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The mbaMission Blog

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Friday Factoid: Stanford GSB Supports International Students [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Stanford GSB Supports International Students
With more than one-third of the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s (GSB’s) aspiring MBAs having been born outside the United States, the school provides a wide variety of support services for its international students. Before arriving on campus, admitted international students receive information crucial to the logistical and social challenges they may face, including how to obtain a study visa for the United States, how to obtain a U.S. Social Security number, and how to adapt to an American classroom environment. Once on campus, first-year students from outside the United States are strongly encouraged to share their perspective in global business courses and can attend seminars and workshops designed to increase their confidence and improve their skills in written and spoken English via the MBA Communication Programs.

Of course, international students also frequently participate in and lead targeted student clubs, including the Africa Business Club, the Europe Club, the Asian Society, the Greater China Business Club, the Latin American Student Association, and the Middle East and North Africa Club. To help with their international career search, students can count on a dedicated international career coach. The school’s Bechtel International Center offers additional support for international students, including U.S. employment and tax workshops, as well as advisory services on visa and immigration issues. In addition, the center hosts play groups for children and provides an array of services for spouses and family members of international students. Finally, the center provides modest stipends for the spouses of MBA students to pursue their educational and career goals through the Spouse Education Fund.

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Stanford GSB 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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MBA News: Transgender Students Breaking Ground in Business School [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2015, 18:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Transgender Students Breaking Ground in Business School
Business school culture may have a track record of being rather conservative, but according to an article in the New York Times this week, more and more MBA programs are beginning to see students like Danielle Piergallini, a Vanderbilt Owen alumna and a senior analyst at American Airlines who came out as transgender during graduate school.

Piergallini admits that a certain “bravado” among business school faculty and students can at times feel less than welcoming to somebody wanting to transition. In her own experience of coming out, however, she received an outpouring of positive responses from classmates, which took her by surprise.

As the Times observes, openly transgender students have only in recent years gained exposure within the elite MBA community. Harvard Business School’s first transgender student came out publicly in 2013, and many other programs are now pushing for greater inclusivity. Columbia Business School, for example, recently began hosting a twice-yearly training program to educate the community on pronoun use and gender fluidity. The school also introduced its first single-stall, gender-neutral bathroom this past September.

Still, the academic environment, like the workplace, remains challenging for anyone outside the traditionally masculine, heteronormative, and cisnormative business mainstream. Although the percentage of business school students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning tracked the national average in 2014 (at 3%), the Times notes that MBA programs still tend to be disproportionately cisgendered and male. Building support and finding allies can be especially difficult for transgender students.

“Discrimination against trans people is there,” admitted Piergallini, who writes a blog focused on life as a transgender woman. “But having an MBA and having a good one helps you avoid a lot of those barriers and obstacles.”
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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Weakness Is that I Am Awesome! [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2015, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Weakness Is that I Am Awesome!
Most business schools will ask your recommenders to describe a weakness of yours or a time when they offered you constructive feedback. You may feel incredibly tempted to ask your recommenders to avoid writing anything critical or to present a “disguised strength” as a weakness. So your recommender might write something like one of the following entirely disingenuous statements, believing that doing so would helping you, when in fact, it would not:

  • “John needs to learn to balance his work and home life better—he is always at work, making sure that he stays on top of every detail.”
  • “Mary is a perfectionist and holds others, who just may not be capable, to the same high standard that she holds herself.”
Alternatively, a recommender who is afraid of hurting your candidacy may write about a “professional development” weakness, focusing on a business skill that you have not yet had the opportunity to learn or develop, rather than describing an area in which you need to improve:

  • “Rodney is an excellent communicator in small group settings; he has not, however, had the opportunity yet to give presentations to large groups, and I think doing so is the next important step in his career path.”
  • “To move to the next level, David needs to start sourcing his own deals, rather than just working on deals that others have found.”
This may be shocking, but admissions officers understand that the “perfect” employee/MBA candidate simply does not exist and are skeptical of the sincerity of any recommender that presents you as such. Such falsely positive comments do nothing to help the admissions committee get to know you better and instead undermine the integrity of your recommender’s letter. Although you do not want your recommenders to list unprofessional traits (e.g., “Denise is lazy”), recommendation letters should involve honest, detailed reflection using a critical (not negative) eye. Remember, with regard to recommendations, too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing.
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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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Captivate with Experience, Not Extreme Descr [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2015, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Captivate with Experience, Not Extreme Descriptions
This week, we offer an oxymoron of sorts: extreme humility. One candidate could be more humble than the next, we imagine, but one could never refer to oneself as “extremely humble,” because doing so would undermine the very claim to humility.

