Life as an HBS MBA

 Life as an HBS MBA: An Interview with Philip BlackettMeet Philip Blackett, a proud member of the Harvard Business School Class of 2016, the founder of Magnetic Interviewing, and the host of the podcast Life in the MBA.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Philip. He has a fascinating story!

00:02:35 – Fulfilling an 11 year promise to his mother and grandmother.

00:06:20 – Why HBS?

00:07:23 –  How Philip’s failures in real estate may have helped Philip get accepted to HBS.

00:11:43 – “Whichever school you apply to, make sure you give it your very best so you wont have any room or reason to feel bad about yourself.”

15:10 – The importance of team-work.

17:25 – Becoming a leader. (This is what HBS wants to see!!)

18:34 – What the HBS adcom looks for in your failures.

19:27 – Getting rejected by Harvard Business School. What now?!?!

22:01 – The best parts of life at Harvard Business School.

24:14 – Don’t be intimidated by the size of HBS.

25:23 – The importance of time management and priority management.

29:09 – What Harvard Business School needs to change.

30:15 – The benefits for the case study method.

35:42 – True or false: The competition among HBS students is cut-throat.

39:30 – The feeling of camaraderie among students (and professors.)

41:32 – Case Method – Individually prepare, then share among 5 people, and then share among 90 people.  And after class your perspective will be completely different than it was before.

46:35 – $$$ and social life at HBS.

53:55 – A field project in Mumbai, India.

56:32 – Why start your own podcast?

1:00:41 –  Magnetic Interviewing – The story of Philip’s startup.

1:06:23 – Innovation labs at Harvard Business School.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of

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5 Tips For Aspiring Pre-Med Researchers

The importance of research experience according to one med student.

Gaining research experience will make you a more competitive applicant

Gaining research experience won’t just make you a more competitive medical school applicant—it’ll also help you sharpen your critical thinking skills, and give you training you’ll draw on as a medical school student and physician.

How can you find the right research opportunity for you?

1.  Start early. Ideally, it would be great to have 1-2 years of research experience under your belt before you apply—so the earlier in your undergrad career you identify promising opportunities, the better.

2.  Find an area that interests you. For example, if you’re more interested in Psychology or Anthropology than you are in Chemistry, look into the possibility of assisting a professor in one of those fields.

3.  Make contact with professors to see if they need research assistants/laboratory volunteers. If your university has a research office or a central list of undergraduate research opportunities, check there first. If the system is less formal, do some research into professors’ current work (through department websites, professors’ CVs, etc). Then make contact via email and ask if you can speak to them about the possibility of volunteering in their lab. Let them know what background you have in the field (especially any prior research experience).  If they don’t need research assistants at the moment, don’t be discouraged- talk to someone else.

4.Think about doing a thesis. Depending on where you’re studying (and what field), this might allow you to design your own experiment.

5.  Consider summer research opportunities. AAMC provides a good listing here.

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of the ebook, Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, assists our clients applying to medical school, residency, graduate school and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your applications.

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

Related Resources:

How Important is Research for a Pre-Med
Get Accepted to Medical School in 2015
Clinical Information Managers: An Interview with Kathleen Gregg Window

7 Must-Do’s After You Get Your Med School Interview Invite

Learn how to use medical school rankings to choose the best med school for YOU.

Exercise has been proven to increase mental acuity—this will help you stay sharp and focused on your goal!

Congratulations! You have been identified as one of the most promising applicants for medical school this application cycle. Follow these seven steps to ensure that you will ace your interview and receive an acceptance:

• Celebrate!

While you may be nervous about embarking on the next step in your journey, don’t forget to celebrate each small victory along the way.  Take some time to fully acknowledge all of the people and effort that have contributed to your success.  Share the good news and express your gratitude!  

•  Stay Active

To ensure that you will be in the most positive frame of mind, work out at least three times a week. Staying physically active will allow you to burn off all that nervous energy and help you to regain your focus while increasing your endorphins.  The closer it gets to the interview, work out more frequently but not to the point of injury.  Exercise has been proven to increase mental acuity—this will help you stay sharp and focused on your goal!

