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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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Vantage Point MBA News [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2016, 11:09
Welcome to the Vantage Point MBA Blog feed. Check back or follow this thread to stay up-to-date on the latest MBA articles.
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http://www.vantagepointadmissions.com
MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
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Vantage Point Admissions Consultant
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Confessions of an International Applicant [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2016, 12:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Confessions of an International Applicant
Vantage Point recently had the chance to catch up with Katrin, a recent Columbia Business School grad and busy management consultant based in New York City. We asked her a few questions about her experience applying to business school as an international applicant and all the unique challenges that brings. Read below for her candid and insightful answers that will help shed some light on the often daunting MBA application process for international candidates. What city/country are you from? I amImage
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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Quick Point: Columbia Dates and Essays are Live! Applying Before the  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2016, 12:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Quick Point: Columbia Dates and Essays are Live! Applying Before the Deadlines to Columbia Can Give You an Advantage!
Columbia is one of the only top schools where the timing of when you click "submit" actually can matter. Since Columbia has rolling admissions, it's often to your benefit to submit your application early. So, here are the dates and essay topics, which happen to be the same as the last two years. For reference, last year applicants were submitting a week after the essays were released! This is an important one to stay on top of if it's on your list! Note for New Yorkers:  if you are applying from
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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Quick Point: Round 1 MBA Deadlines Calendar (So far...) [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2016, 02:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Quick Point: Round 1 MBA Deadlines Calendar (So far...)
We figured that you have enough to worry about, so we're aggregating all of the round 1 deadlines into one calendar that we'll continue to update as new dates are posted (...you're welcome). If you haven't already, it's time to get going! Based on the clients we've worked with over the years, those who start early, finish the best (translated for quanties --> there is a strong, positive correlation!) Not sure where to start? Just shoot us an email - www.vantagepointadmissions.com   Image
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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Struck Out? You Wanted to be Class of 2019 Anyway! MBA Reapplicant Str [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2016, 03:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Struck Out? You Wanted to be Class of 2019 Anyway! MBA Reapplicant Strategy and Stories to Inspire
You're used to succeeding in just about everything you do - from Little League MVP up to being promoted early in your rockstar career. So, what happened with your b-school applications last year?  Firstly, every year it gets harder and harder to get into the top MBA programs as we've mentioned before.  A ton of qualified people apply every year and the schools can't take classes comprised solely of high-scoring gunners from three industries. So, some very qualified candidates get "dinged" everyImage
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
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MBA Admissions Consulting: Reimagined
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Quick Point: Updated R1 Deadlines Calendar [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2016, 03:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Quick Point: Updated R1 Deadlines Calendar
HBS and Tuck have released their round one deadlines! Note that Tuck allows you to visit the campus and schedule an in-person interview. Historically, there have been limited spots for each date, so please schedule early. We added their applicant-initiatied interview deadlines to this calendar as well.  As always, we recommend starting the application process asap if you haven't already! Contact us to discuss how you can jump-start your process:  vantagepoint@vantagepointadmissions.com  Image
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 is Your Columbia Application Going? [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2016, 10:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: How is Your Columbia Application Going?
Now that Columbia's essay topics are out, we know that many of you have already gotten started! Below, we listed a few tidbits about Columbia to keep in mind as you are developing your story and rationale for "why Columbia". Even if Columbia isn't on your list, we recommend that you take a look at the Columbia essay prompts anyway, as they may be thought-provoking while you are working through your stories for other schools who haven't released topics yet. Stating the obvious, the earlier 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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Who Are YOU to the Adcom? [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2016, 04:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Who Are YOU to the Adcom?
