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GMAT Impact: Avoiding Getting Multiple Questions Wrong in a Row [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2015, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Avoiding Getting Multiple Questions Wrong in a Row
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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.

“How do I make sure I don’t get more than two, three, or four questions wrong in a row?”

Students ask this all the time—they have heard that GMAT scoring penalizes us for getting a lot of questions wrong in a row.Image

This is true, to some extent. The GMAT test writers prioritize steady performance over the length of the entire test, so they have built safeguards into the algorithm to ensure that if, for example, we spend too much time early on, we will get penalized for running out of time at the end.

So… How do I avoid getting multiple questions wrong in a row?

People will say something like, “I am pretty sure I got the last two wrong—I just outright guessed on the last one. Now, how do I make sure I get the next one right?”

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You cannot. You can never “make sure” that you get any particular question right. If you could…well, then you would not need any help, right? Nobody on the planet, not even the best test takers, can guarantee that they are going to answer any particular question correctly.

So what do I do when I know I have just gotten a couple of questions wrong?

You are going to hate my answer: You ignore it. You do not even think about it in the first place.

You likely hate that answer because you feel that you have no control—and you are right, we cannot control this at all. That is why we should not waste a single second thinking about it. Try the question in front of you for some reasonable amount of time. If you just cannot do it in the expected time frame, find a way to make a guess and move on.

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Spending more time (more than the rough average) does not actually increase the chances that you will get something right!

But then, how do I get better?

Expect that you are not going to be able to answer everything.

Know how to make an educated guess wherever possible.

Acknowledge when a problem just is not going your way and, when needed, make a random guess without wasting a single second longer.

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Change your response to the thought, “I have to get this one right.” Have you already read this article: But I studied this – I should know how to do it? If so, then you will remember that we talk about changing your response to the “but!” feeling. (If not, go read the article right now.)

The same thing applies here. When you find yourself thinking, “Oh, I need to get this one right!,” change your reaction. Instead of spending extra time and stressing yourself out, tell yourself, “I cannot guarantee anything. If I can do this one in regular time, great. If not, I will guess without losing time on it and move on.”

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In Other News… Business Schools Offer Liberal Arts Courses [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: In Other News… Business Schools Offer Liberal Arts Courses
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:

  • The issue of income inequality worries many, and reportedly Harvard Business School (HBS) graduates are no exception. The 2015 Survey on U.S. Competitiveness polled approximately 2,700 HBS alumni, and an analysis of the results conducted by Harvard professors reveals respondents’ bleak expectations regarding rising income disparities. When asked to predict the distribution of future income levels, participants guessed that 41% of income gains would belong to the richest 1% of the population and only 5% of gains would be realized by the poorest 20%. “Respondents remain pessimistic on balance about the likelihood that firms will lift American living standards by paying higher wages and benefits in the near term,” the professors’ report states, according to Fortune. “Shared prosperity is not around the corner.”Image
  • Business school undergraduate programs are widening their horizons with regard to liberal arts, according to U.S. News & World Report. Such schools as the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and the Stern School of Business at New York University recently have begun to offer liberal arts courses to undergraduate students. At Stern, for example, students are allowed to take half of their courses at NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to providing a more well-rounded education, Ross Dean Alison Davis-Blake believes the mixture of liberal arts and business studies could score points for students at home: “Parents are often caught between wanting their children to have a broad-based education that will expand their minds and vision, and having a narrow technical education that will help them get a job,” she commented in the article.
  • While many business schools are raising tuition costs annually, the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester is doing exactly the opposite: the school will cut the tuition of its full-time, two-year program in the fall of 2016 by nearly 14%, bringing the total to $92,000 from the current $106,440. “We [the top-ranked business schools] have all gotten into this habit of upping our prices 3% to 5% a year and then separately being worried about attracting the best students,” Dean Andrew Ainslie told Fortune. Ainslie hopes the tuition cut will bring in a larger applicant pool, stating: “We believe that prospective students often overlook Simon due to our sticker price despite our strengths in academics, student quality, and career placement.”
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Multidimensional Brainstorming, Part 2 [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Multidimensional Brainstorming, Part 2
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Many MBA candidates—whether they are working as bankers or lawyers, in internal corporate finance or corporate strategy—feel they must tell a “deal story” in their application essays. Although discussing a deal can be a good idea, showing your distinct impact on the deal is what is vital—you are the central character, not the deal. As we have discussed before (Monday Morning Essay Tip: Conflict Is Compelling), a straightforward story about how you dutifully completed your work and steadily supported others as a deal became a reality is not likely to be very compelling. Further, the important thing is that the admissions committee experience your personality, not your spreadsheets.

