “day-at” visits to major marketing firms and companies such as PepsiCo, Wrigley, and Kraft. Although Kellogg’s reputation for excellence in marketing is firmly intact, we have to assume that the folks in Evanston are occasionally glancing over their shoulders to see if Chicago Booth is gaining any more ground.

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

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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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GMAT Impact: “Complete the Passage” Critical Reasoning Arguments [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2014, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: “Complete the Passage” Critical Reasoning Arguments
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this weekly blog series, Manhattan GMAT’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Have you run across any “fill in the blank” Critical Reasoning (CR) questions yet? These arguments end with a long, straight line, and we are supposed to pick an answer choice that fills in that blank.

Try this example from the free question set that comes with GMATPrep:

Which of the following best completes the passage below?

People buy prestige when they buy a premium product. They want to be associated with something special. Mass-marketing techniques and price reduction strategies should not be used because ________________.

(A) affluent purchasers currently represent a shrinking portion of the population of all purchasers

(B) continued sales depend directly on the maintenance of an aura of exclusivity

(C) purchasers of premium products are concerned with the quality as well as with the price of the products

(D) expansion of the market niche to include a broader spectrum of consumers will increase profits

(E) manufacturing a premium brand is not necessarily more costly than manufacturing a standard brand of the same product

Officially, these are called “Complete the Passage” arguments. The interesting tidbit: they are not a separate question type! These questions fall into one of the same categories you have been studying all along; the format is just presented in this “fill in the blank” format.

Most of the time, these are actually Strengthen questions. Every now and then, you will encounter a Find the Assumption question in this format.

The real trick here is to determine the question type. If the word right before the underline is because or since (or something equivalent), then the question you are dealing with is a Strengthen question. If the argument is set up to ask you to insert a piece of information that would support the conclusion of the argument, that is a Strengthen question.

The only real variation I have seen is when the sentence leading up to the blank asks what must be true or what must be shown. In those cases, you probably have a Find the Assumption question.

Want to know how to do the GMATPrep question presented earlier in this post? I am so glad you asked! Take a look at this full article that explains how to do the question and takes you through the standard four-step process for all CR questions. The article on the Manhattan GMAT blog is the first in a three-part series on CR; click the link at the end to read the second part, and so on.

* GMATPrep questions are used courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Use of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: They Just Do Not Take the GRE Seriousl [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: They Just Do Not Take the GRE Seriously!
A recurring theme in our admissions myths series is that applicants should never think that admissions officers are trying to trick them. Many candidates worry that admissions officers say one thing but really mean another. As a result, they assume that their interviews are worthless—that they essentially “don’t count”—unless they are conducted by someone from the admissions office, or that they need to know a highly placed alumnus/alumna from their target school to be admitted, or that they need to pander to a school’s stereotypes to get in. These days, another common myth is that schools take the GMAT far more seriously than the GRE, so the GRE is therefore of dubious value.

We think we can destroy this myth with a few simple rhetorical/logical questions: Why would an admissions committee encourage you to take a test that it would not then consider seriously? Why would a committee disenfranchise applicants who take the GRE, when one of the primary purposes of accepting the GRE is to expand the applicant pool? Why would admissions officers waste precious time devising and propagating such a devious scheme? They no doubt have more important things to do.

“The exam itself is less important than your performance on that exam relative to your peers,” explained Dan Gonzalez, the president of Manhattan Prep. “Think less about which exam schools want you to take and more about which exam will give you the best shot at showing off your skills. The GMAT and the GRE are quite different—take some time to learn about these differences before making your decision.”

So if you are considering taking the GRE—because you want to keep your options open for grad school or just because you think the test plays to your strengths—you should first check to see whether your target schools accept the test. Next, if they do, you should study hard and… take the GRE!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA Career Advice: Prepare for the Unexpected [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2014, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Prepare for the Unexpected
In this weekly series, our friends at MBA Career Coaches will be dispensing invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. For more information or to sign up for a free career consultation, visit www.mbacareercoaches.com.

As we have discussed, surprises in interviews are inevitable. There is the curve ball thought provoker we talked about on the MBA Career Coaches blog, which you truly can’t prepare for. The best you can do is stay focused in the moment and think it through.

