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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
Status:Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
Posts: 413
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Location: United States
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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
Status:Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
Posts: 413
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Location: United States
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How to Be a Leader at Work, Even When You’re Not “At Work” [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How to Be a Leader at Work, Even When You’re Not “At Work”
Every MBA hopeful is, or should be, considering how he or she can step-up and lead at work, no matter your title or even role. This has been an essential differentiator for those hoping to demonstrate what many b-schools call a “habit of leadership”. But in the current work from home environment, some of the traditional ways that early career professionals used to find those coveted leadership opportunities are harder to come by. Right now it’s not as easy to get pulled into a meeting, be at the right place at the right time, or use your elevator pitch (in an actual elevator) to network, share your opinions and get that opportunity to “take a crack at” something (ok I’ll stop with the business jargon).

But, with applications to the top MBA programs likely increasing dramatically this fall and winter given the state of the economy, for MBA hopefuls, this is not the time to wait for things to go back to normal. Whether you are applying or not, likely, this is a time that your teams and organizations need people to step-up more than ever, and sometimes senior leadership doesn’t even have time to ask. So, here are a few ways that you can potentially step-up as a leader at work…from home.

[list]
[b]Raise Your Hand[/b]. I had a boss once who said that if you’re a junior person at your firm then you shouldn’t leave work until you’ve gone around and asked each senior person if they need anything else. Maybe that system is antiquated now (I’m not that old, by the way), but it’s a good practice in the current environment. A director on your team can’t step outside of his or her office and physically see you to remember that you do good work, so you should be reaching out to them. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Ask if there are special projects you can lead a part of or help with. [/*]
[b]Be Visible and Vocal[/b]. Most likely, the senior leaders on your team are in Zoom meetings all…day…long. Stay in front of them with status updates, which means frequently sending emails giving overviews of what you’re doing and where it stands. Make sure the senior people on your team are hearing from you every day, as long as that’s appropriate for your team’s culture. For example, if you’re in an industry that’s impacted by the current economic shock in some way (which nearly all of us are, unfortunately), continue to stay on top of current events and developments and share those with your team as appropriate. And, continue to offer to take on more and be proactive. Be specific if you have a recommendation for something you can do proactively like “I saw that we’ll need x analysis – I was going to start working on that – does that work for you?” Emails like that are gold to a senior leader right now:  you can be a hero.[/*]
[b]Be Positive[/b]. I know it’s been a hard few weeks and months for many. If you are finding yourself starting every meeting with “did you read the news last night about…”, then you need to find a way to hit pause on that; and try not to enable others to go down dark paths either. Be someone who listens to others – let them vent and genuinely listen to what they have to say. And then bring light to the conversation. Whether that’s comic relief in the form of a joke or offering to “host” a happy hour for the team and get everyone to play Pictionary, be the person who helps redirect people into a positive space as often as possible. The people who can do this well are truly the team players and leaders that everyone wants and needs, in a crisis or otherwise.[/*]
[b]Be a Do-er.[/b] Maybe you’re the youngest, most junior person on your team and you’re not used to making decisions or running with an idea. Well, this is your moment because there are a lot of seemingly little ways you can act right now that may help everyone around you. If appropriate, this a good time to decide to do something that you know is productive, even if no one told you to. Create a trivia question of the week, send your hilarious jokes every Monday to your team, create a Google sheet to help people get organized:  whatever you see that could be helpful, if appropriate within your organization and team (or with appropriate approval if needed), make your bias towards action. A lot of people are panicking right now – we need do-ers who are putting one foot in front of the other and acting.[/*]
[b]Focus People on What They Can Control.[/b] There are a number of ways to support those in need right now. Most cities are organizing meal drives to feed healthcare workers and other similar things that you can do from home at your computer. Find and share those opportunities with your colleagues – help give people a feeling of power, even if small, to make a difference in this time. [/*]
[/list]


Of course these suggestions aren’t isolated to those applying to b-school, but for those MBA hopefuls who are reading this, being able to describe how you acted and led during this time will be very important to your applications. Consider what you’d be proud to tell the admissions committee you were doing to lead and step-up during this time, and make that a reality.

Times are turbulent right now, but turbulent times and how you navigate them are where real leaders emerge.

[url=https://www.vantagepointmba.com]www.vantagepointmba.com[/url]

The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/04/07/how-to-be-a-leader-at-work-even-when-youre-not-at-work/]How to Be a Leader at Work, Even When You’re Not “At Work”[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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Researching MBA Programs When You Can’t Visit [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Researching MBA Programs When You Can’t Visit
A big part of putting together a winning MBA application is demonstrating that you are the perfect “fit” for the school you are applying to, and that you are excited about that specific program and school. The schools’ websites only get you so far; they start to blur together as the top schools all offer cutting edge courses, acclaimed professors, legacies of recruiting power at sought after companies, and best in class experiential learning and networking. So, researching which schools are the best “fit” for you comes down to something much more subjective:  the school’s culture and your personality. 

This is the time of year when you should be doing this type of analysis:  researching schools, determining which schools you want to apply to, and creating your talking points for how each school is a great fit for you, and you for it. Historically, the best way to assess fit was simply to visit. Sit in a classroom, see how everyone engages, and determine if it’s a place where you’d like to spend two years. You can’t do that right now, but you can still learn about the schools – it may just take a little more effort and creativity.

Here are our suggestions for learning about the MBA programs virtually:

[b]1. Talk to People. [/b]Next to sitting in on a class, talking to current students and recent alums is hands down the best way to get a sense for the culture of a school. You’re probably really skilled at Zoom right now, so I recommend setting up a few virtual “coffee chats” with at least two alums or current students from each school you are considering.

[b]2. Ask the Right Questions.[/b] If you ask someone “why did you choose” a particular school, they will likely cite all of the stuff you already know (rankings, location, jobs etc). So we recommend that you ask questions about their experience instead. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

“What was orientation like?”

“What surprised you about your MBA experience? What didn’t you expect?”

“What was the most popular thing to do at your school? Event, class, club activity etc?”

“What stands out as the most impactful experience you had in b-school?”

“What did you wish was different about your experience?”

“What would you do differently if you went back?”

“How do you engage with your classmates now (if an alum)?”

“What advice do you have for an applicant to your school?”

“Based on your experience, how would you describe the culture of your program?”

[b]3. Video Content >  Written Content[/b]. The schools publish blogs that we find helpful for information and facts. But to get a sense for the culture of the school, the video content and webinars are way more helpful. In lieu of being able to do their usual city tours, schools will being going virtual, so look for these events in the near term. They generally fill up fast when offered live, so we expect the same to be true virtually.

[b]4. Call Them.[/b]  If you don’t know current students or alums, call the schools and ask to be put in touch with a current student. All of the top schools offer something like this and it’s a great way for you to ask your questions and get to know the program. Make sure they take your name when you call the school and ask for this (they might keep track).

[b]5. Forums & Guides (with a grain of salt)[/b].  There are a number of sites dedicated to providing MBA advice. The problem is that a lot of it is crowdsourced (eg. forums). The school guides that many offer for free can be very useful as starting points and helping you parse out some subtle differences in programs. But remember that someone’s view of a schools’ culture and feel may be different than how it feels for you. So, use others’ opinions as a starting point and data collection, not as a way of classifying schools.

In a year where we expect the competition to be high, it’s important to stay focused; and right now is the time to be nailing down your story, resume and of course “fit” with your target schools. If you need a good starting point for your school research, you can take the fit quiz on our site located here: [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2019/04/16/which-mba-program-is-right-for-you-use-our-mba-fit-tool-to-find-out/]School Selection Quiz[/url]. Remember, this is just a starting point.