I read a Forbes article yesterday titled Why 'Results-Oriented Professional' Is The Worst Personal Brand that was so relevant to our work at Vantage Point that I had to share it. The term “personal branding” gets thrown around a lot, especially in MBA application strategy. But what does it really mean, tangibly? The definition of a personal brand is a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group or organization. But as the author, Liz Ryan, put it soImage
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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Quick Point: Updated MBA R1 Deadlines Calendar [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2016, 15:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Quick Point: Updated MBA R1 Deadlines Calendar
We've now added Ross and UNC Kenan-Flagler to our aggregated R1 deadlines calendar. Ross and UNC recently released their deadlines and essay topics the upcoming application year - so there's no better time to start than now! Note that UNC has an early action option (the October deadline) and its official "round 1" deadline is in December. With early action, you're able to receive a decision by December 12th in exchange for your commitment to attending. The deposit for early action at UNC isImage
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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Quick Point: Updated R1 Deadlines Calendar [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2016, 07:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Quick Point: Updated R1 Deadlines Calendar
At this point, many of the top schools have now released their R1 deadlines and essay topics. Please see below for all of the deadlines that we have thus far. As always, continue to check our blog as we update this. Most deadlines should be posted by sometime in July but for now, it's great to start making your plan.   Need help getting started? Sign-up for a free 30-minute consultation with us. Our consultants are all M7 graduates who have advised many applicants just like you to success!Image
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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Updated R1 Deadlines Calendar: Many More Dates Released! [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2016, 09:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Updated R1 Deadlines Calendar: Many More Dates Released!
Over the last few weeks, many schools have released their 2016-2017 deadlines and essay topics. The MBA application year is certainly in full swing! If you haven't already, now is an ideal time to set a date for GMAT and research schools. We recommend talking to alumni and visiting the campuses (if summer visits are available for the schools you are considering). Don't worry if summer visits aren't available - for many schools you can visit first thing in the fall, but be sure to plan carefullyImage
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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Updated R1 Deadlines Calendar: Many More Dates Released! [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2016, 14:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Updated R1 Deadlines Calendar: Many More Dates Released!
Over the last few weeks, many schools have released their 2016-2017 deadlines and essay topics. The MBA application year is certainly in full swing! If you haven't already, now is an ideal time to set a date for GMAT and research schools. We recommend talking to alumni and visiting the campuses (if summer visits are available for the schools you are considering). Don't worry if summer visits aren't available - for many schools you can visit first thing in the fall, but be sure to plan carefullyImage
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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Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

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Do Rankings Matter? A Few Ways to Think About this Common Question [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2016, 14:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Do Rankings Matter? A Few Ways to Think About this Common Question
One of the most frequent questions that we get is whether rankings really matter.  Do you have to go to the top ranked MBA program to be successful in life? Clearly the answer is no. There are many paths to success. But, let’s be honest:  in general a graduate of a top-ranked program will have more recruiting options and degree portability in order to switch careers, work in different locations, etc. However, this is just a generalization and not a rule. And it’s also not the only reason to
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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Advice for European Applicants to the Top U.S. MBA Programs [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2016, 02:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Advice for European Applicants to the Top U.S. MBA Programs
Image
Since moving to Switzerland for what my family and I are calling an "extended business trip", I've had the opportunity to interview MBA applicants from several countries as an alumni interviewer for Kellogg. Through this experience, as well as consulting to clients from Europe over the years, I've compiled a list of advice and considerations that may be helpful for European applicants who are looking at the U.S. schools.
Honestly, the biggest mistake that I see European candidates (and many candidates in general) make is not knowing enoughdetailabout the MBA programs, the types of jobs that are realistic coming out of them, and the locations as well as culture of the schools and why that matters.  What I mean is that often when I interview European candidates, their reasons for wanting to go to the school are 99% focused on the classes and professors (that they read about on the website), when in fact a very large portion of the value from a top MBA program comes from the things you do outside of the classroom and with your peers (mini consulting projects for local companies, case competitions, travel projects, travel just for fun, internships, networking events, club events and interactions with business leaders, club leadership, events in the city where you live, etc).  The classes and professors are important but the schools truly consider themselves "programs", not just a series of classes that lead to a degree. And I very much agree as I would say that well over 50% of the value that I got out of my MBA had to do with the people I worked with on projects, case competitions, conferences and other experiences outside of the classroom. For me to say that, it means that the culture of Kellogg (my alma mater) was very much a good fit for me. So, the schools want to see that the same will be true for you.  And of course the cultures vary significantly between schools (some more than others). If you don't agree, then I urge you to do more research. For example, Wharton has a very different culture than Stanford. Part of that is driven by the locations of those schools, so knowing something about northeast culture vs. west coast culture could help.
