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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 17 Mar 2016
Posts: 190
Location: United States
When To Retake The GMAT – And When Not To  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 03:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: When To Retake The GMAT – And When Not To
“Do I need to retake the GMAT?”
That’s a question plaguing hundreds, if not thousands, of MBA applicants this time of year. By now, many MBA hopefuls have taken the GMAT at least once but aren’t sure if their score is “enough” to get them accepted to their dream programs. While the GMAT is only one data point in a holistic application process, it packs a big punch, especially if you’re part of an over-represented applicant pool (finance, consulting, Indian IT/engineering, etc.) With essentially no downside to re-taking the test and then canceling your score if you’re not happy with it (except for the time and money spent, of course), it’s an option worth considering. And if you’re applying to the top MBA programs, you want to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward at every opportunity. So if you’re doubting whether or not you should give the GMAT another go, here are a few guidelines and questions to consider in your decision.
- Is your score below average for your target schools? If so, by how much? And how does that fit in with the relative strengths and weaknesses of your profile? Now it doesn’t mean that a below average GMAT is a deal-breaker, just like an above average GMAT isn’t a golden ticket to admission, but if your GMAT score is 30+ points below your target schools’ average, you’re part of an over-represented applicant pool, and your undergrad GPA is also below average, it’s probably worth taking a long, hard look at what you can do to bring your score up. If, on the other hand, everything else about your application wows, including some incredibly unique work experience, background, or some other achievement, and your undergrad GPA is stellar, then you may feel more comfortable applying with a so-so GMAT score. For the folks in the middle who are right at the average for their target schools but wonder if they need to do better in order to be noticed by the adcom, keep reading :)
- How many times have you taken the GMAT and how far have you come since your first attempt? If you took the GMAT once and were disappointed by your score, it may very well make sense for you to retake it. Most applicants take the GMAT more than once – our clients have typically taken it at least 2-3 times. However, if you’ve taken it 4+ times and still haven’t achieved your target score, it’s probably worth sticking with your best of 4 and focusing on the other areas of the application you can impact such as the essays, networking, and adjusting your school list so that you’re hedging your bets. Another thing to note with multiple retakes is how far you’ve progressed with each one. If you’ve experienced 20+ point bumps every time, then you may still have a ways to go and you should probably try again. However, if you’ve gotten the same score in your last two retakes, for example, it’s probably not realistic to expect further significant improvement, assuming you’ve really given it your all in terms of prep.
- How hard did you study for the GMAT? In other words, did you really give it your all? This is basically asking yourself if you think you have upside left in your score. If you took a reputable course, did all the homework, drilled incessantly on your weak areas, took real practice tests, etc. and then still got what you got come test day, assuming nothing went wrong that day, then there may not be a lot left you can do to keep improving. You could retake the test and possibly squeeze out another 10 points but it’s arguably not worth it for that little movement. If, on the other hand, you took the test after minimal studying, or at least no structure or strategy in your studying, then you may have the opportunity to improve quite significantly. In that case, take the time to prep properly and then schedule a retake. Whether your best score so far has been a 620 or 720, if you have this kind of upside left, why not capture it?!
- How does your score compare to your practice test performance? This is another way to determine if you might have upside in your score. If you took real, simulated, full practice tests and scored quite a bit better than you did on your actual test day, that’s often a good indication that you could easily score better with your next attempt. Sometimes test day jitters or simply not knowing what to expect when you show up at the test center are much less of a factor the second time around. If, however, your score reflects your practice test performance and you were simply hoping to get lucky and do better, then it’s probably not worth planning a retake based on a hope and a prayer.
- How much time do you have left before the deadlines? Finally, time may be a deciding factor in whether or not you retake the GMAT. If you have limited time before the deadlines, say less than 2 months, and you still have a lot of work left to do on your applications, trying to squeeze in another GMAT retake may be unrealistic. Your time will be better spent on higher-return efforts, such writing killer essays. You could consider postponing your applications to round 2 if you’re committed to improving your GMAT score and you don’t have time to do it all, but that’s not an option for everyone (those wanting to take advantage of early decision tracks offered by certain programs, for example). However, if you’re reading this in June or earlier, you still have a good 3 months before the earliest round 1 deadlines, so we say go for it!
Other factors, such as an uneven Q/V breakdown and low IR or AWA scores, may also lead you to consider re-taking the GMAT, and the questions above can help with that as well. In general, when in doubt, it’s always good to get a few different opinions to ensure you’re considering all angles. If the GMAT really isn’t working out for you, the GRE is always an option. It’s continuing to grow in popularity across the top schools, with programs such as Yale SOM admitting upwards of 20% of its class with GRE scores. The GRE is a particularly appealing alternative for applicants who are struggling with the quant portion of the GMAT. If you’re considering the GRE, we recommend taking a diagnostic test and seeing how you do as a baseline. You may be pleasantly surprised!
The decision to retake the GMAT or stick with the score you have is ultimately an individual one, based on the nuances of your particular situation and application profile. If you have any further questions about what the right decision is for you, our team is happy to help! You can sign up for a Free Consultation with an experienced admissions expert who can weigh in on your decision and provide a helpful evaluation of your profile. We look forward to hearing 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
https://vantagepointmba.com/
Your Personal MBA Application Experts
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
User avatar
B
Status: Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
Posts: 190
Location: United States
How You Can Demonstrate Leadership in your MBA Applications  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2017, 19:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How You Can Demonstrate Leadership in your MBA Applications
More often than not, when I bring-up the topic of how to demonstrate “leadership experience” in an MBA application, the response is “but I’m not in a management position”. Truly, that’s OK. The average age of most entering classes hovers around 26-28, so it’s not a surprise if you haven’t yet started managing a team. The truth is that many, if not most, applicants (and admitted applicants) to the the top business schools in the world have never had a direct report.

However, almost all of those admitted to the top MBA programs are able to demonstrate two things:

1) their inherent leadership qualities; and

2) their inherent leadership potential.

In the May issue of the Harvard Business Review, there is an intriguing article about the four leadership qualities that were found among the highest performing CEOs during a 10-year study. (On a side note, HBR is a GREAT publication if you’re interested in business school – I highly recommend that you subscribe or at least peruse the articles online from time to time).

The four things that HBR cited could be great thought starters for you as you consider how you’ll describe your leadership aptitude in your upcoming application essays. These are qualities that you can probably point to as either areas where you currently excel or areas where you want to excel (eg. why you are applying to business school):

  • Decisiveness
  • Ability to Engage Others (eg. Motivate)
  • Ability to Adapt Well to Change
  • Reliability (in Producing Results)
Even if you’ve only been working for a few years, chances are that you can give examples of how you’ve exhibited some of these leadership qualities. For example, if you work on a team, you should be able to point to a time when you’ve engaged others. Last year, I worked with a private equity associate who’d had to convince the leadership of one of his portfolio companies that they needed to renegotiate with their largest customer (even though that was culturally not the norm). I also worked with a consultant who’d needed to convince his team that on-the-ground research (literally door-to-door) was the way to go. Both of these examples ended in great successes but the real success (to the adcom) was the fact that these people were able to motivate those around them.

