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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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Status: Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
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Why Your MBA Friends Are Not Always the Best People to Review Your Ess [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2016, 10:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Why Your MBA Friends Are Not Always the Best People to Review Your Essays
Last year I had a client who called me panicking - “I showed my applications to several co-workers and they completely tore apart my essays!  What do I do??” This applicant had a really amazing story (he got into everywhere he applied, by the way). However, each of his co-workers had different recommendations including everything from new, creative ways that he should position himself to changes that he should make in his writing style. My first question was “I hate to ask, but are they MBAs?”
I know how this goes because it is me - hence why I work in this industry. In business school, you learn how to think “critically” and “questioning-ly” about every single thing - how the supply chain must have impacted the quality of food you received at a local restaurant to how “one tweak” in geolocating could really be the turning point of this new delivery food service in your area. I’m friends with MBAs from every top school, and seriously people sit around and discuss stuff like this (over drinks). We’re always thinking about new ideas - it’s nerdy but true :)
So, I’m telling you all of this because you need to know how to view your MBA friends’ comments and how to ensure that you stay true to what you want to present and who you are.  When you asked them to review, they started viewing your application like a new strategy project - they aspired to give you amazing new ideas and points of creativity as well as be devil’s advocate for how you think you’re coming across. This is all fabulous and I tell all of my clients to seek this type of opinion, BUT to take it with a grain of salt. Do not let each opinion result in a complete rework or feeling like you need to accept each and every suggestion. The client I cited above - he ended-up keeping with his story but made subtle tweaks for each school based on the MBA alum advice he got - and as I mentioned, he did just fine. So keep in mind that your MBA friends are brainstorming - that’s what they do really well and that’s why they probably work in cool industries where they get to “A/B” test all day long. But this isn’t a strategy project - it’s you describing YOUR ideas, goals, aspirations and passions.
So, even though you have friends from HBS, Wharton, Columbia, Kellogg etc, my advice is that they shouldn’t be the only ones reviewing your applications.
On top of being hypercritical by nature and training, the other issue with taking too much stock in your MBA friends’ opinions is their potential bias. Unless your MBA friends are reviewing a lot of essays (and to be fair, some senior folks in consulting companies can fit this mold… so if you’re in consulting definitely ask your PLs and Principles), they are likely to have an anchor bias in what they did and what worked in their application (seeour post on how the application process has changedsince your coworker got his or her MBA).
But perhaps most importantly - they are not your audience.  I will repeat - your boss, the head of your practice area, your friend’s billionaire uncle who runs a hedge fund…they are not your audience.  Your audience is the admissions committee, which is typically not comprised of a majority MBAs and most often not comprised of people who have worked in a lot of post-MBA jobs (consulting, banking etc).Check-out our survey of adcom profiles for more info on that topic.
So, who else do you ask for feedback?  Well, co-workers in general are great, but be careful because they might make your industry-specific jargon even worse (if you both know what a synthetic CDO is, then you might not notice it as jargon).  I always tell people to start with your friends who work in other industries.  They sort of know what you do, but they are far enough removed that they need the layman’s terms and your “story” will need some explanation - they won’t just connect the dots because they’re familiar with the career path.  If they can understand what you do, how you’ve progressed, and what you want to do next, than you’re in good shape.
The one area where MBAs can give useful feedback is in evaluating your ‘fit’ for their alma mater.  For example, does your Kellogg essay talk about how you like to work alone?  Does your Wharton essay highlight your weakness in quant?  Those are the types of high level red flags they can catch you for you.  Leave the rest to someone else.
So in summary:
Ask for feedback from multiple different types of friends / family / co-workers who can give you varying perspectives (eg. the person who has no clue what you do every day, the person who knows you well, etc)Don’t put too much stock in any one piece of feedback - you need to stay true to yourself (even if your best friend from your dream school is positive that she needs to re-write your essays)Remember that MBAs are trained to be critical - most would never send you feedback without many suggestions. So, view those suggestions as ideas, not as something you need to do in order to succeedAsk for MBA friends to read for “culture and fit” - this is where they are most helpful
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

_________________

Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

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If you’re an international candidate to US MBA programs, read this bef [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2016, 17:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: If you’re an international candidate to US MBA programs, read this before finalizing your post-MBA career goals!
Image
As an international applicant to a top US MBA program, you’re surely aware of the special challenges you may face once admitted, particularly in applying for a visa and securing housing. However, one thing you may not have considered is how your non-US citizenship impacts the reality of your career goals. In other words, if you’re hoping to remain in the US and pursue your career ambitions here in the long-run, it may be wise to consider which companies and industries will sponsor an H1B visa if that’s what you will require.
I recently came across this exact situation with a client. He is an Indian national hoping to work in a strategic planning group at a large financial institution in the US after graduation. American Express was actually his top choice company and he mentioned it specifically in his essay. However, after speaking with one of our career experts at Amex, he was disappointed to find out that team does not sponsor visas.  So where did that leave his career goals?
Keep in mind that the adcom is briefed on company data regularly and may be aware of a particular firm’s policy on sponsoring visas. Since an applicant’s career goals should be realistic as well as logical and ambitious, the key is not to be too narrow in focus.Instead, showing flexibility in your target companies is the best way to get around this challenge.  So I advised my client to broaden his target to Amex or a company of that top notch caliber.
The bottom line is that as long as you have a general sense of the hiring practices within your industry, you don’t need to kill yourself researching the specific visa policies of multiple potential employers. When in doubt, just show that you’re flexible and open-minded.
If you already figured this out, then more power to you! You’re ahead of the curve! And for those of you who didn’t, you still have plenty of time to tweak your career goals accordingly before the round 2 deadlines!
For more advice tailored to European applicants, readAdvice for European Applicants to the Top US MBA Programs.
Best of luck with your applications!
More questions? Always feel free to reach out!www.vantagepointadmissions.com
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

_________________

Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

Expert Post
Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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Status: Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
Posts: 125

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

Location: United States
First Impressions: Insights from First Year MBA Students After The Fi [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2016, 15:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: First Impressions: Insights from First Year MBA Students After The First Two Weeks
As an MBA applicant, you have probably visited your target schools, spoken with alumni and maybe even spoken with current students to assess the culture and fit of the school with your goals. As we tell all of our clients, the more you know about the schools and what life is really like, the better. Why? Because when you sit down for your interview and it's clear that you  know what you're talking about and have done your research, you'll differentiate yourself from those who only have a "theoretical" view of what MBA life is like. That said, we recently followed-up with some of our former clients at our alma maters, Kellogg and Columbia, who gave us some insights on what life has been like thus far on their MBA journeys. See what they have to say below - maybe this can help you to ask better questions at the next presentation you attend or even better assess the different schools you're evaluating. Though this exact feedback is specific to Kellogg and Columbia, we've found that experiences after the first few weeks tend to be similar for our clients from all of the big programs.
We asked....
What has been so totally awesome about your experience thus far?
"I’ve really enjoyed meeting people from all over the country. Kellogg does a really great job at making sure it incorporates a diverse student body, from the ratio of international students to ratio of men to women. I’ve been making friends with folks I never thought I would have." - Kellogg
"The “World Tour” which was basically a student-led summer traveling was amazing people and led to a lot of great bonds being made before school. Also, the breadth of opportunities/companies on campus is almost overwhelming. There are just so many awesome opportunities it seems. There are also so many great speakers, clubs, etc that you simply cannot be as involved and attend as many events as you’d like too." - Columbia
"I have absolutely loved meeting all of my new classmates. Orientation was really exciting and a lot of fun! We spent a lot of time getting to know each other, and prepping for classes. I really like the cluster system, because it gives you a chance to get to know a smaller group of people in the class first. The cluster bonds are really strong!" - Columbia
"People - I was genuinely amazed by the people around me from day 1 - their caliber, values, character, and selflessness. Interviewing almost all candidates does a great job for Kellogg as it ensures the best cultural fit. Campus nature of the school - living in the social bubble of Kellogg makes you meet new people all the time. Students go out together all the time, mixing social groups, as a result - you meet new people on a daily basis. Student-led almost everything - from clubs to treks and trips. As a result, all activities and all the information you get are super-relevant and fun." - Kellogg
What has surprised you (good/bad/otherwise)?
"I’ve been surprised with the amount of homework that we’ve been given. I was warned that Fall quarter would be intense, and it didn’t really sink in until now. I can’t wait for the GDM (“grades don’t matter”) mentality to sink in! On the good side, I was a business major in undergrad, so I thought I’d gloss over the academic piece of school. However, there are a lot of valuable insights in the classes so far (namely strategy and leadership). Definitely going to spend a good amount of time (more than I thought) and bid points going after those classes." - Kellogg
"The amount of “busy work” and problem sets that we have to do. I wasn’t prepared to have to spend so many hours doing long but simple accounting and finance homework. It feels very high school ish. The work is pretty easy if you have any finance/accounting/econ background, but surprisingly time consuming. Also, the spread between some of the most talented people in the class and some of those at the bottom is VERY large. I know it’s a 550+ person class, but it is a little surprising because it seems daunting and like everyone is brilliant on the outside looking in. Lastly, people weren’t kidding about banking recruiting at CBS being extremely intense. 25 banks on campus, even the most “low touch” ones are expecting 5+ touch points over a 6-8 week period. It’s literally impossible not to have to miss class if you want to cast a wide net, yet the school tries to tell you that you aren’t allowed. Once recruiting started being non-stop busy from 8am to midnight has been the norm, not the exception, and that doesn’t include social activities." - Columbia
"Everyone tells you how busy you will be during your first month at school, but no matter how mentally 'ready' I thought I was, business school is still overwhelming. There are SO many fun and interesting clubs, activities, presentations, etc. that I would love to go to, and it's really hard to say no. I am in over 10 clubs, and I have even been elected AVP to 3 of them (so far!). I have also been accepted into an international consulting program, for a company in India, who I will visit in the next couple of months. I am busy all day, everyday, and I still feel like I'm missing some things I would love to try, see, and do." - Columbia
"You never realize the amount and importance of opportunities you would be presented with, before you actually start the school - was honored and humbled to meet head of IMF, Madame Lagarde, during a round table, 1 month into school" - Kellogg
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