Our philosophy at mbaMission is that candidates should let their experiences, not just their word choices, captivate the admissions committees. Sometimes we find that applicants attempt to emphasize their actions with “extreme” adjectives and adverbs—an approach we strongly discourage.

Example: “As others withdrew their support, I remained remarkably dedicated to our crucial fundraising efforts. I dramatically increased my participation in our strategic planning meetings and insisted that we push forward with a wildly creative guerrilla marketing plan, which brought forth tremendous results—$1M in ‘instant’ proceeds.”

In these two sentences, the writer uses the descriptors remarkably, dramatically, wildly, and tremendous to make his impression. We find that a more effective approach is to eliminate these “extreme” descriptions and let the experiences do the “talking.”

Example: “As others withdrew their support, I remained dedicated to our fundraising efforts. I increased my participation in our strategic planning meetings and insisted that we push forward with a guerrilla marketing plan that brought $1M in ‘instant’ proceeds.”

In this second example, the writer does not need to say that the results were “tremendous,” because the $1M in proceeds speaks for itself; we do not need to be told that the marketing campaign was “wildly creative,” because this is implied in the nature of guerrilla marketing. In addition to truly showing a level of humility on the part of the candidate, this approach is also less wordy. Although the eight words saved in the latter example may seem inconsequential, we removed them from only two sentences. If you can remove four words from every sentence in your original draft, you could significantly (but of course humbly) augment your essay with other compelling ideas.
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: Can HBS Keep Up with Tech? The WSJ Asks mbaMission’s Preside [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2015, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Can HBS Keep Up with Tech? The WSJ Asks mbaMission’s President/Founder
With more emerging MBAs eyeing careers in Silicon Valley, with digital start-ups, and at tech giants, Harvard Business School (HBS) may not be able to rely simply on the prestige of its brand to remain a top program choice. An article in the Wall Street Journal this week [Note: Subscription required to view entire article.] asks whether HBS may be too traditional in its approach.

Many faculty, students, and administrators at HBS worry that the program’s curriculum no longer adequately prepares its graduates for a rapidly changing business landscape that values tech-savvy managers. According to the article, prospective MBAs with an interest in tech are turning to such other top-ranked schools as the Stanford Graduate School of Business and MIT Sloan, which in recent years have staked a claim as “pre-eminent tech-industry feeders.”

The WSJ asked mbaMission President and Founder Jeremy Shinewald for his thoughts on the trend. “As more M.B.A.s seek careers in tech, applicants with such aspirations are now thinking Silicon Valley rather than Boston,” Shinewald commented. “Of the small number of people who win admission to both HBS and Stanford, tech-minded candidates generally opt for Stanford.”

Meanwhile, many in the HBS community complain that the program’s reliance on the case method means students are working with outdated business problems and consequently falling behind emergent issues in tech-related business. There seems to be “less tech in the air” at HBS, admits Dean Nitin Nohria.

Whether HBS’s long-standing reputation will suffice in maintaining the program’s appeal to aspiring MBAs remains to be seen. The economic pressure of the tech industry may one day force the school to reevaluate its efforts to stay current.
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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Wharton’s Team-Based Discussion Interviews: What to Expect [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Wharton’s Team-Based Discussion Interviews: What to Expect
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania plans to send out interview invitations on February 11. Unlike most MBA programs, Wharton uses a team-based discussion format to evaluate MBA candidates. Understandably, Wharton applicants get anxious about this atypical interview, because the approach creates a very different dynamic from what one usually encounters in a one-on-one meeting—and with other applicants also in the room, one cannot help but feel less in control of the content and direction of the conversation. Yet despite the uncertainty, here are a few things that interviewees can expect:

