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The mbaMission Blog

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mbaMission Consultant Spotlight: Tanya Gaskins [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2015, 12:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Consultant Spotlight: Tanya Gaskins
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Tanya Gaskins received a BA in economics and management and sociology from Beloit College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and later earned her MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, where she was a student interviewer for the admissions office. After graduating from Darden, Tanya joined PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she provided business strategy and start-up incubation services, helping clients write business plans and launch organizations. Later at IBM, she focused on organizational change management, business process improvement, and project management. Partnering with clients, Tanya implemented innovative solutions to transform organizations and maximize their effectiveness. She also managed the IBM Industry Academy, through which she collaborated with experts worldwide to develop cross-industry solutions, managed a support program with teams in 14 growth market countries, and directed a mentoring program in China. Tanya has extensive strategic communications expertise, having executed numerous client communications plans, authored articles for client publications, and crafted senior executive communications at IBM. Through years of mentoring individuals about their consulting careers, Tanya has realized that she most loves advising others on their personal strategy. She is passionate about helping people succeed and achieving their goal of attending business school.

Quick Facts:
Received MBA from: University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business

Undergraduate field of study: Economics, Management and Sociology

Fields worked in before mbaMission: Management Consulting (over 20 years!) with various clients from the public and private sectors, along with Internal Corporate Strategy

Working style: Supportive, strategic, organized, and collegial

Hometown: Edgerton, Wisconsin (now living in Ashburn, Virginia)

5 things you want your clients to know about you:

1.  Built her career advising others on their strategy as a management consultant, and loves doing the same for business school candidates

2. Views working relationship as a trusted partnership; is dedicated to your success

3. Loves getting to know clients, understanding the details of their experiences, and helping craft stories that are genuine, interesting, and compelling

4. Takes great pride in being a coach, sounding board, and motivator,  pushing clients to stay on track and create the best applications possible

5. Served as a student interviewer for the Darden Admissions Office

Want a free consultation with Tanya? Sign up here

The post mbaMission Consultant Spotlight: Tanya Gaskins 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 Admissions Myths Destroyed: If I Don’t Get Accepted in R1, I’ll Ju [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: If I Don’t Get Accepted in R1, I’ll Just Apply in R2!
As you head into application season, what kind of strategy do you have in mind? More than a few candidates, having likely read about the supposed advantages of applying in Round 1 on various Web sites and discussion boards, plan to submit all their applications in that first round, with the idea that if no acceptances are forthcoming, they will just submit another set of applications in Round 2. If this is your plan, we ask that you step away from your stack of applications for a moment while we explain why this is probably not your best course of action.

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Most Round 1 deadlines are in October, and even though often applicants may receive a kind of “progress report” in the form of an interview invitation in November, this is no guarantee of eventual acceptance. Ultimately, then, applicants will not know for sure whether they have won a spot at any of their target schools until mid- to late December. So let us imagine the worst-case scenario: you submit all your applications in Round 1 but are not accepted at any of your target schools. Now, feeling discouraged and unsure of your application strategy—not to mention dealing with the hustle and bustle of the holidays—you must quickly research and select new schools, rethink your approach, and crank out still more applications in the space of just a few weeks to be able to submit in Round 2—to schools that you may not even be that enthusiastic about. And do not forget that you will also need to pressure your recommenders during this busy time of year to produce more documents on your behalf on a very tight deadline!

Are you rethinking your strategy yet?

We recommend that instead, you change your mind-set from “If I don’t get accepted in R1, I will apply in R2” to “I am applying to some schools in R1 and some in R2, and hopefully I won’t have to finish my R2 applications.” With luck, you will not need to complete the applications you have slated for Round 2. But if you plan ahead, do not overload yourself with too many applications in the first round, and work steadily on your applications over several months, you will be in a much better place both mentally and with your required workload should you have to move ahead with your Round 2 submissions. And if, in the end, you get accepted early or receive multiple offers of admissions from your first-round applications, you will have lost nothing more than a little time!

The post MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: If I Don’t Get Accepted in R1, I’ll Just Apply in R2! 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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GMAT Impact: Studying for and Struggling with the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Studying for and Struggling with the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this blog series, Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Have you been studying for the GMAT for a while now but find yourself struggling to lift your score? Perhaps you have some problems of which you are unaware, or you are studying in an inefficient or ineffective way.