Ask yourself the following questions to ensure that your story is truly about you:

  • What did you do that was beyond expectations for your role? Did you grow into additional responsibilities at a crucial time?
  • Did any particular interactions take place in which you used your personality to change the dynamic, thereby ensuring the deal’s progress or success?
  • Did you need to take a principled stand at any moment or speak out on behalf of a needful party?
  • Did you help others overcome any corporate or international cultural barriers?
These are just a few questions to get you started, but the point remains: do not simply offer any deal, but instead provide insight into your deal.

The post Monday Morning Essay Tip: Multidimensional Brainstorming, Part 2 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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MBA News: Is Social Entrepreneurship Overlooked in Business Schools? [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2015, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Is Social Entrepreneurship Overlooked in Business Schools?
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Entrepreneurship is trendy at the moment, but what about social entrepreneurship? In a recent Op-Ed for the Financial Times, MBA student Stephen Morse justifies his decision to pursue a career in this growing and often misunderstood field. Morse, who recently enrolled at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School, shares a quote from the book Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs To Know to clarify what social entrepreneurship really is: “Social entrepreneurship is a process by which citizens build or transform institutions to advance solutions to social problems, such as poverty, illness, environmental destruction, human rights abuses and corruption, in order to make life better for many.” Moreover, Morse posits that millennials might be drawn to the field as a result of their desire to make a difference in the world.

“[At Saïd] I hope to analyse treasure troves of data about entrepreneurial ventures that have worked, and others that have failed,” Morse writes, “and understand why some organizations have succeeded while others have not.” Although some of his peers might disagree, Morse is convinced that social entrepreneurship is the field of the future. He is not alone: such U.S.-based schools as the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School offer programs and initiatives on the subject.

The post MBA News: Is Social Entrepreneurship Overlooked in Business Schools? 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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Mission Admission: Visit Your Target Business Schools [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2015, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Visit Your Target Business Schools
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Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Every year, we get many inquiries from MBA candidates who have just started the application process and are curious about whether they should invest the time and resources needed to visit their target programs. Is visiting really worth the effort? Will doing so impress the admissions committee(s)? Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that a class visit has tremendous relevance beyond the formal admissions process—it is a chance for you to give the school a thorough “test drive.” You probably would not invest $30,000 in a car without driving it first, would you? So why would you commit to spending two years of your life, many years as an alumnus/alumna, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct and opportunity costs without first knowing what you are getting?

We do not think that you need to visit at all costs, however. If you have limited funds or time, you should not deplete your resources by visiting. You have many other ways of getting to know your target schools without traveling to campus, such as Web sites, podcasts, conversations with alumni, and outreach events. However, if you do have the time and money, we strongly recommend that you travel to your target schools and gain that firsthand experience—a brief trip could pay a lifetime of dividends.

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

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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA Career Advice: Say Thank You After an Interview! [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2015, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Say Thank You After an Interview!
When you interview, you should always follow-up with your interviewer/s to thank them – and we repeat “always”! In doing so, you will have an opportunity to show that you were an active listener and internalized your interview, while also revealing some basic standards of courtesy and respect. So, when you follow-up with your note (and by “note” we mean e-mail!) it needs to contain some specific content which relates to the experience itself. Let’s consider two approaches….

