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The mbaMission Blog

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mbaMission Founder Welcomes Charlie Kroll to Venture for America Podca [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2015, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Founder Welcomes Charlie Kroll to Venture for America Podcast
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.

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In this fifth installment of the podcast series, Jeremy Shinewald sits down with Charlie Kroll, the co-founder of Ellevest Financial who also founded the customer acquisition solutions company Andera 15 years ago while still attending Brown University. Kroll looks back on his path to the present day, sharing such stories as:

  • Borrowing $40,000 from a girlfriend, who had earmarked it to buy a BMW, to complete a funding round
  • Selling Andera to Bottomline Technologies for $45 million and witnessing the acquirer starting to repaint the building’s walls its own colors the second the deal closed
Subscribe to the podcast to hear Kroll’s story and many more!

The post mbaMission Founder Welcomes Charlie Kroll to Venture for America Podcast appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Life As an International Student at Fuqua [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Life As an International Student at Fuqua
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.

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International students (by citizenship) make up 40 percent of the typical class at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Daytime MBA program, according to the school’s Web site. The Duke International Programs Office and the Duke International House offer many resources to assist international students with issues associated with acclimating to, studying in, and working in the United States, including visa applications and processing. In addition, the Language Institute at Fuqua is designed to prepare incoming international students for the MBA experience at the school. One first year mbaMission interviewed whose time at Fuqua was his first experience in the United States of longer than two weeks said, “We all bonded during the Language Institute and met many classmates who knew what we were all going through.”

According to the institute’s site, as part of the four-phase program, which is held before the MBA curriculum begins, “Students are given opportunities to refine their English language skills through practice and experiential learning. Students take part in a comprehensive ten-day program of lectures, case presentations, writing exercises, and a variety of assignments that get them ready for the rigors of graduate school. This is followed by five weeks of monitoring students’ progress once they start school, with further opportunities for individualized support and learning.”

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.

The post Beyond the MBA Classroom: Life As an International Student at Fuqua appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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: Intimate Class Size at Mays Business School [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2015, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Intimate Class Size at Mays 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.

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Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School offers a full-time, 49-credit MBA curriculum that can be completed in just 16 months (August to December) or customized for an extended period of time. Although the core curriculum is very rigid, with foundational management courses spanning the entirety of the program, Mays also offers the option of pursuing certificates and career specializations beyond the 16-month core.

But what really stands out about the Mays program is its dedication to maintaining a strong sense of community. The school’s two cohorts of approximately 40 students each facilitate an intimate classroom setting and personalized attention from faculty and staff.

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Friday Factoid: Conference Season at Columbia Business School [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2015, 06:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Conference Season at Columbia Business School
With the changing of the leaves and the influx of cooler weather on Columbia Business School’s (CBS’s) campus comes a series of student-run conferences that give both first- and second-year students the opportunity to expand their knowledge across a variety of disciplines via panels and keynote speaker addresses, and to network with like-minded students, conference sponsors (who are often also big CBS recruiters), and even industry professionals.

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In October is the popular Social Enterprise Conference, during which speakers discuss the ways leaders and managers can use strategy as a tool to maximize social change and how organizations can incorporate a broader spectrum of social gains into their organizational strategies, among other issues.

The CBS Healthcare Conference follows. The 2014 conference featured the chairman and COO of Roche Pharmaceuticals and the president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare as the keynote speakers.The Marketing Association of Columbia (MAC) Conference is up next and, like the Social Enterprise Conference, usually enjoys a packed house. The MAC Conference has focused on such topics as the elevation, enhancement, and personalization of the brand experience for today’s mindful consumer.

Conference season at Columbia continues into the second semester and features the India Business Conference and the Columbia Women in Business Conference. CBS often touts its New York advantage—students have the business world right outsidethe school’s door, ripe for exploration. Obviously, however, this advantage does not mean that CBS neglects to bring the business world to its students.

For more information on CBS or 15 other leading MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

The post Friday Factoid: Conference Season at Columbia Business School appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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OurHarvest Founders Share Their Unconventional Story with mbaMission’s [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2015, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: OurHarvest Founders Share Their Unconventional Story with mbaMission’s President
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.

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The sixth podcast episode introduces two guests, Scott Reich and Mike Winik, the creators of the online farmer’s market OurHarvest—which was recently featured in the New York Times. Tune in to hear the former college roommates’ unconventional story, sharing these tidbits and much more:

  • Leaving behind the security of their respective careers in law and investment banking—and later running into bewildered previous co-workers while driving the OurHarvest food truck around New York City
  • Knocking on possible partners’ doors wearing their sneakers—in true bootstrapper fashion!—only to soon find themselves partnering with such giants as Uber and Equinox
  • Making regular drives in the middle of the night in response to email alerts from a thawing freezer truck
Subscribe to the podcast series to hear how OurHarvest and many other start-ups grew into notable companies!

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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Supervisor Graduated from HBS—He Kn [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Supervisor Graduated from HBS—He Knows!
We at mbaMission know of a now 70-year-old man who graduated from a virtually unknown Canadian undergraduate school in 1963 and who, with no work experience at all, applied to Harvard Business School (HBS), Wharton, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), earning acceptance at all three (though the GSB deferred his entry for one year so he could earn a little more experience first). He ultimately studied at HBS and now runs a small grain-trading business. You could not meet a nicer man, and although he is certainly wise in many respects, one thing he knows nothing about is MBA admissions. “I attended so long ago, things must have changed since then,” he says. “I did not have any work experience at all. I had studied four years of commerce, and that was it!”

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Why are we telling you this? Many candidates each year tell us that their bosses, who applied to business school during far different times, have given them “sage” advice about applying and that they feel they should follow it—after all, what worked for their boss in 1966, 1976, 1986, or even 1996 must still be applicable today, right? Wrong.