Similarly, stories about adapting to change lend themselves to describing how great your problem solving skills are. Perhaps your company was blindsided by Brexit and there was suddenly an unexpected need for reanalyzing your business unit’s sales strategy or the data that you use. Or maybe you worked in a company that was acquired. For example, I worked with a woman this past year who had amazing stories of how she’d worked with an acquiring company’s management team to ensure a smooth integration as they took over her firm. It not only showcased her ability to change but it also showcased her ability to get right in there and help solve the issues that would inevitably pop-up in any merger (even though this was far from her day job).

Many people cite their extracurriculars for leadership qualities and potential as well. Maybe you’ve been tutoring for an organization for several years and realized that the student drop-out rate was pretty high. And perhaps you were proactive in considering what the issues may be and submitted a proposal to the executive director; even though this was far outside of your volunteer scope within the organization. Being a reliable contributor who goes above and beyond when the situation arises is a great quality to demonstrate on your applications.

Remember, the key is showing that you are inherently a leader, not inherently an “order-taker”.

Many of the top programs have started releasing their essay topics for this year. Now is the time to get started if you haven’t already. Give yourself enough time to ensure that you are able to write winning essays that showcase all of your inherent leadership abilities and potential!
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
https://vantagepointmba.com/
Your Personal MBA Application Experts
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
User avatar
B
Status: Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
Posts: 190
Location: United States
When To Retake The GMAT – And When Not To  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 04 Aug 2017, 19:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: When To Retake The GMAT – And When Not To
“Do I need to retake the GMAT?”

That’s a question plaguing hundreds, if not thousands, of MBA applicants this time of year. By now, many MBA hopefuls have taken the GMAT at least once but aren’t sure if their score is “enough” to get them accepted to their dream programs. While the GMAT is only one data point in a holistic application process, it packs a big punch, especially if you’re part of an over-represented applicant pool (finance, consulting, Indian IT/engineering, etc.) With essentially no downside to re-taking the test and then canceling your score if you’re not happy with it (except for the time and money spent, of course), it’s an option worth considering. And if you’re applying to the top MBA programs, you want to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward at every opportunity. So if you’re doubting whether or not you should give the GMAT another go, here are a few guidelines and questions to consider in your decision.

  • Is your score below average for your target schools? If so, by how much? And how does that fit in with the relative strengths and weaknesses of your profile? Now it doesn’t mean that a below average GMAT is a deal-breaker, just like an above average GMAT isn’t a golden ticket to admission, but if your GMAT score is 30+ points below your target schools’ average, you’re part of an over-represented applicant pool, and your undergrad GPA is also below average, it’s probably worth taking a long, hard look at what you can do to bring your score up. If, on the other hand, everything else about your application wows, including some incredibly unique work experience, background, or some other achievement, and your undergrad GPA is stellar, then you may feel more comfortable applying with a so-so GMAT score. For the folks in the middle who are right at the average for their target schools but wonder if they need to do better in order to be noticed by the adcom, keep reading Image
  • How many times have you taken the GMAT and how far have you come since your first attempt? If you took the GMAT once and were disappointed by your score, it may very well make sense for you to retake it. Most applicants take the GMAT more than once – our clients have typically taken it at least 2-3 times. However, if you’ve taken it 4+ times and still haven’t achieved your target score, it’s probably worth sticking with your best of 4 and focusing on the other areas of the application you can impact such as the essays, networking, and adjusting your school list so that you’re hedging your bets. Another thing to note with multiple retakes is how far you’ve progressed with each one. If you’ve experienced 20+ point bumps every time, then you may still have a ways to go and you should probably try again. However, if you’ve gotten the same score in your last two retakes, for example, it’s probably not realistic to expect further significant improvement, assuming you’ve really given it your all in terms of prep.
  • How hard did you study for the GMAT? In other words, did you really give it your all? This is basically asking yourself if you think you have upside left in your score. If you took a reputable course, did all the homework, drilled incessantly on your weak areas, took real practice tests, etc. and then still got what you got come test day, assuming nothing went wrong that day, then there may not be a lot left you can do to keep improving. You could retake the test and possibly squeeze out another 10 points but it’s arguably not worth it for that little movement. If, on the other hand, you took the test after minimal studying, or at least no structure or strategy in your studying, then you may have the opportunity to improve quite significantly. In that case, take the time to prep properly and then schedule a retake. Whether your best score so far has been a 620 or 720, if you have this kind of upside left, why not capture it?!
  • How does your score compare to your practice test performance? This is another way to determine if you might have upside in your score. If you took real, simulated, full practice tests and scored quite a bit better than you did on your actual test day, that’s often a good indication that you could easily score better with your next attempt. Sometimes test day jitters or simply not knowing what to expect when you show up at the test center are much less of a factor the second time around. If, however, your score reflects your practice test performance and you were simply hoping to get lucky and do better, then it’s probably not worth planning a retake based on a hope and a prayer.
  • How much time do you have left before the deadlines? Finally, time may be a deciding factor in whether or not you retake the GMAT. If you have limited time before the deadlines, say less than 2 months, and you still have a lot of work left to do on your applications, trying to squeeze in another GMAT retake may be unrealistic. Your time will be better spent on higher-return efforts, such writing killer essays. You could consider postponing your applications to round 2 if you’re committed to improving your GMAT score and you don’t have time to do it all, but that’s not an option for everyone (those wanting to take advantage of early decision tracks offered by certain programs, for example). However, if you’re reading this in June or earlier, you still have a good 3 months before the earliest round 1 deadlines, so we say go for it!
Other factors, such as an uneven Q/V breakdown and low IR or AWA scores, may also lead you to consider re-taking the GMAT, and the questions above can help with that as well. In general, when in doubt, it’s always good to get a few different opinions to ensure you’re considering all angles. If the GMAT really isn’t working out for you, the GRE is always an option. It’s continuing to grow in popularity across the top schools, with programs such as Yale SOM admitting upwards of 20% of its class with GRE scores. The GRE is a particularly appealing alternative for applicants who are struggling with the quant portion of the GMAT. If you’re considering the GRE, we recommend taking a diagnostic test and seeing how you do as a baseline. You may be pleasantly surprised!

