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The mbaMission Blog

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Friday Factoid: Think Kellogg, Think Entrepreneurship? [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2015, 14:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Think Kellogg, Think Entrepreneurship?
Let us play a quick game of word association—we will start.

“Kellogg.”

Ok, go ahead. “Entrepreneurship.” Right? No? Aspiring MBAs may be surprised to learn that Kellogg offers nearly dozens of courses in this discipline and that its Entrepreneurship and Innovation major has been among its most popular areas of study—defying the stereotype that Kellogg produces only marketing MBAs. As part of Envision Kellogg, the school’s strategic plan, the MBA program introduced four new impact initiatives in 2012, one of which is the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI). Overseen by the Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, the KIEI offers numerous opportunities for students to develop their entrepreneurial acumen. In bolstering the school’s offerings in this area, the Levy Institute’s faculty has grown from 28 in 2012–2013 to the current total of 37 professors. In addition to business plan competitions, the Levy Institute manages the Kellogg Entrepreneurial Internship Program and the Entrepreneur-In-Residence program, an experiential learning option through which, for a day, an experienced entrepreneur hosts half-hour sessions with students who aspire to careers in this field or are seeking advice on their already active projects.

The Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital also offers the Private Equity Internship Program, wherein rising second-year students intern with small businesses or private equity firms—receiving a stipend—to facilitate career transitions that would otherwise be challenging for those without experience. A fairly new offering, introduced in 2013 as part of the KIEI, is the Kellogg Entrepreneurship Internship Program, which offers a stipend to first-year students for a ten-week summer internship with a host company.

MBA student entrepreneurs coming from or planning to enter a family business will likely be interested to learn that Kellogg’s Center for Family Enterprises not only publishes research and cases on such businesses, but also confidentially consults with family-run companies. Indeed, this is all just the tip of the iceberg…

Go beyond the stereotypes. For in-depth information on Kellogg and other leading business school 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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GMAT Impact: Developing Your GMAT Study Plan [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Developing Your GMAT Study Plan
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.

Help! I need to get ready for the GMAT—where do I even start?

You need to make a few major decisions at the beginning, starting with this one: do you want to study on your own, take a class, or work with a private tutor? Each path has its advantages and disadvantages; this article can help you decide.

Next, if you take a class or work with a tutor, then your teacher will give you a study plan, at least for the length of time that you are working together. If not, you will have to devise your own study plan. This will take some effort, but it is not rocket science—if you are thoughtful and thorough, you can put together a very good study plan.

I want to point out a couple of highlights from the study plan article. First, you need to know your goal and your starting point; if you do not know what level you are at right now or what score you are trying to achieve, then putting together a good study plan is impossible.

Second, you are going to need study materials that fall into three broad categories: (1) test content and methodology (what to study and how to study), (2) practice questions (best source: Official Guide and other official practice question materials), and (3) practice tests.

Finally, make sure that you know how to study/learn in an efficient and effective manner. Hint: doing 2,000 practice problems does NOT equal “efficient and effective.” Nor does taking a practice test every three days, or even every week. Read the article for more!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No International Experience! [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No International Experience!
In the past, we have addressed the prevailing MBA admissions myth that there is a “right” professional path to follow. Just as there is no ideal position to have pre-MBA, there is no ideal life experience either. International experience is not a prerequisite for admission to top MBA programs, so a lack of international experience does not suddenly disqualify you.

It is fair to say that admissions officers want a geographically and experientially diverse class and that most MBA candidates these days have some international exposure, either through travel or work. However, keep in mind that international exposure is not limited to physically being out of the country. If you are dealing with suppliers abroad or running a weekly conference call with a team in another country—even if you are an American dealing with this from the United States or an Indian managing these tasks from India—you still have international experience.

However, even if you are an American working for a U.S. company with a U.S.-based product or service and U.S.-based customers, as unlikely as that is these days, you are not applying with one hand tied behind your back. Again, there is no checklist at the admissions office. If you have not had the personal resources or the professional opportunities to gain international experience, you can still become a business leader—the two are not mutually exclusive. So, like all candidates, you will need to explain to the MBA admissions committee how your degree will help you achieve your dreams. Gaining an international education and international exposure through your MBA may just be a crucial step in reaching your goals.

 
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: Use Past and Present Tense Judiciously [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Past and Present Tense Judiciously
Virtually all MBA application essays are written in the past tense, which makes sense, considering that candidates are most often discussing past experiences. Although the past tense is quite “user friendly,” another choice is to use the present tense to heighten the immediacy of the experience being presented and to draw the reader into the story. Consider the following examples:

Past tense: “I arrived at my supervisor’s office at 11 a.m.; we tabled the deal no less than 15 minutes later. Then, the two of us sat by the phone, casually chatting about baseball, and waited. When our CEO finally called two hours later, we discovered that we had indeed submitted the winning bid….”

Present tense: “I arrive at my supervisor’s office at 11 a.m. Fifteen minutes later, we table our deal. For the next two hours, as we casually chat about baseball, we wait by the phone. When it finally rings, our CEO is on the line, informing us that our offer has been accepted….”

These examples do not represent “right” and “wrong” options but instead illustrate two different styles a candidate might use, both of which can be equally effective; choosing which is the better fit for a particular essay depends entirely on the skill of the writer. Executing well in the present tense can sometimes be difficult, and we recommend that candidates undertake the task with caution. Further, this choice also depends significantly on the story’s content and context—the present tense is a good option when the experience recounted involves “high drama” but is not necessarily appropriate for every essay.
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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Mission Admission: The MBA Resume, Part 3 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2015, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: The MBA Resume, Part 3
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Ideally, your resume should be only one page long; admissions committees generally expect and appreciate the conciseness of this format. If you choose to submit a resume consisting of two pages or more, your reader may have difficulty scanning it and identifying (and remembering) important facts. With these space constraints in mind, we offer two fairly straightforward “space saver” ideas:

  • Do not include a mission statement at the beginning of your resume. Your mission in this case is to get into the MBA program to which you are applying—and, of course, the admissions committee already knows this! A mission statement will take up precious space that can be used more effectively for other purposes.
  • Your address should take up no more than one line of your resume. Many applicants will “stack” their addresses, using four, five, or even six lines, as if they were writing an address on an envelope. Think about how much space you occupy if you present your address in the following format:
Jeremy Shinewald

138 West 25th Street

7th Floor

New York, NY 10024

646-485-8844

jeremy@mbamission.com

You just wasted six lines of valuable real estate! If you plan to whittle your resume down to one page, try putting your address on just one line so you can save five others for valuable bullets.

