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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 06 Mar 2020, 13:01 ]
Post subject:  Testing Accommodations on the GMAT

FROM mbaMission Blog: Testing Accommodations on the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Do you qualify for testing accommodations on the GMAT? Or do you think you might?

Broadly speaking, the term “accommodations” refers to altering the testing conditions for a particular student to “level the playing field” for that student. Someone with serious vision problems, for example, may need some kind of altered test format to read the test questions. These accommodations do not make the test easier for the student; rather, they make the test possible at the same level as for a regular student.

What is the process for applying for testing accommodations, and how are the decisions made? Glad you asked. I have spent the past couple months reading everything I can find and talking to representatives from GMAC. In addition, I spoke with a psychologist who deals with various kinds of learning disabilities.

All this research culminated in our unofficial GMAT Testing Accommodations Encyclopedia! I will give you the highlights here and then link to the full article at the end.

GMAC lists five main categories of issues covered and also offers an “other” category (if you feel your particular issue does not fit into one of these five areas).

The general application process is the same for all categories, but the material required to document your condition can vary, and the full article (linked to at the end) covers these details.

What qualifies… and what does not?

No easy answer to this question exists. The overarching issue, according to both neuropsychologist Dr. Teresa Elliott and private psychologist Dr. Tova Elberg, is a condition that results in some kind of impaired functioning in daily life that meets the criteria of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the DSM-IV or DSM-V.

A diagnosis by itself is not enough, though. The condition must be shown to affect current functioning, and this impact must be documented carefully.

Everyone was very clear that a diagnosis does not necessarily mean that someone qualifies for testing accommodations. The diagnosis must result in functional impairment that has an impact on daily work and living situations in general, not just testing situations. This is precisely why the application asks you to explain how a particular issue or disability affects your current functioning across work and academic settings.

Many additional nuances must be considered, so dive into the GMAT Testing Accommodations Encyclopedia and let us know if you have any questions or comments!
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 09 Mar 2020, 06:00 ]
Post subject:  MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have to Write the Optional Essay

FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have to Write the Optional Essay
In the past, we have discussed how challenging competing against a faceless mass of fellow applicants can be and how disadvantaged people can feel if they do not seize every opportunity to do so. Although we want you to make the most of every possible chance to set yourself apart, you also need to be judicious in choosing those opportunities. Some can actually work against you and thereby turn into negatives. Allow us to elaborate…

Every applicant does not have to write the optional essay, and by neglecting to write it, you are not at a disadvantage. The essay is an opportunity for you to discuss problems that the admissions committee will likely notice in your profile, and this essay can allow you to “get ahead of the scandal,” so to speak. So, if you earned an F grade, had a bad semester in college, received a low GMAT score, or have been dismissed from a position, you should write the optional essay to address the issue proactively. Similarly, if you are applying with a partner and the admissions committee may not know, you might want to use the optional essay to inform them of this relevant and potentially interesting information.

MBA candidates have many reasons for writing the optional essay, but you should absolutely not feel that you need to write it. If you have nothing to explain and have generally performed well, do not use this opportunity to submit an essay from a different school just to fill the space or write a new essay repackaging your strengths. If you have nothing new or important to share, you are in an advantageous position and should take a step back and appreciate it, not fret.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 09 Mar 2020, 06:00 ]
Post subject:  Deciding How Many Business Schools to Target and Choosing a “Safe” Sch

FROM mbaMission Blog: Deciding How Many Business Schools to Target and Choosing a “Safe” School
When candidates consider their strategies for applying to MBA programs, many have a logical question in mind: To how many business schools should I apply? The answer, of course, varies dramatically from applicant to applicant, but the golden rule is that you should only apply to an MBA program if you have enough time to polish your application to its best state. So, if you have time to “perfect” only three applications, you should focus on applying to just three schools—and not consider submitting several additional “average” applications.

In terms of a target number—assuming that time is not a factor and you can commit yourself to all of your applications—five or six is generally optimal. With five or six applications, you can apply to a mix of reach, competitive, and safe schools—and can thereby truly cover your bases. Of course, all applicants have their own risk profile and timing to consider, but for most candidates, applying to too few schools can increase the risk of not being admitted, while applying to too many can be overkill.

Some applicants prefer to be conservative and include a “safe school” or two in their target schools. But what constitutes a safe school? Although determining exactly what a safe school is can be difficult (given that many variables are involved, and the definition can shift depending on the candidate in question), a good place to start is with scores. If a candidate’s GMAT score and GPA are significantly higher than the target school’s averages, for example, then the school is—at first glance, at least—a “safe” choice. So, for example, if you have a 750 GMAT and a 3.8 GPA and you are applying to a school with a GMAT score middle 80% range of 620–730 and an average GPA of 3.4 for the most recent entering class, you are off to a promising start.

Next, you might consider your work experience relative to the target program. For example, many Goldman Sachs investment banking “alums” apply and are admitted to the so-called M7 schools (Stanford GSB, Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, Columbia, and MIT Sloan). If you happen to be such a candidate, choosing a school outside this tier could certainly make you more competitive.