The decision to retake the GMAT or stick with the score you have is ultimately an individual one, based on the nuances of your particular situation and application profile. If you have any further questions about what the right decision is for you, our team is happy to help! You can sign up for a Free Consultation with an experienced admissions expert who can weigh in on your decision and provide a helpful evaluation of your profile. We look forward to hearing 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
https://vantagepointmba.com/
Your Personal MBA Application Experts
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
User avatar
B
Status: Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
Posts: 190
Location: United States
How You Can Demonstrate Leadership in your MBA Applications  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 05 Aug 2017, 00:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How You Can Demonstrate Leadership in your MBA Applications
More often than not, when I bring-up the topic of how to demonstrate “leadership experience” in an MBA application, the response is “but I’m not in a management position”. Truly, that’s OK. The average age of most entering classes hovers around 26-28, so it’s not a surprise if you haven’t yet started managing a team. The truth is that many, if not most, applicants (and admitted applicants) to the the top business schools in the world have never had a direct report.

However, almost all of those admitted to the top MBA programs are able to demonstrate two things:

1) their inherent leadership qualities; and

2) their inherent leadership potential.

In the May issue of the Harvard Business Review, there is an intriguing article about the four leadership qualities that were found among the highest performing CEOs during a 10-year study. (On a side note, HBR is a GREAT publication if you’re interested in business school – I highly recommend that you subscribe or at least peruse the articles online from time to time).

The four things that HBR cited could be great thought starters for you as you consider how you’ll describe your leadership aptitude in your upcoming application essays. These are qualities that you can probably point to as either areas where you currently excel or areas where you want to excel (eg. why you are applying to business school):

  • Decisiveness
  • Ability to Engage Others (eg. Motivate)
  • Ability to Adapt Well to Change
  • Reliability (in Producing Results)
Even if you’ve only been working for a few years, chances are that you can give examples of how you’ve exhibited some of these leadership qualities. For example, if you work on a team, you should be able to point to a time when you’ve engaged others. Last year, I worked with a private equity associate who’d had to convince the leadership of one of his portfolio companies that they needed to renegotiate with their largest customer (even though that was culturally not the norm). I also worked with a consultant who’d needed to convince his team that on-the-ground research (literally door-to-door) was the way to go. Both of these examples ended in great successes but the real success (to the adcom) was the fact that these people were able to motivate those around them.

Similarly, stories about adapting to change lend themselves to describing how great your problem solving skills are. Perhaps your company was blindsided by Brexit and there was suddenly an unexpected need for reanalyzing your business unit’s sales strategy or the data that you use. Or maybe you worked in a company that was acquired. For example, I worked with a woman this past year who had amazing stories of how she’d worked with an acquiring company’s management team to ensure a smooth integration as they took over her firm. It not only showcased her ability to change but it also showcased her ability to get right in there and help solve the issues that would inevitably pop-up in any merger (even though this was far from her day job).

Many people cite their extracurriculars for leadership qualities and potential as well. Maybe you’ve been tutoring for an organization for several years and realized that the student drop-out rate was pretty high. And perhaps you were proactive in considering what the issues may be and submitted a proposal to the executive director; even though this was far outside of your volunteer scope within the organization. Being a reliable contributor who goes above and beyond when the situation arises is a great quality to demonstrate on your applications.

Remember, the key is showing that you are inherently a leader, not inherently an “order-taker”.

Many of the top programs have started releasing their essay topics for this year. Now is the time to get started if you haven’t already. Give yourself enough time to ensure that you are able to write winning essays that showcase all of your inherent leadership abilities and potential!
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
https://vantagepointmba.com/
Your Personal MBA Application Experts
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
User avatar
B
Status: Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
Posts: 190
Location: United States
When To Retake The GMAT – And When Not To  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 05 Aug 2017, 00:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: When To Retake The GMAT – And When Not To
“Do I need to retake the GMAT?”

That’s a question plaguing hundreds, if not thousands, of MBA applicants this time of year. By now, many MBA hopefuls have taken the GMAT at least once but aren’t sure if their score is “enough” to get them accepted to their dream programs. While the GMAT is only one data point in a holistic application process, it packs a big punch, especially if you’re part of an over-represented applicant pool (finance, consulting, Indian IT/engineering, etc.) With essentially no downside to re-taking the test and then canceling your score if you’re not happy with it (except for the time and money spent, of course), it’s an option worth considering. And if you’re applying to the top MBA programs, you want to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward at every opportunity. So if you’re doubting whether or not you should give the GMAT another go, here are a few guidelines and questions to consider in your decision.

  • Is your score below average for your target schools? If so, by how much? And how does that fit in with the relative strengths and weaknesses of your profile? Now it doesn’t mean that a below average GMAT is a deal-breaker, just like an above average GMAT isn’t a golden ticket to admission, but if your GMAT score is 30+ points below your target schools’ average, you’re part of an over-represented applicant pool, and your undergrad GPA is also below average, it’s probably worth taking a long, hard look at what you can do to bring your score up. If, on the other hand, everything else about your application wows, including some incredibly unique work experience, background, or some other achievement, and your undergrad GPA is stellar, then you may feel more comfortable applying with a so-so GMAT score. For the folks in the middle who are right at the average for their target schools but wonder if they need to do better in order to be noticed by the adcom, keep reading Image
  • How many times have you taken the GMAT and how far have you come since your first attempt? If you took the GMAT once and were disappointed by your score, it may very well make sense for you to retake it. Most applicants take the GMAT more than once – our clients have typically taken it at least 2-3 times. However, if you’ve taken it 4+ times and still haven’t achieved your target score, it’s probably worth sticking with your best of 4 and focusing on the other areas of the application you can impact such as the essays, networking, and adjusting your school list so that you’re hedging your bets. Another thing to note with multiple retakes is how far you’ve progressed with each one. If you’ve experienced 20+ point bumps every time, then you may still have a ways to go and you should probably try again. However, if you’ve gotten the same score in your last two retakes, for example, it’s probably not realistic to expect further significant improvement, assuming you’ve really given it your all in terms of prep.
  • How hard did you study for the GMAT? In other words, did you really give it your all? This is basically asking yourself if you think you have upside left in your score. If you took a reputable course, did all the homework, drilled incessantly on your weak areas, took real practice tests, etc. and then still got what you got come test day, assuming nothing went wrong that day, then there may not be a lot left you can do to keep improving. You could retake the test and possibly squeeze out another 10 points but it’s arguably not worth it for that little movement. If, on the other hand, you took the test after minimal studying, or at least no structure or strategy in your studying, then you may have the opportunity to improve quite significantly. In that case, take the time to prep properly and then schedule a retake. Whether your best score so far has been a 620 or 720, if you have this kind of upside left, why not capture it?!
  • How does your score compare to your practice test performance? This is another way to determine if you might have upside in your score. If you took real, simulated, full practice tests and scored quite a bit better than you did on your actual test day, that’s often a good indication that you could easily score better with your next attempt. Sometimes test day jitters or simply not knowing what to expect when you show up at the test center are much less of a factor the second time around. If, however, your score reflects your practice test performance and you were simply hoping to get lucky and do better, then it’s probably not worth planning a retake based on a hope and a prayer.
  • How much time do you have left before the deadlines? Finally, time may be a deciding factor in whether or not you retake the GMAT. If you have limited time before the deadlines, say less than 2 months, and you still have a lot of work left to do on your applications, trying to squeeze in another GMAT retake may be unrealistic. Your time will be better spent on higher-return efforts, such writing killer essays. You could consider postponing your applications to round 2 if you’re committed to improving your GMAT score and you don’t have time to do it all, but that’s not an option for everyone (those wanting to take advantage of early decision tracks offered by certain programs, for example). However, if you’re reading this in June or earlier, you still have a good 3 months before the earliest round 1 deadlines, so we say go for it!
Other factors, such as an uneven Q/V breakdown and low IR or AWA scores, may also lead you to consider re-taking the GMAT, and the questions above can help with that as well. In general, when in doubt, it’s always good to get a few different opinions to ensure you’re considering all angles. If the GMAT really isn’t working out for you, the GRE is always an option. It’s continuing to grow in popularity across the top schools, with programs such as Yale SOM admitting upwards of 20% of its class with GRE scores. The GRE is a particularly appealing alternative for applicants who are struggling with the quant portion of the GMAT. If you’re considering the GRE, we recommend taking a diagnostic test and seeing how you do as a baseline. You may be pleasantly surprised!