  • You will need to arrive at the interview with an idea—a response to a challenge that will be presented in your interview invitation.
  • Having the best idea is much less important than how you interact with others in the group and communicate your thoughts. So while you should prepare an idea ahead of time, that is only part of what you will be evaluated on.
  • Your peers will have prepared their ideas as well. Chances are that ideas will be raised that you know little or nothing about. Do not worry! The admissions committee members are not measuring your topical expertise. Instead, they want to see how you add to the collective output of the team.
  • After the team-based discussion, you will have a short one-on-one session with someone representing Wharton’s admissions team. More than likely, you will be asked to reflect on how the team-based discussion went for you; this will require self-awareness on your part.
We at mbaMission are getting ready for Round 2 interviews and created our Team-Based Discussion Simulation to give candidates the opportunity to undergo a realistic test run before experiencing the actual event. Via this simulation, applicants participate anonymously with three to five other candidates in an online conversation, which is moderated by two of our experienced Senior Consultants familiar with Wharton’s format and approach. All participants then receive feedback on their performance, with special focus on their interpersonal skills and communication abilities. The simulation builds confidence by highlighting your role in a team, examining how you communicate your ideas to—and within—a group of (equally talented) peers, and discovering how you react when you are thrown “in the deep end” and have to swim. Our Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation allows you to test the experience so you will be ready for the real thing.

To learn more or sign up, visit our Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation page.
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: Do I Need to Know Alumni? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2015, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Do I Need to Know Alumni?
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

We find that because the overall pool of MBA candidates is so anonymous, many applicants believe that any negative difference, however minimal, that exists between them and other candidates could represent a huge disadvantage. For example, an applicant who has no alumni connection to his/her target school may become anxious that he/she is already “behind” at the starting line. We can assure you that if you are a strong candidate, you will not be “dinged” by a program just because you do not have a relationship with any of the school’s graduates. In fact, the vast majority of applicants do not have direct connections with alumni from their target business schools.

The bottom line is that in some cases, if you know a powerful alumnus or alumna, he/she may be able to help you in your candidacy. However, a standout candidate who does not have such a connection will generally still succeed, and a weak candidate with an alumni connection will likely still fail. So focus on crafting your best application possible, and do not worry about minor perceived weaknesses. You can succeed on your own, regardless of who you know—or do not know.
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: Fun with Behavioral Questions, Part 2 [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2015, 20:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Fun with Behavioral Questions, Part 2
In this weekly series, our friends at MBA Career Coaches will be dispensing invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. For more information or to sign up for a free career consultation, visit www.mbacareercoaches.com.

As part of our ongoing series, here are 10 more interesting behavioral questions. Remember, don’t try to prepare or memorize answers for every single one. Instead, have fun coming up with creative ways to map your own experiences to these questions. We recommend doing it with friends. It will make it far easier for you to avoid taking yourself too seriously. Have fun!

10 more interesting behavioral questions

  • Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision that affected more than one other person.
  • Relate a time in which you had to use your verbal communication skills improvisationally in order to get an important point across.
  • Give me an example of a specific occasion in which you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  • Describe a situation in which you felt it necessary to be very attentive and vigilant to your environment.
  • Describe a job experience in which you had to speak up in a group to be sure that other people knew what you thought or felt.
  • Describe the most significant piece of writing which you have had to complete and why it was important.
  • Can you tell me a time in which you were able to build motivation in your co-workers or subordinates?
  • Provide an example of a time in which you had to use your fact-finding skills to gain somewhat secret or hidden information for solving a problem.
  • Give me a time in which you had to set a long term goal and how you managed the process of reaching it.
  • Tell me an example of a time when you had to go above and beyond the scope of your role to achieve an outcome.
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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Professor Profiles: Baba Shiv, Stanford Graduate School of Business [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Baba Shiv, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose which 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 Baba Shiv from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

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“Baba Shiv is a legend,” said a first-year GSB student with whom we spoke. Baba Shiv (“The Frinky Science of the Human Mind,” “Directed Research,” and “IP-Focused Innovation: Solution in Search of a Problem”) received his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and his PhD from Duke University before joining the Stanford GSB faculty in 2005. Shiv’s research concentration is in the area of neuroeconomics, and he focuses his studies on the systems of the brain that lead individuals to like and want things and how those systems shape people’s decisions. His work explores self-control and why people make certain choices, even when logic tells them that those choices may not be in their best interest.