Finally, you might consider the program’s general selectivity. If you consider yourself a competitive candidate at a program that accepts approximately 18% of its applicants, applying to one with an acceptance rate closer to 30% may be a safe option. Before you start applying to any safe schools, however, ask yourself this relatively simple question: “Would I actually go if I got in?” Spending time applying to an MBA program that you would not be willing to actually attend is pointless. If you choose to apply to such a school (as some do) anyway, you will—rather ironically—find yourself with no “safety” net at all.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 11 Mar 2020, 06:00 ]
Post subject:  Professor Profiles: Luigi Zingales, the University of Chicago Booth Sc

FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Luigi Zingales, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Luigi Zingales from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Luigi Zingales is known on the Chicago Booth campus for his charm, sense of humor, and humility. But students with whom mbaMission spoke also call him an innovator, citing as evidence his perspective on the discount rates used to evaluate the future cash flows of new and risky ventures (i.e., his ability to mathematically explain why some firms deserve a 30%–50% discount rate). Zingales’s novel approach to solving the mortgage crisis has been profiled in The Economist, and Bruce Bartlett of the National Review Online called his book Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists: Unleashing the Power of Financial Markets to Create Wealth and Spread Opportunity (coauthored with Raghuram G. Rajan; Crown Business, 2003) “one of the most powerful defenses of the free market ever written.”

Zingales is currently the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at Chicago Booth, as well as a Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow. In addition, he became faculty director of the school’s Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State in 2015. His students call him an “emerging finance superstar”—significant praise, considering the company he keeps at Chicago Booth.

For more information about Chicago Booth and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 12 Mar 2020, 11:00 ]
Post subject:  Columbia Business School’s End-of-Semester Push and Student-Run Confer

FROM mbaMission Blog: Columbia Business School’s End-of-Semester Push and Student-Run Conferences
Although the academic year seems to have only just begun, first-year Columbia Business School (CBS) students have only a few months before they enter the last big push of their first semester in December, with finals wrapping up and the next semester not beginning until mid-January. The end of regular classes at the school is traditionally marked by CBS Follies, a student-run comedy and entertainment show, and those looking to stay involved with CBS and their classmates during the holiday break have plenty of opportunities to do so. Many students go abroad during the break to such destinations as Singapore, India, and Patagonia on Chazen Global Study Tours or as part of consulting projects through the International Development Club. And students wishing for a complete break from the classroom can take part in the Snow Sports Club’s annual Winter Ski Trip in early January. Although the long break can offer a welcome rest from the stress of first-semester classes, recruiting season for first years begins once they return to campus for second semester. So, one way or another, this is a good time for CBS students to clear their heads.

On a more academic note, CBS offers a series of student-run conferences throughout the year that give both first- and second-year students the opportunity to expand their knowledge across a variety of disciplines via panels and keynote speaker addresses, and to network with like-minded students, conference sponsors (who are often also big CBS recruiters), and even industry professionals.

During the popular Social Enterprise Conference, which takes place in the fall, speakers discuss the ways leaders and managers can use strategy as a tool to maximize social change and how organizations can incorporate a broader spectrum of social gains into their organizational strategies, among other issues. Like the Social Enterprise Conference,  Marketing Association of Columbia (MAC) Conference usually enjoys a packed house in the fall. The MAC Conference has focused on such topics as the elevation, enhancement, and personalization of the brand experience for today’s mindful consumer. The 15th annual CBS Healthcare Conference, which was held in February, featured such panel discussions as “The Business of Cancer: Innovations, Trends and Challenges in Delivering Cures” and “Healthcare M&A: Is Bigger Always Better?” The year-round conference season at CBS also includes the India Business Conference and the Columbia Women in Business Conference.

CBS often touts its New York advantage—students have the business world right outside the school’s door, ripe for exploration. As you can see, however, this advantage does not mean that CBS neglects to bring the business world to its students.

For more information on CBS or 16 other leading MBA programs, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 13 Mar 2020, 14:00 ]
Post subject:  Four GMAT Myths Busted

FROM mbaMission Blog: Four GMAT Myths Busted
A lot of well-intended advice for GMAT test takers can be found out there. Unfortunately, some of the most reasonable-sounding and frequently repeated claims are actually false. In this article, our friends at Manhattan Prep look at four of the most common GMAT myths and what you should do instead.

  • I need to get 90% of the questions right to get a 700.
This is true: somebody who got a 700 on the GMAT probably got more questions right than somebody who got a 400. However, the opposite is not true: just getting more questions right does not increase your score. The GMAT scoring algorithm does not look at how many questions you answered correctly in a section. Instead, it looks at the difficulty level you have reached by the end of that section. You could reach the same difficulty level by missing a lot of questions, or by only missing a few, depending on where in the test you miss them and whether you finish the section on time. Check out this article for more info on what your GMAT score really means.

[*] Quant is more important than Verbal.[/list]
This is a tricky one. In part, it depends on the programs you are applying to and the strengths and weaknesses of the rest of your profile. Some schools will want a high Quant score, while others will care more about whether you hit a particular overall number. In some situations, Quant might be very important.

However, when it comes to achieving a high overall GMAT score, Verbal is slightly more important than Quant. Getting a 90th percentile Verbal score and a 50th percentile Quant score, for example, will give you a slightly higher overall score than if they were swapped. Also, many students, especially native English speakers, find improving their Verbal score easier, quicker, and more fun than improving their Quant score. If you just want to earn a particular overall score, you might get there faster by focusing on Verbal. Do not leave points on the table by ignoring Verbal! Even if you are starting with a high Verbal score, an improvement of just ten percentile points can go a long way.

[*] The first eight problems in each section are the most important.[/list]
Like most GMAT myths, this one has a kernel of truth to it. As you work through each section of the GMAT, the test will get harder when you answer a question correctly and easier when you answer a question incorrectly. These difficulty changes are larger at the beginning of the section than at the end. This creates the impression that the earlier questions are very important, while the later questions hardly matter at all.