And, while we are discussing resume length, resist the urge to shrink your font or margins to make your resume fit on one page. Your font should be no smaller than 10-point type, and your margins should be no smaller than 1″ on either side and 0.75″ at the top and bottom. Rather than trying to fit too much information on the page, commit yourself instead to showcasing only your most important accomplishments that best tell your story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA Career Advice: Three Tests for Your Resume: The High School Test [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Three Tests for Your Resume: The High School Test
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.

Your resume is most likely the first and, in many cases, the only document recruiters will screen when they are evaluating your candidacy to determine if they want to continue the hiring process with you. For some firms, on the basis of your resume alone, you will be offered a phone screen, networking dinner invitation, follow up coffee chat, or even an interview. Recruiters can learn a lot about you by looking at your resume, but it is your communications skills – your ability to communicate through that resume – that will get you in the door.

Think about who will likely be doing that first resume screen — most likely a member of the human resource team who has never done the actual work in your target position and may have no experience outside of the HR department in your industry. And, remember, these are very, very busy people who will likely be screening hundreds of resumes in a single sitting. It’s easy to understand how someone like that would be put off by a lot of technical jargon and firm-specific terminology. Rather than taking the time to read your bullets three or four times to figure out what you intend to convey, a busy HR professional  just might put your resume in the “no thanks” pile. Honestly, with a mountain of resumes to sort through, isn’t that what you would do?

Aside from making life difficult on recruiters, by sending a resume with convoluted bullets, you are signaling a meaningful lack of emotional intelligence to your reader. Most of your professional life – especially if you are a manager – will require you to communicate complex problems and concepts in terms other people can understand. You will have to inspire people with your words and connect with audiences on their levels. If you send a resume full of jargon, you are showing you lack the ability to empathize with your reader – with what he or she knows and doesn’t know. If the recruiter is seeking to hire you into a managerial role, such a resume could be an absolute deal breaker.

So make sure your resume passes The High School Test. Make sure that an intelligent high schooler, with no specific training in your industry or field of study, could understand every word on your resume. Omit the names of software systems, analytical frameworks, protocols, and the specific words your firm uses for processes that no one else does.

So instead of:

  • Spearheaded cross-business unit engagement for NTY video initiative
Try:

  • Spearheaded cross-functional team of seven to implement a new streaming video platform
Instead of:

  • Led the Unified Communication Scalability initiative on the new 5427 router, coordinated the development, testing and marketing effort to enhanced and ensured UC application performance on the most powerful platform of NTY to date.
Try:

  • Coordinated development, testing, and marketing efforts for a groundbreaking new wi-fi product
Instead of:

  • Performed several analytical, substantive and internal control tests, including analytical tests on ACL (Audit Command Language)
Try:

  • Performed senior duties as an associate and coordinated financial statement audit engagements for companies in 11 different industries
Making sure your resume passes the High School Test will enable you to hold the reader’s attention long enough for him/her to identify your true accomplishments. That is what the next test is for: The CEO Test. You will soon learn why none of the above bullets passed that one.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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mbaMission Founder Launches Podcast Series with Venture for America’s  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2015, 19:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Founder Launches Podcast Series with Venture for America’s Andrew Yang
Today, many aspiring MBAs and MBA graduates want to join start-ups or launch such companies themselves. Is entrepreneurship as exciting as it seems? Is it really for you? mbaMission Founder Jeremy Shinewald has teamed up with Venture for America and CBS Interactive to launch Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast. Each week, Shinewald interviews another entrepreneur so you can hear the gritty stories of their ups and downs on the road to success.

The very first Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast features Shinewald interviewing his longtime business associate and friend, Venture for America (VFA) Founder Andrew Yang. Before launching VFA, Yang had amassed more than a decade of experience that includes difficult downfalls and surprising successes. In this episode, he discusses his path to the present, including

  • Launching an Internet company that never quite took off—Yang recalls running to the bank with the first investment check before the investors changed their mind
  • Transitioning from hosting company presentations at New York City delis and bars to becoming the CEO of a testing firm that threatened and ultimately was acquired by the market leader
  • Leaving a secure, comfortable position and risking $200K in personal funds to start VFA and soon after rubbing shoulders with President Obama
Subscribe to the podcast series to hear Yang and other entrepreneurs share how they overcame obstacles to get where they are today.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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mbaMission Exclusive Interview with Pejay Belland, Director of Marketi [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jun 2015, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Exclusive Interview with Pejay Belland, Director of Marketing, Admissions, and Financial Aid at INSEAD
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Pejay Belland, the director of marketing, admissions, and financial aid at INSEAD, who provided some interesting insights into the school and certain elements of its special ten-month MBA program. During our discussion, Belland elaborated on the following:

  • INSEAD’s reputation and recognized offerings
  • The school’s less well-known strengths
  • Benefits and challenges of the program’s ten-month format
  • How INSEAD evaluates its applicants
  • Creating cohesiveness in the student body
  • The GMAT versus the GRE
  • Preparing for an INSEAD interview
Read on to learn more about INSEAD and what it offers aspiring MBAs.

mbaMission: Thank you for your time today. To start us off, what would you say are the three things INSEAD is best known for

Pejay Belland: Well, I would say the first thing is diversity. We say we’re the business school for the world, and we are indeed a very global school in many respects. First of all, we have a presence—a physical presence, not just a satellite presence—with three campuses in France, in Singapore, and in Abu Dhabi. When we launched the MBA program back in 1959, we attracted, at the time, a very European audience, so not just French, but nationalities from all over Europe. And since then, we’ve really gone from strength to strength to attract high-profile students from all over the world. Today we have a class of 1,000 students who come in two intakes, one in January, one in September, and in any class, we have well over 80 nationalities represented. And importantly, there is no dominant culture.

