How to Trap the Adcom in Your Love Snare – Register NOW!

On Wednesday, December 3rd at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET, we will be hosting an exciting webinar, 5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You.

Click here to register for the Top 5 Make Top B-Schools Love You webinar!

If you want to create a b-school application that will make the adcom swoon, then you won’t want to miss this event!

During the FREE webinar, we will be offering specific advice on how to convince top b-school adcom that their next MBA class simply NEEDS you in order to thrive by creating an application that will take their breath away!


Reserve your spot for 5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You now! Helping You Write Your Best

Notre Dame Mendoza 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out the rest of our school-specific application essay tips!

Notre Dame Mendoza

You need to clearly convey to the Mendoza adcom that you have what it takes to be an effective leader—an integrated mind, a broad perspective, tenacity, and heart. Use your career experiences, your career goals, and your personal values to help you demonstrate these key elements.


Your response to the essay questions is extremely important in the selection process. Create a file for your essay and include your name on each page. Your essay should be typed, double-spaced, and no longer than 2 pages.

1. Your responsibility as a lifelong member of the Mendoza community is to Ask More of Business – to exemplify individual integrity, organizational excellence, and a concern for the greater good. How do you plan to do this in your professional career?

This is a question asking you to show that you belong in the Mendoza community with the emphasis that it puts on service and ethics, as well as organizational leadership. There are different ways to approach this question. Here are two possibilities:

1. Present an experience that shows you demonstrating managerial ability, integrity, and a concern for the greater good or a commitment to service. Tell that story and then analyze what you learned from the experience. How did your understanding of these essential (for Mendoza) values evolve as a result of this event. How do you intend to apply that understanding and those lessons in the future?

2. Use three different experiences to show each of the qualities that Mendoza is looking for and weave them together with a unifying themes. Then again, take the lessons you learned from these different experiences and show how you intend to use them going forward.

With the first the first approach is you can go into greater depth, both about the experience and what you learned, but you may have trouble defining such an experience. With the second approach, you risk a travelogue type of approach, but it may work better in terms of the three values.

In both cases, make sure you answer the question about how you intend to fulfill your responsibility as a member of the Mendoza community in the future.

2. Slideshow Presentation

• Effective business communication is a central skill for managers and visual presentations are an important and frequent method of communication. Demonstrate your ability to clearly, concisely and persuasively communicate important information by telling us about yourself using a short slide presentation.

• Please consider the following guidelines when creating your presentation.

• You are free to cover any material about yourself that you think would be of value to the Admissions Committee.

• Please use whatever software programs you like to develop your presentation but note that the only acceptable formats for upload in the online application system is Adobe PDF.

• There is a strict maximum of four slides, though you can provide fewer than four if you choose.

• The slides that you submit will be printed and added to your application file for review by the Admissions Committee. As a result, only text and static images will be seen. Videos, music, hyperlinks, etc will not be conveyed and should not be included. Color may be used.

• Your goal is to clearly, concisely and persuasively convey key information. Slides will be evaluated on these dimensions and not on graphic or presentation elements.

• Notes pages will not be accepted. You should plan to convey your entire message on the actual slides themselves.

• To assist MBA Applicants with the development of their slide presentation, please consult this PowerPoint Guide.

Think strategically here. What do you want the admissions reader to know about you that isn’t found elsewhere in the application and can be presented well visually. Usually hobbies and non-professional experiences are good topics for this kind of question, but the key is that the experience or achievement can be presented graphically in four slides.

3. Supplemental Essay Instructions

The Notre Dame MBA Admissions Committee will accept supplemental essays from applicants who wish to provide additional information that has not been captured within other areas of the application.

For example, applicants with low undergraduate GPA’s may address any circumstances surrounding their performance or applicants who have been dismissed from school may want to consider addressing that issue. Also, if you want to explain your work history in greater detail, please use the Supplemental Essay to provide us with a chronology of your work history.

If you are a re-applicant, you must complete a Supplemental Essay outlining your activities since you last applied.

Ultimately, we will accept supplemental essays on any topic that you feel is important to the Committee and not explained fully within other portions of the application.

Please keep all submissions to one page, typed and double-spaced.

Again, the response to this MBA essay should complement the other essays and information found in your application. In my view, this essay is optional in name only. If you are impressive enough to get into Notre Dame, you should have more to say than can be captured in the required goals essay and the slide presentation.