However, that is not really the case. Getting the first eight questions right would cause your GMAT to rapidly increase in difficulty, up to the maximum level. However, your score is not based on the highest difficulty level you hit. Instead, it is based on the difficulty level at the end of the test. A strong start is nice, but spending extra time on the early problems means having very little time to answer hard problems later on. You might even run out of time at the end, which carries a hefty score penalty. So, if you can answer all the early questions correctly and quickly, go for it. Otherwise, work at a steady pace throughout the test, and proactively guess on hard questions that you cannot answer quickly—even at the beginning of each section.

[*] If I want a 700, I should mostly study 700–800 level problems.[/list]
Do not base the problems you study on the score you want. Instead, base your studies on your current ability level. When you take the GMAT, the difficulty of the test will change depending on your performance. To get the test to show you tough questions, you need to be very quick and consistent on the slightly easier questions. If you are not quite there yet, you will not even see the super-hard stuff—so there is no point in studying it just yet.

In fact, spending a lot of energy on studying hard material can be counterproductive. If you see a very hard question on test day, the best move is often to proactively guess on it: missing a hard question will not hurt your score very much, and attempting it could waste a lot of time. However, if you have spent a lot of time studying really tough questions, you will have a harder time making yourself guess on them when you need to. Instead, study the questions that will really help you on test day: the ones right at or slightly above your level, or easier questions in areas that tend to trip you up. Happy studying!

Manhattan Prep is one of the world’s leading test prep providers. Every one of its instructors has a 99th percentile score on the GMAT and substantial teaching experience. The result? Nearly 20 years and thousands of satisfied students. By providing an outstanding curriculum and the highest quality instructors in the industry, it empowers students to accomplish their goals. Manhattan Prep allows you to sit in on any of its live GMAT classes—in person or online—for free! Check out a trial class today.


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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 15 Mar 2020, 07:00 ]
Post subject:  MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple

FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple Schools
You have poured your heart and soul into your business school applications and taken the time to craft the perfect essays. Now you are eagerly looking forward to finishing up a few more applications to your target schools. You have heard that you can expect to spend as much time on your second, third, and fourth applications combined (!) as you did on your very first one. Encouraged, you might scan your third application and think, “Oh, look—here’s a ‘failure’ question. I can just adapt the ‘mistake’ essay I wrote for my first application to answer that one!” or “There’s a question about leadership. I’ve already written an essay on that, so I can just reuse it here!”

Not so fast. First applications usually do take longer to complete than subsequent ones. However, this is not because once you have crafted several essays for one or two schools, you can then simply cut and paste them into other applications, adjust the word count a bit, change a few names here and there, and be done.

Admissions committees spend a lot of time crafting their application prompts, thinking carefully about the required word limit and about each component of the questions. They present prompts they believe will draw specific information from applicants that will then help them ascertain whether those candidates would fit well with the program. Therefore, if you simply reuse an essay you wrote for School A for your application for School B because you believe the schools’ questions are largely similar, you could easily miss an important facet of what School B is really seeking. For example, consider these two past questions:

Northwestern Kellogg: Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences. (600-word limit)



Dartmouth Tuck: Discuss your most meaningful leadership experience. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience? (approximately 500 words)



Even though both essay prompts ask you to explore leadership experiences, they certainly do not ask the exact same question. Kellogg wants you to share more than one leadership experience and outline the areas you want to develop while at Kellogg. Tuck, on the other hand, asks about only one leadership experience—your most meaningful leadership experience, in particular—and wants to know what you learned about yourself as a result.

In this case, if you were to simply take your 600-word Kellogg essay, cut out 75–100 words, and then submit it as your response to Tuck’s question, the admissions committee would immediately recognize this and know that you had not taken the time to sincerely respond to the school’s prompt. Believe us, the admissions committees have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of cases in which applicants clearly submitted an essay originally intended for one school in response to another program’s question—and vice versa. Understandably, this is not the way to win them over. Although you may use the same core story for more than one application essay, always stop and examine that story from the angle proposed by your target school’s question and respond accordingly.

One simple rule will always stand you in good stead: answer the question asked.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 16 Mar 2020, 07:01 ]
Post subject:  Multidimensional Brainstorming for Your MBA Application Essays

FROM mbaMission Blog: Multidimensional Brainstorming for Your MBA Application Essays
We at mbaMission often tell candidates, “You cannot turn a bad idea into a good essay.” We insist on taking our clients through a lengthy brainstorming process—starting with a thorough questionnaire—to discover the stories that make them distinct. As you uncover your stories, consider each one from as many different angles as possible. Doing so will not only help ensure you understand the various “weapons in your arsenal” but also provide you with maximum flexibility, considering that MBA admissions committees ask questions that vary dramatically from school to school.

For example, an experience coaching a baseball team at an underfunded high school may have multiple dimensions, such as the following:

  • Creatively motivating an underachieving team and changing attitudes, despite losses
  • Initiating and leading fund-raising efforts so that each player could afford proper equipment
  • Mentoring struggling players and seeing an improvement in their on-field performance
  • Helping a player deal with a family issue off the field
  • Recruiting other coaches and then working to improve a team’s on-field performance
These are just a few of the stories that could be gleaned through brainstorming, proving that considering your experiences from various angles can help you discover multiple unique approaches to your essays.

In addition, many MBA candidates—whether they work as bankers or lawyers, in internal corporate finance or corporate strategy—feel they must tell a “deal story” in their application essays. Although discussing a deal can be a good idea, what is vital is showing your distinct impact on the deal in question—you are the central character, not the deal. A straightforward story about how you dutifully completed your work and steadily supported others as a deal became a reality will not likely be very compelling. Further, the important thing is that the admissions committee experience your personality, not your spreadsheets.