We hope everyone is staying safe and hanging in there! Reach out if you have any questions.

[url=https://www.vantagepointmba.com]www.vantagepointmba.com[/url]



The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/05/01/researching-mba-programs-when-you-cant-visit/]Researching MBA Programs When You Can’t Visit[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Be The Mosquito! [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Be The Mosquito!


“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.” – Betty Reese

In the current environment, as the days slowly tick by and
an underlying sense of fear seems unavoidable, it is easy to feel helpless and
yearn for the recent past when things were ‘normal’. I know I often do!
Inevitably, however, as my thoughts spiral towards negativity, I come across a
story of kindness and hope which reminds me that we are resilient – we will get
through this (and dare I say, be a stronger society as a result).

A few such stories have even come from our clients! One
client just signed up via TapRoot to help two small businesses navigate the
cumbersome process of applying for CARES financing. I love how he tapped into
his finance skill set and found a creative way to give back, all from the
comfort of his couch! In addition to being the right thing to do, it will add a
valuable talking point to his applications, which are otherwise light on
extracurricular involvement.

Another client recently became a volunteer with Meals On
Wheels, delivering food to homebound people in his local community. While the
need for this service always existed, demand has exploded lately, as you can
imagine. Further, I think we all have a newfound appreciation for how isolation
can wreak havoc on the spirit and how a warm smile or kind gesture can truly
make one’s day. This client’s act of service tapped into his passion for health
and wellness, while serving as a valuable update for Kellogg, where he is
waitlisted.

A third client, who works at a company in the consumer
finance space, jumped on the opportunity to join a team working to defer customers’
payment obligations. She leveraged her strong communication and team building
skills to unite a virtual group around this common goal, providing needed
relief in a time when so many are struggling to make ends meet. She shared the
story of the team’s success (they rolled out a deferral program in less than a
month!) in an update to HBS, where she is waitlisted, and further connected how
she plans to leverage the learnings from this experience in a
potentially-virtual learning environment next year.

So while it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the
challenges we currently face, remember that we all have skills that can be put
to use. We may even find that one of the greatest beneficiaries of our good
work is ourselves, whether that be emotionally or in the realization of our
goals. Be that mosquito and leave your mark – it may be small in the grand scheme
of things, but (at least) one person will take note and that is enough. Stay
safe everyone.    

The post Be The Mosquito! appeared first on Vantage Point MBA.
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Our Challenge to YOU: Be the Change [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Our Challenge to YOU: Be the Change
The events of the last few weeks, let alone the last few months, have left me feeling, well, a lot:  anger, sadness, disappointment, discomfort, and yet hope for a better tomorrow. But I know that is nothing compared to what our black friends, neighbors, colleagues, and fellow citizens are, and have been, feeling in this country. As a white woman, I’ve been struck by the realization of just how deep and pervasive racism still is in our systems and organizations, and I still have so much more to learn.

As I’ve begun my journey in self-reflection, research, and engaging in difficult conversations, I started thinking about what this means for my MBA applicant clients – young professionals who will likely be the next generation of corporate leaders. While it’s disheartening to see the terrible inequality that persists in our country, I believe that now more than ever it’s important to focus on what you, what we, can change and start taking steps to make those changes a reality. These unprecedented times present an unprecedented opportunity: to rebuild our economy and our organizations in the right way to benefit more people and pave the way for a more equitable future.

So, what does that mean for you as an MBA applicant? That means that YOU, as a future business leader, should be thinking long and hard about what kind of role you want to play in creating a brighter and better future. As MBA admissions consultants, we’ve always pushed our clients to do the reflection and introspection necessary to put together truly authentic applications. But now, more than ever, is the right time to be asking yourself “what can I do differently going forward?”, “how can I use my MBA experience to grow as a leader who will have the courage to enact change?”, and “how can I use my skills and experiences to level the playing field?”

And that’s why, you’re why, I dare feel hopeful for the future.

As for us and our team, our work is only getting started. Meredith and I have already been discussing changes we can make to our hiring practices to have better representation and diversity. (Yes, we realize that being a woman-run business is far from enough.) We’re also looking at ways that we can make our services more accessible and relevant for a broader audience. More to come on this topic and we absolutely welcome your thoughts and input.

Change is a community effort and we’re all in it for the long-haul. We want to keep up the dialogue and keep learning, growing, and improving indefinitely. That also means we want to hear from you!  We want to hear your feedback on what you just read here, and your ideas for us and our industry of people who are coaching the next generation of business leaders. More than ever, we’re humbled and honored to be a part of the MBA application journey with all of you and we can’t wait to see how you will rise to the challenge of taking a stand and creating positive change throughout your careers.

The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/06/05/our-challenge-to-you-be-the-change/]Our Challenge to YOU: Be the Change[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Six Weeks Until Round 1 Deadlines – Here is Your Plan for Success! [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Six Weeks Until Round 1 Deadlines – Here is Your Plan for Success!
Perhaps it’s because this summer has been…untraditional to say the least, but time is flying by. The earliest Round 1 deadlines are approaching in only six weeks! That realization may strike fear in many of you, which is understandable, but try to harness the panic as motivation to plan for how you will use the remaining time to craft the best possible applications.

Timelines are an indispensable tool we use with our clients and I urge you to create one if you haven’t already.  From a mental standpoint, they help break down the amorphous task of completing applications into manageable workstreams, which can reduce the natural anxiety this process creates. They also help keep you honest with yourself as to whether you are falling behind (and course correct if you are!).

While your individual timeline will depend heavily on the number of schools to which you are applying and any unique work or personal commitments you have upcoming, here is a broad sketch of where our clients are in the process and the goals we’ve set with them for the weeks to come.

Here is the list of tasks we expect our clients will have completed at this point – if you haven’t gotten to these yet, you know where to start (and do it quickly!):

[list]
[*]Achieved the GMAT/GRE score you plan to use for your applications[/*]
[*]Finalized your list of schools and researched them extensively[/*]
[*]Iterated on your [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2019/06/19/changes-you-need-to-make-to-your-resume-for-mba-apps/]MBA resume[/url] so that it is ready to go aside from some final tweaks in the week before submission[/*]
[*]Reflected on your ‘personal brand’ – the experiences and goals that make you unique amongst thousands of other applicants[/*]
[*]Selected recommenders and created/shared a ‘Recommender Packet’ that outlines the process, how you plan to position yourself in the applications, and provides examples of projects you and your recommender have worked on together that support this positioning[/*]
[*]Reviewed the essay questions for your schools and brainstormed potential topics[/*]
[/list]


For inspiration, here is a SAMPLE TIMELINE for the next six weeks (for four schools but adjust for your own situation):

[b]Week of July 27th[/b]

[list]
[*]Complete first draft of essays for School 1, send them to a trusted friend or consultant for review. Note that 10+ drafts of your first set of essays is normal and recommended! You will typically do fewer for subsequent schools.[/*]
[*]Complete the ‘data form’ (essentially the online application) for School 1. There are short-answer questions that can sometimes catch people off guard, you don’t want to rush through these at the last minute.[/*]
[*]Check in with your recommenders to make sure they are on track and do not have any questions about process or content.[/*]
[/list]
[b]Week of August 3rd[/b]

[list]
[*]Complete the first draft of essays for School 2.[/*]
[*]Revise essays for School 1…and then revise them again.[/*]
[*]Complete the ‘data form’ for School 2.[/*]
[/list]
[b]Week of August 10th[/b]

