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The mbaMission Blog

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Professor Profiles: Jeffrey Carr, NYU Stern School of Business [#permalink]

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New post 31 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Jeffrey Carr, NYU Stern School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school at attend, 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 Jeffrey Carr from New York University’s (NYU’s) Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

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Having taught at Stern for over a decade as an adjunct associate professor (earning him the 1996 Stern/Citibank Teacher of the Year Award), Jeffrey Carr (“International Marketing,” “Marketing Management,” and “Strategic Management”) joined Stern’s full-time faculty in 2007. He served formerly as the executive director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the school’s most respected marketing experts, featured by such major news outlets as NBC and the New York Times. Carr is president of Marketing Foundations Inc. and has worked on projects for Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, General Electric, Pfizer, Kodak, Time Inc., and Unilever. As one first year we interviewed said of his experience at Stern, “So far, the most impressive class has been ‘Marketing’ with Jeff Carr,” adding, “He’s super engaging and makes you think more about the consequences of your actions in marketing than simply teaching you the tools. The class structure is very informal, but all of the students are learning a ton.”

For more information about NYU Stern and 15 other top-ranked business 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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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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MBA News: Is Business School a Challenged Brand? [#permalink]

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New post 31 Dec 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Is Business School a Challenged Brand?
Business is changing, and with it, elite business education. As a recent article in the New York Times suggests, MBA students in the “data age” are seeking something more than traditional corporate strategy and finance. Increasingly, the business school brand seems to have fallen under the sway of Silicon Valley.

With MBA applicants reportedly shrinking by 1% in 2013 and applicants to graduate programs in computer science and mathematics growing by 11%, the article makes the case that business educators will need to seek out inventive ways of keeping apace with technology. More and more applicants to business school now possess undergraduate training in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. David B. Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School (HBS), has observed “an extraordinary change in the talent pool,” estimating that one-third of HBS’s incoming class of 900 MBA students have programming experience.

Cornell Tech in New York City is one example of a top-ranked school attempting to hybridize business with computer science. “Business schools are a legacy industry that is trying to adapt to a digital world,” explained an associate dean at the school. At the core of Cornell Tech’s innovative curriculum is a recognition that data-driven skills now hold relevance across industries.

A similar outlook has been adopted at other top-ranked programs in the United States with the introduction of dual-degree programs, entrepreneurship centers, start-up competitions, and digitally focused courses. Of the 150 elective courses offered at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) this year, for instance, 28% are new. “We’re responding to the best practices we see in the outside world like A/B testing and working with massive data sets,” commented Stanford GSB Dean Garth Saloner. “We’re adapting.”

Maintaining a competitive edge in the digital economy may demand a “pivot” toward hard technical skills, but as Greg Pass, chief entrepreneurial officer at Cornell Tech and former chief technology officer at Twitter, observes, demand also exists for “a more integrated, broader view of things.” Pass added that interdisciplinary MBA programs such as the one Cornell Tech offers are well positioned to “nurture people with those wider horizons, technical know-how and quick business reflexes,” according to the Times article.
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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: The Kellogg Ski Trip [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: The Kellogg Ski Trip
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

True to Kellogg’s reputation for fostering a robust community, the school’s annual Ski Trip is typically attended by a remarkable 750 or more first- and second-year students. According to a second year we interviewed, “Kellogg’s ski trip was the first and remains the biggest of its kind. Like everything else at Kellogg, the trip is student run … from logistics to marketing to sponsorship. … First- and second-year students work together to make it an unforgettable weeklong adventure.” In 2013, participating students traveled to Breckenridge, Colorado, in 2012, to Steamboat Resort in Colorado, and in 2011, to Telluride, Colorado, where participants stayed in mountainside condos. Students who wish to ski can avail themselves of three-, four-, or even five-day passes, while nonskiers can enjoy activities such as cooking classes, snowshoe lessons, and spa treatments (at reduced prices). The evenings feature theme parties, such as an annual ’80s party.

“The entire event is a phenomenon,” continued the second year. “It’s a great break for everyone … as first years blow off steam from their hectic initial quarter, while second years immerse themselves in their final ski trip.” Noting that all the spaces for the trip one year were claimed in just 20 minutes, a second year provided the following advice in a personal blog post: “You have to know you want to go and sign up early before the trip sells out, which happens every year.” A first year with whom we spoke expressed how impressed she was with Kellogg’s ski club for “planning the best week of business school for 800 people!” She added that Ski Trip is simply not to be missed: “It’s all of your closest friends, taking over a ski town for one full week with amazing parties and social activities (many of which are sponsored)!”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Kellogg 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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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Diamonds in the Rough: Managing Millions at Texas McCombs [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2015, 18:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Managing Millions at Texas McCombs
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools which are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Many MBA programs offer their students an opportunity to manage “real” money during their two years of study. Some schools give their students a few thousand dollars to work with, while others give their students a few million in endowment funds, but none offer as much as the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, where students manage $17.1M (yes, we said $17.1 million!). Through the MBA Investment Fund, L.L.C.—the first legally constituted private investment company managed by students—students oversee funds contributed by more than 40 investors in the Growth Portfolio, Value Portfolio, and Endowment Fund. Each year, up to 20 students are selected as portfolio managers through an application/interview process, and these students work with investment counselors on economic forecasting, risk management, and the pitching of stock and bond ideas, and then report to an advisory committee made up of faculty from the University of Texas’s department of finance and members of the investment community. If you are interested in investment management, would you not want to be able to say, “I helped select stocks for a multimillion-dollar fund”?
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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Friday Factoid: More Than Marketing at Kellogg [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: More Than Marketing at Kellogg
As we all know, Kellogg is just a marketing school, right? Actually, no. A quick glance at the school’s 2013 employment report (click on the “function” tab) reveals that 38% of that year’s graduating class accepted jobs in consulting, and only 17% went into marketing, its third most popular functional area after finance. (And this was not a one-time thing; these figures were 40% and 20%, respectively, in 2012, and 40% and 19% in 2011, for example.) Yes, McKinsey & Company, BCG, Bain & Company, Deloitte, and Accenture  were the school’s top hirers in 2013. Kellogg MBAs credit their management labs—wherein first-year students work on a consulting project and are mentored by consultants from leading firms (before their summer internships)—with preparing them for success in their internships and full-time positions. Meanwhile, a variety of other hands-on experiences are also available, including the “Global Lab” (students work with an international firm), “Advanced Topics in Marketing” (students analyze a marketing issue and present it to management), and “Leading the Mission Driven Organization” (students offer management expertise to nonprofits).  Not to worry, though—if you are interested in marketing, Kellogg still has ample resources for you.