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

  • What did you do that was beyond expectations for your role? Did you grow into additional responsibilities at a crucial time?
  • Did any particular interactions take place in which you used your personality to change the dynamic, thereby ensuring the deal’s progress or success?
  • Did you need to take a principled stand at any moment or speak out on behalf of a needful party?
  • Did you help others overcome any corporate or international cultural barriers?
These questions can get you started, but the point remains: do not simply offer any deal; instead, provide insight into your deal.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 17 Mar 2020, 14:00 ]
Post subject:  Professor Profiles: Lubos Pastor, University of Chicago Booth School o

FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Lubos Pastor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Lubos Pastor from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Despite his relatively young age, Lubos Pastor has already received considerable recognition for his research on the stock market and asset management and has been featured among “The Best 40 B-School Profs Under the Age of 40” by Poets&Quants. At Chicago Booth, which Pastor joined in 1999, he is currently the Charles P. McQuaid Professor of Finance, the Robert King Steel Faculty Fellow, and the co-director of the Fama-Miller Center for Research in Finance.

Pastor’s work has been influential, earning him such high-profile accolades as the NASDAQ Award, the Goldman Sachs Asset Management Prize, and the Barclays Global Investors Prize, as well as the McKinsey Award for Excellence and Teaching, two of Chicago Booth’s own Faculty Excellence Awards for MBA Teaching, and the Chicago Booth Phoenix Award, “for greatly enriching the learning experience of the Full-Time MBA Class of 2019.” One student quoted in the Poets&Quants article said “his witty style elevates classroom conversations and facilitates retention of core concepts.” At Chicago Booth, Pastor teaches such courses as “Portfolio Management.”

For more information about Chicago Booth and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 18 Mar 2020, 13:00 ]
Post subject:  COVID-19 Prompts Business Schools to Extend Application Deadlines and

FROM mbaMission Blog: COVID-19 Prompts Business Schools to Extend Application Deadlines and Impacts GMAT Testing
On Monday, Columbia Business School (CBS) announced that it will extend its MBA application deadline for the August 2020 incoming class. In an email to the CBS community and prospective business school students, Assistant Dean of Admissions Amanda Carlson addressed the uncertainty that the global COVID-19 pandemic has caused:

“You may be feeling unsettled in these uncertain times. Perhaps applying to an MBA program is not exactly at the top of your mind right now. I can totally understand that sentiment. However, in my years at Columbia and as an alumna of the School, I have seen skills developed through the MBA program and the incredible community carry our students and alumni through the financial crisis and major changes in the business environment. Given that there is such uncertainty, perhaps you should consider that this could be the right time to get your MBA.”

CBS will now accept applications for the August 2020 incoming class until [b]June 1, 2020[/b].

For those who may be concerned with how COVID-19 will change CBS admissions, keep in mind that the school’s application volume is reportedly up 0.8% for the year to date. “By all counts, our incoming class looks great,” Carlson wrote. “However, COVID-19 is an evolving situation and we too are trying to anticipate what comes next with our incoming class. We plan to admit more candidates toward the end of this application cycle in anticipation that some of our admitted students may struggle, for a variety of reasons, to start in August 2020.”

The school encouraged applicants to reach out to Director of Admissions Michael Robinson ([email=mgr27@gsb.columbia.edu]mgr27@gsb.columbia.edu[/email]) with questions.

Similarly, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business [url=https://michiganross.umich.edu/graduate/full-time-mba/admissions/application-requirements]indicated it will accept applications[/url] for its next incoming class until [b]May 29[/b], almost two months later than the original Round 3 deadline of March 30.

We will be updating our [url=https://www.mbamission.com/resources/deadlines/]Application Deadlines[/url] page as more business schools share new information. 

MBA programs are not the only ones making changes in response to COVID-19. On March 18, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) [url=https://www.gmac.com/why-gmac/gmac-news/update-on-coronavirus]announced[/url] that GMAT and Executive Assessment testing has been suspended in many centers globally. GMAC also addressed the safety of those within open centers, writing

“For testing centers that remain open, enhanced health and safety measures are in place including enhanced cleaning procedures, hand sanitizer and wipes provided for candidates.”

Those with questions are encouraged to contact the GMAC [url=https://www.gmac.com/sitecore/content/home/service/contact-us]Customer Care[/url] team.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 20 Mar 2020, 07:00 ]
Post subject:  Stanford and Wharton Share the Top Spot in the 2021 U.S. News MBA Rank

FROM mbaMission Blog: Stanford and Wharton Share the Top Spot in the 2021 U.S. News MBA Rankings
U.S. News & World Report named the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania the number one MBA program in the United States for the second year in a row in the publication’s recently released 2021 Best Business Schools list. Although Wharton was ranked number one last year as well, this time it shares the top spot with the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which was previously ranked second.

The number one spot is not the only ranking among the top five schools to be shared, with U.S. News listing both the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in third, while the MIT Sloan School of Management rounds out the top five in fifth. Harvard Business School, which has historically placed within the U.S. News top five, is sixth this year in the school’s lowest ranking to date. The only new name in the top ten in comparison to last year is the New York University Stern School of Business, which was ranked 12th in 2019 but is tenth this year. And one of the most notable risers in the top 20 is the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management, which is 23rd in the latest ranking compared to 29th last year.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 21 Mar 2020, 08:01 ]
Post subject:  Reorient Your View on the GMAT’s Math Problems

FROM mbaMission Blog: Reorient Your View on the GMAT’s Math Problems
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

The quant section of the GMAT is not a math test. Really! It just looks like one on the surface. In reality, the test writers are testing us on how we think.