For a long time, the MBA was actually not all that desirable a degree, so admissions was not quite so competitive. To give you an idea of the MBA’s relative popularity, Duke University (Fuqua) did not even start its MBA program until 1970, but its law school was founded in 1868. Yale University was founded in 1701, but it did not have an MBA program until 1976. So, the MBA is a relatively new degree that has only recently (in the late 1990s) reached its current level of popularity and prestige.

What does all of this mean with regard to your boss’s advice? Although your supervisor may have gotten into one of your target schools, he or she likely did so years ago and therefore may not have had to contend with the steep competition you now face. Your boss may also not know anything about what the admissions process is like today and could be—however inadvertently—leading you astray. If your supervisor starts any bit of his or her well-intended advice with the phrase “when I applied,” you should view the coming declaration with tremendous caution.

The post MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Supervisor Graduated from HBS—He Knows! appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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: Stephen M. Ross School of Business Receives $60M Gift [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2015, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Stephen M. Ross School of Business Receives $60M Gift
The hallways of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan might be empty at the moment, as students are busy with their internships and vacations, but philanthropists have not forgotten about the institution over the summer. The school announced recently that its Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies has received a $60M donation from the Zell Family Foundation. “This gift generates tremendous opportunities for our students and is significant news in the world of entrepreneurial studies,” Ross Dean Alison Davis-Blake commented in the announcement.

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The institute was established in 1999 following a $10M gift from the Zell Family Foundation and The Ann and Robert H. Lurie Family Foundation, and it was one of the first programs in the country dedicated solely to entrepreneurial studies. The new $60M donation will be allotted to entrepreneurial projects, with $10M intended specifically for investments in “new student business ventures,” according to the Ross announcement. The institute’s namesakes, business magnates Sam Zell and the late Robert H. Lurie, both received graduate degrees from the University of Michigan.

The post MBA News: Stephen M. Ross School of Business Receives $60M Gift appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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GMAT Impact: Okay…You Have Decided to Postpone the Exam for a Year [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Okay…You Have Decided to Postpone the Exam for a Year
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.

In the past, we have talked about what to try if your deadlines are rapidly approaching and you do not yet have the score that you want. What if you decide to postpone the exam and possibly your B-school applications?

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First, a pep talk. You made a choice; you did not “fail.” You could, for example, choose to apply this year but lower your standards in terms of where you apply. In fact, depending on your goals, this may be better than waiting a year to try to get into a “better” (or at least more highly ranked) school.

On the other hand, let us say that you are only willing to spend more than $100,000 if you can get into a certain “level” school, and your GMAT score is holding you back. In that case, postponing for a year may be the way to go. Any “helpful” friends or family members who say, “Hey, I thought you were applying to business school!” can be told, “It is actually a smarter career move for me to wait until next year.” They do not need to know that the GMAT had anything to do with that decision.

So how do you get that score?

There is no guarantee you will get a certain score. Now that you have given yourself some more time, though, put together a smart plan that will give you the best possible chance.

Take a break

If you are already burned out (and most people in this situation are), take a breather. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is clear your brain and ratchet down the stress levels. Come back to the GMAT with a fresh perspective in January.

Set up a plan

Whatever you were doing before was not working for some reason. You need to figure out why so that you can then figure out what kind of plan will work for you.

First, what was your broad study plan/pattern? Were you working on your own or with friends? With a class? With a tutor?

Second, what materials were you using and how were you using them? How were you actually studying/learning when you were not in class or with a tutor?

If you had/have a teacher or tutor, contact him or her for help with this step. Make sure to provide detailed information about how you were working on your own and any ideas you have about what was and was not working. Also ask other experts for advice—post on some forums, speak to other teachers or tutors, and so on.

The article Developing a Study Plan contains a number of useful resources to help you figure out next steps. Note that the article is a two-parter. I have linked to the first part here; the second half is linked at the end of the first part.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses across question types, content areas, and timing? See part 1 of Developing a Study Plan for an article that will help you analyze your practice tests.
  • Any timing problems? (About 98% of students have timing problems!) See our earlier blog post for time management resources.
  • Were you analyzing problems and your work in the way described in this article? (For examples of specific problems analyzed using the MGMAT process, see this article.)
  • Know the material but make lots of careless mistakes?
I need more help

Research your options now (class? books? online materials?) and set things in motion so that you can hit the ground running when the time comes. Then, after taking a break, you can come back with a clear head, a fresh perspective, and a plan—all of which are critical if you want to have a good shot at overcoming the GMAT!

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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Conflict Is Compelling [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Conflict Is Compelling
When you are writing a compelling story, conflict can be a very important element. Of course, we mean conflict in the literary rather than the physical or emotional sense (no one wants to hear about how you hotheadedly instigated a confrontation). In literary terms, conflict occurs at the moment an oppositional force helps shape the central story. So, a narrative that presents you—the candidate and hero of the story—experiencing an effortless ride toward victory would not typically be as interesting or exciting as one in which you suffered some bumps and bruises along the way.

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For example, most people would find the story of a rookie challenger beating an experienced marathon runner at the finish line a lot more compelling than the story of a runner who leads the race by a wide margin from beginning to end and never experiences any competition. Although you might not have an anecdote like this in your arsenal, our point is that whether you are telling the story of refining a supply chain, getting a deal done, marketing a new product, or accomplishing any other facet of business, you should identify and share the hurdles you overcame in doing so, because describing a time when you enjoyed a smooth and easy path to success may not allow you to shine as brightly.

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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Gilt Groupe Co-Founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson Shares Her Success Stor [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2015, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Gilt Groupe Co-Founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson Shares Her Success Story in Venture for America Podcast
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.

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In the seventh podcast episode, Shinewald welcomes Harvard Business School MBA Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, who describes her progression from launching the popular lifestyle site Gilt Groupe with co-founder Alexis Maybank to leaving the company behind for a small start-up called Glamsquad. Her path has been a fascinating one—tune in to hear all the glamorous and not-so-glamorous details:

  • Moving from the comfort and security of working in luxury retail to the unsteadiness of entrepreneurship
  • Buying inventory from struggling fashion brands in dark showrooms during the 2009 economic crisis—because they had not paid their electric bills
  • Learning how entrepreneurship is “hand to hand combat” at its very core—even in the beauty business
Subscribe to the podcast seriesto hear Wilkis Wilson’s story and many more tales of entrepreneurial success!

