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MBA Career Advice: Prepare for the Worst and Be Early [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2015, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Prepare for the Worst and Be Early
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 know, of course, that if you are late for an interview, you are almost invariably not going to get the job and, in some cases, you won’t even get the interview. Do we even need to state that? Well, we just did. But, this blog post is not as much about being on time as it is about preparing to be early – very (very!) early.

If an interview is important to you – and it should be important to you, because otherwise you have no reason to be interviewing – then you should be planning to be very (very) early for your appointment. Let’s assume that you have an appointment at 12:00PM and let’s say that it takes you 30 minutes to get to the appointment. So, when should you leave?

  • 11:30
  • 11:15
  • 11:00
Which one is it? If you answered, “I know this is a trick question, because I would leave before 11,” then you are right (and probably are a super-thorough and professional person). Here is your rule of thumb for being on time for an important interview: double the commute time and add fifteen minutes.

So, if your interview is at 12 and you have a half-hour commute, then you should leave at 10:45 at the latest. This way, you have a 30 minute train delay or traffic jam built into your trip and then you still have an additional 15 minutes to spare. If you are interviewing in another city, fly in the night before. In addition to making the right impression – interviewers love to see the diligence and dedication it takes to be early – it will put you in the position to perform your best in the interview.

When you arrive, get some water, settle yourself, and collect your thoughts. Nothing will derail your confidence more than having to jump into an interview without a chance to focus. If you start the interview frazzled, sweaty, and stressed out from all the energy it took you just to arrive on time, you won’t perform your best. Of course, no one will penalize you for giving yourself even more time than that.
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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Dean Profiles: Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Dean Profiles: Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School
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 Glenn Hubbard from Columbia Business School (CBS).

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Glenn Hubbard
 was appointed dean of CBS in 2004, having been at the school for nearly 20 years and having served as the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, the school’s senior vice dean, and codirector of the entrepreneurial program. He is also well known for having been an economic advisor to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012 and a leading designer of the 2003 Bush tax cuts, which he helped implement while chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers.

After being criticized for his ties to the financial services industry in the 2010 documentary Inside Job, Hubbard has made a more concerted effort to bring professional responsibility to the fore of the CBS curriculum and to require faculty to fully disclose their professional activities outside of teaching. While many business schools responded to the recent financial crisis by adding standalone ethics courses to their curricula, Hubbard told the Wall Street Journal in 2011, “I don’t think students pay attention to [ethics] the way they do when it’s integrated into your marketing course, into your operations course, into your finance class.” With the launch of a new flexible curriculum in 2008 and further curricular changes in 2013, the school has reportedly worked to incorporate this integrated approach to teaching ethics directly into its core components. The updated curriculum also engenders what Hubbard has promoted as the three most essential directives for business students: “analyze, decide, and lead.”

Hubbard is often the good-natured subject of student sketches in the CBS Follies comedy show and has been known to even make a personal appearance now and then. Videos from past Follies in which the dean has featured can be found on YouTube, including a musical parody of “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, in which Hubbard covets Ben Bernanke’s 2006 appointment as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

For more information about CBS 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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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
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B-School Chart of the Week: More MBA Jobs and Higher Salaries in 2015? [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2015, 19:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: More MBA Jobs and Higher Salaries in 2015?
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.

Last week, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)—the organization that administers the GMAT exam—released the summary results of its annual employer survey. Second-year MBA students hitting the job market in a few months will be especially happy to learn that job prospects appear to be improving.

Indeed, the forecast looks promising for 2015 MBA job seekers, and it seems consistent with the larger economic picture as well. According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, approximately 246,000 jobs, on average, were added monthly in 2014, making the past year the best one for employment since 1999 (at least in the private sector).

In addition to better employment opportunities, the GMAC survey revealed a promising outlook for increased compensation for newly hired business school graduates. Just under one-half of the 169 employers polled said they anticipated raising base salaries to match inflation, and 18% intended to boost salaries even higher than that.

As Bloomberg Businessweek notes, employers questioned by GMAC seemed to favor the MBA over other graduate degrees: “Specialized programs may be in vogue right now, cropping up at business schools around the country. But the data suggest MBAs still have a leg up on graduates of other master’s programs when it comes to demand from employers and salary outlook—at least for 2015.”