As such, they write many math problems in a way that hides what is really being tested or even implies a solution method that is not the best solution method. Assume nothing, and do not accept that what they give you is your best starting point!

Instead, slow down a little. First, just glance at the whole problem (before you really start reading) to see what kind of problem you have.

Next, read the problem and jot down any numbers, formulas, etc. Do not do any translation or simplification at this stage—in short, do not do any actual work yet. Just get the basics on paper, and wrap your brain around what the question is saying. You will be less likely to fall into their traps if you think before you act.

Then, reflect and organize: what have you got, and what should you consider doing with it? Do any pieces of information go together? Do you see any clues that give you an idea of how to solve the problem? Is the problem really obviously suggesting a certain path? Maybe that will work—but make a conscious decision that this really is your best path.

Most of the time, when an “obvious” path is suggested, some other path is actually faster or easier. Also, remember that your best approach might be to guess and move on, depending on how hard the question is!

Finally, if you are not going to guess, then get to it and work! You made some kind of plan during the previous step, so start working that plan!

If you get stuck at this stage, you are allowed to give yourself one chance to unstick yourself. Go back to an earlier step in your work to see whether you can find another way forward. If you find yourself still stuck, pick something and move on.

Want to see some examples of all this? Glad you asked. I have got a full two-part article for you with three different practice problems. Get to it, and let me know what you think!
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 22 Mar 2020, 08:01 ]
Post subject:  MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 1)

FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 1)
In your pursuit of acceptance to business school, you are competing against thousands of other applicants. Because you do not actually know these individuals, you may naturally assume that you need any and every edge available to stand out. As a result, you may feel compelled to provide every single detail of your life, exploiting your resume in particular to do so. We want you to maximize your opportunities, of course, but we also want to be sure you do not jeopardize your application by offering too much information.

Our experience has shown that many resumes—especially those in which every margin is thinned and every font is shrunken—provide a detrimental surplus of detail. Some become so dense with text that rather than being easily scannable, which is the ideal, they are entirely impenetrable and therefore easy to ignore. We often tell clients that “less is more,” explaining that a brief resume that will be read in full is more beneficial than a dense resume that will not get read at all. At an Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Conference, eight leading admissions officers were once asked whether they would prefer a one-page or two-page resume, and one person led all the others in declaring, “Everyone together… one page!”

Even with a one-page resume, however, you need to understand what is useful to include and what should be excluded. The answer to this riddle is different for everyone. You may consider jettisoning internships from years gone by, for example, or reducing the number of bullet points offered for past jobs. Eliminating entries for community involvements from long ago could be helpful. The agenda for your resume should be to create maximum impact, and sometimes that is achieved by using fewer words and bullet points. You may need to make tough choices, but the time and effort will be well spent if you ultimately submit a stronger resume and thereby make a more compelling statement about yourself.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 23 Mar 2020, 07:00 ]
Post subject:  How to Approach Freelance Work and Layoffs in Your MBA Application

FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Approach Freelance Work and Layoffs in Your MBA Application
If you do mostly short-term, project-based work, you might struggle with how to structure your resume so that it does not give the impression that you switch jobs every few months. If you list each job separately, not only will your resume be too long, but you also run the risk that your reader will think you have not had a stable career—when in fact, if you are a successful freelancer or contractor, the opposite is the case. So, how can you organize your resume so that it showcases the strength of your work and avoid having the variety and number of your work experiences come across as a weakness instead?

The key here is “clustering.” Rather than listing each short-term job separately, cluster them all under one heading, such as “independent contractor” or “freelance project manager.” Next to this heading, note the time range (i.e., start and end dates) during which you have worked for yourself. Then, using bullet points, list the individual projects you completed as a freelancer, noting your primary accomplishments for each one, followed by the related company/organization name and dates. The goal is to keep the focus on your accomplishments.

Similarly, many business school applicants worry about the impact having been laid off might have on their candidacy. Do the admissions committees view a layoff as a sign of failure?

One thing to remember is that many MBA candidates share this worry—thousands of them worldwide, in fact. For the admissions committees to dismiss all such applicants outright would simply not be practical. Moreover, the admissions committees know that the global financial crisis and subsequent recession are at the root of the problem, not necessarily the individual candidate’s performance. Indeed, layoffs and firings are not the same thing, so admissions committees will examine your application with that in mind, seeking your broader story.

If you find yourself in this situation, what is important is that you show that you have made good use of your time since the layoff by studying, volunteering, seeking work, enhancing your skills, etc. Each candidate will react differently, of course, but you need to have a story to tell of how you made the most of a difficult situation.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 23 Mar 2020, 13:00 ]
Post subject:  COVID-19 Prompts More Changes to MBA Application Deadlines and Test-Ta

FROM mbaMission Blog: COVID-19 Prompts More Changes to MBA Application Deadlines and Test-Taking Requirements 
Several business schools and testing centers have responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic by adjusting application deadlines and requirements for prospective students. We will be updating our [url=https://www.mbamission.com/resources/deadlines/]Application Deadlines[/url] page and [url=https://mbamission.com/blog]Blog[/url] as new information is released. 

[b]GRE®:[/b] ETS.org [url=https://www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home/]announced[/url] that it will temporarily offer a GRE General Test at home option in select areas around the world. Taken from the comfort of your own home computer, the test is “identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test taken at a test center.” To see if you are eligible, visit [url=https://www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home/]ETS.org[/url].