A GSB alumni magazine article once described Shiv as “a favorite uncle who is always interested in your life and eager to talk about new, exciting ideas,” and Dan Ariely, a colleague of Shiv’s and a professor at Duke Fuqua, noted in the same article, “Shiv’s mere presence makes everything around him seem better.” A second year and Marketing  Club officer told mbaMission that Shiv “tries to be a career resource for people who want to pursue marketing careers” and is “engaging and exciting to listen to. He is one of the favorite members of the whole faculty; people love him.”

For more information about the Stanford GSB 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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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Columbia Business School’s Pre-MBA World Tou [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Columbia Business School’s Pre-MBA World Tour
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.

Although Columbia Business School (CBS) does not offer any official pre-term trips for incoming students, the student body does organize something called the Pre-MBA World Tour. Trips run in parallel throughout June and July, and each one includes a visit to multiple countries, from as few as four to as many as eight! Students can join any part of any of the trips, for any period of time that is convenient for them. The trips are completely the responsibility of students, though CBS encourages and supports the initiative. Past destinations have included Peru, Oman, South Africa, Israel, Hong Kong, Thailand, Costa Rica, Cuba, Turkey, France, Budapest, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Japan.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at CBS 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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Friday Factoid: Global Perspectives at Wharton [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Global Perspectives at Wharton
To think that the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania excels only in churning out investment bankers and management consultants would be a mistake. In fact, Wharton boasts a truly international program, ranked number three in this area in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report MBA specialty rankings.

A full 31% of the school’s Class of 2016 is made up of international students representing 71 countries (including dual citizens), and 19.4% of the school’s 2014 graduates took jobs outside the United States. Students who wish to study international business at Wharton have no shortage of options for doing so, including the following:

  • Between 100 and 150 Wharton students study at a partner school each year. One popular option is to leverage Wharton’s alliance with INSEAD by taking classes at one of that program’s campuses in Fontainebleau, France, or in Singapore. Alternatively, students can choose a semester-long international exchange program option at one of 17 partner schools in 15 different countries.
  • Students who wish to pursue a dual degree in business and international studies can combine a Wharton MBA with an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute, a 24-month intensive program designed for those who seek to conduct high-level business in a country other than the United States. This program has been described by Bloomberg Businessweek as “arguably the single best global management experience anywhere.”
For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Wharton 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

_________________

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 Biz Quiz: The Global Economics of Oil [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2015, 19:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Biz Quiz: The Global Economics of Oil
Staying on top of business news is an important part of actively managing your career. Whether you are seeking new opportunities in your industry, preparing for job interviews, or applying to business school, being able to speak intelligently about current events in business is an indispensable tool to help you connect with fellow professionals and convey your passion for your chosen field.

Test your knowledge of important business trends and economic developments affecting industry with this bi-weekly MBA Biz Quiz brought to you by our sister company MBA Career Coaches! It is a fun and simple way to stay engaged with business news.

With the headlines of low oil prices, we thought we’d start the year covering this very newsworthy development.

1. Which country has the largest estimated oil reserves?

a. China

b. Japan

c. Venezuela

d. Brazil

2. For which country does energy revenue account for over 50 percent of the government’s budget?

a. Russia

b. Iran

c. Saudi Arabia

d. Canada

3. Which country is losing approximately $1 billion per month with the drop in oil prices?

a. Venezuela

b. Iran

c. Jordan

d. Malaysia

4. Saudi Arabia is the largest OPEC producer. Who is the second-largest OPEC producer?

a. United Arab Emirates

b. Iraq

c. Iran

d. Kuwait

5. How would a 10 percent decrease in the price of oil affect China’s economic growth?

a. there is no effect on China’s economic growth

b. increase China’s economic growth by 0.01 percent

c. increase China’s economic growth by 0.15 percent

d. decrease China’s economic growth by 0.15 percent

 

Answers: 1(c)   2(a)   3(b)   4(c)   5(c)

Explanations

1. Venezuela has the world’s largest estimated oil reserves and has received 95 percent of its export earnings from petroleum before the drop in oil prices.