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Kellogg or one of 15 other top business schools, please 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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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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GMAT Impact: The Master Resource List for Reading Comprehension (Part  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: The Master Resource List for Reading Comprehension (Part 4 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.

Part 1 of this series covered how to read Reading Comprehension (RC), and Part 2 introduced the first two major question types: Main Idea and Specific Detail. In Part 3, we discussed Inference questions and Why questions. If you have not already done so, start by reading those posts, and then continue with this final post in the series.

Put It All Together

All right, now you have all the pieces:

  • What to read and what not to read
  • How to find the main point
  • How to answer Main Idea, Specific Detail, Inference, and Why questions
We should now test your skills! This first article talks about how to read tough science passages.

Next, test your understanding of the passage on this Inference question, and then try this Why question.

Timing

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

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

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

Great, I Have Mastered RC!

Let us test that theory, shall we? Your next step is to implement all these techniques on your next practice test while also managing your timing well. Good luck!
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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Active Voice to Enliven Your Writing [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2015, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Active Voice to Enliven Your Writing
Many writers use the passive voice in their essays, but the best writers know it should be used only rarely, if ever.

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

Consider this example of the passive voice:

“The marathon was run despite my injury.”

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

“I ran the marathon despite my injury.”

Here are two more examples:

Passive: “The contract was awarded to us.”

Active: “We won the contract.”

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

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

Remember—you are the center and subject of your essays! The best way to tell your stories and explain your accomplishments is to make sure that you are the catalyst of the stories you tell. Using the active voice ensures that the admissions committee(s) will see you as an active person who makes things happen.
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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Mission Admission: How to Address a Layoff [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2015, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: How to Address a Layoff
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Many MBA applicants worry about the impact having been laid off might have on their business school candidacy. Do the admissions committees view a layoff as a sign of failure?

One thing to remember is that many MBA candidates share this worry—thousands of them worldwide, in fact. For the admissions committees to dismiss all such applicants outright would simply not be practical. Moreover, the admissions committees know that the global financial crisis and subsequent recession are at the root of the problem, not necessarily the individual candidate’s performance. Indeed, layoffs and firings are not the same thing, so admissions committees will examine your application with that in mind, seeking your broader story.

If you find yourself in this situation, what is important is that you show that you have made good use of your time since the layoff—studying, volunteering, seeking work, enhancing your skills, etc. Each candidate will react differently, of course, but you need to have a story to tell (whether you are applying in the late rounds or even for next year) of how you made the most of a difficult situation.
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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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MBA Career Advice: What If My Life Is Boring? [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: What If My Life Is Boring?
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.

One of the key concerns people have entering interviews is ensuring that they have enough different planned “stories” to answer all the possible questions they might get. When you consider that some interviews can last more than an hour and focus exclusively on your experiences, it may seem a daunting task to have such a wealth of stories. Do I have enough to talk about to fill 60 whole minutes?

Of course you do!! If you are over 25 years old, then you have lived for more than half a billion waking minutes. Surely you can fill a mere 60 with lively, vivid, and eloquent stories about some of those minutes. What makes it seem like you cannot is that you have not spent enough time remembering those experiences and speculating on how they might map to potential interview questions.

If you have been following along, you know some of the basic, core interview questions that you want to prepare for. And you also probably know that some questions will be surprises that you cannot directly prepare for. Regardless, the first step is reminiscing.

  • Remember your experiences. Think through the rich detail of your memories. Focus on what was challenging, what was unusual, who helped you, who stood in your way, and why the experience mattered to you. Pay attention to your emotions as well. Those will be an important part of the story.
  • Once you have a nice catalog of experiences – and we recommend actually creating a numbered list in rank order to the extent that you are able to prioritize them – then start thinking about how those experiences map to potential questions. Which ones would work for leadership? Which ones for teamwork? Which ones have an element of failure, mistake or disappointment in them, even if they ended successfully? And so forth.
  • Have a plan B. If your top choice story for both leadership and teamwork is the same, be sure that you have a back up story – or even better, two!! – for each question. You know that duplicating stories in interviews should be avoided. So be sure you have multiple stories that could fit with each type of question.
  • Be flexible!!! When you are in your interview, remember, there is no right answer. This is not a test. It is a conversation. And most experiences have many different aspects that are relevant. So, don’t sweat it if you have to use your plan C leadership story for that question. If you have already talked about your top accomplishments in an intelligent way, then assume the message got across.
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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Professor Profiles: Barry Nalebuff, Yale School of Management [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2015, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Barry Nalebuff, Yale School of Management
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school to attend, but the educational experience itself 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 Barry Nalebuff from the Yale School of Management (SOM).

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Perhaps best known as one of the founders of Honest Tea, Barry Nalebuff (“Competitive & Corporate Strategy”) is the Milton Steinbach Professor of Management at the Yale SOM. An expert in game theory and strategy, Nalebuff has been a professor at the SOM since 1989. A second year told mbaMission that in the classroom, Nalebuff “is a favorite for his sharp wit and insights.” His book The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life (W.W. Norton & Co., 2008) explores how almost all interactions, business and personal alike, have a game theory component. Nalebuff and Adam Brandenburger, a professor of business economics and strategy at NYU’s Stern School of Business, developed the concept of a new business strategy called co-opetition, which they write about in a book of the same name: Co-Opetition: A Revolutionary Mindset That Combines Competition and Cooperation: The Game Theory Strategy That’s Changing the Game of Business (Crown Business, 1997).

