Last season I was often asked, “How should I act during my MBA visits?” It’s wise to consider, because adcom members start to assess your social intelligence even at this early stage.
Having an effective “elevator pitch” will enable you to attend such visits without anxiety, show you to be socially adept, and free you to focus on listening and responding rather than thinking about what to say in those initial moments. Aim to present a thoughtful, meaningful nugget of information to make a positive first impression and facilitate conversation. You can use your nugget with adcom members, MBA students, and fellow applicants. With the latter two groups, you can also follow up with “What is your industry background?” or “What are your post-MBA goals?”
Your elevator pitch should be one to two sentences only. Its content should usually focus on present and future. The key is to convey core information in a way that is engaging. Here are two examples:
• Hi, I’m Mary Liu, a consultant in McKinsey’s supply chain practice. I hope to develop and lead the next-generation of supply chain innovations in emerging markets.
• Hello, Manish Das here. I’ve been troubleshooting Bank Paribas’ risk management applications in Eastern Europe during the global financial crisis. Post-MBA I want to focus on developing new risk management strategies to avert such crises.
If there is something important in your past to add for a clearer picture, mention it. E.g., a listener would probably assume Manish Das grew up in India. What if Manish grew up in Kenya, an interesting tidbit: “Hello, Manish Das. I grew up in Kenya. I’ve been troubleshooting…”
Finally: practice! Your pitch should be natural for you to say, and practicing will help you adjust it to make it so.
Enjoy your school visits!
By Cindy Tokumitsu, author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.
This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Natalie Uy…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
Natalie: Howdy! I was born in New York but grew up most of my life in San Antonio, Texas. I went to Stanford University in California (the best college ever in my humble opinion) where I got a dual degree with a BS in Biology and a BA in Art Practice, graduating in the c/o 2012.
Accepted: Where are you currently in med school? What year?
Natalie: I am currently a 3rd year at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Accepted: If you could change one thing about med school, what would it be?
Natalie: There isn’t really anything that I’d change honestly. I really like how my medical education has been structured – here we have 1.5 years of pre-clinics and 2.5 years of clinical rotations.
My least favorite part is studying for boards. I know it’s a rite of passage, but Step 1 is something I’d rather not endure again!
Accepted: What’s been your favorite rotation so far? Do you think this is what you’ll eventually specialize in?
Natalie: It’s been surprisingly hard to say. I started off with psychiatry thinking I wouldn’t like it, but it was a great experience. My first clinical experience as a young MS2 was interviewing a psychotic patient in the county hospital ER – nothing teaches you the DSMV criteria for schizophrenia better than the patient himself. Similarly, I thought I wouldn’t like surgery but seriously considered it after I had particularly exceptional teachers in vascular and ENT.
I’ve decided to go into Internal Medicine – not because of my specific rotation per se, but because of what I felt was the best fit for me. I think when choosing a specialty it’s important to look at the specialty itself and filter out biases like the hospitals, the attendings, the residents, etc. I knew I needed a lot of interaction with patients and decided to stay with the cerebral side of medicine. I liked the variety of diseases in IM and although I enjoyed a pediatrics a lot, I liked being able to directly converse with my adult patients. I also knew I want to have a family in the future and be involved with raising my kids, so it was also a flexible choice. I will probably further subspecialize in IM, but exactly when remains to be seen.
Accepted: Did you go straight from college to med school? How would you advise others who are deciding between taking a gap year or not?
Natalie: Although many people from Stanford take a gap year, I went straight. I knew exactly what I wanted to do – be a doctor! – so I was ready to start medical school, and I don’t regret not having a gap year.
Taking a gap year is always a personal decision of course. My friends who took gap years did it because they were burnt out from school or wanted to strengthen their applications with research or boost their GPA or have other life experiences first. I don’t know anyone who regretted taking a gap year, so I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea. The only thing to consider is that the longer you wait, the harder it may be in getting back into the habit of classes and exams, as some of my older classmates were 5-10 years out from college.
Accepted: Can you tell us about your food blog? Is there any connection to your passion for medicine in your blog? Can you direct us to your three favorite posts?
Natalie: Oh yes – to take time off from studying, I run a food blog called Obsessive Cooking Disorder (fondly known as OCD). I started it just prior to medical school to document recipes I tried and liked, but it’s definitely grown; all the photography and writing is done by me. The art of food photography – styling to make the food look amazing is always a fun artistic challenge. I’ll write about a variety of topics – history and tips on a particular food, funny conversations with friends and family, and often, stories on my medical journal.