That is not to imply that earning an MBA guarantees you a job in any industry, however. The GMAC report anecdotally states that such fields as investment banking remain oversaturated with highly qualified business school graduates. Keeping up with the demand for technical skills such as data analysis also seems to be a decisive factor in maintaining job market value. As employers continue to seek more digitally skilled workers, MBAs may need to look ahead to meeting that demand.

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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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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Learn about Energy at MIT [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Learn about Energy at MIT
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.

Held each spring since 2006, the MIT Energy Conference attracts technologists, investors, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and energy professionals who are defining the world’s energy future. The conference theme in 2014 was “Defining Challenges. Advancing Solutions.” In addition to keynote addresses from the vice chairman of HIS Inc. and a former secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, a keynote plenary invited representatives from RockPort Capital, the New England Clean Energy Council, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Algenol Biofuels, and the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to discuss the topic “Building an Ecosystem for Energy Entrepreneurship.” Panel sessions focused on such topics as “The Natural Gas Boom: Energy Sustainability and Environmental Challenges,” “The Power of Energy: Geopolitics in Evolving Global Energy Frontiers,” and “Innovations in Clean Tech Finance.”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at MIT Sloan 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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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Diamonds in the Rough: Kelley Academies at the Kelley School of Busine [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2015, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Kelley Academies at the Kelley School of Business
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.

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business believes strongly in experiential learning, and its Kelley Academies stand at the heart of this model. Each Kelley student can choose an academy—a practical and intensive specialization—to complement his or her educational experiences. Business Marketing, Consulting, Supply Chain, and Capital Markets are among the six options. In these academies, students build personal and professional relationships with their Academy Directors, who have contacts in their industry, to facilitate greater career opportunities. Although each academy includes a slightly different “training plan,” most combine classroom curriculum with three Academy Intensive Weeks, during which students stop all other course work for a “full-immersion” experience. Most academies also meet on Fridays for guest speakers and industry discussions. According to Philip Powell, a clinical associate professor of business economics and public policy at Kelley, “The classes teach you the science of what you want to do; the academies will teach you the art.” That art—the hands-on experiences and real-world projects in a specialized field—ensures that the school’s MBAs graduate with the skills and experience necessary to be seen as experts worth hiring.
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: Six Traits to Help You Stand Out As an Entrepreneur [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Six Traits to Help You Stand Out As an Entrepreneur
These days, a successful entrepreneur needs more than an MBA to reach the top. In this age of increasing market volatility, many individuals who strike out on their own find that a diploma alone is not enough to help them achieve their goals. In fact, they often need toughness and tenacity in equal amounts, plus the ability to make connections and keep improving, despite obstacles.

In a recent article for Inc. magazine, six prominent business leaders (only one of whom appears to have an MBA) identify what qualities are needed to differentiate entrepreneurs in the industry. Interviewees range from the CEO of an e-commerce site to the executive chairman of a facility management service provider to the president and CEO of a trucking and logistics solutions provider. Not surprisingly, an abundance of grit and an ability to understand the basics are essential to being successful entrepreneurs, but top-notch businesspeople must also build relationships, strive for constant improvement, and set an example in whatever they do. Lastly, the capacity to stay on course is critical for anyone at the helm of an entrepreneurial initiative, though some may find this a difficult task, given today’s market challenges.
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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Friday Factoid: Recruiting while Tailgating at Ross [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2015, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Recruiting while Tailgating at Ross
College football is big in Ann Arbor, and Ross students appear to enjoy the season with real fervor. Tailgates precede nearly every game, and some tailgate parties are even sponsored by corporations and serve as mini recruiting events. At these sponsored tailgates, corporate representatives—who are usually Michigan alumni—network with Ross students. And generally, the more important the game, the more senior the executives representing the sponsor company! We should also mention “The Bus”—a literal school bus painted to look like a Michigan football helmet that is owned by roughly 50 Ross students and has been passed down from class to class each year since the early 2000s. Originally conceived as a way to centralize tailgating for the Ross community, “The Bus” is present at every home game as well as at least one away game each season, serving as home base for spirited tailgate parties. Even the dean has been known to visit tailgates at “The Bus”—which has its own Facebook page! A first-year student with whom we spoke said that “Bus tailgates at home football games” were not to be missed, adding that they are “Lots of fun, and you get to hang out with the whole class.”