[b]MCCOMBS:[/b] The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin added a fourth application round for domestic applicants, with a deadline of April 28, 2020. Learn more at [url=https://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/MBA/Full-Time/Application-Process]mccombs.utexas.edu[/url].

[b]OWEN:[/b] Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management announced it will offer an additional application round with a deadline of June 1, 2020. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis. For more information, visit [url=https://business.vanderbilt.edu/news/2020/03/20/vanderbilt-mba-makes-adjustments-to-its-3rd-application-round-and-announces-new-round-4-deadline/]business.vanderbilt.edu[/url].

[b]SLOAN:[/b] The MIT Sloan School of Management has extended its MBA Early Admission deadline to June 2, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. More information on Sloan’s deferred admissions program and application rules can be found at [url=https://mitsloan.mit.edu/mba/admissions/mit-sloan-mba-early-admission]mitsloan.mit.edu[/url].

[b]STANFORD:[/b] In an email to the Stanford community, the Stanford Graduate School of Business announced that it will accept test scores until August 1, 2020. The application deadline for the third and final round—April 8, 2020—remains unchanged.

[b]TEPPER:[/b] Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business will introduce an “Extended Rolling Round” and keep Round 4 applications open into the summer months. The school will work with applicants individually and offer flexibility. For more information, visit [url=https://www.cmu.edu/tepper/programs/mba/admissions/mba-admissions-blog/2020-03-20-covid-19-admissions-update.html]cmu.edu[/url].

[b]TUCK:[/b] The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College [url=https://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/mba/blog/tuck-admissions-covid-19-update]announced[/url] that it will allow applicants to apply on a rolling basis in a one-time Round 4 from April 1 to June 1, 2020. Applicant requirements remain unchanged.

[b]WHARTON:[/b] In an email to the Wharton community, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced that Round 3 and Advance Access applicants may submit their applications without having sat for a standardized test. The school has also extended the deadline for recommendations only to April 6, 2020. The application deadline for Round 3 applicants remains unchanged: April 1, 2020.

[b]IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: [/b]

[b]CBS:[/b] Columbia Business School (CBS) will now accept applications for the August 2020 incoming class until June 1, 2020.

[b]GMAT®:[/b] The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) [url=https://www.gmac.com/why-gmac/gmac-news/update-on-coronavirus]announced[/url] that GMAT and Executive Assessment testing has been suspended in many centers globally.

[b]HBS:[/b] Harvard Business School (HBS) informed college seniors that the deadline to submit 2+2 applications will be extended to June 1, 2020 at noon Eastern time.

[b]ROSS:[/b] The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business [url=https://michiganross.umich.edu/graduate/full-time-mba/admissions/application-requirements]indicated it will accept applications[/url] for its next incoming class until May 29, 2020, almost two months later than the original Round 3 deadline of March 30.

View the full mbaMission news post [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/03/18/covid-19-prompts-business-schools-to-extend-application-deadlines-and-impacts-gmat-testing/]here[/url].

[b]We will continue to update our [url=https://www.mbamission.com/resources/deadlines/]Application Deadlines[/url] page and [url=https://mbamission.com/blog]Blog[/url] as more business schools share new information.  [/b]
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 25 Mar 2020, 07:00 ]
Post subject:  Professor Profiles: Irv Grousbeck, Stanford Graduate School of Busines

FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Irv Grousbeck, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Irv Grousbeck from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

One of the founders and former directors of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), Irv Grousbeck first began teaching at the business school in 1985 after co-founding Continental Cablevision (later Media One) in 1964 and teaching at Harvard Business School (1981–1985), where he helped found the entrepreneurial management department. He is a co-owner, a managing partner, and an executive committee member of the Boston Celtics, a National Basketball Association team. One of Grousbeck’s popular classes, “Conversations in Management,” features role-play with characters ranging from mid-level executives to external respondents. In addition to his work at the GSB, Grousbeck has in recent years taught a course at the Stanford Medical School titled “Managing Difficult Conversations” that is available to medical students and second-year business school students “who aspire to improve their ability to deal effectively with difficult interpersonal situations,” the GSB website states.

For more information about the Stanford GSB and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 25 Mar 2020, 16:00 ]
Post subject:  Researching MBA Programs Without Leaving Your Home

FROM mbaMission Blog: Researching MBA Programs Without Leaving Your Home
As you get ready to tackle your business school applications later this year, you may be wondering how you can research your target programs in the meantime, given that the spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 has closed university campuses across the country. This means no in-person info sessions, no campus tours, and no class visits.

Conducting this sort of research is essential to delivering a strong application—just think about all those “Why our program?” essays—and perhaps even more importantly, it can help you determine whether a particular business school is right for you. 

Given today’s environment, you will need to take a creative, more virtual approach to collecting information on your preferred programs this year. This may seem daunting at first, but many more resources than you might expect are available to help you get to know the different schools.

Before you dive in, though, you want to be sure you can answer three basic questions for each program. Although these are not questions any of the schools will necessarily ask you directly, being able to answer them for yourself will ensure that you have thoroughly done your research.

[list]
[*]How will the school’s academic/professional offerings (classes and clubs) help you achieve your short- and long-term goals?[/*]
[*]How will you both benefit from and contribute to the school’s nonacademic/professional offerings?[/*]
[*]How does the culture/feel of the program fit you personally? Does it match your character and personality?[/*]
[/list]
Now that you know what you need to get from your research, we can offer you some ideas for getting started. Approach each step as a fact-finding mission. The single most important piece of advice we can give is to take notes—incessant and copious—the minute you have completed any of these steps. Four months from now, you are going to want to remember anecdotes, contact names (with email addresses!), and other key details, and you cannot simply rely on your memory.

