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The mbaMission Blog

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MBA News: Ross Dean on Women’s Path to MBA Leadership [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2015, 15:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Ross Dean on Women’s Path to MBA Leadership
The role of dean at a top-ranked business school is a sought-after position, and attaining such a placement can be particularly challenging if one is a minority. Alison Davis-Blake was appointed dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in 2011, and among the 60 schools in Bloomberg Businessweek’s MBA rankings, she is one of only ten female deans. In a recent interview with the publication, Davis-Blake discussed her route to the top. “It’s a really long road from the start of this profession to the deanship,” she remarked on the relative scarcity of female deans in her peer group, noting the many ins and outs individuals experience on the path from an undergraduate degree to a PhD and a tenure-track position. “By [the time one is ready for deanship] we are down to so few [women].”

Davis-Blake has grown accustomed to being a minority. “There have been 30 years of being one of the only or very few women in the room, so I just consider that as background,” she told Bloomberg Businessweek. “I focused more on, do I think I can do the work?” Despite the difficulties, Davis-Blake hopes that her position at Ross will set a positive example for women aspiring to lead. “Having more women deans around allows people to say, ‘Yeah, I could do this.’”
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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: HBS Is for Everyone! [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: HBS Is for Everyone!
Harvard Business School (HBS) offers an excellent MBA program—this is largely a given, and we are not calling that into question. However, what we will call into question is whether HBS (or any other school, for that matter) is right for you. Every year, we get a few calls from confused MBA aspirants who say, “I visited HBS, and I am not sure if there is a fit,” as if that indicates some sort of problem. Indeed, and this may be shocking to some, HBS is not for everyone—particularly those who do not relate well to case-based learning, those who want a lot of flexibility in their first year curriculum, and those who would prefer a small class size (HBS’s Class  of 2016 has 936 students, while UC-Berkeley Haas’s, for example, has just 241).

We hope that applicants will use this post as a jumping-off point to critically appraise their target MBA programs and determine which schools are indeed right for them. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Would I prefer to be in a larger program, or would I be overwhelmed by a larger program’s size?
  • Would I prefer to be in a smaller program, or would that feel claustrophobic?
  • Would I prefer to be at a school with a flexible curriculum and a consistent stream of new classmates and where I could make my own academic choices early on?
  • Would I prefer to learn in a comprehensive core curriculum where I am, for a period of time, learning the same material as my classmates and where academics would provide me with a course structure?
  • Am I best suited for the case method, lecture method, or programs with strong experiential components? (And, do I really understand what each entails—for example, the teamwork and public speaking that is necessary within the case method?)
  • Do my target schools match my academic objectives?
  • Do my target firms recruit at my school?
  • Are alumni well placed in my industry/post-MBA location? (Are alumni even crucial to my career?)
  • Do my target schools have facilities and an environment that appeals to me?
Again, these questions are just a start—we could pose many more, but the point is that you will get far more than a brand from your MBA studies. You will gain an education and an alumni network in return for your investment of two years and thousands of dollars. Thus, you should skip the rankings, determine what is important to you, and then do your homework to identify a program where you will truly fit.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA News: Harvard Business School Dominates Case Study Market [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2015, 17:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Harvard Business School Dominates Case Study Market
As MBA students know well, case studies play a notable part in many business schools’ curricula. While they offer an incomparably hands-on way for aspiring MBAs to learn the ins and outs of business, they can also account for a large portion of some programs’ revenue. A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article examined Harvard Business School’s (HBS’s) near monopoly on the case study market, noting that the school’s Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) sector sold 12 million cases last year. In fact, a whopping 80% of all such studies used around the world are produced by HBP. To compare, the University of Virginia’s Darden Business Publishing, the self-appointed runner-up in sales, sold fewer than 700,000 cases in 2014. And HBS is not only a prominent case seller—the school is credited with establishing and popularizing the teaching method. Although the institution does not specify the percentage of case studies in its reported publishing revenue, one can assume that they constituted a considerable chunk of HBP’s $194M publishing income in 2014.