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Janet,

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me earlier today. I appreciate your giving me a chance to discuss my fit with your firm and the skills that I would bring to the table. I enjoyed learning about your history with your firm and its strengths and even its challenges. I look forward to learning more and appreciate you connecting me with your colleague.

Sincerely,

Robert

Oh, Robert! You may have actually meant what you just wrote, but it came across so completely generically that Janet could not possibly have believed that you were listening or trying to make an impression! Instead of this pitiable attempt, you might offer some details which make it clear that you were present:

Janet,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me earlier today – I appreciated your candor in discussing the challenges facing your industry, but, it is clear from our discussion that your team is taking an aggressive stance in defending its market share. I am hopeful that I can bring my background in big data analytics to help you take customer acquisition to a deeper level. As you suggested, I have already followed up with your colleague to schedule a time to meet with his team.

Sincerely,

Robert

In the latter example, Robert peppers his letter with specifics that reveal that he was actively listening – that he was and is interested. Simple phrases like, “candor in discussing challenges facing your industry” or “take customer acquisition to the next level,” prove that Robert was engaged. In a mere three sentences, with this thoughtful note, Robert has sent a clear and concise message! Interviewing for business school? The same rules apply: make specific statements about your conversation and make a much more memorable impression!

For more career tips, follow @CareerCoachMBA on Twitter or sign up for your free 30-minute consultation here.

The post MBA Career Advice: Say Thank You After an Interview! 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
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Professor Profiles: Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan School of Management [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2015, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan School of Management
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 profile Robert Pindyck from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Robert Pindyck has won multiple teaching awards going back at least a dozen years, including an MIT Sloan Outstanding Teaching Award in both 1995 and 2005, the MIT Sloan Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002, and the school’s Teacher of the Year Award in 2007. Students and alumni with whom we spoke made note of his intense passion, which inspires his students to involve themselves ever more deeply into the material they are studying. An alumnus described Pindyck’s “tremendous authority,” which the professor balanced with “immense accessibility,” and a second-year teaching assistant in Pindyck’s “Industrial Economics” course noted in a January 2012 MIT Sloan Students Speak blog post that working with him was “a great learning experience.”

For more information about the MIT Sloan School of Management and 15 other top-ranked MBA schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

The post Professor Profiles: Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan School of Management 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

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Venture for America Podcast Welcomes “Serial Entrepreneur” David Kidde [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Venture for America Podcast Welcomes “Serial Entrepreneur” David Kidder
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 thirteenth podcast episode, Shinewald sits down with entrepreneur and author David Kidder. This episode’s guest has an impressive number of innovations under his belt—the most recent being growth solution firm Bionic, a social innovation platform for enterprises. Kidder’s previous entrepreneurial ventures include Web-authoring platform Net-X, mobile advertising firm SmartRay Network, and online advertising software Clickable, all of which were acquired. He also co-founded the investment fund Alt Option Return, which focuses on investing in New York City–based companies. Tune in to hear these and other fascinating anecdotes from this wildly successful marketing and technology expert:

  • Kidder’s opinion on the ideal percentage of irrationality and optimism involved in building businesses
  • His experience of traveling through two dozen countries over two years after SmartRay’s acquisition—before his instinct drove him back into the game
  • The process of gathering tips from his favorite entrepreneurs to share in his latest book, The Startup Playbook
Subscribe to the podcast series to hear Kidder and many other entrepreneurs describe what it takes to make it to the top!

The post Venture for America Podcast Welcomes “Serial Entrepreneur” David Kidder 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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Beyond the MBA Classroom: TG at Kellogg [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2015, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: TG at Kellogg
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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TG is an abbreviation of the longer abbreviation TGIF (aka “Thank God It’s Friday”) and is the name of a popular weekly social event at Kellogg, hosted by various student clubs throughout the year. Held in the school’s atrium, TG is an opportunity for students to wind down the week with beers and appetizers and to interact with professors and members of Kellogg administration in an informal atmosphere. The event attracts primarily first-year students, but second years are known to occasionally make an appearance as well.