_________________

Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

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What MBA Applicants Can Learn From the Presidential Debates [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2016, 21:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: What MBA Applicants Can Learn From the Presidential Debates
Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent (or completely uninterested) we're guessing that you may be one of the many watching the presidential debates. We can't tell you how to vote but we can point you to some of the communication strategies that the candidates are using that could actually be helpful for you in your applications. Full disclosure - my husband worked on Capitol Hill for a while, so I sourced some of this from a "debate watching" party in D.C.
What do you have in common with someone standing on a stage contending to be President of the United States? You both need to clearly craft your message, portray yourself the way you want to be perceived, and ensure that you use the appropriate tone with your audience (meaning youneed to know them first). So, here are a few things to consider as you watch the next debate that could be relevant for your MBA apps.
1) Know What They May Be Concerned About:Both candidates have some pretty large issues on the table that voters are concerned about. Hillary is dealing with a perception that she's not trustworthy. So what did she do? In the last debate, when she was asked a question by one of the people attending the town hall, notice that she turned to face them, stopped to pause (showing consideration of the question), looked them in the eye, and engaged them by asking a rhetorical question etc. She knew that trust was an issue, so she did everything she could to try to re-establish trust visually. What does this have to do with MBA applications? Know what may be an issue on your applications and ensure that you overcome it - directly. Low GPA? Take an online class and then directly refer to it in your optional essay. Limited experience? Reinforce your leadership experience throughout your application so they know you already have what it takes.
2) Stay on Message:You can probably recite the buzz words for each campaign by now because you've heard them so many times. Trump's slogan is "Make American Great Again", and his entire message on stage aligned with his feeling that America needs to be improved. With every question, he went straight to a big issue that needs to be solved. Whether you agree with him or not, what's clear is that (despite employing some "unique" strategies) he did stay on message. What does this mean for you? You amass support when someone first understands then believes in your message. We guide all of our clients to start their applications by establishing a clear "story" or "message" so that they can be sure to stay "on message" throughout their applications. For example, if you are saying that you need to develop entrepreneurship skills so you can write your business plan in school, you need to ensure that every aspect of your application aligns with that theme - it should make sense why you want to go that route and how you plan to do it. All too often we see applicants declare a goal then write three essays that basically ignore the stated goal and confuse the reader. Stay on message, be clear, and make it your goal for the reader to be able to recite your message after putting down your app.
3) Be the Part:Both candidates paint a picture of what it would be like if they were President. They talk about why they want the job, why they are qualified, and most importantly, what they would do. And as a result, every person watching the debates has an image of what this person's presidency could be like. This is not easy to do though. For example, Trump, throughout the campaign, has tried to position himself as a different type of politician; but it's confusing.  Depending on the week, you've seen him tack back and forth between being a typical politician and a full firebrand.  For example, one day he'll use a teleprompter and stay off of Twitter, then he'll let loose the next day and call into the Sunday morning shows unfiltered. This is exactly what you should not be doing for each school where you apply. They need to be able to picture you there, and it feel / look right; don't confuse the adcom by presenting yourself differently in different parts of the application. Be the part (an MBA student at the school you're applying to) throughout the app. Describe why you know each school is right for you. Explain which clubs you'd lead, how you'd contribute, and what unique ideas you have for advancing the program/school/your classmates' experiences.
Hope this helps and don't forget, vote for .....! Just kidding - we won't go there.
As always,contact uswith any questions as we head into round 2!
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

_________________

Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

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Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
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Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

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The Latest Rankings from The Economist - What Do They Mean? [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2016, 16:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: The Latest Rankings from The Economist - What Do They Mean?
Back in June, we tackled the loaded question ofwhether or not the MBA rankings matter. (And of course, it depends.) But regardless of how reliant on or independent from the rankings your school selection decisions were, you’ve likely gotten comfortable with your choices by now. That is, until The Economist published their2016 full-time global MBA rankingslate last week and led you to question everything you thought you knew. Wait, Booth is ranked #1? And The University of Queensland Business School is ranked #10, ahead of Wharton and INSEAD?
Image
Source:The Economist 2016 MBA Ranking
Before you go back to the drawing board on your Round 2 target school list, take a moment to consider a couple of caveats to these latest rankings.
Unlike U.S. News & World report, another popular rankings publisher, The Economist ranks MBA programs on a global scale, based on a broader range of criteria that may favor non-US programs
A key point to remember when it comes to rankings is that they are subjective – first and foremost subjective to that publication’s ranking methodology. And each publisher has a very different approach to that methodology. In fact, The Economist has the most complex methodology among its peers, considering 22 different criteria in its rankings. Criteria such as “range of and access to overseas study programs”, “number of language courses available”, and 3 different Student Diversity measures weigh into The Economist rankings while not factoring at all into U.S. News & World Report’s methodology, for example. Those kinds of measures can inherently favor non-US MBA programs (primarily due to the US-centric makeup of US MBA programs). In general, The Economist strives to take the point of view of the student experience, which is less of a focus for other publishers that may weigh corporate recruiters' perspectives and undergrad GPA more heavily. The bottom line is that while rankings can be helpful in your school selection process, take them with a grain of salt and do your homework to understand the analysis that underlies the rankings and how that aligns (or doesn’t) with your priorities and objectives. To dig into this further, you can find the full methodology explanations here:The EconomistandU.S. News & World Report.
Volatility in the rankings rarely, if ever, reflects a true improvement or deterioration in a program’s quality
The first thing that struck me as I was reviewing The Economist’s latest rankings is the level of volatility even in the top 10. Kellogg rose 5 places to #2, Stanford rose 8 places to #5, INSEAD dropped 5 places to #13 – all in one year. It is highly unlikely that any of these world-class programs would have changed so drastically in a matter of 12 months to truly deserve such shifts in the rankings. So the next logical place to look is again, the methodology. Did it changethis yearvs.the last? And the simple answer is yes! This year, The Economist added a new criterion under its Student Quality measure, which then shifted the weights assigned to all other criteria. While this may be more detail than you ever wanted, it’s important to understand that the devil is in the details when it comes to the rankings and what they mean. So again, just because your dream school dropped by 5 places on this ranking doesn’t mean that any notable shifts in the program’s strengths, recruiting power, or culture have taken place. So stay calm and carry on with your applications!
When it comes to your MBA applications, our team at Vantage Point absolutely believes that knowledge is power. So really commit yourself to the due diligence process, speak to as many people as you can, follow your schools on social media, read up about the school on credible news sites and publications, even check out the rankings (because I know you will even if I tell you not to!) to reach the conclusions that are right for you. But remember that any data point or factor should be one of many that go into a well-rounded and well-informed decision. And if your gut is telling you that something doesn’t seem right, then listen to it. After all, the MBA application process is much more art than science.
Best of luck to you! If you’d like to chat more about the rankings or about anything related to your MBA applications, pleasereach out to us. We love to hear from you!
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

_________________

Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

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How Stanford GSB’s latest fellowship is reshaping applicants’ career g [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2016, 01:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How Stanford GSB’s latest fellowship is reshaping applicants’ career goals
Image
“Stanford will pay you to attend its business school-but only if you agree to work in the Midwest.”(Business Insider, September 27, 2016)
This is likely the most intriguing statement we have heard in years.  As MBA admissions consultants we talk to our clients consistently about post MBA plans: including industry, job function and location.  With the MBA diploma in hand and new MBA knowledge in mind, finding therightjob involves examining these three legs of the stool.  The latter point of location, however, is usually not the focus of the conversation as the student 1) already has a preference of where to live post-MBA or 2) will stay put in the city/town where the MBA program is located due to the connections made or internship had or 3) is open to moving to anywhere!
However, Stanford GSB is turning heads as it has a different option for some of its applicants. TheStanford USA MBA Fellowshipprovides financial assistance to students who wish to attend Stanford and are committed to economic development in regions of the United States that are underrepresented in the MBA program.  In its first year, the Fellowship will focus on the Midwest and will pay three students $160,000 (tuition and associated fees) over the two years.Click herefor the full criteria.
Would you be willing to commit to a location before committing to a job?  Would you be willing to say no to a particular part of the country, i.e. the very hot Silicon Valley or the banking capital of New York City, even before you start your MBA?   These are great questions to ponder as you write your essays and really think through your short-term and long-term goals.  Admissions Directors often read about an MBA student pursuing an investment banking role at x firm or a strategy consulting role at y firm—very industry and job function focused.  We spoke with several former adcom who were very clear about how refreshing it would be to hear in an essay or during an interview about post-MBA plans involving location preferences, especially serving those areas of our country that need help growing and embedding more MBA minds in the professional culture.  Stanford is not assigning the Fellow to a particular industry or organization, yet is instead allowing a great deal of white space and creativity for the MBA graduate to show how he/she can bring about effective change.  What a noble task!
Let’s turn the focus from the East Coast and West Coast to the Midwest, which is what some call the underserved area.  How can you help these states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin?  The trifecta effect in this area of 1) the rise of entrepreneurs, 2) great companies such as General Motors, Eli Lily and Boeing and 3) lower housing costs makes the Midwest an attractive place to move to for a few years.  We think that Stanford is on to something and we are curious to see which region of the country is the next focus of the Fellowship if it continues to grow in the coming years.
The article also raised another point for MBA applicants: what other schools are offering such interesting fellowships, scholarships and ideas?  Do your research. Dig deep.  Remember top-tier MBA programs want qualified and interesting students just as much as you want to be a part of their MBA community.  Find that match.  It is out there for you.
Curious about what this could mean for your MBA applications? You’re in luck! We offer afree 30-minute consultationso you can ask those questions and get the conversation started. We look forward to hearing from you!
-------------------------------------
Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com/stanford-graduate-school-business-midwest-2016-9
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-23/here-s-160-000-toward-your-stanford-mba-and-here-s-the-catch
To view the Stanford criteria:https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/programs/mba/financial-aid/us-citizens-permanent-residents/stanford-usa-mba-fellowship
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