The book’s Web site describes co-opetition as “a method that goes beyond the old rules of competition and cooperation to combine the advantages of both. Co-opetition means cooperating to create a bigger business ‘pie,’ while competing to divide it up.” A first year noted in a Yale SOM Community Blog post, “Prof. Nalebuff never misses an opportunity to illustrate the ways in which companies can cooperate to grow the PIE (potential industry earnings). Of course, he then always reminds us that these same companies should compete aggressively to secure the biggest piece of that newly expanded PIE.”

For more information about the Yale SOM and 15 other top-ranked business 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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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B-School Chart of the Week: Which MBA Program Had the Best ROI in 2014 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: Which MBA Program Had the Best ROI in 2014?
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.

Attending a competitive business school may be your ticket to significantly improving your earning potential—but earning your MBA from a top-ranked program does not come cheap.

In a 2014 survey of nearly 10,000 graduating students across 112 business schools, Bloomberg Businessweek found that “investment in an elite school tended to take longer to recoup because these schools are so expensive and students forgo high wages.” In the publication’s survey, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, for instance, reported the highest median total compensation at graduation ($170,000) for its emerging MBAs. However, when this factor was weighed relative to its students’ average pre-MBA salary and the cost of attending the program ($126,750 per year), Stanford was ranked worst for return on investment.

Weighing the potential payoffs and opportunity costs associated with different schools is therefore an important step when you are considering your options for an MBA. Because tuition, fees, travel expenses, and extracurricular spending add up over the course of a two-year program, many MBA students find themselves carrying substantial debt post graduation. Those looking to make a more conservative investment in their education—especially outside the top ten programs—might do well to consider which MBA programs offer the best value for the money.

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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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Show Off Your Talent at the NYU Stern Follie [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2015, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Show Off Your Talent at the NYU Stern Follies
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

With skits such as “Sterndog Millionaire” and songs such as “We Didn’t Start the Crisis” (set to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”), the annual NYU Stern Follies talent show entertains students and faculty alike. Anyone at Stern can put together a team and apply to participate in the show. The Follies’ creative committee, which is made up of students, decides which skits and performers will ultimately be part of the show. “Follies is a huge deal,” remarked a first year with whom we spoke. “It was a lot of fun. It’s just nice to see your classmates kind of poke fun at being business school students.”

Modeled after the Academy Awards, the 2014 Follies was themed “The Torchy Awards” and invited students to vote on the best performances. Parodies of House of Cards, the game Candy Crush, and the band Daft Punk were among the show’s highlights. The theme of the 2013 Follies was “The Real World: Stern,” and the show included Meet the Cast promo videos of various MTV-inspired Stern characters. In 2012, the event was held on Friday the 13th and capitalized on that date with the theme of “So Much Talent, It’s Scary.” That year’s Follies included the skits “Hunger Games Theory” and “Stern Wars,” a spoof on Star Wars. Well-known professors, such as William Silber, are frequent guest stars in many Follies presentations.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at NYU Stern and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides. If you are applying, our NYU Stern Interview Guide can help you put your best foot forward.
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Diamonds in the Rough: The University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College o [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2015, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: The University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College 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.

Environmental sustainability and social impact are becoming increasingly important components of MBA programs. The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business is leading the way to more ethically oriented business training, with all of its required core courses and more than 100 electives involving social, ethical, or environmental components. Relevant class offerings include “Foundations of Ethical Business Conduct,” “Ethics in Emerging Markets,” “Sustainability: Accounting and Reporting,” “Ethics in Finance and Banking,” and “The Business of Sustainability.” From orientation to graduation, students enjoy ample opportunities to participate in community outreach. The school has two ethics centers, a faculty whose recent research explores such topics as how carbon emissions relate to firm value and an Interterm Intensive session, during which students can immerse themselves in corporate social responsibility issues.
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MBA News: McKinsey & Company Partner Named Next UVA Darden Dean [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2015, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: McKinsey & Company Partner Named Next UVA Darden Dean
This past April, Darden Dean Robert “Bob” Bruner announced his intention to step down from his position at the helm of the University of Virginia (UVA) business school after a decade-long tenure. This week, the UVA search committee announced in a press release that Scott C. Beardsley, a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, will succeed Bruner starting on August 1. Beardsley will serve as the school’s ninth dean and will also assume the Charles C. Abbott Professorship in Business Administration, a role typically held by the MBA program’s dean.

Darden Professor Kenneth Eades, who chaired the search committee, explained in an email to the Darden community that the final candidates for the deanship “took part in a rigorous and careful selection process, with representation from Darden’s various stakeholder groups, including alumni.” UVA Provost and Executive Vice President John D. Simon similarly emphasized the “highly competitive and global pool of candidates” from which the new dean was chosen, adding that Beardsley “brings to Darden a deep and global understanding of business.”

Beardsley is a graduate of Tufts University, as well as an MIT Sloan alumnus, and is expected to complete an executive doctorate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania in May. Having first started at McKinsey in 1989, he reportedly rose to senior partner faster than most. With experience in such varied areas of research as global strategy, regulation of the knowledge economy, and climate change mitigation, Beardsley has spoken at the World Economic Forum at Davos and is currently chair of the board of directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium.

“I believe deeply in Darden’s values and its clear and focused mission to improve the world by developing responsible leaders and advancing knowledge,” Beardsley stated. “I am very excited to be part of the University of Virginia family, and its Jeffersonian commitment to excellence.”

Beardsley is expected to “build upon the strong legacy of Bob Bruner,” commented UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan. The change may be among the most significant for Darden in the past ten years, but Sullivan asserts that Darden “is moving from strength to strength.”
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Friday Factoid: Career Assessment at HBS [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Career Assessment at HBS
With the job market mixed for new MBAs these days, Harvard Business School (HBS) has put together an arsenal of resources to help students in their job search. Students begin by completing an online self-assessment before they even arrive on campus. The CareerLeader tool, developed by a member of the HBS faculty, helps incoming students identify their life interests, professional skills, and “work/reward” values.  When they arrive on campus, first-year students then participate in a class that helps them interpret their CareerLeader results while discussing cases on the careers of HBS alumni. Later in the semester, but before official recruiting begins, students can attend Industry Weeks, which are on-campus programs and panels that provide overviews of a variety of industries and address how to plan a successful industry-specific job search. These are taught by career coaches, alumni, Career Services staff members, and company representatives.

