The extensive available advice about applying to MBA programs was largely created with applicants to full-time MBA programs in mind. If you are applying to part-time MBA programs, most of this advice will be pertinent for you as well. But there are some nuances to applying to part-time programs that warrant attention.
The fact of working while you are studying is one, and it affects the application. The nitty-gritty of your daily work is a resource you will bring directly to class discussions and group projects. You can share the reality of your work world in “real time” with your classmates. The adcoms view this factor as a core benefit of part-time programs and integral to their unique learning process. Hence, in your resume, essays, and the application form, put thought into how you present your current work scenario; look at it from the eyes of prospective classmates.
Moreover, since you are continuing to work, your goals won’t necessarily start at the magic moment you graduate. So, in a goals essay (depending on how the question is worded) discuss specific goals that you want to achieve in your current role, while you’re in the program – doing so allows you to further illuminate your work. Part-time MBA programs are usually not for career changers, at least in the short term, and they may not open recruiting to them. Review the program’s policies about recruiting for part-time students before you say that you’ll be using it for post-MBA employment.
Attending grad school while working is grueling, period. Hence, adcoms look for evidence that you are prepared for it. The last thing they want is students dropping out. Sometimes an essay question directly addresses this issue. If not, it can never hurt to briefly convey awareness of the challenge and mention plans for handling it. If you’ve previously successfully studied while working full time, note that fact.
Finally, for the bulk of part-time programs that target local applicants, their applicant pool may contain high concentrations from strong local industries, such as pharma and finance in New York. Consider and address this factor in differentiating yourself.
Good luck with your applications!
By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.
Emlyon Business School (formerly École de management de Lyon) just announced the launch of its new pre-experience Masters in Luxury Management and Marketing, a program designed to prepare students for an international management career in the luxury industry.
The 16-month program, which will be run in collaboration with the London College of Fashion, will offer maximum exposure to the world of luxury goods and manufacturing. Classes are held on three continents; students will participate in an internship anywhere in the world.
This looks like a great way to acquire marketable skills while having a blast in Lyon, London, and Shanghai! See more info here.
This app is fantastic! It allows students who are planning on applying to medical school to actively track their progress for their activities, academics and letters of recommendation. It could be used to help students stay motivated during the lengthy process of preparation.
At the top of the main page, there are three small icons: “General Info, Tips & Links, and PreMD CV.” The first two icons will help you get started by teaching you how to use the app and explaining how the percentages are calculated for the three main categories: Activities, Academics and Letters. The third icon generates an email that will allow you to send an excel spreadsheet with all of the information that you have entered into the app.
If you click on the first large icon, “Activities,” from the main menu, you can choose from “Medical, Community, Research, or Additional” to list each experience as you complete it, under these four categories. For each activity you enter, you can include the experience name, hours completed, start and end dates, organization name, contact title, phone number and email address. There is even space to include a description of the activity. Writing the description as you are participating in the activity would be helpful rather than waiting to write all fifteen activity descriptions at the same time for the AMCAS application! Not only can you keep track of all of your activities, but there are also “Tips & Links” with more information about how to make sure that you have completed enough of the different types of activities that medical schools like to see. They have created a useful way to capture each activity and to provide percentages of how much time you spend in each area to determine if you have reached the recommended number of hours. Keeping your eye on the big picture perspective of the combination of activities that you are participating in can give you an edge in the application process.
Under “Academics,” you can track your BCPM GPA and MCAT scores, by entering in each class that you have completed or MCAT score that you have received. Under “Tips & Links,” they have included updates on the new MCAT and useful FAQ’s with general information about coursework and selecting a major.
For the last option on the main menu, “Letters,” this section includes a list of the types of letters required to help you cover your bases. It allows you to list the name of the letter writer and to check off each letter of recommendation after you receive it. You receive a percentage for the total number of letters you have.
For those students who may be struggling academically or unsure of applying to medical school with a low GPA or MCAT score, the app could include information on postbac programs or a way to track a postbac GPA in the future. I guess that element is for PreMed Tracker 2.0
However, today’s version of the app is easy to use and can simplify the process of applying to medical school.
Check out PreMD Tracker here.
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.
Helen Keller once wrote: “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” This is an apt quote for many undertakings, and is particularly appropriate for folks setting out to pursue an MBA and entire all the risk and uncertainly of the modern global market.