[list]
[*]Send your entire application packet for School 1 to someone who will review it in its entirety and provide feedback (optimally someone who knows about the process like an MBA alum, etc.).[/*]
[*]Complete the first draft of essays for School 3.[/*]
[*]Revise essays for School 2.[/*]
[/list]
[b]Week of August 17th[/b]

[list]
[*]Complete the first draft of essays for School 4.[/*]
[*]Incorporate feedback for School 1; continue to iterate on essays for Schools 2 and 3.[/*]
[/list]
[b]Week of August 24th[/b]

[list]
[*]Send completed applications for Schools 2 and 3 to alums or other reviewers for final feedback.[/*]
[*]Revise essays for School 4 and complete data form.[/*]
[*]Check in with recommenders.[/*]
[/list]
[b]Week of August 31st[/b]

[list]
[*]Send completed application for School 4 to alums or other reviewers for final feedback.[/*]
[*]Use this week as a buffer in case you’ve fallen behind on any of the above![/*]
[/list]
[b]Week of September 7th – Deadlines begin, hit submit as soon as you’re ready! [/b]



As you can see, things naturally get busy when you are managing multiple applications. Remaining organized and methodical with your approach can keep your anxiety at bay and ensure you put your best foot forward.

If you need help with the final push, we would be happy to assist! Click [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/free-consultation/]here[/url] to request an initial consultation with one of our MBA admissions experts. And most importantly, best of luck!! 

The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/07/28/six-weeks-until-round-1-deadlines-here-is-your-plan-for-success/]Six Weeks Until Round 1 Deadlines – Here is Your Plan for Success![/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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Which Apps are Out? MBA Deadlines & Essays [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Which Apps are Out? MBA Deadlines & Essays
*Updated August 10, 2020

By now, most of the top MBA programs have released their application deadlines and essay topics for the 2020-2021 season. Below we’ve summarized what’s out so far so you can stay on top of it.

Remember, when to apply matters. Early action programs tend to have higher acceptance rates but are typically binding commitments. Round 1 is the optimal round for most applicants, especially those with 4+ years of work experience or who are applying from an over-represented background like banking or consulting. But at the end of the day, the most important factor is actually [b]what[/b] you submit. So, our advice is typically to weigh the factors but don’t sacrifice quality for speed (see our longer article on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2019/06/11/round-1-or-round-2/]Round 1 vs. Round 2[/url] if you’re debating right now).


[b]Early Action[/b]
[b]Round 1[/b]
[b]Round 2[/b]
[b]Essays[/b]

Chicago Booth


Sept 24
Jan 12
Live!

Columbia
Oct 2
Jan 6 (scholarship)
April 9
Live!

UVA Darden
Sept 2
Oct 5
Jan 4
Live!

Duke Fuqua
Sept 23
Oct 20
Jan 7
Live!

HBS

Sept 8
Jan 5
Live!

INSEAD (Sept entry)

Sept 11
Nov 6, Jan 8
Live!

Kellogg

Sept 16
Jan 6
Live!

Michigan Ross


Sept 14
Jan 4
Live!

Dartmouth Tuck

Sept 1*
Sept 28
Jan 4
Live!

Wharton

Sept 15
Jan 5
Live!

Yale SOM

Sept 15
Jan 7
Live!

Stanford

Sept 15
Jan 6
Live!

MIT Sloan

Oct 1
Jan 19
Live!

Haas

Sept 24
Jan 14
Live!

NYU Stern

Sept 15, Oct 15**
Nov 15 / Jan 15 (R3)
Live!

* Tuck: All applicants who submit a complete application by September 1, 2020 are guaranteed an interview.

** NYU Stern: Fashion & Luxury MBA and Andre Koo Tech MBA round 1 deadline is September 15, 2020. The Full-Time MBA round 1 deadline is October 15, 2020.

The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/08/10/which-apps-are-out-mba-deadlines-essays-2/]Which Apps are Out? MBA Deadlines & Essays[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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The Most Efficient Way to Network [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: The Most Efficient Way to Network
As an MBA admissions consultant, I’ve seen time again how [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/02/25/networking-for-your-mba-applications/]networking[/url] in advance of applying to MBA programs can make all the difference between a standout and forgettable application. Yet, I’m often surprised by how often this part of the process is overlooked, especially now when many programs have gone virtual. Although some parts of the MBA application process have changed to reflect the current environment, you will undoubtedly still be asked why an MBA is right for you given your past experiences and future career goals. Each school will also expect a detailed and authentic answer for why their program is the right fit for you. Based solely on their websites, schools can start to blend together. It’s true that they will all provide you with fundamental business skills and bulk up your leadership qualities. But there are critical nuances you will need to understand to answer the ‘why X school’ question convincingly and, more importantly, decide which program is ultimately right for you if you are fortunate enough to be accepted.

In the age of COVID-19, networking has clearly changed and the vast majority (if not all) will be done [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/05/01/researching-mba-programs-when-you-cant-visit/]virtually[/url]. Setting up calls or short Zoom sessions with current students and alums is a great way to hear about individual experiences, all the more beneficial if their background or goals are aligned with your own. Schools are also expanding their offerings of video and virtual content, from campus tours to sessions with the admissions team. But perhaps the most efficient way to network, especially if you are trying to learn about a number of programs, is through MBA fairs and tours.

These events, all virtual for now, gather representatives from multiple programs for presentations and, in many cases, small group or even individual networking sessions.  One of my clients recently signed up for a tour and, almost instantaneously after sharing a few details of her profile, was sent requests for MeetUp sessions with nearly all of her top choice programs. The great thing about these virtual networking sessions is that the capacity is limited so there’s less of a chance that you’ll be stuck in a ‘circle of death’ trying to get the admissions officer’s ear than there would have been at an in-person event. However, be sure to grab one of those spots quickly, as meetings with the popular programs will fill up.

While the below list is by no means exhaustive, here are a few MBA fairs and tours you may want to consider attending:

[list]
[*][url=https://bit.ly/3giVUhD]QS World MBA Tour[/url] (various dates in September & October based on geography): this event attracts a broad range of programs, including many international ones, and offers an opportunity for a virtual resume review (for free!) and access to scholarships[/*]
[*][url=https://news.poetsandquants.com/centre-court-mba]Poets & Quants CentreCourt MBA Festival[/url] (October 6th & 7th): this event attracts a large number of top programs, including all of the M7[/*]
[*][url=https://thembatour.com/]The MBA Tour[/url] (dates throughout Fall & Winter): this event also attracts a wide range of programs and has events ‘based’ in a number of cities to help with time zone challenges[/*]
[*][url=https://www.fortefoundation.org/site/PageServer?pagename=events_aimhigher]Forte MBA Forums for Women[/url] (various dates in September & October): geared toward women as the name implies, these events provide peer support and strong networking opportunities with top schools[/*]
[/list]
In preparation for an MBA tour / fair, be sure to have your ‘elevator pitch’ prepared and polished. This is basically a short statement of introduction that highlights your professional background, career goals, and why an MBA is the next step in your journey. You should also have a few specific questions prepared for each of the programs you anticipate talking to during the event. Lastly, it’s always a great idea to send a short thank you note to the hosts of the small group events you attend – they will take notice and file it away.

If you’d like to discuss your networking approach (or anything else application-related) in detail, contact us [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/free-consultation/]here[/url] for a free 30-minute consultation.