What that means is that it is a very international experience in the classroom. Our professors come from all over the world, and in class, you can be sure that you’ll have a whole number of different cultural perspectives on any situation or case the prof presents. Students learn as much from each other as they do from the professor and get some great insights into global business. I think that’s very important. So that’s the first point.

Secondly, we’ve been pretty well known in the past for the fact that we are a one-year program. We were actually the first to launch a one-year program, back in 1959. It’s a very intensive experience. We talk about one year, but in fact, it’s only ten months. So it’s very attractive to students who don’t want to be out of the workforce for too long. It also prepares them incredibly well for the fast-paced roles that they’re going to be going into after they graduate. They really have to juggle about 80% of the course content that they would cover on a two-year program, whilst at the same time going through the job search, going through the career development process. In addition to that, there are a lot of social activities going on all the time. There’s a lot of lifelong friendships and also partnerships for entrepreneurial ventures, for example, which are formed during the program. So I would say the intensity is also something for which we’re well known.

And then I would say thirdly, the quality of the program itself—our students, our faculty. As you know, we’re ranked pretty highly—we’re number four in the FT [Financial Times]. We’re number two in the Forbes ranking. We’re highly recognized for the quality of our faculty research—two of our professors were ranked respectively second and ninth in the Thinkers50 ranking of the world’s most influential management thinkers, with a number of others cited on the radar screen. The quality of our students is also recognized. Today, for example, we are placed at number two in the FT500 CEO list, just behind Harvard, and 58% of our alumni are in a board or C-level position globally. And our student talent is highly appreciated amongst our recruiters—we’re ranked number one in Asia for the QS ranking and second in Europe.

mbaMission: Good. What do you think INSEAD should be known for, then, that it is not? What would you consider a hidden gem of the program that you feel should get more attention?

PB: There are a lot of areas, actually. We are a general management school, so, you know, we excel in all disciplines, but I would say that there’s perhaps one area, which is entrepreneurship. We have a number of centers of excellence which focus on entrepreneurship in all its aspects, and a comprehensive program for our students which begins from day one. Students don’t necessarily immediately take the entrepreneurial route on graduation (about 5% to8% will do so), but later on, we estimate that about 50% of our alumni will go into some kind of entrepreneurial role. And a recent analysis by Pitchbook, a provider of PE [private equity] and VC [venture capital] data, found that INSEAD’s entrepreneurs raised the most funds outside the United States in the past five years. We’re very proud of our entrepreneurs!

mbaMission: Perfect. So how does the student experience differ between the September start and the January start? I know that one has an internship, or the possibility of an internship, and the other does not, but what are some of the other differences in the two student experiences?

PB: I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, actually. It is a ten-month course in both cases, except that the January class has a break in the summer where they can do an internship if they wish. It’s not compulsory, but about 50% of our January class will do an internship. I would say that’s probably the biggest difference. What it means in terms of preparation, of course, is that whereas the September class won’t actually start the recruiting process or the job search, per se, until the last four months of their program—although they’re preparing throughout the first six months—for those in the January class who do want to do an internship, there’s the additional need to start to look for an internship practically from day one when they arrive on campus. So that does add to the intensity of their program somewhat, but at the same time, it’s a good option to be able to explore future desires for different careers. So I would say the intensity is balanced out by the opportunity that doing an internship brings.

mbaMission: I see. So how would you suggest people prepare for this and the intensity of the ten-month program? What advice do you give incoming students?

PB: Sure. I think one of the things to underline here is that, of course, we don’t recruit undergraduates. We are looking for people who have a certain maturity to be able to deal with that intensity. The average work experience [of our incoming students] is about five years. In some cases, we will admit people with as low as two years’ work experience, and those tend to be folks who have a very dynamic and successful first two years in their career, so they have probably already been in an intensive environment and have that maturity to be able to deal with the workload, the job search, and the social activities at the same time. That’s probably the best preparation.

On our side, we do filter them in talking to prospective candidates, underlining the fact that it is going to be intense, and we encourage them to talk to alumni to try and get an understanding as to what those first four months are, where you’re doing in the majority of your core courses. How intense are those first four months? What are the challenges? And I think the alumni are probably best placed to give their insights into that, into how to deal with it. I think the reality is that there’s so much going on. There’s a little bit of time management that’s needed, and there has to be a bit of prioritization, as well. You can’t go to every single social event. You can’t go to every single presentation. You have to be in class. You have to deliver your assignments on time. So at some point, you have to prioritize.

mbaMission: Sure. We did an interview with an alumnus of your school, and he said INSEAD involves three main components—studying, socializing, and sleeping—but that you can really only have two, so most people give up sleeping. I thought that was kind of a funny anecdote.

PB: I think a lot of people would probably agree with that. A lot of these folks are going to go into a very intense job when they graduate from INSEAD, so I think it’s an amazing training ground for them.

mbaMission: Very true, especially for the bankers and consultants out there.

PB: That’s right.

mbaMission: So how do you build a strong community when your students are spread out among different campuses?

PB: That’s a very good question. If I can sort of backtrack a little bit to how do you build a community amongst the people that are physically on campus, we do that through group work. All of our students are put into groups when they arrive. First of all, they’re in sections, so each section is around 70 to 80 students, and then within each section, they’re divided into groups of about five to six students who are put together for their diversity, so they’re really hand matched, if that explains it a little bit. They spend the first four months with their section, and they spend the first four months working within that same group. And then there’s all the social activities and clubs, whether careers or other interests. There is a lot of bonding around common themes. Obviously, in mixing between the two campuses, there is the campus exchange, and as you probably know, students get an opportunity to go to the other campus at some point during the program. So that’s another opportunity to continue to build a community.

I think the reality is when you have a class of 500 students, you can’t possibly know all 500 of them, but you will find that students sort of group together around common interests or meet each other at social events, or come together perhaps because they’re working on a specific project together, or they’re interested in a specific career, or they’ll reach out to each other because one student comes from banking and another student wants to go into banking. There’s a lot of exchange going on through these sorts of informal activities across the campus.

mbaMission: Sure. What can you tell me about how INSEAD evaluates applicants? What is the process when you go through an application?