Perhaps a popular case study in the future will be about how another top-ranked school figured out how to challenge HBS’s market share…
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Simple Word Replacements That Save Word Coun [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Simple Word Replacements That Save Word Count
One element of MBA application essays that can be challenging, no matter how skilled the applicants are as writers, is staying within word limits. Sometimes, cutting just a few words is all that is needed to keep from exceeding the set maximum, but after looking at a draft multiple times, seeing where the opportunities are to do this can be difficult. Here are a few common phrases that can be shortened without negatively affecting a sentence’s meaning (and that in many cases may even improve the text):

  • be able to
Replacing variations of  “be able to” with simply “can” in the present tense or “will” in future tense constructions can easily save you two or three words.

Because of my strong organizational skills, I am able to accomplish more work in less time. (16 words)

*Because of my strong organizational skills, I can accomplish more work in less time. (14 words)

With this latest round of funding, my venture will be able to expand into new districts. (16 words)

*With this latest round of funding, my venture will expand into new districts.  (13 words)

[*] decided to[/list]
If something you mention occurred because of a decision you or someone else made, you can bypass discussing the decision part of the process and focus exclusively on describing the resulting action. Avoid using “decided to” and make your action verb the primary verb of your statement.

Once I saw the numbers, I decided to call a meeting.  (11 words)

*Once I saw the numbers, I called a meeting. (9 words)

My supervisor decided to promote me first. (7 words)

*My supervisor promoted me first. (5 words)

[*] despite the fact that[/list]
This wordy phrase can and should be replaced with simply “even though.”

I was passed over for the promotion despite the fact that I had committed more hours to the project. (19 words)

*I was passed over for the promotion even though I had committed more hours to the project. (17 words)

[*][b]in order to/in order for[/b] [/list]
Very simply, “in order” adds nothing to the clarity or meaning of the phrase that follows it. Use just “to” or “for,” as appropriate.

We had to wake up three hours early in order to get to the site on time. (17 words)

*We had to wake up three hours early to get to the site on time. (15 words)

I knew that in order for my team to stay on budget, we needed to find a new distributor. (19 words)

*I knew that for my team to stay on budget, we needed to find a new distributor. (17 words)

 

[*] prior to/in advance of[/list]
When discussing something that occurs ahead of something else, simply use “before.” “Prior to” and “in advance of” confer no special or additional meaning and can sound affected, in addition to being wordy.

Prior to leaving for the airport, I called to confirm my flight. (12 words)

*Before leaving for the airport, I called to confirm my flight. (11 words)

The club officers contacted all the contracted sponsors in advance of the conference. (13 words)

*The club officers contacted all the contracted sponsors before the conference. (11 words)

These simple changes can tighten your writing and save you a few words—and sometimes, that is all you need!
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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Mission Admission: Community Service Is Not a Prison Sentence [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2015, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Community Service Is Not a Prison Sentence
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

We write our title in jest, but many MBA aspirants feel that admissions committees have essentially sentenced them to community service in much the same way a judge would sentence a petty criminal to perform volunteer work. This is far from the truth.

If you are slogging through your time as a volunteer, you are certainly not helping yourself or your candidacy. “Time served” is not the most important factor of your community work in the eyes of the MBA admissions committees—what is meaningful and revealing is the impact you have on others. Indeed, the spirit with which you have served your community is what will impress the committees.

As you consider your options for community involvement (and we hope began doing so long before now), be sure to choose a cause or group about which you are passionate and to which you can commit yourself entirely. By dedicating yourself to an organization about which you are sincerely enthusiastic (just as you would in choosing a job), you will naturally find yourself in situations that will lend themselves to quality essays and powerful recommendations.
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
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: Mistaken Mistakes People Make Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Mistaken Mistakes People Make Part 1
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.

Why do interviewers ask about mistakes/errors/setbacks etc.? They ask because these are tough questions to answer. While that may seem obvious, it should be noted that they are not asking in order to stump you. They are, in fact, trying to get to know you better – they are asking because they want to force you to open up so that they can get to the “real” you. Real people are human; they err; they have moments of vulnerability. Many interviewers say the mistake question is the first one in the interview that really brings the candidate to life. That’s why most of them ask some form of this question.