The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/08/26/the-most-efficient-way-to-network/]The Most Efficient Way to Network[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
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Do This Before You Submit Your Round 1 MBA Applications! [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Do This Before You Submit Your Round 1 MBA Applications!
If you’re a round one MBA applicant and you haven’t had the “oh sh#t” moment yet, you’re probably not paying attention. Starting with [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2019/05/07/a-winning-approach-to-the-hbs-essay-question/]HBS on 9/8[/url], round one applicants face a crazy couple of weeks as they finalize their applications and make last minute changes before the deadlines.

The team at Vantage Point MBA is here to help. Here is our seven-step process to maximize the last few weeks before applications are due:

[list]
[*][b]Set calendar reminders for each of your target schools[/b]. We get it. This sounds dumb. Please do it anyway.  Each year we hear from applicants who, despite spending months fine tuning their essays, still manage to miss the deadlines. In some cases, this is due to time zone differences and in others it is due to stressful periods at work. You’ve worked hard to get to this point, if you can get your applications out for round one, then do it.[/*]
[*][b]Check in with your recommenders[/b].  While some schools will be lenient around recommenders missing their delivery dates, it’s best not to tempt fate.  Reach out to your recommenders as early as possible to ensure that they are on track (if you haven’t already, make sure to give them talking points and/or explain your story to them) and ask them to give you a heads up when the recs are submitted.  Finally, once the recs are on their way, thank them. Send them a DoorDash gift card, flowers, or a bottle of wine… whatever is appropriate, but remember that recommenders have put in a lot of work on your behalf.[/*]
[*][b]Take a couple of days off[/b].  Seriously, just do it.  You have been synthesizing your life’s goals and accomplishments for weeks now, if not longer.  Not only do you deserve a break but taking some time off from your apps will allow you to come back with a clear head and a fresh perspective.[/*]
[*][b]Get a second set of eyes[/b].  If your essays are “pretty close to done,” then it’s time to get some feedback from a friend or colleague that you trust.  When they’re done reading your essays, ask them what the main takeaways are.  If their takeaways don’t line up with what you think is in the essays, it’s time to tweak and edit.[/*]
[*][b]Read your essays out loud[/b].  You probably want to clear out your apartment for this but take a few minutes and read your essays out loud to yourself.  After looking at a screen for hours on end, this is a great exercise to catch any typos and make sure that the essays flow and are readable.[/*]
[*][b]Work through your checklist[/b]. In addition to checking in with your recommenders, make sure that your transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, and any other materials are ready to go or have already been submitted to your schools.[/*]
[*][b]Take a bow[/b].  You’re about to hit “submit” and start your MBA journey. Congratulations on a huge accomplishment and making one of the most important investments that you can – in yourself.  Business school is an awesome experience and you’re going to learn a ton. Come what may on decision day, you’ve given it your all, and you deserve to be proud of that.[/*]
[/list]
[b]Round One Application Deadlines:[/b]

Columbia: Rolling

Harvard: 9/8

INSEAD: 9/11

Ross: 9/14

Yale: 9/15

Wharton: 9/15

Stanford: 9/15

Kellogg: 9/16

Chicago Booth: 9/24

Tuck: 9/28

Sloan: 10/1

Darden: 10/5

As always, [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/free-consultation/]we’re here to help[/url]. While we’re sold out for round one, we have a handful of round two slots left. 



The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/09/04/do-this-before-you-submit-your-round-1-mba-applications/]Do This Before You Submit Your Round 1 MBA Applications![/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
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How to Tackle Kellogg’s Video Essays [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How to Tackle Kellogg’s Video Essays
With Kellogg’s Round 1 deadline quickly approaching, my admissions consulting clients have been asking how best to prepare for and tackle Kellogg’s video essays.

For context, let’s think about what Kellogg is trying to learn about you from this portion of the application. Since the school leverages alumni (like myself!) to conduct the vast majority of their interviews, the video essays might be the only time the admissions committee gets to see your smiling face and hear you put your thoughts into spoken words. As such, it’s is the perfect vehicle to showcase your personable, engaging self.

In contrast to prior years where only two of the three questions were known to applicants beforehand, this year Kellogg has posted all three. This is a blessing and a curse. Knowing the questions certainly defrays some anxiety about not being able to come up with a good answer. However, being able to prepare and practice your answers makes it more difficult to come off as natural (please don’t read from a sheet of paper!) and likely ups the overall quality of responses (i.e. the competition is fiercer).

For reference, this year’s questions are:

[list]
[*]Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee.[/*]
[*]What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?[/*]
[*]2020 has been a year of seismic disruption — fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic, tragic deaths that have brought systemic racism and social justice issues to the forefront of long overdue conversations, and economic and political divides that are growing deeper and deeper. How has this unprecedented year challenged you and how have you faced that challenge?[/*]
[/list]
[b]Timing is Key[/b]

Once the clock starts ticking, you will have 60 seconds to answer each one. My first word of advice is to focus the bulk of your practice on getting the timing right – a minute is shorter than you think! I’ve practiced live with countless clients over the years and the vast majority of them initially get cutoff mid-thought. Once you’ve bulleted out your responses, practice saying them (out loud!) with a timer running. Then do it again.

[b]Content Should be Complementary, not Repetitive[/b]

My next word of advice is on content. The admissions committee will have just read your written essays, so don’t overtly repeat them. The video essays are an opportunity to build on what you’ve included in the rest of your application. It is also an opportunity to showcase your personality – as such, have a little fun with these, especially the first question. Perhaps throw in a hobby you love or mention your family, pets, spouse, etc. The second question is fairly cut and dry; this is content you should have down pat at this point.  The last question is a timely addition and the directions you can go with it are nearly endless. The key with your answer here is authenticity – truly reflect on how this past year has changed you and share those insights with the admissions committee.

[b]Delivery is the Icing on the Cake (the Best Part, Right?)[/b]

Lastly, put thought and practice behind your delivery. This is what separates good video essays from great ones. Look directly at your webcam, speak slowly and clearly (a computer mic can sound muffled!), and – most importantly – smile! In my experience, mindset is everything here. Put on the shirt or dress that makes you feel like a million bucks, imagine there is a warm, receptive face on the computer screen and talk directly to it. As I said earlier, this is likely the admissions committee’s only chance to see you ‘live’, so make the most of it.

With a little practice, you’ll do great. Video essays tend to stress applicants out more than they need to. This might be easy for me to say from my seat at the table, but view them as an opportunity more than a hurdle!

As always, we’re here to help, including with hourly advice on things such as interview skills and waitlist strategy. We are also accepting clients for Round 2! Click [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/free-consultation/]here[/url] to schedule an initial consultation.





The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/09/10/how-to-tackle-kelloggs-video-essays/]How to Tackle Kellogg’s Video Essays[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
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There ARE Dumb Questions: Pitfalls to Avoid in Your MBA Interview [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: There ARE Dumb Questions: Pitfalls to Avoid in Your MBA Interview
Updated 9.17.20

After interviewing countless MBA hopefuls for Kellogg, I can solve the apparent mystery of whether the questions you ask the interviewer matter – they do!

Why? The questions you ask demonstrate three key things. First, they show how interested you are in the program based on the research you’ve done. Second, they often demonstrate how well you listened to the interviewer (and attentive listening is key to succeeding in a team environment like business school). Third and perhaps most importantly, the questions you ask are an important tool for engaging your interviewer and winning him or her over.

Like it or not, much of the application assessment process is subjective, including the reports interviewers write after each interview. As such, you want your interviewer to like you and be excited to support you!