This article includes links to a number of additional articles. If you see something that applies to your situation, follow the link!

First, read this short article: In It to Win It.Image

Time Management
Almost everyone has timing problems; many people think they do not, but they are wrong. If you have been studying for a while but your score does not seem to be changing much, then one of the culprits is probably timing. Another common sign: your practice test scores fluctuate up and down.

Next, analyze your most recent practice test to see whether you have any timing problems and, if so, what they are. Then read this time management article and start doing what it says.

Content
You may also, of course, have content problems—maybe modifiers are driving you crazy, or combinatorics.

Not all content areas have equal value. Some areas are more commonly tested than others, and those areas are obviously worth more of your time and attention. For example, modifiers are very commonly tested, but combinatorics questions are infrequent. If you are struggling with this topic, good news! Forget about it.

How do you know which areas are more or less commonly tested? This changes over time, so ask your instructor or post the question on some GMAT forums. (Not sure how best to use GMAT forums? Read this!)

The test review we discussed in the time management section will also tell you your content strengths and weaknesses. Your next task is to figure out how to study in a more effective way.

How to Study
Many people do huge quantities of problems, but we are not going to memorize all these problems. If that is what you have been doing and you are struggling or taking forever, stop now!

What we want to do instead is use the current practice problems to help us learn how to think our way through future new problems. When doing GMAT-format problems, be aware that roughly 80% of your learning comes after you have finished doing the problem. Your goal here is not to do a million questions but to do a much more modest number of questions and really analyze them to death. Here is how to review GMAT practice problems. You can find additional articles illustrating this process here, in the How to Study section.

Super-High Score Goal
What if you are going for a super-high score (730+) and find that you are stagnating. Maybe you have hit 700 but cannot get past that mark. First, do you really need such a high score? Not many schools will reject a 700-scorer for that reason.

If you are determined to push into the stratosphere, learn the differences between a 700-scorer and a 760-scorer. A super-high scorer has certain skills and habits, and you will need to learn how to develop them. Also, recognize that you might need outside help from a class or tutor to make this leap.

My Score Dropped!
Have you experienced a big score drop (more than 70 points) on a recent practice test or an official exam? I know you are disappointed, but you are not alone. Your task now is to figure out what went wrong, so that you can take steps to get back to the pre-drop level.

Something Else?
Finally, if you just cannot figure out what is holding you back, then you likely need the advice of an expert. You can get free advice on various forums (including the MGMAT forums!). You could also take a class or work with a tutor—this will cost money, of course, but if you have really been banging your head against the wall for a long time, then you might decide the investment is worth it.

The post GMAT Impact: Studying for and Struggling with the GMAT 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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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Lead or Led? [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Lead or Led?
A very common mistake we see in mbaMission client essays is the misuse of the verb “lead.” A deeply entrenched and widespread misunderstanding seems to exist as to which spelling connotes present tense versus past tense. One of our consultants even had a client raise his voice to her in passionate defense—of the wrong usage! In case you are not completely confident about this word yourself, we hope this blog post helps clear up the issue for you!

Lead or Led?
  • Lead—verb, present tense, rhymes with “seed”—refers to being engaged in actively and presently guiding others. “In my current position as managing director, I lead a team of six analysts in completing market analysis.”
  • Led—verb, past tense, rhymes with “bed”—refers to the act of having guided others at an earlier time or at some point in the past. “Led” is both the past tense and the past participle of “lead.” “As part of my first job after college, I led two summer interns in a competitive assessment” and “I have led multiple teams of salespeople during my five years at the firm.”
Confusing the spelling and/or pronunciation of this verb’s different tenses is a simple mistake but one that stands out clearly to admissions professionals who have probably seen this verb more times in the past year than most people do in a lifetime! So pay close attention to which is which, and be sure you are using the correct version each time.