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

The post Beyond the MBA Classroom: TG at Kellogg 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
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Diamonds in the Rough: Managing Millions Through the MBA Investment Fu [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Managing Millions Through the MBA Investment Fund at Texas McCombs
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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Many MBA programs offer their students an opportunity to manage “real” money during their two years of study. Some schools give their students a few thousand dollars to work with, while others give their students a few million in endowment funds, but none offer as much as the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, where students manage more than $17M (yes, we said $17 million!). Through the MBA Investment Fund, L.L.C.—the first legally constituted private investment company managed by students—students oversee funds contributed by more than 40 investors in the Growth Portfolio, Value Portfolio, and Endowment Fund. Each year, up to 20 students are selected as portfolio managers through an application/interview process, and these students work with investment counselors on economic forecasting, risk management, and the pitching of stock and bond ideas, and then report to an advisory committee composed of faculty from the University of Texas’s department of finance and members of the investment community. If you are interested in investment management, would you not want to be able to say, “I helped select stocks for a multimillion-dollar fund”?

The post Diamonds in the Rough: Managing Millions Through the MBA Investment Fund at Texas McCombs 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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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Friday Factoid: Darden Capital Management at UVA Darden [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2015, 05:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Darden Capital Management at UVA Darden
Many think that because the University of Virginia (UVA) Darden School of Business casts itself as offering a general management program, the school has no specialties. General management, however, is a philosophy that suggests that no business problem can be viewed in isolation—for example, a finance problem relates to marketing, a marketing problem relates to operations, and so on. In the student club Darden Capital Management (DCM), students can apply general management principles in evaluating equities to understand the entire firm while also specializing in asset management to further their careers in this finance industry niche.

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Through DCM, first-year students pitch long and short investment ideas to second-year student fund managers who oversee approximately $10M of Darden’s endowment, which is divided among five funds, each with its own focal area. Approximately 20 first years ultimately “graduate” and run these funds themselves for credit as second years, reporting on their investment decisions and performance to Darden’s finance board. Students who manage these funds report that they have had an advantage breaking into asset management, because this hands-on experience gives them plenty to discuss in interviews. Managing around $10M will do that…

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

The post Friday Factoid: Darden Capital Management at UVA Darden 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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: At Least I Don’t Have to Rework My Res [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: At Least I Don’t Have to Rework My Resume …
Many MBA candidates do not thoroughly consider and revise their resumes for their business school applications, often dismissing this element because an existing version may already be saved on their computer. We strongly caution you not to underestimate the value of this document—the admissions committees in fact review applicants’ resumes carefully, because they serve as a road map of each candidate’s career. In the past, we have highlighted that your resume is not the place to “stuff” all of your life experiences. Somewhere between the two extremes—stuffing your resume with information and ignoring it altogether—lies the ideal: a clear, easily scannable, action-/results-oriented resume, one that tells a story that will capture the attention of an admissions officer who has reviewed hundreds of similar files.

One of the most common errors that candidates make is leaving their resume in an industry-specific format, filled with jargon and acronyms recognizable only to an expert in their field. Remember, the admissions committee is not hiring you for a task, but is trying to understand your progress, your accomplishments, and even your character. Each bullet point in your resume needs to highlight achievement more than positional expertise.

As you prepare your resume to be included in your application, think about your audience and recognize that your resume can be a strategic tool to reinforce certain characteristics that are important to you—characteristics that may complement information provided in other parts of your application. For example, if you aspire to a career that is international in nature, you may place more emphasis on your international experience in your resume. Or, if you come from a field that is not known for its management orientation—you were a teacher who administered a school’s $50,000 student activities budget, for example—you may use your resume to emphasize disciplines that are important to an MBA admissions audience.

Some candidates are surprised to realize that one page can communicate so much and thus deserves a significant level of attention, but investing some time in this short but crucial document is definitely worth the effort.