That said, below is a list of common mistakes I’ve seen in the Q&A portion of the interview (and what to ask / say instead):

1) “I already know everything.”

Oh really? Well, that’s no fun. As a Kellogg alum, I look forward to answering questions about the school. It matters enough to me that I volunteer as an interviewer, so clearly you can infer that I love talking about how awesome Kellogg is. If your interviewer gets to spend the last five minutes reminiscing about business school, the conversation will end on a high note and they’ll associate you with that high note!

Feelings aside, “no questions” essentially equals “no intellectual curiosity” to most interviewers. We just spoke for 20-30 minutes; if you don’t have any questions, that’s a red flag for me.

2) “I know so many alums that they’ve already answered my questions”.

So, you don’t care what I think? This is not the sentiment you want to leave with the one alum whose opinion counts.

Another approach would be to leverage what you’ve already heard and ask your interviewer his or her opinion. You can say that you’ve heard the school plans to go in X direction – can your interviewer talk about that trend? Or that the alumni network in the Bay Area is really strong – can your interviewer talk about his or her experiences with it? It’s great to show how much research you’ve done and how many people from the school you’ve engaged with – leverage that with your interviewer as much as possible!

3) “What did you dislike about the program?”

You may think that this is a great demonstration of intellectual curiosity and critical analysis. However, recall the recency bias – you want your interview to end on a high note. You want your interviewer to wrap up the interview inspired and excited for your matriculation to the school!

Instead, focus on finding out interesting or subjective information about the program. For example, my favorite question (for adcom interviewers only) is what recruiter feedback has been. Big recruiting firms tend to back-channel info to admissions about the perceived quality of candidates and that’s super interesting for applicants. Inherent in a neutral question like this will often be some pros and some areas of development for the school. But allowing them to talk about both is key!

4) “Where else did you apply?”

Though personal enough to engage your interviewer in conversation (good), this question can send the wrong signal. To many people, a question like this may be subtly asking “are there better options out there” or “was this school your first choice”. These are great questions for your alumni friends and family, but again, could put a damper on your interview.

Focus on the positive – how awesome the program is and how much you want to go there. If they get the sense that you’re not interested, all of your awesome answers from the previous 30 minutes are out the window.

5) “Is an MBA worth it?”

If you are asking this in the interview, you are demonstrating a complete lack of having prepared for this process. This question should have been vetted WELL in advance of being invited to interview.

Now, you can ask questions about how the MBA has helped your interviewer – this is fun for them to discuss! You can also ask for the top thing they feel like they got out of the MBA.

6) “What percent male/female was last year’s class?”

Any question like this is completely off limits because the data is available in less than three clicks on Google. Never ask a question that is directly answered in the school’s publications – website or otherwise. You can pull down the recruiting report as well as the class profiles and course offerings yourself (and if you haven’t done this, they will wonder if you really put thought into your research). Avoid asking hard facts because they are probably already out there somewhere (and if they aren’t, they won’t tell you anyway).

If you’re preparing for your interviews and looking for advice or a mock interview to trial run your strategy, please reach out!

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The Sound of Silence…You Hit Submit, Now What? [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: The Sound of Silence…You Hit Submit, Now What?
Phew…you just hit submit on your last Round 1 MBA application! At first it’s a huge relief, as pulling double duty with a full time job and seemingly endless versions of your essays (not to mention all of the stress and uncertainty with the current state of the world) were enough to make your hair fall out. But then, if you’re like me (back in the day) and many of my admissions consulting clients, a new type of panic sets in – the one created by SILENCE. You suddenly realize that you’ve done all you can and…just…have…to…wait. 

[b]Should I Tell the Adcom About My Recent Promotion? [/b]

Or do you? Every year, I get emails from clients around this time informing me that they secured an awesome promotion or took the lead on an impressive new project at work and ruing that it didn’t happen before the application deadline. Should they inform the admissions committee, they ask? I completely get how this is tempting – what if it’s the ‘difference maker’ that secures you an interview? However, my answer is to proceed with caution. While it depends on your specific circumstances, it’s most often best to leave well enough alone.

Remember that the admissions committee is looking at the holistic picture you’ve painted of yourself in your application, from the formative experiences you had early in life to your academic success in undergrad to the notable achievements you’ve had at work in the last 3+ years. While one more accomplishment is great, it likely won’t make or break their decision.

Furthermore, remember that the school sets its deadline for a reason; the admissions committee knows that your life isn’t static, but asks you to present your qualifications as of a particular point in time. Respect this. Be conscious of the fact that the admissions committee has thousands of applications on the docket to review; if everyone were to keep submitting updates, it would be a nightmare for them.

That said, if you truly feel like the update you’d like to share is noteworthy enough to sway their decision, it is fair game to call the admissions office and ask how they’d like you to handle it. Please note this important step – it is critical to follow each school’s stated protocol or you risk appearing self-absorbed and disrespectful of their policies. If they suggest that you send an email with the update, keep it brief but share what happened and, importantly, why they should care. How does this accomplishment better prove that you would be a powerful contributor to their class? Draw this connection for them.

[b]The One Thing You Definitely Can Do While You Wait[/b]

Regardless of whether you choose to reach out to your schools post-submission, I would recommend keeping a running list of the awesome things you’ve done since you finalized your application.  In addition to promotions or new projects at work, perhaps you organized a socially distant fundraiser for a non-profit with which you’re involved or completed the virtual NYC marathon. Best case, you can highlight these things in your interview (Sloan is known to ask what has happened since you applied).  Less optimally, you are waitlisted and can leverage your list for a compelling [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2017/02/04/good-things-come-to-those-who-dont-wait-10-dos-and-donts-for-getting-off-the-waitlist/]‘waitlist update’ letter[/url].

Aside from maintaining this list, my best advice is to turn your attention elsewhere. When I submitted my last application, I traveled through Europe for a few weeks and it was just the escape I needed. Sadly, that’s not reality at the moment so I know it will be nearly impossible to disconnect. Please try anyway – enjoy the fleeting summer weather, catch up on bad reality TV, or find a new hobby to fill the time.

Please trust me that you don’t need to shift into full interview prep mode quite yet. Personally, I’m a bit superstitious. However, based on the experience of some of our early decision clients, we are noticing a slightly shorter turnaround between interview invites and available interview slots this year. As such, it might make sense to start bulleting out your answers to some of the most [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2016/12/10/exit-polls-interview-reports-for-stanford-haas-sloan-columbia-booth-and-fuqua/]common interview questions[/url], continuing to research ‘why school X’, and practicing your story / pitch.

Using previous years as a guide, Round 1 interview invitations will likely be released in October or early November (depending on the school). ClearAdmit is a good place to keep tabs on what and when people are hearing. If you’re curious what happens to your applications once you hit submit, here is an [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2016/09/12/inside-the-black-box-what-happens-after-you-hit-submit/]article[/url] that will shed some light on the process for you.

As always, we’re here if you need help with interview prep, waitlist strategy, or Round 2 applications! Click [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/free-consultation/]here[/url] to schedule a free consultation.  

The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/09/27/the-sound-of-silence-you-hit-submit-now-what/]The Sound of Silence…You Hit Submit, Now What?[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
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These Three Bullets Should Be On Your MBA Resume [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: These Three Bullets Should Be On Your MBA Resume
Updated 10.1.20

With Round 2 deadlines roughly three months away, now is a great time to get started on your MBA resume, if you haven’t already. As an MBA admissions consultant, I often find that clients underestimate the importance of the resume portion of their application and are surprised by the number of iterations we work through together (often ten or more!). Think of it this way – your resume is like your executive summary: it should concisely tell the story of how you’ve grown and developed over the course of your career as well as provide an indication of your focus areas and motivations. However, not all resume bullets are created equal!