But what about unexpected questions about you? You know, those tricky ones that somehow didn’t make it onto your list of likely questions to prepare, such as:

  • Tell me about a time you had to impress someone on the phone when you were unprepared.
  • What would my 6 year-old nephew say is your finest quality after speaking with you for 5 minutes?
  • If you could choose only one task to do for the rest of your life, assuming you would be paid for your performance, which would it be and why?
  • What is the worst book you have ever read and why?
We could go on, but potential surprise questions like these are infinite. They are limited only by the creativity of your interviewer. So how could you possibly prepare for them? The secret is to get a little nostalgic about your life. Begin reminiscing. Really. If I gave you enough time, you could come up with robust and appropriate answers to each of these questions. What makes answering them on the spot challenging is that they probe memories and experiences you likely haven’t thought about in a while, if ever.

So, before you go in for interviews, spend some time reflecting on your experiences. Begin with the resume, but don’t just read it. Stop and remember your actual experiences. So you built a model that saved your client $10,000, what was challenging about that experience? Where did you get the data? How did you reason through your assumptions? Did anyone help you? Did anyone stand in your way? Try to remember the details as though you were a fly on the wall – what did you see and hear?

Then go beyond your resume and continue exploring the details of your experiences. Consider your hobbies, your community service, even your friendships and family relationships. You will be surprised how much more confident you will be fielding these off the wall questions when the rich details of your experience are top of mind.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Mission Admission: Waitlist Strategies, Part 2 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2014, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Waitlist Strategies, Part 2
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Last week, we focused on how waitlisted MBA candidates should respond when their target school asks them to not send any follow-up information. This week, we examine waitlist situations in which the school encourages applicants to provide updates on their progress. In the first scenario, the frustration candidates experience derives from a sense of helplessness, but in the second, candidates tend to lament the lack of time in which to have accomplished anything significant, often thinking, “What can I offer the MBA admissions committee as an update? I submitted my application only three months ago!”

First and foremost, if you have worked to target any weaknesses in your candidacy—for example, by retaking the GMAT and increasing your score, or by taking a supplemental math class and earning an A grade—the MBA admissions committee will certainly want to hear about this. Further, if you have any concrete news regarding promotions or the assumption of additional responsibilities in the community sphere, be sure to update the MBA admissions committee on this news as well.

Even if you do not have these sorts of quantifiable accomplishments to report, you should still have some news to share. If you have undertaken any additional networking or have completed a class visit since you submitted your application, you can discuss your continued (or increased) interest. (When you are on a waitlist, the admissions committee wants to know that you are passionately committed to the school.) And if you have not been promoted, you could creatively reflect on a new project that you have started working on and identify the professional skills/exposure that this project is providing or has provided (for example, managing people off-site for the first time or executing with greater independence). Finally, the personal realm is not off limits, so feel free to discuss any personal accomplishments—from advancing in the study of a language to visiting a new country to completing a marathon (just as examples).

With some thought and creativity, you should be able to draft a concise but powerful letter that conveys your continued professional and personal growth while expressing your sincere and growing interest in the school—all of which will fulfill your goal of increasing your chances of gaining admission.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Dean Profiles: Paul Danos, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Dean Profiles: Paul Danos, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Business school deans are more than administrative figureheads. Their character and leadership is often reflective of an MBA program’s unique culture and sense of community. Each month, we will be profiling the dean of a top-ranking program. Today, we focus on Paul Danos from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Paul Danos has served as Tuck’s dean since 1995, making his tenure one of the longest among the deans at the top-ranked business schools. His previous appointments at Tuck have included associate dean, director of the Paton Accounting Center, and the Arthur Andersen & Company Professor of Accounting. Danos is also considered an authority on business school administration, serving as the chairman of the trustees of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management and having previously served on advisory boards for the University of Notre Dame College of Business Administration, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Graduate Rassias Foundation Board of Overseers, and the LEAD Council of Deans.

Danos has overseen a number of strategic changes to Tuck’s curriculum during his deanship. One development, enacted as part of Tuck 2012—the school’s strategic plan—has been the inclusion of a mandatory mini course in the area of ethics/social responsibility. A September 2010 feature in Tuck Today titled “The Road Ahead” notes that the school’s inclusion of an ethical component was not in reaction to the 2008 financial crisis and was in fact under way a year prior.