First years can also join Career Teams, which are small groups of first-year students who use exercises—facilitated by trained second-year leaders—to help identify and advance their professional goals. Students may also arrange to meet with a career coach for one-on-one guidance or take advantage of one of the many student clubs that help prepare their members for interviews. Clearly, HBS is committed to helping its students not just find jobs, but find the “right” jobs.

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at HBS or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides. If you are applying, our HBS Interview Guide can help you put your best foot forward.
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B-School Insider Interview: Second-Year Student, Harvard Business Scho [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Insider Interview: Second-Year Student, Harvard Business School, Class of 2015
Born and raised in the South, this student earned a degree in economics from Princeton University before moving to California to work in mergers and acquisitions. Feeling a call to pursue something more meaningful and “be a part of … a tremendous force for good,” he eventually left investment banking to join the armed forces for several years. His next “logical step” was an MBA degree. [Note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.]

mbaMission: Did you arrive at HBS [Harvard Business School] knowing what you wanted to do when you graduated?

Harvard Business School Second Year: No, I really didn’t. I now have a much greater sense of that. I think people apply to certain places due to the power or the name brand of the school. My sense is that there’s not a huge difference in education really anywhere. You’re going to learn discounted cash flow analysis and marketing strategies at any business school in the nation—or the world, for that matter. So I think people apply where they think they’ll get a lift in their resume and their “marketability” and employability. So I certainly wouldn’t say I was any different from anyone else in that regard.

mbaMission: Did you apply to any other schools?

HBSSY: I did, yes. So I applied to HBS. I applied to Wharton. I applied to MIT Sloan, and I applied to [Duke] Fuqua.

mbaMission: And did you ultimately have a choice?

HBSSY: I did. For me, to be quite frank, the power of the HBS brand name is pretty tremendous. I think it would be disingenuous to say it’s not. And I just really loved HBS when I visited. I’d go up and see friends. I love the area. There are certainly differences [among the schools], and there are pros and cons everywhere, but I felt happy here. I felt like it was unlike anywhere else. Really, it’s a great place to be and certainly a good fit, and I have had numerous friends come through here, and it just made sense. It felt comfortable here. I think it’s kind of an initial sensation you get when you arrive on campus or you’re talking with folks here—just your comfort level walking around the classrooms or attending classes. I think that plays into it a great deal, and first impressions certainly help, too. I don’t have any regrets, obviously, but I also don’t have any counterpoint.

mbaMission: How have the winters been for you, considering that you’re from the South and have lived in California?

HBSSY: Yeah, the winters are pretty brutal. Last year was absolutely terrible, but I mean, it’s weather. It’s fun. It’s cold. You just have to find the right cold weather gear, and you’ll survive. What’s challenging is not necessarily the cold itself but how much that impacts your travel and your desire to go work out. Like, whether or not you want to walk across the street to go to the gym or run that half mile to the gym. You don’t think that that would impact you, but it kind of does. So it’s funny.

mbaMission: So do you feel the school has matched what you expected when you enrolled?

HBSSY:  Yeah, I certainly do. Quite honestly. I think I had an initial concern with HBS that it was just going to be a bunch of wealthy kids from Connecticut and upstate New York who were working in private equity or on a hedge fund for the last X number of years. So you think you’ll just walk into this very arrogant kind of gilded ivory tower, which I think is a common misconception, and it’s an initial fear I had. And it’s absolutely been the complete opposite. The people are quite humble and very kind, very intelligent, obviously, and very driven. And you really have to work to make people talk about themselves, which for me has been really nice.

mbaMission: How has the classroom experience been for you? Harvard primarily uses the case method, which not everybody is necessarily up for.

HBSSY: Again, I don’t have a counterpoint. I think people who will tell you that there are no cons to any school are being disingenuous. People learn in different ways. So the case method, and therefore the classroom discussions and the Socratic-style teaching method, it’s very interesting. It’s very much a “go home and learn it” thing, and you can use your classmates, but everybody tends to be pretty busy. So it’s very much the opposite of what you would imagine. In college, you’re given problem sets or such and have immediate access to “Okay, this is actually how you do it.” So this is less step-by-step, less regimented.

So one of the complaints levied potentially against HBS is that if you’re weak in a certain area, you will ultimately get that knowledge and you’re going to be competent leaving, but the learning process is much different. It’s going to be trial by fire rather than a regimented buildup. But I have enjoyed it. There are upsides and downsides to it, and I think it depends on the type of learner you are. I’m much more of a rote, kinetic, repetitive learner, where I like to learn the basic learning blocks, whether it’s marketing or finance or looking at term sheets or whatever. I think there’s definitely a noticeable difference.

But at the end of the day, HBS’s mission is to groom you to make C-Suite-level decisions and ask the right questions. So I think the environment has been really interesting, because I find that when I’m traveling or back home visiting family or out and about, you really start to unconsciously incorporate a lot of the discussions and questions into your daily life. It’s stuff as simple as thinking about random businesses you pass on the street, and you start wondering how their business works. It takes a lot of viewpoints, and it’s pretty helpful, certainly.

mbaMission: How does all that translate with respect to work load?

HBSSY: You can make a very healthy work-to-reward ratio. You could go home and prep literally all night for a case, you could prep for four hours and then not get called on in class, so you have to be a bit conscious of that. There’s an optimal ratio, an optimal amount of time to invest in the case to make sure you have solid grasp of it and have run the numbers on it.

mbaMission: I imagine that finding that ratio could be challenging.