The post Monday Morning Essay Tip: Lead or Led? 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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Cornell University Johnson Essay Analysis, 2015–2016 [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2015, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Cornell University Johnson Essay Analysis, 2015–2016
This application season, the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University has opted to keep its quirky “life story” essay question, which can be quite applicant friendly, because it gives candidates the opportunity to present all sides of their experience—personal, professional, and community. In addition, the admissions committee is requesting a classic personal statement essay, in which applicants can explain their goals and their need for a Johnson MBA specifically. What else would a candidate need to cover? Well, maybe not that much if these two essays are executed well, which is likely why Johnson’s admissions committee is posing only those two essay prompts (though if you have any unusual circumstances in your candidacy that require explaining, you can submit an optional essay as well).

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Johnson Essay 1: You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 500 words or less, please create the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions.

In the past, Johnson has stipulated a character count limit for its essays, rather than a word count, leading thousands of confounded applicants to wonder whether or not that count included spaces. Mercifully, the school has switched to a more straightforward limit of 500 words (or less) for this essay this year. ]]

As for the content, this essay is a bit of an oddball, because it begs for creativity but also hems you in through its structure as a table of contents. Unlike with Chicago Booth’s blank pages or NYU Stern’s creative expression essay, Johnson clearly delineates the vehicle it wants you to use, essentially giving you “limited creative expression.” That said, a table of contents can be approached, organized, and presented in a wide variety of ways. You can get creative and stretch back to the dinosaurs, if doing so helps you tell your personal story. You can leap into the future instead and tell a story of yourself or your family that has yet to be written. And your table of contents might be thematic, rather than linear! Heed the school’s words: “We value creativity.”

What is important is that you not get too gimmicky. You must allow the admissions committee to get to know you through your table of contents. Section, chapter, subchapter (depending on your structure)—each one must contribute to your narrative and provide a fuller picture of you. This is an opportunity to tell your whole story, albeit in a brief way, so make sure you tell it! We suggest that before you start writing, you get your key stories down on paper. Begin by making an old-fashioned list! Then, make sure that your table of contents includes as many of the items on that list as possible. If you accomplish that, you should be most of the way to an excellent essay. The rest will involve fine-tuning the language, which is not necessarily easy but becomes much simpler when you are working with excellent content.

Johnson Essay 2: What are your short and long term goals and how do you see the Cornell MBA enabling you to achieve both? Please limit your response to 500 words or less.

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

Optional/Reapplicant Essay: Complete this essay if you would like to add additional details regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate record or test scores) do not accurately reflect your potential for success at the Johnson School.

If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application since the last time you applied.

Please limit your response to 500 words or less.

However tempted you might be, this is not the place to use a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes that you were unable to incorporate into any of your other essays. Instead, this is your opportunity, if needed, to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer may have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, or a gap in your work experience. In our mbaMission Optional Statement Guide, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

The post Cornell University Johnson Essay Analysis, 2015–2016 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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Mission Admission: Details Matter, But… [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Details Matter, But…
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Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

As MBA admissions consultants, we know firsthand the intense pressure business school candidates feel, and we sometimes wish we could convince you that small points are really just that—small points. We get asked, “Should this be a comma or a semicolon?” and want to respond, “Please trust us that the admissions committee will not say, ‘Oh, I would have accepted this applicant if she had used a comma here, but she chose a semicolon, so DING!’” That said, we are certainly not telling you to ignore the small things; Details matter — the overall impression your application makes will depend in part on your attention to typos, font consistency, and grammar, for example — but we are encouraging you to make smart and reasonable decisions and move on. You can be confident that your judgment on such topics will likely be sufficient.

The post Mission Admission: Details Matter, But… 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 Career Advice: Express Some Gratitude [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Express Some Gratitude
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.

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So, this blog post should seem self-explanatory, right? We all express gratitude, don’t we? Well, not really. Yes, most of us know to say “thank you” when someone opens the door or lets us borrow their stapler or whatever happens in normal office interactions. But, saying the words “thanks” and expressing gratitude are two different things. Thanks is a word and gratitude is a gesture.

Let’s say that your supervisor takes time to include you in a meeting that you would not otherwise have been invited to and let’s say that the meeting was a great learning experience for you. And, let’s also say that you truly are appreciative of that gesture. A mere “Thanks” can obviously work, but you are far better off showing appropriate gratitude so that he knows it was meaningful.