The decision to retake the GMAT or stick with the score you have is ultimately an individual one, based on the nuances of your particular situation and application profile. If you have any further questions about what the right decision is for you, our team is happy to help! You can sign up for a Free Consultation with an experienced admissions expert who can weigh in on your decision and provide a helpful evaluation of your profile. We look forward to hearing 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
https://vantagepointmba.com/
Your Personal MBA Application Experts
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
User avatar
B
Status: Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: Vantage Point MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 17 Mar 2016
Posts: 190
Location: United States
Can you Negotiate with a Top Business School?  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2018, 15:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Can you Negotiate with a Top Business School?
The short answer is “it never hurts to ask”. Over the years, many of our clients have gotten the amazing news that they have been selected for a scholarship from at least one of their desired MBA programs. Sometimes, however, the money comes from a second or third choice instead of that coveted first choice school. So, the question we often get is “can I leverage one scholarship offer to get others?”

The scholarship process overall is fairly opaque and generally more of a black box than the rest of the MBA application process. It’s often a tool used by the schools as a way to entice candidates who they feel especially strongly about for one reason or another.

Since it’s hard to know exactly where you stand on that highly-subjective spectrum, we always recommend going for it: there’s no harm in telling a particular school that you have a scholarship offer from another program and see if they’re willing to match it. No, they will not rescind your offer just because you ask and express that you’ve been admitted to another school. In fact, negotiating and being savvy about this process is demonstrative of maturity and real consideration of this huge decision!

More often than not, your request will result in a polite “no but thanks for asking” from the schools. However, there are ample examples to prove that it’s worth your time to try. Take Andy, a client I worked with last year who had his heart set on Fuqua but also applied to several other programs to hedge his bets. Andy ended-up being admitted to almost all of the schools that he applied to, including Fuqua as well as Ross. However, Ross offered him a very significant scholarship, stating that they were offering him the money because they wanted more entrepreneurs and felt like their program could help him launch his idea after graduation. Though Andy liked Ross’s program and felt he could do well there, his gut was telling him that Fuqua was still the better choice for him.

As such, Andy decided to talk to Fuqua about his conundrum. He sent an email to admissions explaining that he’d been offered a significant scholarship from Ross but that Fuqua remained his top choice. He then asked if Fuqua would match Ross’s offer. Fuqua’s response was to request that Andy simply write a quick paragraph on why, based on merit, he should be awarded a scholarship. As such, he described advancements he’d made in his start-up launch plan and fundraising; and of course he also reiterated the level of the Ross scholarship.

This tactic led Fuqua to not only match Ross’s offer for Andy, but also increase it by a small amount!

The moral of the story once again is that it doesn’t hurt to ask. We recommend reaching out directly to the admissions teams for the schools you’re negotiating with and having a discussion about the best way to submit this request. Every school is different and frequently these situations are approached on a case-by-case basis. Best of luck!

www.vantagepointmba.com

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Can you Negotiate with a Top Business School?  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2018, 16:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Can you Negotiate with a Top Business School?
The short answer is “it never hurts to ask”. Over the years, many of our clients have gotten the amazing news that they have been selected for a scholarship from at least one of their desired MBA programs. Sometimes, however, the money comes from a second or third choice instead of that coveted first choice school. So, the question we often get is “can I leverage one scholarship offer to get others?”

The scholarship process overall is fairly opaque and generally more of a black box than the rest of the MBA application process. It’s often a tool used by the schools as a way to entice candidates who they feel especially strongly about for one reason or another.

Since it’s hard to know exactly where you stand on that highly-subjective spectrum, we always recommend going for it: there’s no harm in telling a particular school that you have a scholarship offer from another program and see if they’re willing to match it. No, they will not rescind your offer just because you ask and express that you’ve been admitted to another school. In fact, negotiating and being savvy about this process is demonstrative of maturity and real consideration of this huge decision!

More often than not, your request will result in a polite “no but thanks for asking” from the schools. However, there are ample examples to prove that it’s worth your time to try. Take Andy, a client I worked with last year who had his heart set on Fuqua but also applied to several other programs to hedge his bets. Andy ended-up being admitted to almost all of the schools that he applied to, including Fuqua as well as Ross. However, Ross offered him a very significant scholarship, stating that they were offering him the money because they wanted more entrepreneurs and felt like their program could help him launch his idea after graduation. Though Andy liked Ross’s program and felt he could do well there, his gut was telling him that Fuqua was still the better choice for him.

As such, Andy decided to talk to Fuqua about his conundrum. He sent an email to admissions explaining that he’d been offered a significant scholarship from Ross but that Fuqua remained his top choice. He then asked if Fuqua would match Ross’s offer. Fuqua’s response was to request that Andy simply write a quick paragraph on why, based on merit, he should be awarded a scholarship. As such, he described advancements he’d made in his start-up launch plan and fundraising; and of course he also reiterated the level of the Ross scholarship.

This tactic led Fuqua to not only match Ross’s offer for Andy, but also increase it by a small amount!

