Wharton Penn JD/MBA Admissions Q&A This Week!


Huntsman Hall at Wharton

Join Penn representative, Colleen P. France, Associate Director for JD/MBA Recruitment and Administration, for an interactive Q&A about the unique Penn Law/Wharton MBA dual-degree program. The Q&A, which will take place on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET / 12:00 AM GMT, will provide you with an opportunity to ask your most pressing questions about the JD/MBA program’s admissions practices and curriculum, helping you gain admission to the first fully integrated three-year MBA /JD program in the U.S. If you are considering applying to this elite program, and have questions about the breakdown of courses over the three-year period, the capstone course, the summer internship opportunity, or any other admissions-related topic, then you won’t want to miss this Q&A!

Register now to reserve your spot for Wharton & Penn JD/MBA Admissions Q&A!

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

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3 Treats that Will do the Trick in Your Personal Statement or Application Essay

In my meanderings on the web, I stumbled across a short video on screen writing. The presenters are two Emmy-winning screen writers, and they know a thing or two about telling a good story.

They boil the story-telling stew down to three words — actually 2 do’s and 1 don’t:

The do’s:

  1. Therefore
  2. But

The don’t:

  1. And then.

All elements in your story have to connect to what preceded them. They can connect via an implied “therefore,” for the logical and possible to anticipate, or an implicit “but” for the unanticipated surprises that life hands you or the changes in direction you may have made. You don’t need to explicitly include those words, but the presence of those concepts means you have a story.

However, if you have “And then,” your story doesn’t work. There’s a gap — not a surprise, but a hole in the chain of events or your logic.

What works for viewers of the small screen also works for the  readers of your application essays, personal statement, or statement of purpose.

(If interested, you can see the full video at MTVu.)

Linda Abraham By , founder and president of Accepted.com


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2012 CEIBS MBA Admissions Tips

CEIBS (China Europe International Business School), located in Shanghai, is the longest-running MBA program in China, boasting the largest MBA alumni pool in China and over 10,000 alumni around the world. Ranked 2nd in China by the Financial Times and 17th in the world, the program focuses on endowing students with a global business perspective plus a local cultural understanding. Last year’s curriculum reform made a greater emphasis on endowing students with soft skills like interpersonal communication, strategy development, and an integrated management perspective that allows graduates to solve challenging business problems that cut across functional business lines. Program graduates seem to do quite well: the average salary according to the Financial Times research for graduates in the past 3 years is over $126,000!

CEIBS’s essay questions are straightforward and focus on three areas: goal orientation, leadership/impact, and personal introspection. My comments and advice are in blue below:

Essay 1

Why are you seeking to pursue your MBA study at this moment of your life in relation to your short-term and long-term career goals? Explain how an MBA from CEIBS will contribute to these goals. (500 words)

To predict your career’s future development does require a brief summary of its evolution to date, but don’t make the mistake of writing 400 words about your past and leaving only 100 to outline your future and CEIBS’s role in preparing you for it! I suggest starting by discussing your goals in about 100 words then spending about 200 words on how your past has prepared you for them and 200 words on the unique way that the CEIBS program will prepare you for your future. Be sure your goals are consistent with what other graduates go on to do after graduating!

Essay 2

For question 2(a) and 2(b), you only need to answer one of the two questions.
2(a). Describe your most significant work-related achievement and explain why you view it as such. (400 words) OR
2(b). Describe a difficult situation where you demonstrated leadership skills to achieve a positive outcome. (400 words)

Whether you answer question 2a or 2b, the emphasis here is on impact. This essay is your opportunity to focus on what challenges you have overcome – both business and interpersonal – and the extent of the impact you succeeded in making.

Essay 3

For question 3(a) and 3(b), you only need to answer one of the two questions.
3(a). Describe a professional failure and what were the lessons learned? (400 words) OR
3(b). Describe a situation where your values, ethics or morals were challenged and how did you handle the situation. (400 words)

Both 3a and 3b require introspection: when you failed, what disappointed you? What did you learn about yourself in the process? How did you apply these lessons to succeed subsequently?
When your ethics or morals were challenged, what was your thought process and how did you resolve the conflict without ruining relationships in your path? Ethical challenge questions are the most difficult to answer because applicants need to avoid preaching. Creativity and interpersonal skills will surely play a large part in successful ethical challenge essays.

Essay 4

(Optional) Is there any other information that you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admission Committee in evaluating your application?(200 words). Re-applicants are suggested to describe the progress you have made since your previous application.