Simply describing what you did or what you accomplished doesn’t always paint a complete picture of how and why you will be successful in the future, which is truly what the admissions committee is assessing. As such, below is a list of three types of bullets you should include on your resume to demonstrate not only your career progression but also your leadership potential. You can pick from experiences in college, work or the community; but before you hit submit, we recommend that you have all three of the stories below embedded in your resume in some way, shape or form.

[list]
[*][b]A Time When You Created: [/b]Someone who creates is often someone who takes it upon themselves to innovate in hopes of producing “lasting value”, as Kellogg would say. They can conceptualize a solution and take steps to execute it – selling the idea, solving problems along the way, and (often) motivating a team to help them. These are requisite skills for success in virtually any post-MBA career path! So, whether you developed a new logistics plan for your team (like one of my clients right now) or established a fundraiser for a cause that you care about, make sure you are able to provide evidence that you are someone who can create and innovate.[/*]
[*][b]A Time When You Fixed: [/b]Taking the time to fix something that’s broken or suboptimal signals that you have a strong work ethic, that you care, and that you are a team player. So often things stay broken because finding a solution is daunting, has been tried before, or simply isn’t ‘fun’ work. So many people walk by or around problems and issues; leaders and game changers take the time to stop and make it better because they know it’ll help everyone in the long run. Perhaps you took the time to go back and adjust the data in your company’s CRM so that you could make better data driven decisions or rewrote the onboarding program for your company so that it was brought up to current times. Whatever the case, providing evidence that you “fix what’s broken” can go a long way in demonstrating your character and leadership potential.[/*]
[*][b]A Time When You Enhanced: [/b]Some of the best business leaders are those who subscribe to the notion of continuous improvement. Even if something isn’t ‘broken’, it can often be done better. Leaders keep asking questions and making improvements.  Perhaps you questioned whether the algorithm your company was using was the best option or maybe you pushed back when senior leadership wanted to delay the launch of a new service. Whatever the case, and whatever the action, telling a story about a time when you enhanced or improved a process, project, or even product can signal that you are the type of person who believes in pushing the boundaries and working towards excellence (e.g. you don’t just take orders and not care whether it’s the best it could be).[/*]
[/list]
If you have multiple stories for each of these categories, great! But at a minimum, try to weave at least one of each of these categories into your resume to ensure that your leadership potential shines through!

Other articles from Vantage Point MBA that you may like:

A Quick Comparison of the Top MBA Programs: [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2019/03/15/comparison-of-top-mba-programs/]https://vantagepointmba.com/2019/03/15/comparison-of-top-mba-programs/[/url]

When To Retake the GMAT (And When Not To): [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/_wp_link_placeholder]https://vantagepointmba.com/2017/06/13/when-to-retake-the-gmat-and-when-not-to/[/url]



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Three Tips for MBA Interview Success [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Three Tips for MBA Interview Success
If you’ve recently hit submit on your MBA applications, after doing a little happy dance that you no longer have to spend every free moment on essays, your attention will quickly turn to the interview portion of the process. Most schools will release interview invitations over the next month or so (if they haven’t already) and, while you might not need to shift into full on prep mode quite yet, now is the right time to start planning your approach.

As a starting point, consider what schools are trying to learn about you from this portion of the application.  In a nutshell, they want to understand the unique perspective you will bring to their class and gain a better understanding of whether there is an authentic ‘fit’ between you, your goals, and their program. Importantly, they want to see that you can convey these points in a clear, concise and logical way when you don’t have the benefit of being able to carefully choose and then refine your language like you do in written essays.

While there are certainly outliers (such as [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/02/17/how-to-stand-out-in-the-wharton-tbd/]Wharton’s Team Based Discussion[/url]), many of the top programs utilize a fairly straightforward, conversational format. You can expect to be asked for an overview of your background / resume, to outline your goals and how that particular program will enable them, and likely some ‘behavioral questions’ that seek to understand how you’ve demonstrated critical skills like leadership and teamwork in the past.

As you consider your material and start to bullet out your answers to [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2016/12/10/exit-polls-interview-reports-for-stanford-haas-sloan-columbia-booth-and-fuqua/]commonly asked questions[/url], keep in mind the following three tips:

[b]1. Control the narrative (without being obvious about it)[/b]

Embrace that we’re in an election year and think like a politician (albeit a very humble, not ‘politician-like’ politician).  Politics 101 teaches us to ‘control the narrative’ or, said another way, tell the story your way, before someone else has the chance to draw their own conclusions. Controlling the narrative also relies heavily on storytelling – successful politicians (on both sides of the aisle) paint a compelling picture of society’s needs and powerfully advocate for how their policies will address them.  

So how does this apply to you? If you’ve done a good job crafting your [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2019/05/22/how-to-develop-your-personal-brand/]personal brand[/url], you know the key tenets of what you bring to the table (both personally and professionally) and where you plan to go in the future. Think of the key stories that crystallize these points and jot them down. Now, bump these stories up against the list of questions you will likely be asked – think about how you can make all of your key points within the constraints of where the interview is likely to go.

It can be tempting to approach your preparation in the reverse order (looking at the questions and then thinking of the story from your arsenal that fits best), but that makes it easy for the interview to fly by before you share one of the key things that make you stand out from the pack. By keeping a mental list of the key points you want to make, you can be proactive rather than reactive.

[b]2. Show your personality! [/b]

It can also be easy for the interview to fly by before you make a single mention of anything about yourself besides your work experience. How boring is that? You want the interviewer to see that you are curious, interesting, and would make a fun addition to the class. It’s hard for them to draw that conclusion if the only stories you’ve told are from work.

As you prepare, proactively look for places you can tell stories about yourself that don’t have to do with work. Brainstorm examples from your extracurriculars, hobbies, and personal history that make for impactful answers to the questions you will likely be asked and, as noted above, support the personal brand you portray in your application.

One simple tip is to practice ending your resume ‘walk through’ with a quick mention of your hobbies or interests. Something along the lines of ‘…in addition to my work at X firm, I love to spend time doing Y and Z’.  This has the potential to make for an interesting follow on discussion with the interviewer or, at the very least, shows that you are a dynamic, multi-faceted individual.

[b]3. Reflect, reflect, reflect[/b]

As you undoubtedly discovered as you crafted your applications, business schools care a lot about the factors that have shaped you as a person as well as the things that motivate and drive you today. This is why Stanford asks its age-old question ‘what matters most to you and why’ and why Kellogg’s second essay question begins ‘values are what guide you in your life and work…’.

The interview is no different. The interviewer doesn’t just want to hear that you went to school X and took your first job at company Y – they want to know why you made each of these decisions. They don’t just want to hear that you plan to go into consulting after you graduate, they want to know what excites you about the work and why. A logical thought process rooted in self-awareness is truly what you want to portray.

On the most basic level, the message I hope you’ve gotten is that preparing for your MBA interviews is more than just writing out answers to every question you might possibly be asked. There is strategy involved! You’ve worked hard to craft a cohesive, compelling thesis throughout your application thus far – make sure that the interview reinforces it and you will set yourself up for success.

The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/10/11/three-tips-for-mba-interview-success/]Three Tips for MBA Interview Success[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
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Still in College? HBS 2+2 and Other Deferred MBA Programs May Be For Y [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Still in College? HBS 2+2 and Other Deferred MBA Programs May Be For You
 Updated 10.15.20

As a college senior, are you wondering, “If I take this job over another, will my chances of getting into grad school be higher or lower?” or “Will this job give me enough experience to be appealing to the top MBA programs?”

