5 Tips for Making the Most of an MBA Fair


MBA fairs provide b-school applicants a chance to speak with school reps and learn more about their program options. If you attend a fair well prepared and with the right attitude, then the experience will prove extremely valuable –it will offer you your first glimpse into the concept of “school fit.”

How do you make the most of those few hours at an MBA fair?

  1. Do some quality school research BEFORE you attend. You want to arrive at the venue prepared and ready to ask the school representative thoughtful questions. The answer to “Where is your school located?” is available on the homepage of any school site, and therefore, not an impressive question. Make sure you’ve done your research and know the basics so that you can spend your time at the fair asking intelligent questions.
  2. Dress to impress. While a tux may be a bit over the top, looking like you just came from the beach is too extreme in the other direction. Stick with professional or business casual attire to make the best impression.
  3. Bring your resume and business card. You probably won’t have more than just a few minutes to speak with a representative, and you certainly don’t want to spend what little time you have reeling off a list of your accomplishments. Hand your resume to reps that you feel you connected with and you’ll have given them a nice and informative way to remember who you are. (Note, however, that some schools have policies against accepting such materials.)
  4. Be polite. An obvious tip, yet still worth mentioning. Don’t be rude to the school rep (like demanding that he or she spend more time talking to you) and don’t be rude to your fellow applicants (like pushing your way to the front of a line or monopolizing a conversation).
  5. Send a succinct thank you email if a school rep was helpful. Follow up with reps at your target programs, especially those with whom you shared your resume or other application materials. You made a connection with someone of influence…now stay in touch.

Make the most of MBA fairs and business school receptions.  Read Accepted’s free, instantly downloadable special report, MBA Fairs: Advancing Your MBA Ambitions.

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The MBA Tour is in California!


The MBA Tour will be in CaliforNI-AY this weekend! It will open in San Francisco on Saturday at the Hyatt Regency, and on Sunday it travels to downtown Los Angeles and the Wilshire Grand Hotel.

I don’t have any official role, booth, or table, but I intend to visit the LA event probably in the late morning or noon-time. If any of you recognize me (just add 5 years to the picture below.), please say “Hi!” I’d love to meet you.

As you know, I strongly recommend learning as much as you can about the schools. The MBA Tour brings the schools to you and allows you to network with school representatives. Registration is free. So Californians, if you are in driving distance of downtown LA or San Fran, it’s a great opportunity.

By Linda Abraham, Accepted’s founder and president.



MBA fair

Early Bird July Special Reminder


The month of July is almost over, but those applications are still sitting in a pile on your desk, unopened.  You may have printed them out and taken a glance at them, but it’s time to start filling them out!

Luckily, you have a few more days to take advantage of Accepted’s 10% discount on any of our MBA, law, or grad admissions consulting & editing services,* through July 31, 2011. To receive your discount, just enter JL11 at checkout.

There are 3 days left to make use of this great opportunity and start writing essays that will knock the socks off the acceptance committee at your top choice program!

*Discount not valid on rush orders.

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Photo credit: cpettit2007

College Admissions News Roundup


  • The Chronicle of Education looks at how the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Kaust) in Saudi Arabia plans to transform itself into a world-class research graduate university, despite the fact that it is located in one of “the most restrictive countries in the world.”  The campus has cost King Abdullah $10 billion dollars, and it is a big step for Saudi Arabia society, because it is the first institution in the country to have men and women in the same classroom.
  • Seniors who are in college and looking for an MBA or a business education should read Businessweek’s article on universities offering MBA programs for students who have just graduated undergrad. Recent graduates should look at the Silver Scholars program at the Yale School of Management (Yale Full-Time MBA Profile), the Momentum MBA program at Xavier University Williams College of Business and the Emerging Leaders MBA program at Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business. Although not mentioned in this article, Duke Fuqua’s and London Business School’s Masters in Management programs are also options for recent college grads who want a foundation in business to launch their careers.  And of course there’s Harvard’s 2+2 program which is accepting applications this year from current seniors who are willing to postpone their matriculation for two years.
  • The Chronicle of Education announced that Yale raised a record-breaking $3.881-billion in their 5-year Yale Tomorrow fundraising campaign. Although this amount of money is a record for a college or university campaign, many more universities are expected to raise similar amounts by the end of the year.
  • The Chronicle of Education looks at the results of the 2011 College Decision Impact Survey, which showed that 63% of seniors graduating go to their first choice colleges, 35% are not accepted to their first choice, and 31% could not afford their first choice (whether they were or were not accepted). The survey shows that the cost of education is increasingly becoming a major factor in what colleges students choose to attend.
  • There is a slight shift towards “no-loan” financial aid and a Washington Post article lists the 12 colleges with the best financial aid policies: Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Davidson College, Harvard University (possibly the most generous), Haverford College, Princeton University, Swarthmore College, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University, and Yale University.
  • People expected the recession to transform college enrollment. However, an article in The Chronicle of Education looks at whether this is in fact the case.  According to a report released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, the number of enrolled students rose as a result of the recession. Yet many believe it will take years to truly discover the ways in which the recession has affected students’ college choices.
  • The Chronicle of Education blog examines how academia will be forced to change in response to innovation in the coming years.  The post suggests that if changes are not made, families will be paying higher prices for education and be unprepared for the cost. Those on the cutting edge of education look at these possible changes in academia and the drawbacks and benefits of overhauling the current higher education system.