Why can’t you circumvent a mistake question? Simply put, if you don’t answer a mistake question sincerely, you sound ridiculous. One of the silliest approaches people take to avoid answering is using a  “disguised strength,” typified by the clichéd answer: “I take on too much!” If you respond with a disguised strength, your interviewer will see through it and think that you are playing him/her for a fool. In short, don’t do it.  It won’t help you – it will hurt you!

So, what should your answer be? How about discussing an actual mistake that you made?  The key here is that you need to choose a mistake that hurts a little bit – that leaves you a little bit exposed to criticism — but is still consistent with the values of the firm at which you are interviewing.

Let’s take a look at two answers:

1)      “At the beginning of my career, I was a little bit lazy and I missed a few deadlines. My boss gave me a terrible review and cited laziness as the reason. This was a call to action for me and I started to take my work more seriously….”

2)      “I needed a design project done in a hurry and instead of asking for proposals, I hired a friend. In hindsight, it is clear to me that I should have set a professional tone for our working relationship, but I maintained a casual ‘vibe’ and thus struggled to get the project across the finish line…”

In example number one, our interviewee not only reveals laziness, which is inconsistent with the values of any firm, but he also reveals a complete lack of awareness that laziness was even a problem, because he needed a performance review for it to register with him. Clearly, example one is as bad or possibly worse than “I take on too much.”

What about example number two? Well, this individual acknowledges a mistake (a poor choice and poor management of a relationship, leading to problems on a project) which leaves him a bit exposed to criticism, but his mistake is relatable – many of us have struggled with managing friends in some capacity. Our interviewer is human. He is fallible. And, most of all, he is honest with his interviewer, which means that he has opened up and revealed his true self – which is exactly what the interviewer wanted!

For more tips on how to use failures and mistakes to your advantage in interviews and in your personal growth, be sure to check out our fail upwards series on the MBA Career Coaches blog.
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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Re: The mbaMission Blog [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2015, 05:55
Hi all,

I would like to know whether volunteering in any (Oxfam and etc.) non profit work is taken into account by adcoms? Or this must not be volunteering, but full time job? What are your take ons? ))

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Professor Profiles: Terry Taylor, UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2015, 12:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Terry Taylor, UC-Berkeley 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 you will have 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 Terry Taylor from the Haas School of Business at the University of California (UC), Berkeley.

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After stints at Columbia Business School and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Terry Taylor (“Operations Management”) joined the faculty at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley in 2007. Considering that Taylor, who has a PhD from Stanford in management science and engineering, is often named in student blogs and online student chats as a favorite among the school’s aspiring MBAs, he not surprisingly won the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009 and again in 2011. He was also named the fifth most popular professor at a top U.S. business school by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2011.

Taylor’s academic interests include the economics of operations management and supply chain management. His core “Operations Management” course looks at operational issues confronted by manufacturing and service companies. In addition to reportedly having a well-organized curriculum and classes—which a second year we interviewed said include “no down time”—Taylor can make technical subjects very interesting, sometimes even using references to Seinfeld episodes to illuminate concepts. A second year told mbaMission, “He’s pretty young and has a style that mixes high energy with a dry sense of humor.”

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Fuqua Partners [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2015, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Fuqua Partners
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Fuqua Partners is an organization made up of students’ wives, husbands, and/or other significant others who come to Durham while the students complete the MBA program. According to the school’s Web site, approximately 30% of the students in a typical incoming class at Fuqua are married or in some form of a committed relationship. The Fuqua Partners group is designed “to help partners make a life for themselves while students tackle the daily demands of an MBA,” explains the school’s Web site. A club officer told mbaMission that attendance at events can vary greatly, explaining that “a manicure/pedicure party may only attract ten people, whereas a barbecue may attract 100.”

One second-year student with a partner told mbaMission, “Fuqua does a really, really good job of integrating everybody,” and another noted, “Everyone’s invited to everything.” A first year we interviewed commented that the programs and the community support provided to partners were “very important” elements in his evaluation of MBA programs and that “Fuqua had the appeal that [my wife] and many others’ partners were all coming to the area for the first time and could build a network together, as opposed to trying to contend with trying to join existing cliques.”