I know tht you can't just pop over to the U.S. whenever you want and that it's unfair for you to be expected to explain the key ingredient for Texas BBQ or why Chicago being the "Second City" doesNOTmean it's second to New York (you're going abroad for school tolearna new location afterall!) But, consider that U.S. applicants do a TON of research on these school-specific / location-specific points, and they likely don't live that far away. The advantage U.S. applicants have in this realm is of course location but also the mere fact that they often know many alums, whereas the typical U.S.-type MBA is still not quite as common in many European companies and industries (eg. we know it's not as easy for you to get the level of detail that we expect to hear).
So, what does this mean? You have a real opportunity to differentiate yourself from other European applicants by finding alums to talk to, visiting if you can, talking to current students (many schools facilitate this), and truly getting a sense for the look and feel of the program well beyond what's stated on the internet. You know it's vitally important to the adcom, but challenging from afar, so consider this an area where you can set yourself apart!
Alright, so that's the big piece of advice. There are a few smaller items too, so I've just laid it all out below in a summary that you can start to think about as you start pulling your applications together.
Here's your To Do List:
-Get Detailed:Be able to talk about specific events that a club or organization did that aligns with your interests and why it would be interesting to you as well as what you'd contribute. Typically, organizations have an open website somewhere that you can check out, but you'll have to search for it.  Also, find out about the most popular events or projects at the school that demonstrate your knowledge of the culture and focus of the students. At Kellogg this would be things like KWEST, GIM, student-led conferences and competitions, and of course ski trip. Don't know those acronyms and planning to apply to Kellogg? Please learn them asap.
-Know the Location.Be able to talk about the city you'll be living in and what you're looking forward to learning more about as well as what you look forward to sharing (because they are excited for what you bring to the table too!)
-Reformat your Resume.The multiple pages of short bullets style is not typical in the U.S., and although everyone understands that it's the norm in Europe, consider that your reader is skimming and has to read many, many of these per day. Put it in the format they're used to in order to ensure that you're maximizing your chances of being heard.
-Explain Your Education.Explain how your undergrad and work experience "worked". For example, here in CH often people work while in school, and university for certain undergraduate programs is only 3 years, etc. This is different than many typical U.S. programs, and although the adcom is well-versed in international programs, I like to err on the side of caution and not assume that they know your country or program (again, they are reading many, many application per day in peak times so make it easier on them and just give them the info). You'll likely have to explain / translate your GPA anyway, so please also take the time to describe your program, how competitive it was, how you ranked (if available), maybe the ranking of the program you participated in, etc. Don't leave anything up to assumptions!
-Be Specific About Your Post-MBA Goals.One thing I've noticed is that when I interview European candidates, they often aren't as specific about what they want to do with the MBA and why the MBA is essential to their career goals. I'm assuming this comes from the fact that the typical US-type MBA is still not as popular here in Europe as it is in the U.S. and some other regions. The schools have limited available spots, so they are looking for people who will truly maximize the value of the MBA; and the best way you can demonstrate that you will do this is by describing a clear plan and rationale.
-Jump on the American Bandwagon of Being Busy all the Time!(Kidding...sort of). But if you really want to differentiate yourself from other European candidates, having a good amount of extracurriculars helps. I know the U.S. has a different system around this, particularly in college, and the adcom knows that it's unique to the U.S. as well. But if you can show extracurriculars and/or hobbies where you are very passionate, quality often trumps quantity. I say this because I often don't see much in this area for European candidates initially, yet when I ask the question, I find out that they do a lot outside of work but chose to de-emphasize that aspect on their applications. Note that extracurriculars don't have to beonlyvolunteering work. They are likely things you already do but maybe don't consider extracurriculars. Examples could be a local finance / investment club that you work with, describing a start-up you're helping with, describing what you do socially (eg. sports, ski team, book club, travel if consistent, etc).  The goal is simply to show other aspects of your personality to the adcom, which is hard to do outside of showing what else you "do". You want them to see that you are a dynamic person with varied interests who will be a great contributor to the "culture" that hopefully I've convinced you to become well -versed in for your target schools!