For more information on Michigan Ross or 15 other leading 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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Cambridge Judge Business School Essay Analysis, 2014–2015 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Cambridge Judge Business School Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
Have you ever dreamed of living in a small English university town? If so, doing so is now easier than ever—your opportunity is just 700 words away! Cambridge Judge Business School in the United Kingdom no longer requires applicants to submit three essays, and although that might seem like good news at first, it does limit your opportunities to market yourself. Here are our suggestions for how to approach each of the program’s two remaining prompts…

The following are the main essay questions on the Cambridge Judge MBA application:

1. What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (200 words)

We hope that at some point in your past, you have failed spectacularly, because you need fodder for this essay! That said, if your “most spectacular” failure was rather pedestrian in nature, that is okay. The school is not asking for you to recount something that would necessarily be considered spectacular in the most objective sense; the admissions committee is merely asking about something that was “most spectacular” for you personally.

In only 200 words, you can still write a revealing, if short, narrative. A surefire way to fail at writing an effective essay for this prompt, though, is to start with “My most spectacular failure was…” Instead, just leap into the action of your story, and within the first 75 words, show that something was at stake for you. After all, you have not failed if you faced no real consequences for your actions.

After revealing how you failed, you need to demonstrate that you learned from the experience. Avoid clichés about refusing to give up. Show that you can be honest about your weaknesses, and assess a character trait that you believe prevented you from succeeding in the situation you describe. Rather than shifting the blame onto others, ensure that you communicate that you have vulnerabilities, because business schools do not expect perfection—they seek human beings who are capable of learning and improving.

2.What are your short and long term career objectives? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them? What do you hope to gain from the degree and how do you feel it will help you achieve the career objectives you have? (please do not exceed 500 words)

Because personal statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

 
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
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GMAT Impact: Story Problems: Love Them or Hate Them? [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2015, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Story Problems: Love Them or Hate Them?
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 people love story problems. They involve a story! So they should be easier than “pure” math.

Others hate them. We have to figure out what the problem is talking about, and then we have to translate the words into math and then we have to come up with an approach.

You know what I mean, right? Those problems where you think everything will be fine, and then about two minutes in, you realize that everything you have written down does not make any sense, but you are sure that you can do it, so you try again, and you get an answer, but that answer is not in the answer choices, and now the clock is approaching 3.5 minutes and… argh!

If that describes your typical relationship with story problems, then I have the solution for you. You need to learn how to make story problems REAL. Not standardized test questions… not abstract math problems… but real scenarios that you are living right now.

When you want to calculate an 18% tip, do you pull out a calculator? If you need to figure out whether you are going to make it to the office before or after your boss, who started earlier but is driving at a slower rate, would you start writing equations?

No way! Instead, you find a way to “work it out” using real-world logic and back-of-the-envelope calculations. Guess what? This works on the GMAT, too—you just need to learn how.

Over on the ManhattanGMAT blog, I have a two-part article that will teach you how to make story problems real. Read the first part, but before you go to the second part, open up your Official Guide and look for some lower-numbered story problems. (You can even redo problems that you have done in the past.) Practice approaching the problem from the point of view of “What would I do if I actually had to figure this out in the real world?” After you start to feel more comfortable with this (which might take a week or two!), go ahead and take a look at the second half of the article, which discusses a harder problem of the same type.

Just one note before I release you: getting used to approaching the problems this way will take time. You have been trained for 20+ years to approach math problems as, well, math problems! Expect to feel uncomfortable and slow as you develop this new skill to approach story problems as real-world problems.
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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: At Least I Do Not Have to Rework My Re [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2015, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: At Least I Do Not Have to Rework My Resume…
Many MBA candidates do not thoroughly consider and revise their resumes for their business school applications, often because an existing version may already be saved on their computer. We strongly caution you not to underestimate the value of this document—the admissions committees in fact review applicants’ resumes carefully, because they serve as a road map of each candidate’s career. In an earlier entry in our Admissions Myths series, I Need to Tell It All! (Part I), we highlighted that your resume is not the place to “stuff” all your life experiences. Somewhere between the two extremes—cramming your resume with information and ignoring it altogether—lies the ideal: a clear, easily scannable, action-/results-oriented resume, one that tells a story that will capture the attention of an admissions officer who has reviewed hundreds of similar files.