The post Gilt Groupe Co-Founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson Shares Her Success Story in Venture for America Podcast appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Mission Admission: What If I Have No Supervisor? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: What If I Have No Supervisor?
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

“I am self-employed.”Image


“I am a vice president in my family’s business.”

“I am a freelancer.”

“I am a contract consultant.”

If you can describe your professional situation using any of these statements—or something very similar—you may very well be thinking (and worrying), “I have no supervisor! Who is going to write my recommendations?”

Before we address this problem, let us first remind you that MBA admissions committees have seen it all. Your situation is most likely not unique, so you do not need to fret. Let us consider the example of the family business vice president and add a detail—that the family business is manufacturing. This hypothetical MBA candidate could contact one of the company’s long-standing clients or suppliers, who may be able to write about the applicant’s integrity, growth, sense of humor, determination, and more, all in relation to other comparable individuals.

If these constituents were not able to offer adequate feedback, however, the candidate might instead ask the head of a trade association or possibly even a respected competitor to write on his/her behalf. If the applicant really needed to get creative, he/she might even consider asking a service provider—for example, getting a letter of reference from an architectural firm that collaborated with the candidate to build a new manufacturing facility could be an interesting solution.

In short, most MBA candidates have more potential recommenders to choose among than they realize. Keep looking and try not to get discouraged—someone out there knows you well and can write objectively on your behalf.

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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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MBA Career Advice: How to Deal with a Poker Face in an Interview [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: How to Deal with a Poker Face in an Interview
In this weekly series, “MBA Career Advice,” 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. This week, we address how to deal with a poker face in an interview. For more information or to sign up for a free career consultation, visit www.mbacareercoaches.com.

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You know that feeling – an interviewer staring at you like an unblinking goldfish while you spill your guts about a crushing professional setback and enthuse about your greatest leadership experiences. Sometimes it can be hard to read people and that can be especially true in interviews. Even if your interviewer hasn’t made a conscious choice to suppress emotion, the face of a stranger can send confusing signals, which you may feel compelled to analyze in real time.

If you think back to your own interview experiences, you might say that the hardest part is figuring out how well you are doing. The best tip we have for how to interpret an interviewer’s poker face is really simple: don’t do it. This is not to say you shouldn’t be sensitive to your interviewers tone and questions; it just means that if you spend energy trying to figure out specifically what they mean, you will be distracting yourself from your only real job in that interview: communicating who you are and making a connection.

But there is an even more damaging consequence to the facial expression guessing game, and that is that it undermines your confidence. You know what we mean because we all have memories of talking about ourselves and then wondering where we stand with the listener. An interview is inherently evaluative, and people generally feel uncomfortable when they know they are being evaluated. You can probably remember a time when instead of focusing on the story you were telling, you were having a monologue in your head that went something like this:

“Uh oh, she didn’t smile when I made that joke. Did I offend her? Hmmm, maybe she just didn’t get it. This is not going well. And come to think of it, I forgot to mention the challenge of upward management in that leadership story a moment ago. Shoot, I am bombing this interview. Oh no, what is she writing? She’s still not smiling, she must hate me… I bet the last person nailed this question!”

This could go on and on but you get the idea. It’s important to recognize that having this conversation with yourself is more than a distraction, it is self-sabotage. If you are focused on what is going on in your head, you are not really present in the interview. This means your answers will feel dry and hollow, the interviewer will have a very hard time connecting with you as a person, and you will completely fail to project confidence and likeability.

If you find yourself distracted by the interviewer’s mood, there are two easy ways to reconnect with what you are saying:. The first is to concentrate on the emotion behind your story. Emotions have the valuable effect of bringing all your energy into the present moment. So if you are talking about the time you helped the team resolve a challenging conflict of interest, then as you are speaking, remember how you felt in that experience. Were you afraid at first? Did you lose hope at any moment? How did you rally the courage to press through the conflict? Let these feelings be part of the telling of the story. Whether you mention them as part of the conversation or not, remembering them as you tell the story will bring your focus back to what you are saying.

The second way to do it is to hone in on vivid details. As you talk about delivering that client presentation that saved the day, see if you can include one or two details that make the scene very real to you and the interviewer. For example: “We were all sitting in silence around the table for what felt like eternity. You could have heard a pin drop in that room. All the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up when I got up to present the new project plan.” This is not a literary device. It is a way to make the story very real for yourself as you tell it so that you can keep speaking with enthusiasm and energy no matter what is happening on the face of your interviewer. It has the added benefit of enabling the interviewer to really picture the scene, and therefore relate more readily to you. This in turn makes it easy to foster a genuine connection with anyone you are speaking to.

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Banza Co-Founder Brian Rudolph Details His Recipe for Success on Ventu [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2015, 06:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Banza Co-Founder Brian Rudolph Details His Recipe for Success on Venture for America Podcast
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.Image

In the eighth podcast episode, Shinewald interviews Venture for America Fellow and Banza co-founder Brian Rudolph. Banza offers a twist on regular pasta—it is made from chickpeas and is completely gluten- and grain-free. Listen to the podcast to hear the delicious details of Rudolph’s journey to selling a groundbreaking new product:

  • After test cooking the pasta dozens of times, realizing that he might be on to something when his roommate went from merely tolerating the dish to requesting it
  • Finishing product development only days before appearing on the reality television show Restaurant Startup
  • Burning through $100K in just a few weeks to meet the demand from his first buyer
Subscribe to the series to be among the first to hear each episode on its release day!

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Professor Profiles: Bruce Greenwald, Columbia Business School [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Bruce Greenwald, Columbia Business School
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 Bruce Greenwald from Columbia Business School.