The moral of the story once again is that it doesn’t hurt to ask. We recommend reaching out directly to the admissions teams for the schools you’re negotiating with and having a discussion about the best way to submit this request. Every school is different and frequently these situations are approached on a case-by-case basis. Best of luck!

www.vantagepointmba.com

The post Can you Negotiate with a Top Business School? appeared first on Vantage Point Admissions.
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Five Things You Can Do Right Now to Enhance Your MBA Applications  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2018, 22:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Five Things You Can Do Right Now to Enhance Your MBA Applications
It’s already February, and while it may seem like you have plenty of time, there are several things that you can be doing right now to give yourself a leg up on applications this year. Take a look at the list below, start laying-out your timeline for the year, and as always, we offer a free 30-minute consultation if you want to chat with us one-on-one.

1. Schedule Your Class Visits for this Spring
If you plan to apply round 1 (which you should if you’re this early in the process), there’s a very small window of opportunity in the spring to squeeze in class visits before the end of the school year. So, we recommend that you visit over the next few months. School visits help you to assess which schools may be the best fit for you and also give you insight into valuable essay and interview ammunition such as the specifics of clubs, classes and the school’s culture that are challenging to conceptualize from merely reading the website. Those who visit almost always write better essays than those who don’t, from our experience.

2. Take the GMAT ASAP (Seriously – Just Schedule the Exam and Don’t Look Back)
Knowing your GMAT score in advance can help you a) better focus your school research; b) help determine if you need to take extra classes in advance of applying (eg. to offset a weaker score); c) ensure ample time to retake the test if you desire; and d) take that burden off your plate, enabling you to focus on the higher-level, strategic aspects of the application such as defining your story and goals.

3. Get Those Coffee Chats on the Calendar
An MBA is more than an academic degree. It’s a full program with many aspects and attributes that are often hard to understand without having been there yourself. Seek-out those in your network who can talk to you about their MBA experiences. Having these conversations early will help you not only collect information to accelerate your process (eg. information on school cultures, different career paths, etc); but it could also lead to stronger advocacy for you by these individuals as they write your recommendations later on. Everyone likes to see someone being proactive!

4. Be Honest About Your Weaknesses…So You Have Time to Do Something About Them
It’s not too hard to find information on what the schools are looking for. Think through where your areas of weakness are and create an action plan to address those issues over the coming months. Typical areas of weakness include low undergrad grades / GPA, low GMAT score, limited extracurricular involvement, limited leadership experience, etc. Though you can’t change the past, you can always mitigate the potential negative impact of anything that’s less than perfect on your profile.

5. Start Thinking About Your Goals ASAP
Being able to articulate why the MBA is the right degree for you and what you plan to do with it is extremely important. There are limited spaces available in each top MBA program, so they want people who they know will leverage the MBA to do great things. For 75% of the people we work with, defining their goals is one of the hardest parts. It takes time, conversations, research and a little soul searching. We encourage you to start this process early. As a tip, we have most of our clients start by looking at the job placement reports for their target schools and looking at the LinkedIn profiles of people whose careers may interest them (co-workers, family friends, etc). Then we get much more methodical, but this preliminary research helps you to get a sense for the lay of the land.

www.vantagepoinmba.com

 

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VP Weekly Three: The Three Best MBA Questions We Heard This Week (…Wit  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2018, 16:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: VP Weekly Three: The Three Best MBA Questions We Heard This Week (…With Answers)
Every week we speak with MBA applicants who are trying to figure out how the MBA application process works and how they stack up to the competition. So, in this series we will track the best questions we’ve received and periodically send out a summary of the answers (think FAQ style) to help fast track the process for all of you. Here’s what we have for you this week:



1) If I apply to Columbia Early Decision and am accepted, then I find out that I got into another school that I’d rather go to, can I renege?
No. Could you physically do this? Yes, but you’re giving your word to Columbia and signing a statement affirming that if you are accepted then you will decline all other offers and withdraw other applications. It’s your honor on the line – our advice is to apply Early Decision ONLY if you know that Columbia is your top choice and that you’d go there despite the outcome with any other school. Check out a summary of Columbia’s Application Options, including a description of the Early Decision parameters; and it’s also helpful to know that Columbia does look favorably upon ED applicants.



2) Can one of my recommenders be my mentor?
It depends. Is your mentor someone you currently or previously worked with who can speak to what you’re like to be around on a daily basis, how your performance compares to your peers, and your relative strengths and weaknesses? Normally when people ask us this question, they are referring to someone who they have never worked with but who has been a strong influence personally or professionally. In this case, we generally guide people towards continuing to leverage this relationship by asking your mentor to review your application and/or essays and provide feedback, but we don’t generally advise applicants to ask this person to be a recommender. Why not? The schools are looking at recommender feedback to get a sense for how you operate on a team / within an organization, what kind of person and leader you are, and importantly, what professional trajectory you’ve been on. If you’re not working with or interacting with someone on a daily basis like you would in a work setting (give or take), it’s hard to answer those questions with as much credibility as would be desired. It’s ok to have two recommenders from the same company; especially if you’ve only worked for one company.



3) If my significant other is currently a student at the school I’m applying to, should I tell admissions?
Yes. Every school is evaluating you based on your experience and the competitiveness of your profile; however, they are also considering your level of genuine interest in the school and fit with the culture. If you have a significant other at a school already, then it’s pretty clear that you’d be interested AND know a lot about the program already (hence your decision to apply).

www.vantagepointmba.com

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Demonstrating Leadership When You Only Have a Few Years of Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2018, 14:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Demonstrating Leadership When You Only Have a Few Years of Experience
If you’re in your first few years of work after college, the challenge of meeting the “leadership potential” threshold for the top MBA programs can seem daunting. You may have just barely started to feel comfortable with the job you were hired for, so how are you going to show the admissions committees that you have what it takes to be a leader and stand out?

The Wall Street Journal had a fabulous article on this point yesterday titled “How to Gain Power at Work When You Have None”.  In the article, the author contends that even young employees can gain unique opportunities (ah hem – for leadership) and an ability to influence an organization by creating strong networks and developing expertise, often in the areas that are either new, overlooked or frankly, uninteresting to others in the organization.

The key for your applications is being able to point to your ability to make an impact and lead, even if your leadership was in less structured or formal ways. This is best presented through at least one great example of how you have taken the reins at work and proactively solved an issue, helped a team or client succeed, or developed a better way to do something.