2. For Russia, energy revenue accounts for more than half of the government’s budget.

3. It is estimated that Iran is losing $1 billion per month because of the fall in oil prices.

4. Iran is OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, and Iraq is OPEC’s third-largest oil producer.

5. China became the world’s largest importer of oil in 2013, surpassing the United States, and so stands to benefit from plummeting prices. Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated that every 10 percent decline in the price of oil could increase China’s economic growth by 0.15 percent. China imports nearly 60 percent of the oil it needs to power its economy.

To read more, check out our source for this quiz.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have To Write the Optional Essay [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have To Write the Optional Essay
In the past, we have mentioned how challenging competing against a faceless mass of fellow applicants can be and how disadvantaged a person can feel if he/she does not seize each and every opportunity to do so. Although we want you to make the most of every opportunity you can to set yourself apart, you also need to be judicious in choosing those opportunities. Some can actually work against you and thereby turn into negatives. So, let us elaborate….

The optional essay does not need to be written by everyone, and by neglecting to write the optional essay, you are not at a disadvantage. The optional essay is an opportunity for you to discuss problems that the admissions committee will likely notice in your profile, and this essay can allow you to “get ahead of the scandal,” so to speak. So, if you earned an F grade, had a bad semester in college, received a low GMAT score, or have been dismissed from a position, you should write the optional essay to address the issue proactively. Alternatively, if you are applying with a partner and the admissions committee may not know, you might want to use the optional essay to inform the committee of this relevant information, which is not a problem, but simply of interest.

MBA candidates have many reasons for writing the optional essay, but you should absolutely not feel that you need to write it. If you have nothing to explain and have generally performed well, do not use this opportunity to submit an essay from a different school just to fill the space or write a new essay repackaging your strengths. If you have nothing new or important to share, you are in an advantageous position and should take a step back and appreciate it, not fret.
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GMAT Impact: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem, Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2015, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem, Part 1
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.

Manhattan GMAT has developed a special process for Sentence Correction (SC). Some students and classes have seen it, but here we are sharing it publicly! Read on and let us know what you think.

The Five Steps for Sentence Correction

The full article on the MGMAT blog goes into more detail on each step.

  • Take a First Glance

    2. Read the Sentence

    3. Find a Starting Point

    4. Eliminate Answers

    5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4
As with any process, you will sometimes decide to deviate for some good reason. For most questions, though, you will follow this basic process.

In this post, I briefly introduce each step, but the full article goes into more detail, so make sure to follow up by reading that.

  • First Glance
The idea here is to take a “holistic” glance at the entire screen: let your eyes go slightly out of focus (do NOT read!), look at about the middle of whatever text is on the screen and take in three things:

– the problem type (in this case, SC)

– the length of the whole sentence

– the length of the underline (or the length of the answers)

This first glance will help you formulate a plan of attack.

[*] Read the Sentence[/list]
Next, read the sentence as a complete sentence, not just a collection of potential grammar issues. Pay attention to the overall meaning that the sentence is trying to convey.

[*] Find a Starting Point[*] Eliminate Answers[/list]
When you spot something you know is wrong, immediately cross off answer (A) on your scrap paper. Check that same issue (and only that issue!) in the remaining answer choices; eliminate any answers that repeat the error.

[*] Repeat Steps 3 and 4[/list]
SC is a bit annoying in that your initial starting point often will not allow you to cross off all four wrong answers. You usually have to find multiple starting points.

Once you have dealt with one issue, return either to the original sentence or to a comparison of the answer choices, wherever you left off.

What to Do When You Are Stuck

In general, once you get stuck, give yourself one shot to “unstick” yourself. Try comparing different answers to see whether anything new pops out at you. If not, guess and move on.

Half of the battle on the GMAT is knowing when to stop trying. Set explicit “cutoffs” for yourself—rules for when to let go—and stick to them!

Next Steps

Got all of that? Good!