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Bruce Greenwald has been a fixture at Columbia Business School (CBS) since the early 1990s, and until recent years he taught the highly demanded “Economics of Strategic Behavior” course in the full-time MBA program (he continues to teach this course in the EMBA program). Students in the school’s Value Investing Program are primarily the ones who get to enjoy his classes, and those with whom mbaMission spoke espoused enthusiasm for Greenwald’s intense depth of knowledge and his connections to top-notch guest speakers, which he brings to campus to address his students. On the CBS Peer Course Review site, a former student of Greenwald’s once summed up the instructor’s popularity by stating, “Greenwald has the ability to make something complex seem simple and easy to understand.”

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck
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. Today, we focus on the Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck.

Each February, more than 600 MBA students from over a dozen business schools across the country gather in Hanover, New Hampshire, to take a break from classes and recruiting and join Tuckies (students at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College) for the school’s Winter Carnival weekend. The 2015 event welcomed aspiring MBAs from 14 business schools, sending teams of students to participate in the weekend events, which—in addition to the annual downhill ski races at nearby Whaleback Mountain—included a 1980s fashion show, a hot dog eating contest, sledding, and a raffle. Attendees also enjoyed live music at the end of the weekend. All events at the Winter Carnival are geared toward socializing while also raising money for a selected nonprofit organization.

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The costumes teams choose for the skiing competitions tend to be a highlight of the event. Past costumes, noted a first year with whom we spoke, have included “Hawaiian-themed clothing, business suits, and even Speedos!” One second-year student described the Winter Carnival to mbaMission as one of the more anticipated events at Tuck: “It is a big social event, to embrace the winter…. It’s a cool way for other schools to come and experience the winter wonderland that is Tuck.”

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

The post Beyond the MBA Classroom: Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Diamonds in the Rough: An MBA for Working Professionals at Villanova [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2015, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: An MBA for Working Professionals at Villanova
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.

In 2013, the Villanova School of Business (VSB) received a $50 million gift from alumnus James C. Davis, founder of Allegis Group, and his wife, Kim. The donation—part of a $600M capital campaign—was the largest in the school’s history and was reportedly “earmarked to improve academic and career advising, increase internship and study abroad opportunities, perform technology upgrades, and provide scholarships,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The VSB also planned to use a portion of the funds to “beef up its faculty roster to include more professors focused on teaching as opposed to research.”

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With a satellite campus in Center City, Philadelphia, VSB specializes in part-time programs for working professionals, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a full-time curriculum without leaving their current job. In this vein, the school offers the choice of an accelerated, two-year “Fast Track” degree option, which meets twice a week, or the more customizable “Flex Track” degree option, which typically takes three years to complete and accommodates varying course loads.

One advantage conferred by the accelerated option is the opportunity to partake in the school’s two-part consulting practicum project, which includes theSocial Enterprise Consulting Practicum and the Global Practicum capstone courses—each lasting 14 weeks. In the former practicum, students work with local, nonprofit organizations to identify strategies in such areas as branding, funding, and membership retention. Alternatively, the latter practicum entails working with a multinational corporation to gain firsthand experience analyzing market issues. VSB also hosts a variety of elective international immersion courses through which students may travel abroad over winter break or during the summer semester.

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Friday Factoid: Launch a Business at Chicago Booth [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Launch a Business at Chicago Booth
Chicago Booth is just a finance school, right? Wrong. In the past, we have discussed the strengths of the school’s marketing program, to the surprise of some. Likewise, we feel that not enough applicants are aware of Chicago Booth’s robust “hands-on” entrepreneurial offerings, available through its Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. Where to begin?

Chicago Booth’s practical academic programs extend into the field of entrepreneurship with the school’s “New Venture and Small Enterprise Lab.” Herein, students work for up to ten hours per week for an entire quarter within a host firm or take on a dedicated project in a class designed to train those who intend to ultimately join start-ups or provide consulting services to them. In addition, the Polsky Center sponsors the annual Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge, a business plan competition that in 2015 awarded capital in spaces as diverse as payment solutions, flexible solar panels, food preparation, and children’s toys.

Further, entrepreneurially minded Chicago Booth students can apply for funding from the Hyde Park Angels (HPA), a group of former Chicago Booth Executive MBA students who make investments of between $250K and $3M in start-ups. Although the HPA is an arms-length organization and does not source investments exclusively from Chicago Booth, it maintains a connection to the Polsky Center, which supports the HPA’s mission. So, students hoping to get in front of the HPA’s investment committee will have a built-in networking advantage. Further, the HPA offers students the opportunity to intern as associates and gain venture capital experience while pursuing their MBA at Chicago Booth.

Believe it or not, we are just scratching the surface here. Again, Chicago Booth is most definitely not “just a finance school.”

For more information on Chicago Booth and 15 other leading MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

The post Friday Factoid: Launch a Business at Chicago Booth appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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mbaMission’s Exclusive Interview with David Simpson, Admissions Direct [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission’s Exclusive Interview with David Simpson, Admissions Director at London Business School
When we connected with David Simpson, admissions director at London Business School (LBS), not long ago, he kindly took the time to clarify a number of aspects of the school’s unique MBA program. In addition to noting what he believes are LBS’s most well-known and least well-known strengths and explaining the array of specialized degrees and programs the school offers, Simpson shed light on the following topics we imagine aspiring LBS students may find rather interesting:

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  • the role—and advantages—of the city of London in the LBS program
  • the school’s seeming preference for older, more experienced candidates
  • the importance of a global mind-set in one’s candidacy
  • the biggest red flag Simpson sees when evaluating applicants
  • how the waitlist is used and the school’s expectations of those on it
  • the role of exchange programs in the LBS experience
Read on for our full interview…

mbaMission: Thank you so much for speaking with me today. We’re really excited to talk to you. I want to start by asking what you believe are the three things your program is best known for.

David Simpson: Okay, I think the things we are best known for are having a diverse global student body and being based in the heart of London—a very global business city. And I think we’re also very well known for having a strength in finance, especially in teaching finance.

mbaMission: So what do you think LBS should be known for that it’s not currently known for? What is an LBS offering or strength that you don’t think is in the limelight enough?