PB: Basically, we read every single application that comes to us, so we have a team of dedicated professionals who evaluate the files and make the first analysis. We’re looking at four different areas, four different criteria that we take into consideration when we’re evaluating a file, and the first one is academic potential. That’s quite important in a one-year program, to be able to deal with the course content and to get through the academic side of things and to really take away a good learning experience. So obviously, we look at the academic background of the person, as well as their GMAT or their GRE. That gives us some insight into how they’ll be able to perform in the program.

Then we look at the international motivation of the candidate. What I mean by that is a certain cultural sensitivity or curiosity. A lot of our students have worked or lived outside of their home country at some point during their life, whether it’s on a personal level, on a professional level, or for those that actually haven’t, they have an intellectual curiosity to learn more about different cultures and how different cultures do business. So that’s the second dimension we’re looking at. We also measure that to a certain extent by the languages. We do have a language policy of two languages for entry to INSEAD, then a third language for exit at a basic level, for graduation.

The third component, as a general management program, is their leadership potential. Now, we obviously recognize that many of our candidates are not in a leadership position yet, but we are preparing them for one, so we want to be sure that they have that potential. And the way we do that is to look at their background, look at how they’ve evolved in their careers so far, what sort of responsibilities have they had so far. We also are looking at the recommendations, so how do the people that have worked with them, whether it’s their bosses, whether it’s clients, how do they actually see them? Where do they see their skills in terms of leadership? And how would they see them in the future, would they see them in a future leadership position?

And then there’s a fourth component, which I think comes back to perhaps the social components of the INSEAD experience, which is we’re looking for well-rounded personalities. It’s very important to have interests outside of the workplace, to be able to take a step back from work from time to time and to relax. And the students we’re looking for are people who are very well grounded with good personalities. We’re looking for people who are able to contribute in class, who are really dynamic. How are they going to contribute in class? I mean, that’s the big question. It’s all part of the learning experience.

mbaMission: Absolutely. How do you screen for fit when you’re assessing applicants? How can you tell whether someone is the right fit for your program?

PB: When we’re looking very closely at those four criteria, that gives us an initial impression of how we feel that person would fit at the preselection committee stage. Obviously, we get a little bit of insight into their personality through the essays that they send to us, and if we feel that there is a potential fit, then we’re going to send them to interview, and they would do two interviews. Our interviewers, by the way, are alumni, and one of the questions that we ask our interviewers is, “Would you be happy to have this person as a classmate?” I think the graduates from INSEAD are probably in the best place to be able to judge, by meeting the person, whether they really would fit with the INSEAD community.

mbaMission: Sure. INSEAD is so internationally focused, and we talk to our clients a lot about highlighting that in their applications. Are there things you look for at INSEAD that you think are different from what the U.S. schools look for?

PB: Well, it does come back to diversity. I think all schools are going to be looking for leadership potential, right? I mean, that’s for sure. Some schools may focus more on the academic side more or less, but for us, it’s equally balanced. I think probably the two factors which can differentiate from our perspective are the international components and the personality or the ability to contribute. I’m not quite sure if U.S. schools today are looking for that international component, but for us, it’s equally important. I think a lot of U.S. schools have a high applicant pool of domestic candidates, so they’re measuring their overall pool perhaps on different dimensions than we are. But for us, this cultural awareness and this cultural sensitivity and curiosity are important.

And then, if you speak to somebody who has gone through INSEAD, and if you speak to somebody who has gone through Harvard, or somebody in Europe who has gone through LBS [London Business School], there’s always that little something that differentiates them, and it’s really difficult to put your finger on. But you know, an INSEAD-er will say, “I’m an INSEAD-er.” An LBS-er will probably say, “I’m an LBS-er,” and I think that does come down to the personality. It’s definitely all the criteria that we look at, but definitely the social components and sort of the outgoing side of the personality is very important.

mbaMission: Sure. I’d like to get your views on the GMAT versus the GRE. Are you seeing an increase in students applying with the GRE? And what kind of applicants do you typically see applying with the GRE?

PB: We don’t have huge numbers with the GRE who submit an application compared to our U.S. peers, perhaps because U.S. domestic students are more familiar with the GRE. We have some applicants who have actually done the GRE and done the GMAT as well. So I would say we’re probably not yet even in double digits in terms of percentages of GRE takers who apply to INSEAD. But to answer the second part of the question, I would say they are from across the board.

We’re always a little bit cautious about giving ranges, both with the GMAT and with the GRE. We sort of give a rough target, and what we say generally is that when we’re looking at GMATs—and we look at the Verbal and the Quant, by the way—we would say that candidates should be more or less aiming for a 70th percentile on both Quant and Verbal. And in GRE, it’s a little bit higher, according to what we’ve seen in terms of conversion, which we’ve got from ETS [Educational Testing Service]. So we would say around 75th to 80th percentile for GRE. But I do want to emphasize the fact that the GRE and the GMAT is just one component, and we often get candidates saying, “Oh gosh, I’ve looked at the average at INSEAD, and it’s 700+. Should I be retaking my GMAT, because I’m at 690?” And quite honestly, we’re looking at so many other aspects, when you’re so near to that mark, you really don’t want to retake the GMAT.

mbaMission: I agree. I always tell clients when they’re so close like that, that’s not going to make or break you.

PB: No, it really doesn’t, and I do want to reassure anybody who has questions about that. It really doesn’t. In some cases, if we see what we would find to be a relatively low Quant score, for example, we might go back and look at other elements of the file, just to make sure that the candidate, if we were to admit them, would be able to deal with the quantitative courses.

mbaMission: Great. Because your program is so condensed, I imagine students really have to come in with a clear idea of what they want to do after graduation. How do you judge the employability of an applicant? Is that part of your equation?