_________________

Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
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How Stanford GSB’s Latest Fellowship is Reshaping Applicants’ Career G [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2016, 02:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How Stanford GSB’s Latest Fellowship is Reshaping Applicants’ Career Goals
Image
“Stanford will pay you to attend its business school-but only if you agree to work in the Midwest.”(Business Insider, September 27, 2016)
This is likely the most intriguing statement we have heard in years.  As MBA admissions consultants we talk to our clients consistently about post MBA plans: including industry, job function and location.  With the MBA diploma in hand and new MBA knowledge in mind, finding therightjob involves examining these three legs of the stool.  The latter point of location, however, is usually not the focus of the conversation as the student 1) already has a preference of where to live post-MBA or 2) will stay put in the city/town where the MBA program is located due to the connections made or internship had or 3) is open to moving to anywhere!
However, Stanford GSB is turning heads as it has a different option for some of its applicants. TheStanford USA MBA Fellowshipprovides financial assistance to students who wish to attend Stanford and are committed to economic development in regions of the United States that are underrepresented in the MBA program.  In its first year, the Fellowship will focus on the Midwest and will pay three students $160,000 (tuition and associated fees) over the two years.Click herefor the full criteria.
Would you be willing to commit to a location before committing to a job?  Would you be willing to say no to a particular part of the country, i.e. the very hot Silicon Valley or the banking capital of New York City, even before you start your MBA?   These are great questions to ponder as you write your essays and really think through your short-term and long-term goals.  Admissions Directors often read about an MBA student pursuing an investment banking role at x firm or a strategy consulting role at y firm—very industry and job function focused.  We spoke with several former adcom who were very clear about how refreshing it would be to hear in an essay or during an interview about post-MBA plans involving location preferences, especially serving those areas of our country that need help growing and embedding more MBA minds in the professional culture.  Stanford is not assigning the Fellow to a particular industry or organization, yet is instead allowing a great deal of white space and creativity for the MBA graduate to show how he/she can bring about effective change.  What a noble task!
Let’s turn the focus from the East Coast and West Coast to the Midwest, which is what some call the underserved area.  How can you help these states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin?  The trifecta effect in this area of 1) the rise of entrepreneurs, 2) great companies such as General Motors, Eli Lily and Boeing and 3) lower housing costs makes the Midwest an attractive place to move to for a few years.  We think that Stanford is on to something and we are curious to see which region of the country is the next focus of the Fellowship if it continues to grow in the coming years.
The article also raised another point for MBA applicants: what other schools are offering such interesting fellowships, scholarships and ideas?  Do your research. Dig deep.  Remember top-tier MBA programs want qualified and interesting students just as much as you want to be a part of their MBA community.  Find that match.  It is out there for you.
Curious about what this could mean for your MBA applications? You’re in luck! We offer afree 30-minute consultationso you can ask those questions and get the conversation started. We look forward to hearing from you!
-------------------------------------
Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com/stanford-graduate-school-business-midwest-2016-9
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-23/here-s-160-000-toward-your-stanford-mba-and-here-s-the-catch
To view the Stanford criteria:https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/programs/mba/financial-aid/us-citizens-permanent-residents/stanford-usa-mba-fellowship
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How to Use Free Advice for Your MBA Applications [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2016, 22:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How to Use Free Advice for Your MBA Applications
From free consultations with admissions consultants, “ask” forums, peer evaluations, and webinars, to the endless supply of interview reports, and school presentations, there is a ton of free stuff out there to help you on your MBA journey. Here’s how to make the most out of it while avoiding common pitfalls.
Disclaimer -Vantage Pointspecializes in providing personalized admissions strategies to applicants aiming for the top schools. So to clarify, this post is not about how to use customized guidance such as an MBA admissions consultant (us or anyone else). Instead, this post is about how to use everything else that’s available to you.
Original Info Is Best:The best person to ask for advice is the adcom itself, right? So, as you start your discovery process, we recommend going straight to the source. The schools’ websites are ok, but what’s more interesting are the more dynamic pieces of content that they’ve all recently focused on more heavily - YouTube videos, blogs and even tweets. In addition, going to their presentations in your city or better yet, visiting the schools, is by far the best way to get info on what the schools are looking for. We’ve found that the city presentations are highly informative and oftentimes provide info not located anywhere else (eg. this year MIT Sloan told applicants who attended their city presentations what to include and not include in their cover letter essays - info that was not located anywhere else). The next best source for original info is going to be alums themselves. If you don’t know any, most schools will find someone for you to talk to, be it an alum or a current student. It is imperative that you speak to someone who actually went to the school you’re applying to before you click submit in order to ensure that you’re correctly aligning with the school’s focus and culture (eg. passing the “fit” test).
Quality of Input Determines Quality of Output:For “ask” forums, peer evaluations (like Reddit, etc) and even free consultations from admissions consultants, you should consider that the value of your response will be dependent upon the quality of the info you provide. Often we see profile evaluation requests where we’re given scores, undergrad major, years of work experience and some vague notion of desired post-MBA industry. With this level of info, anyone answering your request for feedback will probably give you a similar answer to the one you could have found yourself by looking at the 80% range on each school’s class profile. MBA programs are looking for the total package - which means that you are someone who has a unique and interesting contribution to the class and an inspirational goal. At Vantage Point, we call this your “story”, and it is unique to you and your application - not something you can list or quantify. So, when you are asking for a profile evaluation, or when you are requesting a free consultation, try to give the responder more info on what may be unique about you (either past, present or future).
Take it With a Grain of Salt:We participate in many forums and I hate to say that oftentimes we see completely false information given to applicants - egregious things like telling an applicant he or she “doesn’t have a chance” based on very limited info or providing career goal guidance that is completely off base. This is particularly important to beware of with peer evaluations. I caught a person earlier this year giving advice to MBA profile requesters and he turned out to be an undergraduate student with pretty much zero idea what he was talking about. The same thing happens with self-reported interview summaries. Sometimes they are just not true OR they are based on regional particularities that are not applicable to the majority of applicants. So yeah, just don’t put too much stock in any one source who knows very little about you. I’d recommend getting multiple opinions from many different sources overall if that’s your strategy.
Read, Read, Read...but Don’t Template:There are a multitude of school reports, sample essays, interview guides, resume templates etc all over the internet. My advice? Read it all. See how different sources describe the culture at different schools (everyone has a unique perspective and it will be helpful for you to poll the audience as you learn about the different programs). However, please form your own opinions with this information - do not just take each thing at face value. Why? If you recite what’s already been said, it will be generic. Templates do not get into the top schools. Don’t describe Wharton the same way the school guides do - provide your own take based on what you’ve read and who you’ve spoken with. Do not copy anything word for word from sample resumes, essays or anything else. And certainly do not take a sample essay and then sub-in language and slight tweaks to make it your essay. Maybe you think this doesn’t need to be said, but we see people try this every year and trust me, it is never a good idea to even consider.

So in summary, use everything you possibly can. Spend a couple of hours per week during your application process (at least) reading articles about the schools you’re considering, talking to people and continuing to get a feel for what life would be like at that program. Seek multiple opinions both on your profile as well as your story and eventual “pitch”. But ultimately, be true to yourself and make your application about you!
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The Election is Over - Time to Get Moving on Round 2 Applications [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2016, 17:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: The Election is Over - Time to Get Moving on Round 2 Applications
You have approximately two months before the round two MBA application deadlines. So it’s time to un-glue yourself from the news, excuse yourself from the continued debates, and focus your attention on your own future - business school.
With the holidays coming-up, round two deadlines sneak up on most people faster than they think. Taking the GMAT is only step one:  writing the essays, getting your resume into MBA format, prepping your recommenders, andcontinuing to learn about the schoolsin order to present a competitive application comprises the majority of the application process. Our clients typically go through 5-6 drafts of their resumes, 8-10 drafts of each school’s essay sets, and then there’s the process ofgetting feedbackfrom a variety of different informed parties - alums, co-workers, former adcom, etc.
So, what does this mean for you? The good news is that you still have some time. If you are able to dedicate at least 8 hours per week over the next few weeks, most applicants should be able to crank out 4-6 applications before the round 2 deadlines. How? Below is a sample timeline that you can use to ensure that you stay on track. In addition, here are a few tips for getting started and ensuring that you are efficient with limited time:
Image
A few tips:
Formulate your “story” first:ensure that you are solid on how you’ll describe your experience to date, why you want an MBA, and what you plan to do with said MBA before you start to write your essays. Run this by people who know what they are talking about - alums of the schools you are interested in, coworkers, and friends and family who know what your plan is. Ensure that your story makes sense and is concrete and specific enough to really paint a picture of who you are. It may seem like a lot of work up front but I promise that it saves you time in the long run and will help ensure that you have a cohesive application aligned on one, solid theme.
Get more out of your resume:putting your resume in business school format (eg. lead with accomplishments not tasks) has another use -  helping you determine how you’ll describe your background in a way that makes sense to a broader audience by obliterating jargon and not making assumptions about what the reader knows. Ensure that your resume and your essays describe your background in similar terms
Give your recommenders a deadline:whether your recommenders are willing to share their letters with your or not, give them a deadline that’s before the actual deadline (just in case). This way you’ll have time in the event that you have a last minute surprise to deal with, which unfortunately we see all too often
Aim to be finished one week ahead of time:plan to not procrastinate. This way if something interrupts your plan, you have time to adjust. This time of year there are plenty of distractions - build in some cushion.