DS: Sure. This, I think, links to what I just said about finance. Whilst we have a huge strength in finance and connections to London and a Masters in Finance program in our portfolio, strategy and entrepreneurship, for example, are also a huge strength of the school, together with all our other subject areas. Our strength of entrepreneurship, I think, is as relevant as the strength in finance, in terms of how we leverage our London connections.

Also, we are a standalone business school, but we have a large number of master’s degree programs, starting with the Masters in Management and Masters in Financial Management for pre-experienced students, all the way through the Masters in Finance specialist program, the MBAs, then the Executive MBAs, up to the Sloan Masters, which is designed for people in leadership positions with lots of experience who are really senior in their career already. That, I think, makes us quite unique in having a community that is diverse in experience ranges as well as the huge diversity of nationalities and professional backgrounds.

That can give huge advantages for everyone, actually. So if you are a Masters in Management student, you’re surrounded by people who have bags of business experience and contacts, and if you are someone on the Sloan program and further on in your career, what you can get out of being around and sometimes working with those pre-experienced or early career students would be taking from their energy and their understanding of a different generation. Everybody benefits, and the courses overlap in some ways, as the elective portfolio is offered across most of our programs.

mbaMission: I was looking on the LBS Web site yesterday, and it said that of the Class of 2014, 26 graduates are self-employed or started a business. So does LBS look for candidates who have kind of an entrepreneurial mind-set in whatever career they’re targeting, not necessarily applicants who are just interested in starting a business?

DS: Yes, that’s exactly right. Entrepreneurship is not just about people who want to start running their own businesses. I mean, one of the areas we teach in entrepreneurship is about thinking in an entrepreneurial manner. Our core course in entrepreneurship that everybody takes is designed to make sure that everybody can think entrepreneurially, whatever they’re going to do. So, whether they start their own business or they’re going back to a large, established, corporate setup, it gives them opportunities to practice, act, and think slightly differently.

mbaMission: Sure. What advantages do you think LBS offers over the top U.S. programs?

DS: I think this comes down to the diversity of the student body, the global diversity. It’s quite common in a lot of U.S. schools to have, say, 30% [of students] from other countries, but for us, being global is what we live and breathe. Approximately 90% of our students are from outside the United Kingdom, and about 85% to 90% are non-U.S., if you look at it that way. And it’s not just where people are from, it’s how we use that in our programs. The entire structure of the program is designed to leverage the hugely diverse nature of our student body. Our London location and how we use the fact that we’re in this global business city is key to our success. However, it’s not just about being based here. We reach out into the city and really leverage our relationships in the city.

mbaMission: And how exactly do you do that? Can you give me some examples of how you make the most of your London location?

DS: Sure. One example would be the London Business Experiences, so taking groups of students with faculty out to different businesses to visit them and see how they operate, or to look at a different element of their organization. We do this on different programs. On the MBA, it could involve a trip to something like the London Stock Exchange or the Bank of England, or somewhere different, like the Arsenal Football Club. We’re not just looking at traditional, mainstream, corporate businesses, we’re looking at very different organizations as well. And those business experiences will look at varying angles, so it could be operations, it could be a marketing function, it could be talking to or listening to the CEO, so there’s a huge variety of different options within that program.

Then another really big part of leveraging London is making the most of guest speakers. Most businesses have a base in London or have some element of business in London. So you’re going to have this range of senior executives and CEOs who are either based in or traveling through London, and that gives us a huge advantage in bringing them in to speak to our students. Either for recruiting, or giving a guest lecture, or being part of the speaker series—the fact that they can just pop in from just 15 minutes away means it’s much easier for us to get hold of people.

mbaMission: Makes sense! Applicants ask us all the time how the different schools decide whether candidates are the right fit for their program, so I’d love to hear how you at LBS evaluate applications and what things you look for that might be different from what a U.S. program might look for.

DS: I think the way we look at it to start with is probably quite similar. We’re looking at a CV [curriculum vitae]; we’re looking at someone’s career track and the success they’ve had in their academic background. So that’s very much in line with what U.S. schools do. Then we look at their aspirations. We still ask them in the essays what they want to do and where. I think that’s maybe a subtle difference, the where bit. But the main difference will be that we’re looking for a desire to have a global impact and work internationally. So somebody who could return back home and stay perhaps in the same sector, we might ask, “Well, why LBS? Why not just go for a local program?” We want everybody joining the program to make the most of it, and that generally involves either moving into a new area of work or a new geographic area.

We’re absolutely fine with people who might want to return to their own country, of course, because we want to broaden our alumni network, but we expect that you will be using those new global skills, knowledge, and networks, and you’ll be working for a company in a role that enables you to do that. Even if you’re sponsored and you’re returning to your company, it has to be worthwhile for us to take you, so that you will use what you’ve learned here that you couldn’t learn from another school.

And another side is evidence that you’re going to be able to work in a collaborative manner. Students here work with each other, and their grades are dependent on each other, with things like the first-year study group. That’s a big ask, so that means we’ve got to do our admissions jobs really well to make sure we’re recruiting good people who get the idea of collaborative learning and group work and see that as more than a nice to have—it’s essential. And that comes with a lot of bumps, you know.

It’s not an easy thing to do, to work with someone in a very intensive first-year MBA program, especially with people you have nothing in common with professionally or culturally. But that’s what we do; we form study groups with people from very, very different backgrounds. So if you are a British investment banker, you will be the only Brit in the group, and you’re likely to be the only banker in the group, which means that you have less in common, but it also means you have combined strength. You just need to make it work. So we look for evidence that you either have worked in that context or very much want to work in that context.

mbaMission: Absolutely. Essentially, you’re focusing on applicants’ evidence of collaboration and teamwork. That’s something people should highlight in their application if they have that experience?