PB: We do look at what their career goals are, because we want to make sure that when they apply to INSEAD, they already have a clear idea—what is their story, where are they coming from, where do they want to go? We’re also very conscious that they’re going to discover so many new things when they come on the program, that some of them will change their opinion, change their direction. Of course, it does have to happen quite early on in the program; it’s a ten-month program. But I would say, yes, we do look at career goals, and if we see something completely outrageous, which hasn’t been well thought through, then we would question the good sense of the applicant.

mbaMission: Do you work in conjunction with the career services office?

PB: We do. When we have a question about some career goals that we’re asking from applicants, we actually go down to the careers team and say, “Is this candidate being realistic about their objectives that they’re setting themselves?” Not to say that we would refuse the candidate, but just to say that we might want to be aware of some goals which are maybe a little bit unrealistic, to be able to set expectations as well, from day one, from when they actually come on the program. And the other thing that we do is we have a bit of a debrief session with our careers department and our program management department after the program, just to see who were stars and who were kind of the lower performers. And we try to figure out if there is anything that could have helped us in the application process to identify either the stars—is there a trend there, where we could have been looking out for more stars?—or those who underperformed. Is there anything that we could have picked up on in the applications which might have raised alarm bells?

mbaMission: When you say a star, you mean somebody who is easily employable versus someone who may be less so?

PB: Yeah, absolutely. Again, it’s two different things, because you’ve got the academics and you’ve also got the careers outcomes. So we bring together both the careers teams and the academics just to debrief. It’s not an incredibly formal process, but it does help us on the admissions side to really figure out if we’ve admitted a candidate where we might have had some concerns, but we thought we’d give the person the benefit of the doubt. It’s always good to have the feedback on how things have gone and whether our decision was the right one.

mbaMission: Sure. We’ve been hearing from some waitlisted applicants that the schools are asking for a Plan B because their career services offices aren’t sure the applicants can achieve the goals they’ve set for themselves.

PB: That’s interesting. I would say in our case, it wouldn’t be make or break. We know that sometimes the career goals are… sometimes they might be telling us a little bit the stories that they think we want to hear, which is not a good thing either, by the way.

mbaMission: Right.

PB: But we certainly would not refuse a candidate based on their career goals. Unless that career goal is completely ridiculous—and no examples come to mind—but maybe somebody whose career goal has got nothing to do with an MBA, you would really question why they would want to do an MBA. Let’s say, somebody who is a banker and comes to INSEAD and wants to be an actor. I mean, that’s a ridiculous example, right? We’ve never had that, but obviously, you’d question it. This person’s story doesn’t make sense. Why aren’t they going to theater school? Why are they coming to INSEAD to get an MBA? In some cases, if we did see something like that, we’d dig a little bit deeper at the interview stage to better understand their motivation.

mbaMission: Waitlisted clients often come to us for advice about how they should manage that stage of the admissions process. What does INSEAD expect from applicants who are waitlisted? Is there an ideal approach?

PB: We know how difficult it can be for waitlisted candidates awaiting an answer from the school. We do try to get back to them as soon as possible, either to make an offer or to let them know that there are no longer any spots available. There really isn’t an ideal approach for them, though, except to be patient.

mbaMission: Sure. I wanted to quickly touch on another aspect related to employability. We get many clients who are interested in INSEAD but who want to work in the United States after graduation and have some concerns about that. What can you tell me about placement in the States for your MBAs?

PB: Sure. I think the majority of our alumni are based on the East Coast and the West Coast. I was in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, and we did an event at Google, and we have a huge base of alumni in Silicon Valley, on the Google campus. So that’s one example. Otherwise, we have good relationships with the big consulting firms, so definitely a lot of our students go into consulting in the U.S. But I think the reality is that somebody who is coming from the U.S. and who wants to go back to the U.S. should also be prepared to use their own network. They can definitely use INSEAD’s network, but they should also be able to use their own network to find a job in the U.S.

We do have less presence in the U.S., so it’s kind of a mixture of both. As I said, there are the obvious suspects on the East Coast and the West Coast. We would always do our utmost to facilitate relationship building with new companies in the U.S., but the candidate coming in who does want to go back and has got a very specific idea of where they want to go, if that’s not a company with whom INSEAD is in contact, not a company with whom we have a strong relationship through alumni or corporate relationships, then the candidate should be prepared to work on building those relationships and putting a lot of effort into their job search as well. Which is what we say to all candidates, by the way. The careers team is there to facilitate the job search, but at the same time, the candidates need to be willing to put in a lot of their own time as well.

mbaMission: Of course. I think that’s something a lot of MBA students don’t really understand. The recruiting process begins even before you show up on campus.

PB: Completely. Absolutely.

mbaMission: What advice would you give an applicant who has made it to the interview stage at INSEAD?

PB: The biggest piece of advice that I can give to an applicant is to be themselves. The interview enables us to get some insights into the candidate’s personality, their stories, their motivation for INSEAD, and their fit with the school. It’s also a dialogue that lets the applicant get to know the school a little better through an opportunity to ask our alumni interviewers their questions. So take advantage of this opportunity. Obviously, it still remains an interview, so approach it as you would an interview for a job, be prepared, ensure you’ve done your homework about the school and that your motivation for joining is sound.

mbaMission: Great. Thank you again so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

PB: Thank you.
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Professor Profiles: Luigi Zingales, The University of Chicago Booth Sc [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jun 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Luigi Zingales, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose an MBA program, 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 Luigi Zingales from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Luigi Zingales is known on the Chicago Booth campus for his charm, sense of humor, and humility, but students with whom mbaMission spoke also call him an innovator, citing as evidence his perspective on the discount rates used to evaluate the future cash flows of new and risky ventures (i.e., his ability to mathematically explain why some firms deserve a 30%–50% discount rate). Zingales’s novel approach to solving the mortgage crisis was profiled in The Economist, and Bruce Bartlett of the National Review Online called his book Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists: Unleashing the Power of Financial Markets to Create Wealth and Spread Opportunity (coauthored with Raghuram G. Rajan; Crown Business, 2003) “one of the most powerful defenses of the free market ever written.” His students call him an “emerging finance superstar”—significant praise, considering the company he keeps at Chicago Booth.