Another married first-year student told us, “The key thing here is the strength of the partners’ network. For example, even from Blue Devils weekend, which is a ‘sell’ weekend for admitted applicants, I signed in, and my wife signed in separately and had her own bag of goodies waiting for her. [Partners] are really interwoven here; as much as possible, they’re invited to many of the events.” He added that at Fuqua, partners “have their own activities—running clubs and book clubs.” Yet another first year told mbaMission he felt that Fuqua is “hands-down the best for partners” of all the schools he considered and that this was one of the two primary reasons he applied.

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Diamonds in the Rough: Business of Medicine MBA at Kelley School of Bu [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Business of Medicine MBA at 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.

As the demand for business-savvy health care professionals grows, business schools are taking notice. Leading the way is the Business of Medicine MBA at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, designed to train practicing physicians to assume management positions and face a changing health care business environment. As the Financial Times reports, the two-year degree program began in the fall of 2013 and presents a new kind of opportunity at the intersection of business management and medical practice. The degree combines the basic curriculum of Kelley’s full-time MBA with specialized health care courses supported by the school’s Center for the Business of Life Sciences. The Financial Times quotes Idalene Kesner, who was interim dean at the time of the article but has since been appointed dean, as saying, “With this degree, physician leaders will emerge with the full skill set to transform individual institutions, the broad health care field and, most important, patient outcomes.” Part of the Business of Medicine MBA is taught online, drawing on Kelley’s pioneering strengths in distance learning, while the other part entails one weekend residence per month, allowing for a more flexible time commitment.
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: mbaMission Founder Shares Q&A with Admissions Officers [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2015, 12:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: mbaMission Founder Shares Q&A with Admissions Officers
On Tuesday evening, mbaMission founder and President Jeremy Shinewald collaborated with Poets & Quants Editor-in-Chief John A. Byrne for the fifth part of the two firms’ free “Your Dream MBA” online workshop. In this final installment of the series, Shinewald and Byrne welcomed Columbia Business School (CBS) Assistant Dean of Admissions Amanda Carlson and Yale School of Management (SOM) Deputy Director of Admissions Kavitha Bindra for a question-and-answer session about the MBA application process.

When asked about possible trends in the Class of 2017 admissions season, Carlson mentioned a slight increase in female applicants, while Bindra said that the Yale SOM has seen a noticeable boost in applications from international candidates. Bindra noted that the Yale SOM has dropped its TOEFL requirement and now offers a sliding scale admissions fee, which could explain the bump in international interest.

Byrne touched on the possibility of admission to top-rated schools being harder this year, to which Carlson replied that CBS continues to seek motivated, driven, successful people who will enhance the school’s community. “We are lucky enough to have a large application pool to be very selective,” she said.

Among MBA applicants, whether to take the GRE or the GMAT has been a popular topic of late. Bindra shared that approximately 20% of the SOM’s enrolled students took the GRE but that the admissions committee has no preference for either test over the other. “We can get the information we need from both,” she said, while Carlson confessed that the CBS admissions committee simply converts any GRE results into GMAT equivalent scores.

The myths surrounding application rounds and the possible advantages of applying early were another point of discussion. While CBS uses a rolling admissions approach, the Yale SOM has three admissions rounds, typically ranging from September to April. However, Bindra underscored that the admissions committee does not want candidates to rush to submit: “We want to see your strongest application, although you might have a tougher time in round three because we have filled most of our seats by that point.”

Mentioning that he personally had “bombed” his MBA interview, Shinewald asked the admissions officers for their take on whether applicants can successfully bounce back from a less than stellar interview. “An interview is a two-way street,” Carlson responded, “and it should be a conversation. In no way should it feel as if we are putting the candidate on the spot. We are not trying to trick them, just to get to know them.”