In hero myths the world over, the hero who wants to attain some lofty goal (the Holy Grail, marriage to a beautiful maiden, etc.) must enter a region of uncertainty and challenge. Often, there’s some preliminary challenging figure at the outset, the Guardian of the Threshold, such as the Tuskan Raiders for Luke Skywalker.
For all who aspire to an MBA, that initial challenge is the GMAT. Standardized tests are always challenging, and this one reflects the uncompromisingly high standards of the business world. Certainly it’s very important to be aware of all the resources available from GMAC, the folks who write the GMAT. While those resources are expensive, the questions therein are by far the best preparation for the GMAT. In fact, I would recommend learning and warming up with other materials, and saving those official questions for relatively late in your studies, so they are the last things you do in the weeks leading up to your GMAT.
It’s also important to get acquainted with the simple logistics of the GMAT. How long is the GMAT? Where does one take it? What ID does one need? etc. etc. It’s very important to get all these little details sorted out well ahead of time, so that on test day, you can remain in your “game head” and not have to sweat niggling details.
Beyond this, it will be important to identify the best MBA Admission resources. There are some fantastic resources available for free, but unfortunately, there are others that so aptly fit the sarcastic description, “Free, and worth every penny!” It’s very important to have some wise guidance when wading through all these potential study aids, particularly if it is all new to you.
All this new information and all these new demands may be intimidating, but remember: how a person responds when facing the unknown is a defining aspect of that person. If you are the kind of person that easily gets overwhelmed and freezes in the face of the unknown, it’s somewhat unclear how you plan to make effective decisions in the ever-evolving electronically driven business world. This is a world that demands resilience and a lion-hearted confidence, and there’s no better place to begin exhibiting those traits than in your preparation for the GMAT.
“Which MBA Programs Should You Apply to Next Season?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. To download the entire free special report, click here.
It’s late winter or early spring, already in the ebb of the current MBA admissions season. That means it’s the perfect time for people planning to apply next season to break out of hibernation and start tackling a part of the application process that is often shortchanged: school selection. Doing this part right sets the course for an efficient, productive application process with greater likelihood of satisfying results.
In 15 years of MBA admissions consulting I have found that otherwise highly capable and focused people often basically wing it when it comes to creating their school list. “I’m just applying to all the top ten.” Top ten according to what source? “I realize now [after R2 deadlines have passed] I was overreaching. Are there any good schools I can still apply to?” Probably. “I’m applying to H/S/W, with Duke as my safety.” Duke as your safety?
By starting to develop your list of prospective schools now, you can avoid these and similar problems (yes, these responses are all problems – real ones I’ve heard, more than once).
By approaching school selection thoughtfully and systematically, you will save time, money, and effort in the long run (even if you expend more of all initially). You will conserve precious energy for the nitty-gritty work of the applications. You will be able to start planning school visits and recommendations, two things that often get tangled up when first addressed in the heat of the application season.
In this series I provide various tips and approaches to developing a solid list of schools. Each person’s needs are unique, and there is no one formula that works for everyone, so I will guide you in asking the right questions, answering (or finding answers to) those questions, and deciding accordingly.
This series will cover, among other topics:
• assessing your profile
• the role of rankings
• how many schools you should apply to
• identifying and prioritizing your b-school needs and wants.
Ready? Here are a couple of things you can and should do right now to get started on the school selection process for next season:
• Capture on paper or your preferred electronic medium those random thoughts that have been floating around in your head, for example, “top 10,” “friendly to older applicants,” “strong quant focus,” “need to be within an hour by plane from my ailing mother.”
• Read blogs of MBA students not just at schools you’re already interested in but from a wider array of schools – both the substance and the tone of those blog posts will give you a subjective feel for different programs and your own responses to them.
• If possible talk to MBA students and ask them about their school selection process; what went well and what proved difficult or problematic; ask what they would do differently.
• Visit schools now! Visit schools you know you are interested in (you can always re-visit later), schools you might be interested in, and even schools on the margins. It’s the perfect time: schools are in session, you’re not pressed by the application process yet, and it’s close enough to application time for your insights from the visits to be relevant if you discuss them in essays. Take advantage of travel you may do for business or pleasure to schedule a visit, rather than trying to cram everything in the fall—when you’ll be even busier than usual with applications plus work. Moreover, visiting now gives you time to digest and reflect on your campus experiences.
By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.