In a February 2012 U.S. News & World Report article, Danos explained that business education requires a more holistic reevaluation of  pedagogy in the wake of the financial crises, stating, “No matter who is ultimately to blame, lessons for anyone who purports to be educating leaders abound, and because so many of the bankers involved had MBA degrees, business schools must analyze the whole series of causes and effects, and try to draw conclusions about appropriate modifications to their own programs.” Consequently, in addition to requiring that students complete a mini course in ethics and social responsibility, Tuck introduced its research-to-practice seminar format, which integrates faculty research, an intimate class size (fewer than 20 students) and an emphasis on critical analysis. This integrated approach embodies what the aforementioned Tuck Today article refers to as “the Danos Doctrine—a recognition that an increasingly complex business world demands more varied and different skills of its leaders.”

Earlier this year, Danos announced that he would step down from his role as dean after the completion of his fifth term in June 2015.
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B-School Chart of the Week: Which School Do You Think Is Best? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2014, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: Which School Do You Think Is Best?
Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. Each week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.

We recently surveyed a number of visitors to our site to get a feel for the concerns, plans, and mind-sets of this season’s MBA applicants. Now the results are in, and for those who are curious about their fellow applicants’ views on business school, we will be sharing some of the collected data in our B-School Chart of the Week blog series.

Like thousands of MBA candidates each year, we at mbaMission keep our eyes on the business school rankings and are always interested to see how different schools shift positions over time. We were curious, though, as to how this season’s applicants would rate the various schools, so we asked visitors to our site, “In your opinion, which MBA program is the best one in the United States?” We were largely unsurprised to see the majority of participants select the Stanford Graduate School of Business (41.0%), with Harvard Business School claiming the second highest percentage of responses—35.9%. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School received the third most votes, though its percentage was markedly lower than that of the top two schools at only 7.7%, and New York University’s Stern—at fourth—garnered just 5.6% of the responses. Kellogg, MIT Sloan, UC-Berkeley Haas, and the Mays Business School at Texas A&M drew a little love from our survey participants, with each accounting for 2.6% of the votes.

To learn more about these and other top U.S. business schools, consult the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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MBA News: The Third Round: Not So Foreboding After All? [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: The Third Round: Not So Foreboding After All?
Today’s MBA applicants generally accept that most—if not all—admissions-related “action” tends to occur during the first two rounds of application submissions, with Round 1 ending in September/October and Round 2 in January. However, as we have long told candidates, Round 3 is not some kind of practical joke the admissions committees perpetrate on hapless applicants. The top MBA programs would not have a third round if they were not willing and prepared to accept more applicants during that time frame. Why waste their limited resources reviewing candidates they could not accept?

Now the Wall Street Journal has corroborated what we have been saying for years (“B-Schools Embrace Last-Minute Applicants”), with a number of MBA admissions directors substantiating the message. The managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School, Dee Leopold, told the Journal, “We actually enjoy round three. … It takes a certain amount of confidence to apply then. Those applicants march to their own drum, and we would never want to miss them.” Meanwhile, Liz Riley Hargrove, the associate dean for admissions at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, declared, “Once upon a time, the later rounds of admissions were viewed as candidates who were denied from other business schools,” adding, “That’s not the case at Fuqua anymore.” Meanwhile, Ann Richards, who is the interim director of admissions and the director of financial aid at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University, permitted that Round 3 can be an acceptable option but emphasized that she wants applicants to explain why they have chosen that round. “We have really vivid imaginations,” she said. “We don’t want to imagine that you just got out of jail and that’s why you’re applying.”