As we’ve all learned over the past six months, life (and your career) can take many paths – some of which you can’t even conceive of right now. Maybe the start-up you join after graduation will IPO next year and your career will take off. Or maybe your Peace Corps assignment will show you a new set of global problems that you will want to solve as a future business or non-profit leader. Conversely, perhaps your first job will help you see that banking or marketing wasn’t for you after all. Regardless, if you want the freedom to take a job without wondering what it means for your future grad school prospects AND be able to take more risks and explore, then a deferred MBA program may be the right move for you.

In recent years, we’ve seen significant growth in the deferred admissions programs at the top business schools. A trend that started primarily at Harvard Business School, with the 2+2 program, and Stanford GSB has now come to Wharton, Chicago Booth, Columbia, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Darden, and Yale—and the list continues to grow every year.

[b]Does the deferred admissions MBA application process make sense for you?[/b]

Here’s what to ask yourself:

[list]
[*]Are you a college senior or in a master’s program that you began right after undergrad?[/*]
[*]Are you reasonably confident that you’ll want to go to business school in the next 2-5 years?[/*]
[/list]
If the answers to these two questions are “yes”, then there isn’t much of a downside of applying if your overall profile is in the running (scores, GPA, etc) and a lot of upside if you’re among the few admitted each year.

[b]What are the requirements for deferred admissions MBA programs?[/b]

[list]
[*]GMAT: For most programs, you need to have a GMAT or GRE score to apply. 720+ is going to be the score you want to shoot for. Last year’s HBS 2+2 median GMAT was 730, as a reference. [/*]
[*]GPA: Strong undergrad performance is key. As a benchmark, last year’s HBS 2+2 average GPA was an exceptional 3.79! Without this, you’ll have a tough time hitting the bar for the deferred programs, but the good news is that you have plenty of time to take more coursework and prove yourself before the ‘traditional’ application cycle in a few years.[/*]
[*]Essays: To write strong essays, you’ll need to do a lot of self-reflection and seek advice from mentors. You’ll need to have a vision as well as a sense for your strengths and weaknesses at this stage of your career.[/*]
[*]Recommendations: To secure powerful recommendations, you’ll need to have built strong relationships with individuals who can opine on your potential as a future business leader. These can include professors, an internship manager, or campus leadership advisor.  [/*]
[/list]
Some schools favor certain applicant qualities or focus areas. For instance, HBS 2+2 admits are roughly 60% STEM majors and admissions has stated a preference for those: 1) planning to work in an operating company (tech, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail, industrials, etc.), 2) from a lower socio-economic background, 3) going into a technically demanding role, or 4) pursuing entrepreneurship.

[b]So, should you apply to a deferred admissions MBA program? [/b]

These programs are incredibly competitive. If your scores and stats are in range, then we encourage people to apply if it feels like the right program for them. Many wonder if an unsuccessful application to a deferred admissions program will hurt their future chances and the answer is definitely no! In fact, reapplying in the future may signal your strong interest in a particular program.

Vantage Point MBA Consultant and former Director of Admission at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business Gretchen Athas says, “When the admissions committees see someone who is back ‘at bat’ and with an even stronger profile, it’s viewed very favorably. It demonstrates commitment when we can see that someone took an unsuccessful result and turned that into personal and professional growth so they could apply again down the road.”

If you’d like to discuss whether applying to deferred admissions MBA programs might be right for you, contact us [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/free-consultation/]here[/url] for a free 30-minute consultation.

The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/10/19/still-in-college-hbs-22-and-other-deferred-mba-programs-may-be-for-you/]Still in College? HBS 2+2 and Other Deferred MBA Programs May Be For You[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
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Should You Sprint for Round 2 or Wait Until Round 1 Next Year? [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Should You Sprint for Round 2 or Wait Until Round 1 Next Year?
Updated 10.23.20

That’s the question facing many MBA applicants at this time of year. The Round 2 deadlines are quickly approaching in January, but waiting until Round 1 next year means delaying matriculation until fall of 2022. So which timing is right for you?

As with all aspects of the MBA application process, it depends. To help you make the right decision, below is a list of questions to ask yourself. If you answer NO to any of them, it could be worth delaying until Round 1 of next year.

  • Have you taken the GMAT / GRE? If so, do you plan to apply with your current score? If you plan to take or retake the test in the upcoming weeks, you will likely need to dedicate additional time to study and prepare. Naturally, this competes with the time you can spend on your essays and other application components.
  • Have you begun any other part of the application process? What about researching your target schools, including attending info sessions and connecting with alums or current students? These are critical steps in your MBA journey that may be difficult to rush, particularly with the upcoming holiday season.
  • Do you have enough time outside of work to dedicate to the application process over the next two months? On average, we see applicants writing 10-20 drafts of their essays for the top programs. Our recent ‘double admits’ (people who got into HBS and Stanford) wrote a minimum of 12 drafts of each essay – the max was 27 in case you’re wondering.
  • Will your years of work experience exceed your target schools’ averages (4-5 years upon matriculation for the top programs) if you wait a year? If not, your profile might be stronger with roughly nine more months of accomplishments under your belt.
  • Have you ever been promoted or received a formal increase in responsibility? Evidence of career progression and leadership are top-of-mind for the admissions committee as they evaluate candidates – a promotion is an ideal way to showcase these things (although certainly not the only way).
In addition to the above considerations, this year is also complicated by the current state of the world where many people are out of work or have reassessed their goals and priorities. The decision of when to apply is ultimately a personal one that should consider your individual situation and circumstances.

We always advise our clients to apply when they are best prepared to submit their strongest application. If you can get it all done in the next two months and believe that now is the best time for you to apply, go for it!

What about Round 3? While last year was a bit of an anomaly, we typically don’t advise our clients to apply to any of the top 10 programs in Round 3 unless there are extenuating circumstances in play. Chances of admission go way down, as most of the class has been formed at that point.

Have you decided to sprint for the finish line in Round 2 this year? We’re still accepting 2020-2021 clients and would be happy to assist. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation! Decided to wait until next year? We’ll begin consultations with 2021-2022 applicants in late January and would love to connect!

The post Should You Sprint for Round 2 or Wait Until Round 1 Next Year? appeared first on Vantage Point MBA.
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How To Stand Out In The Wharton Team Based Discussion [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How To Stand Out In The Wharton Team Based Discussion
Updated 10.29.20

You were invited to interview with Wharton, congrats! You’re one step closer to getting accepted. You might wonder what your odds are from here. Well, Wharton interviews roughly half of all applicants, but only accepts one in five. So, they’re looking to cut the interview pool by slightly more than half.

You have probably read about the unique interview format – the Team Based Discussion.  For 35 minutes, you and 4-5 other applicants will be observed discussing a case study that has been provided to you in advance. Each interviewee gives a one-minute ‘pitch’, the group discusses the best path forward, and then presents its solution to the observers (typically two second-year students). After the Team Based Discussion, you will have a fairly straightforward one-on-one interview, roughly 10 minutes in length, with one of the two observers. You’ll be asked fairly standard questions such as “why Wharton?” and “why MBA?”.

Aside from drafting and practicing your one-minute pitch, preparing for this interview is tough, as you won’t know the group dynamics in advance and will have to adapt as the dialogue progresses. Our clients have shared a range of experiences, from ones that are very collaborative to others that are more competitive and combative.