HBSSY: Yeah. I think a lot of people are certainly willing to invest a little bit more time and make sure they are always on point with their comments and always offering a fresh idea. And I think there’s certainly great value in that, but you do have to personally find what the right ratio is for you. It’s hard. You’ve got a life to live, right? So you do get pulled in three or four directions, and it’s important to balance all those things. It’s challenging, but you’re here for a reason, so you need to make sure you do the work and contribute in some way.

mbaMission: How does your learning team fit into all this?

HBSSY: Here they call them discussion groups, and they meet the morning of classes. So for instance, classes start at 9:00 a.m., and the discussion groups meet at 8:00 a.m. The first half of the first semester, they’re mandatory, and the second half, they kind of become optional. There are pros and cons to it. I didn’t really do a great job of attending, and my argument was that I would have liked to have learned the material the night before rather than trying to cram the work. I want to learn the material the way I know it, so I can speak intelligently about it and not have you tell me about the analysis you did.

So I didn’t find it exceptionally helpful, because basically, it can become a useless discussion if you haven’t done the work or don’t have a good grasp of it in the first place. And I would rather stay up later and get the work done the way I know how and at least I would be able to reach out to my classmates the night before, rather than come in in the morning and not know what I was doing. So I kind of had a contrarian view on it, but some people kept it up and really enjoyed it. I just don’t think the timing is correct on it. So that was my big complaint. I’d rather take the extra time in the evening and be comfortable and learn it the night before.

mbaMission: What can you tell me about your FIELD [Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development] experience?

HBSSY:  So there’s FIELD 1, FIELD 2, and FIELD 3, and FIELD 1 is a shadow class, basically, where you learn to cooperate, you learn teamwork. They put you in challenging mental scenarios. You’re still on campus. You work through problems with people, whether it’s literally building things together or doing simulated computer games or having challenging discussions. And then FIELD 2 is where you travel to a city in a foreign country and partner with a local company and help them do something. So you’re literally a free consultant for about two weeks to a foreign firm. And the other one is FIELD 3, where you are given cash to build a business, and you compete and pitch your idea and actually set up a functioning, working business. And if you fail, you have to write about it. The FIELD program is the entire first year.

mbaMission: Where did you go for your FIELD 2?

HBSSY: I went to China. It was phenomenal to see and to be a part of that. I’d never been to China. But the city was pretty filthy. The air quality went off index when we were there. I felt terrible. I mean, coming from being an athlete in college and being in the military, I’m used to not being in great conditions, and I felt absolutely miserable. Just raging headaches. It was quite weird. Before we landed, they told us, “Don’t eat vegetables. Don’t eat anything that water would have touched. Don’t drink the water. Don’t drink milk. Don’t drink any of the juices.” I mean, I get it, there’s probably a reason for that. But I think at the end, people were just drinking canned Cokes and eating… I don’t know. It basically became a very weird existence where you’re just hoping to God you see a McDonald’s or something after a while. Those may have been exaggerated fears, but I think we got a weird intro to that.

mbaMission:  Were you able to choose where you wanted to go, or was it assigned?

HBSSY: There’s a system where you input your list. So you’re given 12 countries or 15 countries, and you rank your preferences on an index. And they have an internal system that compiles it all and analyzes it. You just basically rank your choices. I didn’t have anything I preferred over any other place, so it spit out China for me, but there are certainly a lot of other places as well.

mbaMission: And how was the learning experience over there?

HBSSY: It was tremendous. The people were fascinating. We really enjoyed our work. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say who the client was, but we worked with a small startup that was basically a client of a much larger state-owned enterprise. And the liaison startup was fantastic. They were all friendly. The learning experiment was fantastic. To be able to see the area was really incredible, and it has undergone such growth. And that’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. You were given an inside glimpse into the culture and learn what’s appropriate and the right way to think about problems in China versus the United States. It’s a very different mind-set.

mbaMission: And how did your venture go in FIELD 3?

HBSSY: FIELD 3 went well. It was cool. You create an idea—and you do this super rapidly, so it creates a lot of stress—but you have a group of like five people, and you throw your ideas out. “I think we should start, say, a home delivery service that delivers X.” Any business you can think of or you have an interest in, you throw out all your ideas, and everyone works through them to figure out what seems the most viable in the shortest amount of time. And that’s the other constraint, time, because it [FIELD 3] starts around February 1, when the second semester starts. So from February 1 to May 15, you have to set it up, make actual sales, and then on May 15, it all stops. It was neat.

mbaMission: You touched on this a little earlier—how would you describe your HBS classmates?

HBSSY: I think they’re tremendous people. There’s a great sense of humility among the people here. Quite ambitious, incredibly intelligent, very social, very aware of the world. People you would see and think, “Hey, this is someone I could work with or work for.” And I think people tend to be very humble and very nice and very welcoming and friendly. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that.

To go off on a bit of a tangent, HBS administration decided to start this Twitter campaign called, I think it’s #lifeatHBS. And I have huge problem with this, because I think it creates a perception that it’s just a giant party. So people will go to a game or travel to a city for a weekend, and they’ll take pictures out with friends or meeting someone famous and blast a picture on Instagram or on Twitter. And they tag it #lifeatHBS.

And I think that’s a great initiative, but it creates a perception that this is just a bunch of wealthy students wandering around the world, throwing themselves elaborate parties. And you find that there’s a tiny, tiny concentration of people who are abusing this HBS-created Twitter campaign, and it looks like it’s the most arrogant, wealthy people just living it up. So it creates a pretty bad perception, I think, for HBS. But that’s certainly not the administration’s stamp. It’s just what I’ve seen that looks really bad. I would caution people not to take that as the majority.

mbaMission: So you don’t feel that it’s representative of the true HBS experience.

HBSSY: Not remotely, not even close. I think it’s potentially well intentioned, like an inside glimpse, meant to show what we’re doing, maybe on a daily basis, but it’s been taken and run with in the opposite direction. I think the real picture would be a student sitting in the Spangler Center, working. People sitting around a table, talking. I think there’s a much different perspective that is not broadcast by that Twitter campaign. To be fair, the official HBS #llifeatHBS page is very moderate, benign, and quite diverse in what it displays. However, there are a select few students who abuse that tag on their photos. I don’t like that a bit, because I think it sends the wrong message.

mbaMission: So how has the school’s Career Development Office helped you in your job search?