If you need help, contact us! With our unique 360 degree process, we can provide you with the perspecitves you need:  an experienced consultant who is an M7 graduate, former M7 admissions committee members, and alumni interviewers from the top schools.
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Exit Poll: What is the HBS Interview Really Like? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2016, 22:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Exit Poll: What is the HBS Interview Really Like?
You can read about each school’s interview process all over the internet, and we can tell you from our experience what it’s like all day long. However, what we’ve found is that applicants really appreciate hearing first-hand from someone who is still sweating from the experience. So, we’ve selected one client for each school who we asked to describe his or her interview experiences in round 1 of this year.
Rachel’s Day at HBS
After working tirelessly on her round 1 application, Rachel was excited to find out that she was invited to interview at HBS this year! She prepped by reading about the HBS interview process and of course we did a mock interview as a trial run for the real thing.
So how did it go for Rachel? On a Sunday morning, wearing business formal (it’s the East Coast after all), Rachel arrived on campus and was pleasantly surprised to find that the building she was interviewing in felt very “homey”. She entered, put her coat and suitcase in the provided closet and kept only her portfolio with a few copies of her resume, a pad and a pen with her.
She then proceeded to the waiting area, grabbed a water and sat down among eight other candidates who were interviewing at the same time. Rachel is very social and outgoing and naturally struck-up conversations with those around her. She said that most people were chatting and meeting one-another. There was only one girl nervously pacing the room and reciting her story to herself to prep. Our advice? Don’t be that person. Take this time to meet the other people who could potentially be in your class. Break the ice for yourself and your sanity through a nice casual conversation. Rachel thought it was a great warm-up!
At her scheduled interview time, each interviewer came into the waiting area and called the candidate to which he or she was assigned (kind of like a doctor’s office...or a spa). After being called by her interviewer, for the first five minutes, Rachel expected someone else to walk in the room. Afte rall, HBS is known for its two-on-one interviews. However, that never happened. It was a one-on-one! Later Rachel found out that almost everyone who interviewed that day had a one-on-one. She was told that the candidates who interviewed the following day, on a Monday, were more likely to have a two-on-one interview. In addition, note that the dean is also an interviewer! If you interview with him this year, Rachel was told that you would be tape-recorded during his one-on-one interviews.
Opening the discussion, Rachel’s interviewer invited her to sit down, not across the table but instead in chairs turned towards each other - very casual. She then explained the process and talked about how she had read all of Rachel’s application materials. Like most candidates, Rachel felt great to hear that someone had invested as much in reading her app a she had in preparing it! The interviewer explained that after the interview, she would prepare a report, Rachel would submit her reflection, then the application would be reviewed in its entirety.
Then they moved on to the questions. Rachel estimated that approximately 5% of her interview was spent on a large extracurricular that she had in college, 85% on her career in consumer packaged goods (CPG), and 10% on her goals. Here’s a sampling of the questions they asked:
The interviewer noticed that a very large leadership commitment in college was only mentioned in one bullet point, so she asked for more informationHow did Rachel decide to work for the company she worked for right after college (Rachel very effectively parlayed her college experience into how she chose her career)How did that company meet or not meet Rachel’s expectations and what advice would she give someone looking to work there - the good and the challenges. Note that the interviewer cited a specific story that Rachel had given in her essays, which made Rachel feel good - she had caught the adcom’s attention in the essay!Describe in more detail the challenge cited in Rachel’s latest job. This question referenced the descriptions that Rachel put into the application form itself where she was asked to cite a specific accomplishment and a challenge for each position she listedExplain how Rachel’s company was tackling the latest trends in health and wellness (her company is not known for healthy products)How is Rachel’s company’s relationship with Wal-Mart and how does she navigate meetings with themThe interviewer noted that both of Rachel’s recommenders cited similar pieces of feedback, so she asked Rachel for examples to explain her areas of weakness. Rachel had not seen her recommendations, so initially this was stressful as she hadn’t been aware of what they had writtenDescribe your career interests (note that she was not asked “why MBA” or “why HBS”)Did she want to work for a big or a small company after graduation (Rachel wondered if they had a bias towards big companies, but in our experience they are simply interested in how you’ve thought about this)
So what advice does Rachel have for you? Her number one piece of advice was to schedule your class visit and such for another day. She felt like after the interview all she could think about was the interview itself and writing the post-interview reflection. She was glad that her class visit was the next day because she felt like she could really engage versus just worrying.
She also said to relax. Rumors have it that sometimes HBS has pretty aggressive interviewers. Rachel talked to many people during her two days on campus and only one person had a more “hostile” interview (eg. he was asked how he thought this goals could possibly be attainable - they told him his goals seemed unreasonable etc). Everyone else with whom Rachel spoke had a friendly interviewer.
Hope this helps - best of luck everyone!Contact usif you want help prepping for your interview!
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Whose advice really matters on your MBA applications? [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2016, 11:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Whose advice really matters on your MBA applications?
Image
“It takes a village”, the old adage goes. That’s one way we like to summarize the MBA journey. Although the application process may seem like a long, lonely road at the beginning, savvy applicants know to seek multiple perspectives along the way. And in our experience, even if you don’t seek out that advice, it will be handed to you freely on a regular basis. But as you know, as in all matters in life, not all second opinions are created equal. After all, you wouldn’t seek advice from a heart surgeon for your torn ACL, even though both are medical professionals. Instead you may see an orthopedist for the injury and then see a physical therapist for a non-surgical rehab solution. The MBA application process is no different. So how do you know whose advice to take (or not take)? And whose opinion to seek out and why? You’re in luck, we’ve broken it all down for you here.
WHOSE ADVICE MATTERS?
Through all the well-intentioned advice you may receive throughout your MBA application process, these opinions matter most, in our experience.
1.  Adcom or former adcom. This is the equivalent of hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth.  These are the folks who will be reviewing your applications and making your admissions decisions. So their opinion certainly matters! Many schools host online Q&A sessions with their adcoms and have an admissions blog. Take advantage of those resources. A number of consulting firms also partner with former adcom so if you decide to work with a professional, seize the opportunity to get an adcom review of your application.
2. Current student or alum involved in admissions process. Although these folks aren’t decision makers in the admissions process, they are influencers. They are typically alumni interviewers or application reviewers and will have insight into the admissions mindset and latest trends. They can tell you what they’ve seen work and not work in the past. Of most value, perhaps, is that someone with this perspective can guide you on areas to focus on in your essays and interview that will help you communicate fit with the program.
3. Professional consultant or adviser with breadth of experience. The decision to hire an admissions consultant is a highly personal one so we’re not here today to tell you that everyone should do so. However, the value of a consultant is sometimes misunderstood. Yes, a consultant will help you break down the application process into bite-size pieces, will keep you on track, will provide feedback on your essays, and many other well-publicized benefits. But the perhaps greatest value of a consultant is the breadth of his or her perspective. An experienced consultant with an MBA has not only been in your shoes as an applicant but has also worked across schools, across industries, across nationalities, and has an extremely well-informed perspective on the application process from multiple angles. And what that means for the applicant is that the consultant’s advice will be creative, multi-faceted and anything but cookie-cutter. This perspective is highly complementary to the adcom perspective (whose lens is mostly academic – more onwho the adcom is) and the student/alum perspective (whose lens is school-specific and limited to his/her “bubble” of experience).
4. Yourself!Don’t discount your own views and intuitions. At the end of the day, this is your application. So if you disagree with any advice you received from the above parties, do your research of course, but feel free to disregard it and forge your own path.
WHOSE ADVICE DOESN’T MATTER?
That’s a bit of a trick question (sorry!) because everyone has something to offer. The key is taking it with a grain of salt and recognizing where to isolate the input. Here’s a bit more direction on that.
1. Colleague/friend/family member with an MBA. There are definitely benefits to showing your essays to your colleague who went to HBS or your uncle who went to Wharton – we would never tell you not to. However, watch out for advice and feedback that makes you question your entire application story. Although these folks are well-meaning, they haven’t been in the trenches with you for the last several months building out your story and essay themes. And remember that they’re most likely coming from a very narrow perspective – their own experience. So should you ignore them all together? Definitely not! Reach out to them with school-specific questions, advice on fit, and insight into what they got out of their MBAs. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Mom/Dad/sibling or anyone who “knows you well”. While there’s certainly value in getting the opinions of folks who know you well, remember that they likely don’t understand the process. Think about what a novice you were when you first started. They may make great proof-readers but be cautious with taking their advice on content.
3. Forums and peer reviews. With the intensity and competitive nature of the MBA application process, it’s nearly impossible for any applicant to stay away from the forums. And that’s fine because those platforms can deliver helpful insights and tips. But remember who the authors are – anyone with an opinion! And those opinions are often uninformed or acquired second or third hand. So take them with a grain of salt.  When in doubt, reach out to someone really in the know to confirm.
Bottom line: take advantage of all your resources strategically. Take a cue from politics and form your own application “cabinet”. Hopefully now you have a better idea of whose advice to lean on and whose to filter.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Volatility plagues (yet) another MBA program ranking [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2016, 15:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Volatility plagues (yet) another MBA program ranking
At Vantage Point, we have a love-hate relationship with the rankings. On one hand they provide a directional indication of the quality of MBA programs and competitiveness of admission. On the other, complex and/or subjective ranking methodologies and the volatility that ensues can be misleading. Yet, we continue to dissect the rankings year after year. The latest MBA rankings to ripple through the MBA community areBloomberg BusinessWeek’s, published last week.
Image
Source:Bloomberg BusinessWeek Best Business Schools 2016
Here are the highlights:
Harvard Business School remains #1 overall, same as last year.Stanford GSB and Duke Fuqua each rose 5 places, to take the #2 and #3 spots, respectively.One of the largest gainers in the top 10, Tuck, rose 9 places to #5, driven by theEmployer Surveycomponent of the ranking methodology, which ranked Tuck #8 this year vs. #21 last year.
Biggest surprise:  Rice (Jones) joining the top 10 at #8, gaining 11 spots since last year, effectively kicking Columbia Business School out of the top 10.Biggest loser (in the top 10): Kellogg dropped 6 places to #9.Outside the top 25, volatility seemed to increase, with swings >10 places the norm. (Our advice: take that with a grain of salt.)
The point: Use the rankings strategically as part of your comprehensive research on your target schools. The only thing that’s certain is that the rankings will change again next year!
------------------------------------------
Hooked on the rankings? Read more!
The Latest Rankings from The Economist - What Do They Mean?
Do Rankings Matter? A Few Ways to Think About this Common Question
U.S. News Releases 2016-2017 Business School Rankings
Best of luck to you! If you’d like to chat more about the rankings or about anything related to your MBA applications, please. We love to hear from you!
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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Should you sprint for Round 2 or wait until Round 1 next year? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2016, 14:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Should you sprint for Round 2 or wait until Round 1 next year?
Image
That’s the question facing many MBA applicants at this time of year. The Round 2 deadlines are just around the corner in January (only 5 weeks away!) but waiting until Round 1 next year means delaying matriculation until fall 2018.  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 foryou, we’ve included a list of questions below to ask yourself. If you answerNOto any of them, then it could be worth delaying until Round 1 of next year.
Have you taken the GMAT? If so, do you plan to apply with your current GMAT score?
If you plan to take/retake the GMAT in the upcoming weeks, you will most likely need to dedicate additional time to study and prepare for the test. Naturally, this competes with the time you need to spend on your essays and other application components.
Have you started on any other part of the application process? What about researching your target schools including attending info sessions, scheduling campus visits, connecting with alums and/or current students, etc.?These are the steps in your MBA journey that may be more challenging to rush, particularly with the upcoming holiday season.
Do you have enough time outside of work and your other commitments to dedicate to the application process over the next 5+ weeks?In our experience, you should plan to work on 5-6 drafts of your resume and 8-10 drafts of each essay to put together a stellar application. Depending on how many schools you plan to apply to, that could easily take 40+ hours.
Do you have >3 years of work experience?Note that the class profiles of the top MBA programs have 4-5 years of work experience on average.
Have you ever been promoted in your career or received any formal increase in responsibility?Evidence of career progression and leadership are top-of-mind for the adcom as they evaluate candidates – and a promotion is an ideal way to showcase that (although certainly not the only way).