[list]
[*][b]Sign up for school webinars[/b][b].[/b] While schools might not be conducting online information sessions, they will be conducting online webinars. For example, check out this list of [url=https://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/admissions-events/Pages/default.aspx]virtual admissions events at Harvard Business School[/url]. Likewise, some programs post recordings of previous online events; see this list of [url=https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/programs/mba/admissions/events/spotlight-on]past Columbia Business School webinars[/url], for instance. [/*]
[*][b]Tap into your network[/b][b].[/b] Check LinkedIn to see if you have colleagues—or colleagues with contacts—at any of the business schools on your list. And ask your Facebook friends if they know anyone at the programs you are targeting. Connecting with someone new is typically easier when you already share a mutual connection. Reach out to schedule one-on-one chats and collect information about classes, clubs, professors, career opportunities, and school culture. [/*]
[*][b]Take advantage of Admissions Ambassador programs[/b][b].[/b] Most MBA programs designate a small number of students to be available to answer questions from prospective applicants. Schedule a phone or Skype conversation with one of these student representatives to learn more about their school’s classes, clubs, and culture. [/*]
[*][b]Reach out to local alumni organizations.[/b] A number of business school alumni clubs may be active in your area. If so, contact the groups to request a 20-minute phone call with one or more members. How the club responds to your request will also give you insight into how active the alumni association is and what types of resources they provide for the school’s graduates and students. [/*]
[*][b]Check out YouTube[/b][b].[/b] YouTube can be a treasure trove of information on the top business schools. Chicago Booth, for example, has posted [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqwN_8US7Es]a tour of its Harper Center[/url] conducted by Nobel Prize–winning professor Richard Thaler. Another video addresses [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeKcnP94sfc]the school’s flexible curriculum[/url], and in yet another, students explain how they manage [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlc8nGbPwh4]Chicago’s infamous winter weather[/url]. With more and more in-person activities being cancelled at the leading programs these days, we expect the schools to continue building up their video offerings over the next few weeks or even longer. Consider subscribing to your target programs’ channels or at least make a note to yourself to check them periodically for new posts. [/*]
[*][b]Follow programs on social media[/b][b].[/b] The novel coronavirus outbreak is a rapidly changing situation. Schools are regularly posting updates on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The Berkeley Haas School of Business, for example, has been promoting some of its innovation programs on [url=https://twitter.com/BerkeleyHaas]Twitter[/url], as well as posting about [url=https://twitter.com/BerkeleyHaas/status/1241084575733948422]how its students are staying connected[/url] during this difficult time. Be sure to tune into these channels for the latest information. [/*]
[*][b]Read schools’ employment reports[/b][b].[/b] Every top MBA program publishes its annual employment report online, and these reports include data for both full-time and internship recruiting. For example, [url=https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/-/media/files/cmc/employment-report/kellogg-employment-report-2019.ashx?la=en]Northwestern Kellogg’s 2019 employment report[/url] reveals that 31% of its graduates last year accepted jobs in consulting, while 19% entered positions in financial services. In addition, most schools present a list of their top recruiters, and some even publish a comprehensive list of all the companies that recruited and/or hired their students. [/*]
[*][b]Consult our [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/insider-s-guides]mbaMission Insider’s Guides[/url][/b][b].[/b] More than a decade ago, we began publishing our suite of Insider’s Guides to the top programs to help aspiring MBAs get to know their target schools in depth, more quickly and easily—and we have been updating and expanding them ever since. Informed by direct input from students, alumni, and other school representatives, and consolidating information on the programs’ unique resources and offerings, faculty, environment, social life, and other defining characteristics, these free guides allow you to bypass the stereotypes and efficiently gain a profound understanding of a school’s structure and culture. [/*]
[/list]
In addition to these options, the time-tested approach of directly contacting alumni and students remains a great way to get firsthand insight into your preferred programs. And because so many people are at home right now and may have a little extra free time on their hands, you might find connecting with these individuals easier than usual. That is a definite bright spot in this otherwise challenging time.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 26 Mar 2020, 13:01 ]
Post subject:  Fixing Common Interviewing Mistakes, Part 3: Positioning Yourself for

FROM mbaMission Blog: Fixing Common Interviewing Mistakes, Part 3: Positioning Yourself for Success in Video Interviews
This post was written by our resident Career Coach, [url=https://www.mbamission.com/who-we-are/team/elissa-harris/]Elissa Harris[/url]. To sign up for a free 30-minute career consultation with Elissa, please [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/career-coaching/]click here[/url].

As many companies move to more virtual work environments, interaction among team members and engagement with potential candidates will take place via video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, BlueJeans, Google Hangouts, and Skype.

To help you stand out during video interviews, we have compiled a few easy-to-follow tips for success:

[list]
[*][b]Setting[/b]: Find a quiet, private, well-lit place that is free from potential interruptions or distractions. Position your webcam so that you have a neutral background. [/*]
[*][b]Technology[/b]: Set up and test the software platform at least ten minutes prior to the interview start time. Put your phone away; do not let it distract you during the interview.[/*]
[*][b]Dress code[/b]: Dress as you would for an in-person interview, but consider selecting softer colors instead of bright ones and avoiding busy patterns. If you wear glasses, adjust the lighting in the room to reduce glare from the lenses.[/*]
[*][b]Body language[/b]: Look at the webcam when speaking, and avoid the instinct to look directly at your interviewer. Do not use your notes during the conversation; it is obvious to a hiring manager when you are reading.  [/*]
[*][b]Storytelling[/b]: Prepare for the standard questions that are typically asked during in-person interviews. Know your value proposition and connect it to the needs of the company/role.  [/*]
[*][b]Practice[/b]: Demonstrate confident body language and comfort with the camera. Your goal is to make the interviewer feel like you are in the room with them. Do a trial run by setting up a mock video interview with our career consultants or with your friends. [/*]
[/list]
[b]Bottom line[/b]: Behave as you would for an in-person interview; be professional but show your personality. More interview preparation guidance is available in some of our previous career coaching blog posts: [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2016/11/30/mba-career-news-tell-me-about-yourself/]Tell Me About Yourself[/url], [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2017/08/09/avoiding-interviewing-pitfalls/]Avoiding Interviewing Pitfalls[/url], and [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2016/12/14/mba-career-news-answering-the-dreaded-failure-question/]Answering the Dreaded “Failure” Question[/url].
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 28 Mar 2020, 08:01 ]
Post subject:  What to Do When You Do Not Have Much Time to Prepare for the GMAT

FROM mbaMission Blog: What to Do When You Do Not Have Much Time to Prepare for the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Some time ago, I flew over to London to give an all-day workshop at London Business School. The audience comprised about 35 students who had already been admitted to a weekend master’s program, but that admission was contingent upon taking the GMAT and getting a “good enough” score (as defined by the school). The students had only about a month or two to fulfill this requirement.

What can you do in a six-hour crash course? Not much more than an introduction and orientation—but even that is incredibly valuable in helping people get started and know what to expect.

So what should someone do who is in the position of taking the test in four to eight weeks and has not studied a ton yet?

First, take a practice test under 100% official conditions. I always recommend this first step for anyone, but this is especially crucial for someone with limited time. You are going to have to prioritize heavily, and you have no effective way to do that without good practice test data.

Next, identify the practice materials you want to use. You are going to need at least one source for official practice questions (perhaps the Official Guide 2019 Edition). You are also going to need some materials that help you get better in your areas of greatest weakness—for example, if you are struggling with word problems and sentence correction, then you are going to need some test prep materials that teach those specific areas.

When determining which question types and content areas to prioritize, remember two important things:

(1) All areas are not created equal. Struggling with Combinatorics? Great. Those are infrequently tested, so you can get away with just dropping that topic entirely. Struggling with exponents and roots? Those are much more common, so you are going to need to dig in there. Frequently versus infrequently tested areas can change over time, so ask an expert on an online forum at whatever point you need to figure this out.

(2) Timing is an enormous factor on this exam. Everyone has timing problems, ranging from mild to severe. I cannot tell you how many students I have spoken with who study for months but do not get much better on their practice tests because they have not been practicing timing. Everyone needs to deal with timing right from the start—and this is especially true for someone who has only four to eight weeks to take the test.

Last step: Start working! Tons of resources are available on the Manhattan Prep blog to help you in your studies, but I will point you toward two particular article compilations that should be the most helpful. Both articles were written as comprehensive articles for people who have months to study, so you will once again have to prioritize and cut out things for which you just do not have time—but these will provide you with the best starting point from which to make those decisions.
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Author:  mbaMissionJenK [ 29 Mar 2020, 07:00 ]
Post subject:  How Will COVID-19 Impact Your MBA Applications? 

FROM mbaMission Blog: How Will COVID-19 Impact Your MBA Applications? 
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/applying-in-the-time-of-1.png][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/applying-in-the-time-of-1-300x300.png[/img][/url]
Over the last several weeks, the effects of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic have reached far and wide—and business schools are no exception. Many admissions officers at U.S. MBA programs are suddenly encouraging more prospective students in the United States to consider applying in Round 3 of the 2019–2020 application season, given that large numbers of international applicants may need to defer their admission. In addition, several U.S. and international programs have opted to [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/03/23/covid-19-prompts-more-changes-to-mba-application-deadlines-and-test-taking-requirements/]extend application deadlines and modify test-taking requirements[/url] for the remaining application rounds. Many applicants have also been clamoring for [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/covid19/]helpful information on the GMAT[/url] and [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gre/blog/covid19/]GRE “at home”[/url] testing options being offered in light of recent test center closures around the globe. Despite the promise of flexibility by business schools and test centers, many applicants are left wondering: what’s next?

Given the uncertainty in the world today, should you continue with your applications? If you have already been accepted to business school, should you attend? What is in store for MBAs in the era of COVID-19 and its aftermath?

In our new webinar, [b]Applying in the Time of COVID-19[/b], mbaMission will explore the changing admissions dynamics for 2020 and 2021 and advise applicants on how to use this unexpected free time to become their most competitive. Are you aware of the many opportunities available to volunteer online? Have you considered ways to build morale and camaraderie while working remotely? Did you know that you can study for and even take the GRE (and soon the GMAT!) online and bolster your quantitative profile through distance learning courses? These are just some of the topics we will cover during the complimentary webinar.

[b]Now is still a great time to strengthen your MBA candidacy.[/b] Join mbaMission’s founder and president, Jeremy Shinewald, as he presents the Applying in the Time of COVID-19 webinar on the following dates:

[list]
[*][b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/25888/]Monday, March 30, 2020, at 7:00 a.m. Eastern[/url][/b][/*]
[*][b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/25889/]Thursday, April 2, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern[/url][/b][/*]
[*][b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/25890/]Monday, April 6, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern[/url][/b][/*]
[*][b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/25891/]Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern[/url][/b][/*]
[/list]
Register for free today!

We at mbaMission wish you and your family well during this unprecedented and challenging time.
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