•  Review your AMCAS application

The most important thing you can do to prepare for an interview is to review your AMCAS application every day leading up to the interview as well as the secondary essays you submitted to the school. Reminding yourself of all of your experiences will make it easier for you to answer specific questions about them and to provide an overall timeline of what you have done to prepare for medical school.

•  Update your CV/Resume

Arriving at your interview with copies of your updated CV/Resume and reviewing it on the way will help you appear organized and focused.  If it’s a traditional interview, it may guide the direction of your conversation.  Use it as an opportunity to update the interviewer on what you have been doing since you submitted your application.

•  Research the School

Take some time to read the school’s website.  If you have friends or family attending the school, contact them to ask questions about what they do and don’t like about studying there.  You should prepare at least three questions for your interviewer(s) that demonstrate your knowledge of their curriculum, special programs and volunteer opportunities in the community.

•  Prepare with Mock Interviews

Whether it’s a traditional interview or a MMI (mini multiple interviews), mock interviews are the best way to prepare yourself for the actual interview day.   Running through all possible questions and scenarios can help you formulate the strategies that will earn you the most points!  Take the time to practice. Mocks will not only ease your mind but give you an edge!

•  Test Drive your Interview Outfit

While that suit or outfit may look fabulous on the hanger, you won’t know until you try it on whether the buttons are loose or if it would benefit from a visit to the tailor.  Wear the outfit you’re planning on using for the interview for a few hours and see it is comfortable and professional enough for the interview.  You don’t want to have any wardrobe malfunctions when you’re traveling and unable to find a replacement.  It wouldn’t hurt to bring a couple of back-up outfits, just in case.

Having helped students successfully prepare for medical school interviews for almost a decade, I hope that the tips that I have shared will lead to a wonderful experience and that you will be offered an acceptance.  Most importantly, be yourself.  And answer the questions honestly and thoughtfully.  Good luck!

Multiple Mini Interview Webinar

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:

The Ultimate Guide To Medical School Interview Success
Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression In Your Medical School Interviews
Common Myths About Medical School Interviews

Is Columbia Business School Calling Your Name?

Learn how to get Columbia’s attention by following the tips in Get Accepted to Columbia Business School, an on-demand webinar that we just posted to our site for anytime viewing. The webinar aired live last month and was a huge success, so if you missed it or if you attended and would like to review, then you’ll want to tune in to the online recording for not-to-be-missed advice on how to snag that Columbia acceptance.

Free on-demand webinar: Get Accepted to Columbia Business School!

Don’t you want to make sure you’re approaching Columbia’s application properly? View Get Accepted to Columbia Business School for free now!

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5 Things Law Schools Want To See In Applicants

Download our special report on what to avoid while writing a personal statement!

Law schools will look to your personal statement to see how clearly you can express yourself

1. Law schools want people who are likable. Contrary to any bad lawyer jokes, law schools are looking for people who like people. They are looking for people who will contribute to classroom discussions and engage with other students in a positive way. This attribute can be shown through the personal statement as well as thoughtful letters of recommendation from people who know you and your work well.

2.  Law schools are looking for people who are interesting. Grades and LSAT scores are important, but law schools also want people with interests outside of school. Anything that you’ve engaged in for a significant length of time can qualify.

3.  Law schools want a diversity of backgrounds. Sometimes people think they should enter the law because they are good at debate. But, in fact, law schools look for people of all backgrounds – people who’ve studied the liberal arts, people who’ve studied economics, people who’ve studied political science, people who’ve studied the physical sciences.

4.  Law schools want people who are eager to learn. Most law schools do not anticipate that you know exactly what type of law you’d like to practice when you apply. While many applicants have some experience in a legal setting, it’s not essential to emphasize that you understand the law. Instead, you should focus on what about the study of law interests you. Is it working with people? Is it analytic thinking? Is it writing and research? As many schools move to an emphasis on advocacy and hands-on experiences during the third year, it can also help to think about what sort of clinical experience you’d like to gain.

5.  Law schools wants people who can write well. While law is changing as a field, the cornerstone of law school is reading and writing. Law schools will look to your personal statement to see how clearly you can express yourself.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statement





Learn how Jessica can help you get accepted!Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels. 

Related Resources:

The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success
Your Law School Personal Statement…It Needs To Be, Well, Personal!
6 Item Checklist Before Hitting ‘Submit’