For more information about Chicago Booth and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA News: MBA Summer Interns Are Earning High Salaries [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jun 2015, 19:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: MBA Summer Interns Are Earning High Salaries
School’s out for summer—but many MBA students have no vacation in sight. Summer internships are so common among these students that not having one is a rarity at many business schools. Poets & Quants explored the internship statistics at top-ranked schools and reported that more than 99% of the Class of 2016 at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business had received internship offers. While internship employment rates are high, salaries are quite notable as well. According to the article, interns at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business had the highest median base salaries in the United States last year at $8,200 per month. Interestingly, the single highest-earning intern in the country was a Columbia Business School student who brought home more than $22,000 per month. Of the 25 business schools reviewed by Poets & Quants, the lowest median monthly pay totaled approximately $3,000 and was earned by students of INSEAD, which has campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi.

Of course, internship industries vary just as post-MBA career choices do. One trend worth nothing, however, is technology: at Harvard Business School, for example, the proportion of tech internships has risen from 9% of the Class of 2011 to 21% of the Class of 2015. Many schools reported a similar trend—Darden’s assistant dean for career development noted to Poets&Quants that the percentage of the school’s interns working at tech firms has doubled in the past five years. Whether this summer’s interns will gravitate toward tech remains to be seen, but one could assume that in any case, they will be compensated handsomely.
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University of Michigan (Ross) Essay Analysis, 2015–2016 [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2015, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: University of Michigan (Ross) Essay Analysis, 2015–2016
Last year, the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan asked its applicants about their personal and professional pride. Maybe too much pride is a bad thing? This year, Ross’s first question enables you to choose your own essay theme and explain what you are most proud of to date. The admissions committee notes that the question is “intentionally broad.” That said, the next question is pretty darn specific—a standard career question that the admissions committee will use to evaluate your career goals. In a total of 800 words, you have one opportunity to reveal your personality and another to reveal your professional ambitions. Ross gives you a tough task; our essay analysis will no doubt be longer than the allowed word count. You would be wise to follow Ross’s advice about how to write effectively:

“A note about writing style: we like clear and succinct. ‘Up to 400 words’ means it can be less than 400 words. It’s not a word count test, nor is it a creative writing test. Don’t write two paragraphs of introduction before stating what you’re most proud of. You can even start with, ‘I am most proud of….’ Write as you would speak. To a real person. We, who read the essays, are real people.”

We repeatedly discuss the approach of skipping the intro and launching right into your story when writing an essay. However, we disagree with Ross—a few thousand essays that start with “I am most proud of…” will numb the reader. Think of a different opening!

Here is our analysis…

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1. What are you most proud of and why? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)


Many applicants will assume that they must write about a single professional or personal experience. And, for many, that may be the best strategy—especially if you have one absolute standout accomplishment. However, you may possess a skill that transcends environments and fills you with pride; perhaps you are great at fostering community or integrating feedback and improving, and maybe you have displayed these attributes in a diversity of environments, which will, in turn, enable you to showcase more than one accomplishment. You can definitely seize a theme to give yourself broader “access” to your own story.

“Fostering community” and “integrating feedback” may seem like clichéd themes, but the theme is not nearly as important as the evidence itself, and the evidence comes via your story. Now, “evidence” is a loaded word—the schools are not analyzing your stories to detect fraud. They are reading your essays to get a sense of who you are, and that sense comes from the rich details in your story. In the past, we have discussed the concept of “show, don’t tell.” By revealing your authentic experiences, you will captivate your admissions reader and truly drive your point home. You will paint a picture so that someone will ideally walk away with a rich and memorable sense of your personality.

Now, of course, if you want to delve into describing a single accomplishment, that strategy can work. However, you cannot simply brag from start to finish. You will still need to discuss your achievement and explain how it was hard earned. After all, if you are most proud of this accomplishment, it cannot have come to you easily. Your story will need to present a core conflict to show why you are so proud—person versus person, person versus time, person versus resource constraints, etc. We use “conflict” in the non-violent, literary manner, of course. The reader needs to hear your story of overcoming obstacles to understand why you feel so positively about this achievement.

Finally, do not get so wrapped up in your past that you forget about the present. Ross asks how you have been shaped by this experience—do not forget to answer that question! In addition, avoid reiterating the most obvious aspect of your essay. Sentences such as “I am proud to have built communities wherever I have gone. It is rewarding to leave my mark.” will not do! You must delve deeper into your experiences and be sure that you are truly reflecting, rather than reiterating, your thesis.

2. What is your desired career path and why? (up to 400 words)

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

For a thorough exploration of Ross’s academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment, and other valuable information, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Celebrate the End of the Semester with CBS F [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Celebrate the End of the Semester with CBS Follies
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

The end of each semester at Columbia Business School (CBS) is marked with CBS Follies—a completely student-run comedy and entertainment show that is performed for the school’s student body, which, we were informed, has been known to get rather rowdy during the presentation. CBS Follies made a particularly strong impact back in 2006 with the YouTube hit “Every Breath Bernanke Takes,” which lampooned Dean R. Glenn Hubbard’s position as runner-up to Ben Bernanke to become chairman of the Federal Reserve. More recently, a video from the fall 2014 Follies titled “Bitch in Business”—a parody of the hit song “All About That Bass” that celebrated the phenomenon of powerful women in the workplace—made quite an impression and has been viewed on YouTube more than 2.8 million times as of June 2015. Each edition of the Follies centers on a theme. In fall 2014, the theme was “Phantom of the Follies,” and the spring 2014 event was themed “Saved by the Follies”—a play on Saved by the Bell.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at CBS and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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mbaMission Founder Welcomes Former OMGPOP CEO to Podcast Series [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2015, 19:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Founder Welcomes Former OMGPOP CEO to Podcast Series
Today, many aspiring MBAs and MBA graduates want to join start-ups or launch such companies themselves. Is entrepreneurship as exciting as it seems? Is it really for you? mbaMission Founder Jeremy Shinewald has teamed up with Venture for America and CBS Interactive to launch the Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast. Each week, Shinewald interviews another entrepreneur so you can hear the gritty stories of their ups and downs on the road to success.