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!

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Know Your Customer: Meet the MBA Admissions Committee [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2016, 02:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Know Your Customer: Meet the MBA Admissions Committee
Hope everyone's MBA applications are off to a fantastic start!Whether you're in marketing now or aspire to take that first marketing class in business school, you probably already know the value of understanding your customer or target audience. So, to help as you move into the essay-writing phase, we've gathered information on a sample set of M7 adcom members to give you a picture of "who" might be ultimately reading your applications. And as a reminder, by "reading", we mean "skimming". A former Columbia adcom reiterated to us just last week that the average amount of time spent on each application is ~20-30 minutes per reader (eg. x2). That means you get two chances (at some schools) for the person reading your application to connect with what you have to say while only skimming the highlights. Consider this as well as the profile of the typical adcom member when considering how to describe your experiences and goals. Happy writing!As always, contact us with any questions. We work with applicants like you to ensure that your application is geared towards your target audience and highlights your strengths and unique potential contributions!www.vantagepointadmissions.com 
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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

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MBA CAREER SPOTLIGHT ON: Brand Management [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2016, 17:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: MBA CAREER SPOTLIGHT ON: Brand Management
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As an MBA admissions consultant, a big part of my job is helping my clients develop and think through their post-MBA goals. Communicating a clear vision and direction for your career is a key piece of the MBA application after all. Naturally, I work with a lot of clients that are pursuing post-MBA careers in consulting and finance since over 50-60% of graduates from the top MBA programs go into those fields. However, I’ve also had the privilege of working with clients with other equally ambitious post-MBA dreams – from entrepreneurship, to tech, to retail, to brand management, to non-profit management, and everything in between.  To give these other career paths some love and attention today, I’d like to put a spotlight on brand management and explain what it is (and isn’t), what factors to consider in school selection if brand management is your track, and what you can expect in the MBA recruiting process for brand management at the top programs. Aside from advising clients who are pursuing post-MBA careers in brand management, I also worked in brand management for several years immediately following my MBA, so the insights provided below come from an insider's perspective.
WHAT IS BRAND MANAGEMENT?At its most basic level, brand management is the general management of a brand as a mini-business. The primary responsibility of the brand management function is to plan and execute all consumer-facing communications, programs, and activations for a brand. Said another way, brand management leads the strategic vision for the brand and how that vision is expressed in the marketplace. The daily reality of that role includes leading cross-functional teams across finance, sales, demand planning, product development, etc. to deliver on the consumption budget of a brand. Brand management will also partner closely with 3rd party agencies in developing advertising creative and overall media strategies, including digital, that reflect the brand’s strategic vision.Most CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies consider themselves to be marketing-driven organizations, which means that brand management (or "marketing" - the terms are used inter-changeably) serves at the hub of the business with other functions as the spokes.
So here’s a bit more on what brand management is. Maybe some of these will surprise you!
Analytical: Yes, you will be knee-deep in data more often than you would think. Smart companies are utilizing data from a variety of sources to drive their decisions and where they spend their money. You will need to be comfortable with numbers and the story they’re telling if you want to be a successful brand manager.
Varied: The reason why it’s so hard to find a detailed description of what a brand manager does – in the same way you may understand what a consultant or investment banker does – is because it varies so much from day-to-day and certainly from brand-to-brand and company-to-company. This is perfect for folks who want to continuously be challenged, folks whose worst fear is being bored, and folks who enjoy multi-tasking and juggling multiple priorities. (I certainly fit that bill!) However, the downside is that it’s tougher to know what you’re getting into in the recruiting process. More on that below, but that’s why with brand management, it’s even more important to ask a prospective employer a lot of questions about what you’ll be doing, how the team is structured, and what pieces of the business you’ll own.