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MBA News: Business School Professors Ask Congress to Pass Paid Leave A [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2015, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Business School Professors Ask Congress to Pass Paid Leave Act
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Professors from top-ranked U.S.-based business schools have joined forces to lobby for paid sick and family leave. The group of 203 professors signed a letter addressed to the U.S. Congress concerning the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would establish a new standard for paid leave for not just the professors, but all workers nationwide. The professors cited their “experiences teaching the business leaders of tomorrow” as a reason to push the legislation, adding “the United States must adopt a national paid family and medical leave policy.”

The act, widely known as the “Family Act,” would provide 66% wage replacement and 12 weeks in paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, as well as for workers dealing with their own or an immediate family member’s medical condition. At the moment, a mere 13% of U.S. workers are able to take a paid family leave, and fewer than 40% benefit from paid medical leave. National Partnership for Women & Families Vice President Vicki Shabo commented to Bloomberg Business, “The business school community was missing from the [paid leave] debate.” Consequently, the professors hope their letter helps the proposed legislation gain momentum.

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GMAT Impact: The Role of Confusion in Your GMAT Prep [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2015, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: The Role of Confusion in Your GMAT Prep
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.

That seems like it should be a typo. Maybe I meant “Confucius,” the Chinese teacher and philosopher?

No, I really do mean confusion. Journalist Annie Murphy Paul contributed a post to NPR’s Mind/Shift blog: Why Confusion Can Be a Good Thing.

Why Is Confusion Good?Image


Murphy Paul supports her thesis with an important point: When we do not know the “right” way to do something, we open up our minds to many potential paths—and sometimes an alternate potential path is better than the “official” path.

When a test like the GMAT is concerned, the discomfort inherent in figuring out that best path allows us to determine why a certain approach is preferable. That knowledge, in turn, helps us to know when we can reuse a certain line of thinking or solution process on a different (but similar) question in the future.

How Can I Use Confusion to Help My Prep?

Murphy Paul offers three suggestions (the following quotes are from the article; the rest is just me):

(1) “Expose yourself to confusing material.”

On the GMAT, you have no choice: You are going to be exposing yourself to confusing material every day. So I will tweak Murphy Paul’s suggestion slightly: embrace the confusion. Rather than feeling annoyed or frustrated when that feeling of confusion creeps in, tell yourself: okay, I am on track here. I am going to figure this out—and, when I do, I am going to remember it, because my current confusion is actually going to help me remember better once I do know what I am doing!

(2) “Withhold the answers from yourself.”

Sometimes looking at the answer immediately is appropriate. If you are doing drill sets and you want to make sure that you learn from one problem before trying the next, then check the solution immediately.

Other times, though, you are not doing yourself a favor by jumping right to the answer. In particular, when you know that you don’t know… then do not look at the answer right away! Struggle with it for a while first.

Look stuff up in your strategy guides/books. Ask a friend or search a forum. Spend as much time as you want, then pick an answer—even if it is just a guess—and have a rationale for why you eliminated the answers that you eliminated. If possible, also have a rationale for why you chose the answer that you did.

Got that? Okay, now go look at the answer. But wait! Do not read the solution yet—just look at the answer first. Maybe you will want to go look at the problem again because:

  • You were sure you got it right but you didn’t; can you find the mistake?
  • You guessed and got lucky; was that pure dumb luck or were you actually able to increase your odds via a strong educated guess? Alternatively, maybe you knew more than you thought you did!
  • You did get it wrong but knowledge of the correct answer prompts an idea about how to do or think about the problem.
(3) “Test yourself before you learn.”

This approach lets us know what we know and, more importantly, what we don’t know going into our study of that lesson or chapter, and that can actually help us to learn more effectively.

I suggest starting a new chapter with a few of the problems listed as practice or drills at the end of the chapter. If those go well, then try a lower-numbered Official Guide problem. Keep going until you hit a couple of substantial roadblocks. Then dive into the chapter with a serious curiosity to figure out how to get around those roadblocks!