How do you show that gratitude? You elaborate and make sure you get your supervisor’s attention by revealing your takeaway: “Hey Brian, thanks a lot for inviting me to that meeting. I think you know that I haven’t been to a strategic planning session yet and it was an eye opener for me. I was really impressed by how the team used analytics to drive decisions.”  This simple but far more elaborate “thanks” is way better than “Great meeting – thanks for having me!” It shows your supervisor that he wins when he exposes you to something new – that you are appreciative and that you learn. By showing gratitude, you put him on notice that there are rewards for him by including you. You are actually giving him feedback and affirmation that are incredibly valuable to both of you.

The post MBA Career Advice: Express Some Gratitude 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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Dean Profiles: Sunil Kumar, University of Chicago Booth School of Busi [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Dean Profiles: Sunil Kumar, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Business school deans are more than administrative figureheads. Their character and leadership often reflect an MBA program’s unique culture and sense of community. Today, we focus on Sunil Kumar from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Before his appointment as dean of Chicago Booth in 2011, Sunil Kumar served for 14 years on the faculty of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he was also senior associate dean for academic affairs. Kumar received a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Engineering in computer science and automation from the Indian Institute of Science, and a Bachelor of Engineering from Mangalore University. He has been the recipient of numerous honors for his teaching and research in the area of operations management and communications networks, including the 1998 Finmeccanica Faculty Scholarship from Stanford University and the 2001–2002 Professor of the Year award at the Indian School of Business. In August 2015, Kumar was appointed for a second five-year term as the dean.

“I think he actually fits the personality of Chicago pretty well, because, in a sense, he’s kind of nerdy and quantitative, but at the same time, he’s pretty funny,” stated a 2012 Chicago Booth graduate we interviewed. “His personality really came out during our student events, and I would just say that he is very approachable and a ‘real’ person.”

For more information about Chicago Booth and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

The post Dean Profiles: Sunil Kumar, University of Chicago Booth School of Business 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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University of California Los Angeles Anderson Essay Analysis, 2015–201 [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 12:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: University of California Los Angeles Anderson Essay Analysis, 2015–2016
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Sideshow Bob
: Madam, your children are no more . . . than a pair of ill-bred troublemakers.

Homer: Lisa too?

Sideshow Bob: Especially Lisa . . . but especially Bart.

–The Simpsons, Season 8, Episode 169

We want to thank the UCLA Anderson School of Management for giving us the rare opportunity to quote from an episode of The Simpsons. Sideshow Bob’s amusing misuse of “especially” is somehow applicable to Anderson’s paltry essay question offerings this season. Because the school requires only one essay, you will need to be especially careful to pay attention to all the other parts of your application as well—though you should always be especially attentive to them anyway. With just the one essay, which is largely professional, you will need to make the most of your interview, short-answer responses, recommendations, and resume to ensure that the Anderson admissions committee gets a full and well-rounded picture of you as a candidate.

Essay 1: We believe that the best results are achieved when you share success, think fearlessly and drive change. With this in mind, what are your goals at UCLA Anderson and in your short-term and long-term career? (750 words maximum)

The first sentence of this essay prompt—which presents Anderson’s defining principles of “share success, think fearlessly, drive change”—should be seen as instructive, but you do not need to write specifically about sharing success, thinking fearlessly, and/or driving change. These themes can be implied within the stories you share, and you can choose to speak to just one of the three qualities or to two of three; you do not necessarily have speak to all three directly.

As you write this essay, start by offering some personal or professional context—possibly some background information that connects in some way with the principles Anderson holds dear. Then, relate the values you have highlighted to your well-thought-out short- and long-term goals. Ideally, these goals will be ambitious but still realistic. Anderson does not need you to propose a new job that no one has ever imagined possible before—the admissions committee simply needs to understand that you have clearly envisioned your exciting path and that you own it. With your goals firmly stated and supported by the context you have offered, you can then delve into your goals for your time as an Anderson MBA student. For this part of the essay, you will certainly need to do your homework. For your argument to be effective and convincing, you must have a nuanced understanding of the school’s offerings. Further, you cannot merely list those offerings but must explain how they are integral to your growth and your experience. You want to show not just what you will gain from your Anderson MBA experience, but also how you will be an active participant at the school, all within the context (implicitly or explicitly) of the values it espouses.