It’s also nice because I can share with other fellow students what life is like – good days and bad – as well as document how I felt on a given rotation. Medical school goes by in a flash, and I want to remember every moment of it – from preclinicals and clinics to studying for boards to Match Day!
Here are a few recipes about my medical journey.
• Black Forest Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte)
• Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia
• Cinnamon Craisin Walnut Sourdough
• All American Brownies
• Mocha Cupcakes with Kahlua Buttercream
Accepted: Looking back at the med school admissions process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? What steps did you take to overcome that challenge?
Natalie: The most difficult part was doing everything while I was currently a college student. Because I didn’t take a gap year, I didn’t have as much time to get things like research publications on my resume or study as much for my MCAT. I had to study for my MCAT in the midst of applying for research grants, getting my honors thesis proposal ready, and taking an enormous load of courses because of my dual degree (I completed 5 years of courses in 4 years). Time management was definitely key, but it prepared me very well for medical school.
Accepted: Do you have any tips for incoming first year students? What do you wish you would’ve known before starting med school to make your transition easier?
Natalie: The most difficult part of adjusting to med school is realizing that not only is everyone incredibly smart, everyone is also so hard working. Don’t stress if you’re not in the top of your class anymore – just strive to be the best doctor you can be. I encourage people not to see fellow medical students as competition, but as future colleagues and co-workers. After all, you’d want to refer your grandmother to the best doctors in the future – your classmates!
Definitely the most important thing is to have a work-life balance. I make a point to exercise daily, cook/bake with my blog and make artwork. Also remember to have fun and socialize – I could not have made it without my significant other, friends, and family. Medicine is a journey, not a destination!
For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.
You can follow Natalie’s med school adventure by checking out her blog, Obsessive Cooking Disorder. Thank you Natalie for sharing your story with us!
Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at email@example.com.
For those of you who can’t wait to move forward with your 2016 MBA applications — especially those of you interested in Columbia Business School‘s January entry option (AKA Jterm)–I’ve got good news:
The Columbia Jterm application for the 2015-16 application cycle will be available on April 23, 2015. You can learn more by registering for Columbia’s MBA Virtual Session: January Entry Experience to be held on April 22.
And you can become an absolute expert on Columbia admissions by tuning into the Admissions Straight Talk April 22 show, when I will explore CBS MBA admissions with a special focus on JTerm by interviewing representatives from CBS’ MBA admissions office. (Even better: subscribe to AST and then you can’t miss it!)
There will also be an On-Campus Information Session in July for Columbia Jterm applicants. (Registration & exact date TBA).
The application deadline for Columbia Jterm is October 7, 2015.
Can you believe it? The 2014-15 MBA application season isn’t even over, and the next one is beginning. It’s almost like ever-expanding sports seasons. Let the fun begin!
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
We’re excited to welcome Carol Drummer to our staff. Carol brings over 20 years of experience in higher education, including 10 years as Dean of Graduate Admissions at Hofstra. She has coached and mentored thousands of prospective MBA, Ph.D, MFA, MA/MS and Pre-Med Post Baccalaureate graduate students through the application, admission, and enrollment process. And as Dean, she reviewed admissions decisions for thousands of applicants. She knows what committees are looking for, and can help you put together the most effective application possible.
Carol is also a professor of communication and rhetoric, and is co-writing an “Admission 101” book for parents.
We’re thrilled to welcome her to our team!
AAMC’s Medical Minority Applicant Registry (Med-MAR) is specifically designed to improve admissions opportunities for students from groups underrepresented in the medical field or who have an economically disadvantaged background.
Who: Med-MAR is for U.S. citizens or Permanent Resident Visa holders who identify as economically disadvantaged or who come from the following historically underrepresented ethnic or racial groups in medicine: African-American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
How: Such applicants may opt into the Med-MAR program by either accepting or rejecting participation during MCAT registration.
Why: Med schools use the registry to help them find applicants that will enrich the diversity of their student body. Disclaimer from the AAMC website: “Med-MAR serves only as a means of identifying and communicating the availability of applicants from groups who self-identify as underrepresented in medicine and/or as economically disadvantaged. No attempt is made by Med-MAR to advise students where to apply or to influence any admissions decisions.”
Note: Participating in AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program (FAP) does not automatically put applicants on the Med-MAR registry.