Interactive: Much of your success as a brand manager will hinge on your ability to work well with all your cross-functional partners. These are your teammates in finance, sales, demand planning, product development, etc. that you rely on to execute your programs and bring your products to market. Effectively managing those relationships, influencing them when you need to push and call in favors, is an important soft skill of the job.

Just as important as understanding what brand management IS - is understanding what it IS NOT. Here are a few common misconceptions I’ve heard throughout the years:
It’s not advertising: Although advertising is a piece of many successful marketing plans, brand management is responsible for much, much more than TV and print campaigns. In fact, this function is outsourced to creative agencies at most companies.
It’s not purely creative: Although brand management offers many opportunities to be creative and propose out-of-the box solutions and ideas, it is not a solely creative role. As mentioned above, a strong analytical skillset is just, if not more, important in your success.
It’s not all glitz & glamour: Yes, at any large CPG company you’ll have the opportunity to work on huge, beautiful brands with large budgets and celebrity spokesmodels to represent them. And although there’s certainly a cool-factor to that, it’s not really the daily reality that you’ll experience sitting at your desk, in front of your computer, in a large office building.

3 FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN SCHOOL SELECTION
If brand management is still your goal after digesting all the information above, then it only makes sense to refine your school list based on your desired career track. Although all the top MBA programs will open doors to a variety of brand management roles, thinking through your priorities and preferences will help you narrow down your list.
Where your target companies recruit. If you have a target company or list of companies, the first place to start is to see if they hire from each of your potential schools. Although you can always apply to any job posting that is made public, it can make recruiting easier if you attend a school that your desired employer has hired from before, particularly as part of the structured on-campus recruiting process. For example, if P&G is your dream employer, then Kellogg would be an obvious choice for you.
Size of marketing program. This is more of a preference factor – do you want to be a big fish in a small pond (e.g. a marketer at a finance school) or a small fish in a big pond? Personally, I wanted to be a big fish in a small pond so I targeted Columbia Business School for its location, fully aware that the marketing program and my professional peer group would be smaller than it would be at a program such as Kellogg.
Specializations in marketing. If you’re focused on a specific industry or specialization within brand management, it makes sense to target programs that offer that level of drill-down. For example, NYU Stern offers specializations in Luxury Marketing and Digital Marketing. That level of specialization is certainly not essential to a successful career in brand management but it could help you get a jump-start in mastering highly relevant content to differentiate yourself in an internship or full-time job interview.

RECRUITING PROCESS AT THE TOP MBA PROGRAMS
So how can you land your dream job in brand management? Since the recruiting process can vary from school-to-school, the overview provided below is fairly general but will still give you an idea of what to expect.
Most national as well as regional CPG companies will participate in on-campus recruiting. Although you can certainly network on your own outside of that program, it’s a great way to get to know a lot of companies in a small span of time without too much effort on your part.The way into full-time roles is primarily out of the summer internship. If you end up hating your summer internship, all hope is not lost, but ideally you will have been strategic and successful in your internship recruiting process and are in a position to accept a full-time offer at the end of your summer. This means be thoughtful, ask questions, and be choosy in selecting your summer internship so you don’t have to recruit twice.Once you start your full-time role after graduation, you’ll typically be hired as an Assistant Brand Manager or Assistant Marketing Manager into some form of rotational program. Upon completion of that rotational program, you’ll be on a fast track to advancing through the organization.
If you have more questions about brand management or the MBA application process in general, Vantage Point can help! Sign up for our free 30-minute consultation atwww.vantagepointadmissions.com/free-consultationWe look forward to hearing from you!
Best,
Melody + the team at Vantage Point
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Quick Point: Updated R1 MBA Application Deadlines Calendar [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2016, 05:02
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Quick Point: Updated R1 MBA Application Deadlines Calendar
By now, the great majority of schools have released both their application deadlines (shown in the calendar below) as well as their essay topics. HBS (the first deadline among the top schools) is due in only six weeks, so if you haven't already, this is a great time to talk to your recommenders and start making progress on your resume and essays. In addition, if you're applying round 1, remember that class visits before the round 1 deadlines are limited due to timing. Be sure to look at the online schedules and/or call the admissions offices to determine when you can visit. A class visit is always the best way, along with talking to students and alums, to learn more about what a school isreallylike.