One of the most common errors candidates make is leaving their resume in an industry-specific format, filled with jargon and acronyms recognizable only to an expert in their field. Remember, the admissions committee is not hiring you for a task but is trying to understand your progress, accomplishments, and even your character. Each bullet point in your resume needs to highlight achievement more than positional expertise.

As you prepare your resume to be included in your application, think about your audience and recognize that your resume can be a strategic tool to reinforce certain characteristics that are important to you—characteristics that may complement information provided in other parts of your application. For example, if you aspire to a career that is international in nature, you may place more emphasis on your international experience in your resume. Or, if you come from a field that is not known for its management orientation—you were a teacher who administered a school’s $50,000 student activities budget, for example—you may use your resume to emphasize disciplines that are important to an MBA admissions audience.

Some candidates are surprised to realize that one page can communicate so much and therefore deserves a significant level of attention. Investing some time in this short but crucial document is definitely worth the effort.
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 Just One Famous Quote per Application [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Just One Famous Quote per Application
Sometimes, incorporating a famous quote (or perhaps a lesser-known quote by a well-known person) into one of your application essays can add a little something special to the story you are trying to tell. If the quotation truly enhances your message in a significant way, it can serve as an effective tool, making your submission that much more compelling. Consider the following examples:

Example 1:

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt’s words are as true today as when he spoke them. The essence of a manager is…

Example 2:

As Peter F. Drucker said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” I have found the distinction between management and leadership especially important…

However, some candidates may be tempted to use a quotation as a kind of crutch, essentially relying on someone else’s clever or poignant wordsmanship in place of their own. Think of using a quotation as a way of enriching an already interesting narrative, rather than as an easy shortcut to a more impressive essay.

Before using a quotation in your writing, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Does the quotation fit the essay’s main theme?
  • Does the quotation reflect who you are or what you believe?
  • Does the quotation truly enhance the essay?
 

If you can answer “yes” to all three questions, incorporating the quotation into your essay might be a good idea. But first make sure that your story is sufficiently strong to stand on its own—without the quote—and limit yourself to just one quotation per application (not per essay).
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Oxford University (Said Business School) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015 [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2015, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Oxford University (Said Business School) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
The Said Business School at the University of Oxford is an old school, and its application essay requirements are truly “old school” as well, with three essays totaling 1,500 words. Relative to some other programs’ applications, Said’s just might exhaust you! Moreover, the questions themselves are quirky. Our analysis follows…

What should Oxford expect from you? (Maximum 500 words)

So cryptic, Said!

Your first instinct may be to use the 500 words this program (or “programme”—this is a British school, after all) provides to discuss your career, but before you go down that path, take a moment to look at the school’s next essay prompt, which asks about your career development over the next five years. You may be better off, therefore, saving your career discussion for that essay instead. In some ways, your options for this essay are wide open, with the exception of that particular five-year time period. Instead, you could explore, for example, what you will contribute as a student at Oxford, what your longer-term professional plans are, or what your values are and how they will manifest throughout your studies and life. This essay prompt is only slightly more confining than the school asking the simple one word question “why?”

The key here—no matter which approach you ultimately take—is to get personal. Strive to send a message that the school should expect something of note from you, that you have considered your future impact and are on a mission to reach that point. In revealing that future impact, do not dwell on the past, but do provide your reader with some context. For example, if you claim that you expect to build a socially beneficial firm at some point in your life, you can really only expect Said to give credence to your assertion if you also explain that you are socially productive currently.