I highly recommend submitting an optional essay to CEIBS. In particular, essays that demonstrate cultural insights in Asia or abroad will demonstrate your ability to contribute to the global perspective in the classroom.

The 18-month CEIBS program beginning in August 2011 conducts its application reviews in rounds. While the third round ends April 6th, applicants from within Asia should certainly try to submit their applications by the second round on February 12th, otherwise the class may already be full of students from similar backgrounds. However, applicants from outside of Asia should still have a good shot at a place in the class in the final round since the school would like to have a good representation of students from outside of Asia (around 20% of last year’s graduating class hailed originally from Europe/US).

CEIBS Application Rounds


Application Deadline

Decision by


Nov. 15, 2011

Dec. 20, 2011


Feb. 2, 2012*

Mar. 22, 2012


Mar. 29, 2012

Apr. 30, 2012





*Please note that all the scholarship application (except CEIBS Scholarship) should be submitted before Feb. 2, 2012.

Check out more of our 2012 MBA essay tips!

Jennifer Bloom  

Law School News Roundup

  •  Which Law School Can Get Me a Job? Amid rampant concern regarding job opportunities post-law school, Forbes highlights the career prospects ranking in the Princeton Review’s recent guide, The Best 167 Law Schools. Both data from the schools themselves and student surveys were used to formulate the rankings, including percent of students passing the bar the first time, those employed nine months post-grad and their average starting salary. The surveys asked students “how much their law schools offer and encourage practical experience, how students rate their schools’ opportunities for judicial externships, internships and clerkships, and how prepared the students feel they are to practice law after graduating.” Northwestern University School of Law topped the career prospects category, with University of Chicago Law School and Columbia University School of Law in second and third place.
  • Yale to Start First Amendment Institute- As reported by The National Law Journal, Yale Law School has received a donation of $3 million by First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams to create an institute concentrating on freedom of speech. The institute “will include a law clinic through which students will litigate cases, draft proposed legislation and advise policymakers regarding freedom of speech and informational access.” It will also focus on new media, and issues pertaining to the Internet and privacy and intellectual property.
  • Junior Associates Not Worth the Price- In case law students and recent grads didn’t feel helpless enough, the WSJ Law Blog reveals that over 20% of corporate clients are unwilling to pay for work done by first- or second-year attorneys. This development seems to be motivated by the economic downturn and increasing rates for junior associates. Elie Mystal at Above the Law finds law schools at fault, for, “ If law schools aren’t pumping out people who can convince clients to pay for their work, then what are law schools doing really?” He notes that a shift to the apprenticeship system, as in the U.K., is not so straightforward, since law is only studied in grad school in the U.S. and tuition is much higher.
  • Someone Actually Endorsing Law School- On a more optimistic note, Aaron N. Taylor lists the benefits of a legal education in the National Jurist. While he admits that the recession has impacted the legal sector, Taylor points out that the profession has fared much better than most others. Most lawyers still earn relatively high salaries, and even law grads pursuing jobs in other areas have an advantage over those without a J.D. Taylor also touts the pros of student loans, particularly federal loans with generous repayment plans. He notes that with all the “bad publicity,” now is a more favorable time to apply to law school, since applications are down and more thorough employment data will become available. As he concludes, “in terms of providing career and financial stability, few educational pursuits compare. And in an economy where workers are increasingly required to think, adapt and thrive in changing work environments, the flexible nature of legal training arguably makes it a better investment than it was 20 years ago.”
  • The LSAC Steps Up- Although the Law School Admission Council had declined to get involved in the past, the LSAC is now considering policing the GPAs and LSAT scores reported to the ABA by law schools, The National Law Journal reports. It seems that the recent scandals at Villanova and the University of Illinois may have augmented the pressure on the organization to intervene. If the council finds that it can confirm the reported figures in a reliable manner, then it will do so in the future, but not for the data reported this year.
  • The Early Bird Application Doesn’t Always Catch the Worm- For those trying to rush in their law school applications, Most Strongly Supported cautions: it is worth taking your time on your application even if it takes a bit longer to send it in. If you’d like to retake the LSAT in December for the chance of improving your score, make sure that the rest of your application is done so you can send it in as soon as you get your score. Regarding specific dates, “applications submitted by November 15 are early, applications sent in early October are super early, and you are usually at a disadvantage if you get in your applications after January 5.” Considering early decision? While it may up your chances of admission to that particular school, you are then locked in regardless of the amount of financial aid you will receive (and the amounts offered by other schools can’t then be used as bargaining tools).

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