Optional essay: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

However tempted you might be, this is not the place to use a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes that you were unable to incorporate into any of your other essays. Instead, this is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our mbaMission Optional Statement Guide, available through our online store, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (including multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: No-Shave November at UC-Berkeley Haas [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2015, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: No-Shave November at UC-Berkeley Haas
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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Each year, students at the University of California, Berkeley (UC-Berkeley), Haas School of Business commit to staying unkempt for an entire month. In support of the MBA Challenge for Charity—a nonprofit organization that coordinates local charity fundraisers with nine business schools on the West Coast—MBA students pledge not to shave for the duration of November. According to a December 2012 post on the Berkeley MBA Students blog, at the end of the 30 days, “students auction their faces, heads, chests and other body parts to be shaved in a way the highest bidder wants and wear that hairstyle for the next 24 hours … going to class, doing career treks and interviews.” In 2014, the campaign was renamed “No Shave-No Shame November” to include women and those who have trouble growing facial hair. Participants were able to bid on the chance to shave off willing classmates’ hair and to showcase their talents in a myriad of ways—including rapping and organizing poker games. “Any act in which participants stepped out of their comfort zones for charity was fair game,” one of the event’s organizers said in a December 2014 Haas Now news story.

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

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Diamonds in the Rough: Simon Graduate School of Business [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Simon Graduate School of Business
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

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The full-time MBA program at the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester offers a broadly finance-oriented general management curriculum featuring particular strengths in analytics and accounting. With the option of choosing either a traditional two-year MBA or an accelerated 18-month program, all Simon students begin with a management core rooted in three foundational skill sets: Frame, Analyze, and Communicate (known collectively as FACt). The core curriculum encompasses two different required course sequences—“Framing and Analyzing Business Problems” and “Communicating Business Decisions”—in addition to such courses as “Management Economics,” “Capital Budgeting,” and “Marketing Management.”

Students complete their core with an assigned study team before exploring more specialized professional interests. The school’s elective courses represent a variety of industries and functions, such as entrepreneurship, consulting, and real estate. Students may choose among 13 optional career concentrations, ranging from Competitive and Organizational Strategy (which includes both a Pricing track and a Strategy and Organizations track) and Marketing (which includes tracks in Brand Management, Pricing, and Marketing Strategy), to such analysis-heavy fields as Business Systems Consulting and Computers and Information Systems. Simon’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Center for Information Intensive Services, and Center for Pricing offer curricular and research support to supplement the specific career concentrations. Simon is also home to more than 30 professional and social student-run organizations aimed at coordinating networking events and professional development resources to assist students in advancing their careers.

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Friday Factoid: A Focused Student Experience at Stanford GSB [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: A Focused Student Experience at Stanford GSB
The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) is well known for its close-knit atmosphere, and the school’s small class size allows it to provide students with a unique program of individualized coaching. First-year students at the GSB are assigned a dedicated Faculty Advisor who helps them create a customized plan for fulfilling their General Management Foundations (core) requirements based on their strengths, weaknesses, experiences, and interests. Each Faculty Advisor also teaches his/her own small seminar, which meets during the autumn quarter of the first year. These required “Critical Analytical Thinking” (CAT) seminars involve 14 to 16 students who learn to argue their perspectives on various management issues and develop their written and oral communication skills. This small seminar also helps the advisors and students get to know each other better before they collaborate on the students’ customized curriculum plans.

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The GSB is also unique in that first-year students are assigned writing coaches in the first quarter to help with CAT’s significant writing assignments. Lastly, students are paired with both a Career Advisor and a Student Life Advisor to help them identify and pursue appropriate leadership opportunities. Needless to write, if you get into the Stanford GSB, you certainly should not worry about falling between the cracks!