When asked whether holding an undergraduate degree from a less prestigious university puts an MBA candidate at a disadvantage, Carlson concluded the podcast on a personal note. She referred to a recent New York Times op-ed which mentioned a couple who had written a letter to their son just before college admission decisions were sent out, assuring him of their pride in him regardless of whether (or where) he was accepted or not. Carlson mentioned that she herself has a very young child and that the article had touched her deeply. “If you’re stressed about not going to a top ten university, don’t be. Who cares?” she said with a laugh. “I know that people stress about [these things], but where you go to school doesn’t change who you are,” Carlson continued. “Prestigious is subjective, and there is so much more to your candidacy.”
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Friday Factoid: Columbia Business School’s Increasingly Flexible First [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2015, 17:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Columbia Business School’s Increasingly Flexible First-Year Curriculum
The Columbia Business School (CBS) first-year curriculum was at one time very rigid—all first-year students took all their core courses with their cluster, unless they were able to pass an exemption exam. Students complained, however, that this rigid core curriculum system meant that they could take only one elective course their first year, which could put them at a disadvantage when competing for summer internships. For example, previously, a CBS student who accepted a summer internship at a bank may have taken only one finance elective by the end of his/her first year, but that student’s counterparts on the internship from other schools may have taken two or three, thus potentially putting the CBS student at a disadvantage with regard to being considered for a full-time job at the end of the internship. So, after an intense process of research and evaluation, CBS launched a more flexible core curriculum in the fall of 2008.

Beginning in the fall of 2013, CBS implemented further changes to its core curriculum, including an increased emphasis on cross-disciplinary thinking, in addition to even more flexibility. The revamped core courses also make greater use of online teaching tools in an attempt to “free up more classroom time for deeper dives and discussions,” as an August 2013 Poets & Quants article explains. In the second semester of the first year, students can pick three full-term electives and two half-term electives, replacing the school’s previous “flex-core” configuration and allowing students to better prepare for summer internships. In addition, students may take exemption exams in areas in which they are already proficient, thereby opting to replace core courses with electives. This revised curriculum was developed in response to student feedback that a full term was not needed to cover the “core” elements in certain courses, and the change has given students significantly more flexibility in the first year.

CBS has thereby attempted to find a middle ground, where students learn what the school considers fundamentals while having the latitude to specialize, and anecdotally, students have responded favorably.

For a thorough exploration of what CBS and other top U.S. business schools have to offer, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides series.
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GMAT Impact: “Complete the Passage” Critical Reasoning Arguments [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: “Complete the Passage” Critical Reasoning Arguments
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this blog series, Manhattan Prep‘s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

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

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

Which of the following best completes the passage below?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* GMATPrep questions are used courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Use of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.
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MBA News: Younger MBA Graduates May See Higher Returns on Investment [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2015, 13:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Younger MBA Graduates May See Higher Returns on Investment
In recent years, some have questioned whether an MBA is a sound choice with respect to return on investment, but one way of improving this metric may be by stepping into the game earlier. Using data collected as part of its 2015 Global MBA Rankings, the Financial Times (FT) examined the relationship between pay increases and the age of business school graduates. According to the FT, the younger the individual is at the time of graduation, the higher the boost in salary tends to be three years after they completed their MBA program. In North America, the increase was 137%, or $67,000, for graduates aged 24 or younger. To compare, the increase was 63%, or $49,000, for those aged 31 or older.

Of the geographical areas surveyed with information available for all the age groups the FT examined, the difference in the salary percentage increase MBAs saw was most significant between the youngest and oldest groups in Europe, where the former experienced an average increase of 163% and the latter just 61%. Despite the variances in pay, however, 95% of the graduates in the FT’s survey reported that they had accomplished their personal goals with respect to their careers.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Avoiding Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Avoiding Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
A dangling or misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that is intended to describe one thing, but actually describes something else because of its placement in a sentence. Misplaced modifiers are a common mistake in MBA application essays and can be very distracting to a reader, in addition to possibly misrepresenting the writer’s intention. Although misplaced modifiers can appear anywhere in a sentence, the most common, most obvious, and (thankfully) easiest to correct are those that occur at the beginning of a sentence. Consider the following examples:

As the highest-rated professor at the school, West’s academic writings are primarily analyses of recent developments in tort law.

Even after studying all night, the test was still too difficult for John to pass.