The decision of when to apply is ultimately a personal one that should take into account 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 5 weeks and believe that now is the best time for you to apply, then that’s amazing!And we’d like to help you make the most of your time with our best offer of the year: the Procrastinator’s Special :), which gives you25% OFF any of our Comprehensive Packages. For a 4-school package, that’s a savings of $1,938!
Sign up for afree consultationtoday!
(Please note that this applies to Round 2 applicants only, in recognition that you may not be able to take full advantage of the unlimited nature of the service due to the impending deadlines. Of course, your consultant will remain fully available to you within the terms of our service but the fact is that your timeline is condensed – and we fully acknowledge that.)
What about Round 3? We typically don’t advise our clients to apply Round 3 for any of the top 10 programs unless there are extenuating circumstances in play. Chances of admission go way down in Round 3, unfortunately, as most of the class has been formed at that point.
Have you decided that Round 1 next year is better timing for you? That’s great too! It’s never too early to get started.We’re accepting 2017-2018 applicants at this time so feel free to take advantage of ourfree 30-minute consultationand find out what you could be doing now to strengthen your application!
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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Should you sprint for Round 2 or wait until Round 1 next year? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2016, 16:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Should you sprint for Round 2 or wait until Round 1 next year?
Image
That’s the question facing many MBA applicants at this time of year. The Round 2 deadlines are just around the corner in January (only 5 weeks away!) but waiting until Round 1 next year means delaying matriculation until fall 2018.  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 foryou, we’ve included a list of questions below to ask yourself. If you answerNOto any of them, then it could be worth delaying until Round 1 of next year.
Have you taken the GMAT? If so, do you plan to apply with your current GMAT score?If you plan to take/retake the GMAT in the upcoming weeks, you will most likely need to dedicate additional time to study and prepare for the test. Naturally, this competes with the time you need to spend on your essays and other application components.
Have you started on any other part of the application process? What about researching your target schools including attending info sessions, scheduling campus visits, connecting with alums and/or current students, etc.?These are the steps in your MBA journey that may be more challenging to rush, particularly with the upcoming holiday season.
Do you have enough time outside of work and your other commitments to dedicate to the application process over the next 5+ weeks?In our experience, you should plan to work on 5-6 drafts of your resume and 8-10 drafts of each essay to put together a stellar application. Depending on how many schools you plan to apply to, that could easily take 40+ hours.
Do you have >3 years of work experience?Note that the class profiles of the top MBA programs have 4-5 years of work experience on average.
Have you ever been promoted in your career or received any formal increase in responsibility?Evidence of career progression and leadership are top-of-mind for the adcom as they evaluate candidates – and a promotion is an ideal way to showcase that (although certainly not the only way).

The decision of when to apply is ultimately a personal one that should take into account 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 5 weeks and believe that now is the best time for you to apply, then that’s amazing!And we’d like to help you make the most of your time with our best offer of the year: the Procrastinator’s Special :), which gives you25% OFF any of our Comprehensive Packages. For a 4-school package, that’s a savings of $1,938!  Sign up for afree consultationtoday!
(Please note that this applies to Round 2 applicants only, in recognition that you may not be able to take full advantage of the unlimited nature of the service due to the impending deadlines. Of course, your consultant will remain fully available to you within the terms of our service but the fact is that your timeline is condensed – and we fully acknowledge that.)
What about Round 3? We typically don’t advise our clients to apply Round 3 for any of the top 10 programs unless there are extenuating circumstances in play. Chances of admission go way down in Round 3, unfortunately, as most of the class has been formed at that point.
Have you decided that Round 1 next year is better timing for you? That’s great too! It’s never too early to get started.We’re accepting 2017-2018 applicants at this time so feel free to take advantage of ourfree 30-minute consultationand find out what you could be doing now to strengthen your application!
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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http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