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In Other News… TED Talks, Schwarzman Scholars, and the Best Internatio [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2015, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: In Other News… TED Talks, Schwarzman Scholars, and the Best International Business Schools
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:

  • Thanks to the Internet, lessons typically taught inside the walls of business schools are now at everyone’s fingertips. TED Talks are an easy way to gain new perspectives and learn from top experts around the world. Inc. has gathered ten of the most fascinating talks—ranging from “The Power of Vulnerability,” in which Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, explains how to turn vulnerability into an asset, andHow Great Leaders Serve Others,” author David Marquet’s tale of what his experiences as a naval ship captain taught him about leadership.
  • The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is hoping to attract some of the world’s brightest minds with a new double degree. Those who will enroll in the one-year Master of Global Affairs program at the new Schwarzman Scholars-Tsinghua University in 2016 can apply to Saïd for a second master’s degree and continue their education in the U.K. “Through this partnership, students with a particular interest in business can have a really unparalleled exposure to top professors in the field from around the world,” Steve Schwarzman, CEO and founder of investment firm The Blackstone Group, told Financial Times. Schwarzman’s $100M donation in July 2013 established the Schwarzman Scholars-Tsinghua University Master of Global Affairs program.Image
  • Prospective MBAs commonly review business school rankings when evaluating U.S. schools, but amazing programs also can be found across the world. In addition to U.S.-based school rankings, Forbes offers an international perspective in its 2015 Best Business Schools list. Based on the return on investment for students, London Business School ranked number one among two-year international MBA programs, while Spain-based IESE Business School came in second and HEC Paris claimed the number three spot. Although European schools dominated the top three, schools in such countries as China (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China Europe International Business School), Mexico (IPADE Business School), and Canada (Schulich School of Business at York University) ranked highly as well.
The post In Other News… TED Talks, Schwarzman Scholars, and the Best International Business Schools appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Overrepresenting Your Overrepresentation [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Overrepresenting Your Overrepresentation
Many MBA applicants worry that they are overrepresented—male investment bankers and Indian software engineers, in particular. Applicants cannot change their work histories, of course, but they can change the way they introduce themselves to the admissions committee. Consider the following examples:

Example 1: “As an investment banker, I….”

Example 2: “Managing a team to code a new software product for ABC Corp., I….”

In these brief examples, each candidate introduces the very overrepresentation that he/she would like to minimize. Many applicants feel they must start their essays by presenting their titles or company names, but this approach can immediately make the reader pause and think, “Here we go again.”

Overrepresented business school candidates should therefore consider the opening lines of their essays especially carefully. Rather than stating the obvious, an applicant might instead immerse the reader in a situation or present a special aspect of his/her position:

Example 1 (launching into a story): “At 5:30 pm, I could rest easy. The deadline for all other offers had passed. At that point, I knew….”

Example 2: (stand out): “While managing a multinational team, half in Silicon Valley and half in Pakistan, I….”

In the first example here, the banker candidate avoids drab self-introduction and instead plunges the reader into the midst of a mystery that is playing out. In the second example, the software engineer candidate introduces him-/herself not as a “coder” but as a multinational manager. Of course, every applicant’s situation is different, but with some effort, your story can be told in a way that avoids the pitfalls of overrepresentation.

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VP and Entrepreneur Eric Cantor Discusses His Innovative Successes [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2015, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: VP and Entrepreneur Eric Cantor Discusses His Innovative Successes
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 fourteenth podcast episode features Venture for America board member and entrepreneur Eric Cantor. After getting his first taste of entrepreneurship by founding two Internet infrastructure companies when the Internet was still in its infancy, Cantor has done innovative work globally and now serves as the vice president of product development at Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners. Cantor’s journey to the present day has been a whirlwind to say the least. Tune in to the podcast to hear him share these stories and more:

  • How he spent four years in Uganda and Kenya developing technology solutions—the first of their kind in Africa
  • Winning a $250K innovation award for the financial mobile tool PayGoal while it was still in beta
  • How Venture for America became his “soul nonprofit involvement”
Subscribe to the podcast series to hear all the details of Cantor’s story and many others!