HBSSY: Number one, they do an incredible job of reaching out. They send weekly emails with updates and little two-minute professional videos they’ve made of correct interview techniques or the right way to make phone calls or cold calls, so you can tell there’s an incredible amount of money and time and resources put into career development. And they have people working there who are incredibly sharp. They have people from different industries that they lured from Goldman [Sachs] or Bain [& Company] or McKinsey [& Company]. So they’re now the full-time HBS staff to help people understand what it’s like inside the machine. They’re very good.

With that being said, you can meet with people, but they can’t make the decision for you. They can tell you what a job is like, but at the end of the day, it’s your priorities—do you value your time or your money or your effort or time with your family? I think they do a great job and invest heavily in it, and it’s very apparent. Because ultimately, that’s what props up the name brand of any school. So it behooves them to make their career development group a really sound institution. That’s the case here, certainly. I know some people were helped by it, but I was kind of in a weird limbo where I didn’t necessarily find it as helpful—but that was due to my internal conflict, and they were very much open to helping me.

mbaMission: Do you know where you’re going after you graduate?

HBSSY: I worked this summer and got an offer to return and had a great time. I don’t think that’s what I’m going to do, though. I’ve actually started a company here, quite recently, with a classmate. So we’re going to pursue this full-time after we leave. We’ve gotten enough momentum with it, and we’ve had enough indications of momentum and forward progress that we’re going to probably pursue this after we leave in May.

mbaMission: That’s exciting! Did you think coming into HBS that you might end up being an entrepreneur?

HBSSY: No, absolutely not. I mean, I think that’s an overly generous term to call me an entrepreneur. I think it’s more like the blind leading the blind. Or like some village somewhere is missing its idiot. Our business venture addresses a problem we have been able to frame and understand the pain points of. Honestly, being here, you learn so much about how to think about businesses and how to structure and analyze them and how to understand the financials and the projections and everything else that it kind of hit us that this is a huge problem we could potentially go and solve. But I don’t think of myself as an entrepreneur and much less as a successful entrepreneur, certainly. I am a business school student who’s in debt and trying to make something work.

And it’s a completely different risk-reward profile. It is a powerful incentive to know that you can leave here making, you know, let’s call it $200,000 a year all in, including bonuses, the moment you walk out the door. You’ve got a pretty predictable life. Your hours are going to be fairly predictable. You know the salary is going to be there, your health insurance. It’s a very difficult thing to turn down. So I think we’re just a little bit nutty, that that’s what we’re going to go do. But if you think you can make it work, it’s exciting.

mbaMission: Were there any particular classes that made you feel like starting your own business was now an option? Or a certain professor or experience?

HBSSY: No, I think it was all the classes, everything from finance to entrepreneurship to marketing. It’s literally everything. You learn how to analyze and think about business in the right way to have your niche, defend your market position, think about how you do pricing and compensation and all aspects of that. Honestly, a lot of that is through the cases and the courses, but it’s also through listening to your peers and your classmates and your friends who have worked in the industry and made really great comments. So I think those individual data points added up over two years lead you to think you can at least give it a shot.

mbaMission: Sure. Have you been involved in any of the student clubs?

HBSSY: I have, yes. But I think there’s a huge problem with this, though I’m probably naturally a skeptical individual. The clubs are a different animal as well, where people say, “Hey, if you want to be in private equity or if you want to work for a consulting firm, you need to join this club.” So you show up as a first-year student without anyone telling you to hold up and really think about it. You show up for the club fair in the gym, and there are tables set up, and there’s this overriding sense of social pressure. And you’re like, “Are you kidding me? I’m 29 years old. I don’t succumb to social pressure.” But you see all your friends signing up for the Euro Business Club, and you think, “I probably need to go sign up for that. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to work for X company in Western Europe.”

Please, this is my opinion only, but no part of any club is going to get you a job working at any given employer. They’re hiring you based on what they like in your resume and your experience, your background, your personality. The fact that you’re in a club or not in a club isn’t the key. Not to mention these clubs have annual dues, so you have to spend between $30 and $100 to join a club for the year. And it basically just covers speakers and mixers and such. That money adds up. It [being in a club] does convey your interest in a field, but it’s not getting you the job without going through the same interviews as your peers. I don’t know, I wish I had had better info when I got here, because I would not have joined any clubs. I have not joined any clubs this year.

mbaMission: So that wasn’t particularly helpful for you, it sounds like.

HBSSY: No. They will basically give you discounted tickets to go hear someone speak. So if you’re in a club, you’ll get like a $35 ticket as opposed to a $100 ticket. Some people enjoy it, but I’m a bit more skeptical of it. Last year, I spent a lot of money to join clubs and then never used them. But the flip side is that some companies literally download the clubs’ resume books. So that is a good counterpoint to my argument. So take it with a grain of salt, certainly.

mbaMission: As for the HBS facilities, what would you say are the best parts or maybe the not so great parts?

HBSSY: So there are two kinds of on-campus living arrangements. One is called SFP—it’s Soldier’s Field Park—and those are graduate student apartments. You literally live in an apartment setting with hundreds of other students. And then there are the dorms, which are tiny. It feels like 20 square feet. It’s absolutely miniscule, so after the first year, there’s a pretty big movement of people who try to live off campus, if possible.

I’m fortunate. I live off campus, but that’s because I got good insight from my buddies who were here before me. So I took their apartment. The dorms are one place I would never want to live, just because they are so small. The other challenge is that if you live on campus, you are really limited in your ability to go get food every week because there aren’t grocery stores nearby. But I can take the T [Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ], and it’s pretty efficient. It’s one stop away. You have your own apartment with a full kitchen when you live in SFP or the One Western Avenue apartments, but if you live on campus in the dorms, you don’t even have a stove in your room. It’s like college dormitory–style shared oven.

mbaMission: Like a shared kitchen per floor or per wing?