If you are a reapplicant, the key question to address: How has your candidacy improved since you last applied?  An improved GMAT is easy to point to, if you have it, but don’t limit it to that. Be sure to discuss increases in responsibility on and off the job, a sharpened career goal, a community service initiative, or anything else that reflects well on you and hasn’t been discussed in the other essays.

If you would like professional guidance with your Notre Dame Mendoza MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Notre Dame Mendoza MBA application.

Notre Dame Mendoza 2015 MBA Application Deadlines:

 Application Deadline Decision Notification 
Early Action  September 8, 2014  October 10, 2014
1  October 13, 2014  December 5, 2014
2  January 12, 2015  February 20, 2015
3  February 23, 2015  April 2, 2015

Click here for more school-specific MBA application essay tips!

Apply with an admissions pro at your side! Click here to learn more.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.


Related Resources:

How to Prove Character Traits in Essays
Leadership in Admission
• From Music to MBA: IV with a Notre Dame Mendoza Student

Who Should Take a Gap Year?

Download your free copy of  Navigate the Medical School Maze!

Take a year “off” to catch your breath and refocus your energy.

While you may be feeling impatient to apply to medical school, ultimately, it will be in your best interest to take your time in completing each step of the application process. You want to do your best! If you try to take a full course load while studying for the MCAT and writing your personal statement, the quality of your work and/or your scores will reflect how overwhelmed you can become. Multi-tasking is a myth. The brain can only focus on one task at a time. In order to apply successfully to medical school, you have to plan for success—each step of the way. Following the example of the Tazmanian Devil will only get sand in your eyes and potentially lead to a disastrous result.

You may want to consider taking a gap year for the following reasons:

• To prepare for and take the MCAT

If you did not receive a competitive score or if you are preparing to take the exam for the first time, give yourself the time and space to focus only on the exam. The feedback I have received from students who have taken the test multiple times is that they had to make time to focus on their preparation. Cutting down on work hours and other activities can be helpful. Most importantly, do not plan on studying for the exam while you are taking classes. Over the years, I have seen it happen time and time again that students hurt either their MCAT score, their grades, or both.

• To create an increasing trend in your GPA

It is essential that you have an increasing trend in your GPA when applying to medical school. This can make or break your chances of acceptance. The selection committees need to see evidence that you can handle a heavy science course load with flying colors. If you have a decreasing trend in your GPA, I recommend taking a gap year to improve your grades.

• To pursue a graduate degree in an area of your interest

If you are passionate about a particular field or research interest, pursuing a Master’s Degree can provide you with the opportunity to further explore that topic as well as help you become a more competitive applicant to medical school since you will gain expertise in that subject. It could also help you establish a network of professional support and guide the direction of your medical education.

• To gain life experience

Many students feel “burned out” after completing their Bachelor’s Degree. Taking a year “off” to catch your breath and refocus your energy can help you approach the application process with more confidence. You can use that time to strengthen your application in a number of important ways—completing a medical mission, volunteering for Teach for America, gaining industry experience, etc.

*Plan on taking a lighter load to accommodate the stress and challenges of submitting your primary application, completing secondaries and interviewing.*

Students who want to give themselves more time to create a more competitive application often take a gap year to better prepare themselves. Applying with a competitive MCAT score, an increasing trend in your GPA, a graduate degree in a field that you love, and/or more life experience are all compelling reasons to take your time and complete each step of the application process at your own pace.

This is not a race! Focus on reaching your ultimate goal, not pushing yourself so hard that you hurt your chances of acceptance or have to reconsider your options.

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an 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.

Related Resources:

• A Second Chance at Medical School: Applying to Postbac Programs
• Insights & Advice of a Non-Traditional Med Student
• Why Consider Participating in a Special Masters Program (SMP)?

More BW Rankings: Best International B-Schools 2014

I hope you didn’t think we were done with this year’s Businessweek rankings! Next up…the top 20 international MBA programs.

Learn how to make the business school rankings work for you, not against you!

Here are some highlights:

• There are 2 new schools to the top 10 this year, both of which were unranked in 2012: ESMT (3rd place) and Cambridge Judge (6th place).