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Mission Admission: The Business School Interview Is Not a Quiz Show [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: The Business School Interview Is Not a Quiz Show
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

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This time of year, business school candidates are starting to interview with their target MBA programs. Many of these applicants inevitably fret and ask themselves, “What if I don’t know the answers to my interviewer’s questions?” The good news is that, as the title of this blog post states, a business school interview bears no resemblance to a TV quiz show. The admissions officer, alumnus/alumna, or student interviewing you will not ask you about esoteric topics and will not expect you to answer questions pertaining to business management. The vast majority of the questions you will encounter in your interview will pertain to your life and experiences—in other words, the interviewer will be asking you about you—so you will already have all the answers in hand from the beginning.

As a first step in preparing for your interviews, take time to reacquaint yourself with your own story, especially as you have thus far presented it to the school in your application. Go back and reread your essays, contemplate pivotal moments in your life, and consider your major accomplishments and failures. By doing so, you will be sure to have the basic knowledge necessary to perform at your very best during your interview.

Download our Interview Primers for interview tips at 15 individual business schools!

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MBA Career Advice: The Importance of Spelling [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2015, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: The Importance of Spelling
Bill Maher: I was amazed at the things that you have to tell (new graduates) that they don’t know. I guess I forgot how stupid I was…..Like, don’t be late.

Carol Leifer: Yeah, don’t be late. Number one…with a bullet. It doesn’t matter what great school you graduated from. Top of the class? Don’t be late….

Bill Maher: Spelling. I can’t tell you how many letters I have gotten from people over the years who have wanted something from me. ‘Dear Mr. Mahr – spelled  M-A-H-R. It’s M-A-H-E-R!”

– Episode 321, Real Time with Bill MaherImage

The exchange above between comedian and talk show host, Bill Maher, and comedienne and one-time Seinfeld writer, Carol Leifer (Note: Carol, not Carole; Leifer, not Liefer!) is relevant for two reasons. The first reason should be clear: when you are applying for a job, getting the little things wrong will kill your chances. The second reason is a bit more subtle: spelling a name right is not some sort of antiquated notion. Leifer and Maher are not sticklers working in the HR department. They are comedians, who don’t take much seriously. But even they take the spelling of their names seriously!!

What does spelling an individual or company’s name, or even a company’s address wrong say? It says that you are being haphazard before you even get the job – at a time when you should be most cautious. If you are being sloppy at such a sensitive time, just how careless will you be once you let your guard down? Spelling a name right is the very minimum of level of respect and consideration you can show a person (or a company!!). In short, get names right!

You need to be thoughtful about each and every communication you have with your prospective employers . For most of us, that means double and triple checking all correspondences before sending them and even making sure important communiqués are read by others. The wrong impression is always much easier to make than the right one.

The post MBA Career Advice: The Importance of Spelling 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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Professor Profiles: Gautam Kaul, University of Michigan Stephen M. Ros [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Gautam Kaul, University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose an MBA program, but the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we profile Gautam Kaul from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

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Gautam Kaul, professor of finance and the Fred M. Taylor Professor of Business Administration, teaches both core curriculum courses and electives. In addition to referencing his intellectual capabilities, students with whom mbaMission spoke described Kaul as extremely friendly and having a great sense of humor. He is also known for his willingness to help students both inside and outside the classroom. In 2005, in direct response to student interest, Kaul developed the course “Finance and the Sustainable Enterprise.” In return, students recognized his efforts and awarded him the Sustainability Pioneer Award and a plaque in his honor on one of the chairs in the main auditorium of the university’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. Kaul has been nominated for an MBA Teaching Excellence Award (which is voted on by the student body) numerous times, and he won the award in 1996, 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2013. He is also the 2009 recipient of the Victor L. Bernard Leadership in Teaching Award from the university’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.

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

The post Professor Profiles: Gautam Kaul, University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross 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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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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