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

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mbaMission Consultant Spotlight: Kate Richardson [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Consultant Spotlight: Kate Richardson
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Kate Richardson earned her MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and has a BS in psychology from the University of Illinois. After earning her MBA, Kate worked for several years in management consulting at Axiom Consulting Partners, a boutique strategy execution firm. Kate’s work at Axiom focused on ensuring that clients had the right organization and talent in place to execute their business strategies. As a principal with the firm, she also co-managed its recruiting program, including hiring MBA interns, and mentored entry-level consultants. While at Chicago Booth, Kate was actively involved in the Business Solutions Group and the Dean’s Student Admissions Committee and was also an Admissions Fellow, reading applications and conducting on-campus interviews. Kate has remained involved in the Chicago Booth community since graduating by serving as communications chair for the Booth Alumni Club of DC and as an alumni admissions interviewer. Before attending business school, Kate worked in human resources for Pepco Energy Services and KPMG. Kate brings a passion for identifying and developing future business leaders to her work at mbaMission. Originally from the Chicago area and having spent most of her professional career in Washington, DC, Kate now lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

Quick Facts
Received MBA from: University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business

Undergraduate field of study: 
Psychology

Fields worked in before mbaMission: 
Management Consulting, MBA Admissions, Recruiting, Human Resources, Professional Services (Big Four)

Working style: Dedicated, direct, efficient, practical, thorough, supportive 

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois (now lives in Columbia, South Carolina)

Five things you want your clients to know about you:

1. Successfully switched careers post-MBA to Strategy Consulting

2. Very organized and will push clients to stay on track

3. Loves helping clients become more self-aware about their goals, values, strengths, and weaknesses

4. Experienced recruiter of MBA talent—resume reviewer, interviewer, and career adviser

5. Worked as a paid member of Booth’s admissions team, reviewing applications and interviewing candidates

What Past Clients are Saying
“I really enjoyed talking to Kate. She was extremely candid and gave honest feedback without trying to push for paid services (which most other consultants do – and it is a big dealbreaker.) She went well beyond the stipulated time (i goofed up with the timezone conversions:() MBAMission is doing a great job with its consultants, guides and workshops. In case I chose to hire the services of a consulting firm, MBAMission will be the go to place :) Cheers!” — B-School Applicant

“Kate was FANTASTIC. Honestly, she really put everything into perspective for me. She was both encouraging and realistic.” —B-School Applicant

“I enjoyed my conversation with Kate. I was a bit nervous, but she surpassed my expectations. Kate provided me with meaningful insight and clear information on mbaMission. I’m happy I got to speak with Kate!” —B-School Applicant

See more testimonials for Kate Richardson

Watch Kate’s Video

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Round 1 Is Everything [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2015, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Round 1 Is Everything
Many MBA admissions officers will tell candidates that if they can complete their applications and submit them in Round 1, then they should do so. Most programs will also tell candidates that they should try to avoid Round 3, because the majority of the places in their classes will have been filled by then. So, what does that say about Round 2?

Candidates sometimes call mbaMission to ask whether submitting an application in Round 2 is worth the effort or whether the opportunity has passed at that point. Unfortunately, when one is being compared against a group of unknown competitors, being concerned about every perceived difference or deficiency is only natural. Some candidates grow concerned if they are a year older than the average at their target school, while others fret if they are a year younger. Many applicants worry if their GMAT score is ten points below a school’s average. And, of course, some worry if they submit their application in Round 2. However, the overall strength of your candidacy, which is a measure of many factors, is far more important than where you fit in relation to any single statistic—not to mention whether you apply in Round 1 or 2.

So, we too would encourage candidates to apply early, if they are ready, but we do not believe anyone should give up on their MBA dreams for a year if applying in Round 1 is just not practical. You may be surprised to discover that admissions committees encourage early applications but also concede that the difference in selectivity between the first and the second rounds is very small. To back up this statement, we offer a small selection of quotes from mbaMission’s exclusive interviews with admissions officers:

“People ask, generally, is it better to apply in the first round or the second round or third round? We definitely advise people to avoid the third round if possible, because space can become an issue by the time the third round rolls around. But we do view the first two rounds as roughly equivalent.” – Bruce DelMonico, Admissions Director, Yale School of Management

“[We] get about a third of our applications in Round 1, about 55% in Round 2, and the remainder in Round 3 … We encourage people to submit their application when they feel that they offer their best possible applications. … So, if you can get everything lined up and completed and you feel really good about it …, then I would encourage you to apply in Round 1. But if it takes you a bit longer, and you want to take the time to look at your application again and maybe have somebody else look at it, then Round 2 is fine, too.” – Soojin Kwon, Admissions Director, University of Michigan Ross School of Business

“We look at statistics over the years—how many applications we got, how many we admitted, and how many we yielded—and we try to even it out so we’re not being too generous in one round at the expense of another round.” – Dawna Clarke, Admissions Director, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

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GMAT Impact: What NOT to Read on Reading Comprehension Passages [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: What NOT to Read on Reading Comprehension Passages
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.