As always, best of luck and feel free to reach out with any questions!
www.vantagepointadmissions.com
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Deadlines are Weeks Away, Acceptance Rates are Low...But Now is Not th [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Deadlines are Weeks Away, Acceptance Rates are Low...But Now is Not the Time to Freak-Out!
“If I only had a dollar for every time you pulled me back from the ledge!”
A current client of mine sent me that email the other night while worrying about his GPA and GMAT quant score, both of which are fine.  I get it - I’ve been there.  Although it’s been a few years, I remember the struggle of pulling together my own applications while working 80 hours+ per week and oh yeah, having a life.  And now as consultant, I’ve helped more than my fair share of clients through freak-outs over the year.  It’s normal - we all have them; and if you’re facing one now, rest assured that you’ll get through it.
So, we wrote this quick post to give you some ways to re-frame this whole thing when you start to go to the dark place of panic as we near the deadlines.
Applications aren’t credit scores, no one can quantify your chances in July -I work with a ton of incredibly talented quant nerds every year (I say that lovingly because I’m one too), and inevitably several of them will ask me throughout the application process “what their chances are” of getting into their dream schools. I wish the process was as simple as updating a DCF model based on the latest draft of an essay and getting an output.  In reality, your chances are going to depend on how you leverage your own story and experiences in your final product, but also, in part on factors that you can’t control such as the overall strength of the applicant pool.  Instead of becoming fixated on your “chances” at any given point, control what you can and send your consultant an updated draft of your essays. You have control over the biggest part of the process - your ability to write killer essays. So spend your time there and don’t let your mind wander back to where your percentiles are.
Your freshman C isn’t going to be the one thing that blocks you from HBS -Sticking with the ‘focus on what you can control’ mantra, recognize that everyone has underperformed or made mistakes in their lives, and very VERY few applicants have a blemish-free application.  Whether it was a C in first year calculus, that time you got laid off,  or a quick departure from that “cool” start-up job that turned out to be way less than “cool”, stuff happens.  What is important is that you proactively address any problems or weaknesses in your application.  And to help ease your concerns...I knew an applicant a few years ago who stole a car during undergrad (while drunk) and is now doing exceptionally after applying to and graduating from a top 5 school.  That guy puts your “C” to shame - I promise. So, own your weaknesses, address them, and move on to the next drafts of your essays. Thankfully, it’s highly unlikely that your blemish is going to be the landmine that destroys your chances (...unless of course you are on the FBI most wanted list or Interpol is looking for you...yeah, that will be an issue).
Set yourself an application schedule -With full time commitments (work, partners, kickball leagues,catching pokemonsetc…) this one is easier said than done.  If you want to nail your applications though, you need to find a way to establish a consistent schedule and stick to it. At the beginning of the process, most applicants that I work with typically spend 2-5 hours per week:  a nice, leisurely pace of working on their resumes and waiting on schools to release their essay prompts.  By now though, you should be spending 10+ hours per week.  Your best bet is to bucket this into two nights during the week, and then a longer block on the weekend.  Choose your sports analogy, but at the end of the day you want to make sure that you can say you've done everything you can to get into the school of your dreams.
Get a life -When you are not editing your essays, harassing your recommenders, crushing your online calculus classes, or doing whatever else is left in your application, it’s absolutely crucial to find time for yourself.  The easiest way to do this is to build “you time” into your application schedule.  If pub trivia with your buddies on Monday nights is your thing, keep doing it.  If there is  a killer bar instructor at your gym on Saturday mornings, make the class. Do whatever you need to do to keep your head clear.  This will not only keep your sanity in check, but it will make you more productive during your work periods.