How do you hope to see your career developing over the next five years? How will the MBA and Oxford assist you in the development of these ambitions? (Maximum 500 words)

Because personal statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

Plus your preferred essay from the following options:

Option 1: Sport is pure competition. What does it teach us about companies, individuals, and markets? (Maximum 500 words)

We hope for your sake that you played a sport at some point growing up, because if you did, you will have a much easier time writing this essay. Sure, you can craft an effective essay without having personally felt the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat, but if you have spent time on the field/court yourself or at least been an emotionally involved fan, the task will be notably less challenging. This is an incredibly broad essay prompt, allowing you to discuss a topic as comprehensive as strategy or teamwork or one as narrow as a single “assist” you experienced in ice hockey or basketball.

Although sport is your starting point for this essay, you must be sure to focus your essay on its application in/to business. In other words, do not get carried away with discussing your chosen sport or expressing your passion for a particular team. Instead, think carefully about the core concept of competition and its impact on others.

Make no mistake, this is a challenging essay to write. Our guess is that most applicants will select the second essay option instead…

Option 2: The business of business is business. Is this true? (Maximum 500 words)

Puzzling through this tautology may take you a minute. Read it a few times. You can interpret the question in a number of different ways. You may wish to start your essay by defining your interpretation of the question so that the admissions reader clearly understands from the beginning whether you are asserting or negating the premise that “the role of a business is to sustain itself,” for example, or that “the role of a firm is to serve all its stakeholders.” Once you have plainly outlined the question you will be analyzing, you will be better positioned to assert whether or not it is true.

Thereafter, you can stick with an entirely theoretical discussion, introduce and analyze external examples, or even share your own experiences in business and how they relate to your definition. This essay prompt is designed to reveal the way you reason. You do not need to worry so much about whether your response is true or false, but instead about how well you express and support your point of view.

If you are applying under the 1+1 scheme you also need to submit the following essay:

1. Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your careers and personal development aims (Maximum 250 words)

For this essay, Said kindly provides a straightforward prompt! Oxford has created an innovative two-year program through which you can earn two master’s degrees. But the school has a simple request first—explain why you want/need that non-MBA master’s degree. If you hope to participate in this program, you will need to help Oxford understand exactly why and how it will affect your career. So, you have a mere 250 words in which to detail precisely how this particular program will contribute to your management education and where you will apply that learning. You have no room in this essay to be vague; you must clearly demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship. Your underlying message needs to be readily comprehensible: “I will complete X degree, and it will be of benefit to me by manifesting in Y part of my career.”

Re-applicants will need to complete the essays mentioned above and another essay on the topic:

1. What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)

Whether you have improved your academic record, received a promotion, begun a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or accepted some sort of personal challenge, the key to success with this essay is conveying a very deliberate path of achievement. Said wants to know that you have been actively striving to improve yourself and your profile, and that you have seized opportunities during the previous year to do so, because a Said MBA is vital to you. The responses to this essay question will vary greatly from one candidate to the next, because each person’s needs and experiences differ. We are more than happy to provide one-on-one assistance with this highly personal essay to ensure that your efforts over the past year are presented in the best light possible.
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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Mission Admission: Be on Your Best Behavior When Visiting Campus! [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Be on Your Best Behavior When Visiting Campus!
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

We always encourage MBA candidates to visit their target business schools, because doing so can make a positive impression on the admissions committee, gives candidates the opportunity to personalize their applications (essays and interviews in particular—depending on the timing of the visit), and may even help them select their schools. But remember, when you visit campuses, for whatever reason, you should always be on your best behavior.

Although the receptionist in the Admissions Office is not a “spy,” and your tour guide’s main concern is not to inform the admissions committee of your actions or comments, both of these individuals will likely feel compelled to report any bad behavior to the committee. We spoke with one former receptionist (now an admissions committee member) at a top-ten school, who said that if she encountered rudeness from a visiting candidate, she would make note of it and send a message about the incident to the admissions director, who would subsequently remove the candidate from consideration for admission. Although we imagine most candidates plan to be on their best behavior during any school visit, we nevertheless offer this important reminder.
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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MBA Career Advice: The Magic Is in The Details [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2015, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: The Magic Is in The Details
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.