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Ironically, to do a great job on Reading Comprehension (RC) on the GMAT, we actually have to learn what NOT to read. So many people struggle with what and how to read, but a big part of the battle is knowing what you can skim or skip!

I am going to give you a quick overview of what I mean by “what NOT to read,” and then I am going to point you to some resources containing full examples of the technique.

Learn the Process
First, read the introduction entitled How To Read A Reading Comp Passage. (Hint: Take some notes! You are going to be trying this out on a real passage in a few minutes.)

Next, you are going to try a couple of examples; one contains a Manhattan GMAT passage and one contains an Official Guide (OG) passage.

When you do the exercises, keep a few things in mind:

(1) Look for language clues that help distinguish between “high level” and “detail.” You want to read the “high level” information and skim or skip the “detail.” The “detail” clues tend to be more obvious: for example, for instance, one type of something, and so on.

(2) The bigger the words get, the more likely we will want to skim. They are going to use technical language, but that language will almost certainly be described in easier words at some other point—ignore the technical stuff and go look for that easier description.

(3) Despite #2, we are still expected to have a decent vocabulary. If you run across an unknown-to-you word that is not otherwise defined, then you are forewarned: Learn this vocabulary word before you take the GMAT.

Test It Out!
All right, let us try some examples. I am going to have you do the Manhattan GMAT example first. Once you think you have mastered that, then try the OG example.

Also, if you have access to Manhattan GMAT’s OG Archer study tool, I have also posted a video discussion of the passage used in the article to which I linked. Try it yourself first (using the article), but you then might want to reinforce the lesson by watching the video.

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In Other News … [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: In Other News …
The business school world is constantly buzzing with change and innovation. Each week, in addition to our regular news posts, we briefly touch on a few notable stories from this dynamic field in one roundup. Here is what caught our eye this week:

  • Harvard Business School (HBS) recently launched HBX Live—a digital platform intended to duplicate the HBS classroom experience for participants around the world. The school has offered alumni and executive education students, among others, a chance to take part in the program’s first installments. Each session’s approximately 60 participants share the virtual classroom with an HBS professor. Within the past year, the school has announced the launch of two other online learning experiences: business fundamentals program HBX CORe, intended for college students and newly hired professionals, and learning program series Courses, targeting senior managers.
  • University of Chicago Booth School of Business Dean Sunil Kumar will serve a second term in his current position,the school announced recently. Kumar stepped in as the dean in 2011 and will lead Chicago Booth for at least five more years after beginning his second term in 2016. “[Kumar] has demonstrated a commitment to the success of Booth’s faculty individually and as a whole, and to the success of Booth students and alumni in Chicago and around the globe,” Chicago Booth’s President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Eric D. Isaacs stated in the announcement.

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  • Looking for some inspiration and/or motivation as the school year begins? A Harvard Business School MBA student offers her take on the five most useful business books in a recent Business Insider article—among them, the New York Times Best Sellers Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen, and The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.
  • Intense short-term courses called “business boot camps” are gaining popularity among those interested in learning marketable professional skills without enrolling in business school. Such start-ups as General Assembly, Udacity, and The Flatiron School offer courses ranging in length from weeks to months, CNBC reports, and concentrate on various technology-related skills such as coding—which is in hot demand by a wide range of companies. “[These boot camps are] really about learning a brand new skill and learning it well enough to get a brand new job,” General Assembly founder and Wharton graduate Jake Schwartz commented to CNBC. Consequently, these boot camps provide an interesting alternative career path to some aspiring professionals.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Employ Active Verbs [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Employ Active Verbs
Anyone who has ever written an email that has been misunderstood—let alone an MBA application essay—is no doubt aware of the subtleties of language and the simple nuances that can change a message’s meaning. Indeed, you can enliven a simple sentence by simply choosing more active verbs.