Let’s consider a past client of mine who we’ll call Leslie. Leslie had three years of experience when she applied; and she’d worked exclusively for a large consulting firm. Though consulting roles lend themselves to leadership opportunities, Leslie needed to differentiate herself from the GIANT pack of consultant applicants, which she was able to do through one large leadership opportunity that she’d had. The year prior to Leslie’s application, her case team was faced with an analytics task too large for Excel (the program of preference for her team). So, she took it upon herself to go learn how to use advanced analytics platforms like Tableau. She then leveraged those tools not only for her specific project but also to launch a training for the entire, global firm. This had far reaching implications for her company and made a big impact! How did Leslie get this opportunity? Simple – no one else wanted to do it but she could see that it needed to be done. The case team was super busy, so the idea of adding another thing to their plates was daunting. So, Leslie stepped-up to the plate and did it. This story made for a really compelling essay where she was able to describe how she saw a need, proactively put in the time to develop solutions, and has made a big impact on her company for years to come. Learning a new piece of software may not seem huge on its face, but when you consider all of the context above, it’s a great demonstration of leadership!

Stories like these can truly make an application and help distinguish a candidate from the thousands of other qualified individuals who are applying. Take a look at the WSJ article and see if anything stands out to you that you could be doing in order to strengthen your leadership stories this year!

www.vantagepointmba.com

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VP Weekly Three: Top Three Questions About MBA Letters of Recommendati  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2018, 19:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: VP Weekly Three: Top Three Questions About MBA Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation can be a tricky aspect of the MBA application process, particularly if you’ve just changed jobs or don’t plan on telling your employer that you’re applying to business school. We often speak with applicants who are unsure who to ask to write their recommendations or are wondering if the adcom will read into who didn’t write a letter of recommendation (i.e. their managers). So, we’ve included below our responses to the three most common questions we receive on this topic. 

1) Does my current supervisor have to be one of my recommenders? Not necessarily. Many schools explicitly state that they prefer that one of your letters of recommendation come from your supervisor. Why is that? Because your manager is usually in the best position to speak to your professional strengths, achievements, character, and potential because they work closely with you and are already in a position to evaluate your performance. However, there are many valid reasons why your manager cannot (or should not) write your recommendation and you don’t need to panic over that situation! The adcom understands that individual circumstances range dramatically and won’t penalize you for that. However, you should explain your rationale in your application – either in a section dedicated to the letters of recommendation (in the online data form) or via the optional essay. We recommend simply and factually explaining the reason why your direct supervisor cannot write a recommendation on your behalf and then explain why the individuals you chose are in a position to provide similar feedback and insights on your work. Remember, it’s ultimately more important “what” your recommenders write about than “who” they are.

2) A partner at my firm is a [top school] alum. Should I have him or her write my letter of recommendation? That depends. As we explained above, the content of your letters is far more important than the title or accolades of the author. (The adcom has seen it all and likely won’t be impressed by titles alone.) If the partner at your firm is a prominent alum of [top school] but barely knows you, and therefore will only be able to answer the recommendation questions in generalities, then he or she likely isn’t the best choice. A great letter of recommendation is not only positive and passionate but is specific and detailed in order to bring your personality and accomplishments to life. Someone who has only interacted with you briefly likely won’t be able to bring those elements into their writing. However, if you’ve worked closely with this partner and feel confident in the relationship you have developed with him or her, then they could be a great advocate for you. Their knowledge of the program could focus their writing on those key contributions you would make to the school and precisely explain why you would be a good fit. So, all that goes to say, select your recommenders first and foremost based on your relationship with them and their ability to write the best possible letter on your behalf. Maybe that means a partner writes your letter or maybe it doesn’t. Either way, content is king.

3) I really want my manager to write my letter of recommendation but he’s super busy so he asked me to write the letter and he will edit it. Is that OK? As tempting as that is, we always advise against that approach for several reasons. First, you’re missing the opportunity for a fresh perspective on your actions and character. Even the most self-aware person can’t see themselves through someone else’s eyes and often things we take for granted about ourselves are those that stand out the most to others. The intent behind letters of recommendation is to get to know you through the lens of someone who has intimate knowledge of both your strengths and weaknesses. By writing your own letter, you’re missing the point of the exercise. Second, authenticity and genuine passion are critical in a great letter of recommendation. By writing your own letter in the third person, it’s very tough to come across sincerely. Often, we’re either too modest or too complimentary of ourselves and that happy medium is very tough to find. So what you end up with is a letter that falls flat or isn’t taken seriously by the adcom. Third, the adcom reads applications for a living, and their BS detector is very sensitive. It won’t take much for them to detect your voice and writing style in the recommendation and quickly discount it altogether. It could then lead them to wonder why your recommender was so uninterested and uninvested in your success that they couldn’t go to the trouble of writing the letter themselves. We’ve even heard of an applicant getting rejected because the adcom determined that they wrote their own letters of recommendation. We’re not saying that will happen every time, but is it worth the risk? We’d say not. Lastly, writing your own reference letter simply goes against the spirit and intent of the process. As future business leaders, we hope you will hold yourself to the highest ethical standards. And that applies to the MBA application process as well.

Have other questions about recommender selection or the process of prepping your recommenders to write a killer letter for you? Please let us know. We’d love to hear from you at vantagepoint@vantagepointmba.com

www.vantagepointmba.com

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Applying for MBA Programs So You Can Save the World? We’ll Coach You F  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2018, 11:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Applying for MBA Programs So You Can Save the World? We’ll Coach You For Free!
Business leaders can have an enormous impact on enhancing communities and the world through finding creative solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges. For example, Coca-Cola’s robust supply chain has brought much-needed medications to rural areas in developing countries, and Google supplies innovative educational technology to school systems in need around the country. What will you do? Do you have a great idea to change the world through business?

Vantage Point MBA’s MBAs of IMPACT Scholarship provides free MBA admissions consulting to a select group of applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to social impact and are aspiring to pursue an impact-oriented career following business school.

Qualifications

  • Fully complete our online application form (partial applications will not be accepted)
  • Must be applying to a top 15 U.S. MBA program
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be able to demonstrate a desire to use business as a vehicle to help solve some of the world’s most pressing issues
  • Social impact must be at the core of your career goals
Selection & Award

  • We will select this year’s group of MBA’s of Impact by April 30th
  • Selected applicants will be paired with one of our amazing MBA admissions consultants for up to five hours of free one-on-one coaching with options to extend
  • Winners will have access to Vantage Point MBA’s client site and resources
If you have questions, please contact vantagepoint@vantagepointmba.com. We look forward to learning about how you plan to change the world through business!

The post Applying for MBA Programs So You Can Save the World? We’ll Coach You For Free! appeared first on Vantage Point MBA.
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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Pursuing an MBA in Order to Change the World? We’ll Coach You For Free  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2018, 12:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Pursuing an MBA in Order to Change the World? We’ll Coach You For Free!
Business leaders can have an enormous impact on enhancing communities and the world through finding creative solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges. For example, Coca-Cola’s robust supply chain has brought much-needed medications to rural areas in developing countries, and Google supplies innovative educational technology to school systems in need around the country. What will you do? Do you have a great idea to change the world through business?