We have all had the experience – sometimes even in an interview! – of telling a great story. You know those times when the listener is rapt with attention and you are brimming with vitality and confidence and in the process creating a real connection with the person you are talking to. Those moments seem like magic to be sure, but the truth is, they happen predictably when we share rich details about our life. Answering a question in an interview is much more than a chance to show a professional experience. It is an opportunity to let the listener into your world in a palpable way that creates a shared connection.

Consider the following answers to this question: “What do you do in your free time?”

  • I am an avid foodie, so I try to eat at new restaurants as much as possible. My favorite food is Korean, but I also love Vietnamese and Italian.
  • I love to eat. I try to go to one new restaurant every week even when I am swamped with work. Last week I had the most amazing Korean barbecue tacos at this new place near me. The marinade was so authentic and spicy. I’ve had to fight myself not to go back every day since.
Now, food may not be your thing. No problem. You have your thing. But notice how these two answers make you feel. The first answer likely leaves you cold – it gives you no window into the authentic experience or values of the speaker. But, the second one really makes a connection. It shares a few small vivid and rich details that really bring you into the speaker’s experience. Notice how this answer gives you a sense of the speaker’s….

  • Values and priorities (food and adventure/experimentation matter even when I am swamped!)
  • Experience (the tacos are amazing and authentic and spicy!)
  • Emotions (I love to eat!! And I have to fight to stay away!)
These are the elements that forge connections between human beings. Beyond the obvious, generic, and neutral “I’m a foodie,” these rich details paint a picture and reveal emotion. When you do this in your interviews, you will naturally engender the trust and affinity of the interviewer. At the end of the day, you will be the person about whom she says, “I like this person!!”
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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Professor Profiles: Cameron Anderson, Haas School of Business [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Cameron Anderson, Haas School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school to attend, but the educational experience 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 focus on Cameron Anderson from the Haas School of Business at the University of California (UC) Berkeley.

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Cameron Anderson 
(“Power and Politics in Organizations” and “Negotiations and Conflict Resolution”), who received his PhD from UC-Berkeley in 2001, came to Haas from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 2005. His teaching awards include Professor of the Year (at Stern) in 2005 and the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching at Haas in 2008. He was also named a Bakar Faculty Fellow in 2010. A second year described Anderson’s “Power and Politics in Organizations” course to mbaMission as “easily one of the most sought-after classes at Haas.” According to the course abstract, Anderson shows students in this course how to “diagnose organizational politics in order to form and implement new strategies.”

Another second-year student we interviewed said the class “teaches students how to gain power and influence people without formal authority” and added that Anderson “teaches applicable skills based on academic research and case studies of great leaders from history. He uses assignments to force students to uncover their own tools of influence and develop strategies for acquiring power in our immediate careers after Haas. I think his class is popular because it’s academic, directly applicable, and introspective all at once.”

For more information on the defining characteristics of the MBA program at UC-Berkeley Haas or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA News: Application Essay Numbers Remain Largely Status Quo, Kaplan  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2015, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Application Essay Numbers Remain Largely Status Quo, Kaplan Study Finds
Did you think you might get a break when writing your MBA application this year, given that several high-profile business schools have been decreasing the number of essays applicants are required to submit? Dartmouth Tuck, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Michigan Ross are three such programs. According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 business school admissions officers survey, however, the majority of schools are not slashing the number of admissions essays candidates must provide, and only a small percentage of programs plan to decrease those numbers for the next application period.

The findings—culled from information supplied by 204 U.S. MBA programs—are in contrast to the decisions made this admissions season by such powerhouses as the Yale School of Management and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, in addition to those we have already mentioned, which all cut their essay requirements. We will be interested to see which direction the different schools ultimately decide to go in the years ahead.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Wordly Cuisine at Darden [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Wordly Cuisine at Darden
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.

For the International Food Festival at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration, students arrange themselves into teams according to their home country or culture. On the night of the festival, which is sponsored by the International Business Society, the teams set up tables with decorations representing their home countries and cultures and present home-cooked, authentic cuisine; in addition, the students often dress in their region or culture’s traditional clothing. A showcase at the end of the evening allows participating groups to show off their region’s music and dancing. An alumna told mbaMission, “It is fascinating to see all of your classmates whipping up their own culinary decadence. Everyone makes a point to eat light the day before, and they gear up to taste foods from 30 different countries and regions—from Korea to Greece to Texas.” Most of the student body and their partners attend this event, as do many professors and alumni.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at UVA Darden and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Diamonds in the Rough: Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Bu [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2015, 18:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper 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.