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For example, consider the verb “earn.” By using “earn” rather than a more passive verb in the following examples, we can alter the meaning and impact of each sentence. Suddenly, you are in control—suddenly you worked hard and, as a result, accomplished great things.

Passive/Bad: “I was promoted from junior to senior analyst.”

Active/Good: “I earned a promotion from junior to senior analyst.”

Passive/Bad: “After being awarded my MBA, I will be able to….”

Active/Good: “After earning my MBA, I will be able to….”

Once you have finished your application essays, review them to see how often you can replace certain words with “earn” or a similar verb—such as “achieve,” “gain,” “attain”—that denotes action on your part.

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Software and Cybersecurity Trailblazer Laura Mather Joins Latest Entre [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 12:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Software and Cybersecurity Trailblazer Laura Mather Joins Latest Entrepreneurial 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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The latest episode of the podcast series introduces listeners to Laura Mather, the founder of Silver Tail Systems and the founder and CEO of Unitive. The latter is Mather’s newest company, which has created a platform to reduce hiring process biases. Mather—who has in recent years been included on such lists as Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, and Business Insider’s Most Powerful Women Engineers—walks listeners through her story, including these bits:

  • Attempting to make the world—or at least the customer’s world—a tiny bit better when serving as the director of trust and safety at eBay
  • Protecting a staggering 1.5 billion customer accounts through her cybersecurity firm, Silver Tail Systems
  • How she jumped from Silver Tail’s management to founding Unitive—with zero time off in between!
Subscribe to the podcast series to hear exciting behind-the-scenes stories from Mather and many more entrepreneurs!

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Mission Admission: Look for Personalized Recommendations [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Look for Personalized Recommendations
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

If your supervisor is writing your business school recommendation and you are having trouble ensuring that he/she is putting the proper thought and effort into your letter, you are not alone. Because of this asymmetry of power, a junior employee can only do so much to compel his/her supervisor to commit the necessary time and write thoughtfully. So, before you designate your supervisor as a recommender, you must first understand how committed this person really is to helping you with your business school candidacy. In particular, your recommender needs to understand that using a single template to create identical letters for multiple business schools is not okay and that each letter must be personalized and each MBA program’s questions must be answered using specific examples.

If your recommender intends to simply write a single letter and force it to “fit” the school’s questions or to attach a standard letter to the end of the school’s recommendation form (for example, including it in the question “Is there anything else that you think the committee should know about the candidate?”), then he/she could be doing you a disservice. By neglecting to put the proper time and effort into your letter, your recommender is sending a very clear message to the admissions committee: “I don’t really care about this candidate.”

If you cannot convince your recommender to write a personalized letter or to respond to your target school’s individual questions using specific examples, look elsewhere. A well-written personalized letter from an interested party is always far better than a poorly written letter from your supervisor.

The post Mission Admission: Look for Personalized Recommendations appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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 Career Advice: How NOT to Start a Cover Letter [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: How NOT to Start a Cover Letter
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.

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As we have noted in prior posts, cover letters are frequently ignored. A great way to increase the chances of yours being ignored is to start a cover letter with this opener, as many do: “My name is Jon Smith and I am interested in applying for a position with your (insert adjective) firm.” Why is this a terrible opener? Because it is obviously banal, but is also so common that it does nothing to engage the reader. It reveals you to be just like dozens of others. So, if you want someone to read your cover letter, make sure that it speaks to your personal experience:

“Since arriving at Dartmouth-Tuck, I have been solely focused on opportunities in the field of strategy consulting and your firm has stood out for X and Y reason…”

“A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with (name), a managing director at your firm and learned A and B….”

“As I make my career transition, (firm name) has emerged as a tremendous opportunity for me to apply my A and B skills to X and Y challenges…”

These openers above have a voice and add new information about your candidacy that recruiters do not already know from your resume and email address, unlike “My name is Jon Smith…” When you write your cover letter, think about that first line. It is your most important opportunity to engage your reader and hope that he/she hangs on to learn more. Don’t squander that opportunity!

The post MBA Career Advice: How NOT to Start a Cover Letter 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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