HBSSY:  Yes, a shared kitchen for a floor. I eat an incredible amount of food, so it would never work. If you’re on campus, it is very easy to go out to eat every night or eat on campus at the student center every night. The hurdles to get groceries and to store groceries are really challenging. So that’s one aspect.

And I don’t like the gym. It’s really small. And again, this is a very esoteric comment, but I mean, this is Harvard. It’s very old. It’s a venerable institution. It has a ton of money, yet it’s got a very small student workout facility. To be fair, the gym at HBS—Shad [Hall]—is a private gym for use exclusively by the business school students and HBS alums. It is not open to the public or other Harvard undergrads or grad students, so that’s nice.

And they’ve got all the machines, but it’s just very small and very limited, and it gets a lot of use. So I don’t go to Shad anymore. I joined a gym closer to my apartment. It’s much less crowded, and during the winter when the temperature goes down into the teens, I don’t feel like making that 15-minute walk back [to Shad]. So I would rather just work out nearer to my apartment. It’s just kind of weird to me that Shad is so small.

mbaMission: How would you describe the social scene?

HBSSY: There are two answers to that question. One is your first year, there’s this huge social or external pressure to go to all the parties. Your section kind of becomes this centrifugal force pulling you out. And it seems like there’s an event every night. And every email that comes out is “the party you don’t want to miss” or “the party of the year.” And this is obviously ridiculous. So what you find is that everybody will get a ticket and wait until the day of the event, and then it becomes a buyer’s market because so many people decide not to go. Buying a cheap ticket is pretty easy, because people are exhausted or realize they don’t want to go. So with that as a context, the second year, it’s a massive retraction from that, where you’ve got your own plans. So you find the social pressure to go out and do things is almost nonexistent. And it’s really challenging, in fact, to be able to sit down and see people, because you’re just so busy doing your own thing. That’s been my experience.

mbaMission: Did you attend any events that you particularly enjoyed?

HBSSY:  I think it’s nice, your first year, if your section has a retreat. It’s great, and you spend a lot of time with these folks. So it’s nice to meet and talk to people and just be around folks socially. Whether you go to a ski lodge in Vermont or drive down to the Cape or something, it’s nice. However, I have not been to a social event that I thought was “life altering.” There have been some great speakers, but that’s a different thing. That’s not related to the social scene. And I think it would be extreme to say that a party or a social event had changed your life, I guess unless you meet your wife or your husband there. But the social events are certainly fun and enjoyable.

mbaMission: What can you tell me about the faculty? Any standout professors?

HBSSY:  Yeah, I’ve had a class with Rawi Abdelal, and he was my BGIE [“Business, Government, and the International Economy”] professor. I think incredibly highly of him. He has rave reviews. He’s loved by his students. He is a very gifted orator, a very, very tremendous speaker with the ability to guide the discussion and obviously intelligent about international affairs and international government.

The one thing that I would say is that until you’re inside the machine, a good professor is a good professor anywhere, and I honestly think all of them here have been tremendous. I mean, there’s Joe Fuller, the founder of Monitor Group. He teaches “The Entrepreneurial Manager” and is just an encyclopedia of relevant worldly knowledge. And what’s interesting too is that there’s a mix of professors who are academic and professors who are practitioners. So you have people who spend a lifetime working and come back with incredibly sharp and relevant experiences. And some professors are brilliantly gifted academics. So you can see the two perspectives, and it’s different in the teaching style, but I think there’s a healthy mix.

mbaMission: What do you think more people should know about HBS that they probably don’t?

HBSSY: Probably three things. So the first thing is it is a lot of work. The perception that it is not is patently false. It’s a high volume of work, and it’s challenging. So that perception that you don’t work and life is a giant party, that’s absolutely false. First year especially is quite challenging. You’ve got a lot of things going on. There are times you can maybe cool off on the amount of work that you invest, but there’s a lot of truth behind the idea of “garbage in, garbage out.” So if you’re not willing to at least do some minimal work at home, then you’re not going to be a good student, you’re not going to contribute to discussions, and you’re not going to learn anything. Actions do have consequences. It’s not a cake walk. It becomes easier as time goes forward, but first year is very challenging.

The second thing is that HBS—or grad school, generally—costs a lot of money. They publish what they think a conservative budget should be, and when I was going in, I think it was $104,000. I think that is off. I mean, if you want to not live like a pauper, you are looking at well north of that amount of money. Because whether it’s going out to eat, going to social events, or going on trips—and not even an overwhelming amount of those things—it really adds up quickly. But there is a huge external push to go do things with your section or go on a trip over spring break or whatever it is. It is much more expensive than is published, I think.

And that’s not because this is HBS, it’s just because you are a grown, working person, and for the last few years of your life, your expenses have risen to meet your income, and it’s quite challenging to remove yourself from the lifestyle you’re used to living. So you want to retain some semblance of that. It’s expensive, but everybody does leave here with a comparable amount of debt.

mbaMission: Sure.

HBSSY: And maybe the final thing is that you’re not going to get a job just because you came here. Just having HBS on your resume does not mean you are going to get a job over any other business school alum, and they’re not going to get a job over you. It’s all based on your background, your experience, your competitive edge, and whether or not they like you. And so this is a great platform, but it is not the end all, be all.

And that being said, it is not a guarantee that you can switch careers easily. If you want to work for a hedge fund, I can assure you that you’re not going to come from a background with no finance, no banking, and no private equity and get a job at a hedge fund just because you want to and it says HBS on your resume. That’s not happening. However, you absolutely do have the opportunity to change careers. The vast majority of HBS alums do change careers in the years following graduation, but there are certain careers that are more challenging to switch into.

It helps you broaden your horizons, but oh, by the way, there are hundreds and hundreds of other students who do have a background in something you would like to do, and chances are they’re going to get hired, not necessarily you. It is still a competitive environment. I mean, I have been turned down by many firms. I attribute that to my having a different background and a different skill-set. And someone who’s got a much more relevant background is more likely to get the job.

mbaMission: Well, thank you so much for your time and all your insight into the HBS program.

