Volunteer Work Is Very Important

Countless students have said that they are interested in the field of medicine because they want to help people. If this is why you are going into medicine, be sure that your application contains evidence that you have helped people. Being a physician means that you will be dedicating your life to serving others. You need to be sure you want this.

One way to convey your commitment to service work is by volunteering and trying to make a difference in your community. Volunteer for Hospice, become a literacy volunteer or a Big Brother or Big Sister. Get out there, get involved, and make a difference. 

 This post is excerpted from 101 Tips on Getting Into Medical School by Jennifer C. Welch, who has served as the Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical School since 2001.

Yale SOM & You: MBA Q&A Tomorrow

Do you have burning questions about Yale SOM‘s admissions process or program? Join us for a Q&A session on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/5:00 PM GMT, during which Bruce DelMonico, Director of MBA Admissions, will be available to address all your Yale concerns. Are you wondering what the MBA experience at Yale School of Management is like? Would you like to know more about Yale’s focus on integration? What is the school looking for in its applicants and students? Take advantage of this opportunity to further explore if Yale is for you, and how you can boost your chances of getting into this top MBA program!

Register now to reserve your spot for Yale SOM & You: MBA Q&A!

What time is that for me? Click on the link to find out the exact time for your location.

Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

ESADE 2011 MBA Application Questions and Tips.

This ESADE 2011 MBA Application tip post is one of a series of posts providing MBA application and essay advice for applicants to top MBA programs around the world. You can access the entire series at http://blog.accepted.com/acceptedcom_blog/tag/2011-mba-application-tips. The tips for answering ESADE’s essay questions are in blue below.

ESADE 2010-2011 MBA Essay Questions

Known for its humanistic approach to business, Spanish business school Esade pays equal attention to the development of a just society and producing business leaders. Unsurprisingly, the school is strong in Social Enterprise and Green tech.

Consistently ranked among the top European business schools, a key strength is its flexibility: you can do the program in 12, 15, or 18 months. With agreements signed with over 100 universities worldwide, the program also offers a wide range of exchanges/ internships. 

The teaching method is a mix of classic case-study techniques and a more personalized approach, depending on students’ needs. An extremely collaborative atmosphere and intimate class size engenders close relationships with both professors –approximately 20% from outside of Spain— and students –at least 70% international. Classes are taught in both Spanish and English.  

Q1. Write a brief explanation of your most important professional and personal achievements to date. (2000 characters maximum, 30 lines approximately) 

Note that the school asks about your most important achievements, and not just the professional ones. Ideally, I would aim for one professional, one community, and one personal accomplishment. Though the question does not explicitly ask “why” the accomplishment was important, I do suggest incorporating this into your answer. For example, what did the accomplishment teach you about yourself? Did it impact the choices you made in life? And so on.  

Q2. What do you consider your most powerful strength or asset? Describe a situation where you demonstrated this strength or asset. (2000 characters maximum, 30 lines approximately) 

Choose one strength or asset and describe a time when you demonstrated it in spades. Once again, if there is room, subtly show why this is a positive. (Ask yourself: what does this strength/asset say about me and my potential to be a good business leader?) 

Q3. If you could pick the one quality that characterizes a good leader, which would you choose and why? (2000 characters maximum, 30 lines approximately)

Obviously, you don’t want to repeat what you wrote in Q2, but the two could nicely dovetail. Choose the quality. Explain why it is important. If possible, extrapolate with a situation in which you demonstrated this trait and how it led to success. 

Q4. What are your mid- and long-term goals after doing the MBA? (2000 characters maximum, 30 lines approximately)

This is a forward-looking question. There is no need to explain what you have done in the past, nor what you are doing now, other than to anchor your future goals, if necessary. Just map out your plan. More importantly: how will you get there? What is Esade’s role in that plan? Get as specific as you can.

Q5. Is there anything you have not mentioned in the essays that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (2000 characters maximum, 30 lines approximately)

Never let an optional question go to waste! This is where you can explain any gaps or perceived weaknesses in your profile. This is also a great space to share another aspect to your profile, like a hobby, a passion, community activity, and so on. 

 By Paris-based Accepted.com editor Tanis Kmetyk, who has well over a decade of experience advising applicants to top MBA programs. She’d be happy to share her expertise with you when you apply too.

Tips for Completing the Penn Common App Supplemental Essay

Are you applying to the University of Pennsylvania?  Penn’s 2400 freshmen arrive from around the globe to study in 4 undergraduate divisions ( College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Nursing, and the Wharton School of Business) or one of several interdisciplinary programs.  Penn’s bustling, urban campus, abundant extracurricular and research activities, combined with top-flight academics in a variety of disciplines make it appealing to a large number of students.

However, you will need to sit down in front of a blank computer screen and answer their supplemental essay question:

Considering both the specific undergraduate school or program to which you are applying and the broader University of Pennsylvania community, what academic, research, and/or extracurricular paths do you see yourself exploring at Penn?

And it’s easy to write as if you’ve swallowed their brochure.