DS: Yes. There’s that, and then the other side was the sort of open-mindedness and interest in working globally, so that doesn’t necessarily mean where you do your next job, but you have to have an interest in people from around the world and see that although that will present challenges, like some language challenges, the value you get from that is so much more.

mbaMission: So is having international experience a requirement to apply, or do you just need to have that open-mindedness and willingness to embrace that in your career?

DS: It’s not at all essential that you have to have it, and for some nationalities, it’s reasonably rare that people would have it. It’s very much about the open-mindedness. I think most people will be able to take to working with people from different cultures, you know, even in their home country, but it’s that desire to use those new skills and that experience later.

mbaMission: Great. Thank you for clarifying that. You talked a little bit about applicants’ career aspirations—how do you judge a candidate’s employability? Do you consult with your career services department? How do you know if somebody’s career goals are achievable?

DS: Within the admissions team, we have years of experience. We also start the admissions year discussing with our senior Career Centre colleagues, program director, and executive director exactly what we’re looking for from the class, what we want more of, and what direction the school is taking, what resources we have, what companies are interested in recruiting our students, what the trends are. So we do a big review and look at what kind of class comes next. When we’re looking at individuals through the year, we’re using our experience, and we spend a lot of time with our Career Centre colleagues to understand what realistic aspirations might be for different individuals.

We check all applicants and think, “Is this a realistic aspiration? If they’re in this industry, and they want to move into this other industry in this location, is that possible? If we think it isn’t, it’s not necessarily the end of the road. It might just mean that you’re a strong candidate who we have to talk to about adjusting your aspirations. We are mindful of things like flexibility, so that people must have a plan B as well as their plan A, and they’ve got to see that the route to get to their desired final outcomes sometimes goes in a slightly different direction. You might have to go sideways to go up. Really, I think it’s looking for people who recognize that they might need to change their plans, or more importantly, once you get here and you start experiencing the program and meeting different students and seeing the recruiters on campus, you might actually change your mind completely anyway. So, adaptability is key.

mbaMission: Yes, we saw after the financial crisis that a lot of plan As didn’t work out, so people had to turn to a plan B or C. I’m sure you’ve experienced this among your students as well.

DS: Absolutely. I mean, we’ve always encouraged that, but I suppose the financial crisis just drilled it home for those students who are wishing to go into certain areas. If a job, company, or sector no longer exists, then they’re going to have to look at a plan B. I wouldn’t say it caught us by surprise, because we have always prepared students that they need to look at different options, and we also have the diversity of where our students come from and where they can go. The structure of that has changed over the years, so now on the MBA, we have fewer people going into finance than we do going into corporate sectors. Whilst finance and consulting are still big, we’re seeing a much broader range of aspirations.

mbaMission: Good. I’d like to turn to the issue of the GMAT versus the GRE. Do you at LBS have a preference for one exam over the other? And can you give us any guidance as to the score ranges you look for with the GRE?

DS: Right now, we don’t accept the GRE on the MBA. We only accept the GMAT. So that’s quite a simple answer to that one.

mbaMission: Okay.

DS: The reason is that we actually prefer having the comparability of one test. I think if you have both, then you have to make the comparison, which is quite hard to do. Because you certainly shouldn’t just translate the score and say, “This GRE is worth this GMAT score.” That’s a flawed method. For us, it just makes things a lot more simple if we have one test. We are quite accommodating, quite flexible within the range of scores that we accept with GMAT. Our average is 700. We could artificially inflate that by accepting only candidates with high scores if we wanted to, but what we choose to do is recruit who we think are the best students within a broad range and not sweat it so much to push that average up. Compared with our competitor schools in the United States, our score is slightly lower, but that doesn’t bother us much as long as we’re happy that at the individual level, the quality is very, very strong and that the students we are recruiting are a great fit for our special school.

We have confidence in looking at different measures. This means that if you’ve got a score in the upper 700s, that doesn’t guarantee admission—far from it. We’re looking for the all-around nature of the application. Some of our most successful students come in with lower 600s.

mbaMission: Okay. Thank you for that clarification. We see that LBS has a slightly older demographic, not among European schools, necessarily, but on a global basis, your demographic is slightly older. Do you intentionally seek out older applicants, people who have a little bit more experience?

DS: What we look for is the right level of experience. It’s a factor of that collaboration and the fact that much of the learning students get is from each other. Again, that’s not necessarily unusual; that’s quite common across schools. But if anybody is getting into the program with two to three years—certainly a lot of the sponsored consultants from the top firms are at that end of the range—they have to prove to us they have the maturity, they’ve got the experience, and they’ve got the ability to reflect on what they’ve learnt so far and contribute. So we’re pretty tough on someone’s ability to contribute as well as their raw intellectual horsepower.

We may disappoint some very strong and high-potential candidates by not admitting them if we think they’re high potential, but they just haven’t done enough yet; they don’t have enough professional and life experience to contribute in the way we want. The experience range for the current class is two to 13 years, but the vast majority have between four and eight years. And the outliers at either end are smaller. As I said, the less experienced ones tend to come from a very narrow range of industries. In fact, nearly always, it’s sponsored strategy consultants.

mbaMission: That’s good to know. When you’re reading over an application, what would you say is a red flag for you? What would make you stop and pause?

DS: I suppose the main, obvious one is unrealistic aspirations, in terms of what you can do with your MBA. It’s always a product of what you’ve done before and what we can offer within the school. We can certainly open doors and put companies in front of you, but your chances of being employed are quite often dependent on your previous experiences. So [we want to see] an understanding of what an MBA can do for you as an individual. The biggest red flag for me, though, is lack of research—somebody who has just kind of put in a vanilla application, that whilst you’ve got a strong profile, you could have been applying for Wharton or INSEAD or LBS or Harvard. I don’t like that. I like to see passion for our school. We have quite a unique offering, so it’s not hard for someone to do the research and put in a very specific case of why London Business School is right for them.