Vantage Point MBA’s MBAs of IMPACT Scholarship provides free MBA admissions consulting to a select group of applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to social impact and are aspiring to pursue an impact-oriented career following business school.

Qualifications

  • Fully complete our online application form (partial applications will not be accepted)
  • Must be applying to a top 15 U.S. MBA program
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be able to demonstrate a desire to use business as a vehicle to help solve some of the world’s most pressing issues
  • Social impact must be at the core of your career goals
Selection & Award

  • We will select this year’s group of MBA’s of Impact by April 30th
  • Selected applicants will be paired with one of our amazing MBA admissions consultants for up to five hours of free one-on-one coaching with options to extend
  • Winners will have access to Vantage Point MBA’s client site and resources
If you have questions, please contact vantagepoint@vantagepointmba.com. We look forward to learning about how you plan to change the world through business!

The post Pursuing an MBA in Order to Change the World? We’ll Coach You For Free! appeared first on Vantage Point MBA.
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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So your dream school invited you to a networking brunch…now what?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2018, 08:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: So your dream school invited you to a networking brunch…now what?
One of our clients was recently in this exact situation. Her Kellogg application was submitted and her interview was completed. She was just waiting for the final decision. Then, she received an email inviting her to an intimate networking brunch in her hometown of [major US city*]. Her mind immediately started racing, wondering “What does this mean?”, “Should I take this as an indication that I’m accepted?”, and “I should definitely go, right?” As her MBA admissions consultant, I encouraged her not to jump to conclusions – that although it can’t be a bad thing that she was invited to this event, she shouldn’t assume that she’s accepted until she gets that official phone call. And in the meantime, she should make her best effort to attend the event. So she did, and here’s how it went!

The event took place in a European-style bistro – nice but not stuffy. The group was indeed quite intimate with 10-12 attendees total, of which half were prospective students and half were Kellogg alumni. There was one representative from admissions who attended and provided a brief welcome message. She directed that the conversation should be casual and organic. After that, she made a point to fade into the background so the prospective students could feel at ease.

Seats around the table were assigned, with prospective students sitting next to alums who shared their industries/careers of interest. The alums appeared to have reviewed the candidates’ applications and were familiar with their profiles, career goals, etc. For example, one alum asked my client a specific question about her career goals in corporate strategy. Overall, the event lasted about 2 hours. After the prospective students left, the alums stayed behind to debrief with the admissions officer.

In general, my client didn’t find the event to be as relaxed as she had expected. However, she was happy to connect with other candidates and was pleased to have had another opportunity to interface with the program and add another “data point” to her application. Fortunately for her, she found out several weeks later that she was admitted to Kellogg with a $30K scholarship. It’s unclear how much, if at all, the networking event influenced my client’s admission decision. However, if and when you’re invited to a similar event during your MBA application process, here are 5 of our do’s and don’t’s:

DO make a point to attend. You’ve been invited for a reason. Although attending won’t in any way guarantee admission, it can help you learn more about the school and give the adcom an additional opportunity to get to know you better.

DO actively engage with the other attendees, both alums and your fellow applicants. Rest assured that your interactions with others are being observed.

DO ask thoughtful questions. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the program from alumni who are eager to share their experiences. After all, they committed 2 hours of their weekend to spend with you!

DON’T assume that your invitation is reflective of your admissions decision. You should still put your best foot forward.

DON’T forget to enjoy yourself!

 

* Location not disclosed to protect client confidentiality. 

 

www.vantagepointmba.com

The post So your dream school invited you to a networking brunch…now what? appeared first on Vantage Point MBA.
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So Your Dream School Invited You to a Networking Brunch…Now What?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2018, 09:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: So Your Dream School Invited You to a Networking Brunch…Now What?
One of our clients was recently in this exact situation. Her Kellogg application was submitted and her interview was completed. She was just waiting for the final decision. Then, she received an email inviting her to an intimate networking brunch in her hometown of [major US city*]. Her mind immediately started racing, wondering “What does this mean?”, “Should I take this as an indication that I’m accepted?”, and “I should definitely go, right?” As her MBA admissions consultant, I encouraged her not to jump to conclusions – that although it can’t be a bad thing that she was invited to this event, she shouldn’t assume that she’s accepted until she gets that official phone call. And in the meantime, she should make her best effort to attend the event. So she did, and here’s how it went!

The event took place in a European-style bistro – nice but not stuffy. The group was indeed quite intimate with 10-12 attendees total, of which half were prospective students and half were Kellogg alumni. There was one representative from admissions who attended and provided a brief welcome message. She directed that the conversation should be casual and organic. After that, she made a point to fade into the background so the prospective students could feel at ease.

Seats around the table were assigned, with prospective students sitting next to alums who shared their industries/careers of interest. The alums appeared to have reviewed the candidates’ applications and were familiar with their profiles, career goals, etc. For example, one alum asked my client a specific question about her career goals in corporate strategy. Overall, the event lasted about 2 hours. After the prospective students left, the alums stayed behind to debrief with the admissions officer.

In general, my client didn’t find the event to be as relaxed as she had expected. However, she was happy to connect with other candidates and was pleased to have had another opportunity to interface with the program and add another “data point” to her application. Fortunately for her, she found out several weeks later that she was admitted to Kellogg with a $30K scholarship. It’s unclear how much, if at all, the networking event influenced my client’s admission decision. However, if and when you’re invited to a similar event during your MBA application process, here are 5 of our do’s and don’t’s:

DO make a point to attend. You’ve been invited for a reason. Although attending won’t in any way guarantee admission, it can help you learn more about the school and give the adcom an additional opportunity to get to know you better.

DO actively engage with the other attendees, both alums and your fellow applicants. Rest assured that your interactions with others are being observed.

DO ask thoughtful questions. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the program from alumni who are eager to share their experiences. After all, they committed 2 hours of their weekend to spend with you!

DON’T assume that your invitation is reflective of your admissions decision. You should still put your best foot forward.

DON’T forget to enjoy yourself!

 

* Location not disclosed to protect client confidentiality. 

 

www.vantagepointmba.com

The post So Your Dream School Invited You to a Networking Brunch…Now What? appeared first on Vantage Point MBA.
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
https://vantagepointmba.com/
Your Personal MBA Application Experts
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

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Joined: 17 Mar 2016
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How an HBS Re-Applicant Made Sure That She Got In This Year  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2018, 20:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How an HBS Re-Applicant Made Sure That She Got In This Year
Putting in the time and effort to apply to top tier schools only to be rejected across the board is extremely disappointing. For many people, this defeat leads them to give up on business school completely. However, with hard work and a good strategy, in many cases it’s worth it to reapply. To illustrate how it works (and provide some inspiration!), in this post we’re providing a case study on a client who came to us this past year after she had been rejected from several top schools the year before.