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Dartmouth Tuck 2012 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips

Dartmouth Tuck

Dartmouth Tuck 2012 MBA Essay Questions

Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. Compose each of your answers offline in separate document files and upload them individually in the appropriate spaces below. Although there is no restriction on the length of your response, most applicants use, on average, 500 words for each essay. There are no right or wrong answers. Please double-space your responses.

1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA program for you? (If you are applying for a joint or dual degree, please explain how the additional degree will contribute to those goals.)

The MBA is a means to an end; it is a “step” towards a goal. That means you have to briefly discuss your journey to date and then your reasons for wanting an MBA — and specifically a Tuck MBA–  to continue on that journey.

You have to know a lot about Tuck as well as your goals to respond effectively to this question. Why do you want a small, tight-knit program in rural New Hampshire? Why do you want a program that stresses the integration of business functions?  Which of Tuck’s strengths appeal to you? How will they help you achieve your goals?

2. Discuss your most meaningful leadership experience. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?

This question reflects the importance Tuck, like many MBA programs, places on leadership.

Have you chaired  a fund raiser that raised a record amount of money? Have you inspired a troubled teen to apply himself academically?  Have you captained a sports team that led your company league? Have you been a team lead on a project that came in early and under budget? Are you head of a sales team? These could all be examples of leadership. How did you motivate your teammates? What did you learn?

The question asks you to reveal strengths and weaknesses. The first is fun and should be relatively easy. However we all cringe at the idea of revealing weaknesses, especially in a situation where you want to impress — like now. Nonetheless, resist that nasty impulse. Don’t even think about a phony weakness. The adcom will see right through it. Reveal a weakness that hopefully you can show yourself addressing in this leadership experience or through another later experience. Don’t dwell on the weakness, but do include it.

3. Describe a circumstance in your life in which you faced adversity, failure, or setback. What actions did you take as a result and what did you learn from this experience?

Think resilience.  Picking yourself up and moving on, better and stronger than you were before. That’s what you want to portray and convey in this essay.  What happened, how did you react, and what did you learn as a result. ( You may also be interested in a video on this subject for a related HBS question, Setbacks and Resilience.

4. Tuck seeks candidates of various backgrounds who can bring new perspectives to our community. How will your unique personal history, values, and/or life experiences contribute to the culture at Tuck?

Tuck may be small and rural, but it is no backwater. And it is fiercely proud of its diversity — in all senses of the word.  It also wants people who will contribute to the school. When I visited Tuck for the International Educational Consultants Conference, I was struck by the variety of events within Tuck and the larger Dartmouth community. Clearly, to answer this question well you must reflect on your background, but you also need to study the activities, clubs, and programs available at Tuck.  What are the distinctive elements of your background? How will they enable you to contribute at Tuck?

5. (Optional) Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

It is almost impossible for four 500-word essays plus a bunch of boxes, a transcript, and a GMAT score to represent fully the uniqueness and talents of a truly impressive candidate. That comment has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with the complexity of accomplished human beings. In my opinion this “optional essay”  is optional in name only.

6. (To be completed by all reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

Straightforward MBA reapplication question. What has changed that would compel Tuck to admit you this year when it rejected you last year?

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

                                                    November Deadline       January Deadline       April Deadline

Application Due:            Nov. 9, 2011                            Jan. 4, 2012                        April 2, 2012

Linda Abraham By , President and Founder of Accepted.com.

Are you applying to other MBA programs too? You can find great advice for other programs at 2012 MBA Essay Tips.