In the second and third parts of this series, I will give you some drills that you can use to build the different skills needed to get through a sentence correction problem. Until then, go ahead and practice the overall process until you internalize the different steps. Good luck!
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Answering the Ethical Dilemma Essay Question [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2015, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Answering the Ethical Dilemma Essay Question
dilemma: An argument presenting two or more equally conclusive alternatives against an opponent (according to Merriam-Webster)

Over the years, we have found that a common essay question that challenges many candidates is the dreaded “ethical dilemma” question. Although most applicants clearly understand the difference between what is and is not ethical, the problem usually lies in the word “dilemma.” As you can tell from the definition provided at the beginning of this post, a dilemma occurs when two “equally conclusive” sides exist simultaneously—and we emphasize “equally.” Here we offer two examples of responses to an “ethical dilemma” essay question. The first presents only one reasonable side, while the second offers two.

Example 1: “While I was working at ABC firm, my boss asked me to book our second quarter revenue in advance so that we could create the appearance of a great first quarter. I firmly told him that this was unethical and refused.”

In this example, the candidate is asked to do something that is clearly unethical. However, because the argument really involves only one reasonable choice—the reader would not want to hear the story if the applicant had agreed to book revenue ahead of schedule!—no ethical dilemma actually exists in this case.

Example 2: “As the marketing manager for a small pharmaceutical company, I had to set the price for our breakthrough drug. I needed to consider that on the one hand, a rock-bottom price would mean that our life-saving drug would be available to all, but on the other hand, even though a high price would serve a smaller market, it would make the drug far more profitable and would ensure that we could continue to conduct valuable research into additional life-saving compounds.”

In this second example, the candidate outlines a true dilemma. This applicant could be entirely comfortable telling the reader that he pursued either of the pricing strategies, as long as he walks the reader through his/her rationale.

A good test to determine whether the experience you are considering discussing in your essay involves a true dilemma is fairly simple. Ask yourself, “Could I comfortably discuss the alternative to the path I chose?” If the answer is “yes,” you are clearly on the right track. If the answer is “no,” try again.
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Mission Admission: Be Sincere—the MBA Admissions Committee Will Believ [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2015, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Be Sincere—the MBA Admissions Committee Will Believe You
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Candidates are often skeptical about whether MBA admissions committees will believe their stories. After all, is anyone available to corroborate that what made the difference in a particular situation was truly you—that you had that particular innovative idea? The response to this concern is pretty simple: if what you are describing actually happened, you do not need to worry about your credibility. You just need to write about your experience with sincerity. If you can offer details about the events as part of a narrative, the story will unfold logically and truthfully and will have its desired impact. Conversely, if your story is basic and vague, it will not come across as compelling (regardless of its veracity).

An equally important point is that you are innocent until proven guilty. The MBA admissions committee will not assume that you are a liar and read your application seeking proof of facts that are in doubt. The admissions reader will take your stories at face value, recognizing that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction and that strong candidates will stand out on the strength of their experiences.

In addition, if you accomplished something truly remarkable, you can always ask your recommender to emphasize this in his/her letter. This does not mean that the committee is seeking proof and that if something is not highlighted in a reference, it will not be believed. Still, your recommender can play an important role in legitimizing certain accomplishments.
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MBA News: Survey Shows Small Schools May Have Better Networks [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2015, 16:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Survey Shows Small Schools May Have Better Networks
The power of a wide, accessible network at a business school is undisputed. As for which programs have the most powerful networks, large and urban options such as Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School tend to come to mind first. Some results from The Economist’smost recent MBA ranking, however, suggest that these instincts might be skewed. As part of the publication’s annual survey, it asks MBA students to rate the utility of their school’s greater network, and the 2014 results reveal some rather surprising data. Although the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame placed 45th overall in The Economist’s ranking, it is third with respect to “usefulness of the alumni network.” Similarly, the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California stands at 64th overall but is sixth based on the strength of its graduate community.

In addition, the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are rated sixth and seventh, respectively, on the basis of their alumni networks, though both appear much lower in the overall MBA survey (at 23rd and 35th). The only non-U.S. program to be included in the top ten for its network is the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, which ranked 21st in the comprehensive survey in 2014.

Interestingly, the majority of the programs that ranked among the top ten in this area are relatively small in student population—seven have enrollments of fewer than 1,000 students. Small class size can help encourage a close-knit community, allowing students to forge connections that last far beyond graduation. The size of the surrounding community may also contribute to creating a dynamic network. Attending a school in a smaller, quieter town likely bolsters school spirit because of the comparative lack of activities outside campus.