From our initial conversations with Callie, we could tell that she was a compelling candidate with a decent shot at the top tier programs:  her test scores were below the average but in range, her GPA was in-line with the average for the top tier schools, and she had both interesting goals and strong work experience. Of course, like most applicants, she did have some hurdles to overcome:  her quant score on the GMAT was significantly under the threshold you’d want to see, and she was quite a bit older than the average candidate for most top programs (especially HBS). However, what really struck us as a selling point for her was her personal story as well as the articulate and inspiring way that she explained her goals and the story behind them. A good story can overcome almost anything else, so we recommended that she go ahead and reapply to HBS among other top programs.

After reviewing Callie’s previous applications, Callie’s VP consultant, Katherine, guided her through the process of approaching the applications differently this year; and through Callie’s hard work and a new application strategy, she was accepted to not only HBS but also several other top programs including Haas and MIT.

So, how did she do it:

  • Mitigated GMAT Quant Score: We always recommend that applicants directly address ANY potential weakness in his/her application. In her previous application, Callie had left it up to the adcom reader to try and determine whether her quant score was a real indicator of her ability. Not wanting to leave much room for assumption, Katherine recommended that Callie take an online course and note her scores in her application as a better indication of her quantitative skills than her GMAT score.
  • Linked Personal Story, Passions and Goals:  In her previous essays, Callie had rightly recognized that her personal story was compelling, but the way that she laid it out led one to view it as overly negative and lacking any link to the rest of her story or goals. Katherine helped Callie determine how to link her personal story and passions to what drove her interest in her long term goals and then communicate her story in a more effective way (eg. for a skimming audience who won’t take the time to read and re-read themes that aren’t clear).  And ultimately, after many iterations and reworks, her overall story became more clear and easy to follow (and be inspired by!) This strategy was critical not only for writing strong essays but also for mitigating the age factor:  given where she was in her career, she needed to be more clear about her desired path forward so the adcom could see clearly that an MBA made sense for her.
  • Gained a Promotion: Callie worked hard and was offered a promotion between the time she applied last year and this year, which she accepted. This promotion included an overseas assignment and significant increases in responsibility (ie. more leadership stories!)
  • Took On Meaningful Community Leadership:  Callie seized an opportunity to share her passion for diversity and inclusion with her local community and took on a significant and impressive extracurricular leadership role. This experience served to augment her application and further reinforced what motivated her.
Her scores didn’t change; neither did her industry or goals. However, the way that she positioned herself changed dramatically as Callie was able to connect the dots for the adcom so that they could see her full story and get a feel for the type of person that she is (motivated, passionate and out to change the world!) In addition, the promotion and extracurricular leadership opportunities were vital – in the year between her application decisions and starting the process again, she made great use of her time and was able to gain great leadership experience, which is the backbone of any great application.

We’re very excited for Callie and hope that her story inspires others who are wondering if reapplying is truly worth all of the effort!

As always, we’re happy to chat if you have questions about how you could use a similar strategy:  www.vantagepointmba.com.

The post How an HBS Re-Applicant Made Sure That She Got In This Year appeared first on Vantage Point MBA.
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
https://vantagepointmba.com/
Your Personal MBA Application Experts
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

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VP Weekly Three: Top Three Questions About the Waitlist  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2018, 23:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: VP Weekly Three: Top Three Questions About the Waitlist
If you find yourself on the waitlist at this point in the application season, we know how frustrating it can be. After months of hard work and waiting for a decision, it’s tough to hear that you have to wait even longer. However, being on the waitlist doesn’t mean that you should just sit on your hands and wait. Most schools offer the opportunity to submit updates while on the waitlist – and those materials will be considered in the schools’ ongoing evaluations of your candidacy. We’ve received a lot of questions about the waitlist over the last month and so we’ve shared our top three along with answers.

1) Will visiting the school improve my chances? Maybe. Will the visit in and of itself win you any brownie points with the adcom? Probably not – lots of applicants visit. Many schools even state outright that visiting campus does not impact their admissions decision. However, what you learn from the visit and how it shapes your reasons for wanting to attend that program could be very relevant to share in an update letter. And that letter could certainly influence the final decision. I worked with a client a few years ago who visited Booth for the first time after he was placed on the waitlist. From that visit, he became much clearer on how the community and values of the school were a fit for him (beyond the professional reasons that he had focused on in his application), and he explained his thinking in an update letter. He ended up getting accepted off the waitlist a few months later. While the school visit alone likely didn’t move the needle for my client, how he leveraged the experience to argue his case probably did.

2) Will it help if an alum/friend/co-worker submits an additional letter of support? It could! We recommend first making sure that the adcom will accept additional letters of support. If they don’t, then you’ll want to be a bit more careful in your approach. But assuming they do, this is a great way to provide some fresh perspective on your candidacy, whether you ask your recommender to address a weakness in your application or you have him/her speak to additional reasons why you’re a great fit for the program. The latter is best written by an alum who knows the school incredibly well and can offer very specific insights than an outsider could not. However, no matter who is writing the letter, try to follow these best practices: firstly, make sure the author knows you really well and can write a very positive, supportive, and detailed letter. You want to key takeaway to be “this is exactly what you’ll miss out on if you don’t admit this candidate”. Secondly, don’t bombard the adcom with letters. I know it’s tempting to call in favors with 20 of your closest friends and colleagues but we don’t recommend going overboard. 1-2 very thoughtful and passionate letters of support will go a lot further than 20 generic ones.

3) What kind of updates should I share with admissions while I’m on the waitlist? To answer this question thoroughly, let’s start with what you shouldn’t share: stories/experiences already included in your application. This isn’t the place to re-hash your essays. An update letter is just that: an update on what has changed with you since you submitted your application (or interviewed, depending on the timing). You should focus on sharing relevant and tangible changes to your candidacy. What those are varies greatly from person-to-person but here are some appropriate topics based on our experience: a promotion / new job, a new project at work with leadership experience/impact, a new GMAT score, completed additional coursework (MBA Math, etc.), additional insights re: “why school x”, recent developments that impact career goals, changes related to extra-curriculars, etc. No matter what topic(s) you choose for your update letter, be sure that you’re succinct (no more than 1 page, really!), direct, and give a clear “so what”.

Best of luck to you!

www.vantagepointmba.com

The post VP Weekly Three: Top Three Questions About the Waitlist appeared first on Vantage Point MBA.
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
https://vantagepointmba.com/
Your Personal MBA Application Experts
Contact us for a Free Consultation!

VP Weekly Three: Top Three Questions About the Waitlist &nbs [#permalink] 12 Apr 2018, 23:01

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