Begin by thinking about what the admissions committee is looking to assess: (1) are your ideas logical, (2) can you communicate them articulately, and (3) do you ‘play well with others’ and move the discussion to a better place than it would have been if you were not part of the group. With that in mind, consider the following

[b]1. Practice, practice, practice.[/b]

Your opening ‘pitch’ is the one element of the Team Based Discussion over which you have control. Really think through the ideas you’d like to present and practice verbalizing them. Focus on the “why” behind your ideas vs. getting hung up on too many specifics. One minute is short. Don’t get cut off simply because you didn’t run through your pitch in advance. Practice it, then practice it again – out loud.

[b]2. Think ahead.[/b]

Think back to meetings or team settings that have been particularly successful, why were they this way and how can you replicate the dynamic? If there is a leader in your workplace that always seems to drive the group to a solution, how does he/she do this? On the contrary, what counter-productive behaviors have you witnessed in these settings? Don’t exhibit them!

In addition, take note of how you would like to act and react in various scenarios during the group discussion. What should you do if the group gets too far off topic? Would you like to be the one to bring everyone back to the task at hand? Or how will you react if one participant is taking over the discussion? Remember, the goal is for the group to arrive at a solid (note that I did not say perfect) solution and look good doing it.

[b]3. Be open and adaptable.[/b]

Unfortunately, you don’t have control over how the discussion plays out. You can demonstrate teamwork and collaboration in a number of ways: draw ideas out of someone who has been quiet, ask thought-provoking questions about a proposed solution, synthesize multiple viewpoints to help the group reach a conclusion. These are tools in your toolbox and the key to success is using them at the right time (and doing so tactfully). This is far more important than having the group choose your idea / pitch.

Lastly, as you’re going through the discussion, jot down an observation or two about how the group worked together. Candidates are often asked how they thought it went in the one-on-one portion. You want to share something more insightful than ‘I thought it went well’ and this can be tough to do on the spot. Prepare, be yourself, and relax!

[b]Still Anxious? Take Advantage of our Mock Wharton TBD Service![/b]

We completely understand the challenges inherent in individually preparing for a team-based exercise so this year, [b]we’re launching a Mock Wharton TBD service[/b]. The one-hour group video call will gather 4-6 clients who have received a Wharton interview invite to participate in a practice group interview with a format similar to the actual interview. Sarah Chandler, a Wharton alum and Vantage Point MBA Senior Consultant, will facilitate the session and then provide individualized written feedback within 48 hours.

This service is competitively priced at $399. Interested? Simply complete our [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/free-consultation/]Initial Consultation Request Form[/url] and select Mock Wharton TBD to the question “What Vantage Point services are you most interested in?” and our team will be in touch shortly with next steps.



The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/10/29/how-to-stand-out-in-the-wharton-team-based-discussion/]How To Stand Out In The Wharton Team Based Discussion[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
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Debunking Three Myths About the GMAT/GRE [#permalink]
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FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Debunking Three Myths About the GMAT/GRE
As an MBA admissions consultant, I find that clients and prospective clients, especially those early in their MBA journeys, are often fraught with anxiety and indecision about standardized testing. Which test should they take? When should they prepare and sit for the exam? Is their score ‘good enough’ or should they retake the test?

These are the right questions to ask but, as with nearly everything in the MBA application process, the answers aren’t cut and dry. In an effort to clarify things as much as possible, below are three commonly held beliefs about the GMAT / GRE that aren’t as straightforward as they seem.

[b]1. I come from a non-quant background, so I should take the GRE as opposed to the GMAT.[/b]

According to GMAT/GRE experts in our network, the GMAT is a more rigorous exam, plain and simple, especially from a quantitative standpoint. So, some may reason that if they have never viewed themselves as a ‘quant person’, they will fare better on the GRE.

Unfortunately, the logic isn’t that straightforward. Particularly for those with non-quant work experience, a liberal arts undergrad, or a low GPA, the biggest question in the adcom’s mind might be whether you can ‘hack it’ in an MBA-level curriculum. What better way to prove that you can and differentiate yourself in the process than by attaining a competitive GMAT score?

To build on that logic, if you can attain a solid GMAT quant score and also have strong verbal capabilities, leaning into the latter strength and excelling on the verbal portion of the test will actually be a better ‘bang for your buck’, as each incremental point on your verbal score translates to a larger jump in percentile and overall score. On the flip side, if you already have a strong verbal score but your quant score is less than stellar (say, 48 or 67th percentile), drilling into opportunity areas on the quant portion of the test can make a big difference

[b]2. I can wait to take the GMAT / GRE until the summer before I want to apply to business school.[/b]

Sure, you can, but should you? I would argue not. Schools typically release their applications (i.e. essay questions) in the summer. Ideally, you want to have the GMAT out of the way at this point as there is A LOT to do once you get into the thick of things. Here is a little more detail on our [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2019/04/02/how-much-time-does-it-take-to-apply-to-b-school/]recommended timeline[/url].

GMAT/GRE experts recommend beginning your test prep 10-12 weeks before you plan to take your first test. And, while this may not be pleasant to hear, you should leave time for two or three attempts (each spaced a minimum of 16 calendar days apart, as required). Working backwards, this indicates that you should begin studying at the beginning of May, at the latest.

Honestly, it’s almost never too early to get your testing out of the way. Scores are good for five years and many of our clients achieved their best results while still in college or shortly after graduating since they were still in ‘study mode’.

If you didn’t have this much foresight (I know I didn’t!) and particularly if you work long hours, it is essential to start early as well as to work with intensity, momentum, and efficiency. Investing in a top prep course or even private tutoring can help immensely in this regard; we would be happy to share the resources that have been most helpful to our clients.

[b]3. [/b][b]I scored a 730 on the GMAT (hooray!), so I am ‘done’.[/b]

While 730 is an awesome score (top 4% to be exact) and is right around average for the top programs, the decision on when to set your test prep materials aside is a little more nuanced. As you may have guessed, if your undergrad GPA is lower than your target schools’ averages and/or you come from an overrepresented applicant pool (bankers and consultants, I’m looking at you), you should think long and hard about whether you have more to give in the test department.

How do you know whether you are short-changing yourself? First, consider how many times you’ve taken the test. If you’re on your third or fourth attempt and your previous scores did not demonstrate measurable improvement, it might be time to move on. Before you do, think about whether you really gave it your all. Did you create a study plan and follow it religiously? Also, look at your official practice tests, particularly your third through sixth ones. If your scores were materially higher than your results on test day, perhaps something fluky happened (nerves got the best of you, etc.) and another attempt would be worthwhile.

At the end of the day, of course schools care about more than just your GMAT / GRE score. Even the strongest test score won’t guarantee you admittance into your dream program. However, as you’re well aware, the MBA application process is a major undertaking if done right and you want to make sure you give each component your all. So, start your test prep early, strategically plan your approach, and follow your plan. Once you do those things and hopefully attain a score you are proud of, move on to crafting a stellar application!

If you would like assistance, sign up for a [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/free-consultation/]Free Consultation[/url] with an experienced admissions expert who can provide a helpful evaluation of your profile. We look forward to hearing from you!

The post [url=https://vantagepointmba.com/2020/11/08/debunking-three-myths-about-the-gmat-gre/]Debunking Three Myths About the GMAT/GRE[/url] appeared first on [url=https://vantagepointmba.com]Vantage Point MBA[/url].
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Debunking Three Myths About the GMAT/GRE [#permalink]
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