So, which applicants tend to be successful in the third/final round? Typically, schools accept Round 3 candidates who are underrepresented—but what does that mean, exactly? Essentially, the schools want well-rounded incoming classes that include a variety of backgrounds and experiences. The MBA programs probably have no shortage of white, male management consultants in their applicant pool, so if this describes you, you could have a more difficult time capturing the admissions committee’s attention. However, if you can offer something a little more singular or special—for example, you worked on an oil rig in Siberia, launched a nonprofit in Detroit, completed military duty in Afghanistan, or finalized your research into a new Parkinson’s drug—your chances of standing out to the admissions committee will likely be much higher. In short, if you can contribute something truly unique to the school, then you are admissible, regardless of the round in which you apply; you should therefore proceed with confidence. If you are unsure whether you represent something truly unique, consider taking advantage of ourfree 30-minute consultation to find out.
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Friday Factoid: The Harper Center at Chicago Booth [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2014, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: The Harper Center at Chicago Booth
Designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Vinoly and completed in 2004 at a cost of $125M, the Charles M. Harper Center houses Chicago Booth’s full-time MBA program. The Harper Center’s Winter Garden—a towering atrium with six-story, glass Gothic arches—is at the heart of the building and serves as a central place where students can study, socialize, and hold club meetings. With over 400,000 square feet of space, 12 classrooms (on the downstairs “classroom level”), offices for the entire administration and faculty (on the third, fourth, and fifth floors, known as the “faculty floors”), 31 group study rooms, a 3,500 square foot student lounge, and a 150-person café, the Harper Center helps shape Chicago Booth’s community and is part of the school’s bold new identity.

For more information on the defining characteristics of the MBA program at Chicago Booth or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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GMAT Impact: The Master Resource List for Reading Comprehension (Part  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2014, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: The Master Resource List for Reading Comprehension (Part 1 of 4)
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this blog series, Manhattan GMAT’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

The Pep Talk

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

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

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

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

The Disclaimers

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

How to Read

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

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

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

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

When you have mastered those skills, you will be ready to learn how to tackle the questions. Check back next week to learn how!
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple Schools
You have poured your heart and soul into your first and second business school applications, taken the time to craft the perfect essays, and are now eagerly looking forward to being able to finish up a few more applications to your target schools. You have heard that you can expect to spend as much time on your second, third, and fourth applications combined (!) as you did to produce your very first one. Encouraged by this claim, you might scan your third application and think, “Oh, look—here’s a ‘failure’ question. I can just adapt my Harvard ‘mistake’ essay to answer that one!” or, “There’s a question about leadership. I’ve already written an essay on that, so I can just reuse it here. It’s all so easy now!”

Not so fast.

Although first applications usually do take longer to complete than subsequent ones, this is not because once you have crafted several essays for one or two schools, you can then simply cut and paste them into other applications, adjust the word count a bit, change a few names here and there, and be done.

Admissions committees spend a lot of time crafting their application questions, thinking carefully about the required word limit and about each component of the question. Schools pose questions that they believe will draw out specific information that will help them ascertain whether the applicant would be a good fit with their program. If you simply paste an essay you previously wrote for School A into the application for School B because you believe the schools’ questions are largely similar, you will most likely miss an important facet of what School B is really asking about. For example, consider these two past questions:

Kellogg: Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences (600-word limit).

Dartmouth Tuck: Discuss your most meaningful leadership experience. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience? (approximately 500 words)

Even though both essay prompts ask you to explore leadership experiences, they certainly do not ask the exact same question. Kellogg wants to hear about more than one leadership experience and for you to provide a forward vision of the areas you want to develop (while at Kellogg). Tuck, on the other hand, asks about only one leadership experience—your most meaningful leadership experience, in particular—and wants to know what you learned about yourself as a result.  If you were to simply paste your 600-word Kellogg essay as your response to the Tuck question and cut 75–100 words, Tuck’s admissions committee would know that you did not answer their question. Similarly, a “mistake” and a “failure” are not necessarily the same thing, and believe us, the schools have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of cases in which applicants clearly submitted their “failure” essay for one school in response to another program’s “mistake” question—and vice versa. Understandably, this is not the way to win over the admissions committee. Although you may use the same core story for more than one application essay, take the time to examine that story from the angle proposed by your target school’s question and respond accordingly.

One simple rule will always stand you in good stead: answer the question asked.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Do You Write with Connectivity? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2014, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Do You Write with Connectivity?
If you were to read a skilled writer’s work (in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or New Yorker, for example), you would find articles that are characterized by “connectivity.” Simply put, an adept writer ensures that each sentence is part of a chain—each sentence depends on the previous one and necessitates the next. With this linkage in place, the central idea is constantly moving forward, giving the story a natural flow and making it easy to follow. Although you do not need to write at the same level as a professional journalist, you should still embrace this concept, because it is central to excellent essay writing. With a “connected” MBA application essay, you will grab and hold your reader’s attention.