Keep some perspective -You have crushed life so far, and nothing can stop you from here on out. You have succeeded in your career, have had amazing experiences, and have the personality and intelligence to succeed no matter what happens over the next few years.  Which business school you go to doesn’t define you, the strength of your character and perseverance does, and that is something that no admissions committee can define for you.
If all else fails - If you have reached this point in the email and you are still freaking out and convinced that the end is near, please consult the following.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gppbrYIcR80
If that doesn't calm you do, we don't know what will! :) As always, pleaseping uswith any questions, but mainly - get back to work!
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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When to Punt to Round 2 [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2016, 01:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: When to Punt to Round 2
HBS is due in less a week.Kellogg, Stanford, Booth and LBS - just two weeks later. This is the time of year when many applicants realize that the crazy project from work, your wedding planning, or whatever else has been a major time commitment has left you with only a few weeks left in what is actually a longer process than you thought. As such, this is also the time when many applicants start wondering whether they should push their round one applications to round two.  If you’re one of them, and are seriously asking yourself that question, then the answer is probably yes...but here are some things to think about.
While there’s no conclusive or reliable data to support it (notice all of the heavy caveats on any “data” you find), many applicants believe that their chances of admissions in R1 are higher than in R2.  The logic (which I believe in) is pretty straight forward - in R1 you are starting with a blank slate more or less; and by R2, admissions committees have already started to build-out their classes. The reality is that the R1 vs. R2 acceptance rates probably fluctuate from year to year (we know clearly that R3 is always a very low acceptance rate round for most US schools). I like to be very conservative, so if you have the ability to apply R1, I say go for it, but not if you’re going to submit a second rate app.
For your mental health, by this point in the application process, we know there’s a strong desire on the part of many applicants to ‘be done with it already.’ We get it. Like so many applicants, I remember cramming my own applications through to the finish line and breathing a sigh of relief (or was it resignation?) when I hit 'submit' on my last application.
That said, please allow me to talk you off the ledge. Because you’re tired or frustrated isn’t a great reason to force an application through, even if you believe that there is a slight advantage of R1 over R2.  You've worked so hard to this point - don't submit anything but your very best. If you’re at the burnt-out, ‘I can’t do it anymore’ stage, take a look at your essays before hitting that submit button. Before you decide to anything drastic (like applying to business school) ask yourself these questions:
Are your essays as strong as they can be? In fact, instead of asking yourself this question, ask two friends to look over your essays. Did they both have the same takeaways regarding your story and goals? Did they find your story inspiring? If not, get back to writing.Have you addressed any major weaknesses in your application? For example, for those with weak undergrad GPAs, have you completed (and gotten an A in) an extra finance or accounting class?Are you comfortable with your GMAT score? If not, do you believe you could meaningfully improve it if given the time to focus on it (and balance writing essays etc)?Did your recommenders have enough time to put thought into what they were writing?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, don’t do it - you may want to wait until round two.  On the other side of the coin, if you answered ‘yes’ to all of those questions, don’t panic and punt to R2 simply for the comfort of time. Once you can say ‘I’ve done everything I possibly could’, then go for it.
If you decide to wait, give yourself a break.  You’re making the right decision to put yourself in the best position for success, but deciding to do so is hard and can feel a bit like defeat.  So go ahead and reward yourself with a weak or two off. Reconnect with your friends and family. Go to the gym. See a movie. Do whatever you need to do to clear your head, and get ready to come back to your applications with a fresh set of eyes and a renewed focus.
If you’re wondering whether your application is ready for R1, feel free toreach out. We can give you some feedback and/or you can run your application through ourTrial Runprocess so that a former top 10 adcom member can simulate your application review before the real thing.
Best of luck to everyone!
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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Inside the Black Box: What Happens After You Hit "Submit" [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2016, 08:01
FROM Vantage Point MBA Admissions Blog: Inside the Black Box: What Happens After You Hit "Submit"
A month or so ago, we atVantage Point Admissionsshared information on thecomposition of the adcomsat some of the top schools.  Knowing your audience is absolutely critical and can make the difference between getting in, or getting dinged. So, it’s crucial that as you write your stories, you also remember who’s reading them, and tailor (ie. eliminate) your industry jargon appropriately.