In this second installment of the podcast series, Shinewald joins forces with guest host Miles Lasater, a fellow Venture for America board member and entrepreneur, for a conversation with Dan Porter, the former CEO of OMGPOP. Although Porter’s sale of OMGPOP to Zynga for approximately $200M in 2012 was high profile, his journey to success was far from straightforward. In this podcast episode, he touches on his many incarnations that led him to the start-up world:

  • Beginning his career as a teacher and ultimately leading Teach for America
  • Joining the financial industry and educating himself by reading textbooks beneath his desk (“I knew nothing about it,” Porter says in the podcast.)
  • Trying to get the attention of Steve Jobs but instead being yelled at by the entrepreneurial legend
  • Carrying $200K in firm expenses on his personal credit card as he worried whether the firm would make it
To hear the complete story behind Porter’s success and to access more episodes, each featuring a notable entrepreneur, subscribe to the podcast series!
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MBA News: Business School Expenses Rising Despite an Influx of Donatio [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2015, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Business School Expenses Rising Despite an Influx of Donations
The current year has been prosperous for many business schools. Donations from notable alums seem to be pouring in. Take Boston University’s recently renamed business school, for example. Yet, a recent article by the Financial Times (FT) suggests that such gifts are often merely short-term solutions for deeply ingrained issues in school budgets. FT notes that such expenses as international trips and classes—which are increasingly popular among students—add to the already high costs ofmany programs. Another expense worth noting is salaries for top professors—which, FT reports, can total more than $400K per professor.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, MBA tuition costs have risen recently. At private business schools in the United States, tuition increased by 25% from 2009 to 2014, while tuition at public schools rose by 50% during the same period. However, some schools are hopeful that future aspiring MBAs will not have to dig deeper into their pockets to attend business school. Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, told FT “I don’t think we’re going to see an increase in tuition fees,” and she disagreed with the implication that schools are raising fees to make up for gaps in their budgets.
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mbaMission Founder Continues Entrepreneurial Podcast Series with Shara [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2015, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Founder Continues Entrepreneurial Podcast Series with Shara Mendelson
Today, many aspiring MBAs and MBA graduates want to join start-ups or launch such companies themselves. Is entrepreneurship as exciting as it seems? Is it really for you? mbaMission Founder Jeremy Shinewald has teamed up with Venture for America and CBS Interactive to launch the Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast. Each week, Shinewald interviews another entrepreneur so you can hear the gritty stories of their ups and downs on the road to success.

In the third podcast episode, Shinewald again welcomes guest host Miles Lasater for an interview with Shara Mendelson, the founder of entertainment perks provider Plum Benefits, which she spent 13 years building from scratch before selling in 2012. Mendelson discusses her journey, which has included

  • Getting that first entrepreneurial spark by helping out a nonprofit theater company while simultaneously working at her first job—Mendelson felt inspired by the theater members’ passion and saw an opportunity to help
  • Launching Plum Benefits from her apartment and her parents’ offices, with fax machines whirring and beeping nonstop (“All I would hear all night were the [fax noises]… But it was a wonderful sound,” she says in the podcast.)
  • Being threatened over the phone by a successful entertainment executive after a cold call early in the company’s history (“Wow,” Mendelson tells Shinewald she thought at the time,“I must be doing something really great if he’s that worried about it.”)
  • Taking a leap into the unknown by deciding to sell her “baby” after building it for 13 years
Subscribe to the podcast to hear Mendelson’s complete story and many more to come—each offering a unique peek behind the glitz of entrepreneurship.
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mbaMission Founder Interviews Homepolish’s Will Nathan in Fourth Podca [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Founder Interviews Homepolish’s Will Nathan in Fourth Podcast Episode
Today, many aspiring MBAs and MBA graduates want to join start-ups or launch such companies themselves. Is entrepreneurship as exciting as it seems? Is it really for you? mbaMission Founder Jeremy Shinewald has teamed up with Venture for America and CBS Interactive to launch Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast. Each week, Shinewald interviews another entrepreneur so you can hear the gritty stories of their ups and downs on the road to success.

In this fourth episode of the podcast series, Jeremy Shinewald welcomes guest Will Nathan, who co-founded the innovative interior design company Homepolish after working in finance and coding. Nathan discusses how he built a fast-growing company with his business partner, Noa Santos. Highlights from his journey include

  • Working 100-plus-hour weeks in investment banking while teaching himself to code and co-founding an app on the side
  • Accepting a 75% paycheck cut to move to New York City from San Francisco and work for one of his favorite startups, BuzzFeed, which was rapidly growing at the time
  • Getting the idea for Homepolish after purchasing an apartment in Chelsea but being turned down by “condescending” interior designers (“I didn’t know you could feel like that,” he told Shinewald about seeing his apartment come together with the help of Santos. “I knew we had to bottle that feeling.”)
  • Going from sweeping sawdust off the floors of Homepolish’s tiny Flatiron office and guaranteeing the lease himself to seeing the company expand before his and Santos’s eyes
Subscribe to the podcast series to hear more amazing entrepreneurial stories!
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Yale School of Management Essay Analysis, 2015–2016 [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2015, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Yale School of Management Essay Analysis, 2015–2016
In a blog post announcing this year’s admissions essay, Yale School of Management (SOM) Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico noted that the school was pleased with the question it had in place last year and would be making no changes.

Well, our essay analysis will have some similarities as well, for obvious reasons. Just like last year, we note that the Yale SOM’s single essay is rather restrictive. So if you are thinking about applying this year, you had better make sure your resume is clear and compelling, your recommendations are replete with examples and exhibit your distinctiveness, you offer your best and most comprehensive self via your interview, and you carefully consider each short-answer question. These are all important tasks with any application, of course, but they do merit extra attention with respect to Yale, because 500 words is simply not enough room to reveal your diverse achievements. In writing your one essay, you have a very important choice to make, because those few words will shape much of your initial qualitative impression. Our analysis follows…

The essay question:The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent. (500 words maximum)”

As we have noted, you are quite limited with the Yale SOM application essay, so you will have to think very carefully about which experience to showcase. As the question makes clear, you must provide evidence of positive influence and enduring impact. This does not mean, however, that you must have reshaped an entire organization. If you helped revamp your firm’s hiring function, thereby influencing future hiring, or shifted a key thinker’s strategy, thereby triggering a ripple effect that yielded positive results, or added an important feature to a product, thereby making it a revenue driver, then you have doubtlessly had an impact. In other words, Yale is not expecting CEO-level influence from you, but it is expecting that you have made a mark of some kind within your sphere. Of course, if you actually have led the overhaul of an entire organization, that is great—but, again, it is not a requirement.