Notably, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College received the survey’s highest rating with respect to its alumni network, and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business stands at fourth.
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MBA Career Advice: Deepen Your Relationships Through Multiplication [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2015, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Deepen Your Relationships Through Multiplication
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.

If you think about it, you probably share the complaint a lot of people have about later-in-life friendships: they just aren’t as deep and meaningful as the ones you formed during and before college. We tend to think this is because when we are younger we are more open to others and more vulnerable. We are still trying to figure out who we are, and the people who play a role in that process become eternally important to us.

That all may be true, but there is another reason why friendships formed earlier in life have greater longevity. It is because they developed within a network. In our youth, we are still traveling in packs, forced by school and social activities into a group environment on a daily basis. We are inherently always spending time with multiple people and developing friendships with many people at once.

Friday you go to the movies with Ernesto, Ryan, and Amanda. Tuesday night, you study at the coffee shop with Ernesto, Ryan, and Carter. Then lunch with Carter and Kevin on Wednesday followed by dinner with Kevin, Ryan, Amanda, and Jeni. Then those people are all hanging out with each other without you too. In this environment, our awareness and appreciation for others evolves rapidly because we see them in a variety of contexts, with different personalities, and then can reflect and – if we are honest about it – gossip about them when they are not there. We get to know them much better as a result of the variety of interactions. This is part of what turns them into lifelong friends.

What most of us lose in our professional lives is this natural group context in which to build relationships. But that’s ok, you can make this happen for yourself anyway. You do it by connecting the people in your network to each other. If you are playing mini golf this weekend with two work friends, invite a college friend and someone you met at a networking event to join. If you are checking out some live music Tuesday night, invite your friend’s girlfriend, her friends, and a work colleague. Having coffee with an old friend who works near your office? Invite a work colleague to join. We shouldn’t have to tell you to be sure to behave professionally in these situations.
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Dean Profiles: William Boulding, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Bus [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Dean Profiles: William Boulding, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
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 William Boulding from the Fuqua School of Business.

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In August 2011, William (Bill) Boulding became dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Boulding began teaching at Fuqua in 1984 and served as the business program’s deputy dean before being appointed to a shortened two-year term as dean (a full term is five years) upon the previous dean’s departure. Boulding was then recommended by an international search committee in February 2013 to continue his deanship for a further five years. He has received several distinctions for his teaching in the areas of management, marketing, and strategy, including the school’s 1989 Outstanding Teacher Award and the 1997 Bank of America Faculty award. A member of the search committee stated in a February 2013 article in Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, that Boulding’s vision for the school would “address globalization with more innovation and modernization in the classrooms, while also focusing on stabilizing the school’s budget.” Another search committee member noted in the article that Boulding “has the whole package, plus he knows Fuqua and Duke intimately.”

In a July 2012 Forbes interview, Boulding described the type of students that attend Fuqua by highlighting the collaborative principles encompassed by “Team Fuqua,” saying, “Increasingly, so called ‘leaders’ seem to fight for narrow self-interest around issues and ideas. At the same time, more than ever before, answers to problems, solutions to challenges, innovation, and the creation of value comes through collaboration and co-creation. … Our students have a burning ambition to make a difference in the lives of others.” Boulding also explained in a February 2013 interview with Bloomberg Businessweek the high rate of success for Fuqua graduates in finding jobs: “The reason they’re [companies are] hiring Fuqua students comes back to what we produce and who we attract, and that’s people who understand how to co-create and take advantage of a team’s potential. It’s people who are personally humble, tremendously ambitious, and have no sense of entitlement.”

For more information about Fuqua and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Lounging at Yale’s Gryphon’s Pub [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Lounging at Yale’s Gryphon’s Pub
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.

Located in a Gothic-style building on York Street in the heart of Yale University’s Old Campus, Gryphon’s Pub has been run by the Graduate and Professional Student Center at Yale (known more commonly as simply GPSCY) since the early 1970s. This members-only club is managed by Yale graduate students and features several lounges, a big-screen TV, pool tables, and regular drink specials. Membership dues ($20) are considered a bargain, given the $2–$4 cover charge (which members are not required to pay) and the frequency with which students tend to find themselves at Gryphon’s!

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at the Yale School of Management and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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