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Exit Poll: Wharton's Team-Based Discussion and Interview [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2016, 18:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Exit Poll: Wharton's Team-Based Discussion and Interview
This week’s exit poll is from a client, Harrison, who recently completed the group interview (Team-Based Discussion) at Wharton. Below we summarized his day and experience for all of those round 2 Wharton hopefuls!
After arriving in Philly around 10:00am (give yourself plenty of time - you never know how traffic will be), Harrison went directly to the admissions office where he checked-in. There were also several people visiting the school, so the waiting area was a mix of more casual applicants just checking it out and those in business formal attire waiting for the actual interview.
Upon checking-in, he was asked to sign-up on a large board listing all of the classes that were available for sit-in at 10:30am. There were student ambassadors available to answer questions about student life, academics, etc; and of course each of these ambassadors was surrounded by a large group of hopefuls (rule of thumb here:  ask a question but don't monopolize the student ambassador - bonus points if you open up the circle for someone else to join the discussion).
On the recommendation of a friend, Harrison made an effort to meet others in the waiting areas in order to essentially break the ice before the team-based discussion. Based on our experience, this is the best route to take. Oftentimes applicants approach the team-based discussion very competitively / autonomously while completely forgetting that the adcom wants to observe that you can work well with other people. Our advice? Always be the person others want to work with in this setting - not the hard-*** who tries to intimidate everyone else.
A few minutes before 10:30am, Harrison and four other interviewees walked to the class they had selected to sit-in upon. They all sat in the back and just observed, as is typically the case. They then returned to the admissions office at noon and went to a lecture hall with a larger group of interviewees, during which time the head of student life and a panel of approximately 10 students provided a Q&A on admissions, student life and academics for 45 minutes while the interviewees ate lunch. After the more formal panel, the students invited the interviewees to ask more specific questions and assured them that this was not part of the admissions process (eg. so they were free to be candid).
After lunch, it was Harrison’s interview time, so he returned to the waiting area and student interviewers called out groups of six interviewees at a time to get started. Harrison was in the first group, and two students led his six-person group of interviewees to a small room off of the main hall. The applicants sat around a small, circular table and two interviewers sat in chairs in the corners of the room observing.
The interview started with the two interviewers, both second-year students, introduceing the task of creating a new venture for students. The interviewees then each introduced themselves (name, job and intended MBA concentration). After introductions, the interviewers started a 35 minute timer on an iPad placed in the center of the table, signaling that it was time for the exercise to begin.
The team-based discussion started with each applicant giving his or her one-minute pitch while someone else took notes on the board. The pitches in Harrison’s group were drastically different - some were very extreme and some very basic. After the pitches, the group discussed what they really wanted to get out of the venture (eg. the goals of the new venture).
After some discussion, Harrison spoke-up and suggested using another applicant’s idea as the base for their new venture (very collaborative - bonus point!), and with the agreement of the group, they began to evaluate and refine that idea, which was a military-based expedition. The discussion focused on the goals of the expedition and how the students could benefit from it. From there, they determined the key activities that would comprise the expedition as well as the logistics for how students would arrive, how long it would take, etc. Additionally, they determined how they would define “success” and how they would evaluate the performance of the new venture. Harrison noted that this was an important point but one that he felt could have easily gotten lost given all of the other detailed discussions in such a short time and at such a rapid-fire pace.
With approximately seven minutes left, they decided to go back and recap the idea to ensure everyone was aligned and assign roles for the presentation. With just under five minutes to go, they began presenting, with each interviewee presenting a small piece of the idea. They finished exactly on time!
After the team-based discussion, Harrison left the room with the other applicants, who he said were all very complimentary of one-another and friendly (sigh of relief?) Then each of his team members was called individually for a solo interview with one of the two student interviewers. In his solo interview, Harrison was asked about his experiences with Wharton students thus far and why he wants to attend (2-3 minutes). Then he was asked questions about his current role, challenges and achievements (5 minutes). And finally he was given time to ask his questions (5 minutes). Overall Harrison had a great experience!
Note that his experience in the team-based discussion was much more collaborative than some others we hear about. From time to time I’ll have clients tell me about a team-based discussion where everyone was talking over everyone else or where there was one person who was a little bit of a bully. Again, do not be that person! And if that person is in your group, it’s always good to be the person who tries to advance the discussion while ensuring that everyone is being heard and acknowledged. For all of the strategy consultants out there, you know this well. You’re often practicing this process of listening to everything the client says then synthesizing and paraphrasing it in a way that points to direction or action. This is a great approach to take if you’re in a team-based discussion that becomes a little too chaotic.
As always, we’re here to help as you put together your Wharton application!
www.vantagepointadmissions.com
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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Full-Time or Part-Time: Which MBA is Right For You? [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2016, 19:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Full-Time or Part-Time: Which MBA is Right For You?
If you are like me and believe that the MBA is one of the most, if not the most, valuable advanced degrees you can earn then the question becomes “should I go to a full-time (“FT”) MBA or a part-time (“PT”) MBA program?”  Great question!
As a former admissions director at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs, I relish the opportunity to talk about pursuing the degree FT or PT.  The words “part-time” in the past conjured up perceptions of a lesser and less rigorous MBA program.  However, in my experience those days are gone and PT MBA programs can be just as rigorous and fulfilling as FT MBA programs - and should not be overlooked in the decision making process.  Also note that PT Programs may include a variety of programs (i.e. evening, weekend and executive programs).
There are countless ways to look at the decision and below are the main thinking points that an applicant should consider:
This may seem obvious but not all MBA programs have a PT option.  No to Harvard, Stanford but yes to Booth, Kellogg and Duke and many more.  Do your research.  It is also fine to apply to both FT programs and PT programs.  Many times an applicant’s work and life situation changes within the time of applying.  You have heard it before…options are good!
Are the classes taught in PT programs the same classes as the FT program?  How are the faculty the same and different?   Is the degree conferred the same from both programs?Ideally, you would want many of the answers to be YES.  You pursuing a PT program is no less of an accomplishment and commitment than pursuing a FT program.
Do I have a job that I love?  Am I with a company that I want to stay with long-term and advance myself?If the answer is yes, then exploring PT MBA programs is smart.  If the answer is no and you have clear post-MBA career goals (including both the job function and industry) then exploring a FT MBA program is the way to go.  If you are fortunate enough to have tuition reimbursement from your employer then that adds to the appeal of the PT MBA option (with the exception of select firms, namely consulting firms, that “sponsor” students to pursue FT MBAs).
Are there social opportunities available for PT in the same way as they are to FT students?You would be hard pressed to find a PT MBA program that did not make a serious effort to provide social and leadership opportunities for its students.  Dig deep into both FT and PT MBA programs for their options regarding student groups, leadership seminars, study abroad options and spouse and partner events.
Can a PT MBA student take FT MBA classes and visa versa?It varies by program so this is a necessary question to not only ask admissions directors but also to ask a school’s alumni base.
Similar to a FT program, can I complete a PT MBA in or close to two years?This depends on the structure and the flexibility of the PT program.  When looking into PT programs, ask questions related to the length of time needed to complete the degree and the ways to speed up and slow down the completion of the degree depending on your work/life needs.
Are scholarships available for PT students?I am hearing more and more about PT MBA programs that are offering unique scholarships.  Even if the scholarship is not listed on the website, take the time to specifically ask the admissions directors and current student.  The scholarship could be in the works!
For example:  Booth’s Weekend MBA Program recently started recruiting for The Civic Scholars Program: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/w ... admissions
Are the study abroad opportunities the same for both FT and PT programs?I encourage asking current students this question.  As gaining global exposure and experience is key these days to all MBA students, most programs have many options for studying abroad.  PT programs have dramatically increased the options for PT students in this area.
How are the career service offerings the same and different for PT and FT students?Great question to ask and the questions actually start with you!  What do you envision needing from an MBA Career Service Team?  What do you need help with moving to the next phase of your career?  Are you in the industry, job function and location that you want to be in post-MBA? If not, how can the Career Service Team in either the FT or PT program you are targeting help you? There is no one career service structure and offering for all FT and PT programs.  This topic is very specific to each school.
From the admissions criteria standpoint, what similarities and differences are there in the FT and PT application process? i.e. Is the average GMAT score the same and if not, why not?  Are the average years of work experience the same or not?It is common to see the average GMAT higher for FT programs than PT programs because FT programs recruit applicants from all over the country and the world and therefore receive more applications with a more diverse set of GMAT scores. On the other hand, PT programs typically recruit students from the local area and therefore receive fewer applications than a FT program.  This, however, in no way means that PT programs are easier to get into.As PT programs recruit full-time working professionals, the average years of work experience is typically higher than FT programs who are recruiting those applicants who are closer to their undergraduate graduation date.
I hope these questions are helpful to you as you decide which MBA route to go! That decision is ultimately a personal one and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. However, if you’re still in doubt, reaching out to alums or current students from both PT and FT programs and learning about their decision-making process can always help you with yours. Just remember that schools are looking for stellar applicants and you finding the right fit of an MBA program is just as important for you as it is for the school finding the right MBA students.
Good luck!
If you’re currently weighing which path is right for you, we’re happy to provide our advice on your individual situation. Contact us today for afree consultation. We promise you won’t regret it!
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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Exit Polls: Interview Reports for Stanford, Haas, Sloan, Columbia, Boo [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2016, 22:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Exit Polls: Interview Reports for Stanford, Haas, Sloan, Columbia, Booth and Fuqua