To create a strong essay, put your reader in the middle of the action quickly. With 500 words, you will not have enough room to expound on your organization’s background and its failures or needs. Instead, launch immediately into your narrative, presenting the problem you worked to solve or the opportunity you tried to seize. Then focus on how you conducted yourself on your way to positively influencing affairs and making an enduring impact—how you ultimately solved that problem or seized that opportunity. And, as regular readers of our essay analyses know, you must show that the path to your victory was a bumpy one, because if the whole thing was a slam dunk from the beginning, your story will lack dramatic tension—your reader will finish with a “big deal” shrug.

You must very clearly show “lasting impact,” which means you should not be afraid to carry your story through to its end. For example, revamping a firm’s hiring can have many ripple effects in terms of attracting employees who are better fits and leading to improved performance for both a team and the firm overall. Do not brag, but do not be too modest, either. Be fair to yourself and present the full story of your accomplishment, all the way to its logical conclusion. If your essay is humble (because of its narrative approach, it has to be!), your reader will gladly follow you there.

For a thorough exploration of the Yale SOM academic program, merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment, and other valuable information, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Yale School of Management.
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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA Career Advice: Three Tests for Your Resume: The CEO Test [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2015, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Three Tests for Your Resume: The CEO Test
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.

Once your bullets make sense to a lay person, what you have accomplished can truly shine. Or, if your resume is like most people’s your complete lack of accomplishment will stick out like a sore thumb. That’s not because you haven’t accomplished meaningful things in your career, it’s because you haven’t structured your bullets to emphasize results.

Why does this matter? Again, remember, you are seeking more responsibility; you want to manage and lead; you want to have a bigger impact. Your ability to do each of those things rests on your ability to understand the impact you have already had and how the work you have done has influenced real business outcomes, even if you were the junior-most member of the team (take note consultants, accountants, and bankers!!) Even in a team environment, you need to uncover your meaningful individual contributions to the shared outcome.

So that means that each bullet on your resume needs to contain a result. The outcome and impact needs to be visible and, where possible, measured. Did your work lead to estimated time or money saved? Did the relationship you built result in a quantifiable sale? Did your analysis drive a key recommendation that changed the final result of the project in measurable ways? Your bullets need to highlight your accomplishments.

Think about this as the CEO Test. If the CEO of your company were to read that bullet, would she shake your hand? Would he care that you did that? Or would she stare blankly with indifference? The CEO is responsible for the workings of the entire company, and so he or she will likely be unconcerned with the job responsibilities of any one member of the team. Results, on the other hand, especially those that translate to the bottom line, no matter how small, are a matter of CEO concern.

You want each of your bullets to showcase a result that you produced and where you excelled vis-a-vis expectations, targets, or peers. Do your best to measure your results in real terms – dollars or time, for example – in a way that translates directly to the bottom line wherever possible.

Consider these examples:

CEO Test Fail:

  • Responsible for managing a $10M media campaign
CEO Test Pass:

  • Initiated $10M social media campaign introducing new detergent, surpassing first-year sales targets within three months
CEO Test Fail:

  • Performed investigations to resolve customer complaints and identify broken processes
CEO Test Pass:

  • Developed a new monthly performance monitoring framework which identified a $2M annual cost savings opportunity and a critical call center data issue in the second month
CEO Test Fail:

  • Conducted detailed analysis of client’s profit and loss statements and presented findings to team
CEO Test Pass:

  • Drove recommendation to divest three snack brands for consumer goods client by identifying key strategic misalignment in manufacturing process based on detailed P&L analysis
If you find yourself struggling to understand the results of your work, consider discussing this with your managers and teammates. They can sometimes help you connect what you did to the outcome that resulted. If you ensure your bullets convey the impact you have had in real business terms, you will already be going a long way to demonstrating your competence and professional potential.
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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Mission Admission: What Type of Candidate Are B-Schools Seeking? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2015, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: What Type of Candidate Are B-Schools Seeking?
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

One of the most common questions we hear from business school applicants is “What type of candidate does Harvard/Stanford/Wharton/Chicago Booth/etc. want?” Of course, the answer to that question is that schools do not want one type of applicant. Instead, each school is striving to assemble a remarkably diverse class and thus wants to be able to identify distinct qualities in each candidate.

Although simplifying a school’s approach to admissions (e.g., “Kellogg wants team players!”) can be appealing, avoid trying to fit into some perceived mold—doing so will only mask your true distinct qualities and strengths. Rather than pandering to a stereotype with regard to your personal/professional experiences or changing your stated goals to match an imagined bias on the part of an MBA admissions committee, you should spend a great deal of time brainstorming to best understand how you can showcase your unique traits. By demonstrating that you offer something different than other candidates, you have the greatest chance of succeeding.
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: Irv Grousbeck, Stanford Graduate School of Busines [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2015, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Irv Grousbeck, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose an MBA program, 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 Irv Grousbeck from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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One of the founders and former directors of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), Irv Grousbeck first began teaching at the business school in 1985 after co-founding Continental Cablevision (now Media One) in 1964 and teaching at Harvard Business School (1981–1985), where he helped found the entrepreneurial management department. Since 2003, he has also been a managing partner (and an executive committee member) of the National Basketball Association team the Boston Celtics. According to a recent Stanford GSB alumnus with whom mbaMission spoke, students find Grousbeck’s “Managing Growing Enterprises” class so useful because in it, they must assume the role of CEO of the companies they discuss, and Grousbeck then forces them to deal with particular managerial challenges, strongly emphasizing execution. Designed for students who anticipate becoming entrepreneurs or joining a start-up shortly after graduating from business school, the course is capped at 40 people and includes frequent role-plays.

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

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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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