MBA Admissions News Roundup

  

  • An article in Fortune Magazine looks at how MBA job recruiters are courting military veterans because of their management experience and ability to work under pressure. Although veterans sometimes struggle with the lingo of the business and consulting world, with the help of their affinity groups and military networks they are rising to the occasion.
  • The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has announced that it is relocating its San Francisco campus to the Hills Plaza building on the San Francisco Embarcadero.  The new campus will provide more space for alumni events and include up-to-date hi-tech equipment.  There are also rumors that Wharton may use this campus to extend its full-time MBA program’s presence on the West Coast.
  • Future MBA applicants should look into the DMAC, the Diversity MBA Admissions Conference held annually at UCLA. The DMAC provides the opportunity for underprivileged or underserved applicants to meet admissions directors from top-tier business schools looking for unique candidates.
  • GMAC explains how it maintains the integrity of the GMAT. Lawrence M. Rudner, vice president of research and development at GMAC, highlights the ways in which the organization ensures that the test is accessible to all, that there is no cheating, and that all the questions are culturally appropriate.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek has posted the top-10 full-time MBA programs with podcasts on iTunes U. MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Columbia University, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, and Wharton  are just some of the schools offering online resources.
  • The Economist describes the hardships faced by a business management program launching in Africa while the country falls into civil war. In January the IESE, a Barcelona-based business school, partnered with Management et Développement d’Entreprise (MDE) in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, to launch the country’s first advanced management program.

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MBA Students Sticking to their Local Roots

  

Recent data from GMAC’s GMAT Trends in Student Mobility Interactive Report shows a rise in citizens from different countries sending their GMAT scores to global business schools in the last year:

  • Saudi Arabia is up 191% with 3,036 scores sent.
  • Iran is up 182% with 2,344 scores sent.
  • Vietnam is up 151% with 3,235 scores sent.
  • South Africa is up 97% with 1,629 scores sent.

But these scores are not being sent to American schools. It turns out students from abroad have been looking at other more local options when applying to graduate school. Although many are sending their scores to American schools, more are sending them to regional international business programs that use the GMAT exam:

  • Russian citizens are opting to study in Europe, which is why the percentage of scores sent to the US dropped from 68% to 53% from 2006-2010.
  • South African citizens are now sending 56% of their scores to local programs as opposed to 29% in 2006.
  • Even Canadians from Ontario—who took the most GMAT tests this year in Canada—are sending 71% of their scores to domestic programs.

The number of GMAT score reports sent to regional business programs in Africa, Western Europe, the Middle East, and Canada has reached a five-year high this year.

The bottom line: More students around the world are taking the GMAT in order to apply to MBA programs, but the majority of these prospective students are staying in local programs, leaving the US MBA market behind.

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4th Annual AIGAC Conference: An Inspiring Way to Kick Off the New MBA Application Season

  

In the first week of June I had the great pleasure of getting together with colleagues from around the world for the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants’ annual conference.  This year it was in Palo Alto – thanks to the conference organizers for arranging 3 days of perfect weather! Here is a summary of highlights.

  • I particularly enjoyed a session on the “Next Generation GMAT.”  Ashok Sarathy, Vice President, GMAT Program, GMAC, described its content and the process of developing it and rolling it out in detail next year. Essentially the changes address a weakness in the current test as perceived by businesses, in that it doesn’t measure a factor of increasing importance in business: integrative reasoning. GMAC identified four dimensions to test in this area: ability to assimilate disparate information; ability to interpret data; ability to convert data; and ability to recognize and evaluate tradeoffs and outcomes. To my current and prospective clients: I will work with you to find ways to portray your integrative reasoning skills right away!
  • Interactions with admissions directors from a various MBA programs is always one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of the conference. This year we welcomed admissions officials from Tuck, Columbia, Darden, UCLA Anderson, Yale, Cornell Johnson, and IE in Spain. Haas hosted one session on its campus and updated us on numerous points from financial aid to career services, and Tulane participated as an AIGAC member. Finally, we were thrilled to tour Stanford GSB’s new Knight Management Center and talk with a representative about the program. This year, our theme with the admissions officials was “fit,” and we discussed it primarily in the context of essays and interviews.  We learned some of the nuances of these programs’ current concerns and preferences. In the session on fit and the interview process, one concern emerged loud and clear among the various adcom members: the increasing tendency for interviewees to appear too casual in their dress, their speech, their body language, and their grooming.
  • Not least, I enjoyed talking with many of the AIGAC members representing test prep companies including Veritas, Kaplan, and Manhattan GMAT, and related services such as the online social network Beat the GMAT (please check out Accepted’s forum there!). Since GMAT concerns are a significant factor in MBA admissions, it’s valuable for me to learn about their services as well as the needs and trends they perceive in the market. 

Stanford GSB's new Knight Management Center

By Cindy Tokumitsu, author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has worked with hundreds of successful MBA applicants in her last ten years with Accepted. She can help you assess your strengths and weaknesses and develop a winning MBA admissions strategy.

MBA Admissions News Roundup

  

  • Forbes blog has a very helpful post about your admissions interviewer’s perspective.  The article explains that admissions committee members look at you (and your application) as a full package and won’t separate your interview from the other application elements.
  • GMAT announced that test takers will now be able to access real questions from past exams on their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.  The “Official GMAT” app has been released and has many new features that will make studying for the GMAT much easier. A performance-tracking center will even let you know how you are progressing by using mini exams.  How great is that?

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MBA Admissions: After the GMAT

  

I read this week with pleasure about two GMAT successes: Carl Incognito in Here Comes the Sun reports that he earned at 770! He provides some good test taking tips too. Similarly Target: MBA admit for fall 2012 reveals that he landed a 760 in My GMAT Experience !!! Congrats to both of you.

However, many of you out there are now working hard on your GMAT preparations. I am hoping that the experience of Target:MBA and Carl Incognito gives you inspiration or at least a vision of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Both Carl and Target:MBA want to take a break. in Carl’s words, “I’m off to go enjoy me some sunshine.” Sound good to me. Great next move. Please catch a few rays on my behalf, as well on behalf of those still slaving away in the GMAT salt mines.

What should they do when they leave the beach? How should they use their time given that they aced their GMATs?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • If they haven’t already narrowed their school choices, now is the time. They might be tempted to simply choose the top X given their glorious GMATs.  First of all, Carl and Target:MBA, look at that shiny number in the context of your overall application. It is definitely an awesome asset; it does not guarantee acceptance.  Choose your schools based on your MBA goals, overall competitiveness, and personal preferences.
  • Nail your resume. It is unlikely to change much before you submit, especially if you are aiming for round 1. 
  • Ask potential recommenders if they are comfortable writing a positive letter of recommendation for you. Prepare material that will help them write the letter, especially if they are not familiar with your target schools or the MBA admissions process. Give them a time frame for writing and submitting the letter. Set appropriate expectations in terms of your needs. If anyone hesitates, move on to the next possibility. Ask only people who know you well and can comment on your professional attributes.
  • Start thinking about possible essay topics. The first schools have posted their questions. Consequently we have started posting our tip posts and will add continually add to our 2012 MBA Application Advice page/RSS feed.
  • Explore resources offered at Accepted.com, starting with:

By Linda Abraham

 

 

Photo of seagulls at the beach by bterrycompton