This month, we wanted to delve deeper into the process.  We spoke to two former admissions directors (Columbia and Booth) about what goes on once you’ve hit the “submit” button.  Among the most incredible insights - while you’re spending months on your applications, it’s being read for only about 20 minutes (eg. skimmed), including the time it takes to write a summary about you.
Below is a transcript of our conversation. Please note, this has been lightly edited for flow.
Once an applicant submits his or her file, how does the process work? What’s the process for  how the applications are assigned, evaluated, and how many adcom members are involved?
At some schools there is a committee of current students and alumni who review the application as well as the Admissions Directors.  The application is typically reviewed by at least three different individuals and the method of assigning is varied - sometimes by timing of application submission date and sometimes by other metrics of the application.
At CBS, about 25-30 apps per week are randomly assigned to an admissions officer. They get a first read, and they review it and make suggested decision:  admit, reject, or waitlist.  Then it is passed for a second read by a director. If both agree on the decision, the dean will usually sign-off on it. If they disagree, they might be talked about in a committee. There is definitely not a committee for the majority of candidates - only a handful that we don't know what to do with. Honestly, on average it takes about 20 minutes to review an app and write a paragraph summary. The summary usually just highlights high level stuff - the good, the bad and the justification for why admit or reject.
If an interview is required, the interview evaluation form is added to the application evaluations before a final decision is made.
How do you coordinate as an adcom on what you're looking for? Does the school brief you each year on types of candidates they want to focus on etc? How is the recruitment strategy set?
Year-over-year, the admissions committees are looking for well-rounded applicants who can:
Succeed in the classroom and handle the academic rigor;Will participate in the student community and;Be a good alum representative of the school.
Finding the best and the brightest is the bottom line recruitment strategy; however each year we honed which companies and schools we recruited from to find the applicants.
Occasionally, mid-cycle, the dean will say that we need to start focusing on “X”. For example, we need people with higher GPAs (just a random example). But this cannot be predicted ahead of time, as we can never know the pool of applicants for the given year.
With all of the different variables for candidacy, how do you prioritize?
Being confident the candidate can handle the coursework is key and then having someone who knows 1) Why an MBA? 2) Why now? and 3) Why this particular school?  This is gleaned from the essays and the interview.
They are also looking at fit for the school and making sure your goals make sense - which is huge for CBS in particular.
How many do you read per day, how long do you spend on each one, how do you keep track etc?
The number per day completely varies depending on size of applicant pool and time of the year.  On average maybe about 25-30 apps per week. So, it depends on how you work and how fast you read in terms of how many you get done per day. On average no more than 20 minutes is spent on each app. The summary/feedback is usually just justifying why you came to the decision you came to.
There is an online system to help keep track of the feedback and time on application varies as well.  Often times, reading an application and going back to the application some time later helps to clearly evaluate the application.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see consistently in applications?  Are there any best practices?
Biggest Mistakes:
Minor errors on the resume (i.e. inconsistency with the periods or no periods at the end of the bullets, not lining up the dates, missing words, etc.);
Not stating at some place in the application why x school is your choice.
Shockingly, some people forget to put the right school in their essays. If applying to several schools, make sure you put the right school in!
If you are applying to CBS, don't keep Wharton in your essays. People make this mistake!
Best Practices:
Well-written essays which early state why x school;
Mentioning if the candidate has been to an information session or reception at the school or in his/her home city.
Always waive your right to view your recs
When submitting a photo of yourself for CBS, make sure it is appropriate (have a shirt on, don't have drinks in your hand, etc.)
Will the adcom google me / look at my social media profiles?
Yes, increasingly more.  Be sure your LinkedIn profile matches your resume exactly and that any and all social media sites are clean and professional.
The application form feels like a lot of repetition from my resume etc - is it ok to copy and paste in job description etc?
Yes, be sure all fonts match and that you are addressing each question.
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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Inside the Black Box: What Happens After You Hit "Submit"   [#permalink] 23 Sep 2016, 08:01

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