I think that it’s easier for candidates to do that for us than for many American schools, where there is less difference between them. For us, I think it’s quite clear. And if I don’t see evidence in terms of research on who you’ve spoken to from within the community and what elements of the program you’re interested in, that’s a red flag for me. And that kind of relates to lack of passion, as well, lack of passion for your own future, lack of passion for our school and for what we do. We want to see that shine through an application and even more so at the interview.

mbaMission: So can or should an applicant include the actual names of people they’ve spoken to—students, alumni, professors, directors of programs, that sort of thing—in their essays?

DS: Absolutely! In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s something we really want. We ask a question later in the application: “Who have you spoken to?” We look at that quite carefully, and if you don’t have contacts, that’s fine, as long as you have read enough and you’ve watched the videos and you’ve the seen the stories. So, not having established personal connections to someone in the community is not a problem, because sometimes you don’t. We just want to see evidence that you’ve researched and shown that you understand what we’re about. Connections to individuals is just one way of getting that understanding. You can exhibit it through different means.

mbaMission: Right. I tell my clients the invention of social media has made connecting with people at the different schools so easy. And we constantly encourage our clients to take that extra step, because you learn so much when you actually hear from people who are in the program. Moving on, though, the interview stage is a very stressful part of the application process. What advice would you give an applicant who is preparing to interview with LBS?

DS: This is a good question for us, because to gain admittance, all admits on the MBA have an interview. All of our interviews are by alumni. I might second-interview people if we’ve got extra questions, but every single person getting into the program will have interviewed with one of our alumni face-to-face, all around the world. We are very strong believers in that, because we can assess someone’s suitability for the program from the context of someone who has been there and done it and seen a range of classmates with very different backgrounds. So even if the candidate has nothing in common with the alumni interviewer, the interviewer will know somebody with that kind of background. On the whole, we generally match candidates with alumni from the same sector anyway, but sometimes, we do the opposite, just to mix it up a bit.

The interview makes up a huge part of the final decision. If someone doesn’t interview very well, even if their profile is strong, they’re not going to get an offer. If their interview is great but their profile has a few question marks, then it goes a long way to them gaining admission. We put a lot of trust in our alumni. And in terms of how applicants are assessed during the interview, it’s mostly about fit and suitability, and a lot of that is about potential to contribute. It’s that energy, passion, evidence of research on the program, and showing that you really want to come to this business school rather than a business school. We’re looking for students to be authentic about their background. The obvious advice is be yourself and know your own history and be able to refer to things from your own application.

mbaMission: What would you advise an applicant not to do?

DS: It’s back to authenticity and making sure that you are giving a fair representation of yourself. What comes through sometimes is that people are trying to tell us what they think we want to hear, rather than what they genuinely believe. We want people to relax and be themselves and let that shine through, because even if you come across as being super polished, we want to see the real you. We want to understand what makes you tick, what you like, what frustrates you. We want to see character and personality. If you’ve got your guard up too much, we’re not going to learn enough to be comfortable and make an admit decision. So, be practiced, be polished, be prepared, but let enough of yourself shine through.

mbaMission: Great. What does LBS want from applicants who find themselves on the waitlist? Anything? Nothing?

DS: That’s a good question. The first thing we do when we waitlist people is ask them if they’re interested in staying on the waitlist. We don’t make the assumption that you will, and some candidates will drop out, so we ask straightaway for people to tell us, “Yes, I’m still interested.” If they don’t, then we’re not going to consider them. You have to take an active role in answering that basic question. From there, I think it’s about balance. It’s about making sure we have updates, if they’re relevant. So if your career has changed, if something has happened in your life that you believe makes you a stronger candidate, let us know.

We will judge you by the nature and number of approaches you make to us. If someone is contacting us too much, that’s a problem. If they choose to not tell us anything, that’s okay, I guess. It means that there’s nothing substantial that’s changed, as long as they’re checking in and telling us they still wish to be considered. We do take some visits from waitlisted candidates, but we certainly don’t give it too much of an advantage. We don’t say, “You must come and see us,” because we can’t always host those visits. It’s more for yourself that you might want to visit to see the place, rather than improving your chances. Not everybody can make it. We can have waitlisted candidates in Australia or New Zealand, and it’s a lot harder for them to hop on a plane than it would be for someone to come down the road who lives in London.

Sometimes, we have specific areas we want to explore. In those cases, we will contact you, and we will invite you to either reinterview in person or by phone or on Skype, if there are things we want to know. That’s in a small number of cases, though. In many cases, it’s just a case of having 400 positions on the MBA and a lot of really good applicants, and we’re looking for this certain level of diversity in the class mix. This means that we have to disappoint some great people. We hold people on the waitlist through the year to help balance our class out, and some will be made an offer, some won’t. We don’t have a ranked waitlist of candidates; we don’t score in a certain way. It varies as to your chances through the year.

The main thing is about balanced communication, telling us the right amount of information in the right manner, just the basic expectations of communication and interaction that you’d have with any kind of recruitment. We will always monitor the way you communicate with us, so you want to make sure that all your communications are of a high quality. If you’re sending an email, make sure it’s well written. If you’re making a call, make sure that you’re respecting the people at the end of the line, no matter what position they play, whether it’s an admissions director or administrator, anybody in the team.

mbaMission: That’s great. Very helpful. Another question I have has to do with applicants who are interested in LBS but want to come back to the States after they graduate. What industries have the strongest U.S. placement for your MBAs, and what is your alumni network like in the United States?

DS: We have an increasing number of American students who want to return home straightaway, rather than spending some time in the U.K. or beyond. That’s a trend we’re seeing that we actually welcome, because it’s helping to spread the word and get our alumni presence out there. I guess, traditionally, there are probably more of our students in finance than other sectors, but that’s partly the nature of where they’re returning. That’s changing a bit, I think, but I’d say, traditionally, it was finance, and now it’s a bit more varied.

Geographically, we obviously have a lot of alumni and a lot of returning students to New York, but [Washington] DC is important as well, and on the West Coast, in San Francisco. There are more and more students joining from energy backgrounds who are perhaps are returning home to Texas or other regions.

mbaMission: Building on that, how many LBS students would you say participate in an exchange program with a U.S. school each year?