In the first sample sentence, “the highest-rated professor at the school” is meant to describe West, but it instead refers to “West’s academic writings.” In the second example, we can assume that John was the one who studied all night, but because of the way the sentence is constructed, “the test” supposedly did the extensive studying.

To avoid these kinds of confusing constructions, make sure that the first thing you mention after a descriptive introductory phrase is what you want that phrase to describe. To correct our examples here, we could reword them as follows:

As the highest-rated professor at the school, West produces academic writings that are primarily analyses of recent developments in tort law.

Even after studying all night, John was unable to pass the test.

However, misplaced modifiers can appear anywhere within a sentence, when a phrase is juxtaposed with a different part of the sentence than is intended. Consider the following:

As I became aware of what I wanted in life, I shared my dream of starting a charitable foundation with my parents.

With this wording, the writer is saying that he dreams of starting a foundation with his parents, yet we can safely assume that the writer instead meant that he shared his dream with his parents. To correct this sentence, you could move the misplaced phrase or even reword the sentence to clarify.

As I became aware of what I wanted in life, I shared with my parents my dream of starting a charitable foundation.

As I became aware of what I wanted in life, I told my parents about my dream of starting a charitable foundation.

Always make sure your descriptive phrases are in proper proximity to the elements of your sentence that you want them to modify.
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Mission Admission: Finding Writers for Your Recommendation Letters [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Finding Writers for Your Recommendation Letters
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Letters of recommendation are an important part of your overall application package—they provide the only outside information the admissions committee receives about you. One of the most stressful parts of the application process can be picking your recommender. The first question you should ask is who can write a valuable letter on my behalf?

Like many candidates, you may believe that your recommenders must have remarkable credentials and titles to impress the admissions committee. However, what is far more important is selecting individuals who can write a personal and knowledgeable letter that discusses your talents, accomplishments, personality, and potential. If senior managers at your company can only describe your work in vague and general terms, they will not help your cause. Lower-level managers who directly supervise your work, on the other hand, can often offer powerful examples of the impact you have had on your company. As a result, their letters can be far more effective.

Nonetheless, not everyone who knows you and your capabilities well will make a good recommender. For starters, you should of course feel confident that your potential recommender likes you and will write a positive letter on your behalf. As you contemplate your choices, try to gather some intelligence on your potential recommenders. Have they written letters for anyone else? Are they generous with their time with regard to employee feedback and review sessions? Will they devote the effort and time necessary to write a letter that will really shine? (See also our blog post Mission Admission: Choosing “Safe” Recommenders.)

If your prospective MBA program asks for two letters of recommendation, you should generally approach two of your recent supervisors, with one ideally being your current supervisor. Your letters will have added credibility if they are written by individuals who are senior to you, because your recommenders are in evaluative positions and will not have anything to lose by critically appraising your candidacy.

If you are unable to ask your current supervisor for any reason, do not panic! Read how to handle this situation in our blog post Mission Admission: What If I Have No Supervisor?
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MBA Career Advice: Mistaken Mistakes People Make Part 2 [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Mistaken Mistakes People Make 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.

We recently discussed topics that can and cannot work when responding to a question about a mistake/error/setback. Remember, you need to leave yourself exposed to some criticism, while also showing that your mistake was human and certainly not inconsistent with the values of your target firm. Simple enough? Not that easy, but, again, as we noted in our last post, interviewers ask this question because it is tough for people to answer and a remarkably efficient sincerity meter. You cannot fudge an answer to this question without the interviewer seeing through it.

One execution piece that you need to keep in mind is to ensure that you reveal learning. Yes, learning is key because we all know how important it is to show that we are smart enough not to make the same mistake twice. In part 1 on this topic, we gave an example of an individual who struggled to manage a friend (post before), who was a contractor on a project that he was managing (and it should be noted that this example is truncated for ease in illustration):

“I needed a design project done in a hurry and instead of asking for proposals, I hired a friend. In hindsight, it is clear to me that I should have set a professional tone for our working relationship, but I maintained a casual ‘vibe’ and thus struggled to get the project across the finish line…”

Our interviewee can’t just acknowledge the mistake, but must show that he corrected the mistake.  Let’s take a look at two possible examples of his learning.