• ESADE fell dramatically from 6th place in 2012 to 19th place this year. The other school to fall from the top 10 this year was McGill Desautels, which dropped from 10th place to 15th

• Other schools taking a hit this year include Imperial College London (fell from 13th to 23rd); York Schulich (14th to 24th), Erasmus Rotterdam (17th to 25th), and Manchester (19th to 26th).

• New to the rankings this year are ESMT and Cambridge Judge (as mentioned above), as well as Cranfield (ranked at 13 this year), CEIBS (17th place), Concordia Molson (20th), Hult (21st), National University of Singapore (22nd), and Melbourne (27th).

BW provides a comprehensive chart where you can look at the specific ways these schools were ranked, including Intellectual Capital Rank, Employer Survey Rank, and Student Survey Rank. These are all explained in the ranking methodology section.

For Linda’s analysis of the BW rankings and their increased volatility, please see “Businessweek Rankings 2014.”
Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings? Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Businessweek Rankings 2014
• MBA Rankings: Why Should I Care?
• Top 10 B-Schools with the Most Satisfied Graduates

MBA Interview Questions: Walk Me Through Your Resume

Click here to download your free guide to Preparing for Your Business School Interviews.

Your interviewer already knows what you’ve done. Now she wants to know why.

Reason for asking the question:

1. This question (or some version of it) is very often the first question asked in an MBA interview, since it should be a fairly easy question to answer and provides a foundation for the rest of the interview. Can the candidate remain focused on answering the question? Is he or she especially nervous? Can the candidate summarize his or her work accomplishments succinctly while at the same time providing a narrative about career progression? All of this information is helpful to manage the interview.

2. The interviewer has already had the chance to look at your resume, but wants to understand the “why” of it. The responsibility of the candidate is to highlight some career accomplishments, but primarily to explain the reasoning and motivation for the most significant career moves made.

How to prepare:

The answer to this question should be 2-3 minutes long, so once you have chosen the things you would like to highlight, practice your answer several times to make sure you can fit it into that timeframe. The point is not to summarize everything you have done at every job, but to briefly discuss accomplishments and the circumstances surrounding moves from one role to another. The logical starting point is your graduation from college. Summarize the degree you received and how it made sense to pursue the career you did based on your education. From there, look closely at your jobs. In one-two sentences, how would you discuss your time in that role? What was the motivating factor to move from that role to the next one? For your current job, lay out your current responsibilities. While it may be tempting to continue on and also answer “why an MBA” when you get there, just wait until that question is asked.

How to highlight particular circumstances:

Situation 1: Worked two years at a consulting firm, then switched to work in marketing at a pharmaceutical company.

“While at XX Consulting I had an extended engagement with a major pharma company. Working there made me realize the growth and potential of the industry, and I no longer wanted to be an outsider looking in. I wanted to XYZ.”

Situation 2: Worked in operations at a manufacturer, then switched to finance.

“During my time in operations I worked closely with the finance group in preparing our supply chain forecast. Through that experience I came to realize that I really loved numbers, and finance more closely fit with where I saw my career going. I made the case to senior management, and after recognizing my capabilities in the area they found a spot for me.”

Situation 3: Moved up in the organization from analyst to senior analyst to associate.

“I was fortunate to be involved in projects that gave me a lot of responsibility early on and had supportive mentors along the way. This allowed me to be recognized for my contributions and move up in the organization.” [In this type of situation, mentioning a few details of the projects would be appropriate.]

Important things to remember:

1. Do not rehash everything on your resume. Remember, the interviewer will have already read through it, and seen several details. They want to understand WHY you have done what you have in your career thus far.

2. Stay focused. Don’t get bogged down in details that the interviewer doesn’t need or want to know. HIGHLIGHT and move on.

Additional things to consider:

It’s possible the interviewer might ask “Tell me about yourself” instead. In this case, it is still appropriate to give the details about your work experience, but also to give some background on you. Possible things to share: Where you grew up, interesting information about your childhood/schooling, why you chose to go to the university you did, and why you chose to study what you did. Essentially, by wording the question this way, the interviewer is encouraging you to include more personal details about your life, both current and from the past.

Tips to help you ace those MBA interviews!

Jennifer Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing.

Related Resources:

• MBA Interview Formats Series
The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews
• MBA Interview Must-Know #2: You