DS: Over 30% of our student body go on exchange, somewhere between 30% and 40%, and over half of those exchanges are to U.S. schools—well over half, in fact. Generally, we would say that if you’re a U.S. national, you should be looking to go on exchange to a school outside of America, you know, to build your global experience. So if you went to college in the United States and you worked there, we would hope that you’re coming to London to build your global experience; therefore, your exchange is more likely to be in Latin America, or Asia, or Australia, or in Europe—somewhere outside of your home nation.

mbaMission: That’s a great point. I have just one last question for you: are there any myths about LBS that you would like to dispel? Any misconceptions about the program you’d like to clear up?

DS: Sure. I guess it’s come up a couple of times in our conversation already, but certainly, that we’re just a finance school. It annoys me and somewhat concerns me that you’re badged up as something that perhaps you have a strength in but that doesn’t necessarily dominate. We have an outstanding post-experience Masters in Finance program, a great new pre-experience finance program, and it’s certainly a strength, our big finance faculty, but that doesn’t make us just a finance school. If you’re coming here to be an entrepreneur, if you’re coming here with an interest in marketing, or you’re coming here from the military with a hope to work in energy afterwards, then we have plenty of strengths to help you make that transition.

I think labeling schools as any sort of a bias to any one sector is generally quite annoying for the schools and sometimes damaging, and it’s a generalization that doesn’t fit. Where we have strength is a great thing, but that’s not the same as being “a finance school” or “an entrepreneurship school.” Most schools will have strengths in all areas—otherwise they wouldn’t be top-ranked institutions. It’s hard to do that if you only do one thing. And I think most admissions directors would agree with me. So, although it’s something that’s certainly a strength, it’s also something I think can be a myth, this misconception that this [finance] is what we do, and we don’t do anything else.

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

DS: Thank you very much, too. They were absolutely brilliant questions. I really enjoyed answering them.

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

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mbaMission

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

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Months of Work Experience Will Not  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2015, 06:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Months of Work Experience Will Not Be Counted!
“I had an internship from June to August of 2014. Will the admissions committee count it as work experience?”

“I was running a lab during my Master’s program—is that part of my total number of months of work experience?”

“I ran a small business that ultimately failed—will I get credit for my time as an entrepreneur?”

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Business schools have not seriously considered a candidate’s number of months of work experience as a factor in admissions decisions for a long time. In fact, with Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business increasingly open to younger candidates, work experience on a strictly quantitative level is actually being devalued at some schools. A candidate’s quantity of work experience is just not relevant—quality is, of course, what is important. An “average” employee

who has merely fulfilled expectations during a five-year stint at a Fortune 500 company could certainly be said to be at a disadvantage compared with an individual who has made the most of a three-year stint elsewhere and has been promoted ahead of schedule. Think about it—which of the two would you admit?

So, if you are asked on an application how many months of work experience you will have prior to matriculating, you should simply answer honestly. If you have any gray areas or are unsure about any aspect of your professional experience as it pertains to your application, you can always call the admissions office for guidance—most admissions offices are actually surprisingly helpful with this kind of simple technical question. Thereafter, stop worrying about the number of months you do or do not have and instead focus on revealing that—and how—you have had an impact in your professional life. Your essays, recommendations, interviews, resume, and other application elements will ultimately make a qualitative impact that will outweigh any quantitative data.

The post MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Months of Work Experience Will Not Be Counted! appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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GMAT Impact: Ace the GMAT Essay? No, Thanks! [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2015, 06:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Ace the GMAT Essay? No, Thanks!
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.

Your business school application essays are critically important. Your GMAT essay? Not so much.

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We do, though, have to write the essays first thing, before we get to the more important Quant and Verbal sections (or even the Integrated Reasoning section), so we do not want to use up too much brainpower on the essay. Still, we cannot just bomb this section; the schools do care about the essay somewhat. So how do we do a good enough job without expending so much energy that we are negatively affected during the multiple-choice portion of the test?

We need to develop a template, an organizational framework on which to “hang” our writing. The template will not, of course, tell us exactly what to write. For that, we need the actual essay prompt, which we will not see until we take the test. We can, however, determine how to organize the information ahead of time, as well as the general kinds of messages we need to convey at various points throughout.

The template will vary a little bit from person to person; the important thing is to have a consistent template for yourself that you have worked out in advance of the official test.

Brainstorming

First, read the essay prompt. It will look/feel just like the critical reasoning arguments we see on the Verbal portion of the test, so analyze it in the same way! Take about three to four minutes to brainstorm, then pick your two or three best flaws; these will form the basis of your essay.

First Paragraph

  • Summarize the issue (make sure to note the conclusion)
  • State a thesis; acknowledge that the other side does have some merit: “While the argument does have some merit, several serious flaws undermine the validity of the author’s conclusion that XYZ.”
  • Introduce your examples (but do not give much detail)
  • Three to five sentences total
 

Body Paragraphs

Each flaw gets its own paragraph, so you will write either two or three body paragraphs of four to six sentences each. (I personally pick my two best flaws, so I write two body paragraphs. Remember, we just need to be “good enough!”)

  • Introduce one flaw (do not repeat the exact language from the prompt)
  • Explain why it is a flaw (how does this make the conclusion less likely to be true or valid?)
  • Suggest ways to fix the flaw (you are fixing the flaw,not changing the conclusion; what could the author do to strengthen his/her argument?)
 

Conclusion Paragraph

  • Restate your thesis (using new words)
  • Re-acknowledge the other side (using new words)
  • Briefly summarize how your examples supported your thesis (using new words)
  • Three to four sentences
You are not trying to pre-write and memorize actual sentences, but do know in general the kinds of points you want to make in each paragraph. Practice with the bullets we have provided here as a starting point until you develop something with which you are comfortable. Do not forget to leave some time to proof your essay; it is okay to have a few typos, but systematic errors will lower your score.

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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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