1)       “On my next project, we were again under a time crunch, but I told my supervisor that I did not want to be hasty in hiring a designer and asked for some breathing room to get proposals for our design work.

2)      “At the end of the day, my team loved my friend’s work, despite the trouble I had getting him to meet our deadlines. I was surprised when they pushed me to hire him again. I approached him about another project but told him that I would be managing it as his boss and that if he was uncomfortable with that, we should not proceed. Further, I told him that I would pay him a bonus for early completion, three days before our deadline and…”

So, which is the right answer? If you said that both work, you know our blog well – we love a trick response!! In the first response, our interviewee learns to push back and request proposals to get the work done properly. In the second, even if we disagree with the firm’s decision to go back to an unreliable contractor, our interviewee shows that he managed his friend far better by asserting himself and creating an incentive structure to ensure deadlines were met. In both instances, learning is revealed and the interviewer should thus be satisfied, knowing that his interviewee can grow.
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Professor Profiles: Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a school to attend, but the educational experience you will have 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 Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School (HBS).

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With research interests in the areas of technology management and innovation management, Clayton Christensen (MBA ’79, DBA ’92) joined the HBS faculty in 1992, after having cofounded CPS Technologies (where he was chairman and president) in 1984, working as a consultant for Boston Consulting Group (1979–1984), and serving as a White House Fellow (1982–1983). Christensen’s “Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise” course is an elective he designed that shows students how to manage a successful company using theories of strategy and innovation to better understand which tools may be effective in various business situations. Students address such questions as “How can I beat powerful competitors?” and “How can we create and sustain a motivated group of employees?”

In 2010, Christensen, who is the author of numerous books—including The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business (Harvard Business Review Press, 1997), The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Harvard Business School Press, 2003), Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (McGraw-Hill, 2008), and How Will You Measure Your Life? (HarperBusiness, 2012)—received an Extraordinary Teaching Award from the HBS Class of 2010 as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. In both 2011 and 2013, Thinkers 50, a ranking released every two years by the consulting group Crainer Dearlove, named Christensen the World’s Most Influential Business Thinker.

For more information on the defining characteristics of the MBA program at HBS or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: 100 Case Party at Darden [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: 100 Case Party 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.

The celebration of the first-year class’s completion of its first 100 cases at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration, appropriately called the 100-Case Party, typically takes place in mid-October. Over the two years they spend at Darden, students will study approximately 500–600 cases. The 100-Case Party is typically held off campus at a Charlottesville club. Said one alumnus we interviewed, it is “a huge party; people go wild,” while another told us that the party is significant because “it celebrates a huge milestone.” In October 2011, a first year wrote about the party in her blog about MBA life at Darden, saying, “I’m not sure if the plan is to drink 100 cases, but anything is fair game!”

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: Improved Facilities at Washington University’s  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Improved Facilities at Washington University’s Olin Business School
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.

Washington University’s Olin Business School announced in 2011 that lead gifts totaling $25M from two of its benefactors would support a plan to construct two new facilities for its graduate program—Knight Hall and Bauer Hall. The $90M expansion was completed in the spring of 2014—several months earlier than expected—and added seven new classrooms, 75 faculty offices, a 100-seat café, graduate student services, lounges, an Active Learning Lab, and a new event space called The Forum. A three-dimensional rendering of the buildings, which received LEED Gold certification in December 2014, can be seen here.

Boasting strong MBA and BSBA (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration) programs, the school states on its site that its operating principle is to be “research-driven, applied.” Although Olin is a smaller sized program (140 full-time MBA students in the fall of 2014) and is noted for its highly collaborative culture, the expansion allows the school to grow its class size while providing more space and resources.

Olin may also be well positioned to tap into St. Louis’s burgeoning start-up sector. According to a March 2013 report by career hub Dice, “The number of St. Louis–based technology jobs posted on Dice jumped 25 percent year/year. And those new tech jobs are coming at a higher price tag, too: average tech salaries are up 13 percent year/year to $81,245. … St. Louis is becoming a start-up town.”
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