Students aspiring to sharpen their analytic and quantitative skills are well served at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Boasting a faculty that includes multiple Nobel Prize winners, Tepper has pioneered “management science,” a supplement to traditional case studies that draws on more scientific—rather than historical—strategies for complex business decision making. Management science depends on tools such as computer modeling, organizational behavior, and economic theory.

In addition to this overall “quant” emphasis in its curriculum, Tepper offers a unique joint MBA/MS degree in computational finance for students who are deeply driven by quantitative analysis. The Master of Computational Finance program curriculum is created specifically for candidates who have strong quantitative backgrounds and hope to ultimately pursue a leadership position in financial services. Students are immersed in highly focused computational analysis, examining different theories of finance, stochastic calculus modeling, and statistical methodologies, in addition to the managerial skills they learn in the MBA program’s marketing, strategy, communications, and operations courses. While schools such as Wharton, Chicago Booth, and Columbia may garner a higher rank for careers in finance, few programs offer such uniquely intensive academic resources for a specialization in quantitative analysis.
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MBA News: Eating, Lodging, and Making Merry Drive Financial Times Busi [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2015, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Eating, Lodging, and Making Merry Drive Financial Times Business School Survey
Partying, eating, and living well may be as much a part of the business school experience as going to class, and the Financial Times’ second alternative MBA survey suggests as much. The study, which involved more than 1,860 participants from around the world, asked alumni from the MBA Class of 2011 to share their opinions of the social scene, dining options, and accommodations available at their alma maters.

The results may surprise you. A full 74% of respondents found their school’s social environment to their liking, with such U.S. institutions as NYU Stern and the Wisconsin School of Business standing out in particular—though INSEAD in France and Singapore also won plaudits for its party atmosphere. Meanwhile, two schools received particularly high praise in the category of best on-campus clubs: Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business and the University of Strathclyde Business School. The quieter side of socializing also got the nod from 60% of alumni, who lauded the refined offerings in their schools’ neighborhoods, namely museums, galleries, musical performances, and bookstores.

Networking was another positive topic in the survey; indeed, approximately 50% of those queried commended their schools in this area, and many of those considered the best for networking are U.S. programs, including Columbia Business School (rated number one), Northwestern Kellogg, and the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

From a culinary standpoint, European programs such as IMD in Switzerland, the European School of Management and Technology in Germany, and SDA Bocconi School of Management in Italy received props from graduates. And as for accommodations, approximately one-half of the alumni surveyed felt their lodging was a positive factor of their MBA experience—with The Lisbon MBA in Portugal receiving the highest praise.
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: Earn a Sustainability Certificate at MIT Sloan [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2015, 18:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Earn a Sustainability Certificate at MIT Sloan
Sustainability is at the heart of MIT Sloan’s nonprofit/social entrepreneurship curriculum. In 2007, the school launched the Initiative for Sustainable Business and Society, with its ultimate goal being to “enable people, communities, businesses, organizations, and the planet to flourish while taking an in-depth, integrated look at existing structural models; and to redefine the notion of sustainability by incorporating social equity, economic development, and environmental restoration at all levels,” according to the school’s Careers into Action roadmap for this study area. The initiative serves as an umbrella for the many components that fall under its purview, including a “Strategies for Sustainable Business ” lab course, a “System Dynamics ” course, a Sustainability Lunch Series, and an internship program.

In February 2010, Sloan announced its third specialty certificate option, the Certificate in Sustainability. Open to any master’s level MIT student as an add-on to an existing degree program, the offering “views sustainability as a function of the interdependent dynamics of economic, societal, and environmental systems, where success overall is influenced by success across all areas and not upon a single factor” (quote from a February 2010 MIT Newsroom article). In addition to receiving the certificate along with their MBA, students who pursue it will receive access to Summer Sustainability Internships and a special resume book for sustainability.

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at MIT Sloan 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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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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