Many of the top MBA programs have fairly similar interview formats - conversational discussions about your past and future that are meant to assess “fit” as well as your true desires to attend the school and its alignment with your goals. As part of this, most interviewers are looking to see what you might contribute to the class and what your personal vision and interests are. To help make this a little more concrete, we asked some of our clients to submit summaries of their interviews so that you can compare and contrast. Note that no two interviews are the same - especially when conducted by alumni. But hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect on your interview day!
Note that we only edited these summaries when clarity was needed. We wanted you to hear straight from the sources!
Stanford
Overall the interview was very focused on past experiences. Fewer questions explored in greater depth. Expect a lot of follow-up questions to discuss details (ie. tell me more about the brainstorm you held – who was in the room? Who came up with the idea you landed on?) as well as your rationale (ie. how did you decide distribution was the main barrier to growth?). Also, less time was spent on subsequent questions, so if you have multiple options for the first question, I’d choose the answer that has a lot of rich detail so that you can handle all of the follow-ups.
Questions:
Tell me about one of a proud work achievement (35% of convo)Tell me about a challenge you faced (25% of convo)Tell me about a challenging team dynamic (15% of convo)Tell me about a time when you helped the performance of a struggling team member (7% of convo)Do you have any questions for me? (18% of convo)Why Stanford
Haas
First, the 'Day at Haas' I attended was the only day being held for Round 1 applicants (I confirmed this with student ambassadors). There were 71 applicants there. A girl I talked to said that two alumni (not present at the event) told her that the people invited to 'Day at Haas' are Haas's top applicants. I have no idea if that's true, but I will say that everyone I met also received an interview invite to at least Stanford, Harvard, Wharton or Kellogg. I think everyone I talked to had also interviewed at Harvard.
Overall the interview was very focused on cultural fit and future ambitions. Definitely more questions than other interviews I’ve had. Expect to discuss how Haas’s defining principles are relevant in your past work experiences, how they relate to your “why Haas”, and even how they relate to your future ambitions.
Questions:
Tell me about yourself.Why Haas?Why hospitality?Why is now the right time to get an MBA?What kind of company and role do you see yourself in post-MBA?Speaking of the defining principles, provide both a work and a personal experience of when you’ve demonstrated Haas’s defining principles (they will not tell you what the principles are so you must know them ahead of time!)How would you contribute to the Haas community?Tell me about a challenge you faced.Tell me about your ideal summer internship.Do you have any questions for me?
Sloan
The interview was not blind - the interviewer had read the essays and application. However, it was overall fairly conversational and covered the following themes:
Experience at company (large consulting firm)Most enjoyable thing / most challenging thing at current companyKey experience / accomplishmentChallenges / pushback in the project discussed in the interview essayMost ambiguous problemHow I discovered SloanWhat I want to do at SloanWhat I do in my free time
Columbia
The interview was focused on inter-personal skills and teamwork. Specific questions were as follows:
Walk me through your resume?What do you like to do outside of work?What do you hope to do after business school?As you know, recruiting is competitive and not everyone gets their first-choice internship offer. What is your plan B if your short term goal doesn’t work out?Why MBA?Why Columbia (and J-Term specifically)?How do you see yourself getting involved on campus?Learning team – tell me about a time that you experienced conflict on a team and how you dealt with it?Influencing/persuasion – tell me about a time when you had to convince your boss or client of your idea or course of action. What was your approach and what as the outcome?Any questions for me?
Tuck
The Tuck interview covered the main themes listed below over the course of ~50 minutes. As a result of many follow-up questions, we ran short on time and I was only able to ask two question.
Why did you choose your undergrad university?What are your short term and long term goals?Why MBA?What would you like to contribute to Tuck?What would your team describe you as?What type of leader are you?
Booth
The interview was fairly conversational, with a lot of follow-up on your answers, so be prepared. Be very specific on why Booth.
Why MBA now (why not one year earlier or one year later?)Given Booth's reputation as a serious/quant heavy school, what about Booth convinced you that it's the right place for you, especially given you are looking for softer leadership and general management skillsWhat will your two years at Booth look like?Booth believes in questioning assumptions, give an example of a time you had sway the opinion of your client or supervisorBooth is always there to pick up you in case of failure. Can you give an example of a time you failed professionally, with serious consequences for you/ your companyAny questions for me?
Fuqua
Can you walk me through your resume?Why MBA?Short term / long term goals?Why Fuqua?How will you contribute at Fuqua?Tell me a time you had to communicate something difficult to people at work, how you approached it, and what was the outcome?Greatest strength, greatest weakness?What's your leadership style and how do you get people to follow you?3 things you think are important to success as a group?Questions for me?
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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Two Weeks Until the Deadlines - What Can You Do? [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2016, 14:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Two Weeks Until the Deadlines - What Can You Do?
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More so than any other year, this year we’ve had a ton of calls from people who the deadlines have snuck up on. Whether you were (or still are)engrossed in the election, busy at work, or simply having too much fun, you’re not alone if you’re just now staring at the MBA application “to do” list and wondering if and how you can get it all done. That said, here are some of our thoughts on what’s realistic depending on where you are in the process, as well as a few tips.
Stage 0: “What’s the GMAT?”
At this point, if you haven’t taken the GMAT yet or don’t have a date scheduled for the very, very near future (ah hem, tomorrow), then I’d say it’s best to move on to starting the process for round 1 of next year. Essay topics are typically released in July, so that gives you six or more months to study for and take the GMAT as well as any other coursework that may help your application. As mentioned in our earlier post about whether or not you shouldsprint or punt, remember that this is a very important decision and process. If you don’t feel like you can put your best foot forward, do you really want to jeopardize your chances? Reapplying can be challenging, so don’t assume that if you lob in a half-hearted app this year that you can necessarily make it up next year. In most cases, one year isn’t going to make a huge difference in your application in the negative sense and could be a great time to focus on pumping up your application so that you can get into the very best schools possible in round 1 of next year. Consider this, would you trade one year in order to eventually be an alum of a school that’s a better fit for you or higher ranked?
Stage 1:  “I’m ready, and I know my dream school - now what?”
Maybe you’ve always known that you wanted to go to business school but just realized that you’d like to consider applying this year instead of waiting.  If you have taken the GMAT and your score is in range for the schools you are considering (assuming you know what schools you are considering), then you may be among the few who could pull this off. Note that we do not advise you to rush into something cold - this is only for people who have spent some time thinking about this, know the schools they want to apply to, and have a profile that is in-range for their schools. If this describes you, then here are the steps we propose you take immediately (like right now):
Determine whether your recommenders are willing to do this on a compressed timeline and over the holidays. Typically, you want to give recommenders 6-8 weeks, so they would be doing you a huge favor if they’re willing to push forward so quickly. If they agree, provide them with info (stories of your accomplishments, the questions that the schools ask, the deadlines, etc) to make it as easy as possible on them. Ensure that they don’t just rush through this - every part of the application is essential!Research schools in-depth. It’s possible that your research to date consists of “I like the ranking / reputation” or “I like the location”, but that won’t cut it for the essays and interviews as I’m sure you know. Try to get on the phone with or meet with an alum you know or someone the school hooks you up with. Hearing from actual students or alums is the fastest way to get the most info. Often if you search Linkedin for alums in your company or perhaps alums of your undergrad, this can be a quick way to find someone to speak to.Finalize your story before you start writing the essays. Take a step back and ensure that you can easily articulate your past experience (what you’re good at now), what your goals are, and why you need an MBA to get there (from [insert school]). This “story” should be solid before you start writing or you’ll risk diatribing with no actual theme. This is a hard process to rush but for those who already have fairly solid career goals in mind and a cohesive career path, you have a shot.Get an “outsider” to take a look at your resume. Your resume needs to be understandable to someone outside of your industry, and perhaps someone who has never worked in business at all. Make sure that you have simplified the descriptions of your responsibilities and of course focus on your accomplishments and impact; not just your functions (e.g.. please do not write anywhere on your resume that you know how to use Excel or Powerpoint).Allow yourself at least eight drafts / iterations of the first essay set (and do not straight cut and paste between schools - they will know!) Most people start with an outline in order to establish a theme and avoid just diatribing. Remember that the reader is skimming, so you must have a logical flow - this cannot read like an autobiography. Most have a first draft that is typically 1.5x the word limit (at least). Then from there you have to focus on streamlining - paraphrase concepts, eliminate jargon, focus on the main point or the “so what” of each paragraph.
Again, I am not an advocate of rushing through something that is so important, but if you have to do it, above is a punch list of items that you can tick through to try and help maximize your time.
Stage 2:  “I have started my essays but am not sure how to get them over the finish line”
If this is you, and you’re just down to shaping-up your essays, then the good news is that in most cases, you have a great shot at wrapping everything up before the deadlines and submitting a great application (assuming that you have ample time over the next few weeks to dedicate to your essays). My advice is to get your essay to a good point (within 10% of the word limit, clearly demonstrating your leadership and impact abilities etc), then have a few credible people give you some feedback. People who do not work with you are ideal because they can give you feedback on how you’re coming across, since they have less than detailed knowledge of your day-to-day activities and accomplishments. It’s important that they be able to tell you “your story” after reading your essays (eg. what your skillset / experience is today, what your goals are (and why), and why you need an MBA). Alums of the schools you are applying to can provide good context on whether you are presenting yourself as a good fit for the schools specifically. In general, it’s important to have several informed opinions before you submit, but please don’t forget to keep the essays your own and also take each opinion for what it’s worth. If you haven’t already read it, a few months ago we wrote-up a few thoughts on who thebest reviewers of your application could be. And for the lucky ones who have a lot of great MBA mentors, you already know that they can give you great insight on the process and what you’ll actually get out of your degree (eg. help you with the “why MBA” part), but dobeware of letting them overly-critique your essaysand paralyze your thought process. Remember, keep the story yours (you are your differentiation - don't tell the adcom what you think they want to hear - tell them about you).
Of course we’re always here to help, so reach out if you have any questions. Best of luck to everyone!
www.vantagepointadmissions.com
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