You can test your essay’s connectivity by removing a sentence from one of your paragraphs. If the central idea in the paragraph still makes complete sense after this removal, odds are you have superfluous language, are not advancing the story effectively, and should revise your draft.

Try this exercise with a random selection from the New York Times:

“For many grocery shoppers, the feeling is familiar: that slight swell of virtue that comes from dropping a seemingly healthful product into a shopping cart. But at one New England grocery chain, choosing some of those products may induce guilt instead. The chain, Hannaford Brothers, developed a system called Guiding Stars that rated the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford’s formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you. These included V8 vegetable juice (too much sodium), Campbell’s Healthy Request Tomato soup (ditto), most Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen dinners (ditto) and nearly all yogurt with fruit (too much sugar).”

If you were to delete any of these sentences, you would create confusion for the reader, proving that each sentence is connected and vital!
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Mission Admission: Choosing “Safe” Recommenders [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2014, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Choosing “Safe” Recommenders
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Given that you still have significant time before next year’s first-round application deadlines, you have the opportunity to take some steps now to ensure you submit your strongest applications possible. One such step is doing some background work on your recommenders to make sure your choices are indeed “safe.”  After all, if you are playing by the strictest interpretation of the rules of recommendations, you will not get to see what your recommenders ultimately write about you. So, by doing a little intelligence work in advance, you can better understand whether you are choosing the right person, before you commit to a certain individual.

By doing some “intelligence,” we mean—where possible—contacting past colleagues in a discreet and diplomatic way to find out what their experiences were like with your potential recommender. For example, was your potential recommender a generous advocate or was he/she a disinterested third party who had a tendency to be harsh? Clearly, learning more about your target  recommender’s approach in advance can help you understand whether or not you should offer him/her this important responsibility. Past colleagues can also guide you in how best to manage your recommenders, which can be just as important as choosing them. Knowing up front that your recommender is a procrastinator or performed better after being given a list of accomplishments from which to work can help ensure the best letter possible and can prevent you from inadvertently antagonizing your recommender or delaying the process.
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MBA Career Advice: What If I Already Told That Story? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2014, 18:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: What If I Already Told That Story?
In this weekly series, our friends at MBA Career Coaches will be dispensing invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. For more information or to sign up for a free career consultation, visit www.mbacareercoaches.com.

You are in the interview. It is going well. You have had the chance to field a question about leadership, one about teamwork, and one about your strategic problem solving abilities. Then the interviewer asks you this: “Tell me about an achievement you are really proud of.”

Uh oh — you have already burned your proudest accomplishment story in the leadership question when you talked about a big benefit you planned!! You know you can’t repeat the same story or you will look like a one-trick pony. But you didn’t prepare another answer and nothing else comes immediately to mind. What do you do?

First, creating your Story Matrixwill help you avoid this experience. But if you end up there anyway, follow these three easy steps to get out of this moment “alive.”

1. Be honest. If the benefit truly is the thing you are proudest of, it’s ok to acknowledge that. A natural response might be to say:

“You know what? I would say that the benefit I planned and executed that I already told you about is really the accomplishment I am most proud of. I’d say that for a few reasons. First, because ______. Second, because ______. And finally because we were able to have such an impact on ________.”

2. Remember an interview is a dialogue between two intelligent adults. So check in with the interviewer. Give her the chance to guide what you do next.

“But I imagine you’d like to hear me speak about something else, so would you like me to tell you about another accomplishment I am really proud of?”

3. a story Then if she says “Yes,” tell a different story. The added benefit of talking first about the other experience and then checking in is that it buys you a little more thinking time. At this point, you no longer need to share about yourproudest accomplishment, so some of the pressure is off. Talk about something else you are proud of. For extra bonus points, try to pick something from an arena of life you haven’t yet covered – extracurricular activities, hobbies, or even personal relationships. Turn an otherwise stressful moment to your advantage!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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