HBSSY: No problem. It is a tremendous place with tremendous people. I’m glad I could help!
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GMAT Impact: Test Your Critical Reasoning Skills: Are Top GMAT Scorers [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Test Your Critical Reasoning Skills: Are Top GMAT Scorers Less Ethical?
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.

Some interesting—and alarming—articles have been making the rounds, following on the heels of an academic study published by professors at the University of Akron and Cleveland State University. The more reputable articles report such sweeping conclusions that I actually wondered whether the journalists got it wrong, so I went to the source (I can link only to the abstract here, but I did read the full study).

When I read the study’s methodology, I knew I had my next article topic. We are going to test our Critical Reasoning (CR) skills on an actual academic study! You might have to do something similar in business school (admittedly with a business case, not an academic study), so let us test your B-school readiness now!

The basic controversy is this: the study claims to have found a correlation between high GMAT scores and less ethical behavior. The study also concludes that this correlation is causally related (more on this in the full article; I provide the link later in this post) and makes some high-level recommendations to business schools about changes they should make in how they use the GMAT. Because the study has gotten some publicity, several journalists have expanded on the conclusions, sometimes to the point of hyperbole (one suggested, I assume in jest, that schools start selecting students based on lowest GMAT score!).

A blog post is not long enough to discuss the topic fully, so I will give you an introduction here and then send you off to the full article.

The article first defines correlation and causation. If you have heard these terms before, try to articulate to yourself what they mean before you move ahead and read the article. We also discuss assumptions, which you have run across during your study of Critical Reasoning. How does the GMAT use assumptions?

We then take a look at a very small portion of the study, a factor called “power distance” (the study examines many different factors that might affect ethical behavior). Power distance refers to the level of hierarchy in a given company or culture; a high power distance means that a large or rigid hierarchy exists and separates people at different levels in a company or society. This is where you will get to exercise your Critical Reasoning chops!

Okay, are you ready? Here you go: Are Top GMAT Scorers Less Ethical? Let us know what you think!
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 Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Work Performance Is All That Matter [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2015, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Work Performance Is All That Matters!
Because you spend so many of your waking hours at work and because the MBA is the vehicle you are choosing to use to drive your career forward, you may naturally believe that your professional experiences are all that matter to the admissions committees. Let us be clear: you need to have (and share) strong professional stories, but top-tier business schools are looking for much more than just examples of professional excellence. If you discuss only your work experiences in your application, you will present yourself as a one-dimensional character, and today’s managers need to demonstrate that they can handle a multitude of tasks, situations, and personalities—both inside and outside the workplace.

We find that the most common error applicants commit is discussing only their work accomplishments, thereby giving no sense of who they truly are as well-rounded human beings. Although professional accomplishments definitely have a place in your applications, do not go overboard and focus on this one aspect of your candidacy to the exclusion of all else—balance is crucial. To the best of your ability, strive to offer a mix of accomplishments from the professional, community, and personal realms. Your goal is to keep the reader learning about you with each essay. A diversity of stories will reveal that you have the skills to accomplish a great deal in many different fields and circumstances, which is the hallmark of a modern general manager.
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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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Lead with Your Goals [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2015, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Lead with Your Goals
When business school candidates read an essay prompt, they often interpret it quite literally. For example, when a school asks applicants a question like “What will you contribute to our school’s community, and how will being part of it help you extend your professional vision?” many applicants assume that they must answer each subquestion within the broader question in the exact order the questions were asked. However, this is not true. Such questions are indeed quite flexible, and sometimes, by pursuing your own structure, you can better engage your reader.

We have found that for overrepresented candidates who have unique professional goals, one strategy that can be quite helpful is leading with goals instead of professional history. After all, “typical” experience is not as captivating as unusual (but realistic!) ambitions. So, the Indian technologist who plans to open a boutique hotel or the male investment banker who aspires to start a competitive windsurfing circuit can use these bold goals to stand out from the start.

We must emphasize, though, that such candidates need to have (and show!) a compelling connection to their goals, and we do not suggest that overrepresented candidates strive to imagine or create “wild” goals just to catch the admissions committee’s attention. However, if you have a profound connection to an unusual goal, then responding to a school’s questions in a differing order and ensuring that your goals are out front could make a difference.
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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Mission Admission: Choosing a Safety School [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2015, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Choosing a Safety School
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

For many candidates, Round 3 is a time to sit back, relax, and wait for the MBA admissions committees to make their decisions. However, for others, the third round is a time to be conservative and apply to a safety school. But what constitutes a safety school?

Although determining exactly what a safety school is can be difficult (given that many variables are involved, and the definition can shift depending on the candidate in question), a good place to start is with scores. If a candidate’s GMAT score and GPA are significantly higher than the target school’s averages, then the school is—at first glance, at least—a “safe” choice. So, for example, if you have a 750 GMAT and a 3.8 GPA and you are applying to a school with  a GMAT score middle 80% range of 620–730 and an average GPA of 3.4 for the most recent entering class, you are off to a promising start.

Next, you might consider your work experience relative to the target program. For example, many Goldman Sachs investment banking “alums” apply and are admitted to the so-called M7 schools (Stanford GSB, Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, Columbia, and MIT Sloan). If you happen to be such a candidate, choosing a school outside this tier would certainly make you more competitive (keeping in mind scores, community service, and recommendations as well).

Finally, you might consider the program’s general selectivity. If you consider yourself a competitive candidate at a program that accepts approximately 18% of applicants, applying to one with an acceptance rate closer to 30% may be a safe option.

Before you start applying to any safety schools, however, ask yourself this relatively simple question: “Would I actually go if I got in?” Spending time applying to an MBA program that you would not be willing to actually attend is pointless. If you choose to apply to such a school (as some do), anyway, you will—rather ironically—find yourself with no “safety” net at all.

To explore potential safety schools typically ranked outside the top 15, check out our Diamonds in the Rough blog 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

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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