_________________

Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

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Exit Polls: Interview Reports for Stanford, Haas, Sloan, Columbia, Boo [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2017, 09:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Exit Polls: Interview Reports for Stanford, Haas, Sloan, Columbia, Booth and Fuqua
Many of the top MBA programs have fairly similar interview formats - conversational discussions about your past and future that are meant to assess “fit” as well as your true desires to attend the school and its alignment with your goals. As part of this, most interviewers are looking to see what you might contribute to the class and what your personal vision and interests are. To help make this a little more concrete, we asked some of our clients to submit summaries of their interviews so that you can compare and contrast. Note that no two interviews are the same - especially when conducted by alumni. But hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect on your interview day!
Note that we only edited these summaries when clarity was needed. We wanted you to hear straight from the sources!
Stanford
Overall the interview was very focused on past experiences. There were a small number of questions explored in great depth. Expect a lot of follow-up questions to discuss details (ie. tell me more about the brainstorm you held – who was in the room? Who came up with the idea you landed on?) as well as your rationale (ie. how did you decide distribution was the main barrier to growth?). Also, less time was spent on subsequent questions, so if you have multiple options for the first question, I’d choose the answer that has a lot of rich detail so that you can handle all of the follow-ups.
Questions:
Tell me about a proud work achievement (35% of convo)Tell me about a challenge you faced (25% of convo)Tell me about a challenging team dynamic (15% of convo)Tell me about a time when you helped the performance of a struggling team member (7% of convo)Do you have any questions for me? (18% of convo)Why Stanford
Haas
First, the 'Day at Haas' I attended was the only day being held for Round 1 applicants (I confirmed this with student ambassadors). There were 71 applicants there. A girl I talked to said that two alumni (not present at the event) told her that the people invited to 'Day at Haas' are Haas's top applicants. I have no idea if that's true, but I will say that everyone I met also received an interview invite to at least Stanford, Harvard, Wharton or Kellogg. I think everyone I talked to had also interviewed at Harvard.
Overall the interview was very focused on cultural fit and future ambitions. Definitely more questions than other interviews I’ve had. Expect to discuss how Haas’s defining principles are relevant in your past work experiences, how they relate to your “why Haas”, and even how they relate to your future ambitions.
Questions:
Tell me about yourself.Why Haas?Why hospitality?Why is now the right time to get an MBA?What kind of company and role do you see yourself in post-MBA?Speaking of the defining principles, provide both a work and a personal experience of when you’ve demonstrated Haas’s defining principles (they will not tell you what the principles are so you must know them ahead of time!)How would you contribute to the Haas community?Tell me about a challenge you faced.Tell me about your ideal summer internship.Do you have any questions for me?
Sloan
The interview was not blind - the interviewer had read the essays and application. However, it was overall fairly conversational and covered the following themes:
Experience at company (large consulting firm)Most enjoyable thing / most challenging thing at current companyKey experience / accomplishmentChallenges / pushback in the project discussed in the interview essayMost ambiguous problemHow I discovered SloanWhat I want to do at SloanWhat I do in my free time
Columbia
The interview was focused on inter-personal skills and teamwork. Specific questions were as follows:
Walk me through your resume?What do you like to do outside of work?What do you hope to do after business school?As you know, recruiting is competitive and not everyone gets their first-choice internship offer. What is your plan B if your short term goal doesn’t work out?Why MBA?Why Columbia (and J-Term specifically)?How do you see yourself getting involved on campus?Learning team – tell me about a time that you experienced conflict on a team and how you dealt with it?Influencing/persuasion – tell me about a time when you had to convince your boss or client of your idea or course of action. What was your approach and what as the outcome?Any questions for me?
Tuck
The Tuck interview covered the main themes listed below over the course of ~50 minutes. As a result of many follow-up questions, the applicant ran short on time and was only able to ask two questions.
Why did you choose your undergrad university?What are your short term and long term goals?Why MBA?What would you like to contribute to Tuck?What would your team describe you as?What type of leader are you?
Booth
The interview was fairly conversational, with a lot of follow-up on your answers, so be prepared. Be very specific on why Booth.
Why MBA now (why not one year earlier or one year later?)Given Booth's reputation as a serious/quant heavy school, what about Booth convinced you that it's the right place for you, especially given you are looking for softer leadership and general management skills?What will your two years at Booth look like?Booth believes in questioning assumptions, give an example of a time you had sway the opinion of your client or supervisor.Booth is always there to pick up you in case of failure. Can you give an example of a time you failed professionally, with serious consequences for you/ your company?Any questions for me?
Fuqua
Can you walk me through your resume?Why MBA?Short term / long term goals?Why Fuqua?How will you contribute at Fuqua?Tell me a time you had to communicate something difficult to people at work, how you approached it, and what was the outcome?Greatest strength, greatest weakness?What's your leadership style and how do you get people to follow you?3 things you think are important to success as a group?Questions for me?
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

_________________

Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

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Two Weeks Until the Deadlines - What Can You Do? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2017, 09:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Two Weeks Until the Deadlines - What Can You Do?
Image
More so than any other year, this year we’ve had a ton of calls from people who the deadlines have snuck up on. Whether you were (or still are) engrossed in the election, busy at work, or simply having too much fun, you’re not alone if you’re just now staring at the MBA application “to do” list and wondering if and how you can get it all done. That said, here are some of our thoughts on what’s realistic depending on where you are in the process, as well as a few tips.
Stage 0: “What’s the GMAT?”
At this point, if you haven’t taken the GMAT yet or don’t have a date scheduled for the very, very near future (ah hem, tomorrow), then I’d say it’s best to move on to starting the process for round 1 of next year. Essay topics are typically released in July, so that gives you six or more months to study for and take the GMAT as well as any other coursework that may help your application. As mentioned in our earlier post about whether or not you shouldsprint or punt, remember that this is a very important decision and process. If you don’t feel like you can put your best foot forward, do you really want to jeopardize your chances? Reapplying can be challenging, so don’t assume that if you lob in a half-hearted app this year that you can necessarily make it up next year. In most cases, one year isn’t going to make a huge difference in your application in the negative sense and could be a great time to focus on pumping up your application so that you can get into the very best schools possible in round 1 of next year. Consider this, would you trade one year in order to eventually be an alum of a school that’s a better fit for you or higher ranked?
Stage 1:  “I’m ready, and I know my dream school - now what?”
Maybe you’ve always known that you wanted to go to business school but just realized that you’d like to consider applying this year instead of waiting.  If you have taken the GMAT and your score is in range for the schools you are considering (assuming you know what schools you are considering), then you may be among the few who could pull this off. Note that we do not advise you to rush into something cold - this is only for people who have spent some time thinking about this, know the schools they want to apply to, and have a profile that is in-range for their schools. If this describes you, then here are the steps we propose you take immediately (like right now):
Determine whether your recommenders are willing to do this on a compressed timeline and over the holidays. Typically, you want to give recommenders 6-8 weeks, so they would be doing you a huge favor if they’re willing to push forward so quickly. If they agree, provide them with info (stories of your accomplishments, the questions that the schools ask, the deadlines, etc) to make it as easy as possible on them. Ensure that they don’t just rush through this - every part of the application is essential!Research schools in-depth. It’s possible that your research to date consists of “I like the ranking / reputation” or “I like the location”, but that won’t cut it for the essays and interviews as I’m sure you know. Try to get on the phone with or meet with an alum you know or someone the school hooks you up with. Hearing from actual students or alums is the fastest way to get the most info. Often if you search Linkedin for alums in your company or perhaps alums of your undergrad, this can be a quick way to find someone to speak to.Finalize your story before you start writing the essays. Take a step back and ensure that you can easily articulate your past experience (what you’re good at now), what your goals are, and why you need an MBA to get there (from [insert school]). This “story” should be solid before you start writing or you’ll risk diatribing with no actual theme. This is a hard process to rush but for those who already have fairly solid career goals in mind and a cohesive career path, you have a shot.Get an “outsider” to take a look at your resume. Your resume needs to be understandable to someone outside of your industry, and perhaps someone who has never worked in business at all. Make sure that you have simplified the descriptions of your responsibilities and of course focus on your accomplishments and impact; not just your functions (e.g.. please do not write anywhere on your resume that you know how to use Excel or Powerpoint).Allow yourself at least eight drafts / iterations of the first essay set (and do not straight cut and paste between schools - they will know!) Most people start with an outline in order to establish a theme and avoid just diatribing. Remember that the reader is skimming, so you must have a logical flow - this cannot read like an autobiography. Most have a first draft that is typically 1.5x the word limit (at least). Then from there you have to focus on streamlining - paraphrase concepts, eliminate jargon, focus on the main point or the “so what” of each paragraph.
Again, I am not an advocate of rushing through something that is so important, but if you have to do it, above is a punch list of items that you can tick through to try and help maximize your time.
Stage 2:  “I have started my essays but am not sure how to get them over the finish line”
If this is you, and you’re just down to shaping-up your essays, then the good news is that in most cases, you have a great shot at wrapping everything up before the deadlines and submitting a great application (assuming that you have ample time over the next few weeks to dedicate to your essays). My advice is to get your essay to a good point (within 10% of the word limit, clearly demonstrating your leadership and impact abilities etc), then have a few credible people give you some feedback. People who do not work with you are ideal because they can give you feedback on how you’re coming across, since they have less than detailed knowledge of your day-to-day activities and accomplishments. It’s important that they be able to tell you “your story” after reading your essays (eg. what your skillset / experience is today, what your goals are (and why), and why you need an MBA). Alums of the schools you are applying to can provide good context on whether you are presenting yourself as a good fit for the schools specifically. In general, it’s important to have several informed opinions before you submit, but please don’t forget to keep the essays your own and also take each opinion for what it’s worth. If you haven’t already read it, a few months ago we wrote-up a few thoughts on who thebest reviewers of your application could be. And for the lucky ones who have a lot of great MBA mentors, you already know that they can give you great insight on the process and what you’ll actually get out of your degree (eg. help you with the “why MBA” part), but dobeware of letting them overly-critique your essaysand paralyze your thought process. Remember, keep the story yours (you are your differentiation - don't tell the adcom what you think they want to hear - tell them about you).
Of course we’re always here to help, so reach out if you have any questions. Best of luck to everyone!
www.vantagepointadmissions.com
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

_________________

Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

Two Weeks Until the Deadlines - What Can You Do?   [#permalink] 15 Jan 2017, 09:01

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