With Penn’s emphasis on research and interdisciplinary study, if you have a research background or interest in interdisciplinary studies, mention it.  Many students arrive on the college campus of their choice undecided in academic interest, and that is fine.  If your interests are well defined, and based upon previous experience, even if the experience is only in-depth reading about a particular topic, demonstrate your intellectual engagement within the context of this essay.

If you have visited Penn, attended an information session about Penn either in your community or high school, draw upon your reactions to what you’ve learned.  If you know students at Penn, ask them what they like most about the college.  Spend some time picturing yourself on the campus and use the essay as an opportunity to expand upon some of the things you find most appealing about college.  You can also draw briefly on some of your past experiences to highlight how they might transition and contribute to the Penn community.

 By Whitney Bruce, who has worked in college admissions since 1996. She has served as an Senior Assistant Director of Admissions (Washington U), Application Reader (University of Michigan), Assistant Director of College Counseling (private prep school in St. Louis), and an independent college counselor. She is happy to advise you as you apply to college.


MBA Admissions:The Cure for “Final Application Fatigue”

The blogger known as Eternal Enthusiasm has a problem – namely, he is running nearly on empty in the Department of Enthusiasm as he faces his last MBA application. “I approached this last first-round application as a simple task. I knew exactly how to sum up my candidacy and the points I wanted to hit. But here I am, days away from the deadline and not confident in the package. . . . I’ve repeated my story so many times now that I don’t want to bend it,” he wrote. This is an understandable dilemma, but one that I know Eternal Enthusiasm can overcome — and so can you.

I’d tackle this problem by researching and writing the “Why Do You Want to Attend Top MBA Program?” question first. This section is obviously different for every program, so it will force a fresh start. As this blogger also recognized, “I need to prove to them that I want to go to their school. That I’m committed to them.” To achieve this, do your homework about the program and the student culture, so that you can write knowledgably about the program’s most salient strengths for you and can write about your interest as wholehearted and genuine.   

Don’t rely on a site visit alone for this section. Check out what student bloggers are saying about the schools and their programs at the Hella – MBA Student Blog site. This site provides information that’s about as current as you can get for your target schools. Click over to the web site of the MBA program itself, and see if it has its own newspaper or blog. And for a list of MBA program forums/blogs, go to this ever-growing resource page on Accepted.com (the MBA blogs are about halfway down the page). Once you know even more about the special programs, educational and networking resources, and clubs that fit your career goals and where you can contribute, you will feel more energized about the rest of the application.

Next, take a couple of days (if you can spare them) and return to your previous essays with a fresh eye. It’s amazing what a little bit of distance can do to refresh your perspective on how the essays might be improved. With your refreshed perspective, search out any remaining bland or generic writing, such as this: “Although I have been responsible for a lot of exciting projects, I want to move into management, which may not happen on my current path.”  Well, what kind of projects? What made them exciting? Why wouldn’t a management path be open to you? If you neglected this sort of detail in previous applications, here’s a chance to greatly improve the final one.

Add appropriate details to the statement above, for example: “My role as a product manager for a mid-sized giftware business has allowed me to develop my creativity as well as communication and market research skills. As exciting as it has been to have been involved in the planning and release of our innovative kitchen giftware, whose designs are based on famous Impressionist paintings, I want to move more into management, which seems unlikely at this family-owned and managed company.”      

Sure, adding details takes more room, but it makes your essay come alive and will give you a new focus on the last application. You might also think of an illustration or anecdote that you had really wanted to write about for another school, but found there was no room. Look at this school’s questions, and see if perhaps some great material you had to leave on the cutting room floor might not work well here. With space at a premium, you still need to choose only a few examples to write about, but fleshing each out in greater detail will ensure memorable and more meaningful essays. Avoid laundry lists of accomplishments or character traits you feel you possess. “Show, don’t tell,” remains a cardinal rule in writing.

You can also reinvigorate these final essays by rooting out passive voice: “Negotiations over the extent of the website design were carried out by a team of managers and myself, representing the technical team.”  This passive construction is a drag on the reader’s attention. Move the “doer” of the action to the head of the sentence for a resulting sentence that makes you sound like a leader: “I represented the technical team in negations with management over the extent of the website design.”

After you have replaced passive with active voice and booted your colorless and generic writing out the door, read your essay aloud. This will help you catch small mistakes that you inadvertently missed during the editing process, and listen for any repetitiveness in your phrasing. A fun and easy way to do this is to use the “thesaurus” option on your word processing program. When I tired of using the word “enthusiasm” for this blog post, for example, my thesaurus suggested gusto, zest, energized, excited, wholehearted, and many others. (Caveat: Don’t use words you are not familiar with. The results can by hysterically funny, but that’s not what you want.)

As Eternal Enthusiasm summed up his blog post, “OK, back to recrafting this thing. Devoting the time now will be well worth it. No regrets.” 

I couldn’t have said it better.

 By Judy Gruen, Accepted.com editor and co-author of the ebook, MBA Letters of Recommendation That Rock and the free ecourse, From Example to Exemplary.