Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » Grad School Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Thu, 20 Aug 2015 14:03:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 An Interview With Our Own: Michelle Stockman http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/13/an-interview-with-our-own-michelle-stockman/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/13/an-interview-with-our-own-michelle-stockman/#respond Thu, 13 Aug 2015 16:43:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33297 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Michelle Stockman. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold […]

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Read more Accepted Admission Consultant Interviews!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Michelle Stockman.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees? What’s your favorite non-school/non-work book?

Michelle: I studied at Brigham Young University for my undergrad and majored in history. A few years later, I earned a Masters in Science in Journalism from the Columbia Journalism School in New York City.

As a history nut, I love reading non-fiction. My favorite recent read is Empire of the Summer Moon – a fascinating, poignant look at the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Native American tribe in the United States. It illuminates a violent chapter in American history that featured new military technology as the Comanche rose to prominence largely through their prowess as fierce warriors.

Accepted: What was your journey like – from NY, all the way out west, and then back to NY? Was NYC your final destination? Where do you currently reside?

Michelle: My connection to the American West dates back to my childhood. My father is from Salt Lake City, and we would drive cross-country from New York to Utah every other summer to visit my grandmother. Nestled amongst the Rocky Mountains during college, I had the opportunity to quench both my intellectual curiosity and thirst for outdoor adventure. Ultimately, my penchant for storytelling drew me back east, at first to New York City. Eight million people – so many stories to capture. As a video journalist, I covered everything from rooftop bee keepers to the attempted Times Square bombing. I went on to work for a French media company – Agence France Presse – where I covered events at the White House and met nearly all the candidates on the 2012 Presidential campaign trail. Next I moved to Islamabad, Pakistan where I linked up with CNN for occasional presenting work and also returned to admissions consulting. Just a month ago, I relocated to Berlin where I will be living for the foreseeable future.

Accepted: Can you map your path towards becoming an admissions consultant for Accepted?

Michelle: When I first moved to New York, I got a job coordinating interviews and reading applications at the Columbia Business School Admissions Office. I gained an insider view of the admissions process, and decided to combine my experience with the writing and editing skills I honed in journalism school by joining Accepted.com in 2007.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Michelle: Of course, I love the “I got in!” emails from my clients. But there’s so much ground work that we’ve laid together before that moment. I love when clients start to “get” the process. They realize that my coaching is improving their message. Then they catch on themselves, and surprise me, within a matter of weeks, how much more concise their writing and interviewing skills have become.

Accepted: How do you think your journalism skills contribute to your work as a consultant?

Michelle: Messenger + Target Audience + Content = Persuasion.

That’s the formula I learned as a journalist.

If my applicants tell the truth, then they are a trusted messenger. But will the admissions committee listen if that truth doesn’t resonate? If it’s just a bunch of boasts and industry jargon? I know how to choose and tell stories that signal leadership and transformation. I also have an inside understanding of my applicants’ target audience: the admissions committee.

Finally, journalists always have limited space to tell their stories – one of the toughest hurdles to overcome when putting together an MBA application. I can edit like a champ!

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Michelle: I generally work with MBA and graduate school applicants.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Michelle:

1. This process is as much relationship driven, as it is about having a cogent message. Dig into your network and try to create connections to your school of choice.

2. Make your essays about personal relationships that illustrate a theme.

3. Start early. The best applications are built on a strong foundation of deep thought.

Learn more about Michelle and how she can help you get accepted!

View our catalog of admission services!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application [Free Guide]
• MBA Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
• Graduate School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services

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A Med School With A Mission: Sophie Davis School Of Biomedical Education http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/12/a-med-school-with-a-mission-sophie-davis-school-of-biomedical-education/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/12/a-med-school-with-a-mission-sophie-davis-school-of-biomedical-education/#respond Wed, 12 Aug 2015 16:39:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33275 A physician shortage looms large. Enter Dr. Maurizio Trevisan and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, the newest accredited medical school in the United States. Listen to the show to find out how the City College of New York medical school is simultaneously paving the path to primary care for “unevenly educated students” and changing […]

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Listen to the show!

City College of New York

A physician shortage looms large. Enter Dr. Maurizio Trevisan and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, the newest accredited medical school in the United States.

Listen to the show to find out how the City College of New York medical school is simultaneously paving the path to primary care for “unevenly educated students” and changing the status quo for medically underserved communities.

00:01:47 – History of The Sophie Davis School and its evolution into a med school.

00:03:13 – About the BS/MD program.

00:05:58 – Why a 7-year curriculum is critical for Sophie Davis’s mission.

00:07:15 – Taking chances, supporting students and bringing diversity to the medical profession.

00:14:20 – What pushed the program to get accreditation and what the future holds.

00:17:25 – Alums making the school proud.

00:19:29 – Advice for financially or academically challenged med school hopefuls.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education
Are You Cut Out for a Combined BS/MD Program?
New CUNY School of Medicine accredited

Related Shows:

The Doctor As Renaissance Man 
Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions
Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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Get Accepted to Med School with Low Stats!  Download your guide today!

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Sustainability, Ross MBA, And The Erb Institute: Business As A Force For Good http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/05/sustainability-ross-mba-and-the-erb-institute-business-as-a-force-for-good/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/05/sustainability-ross-mba-and-the-erb-institute-business-as-a-force-for-good/#respond Wed, 05 Aug 2015 17:05:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33098 Sustainability is the wave of the future, and leading the way is Michigan Ross and specifically the Erb Institute. This week, we invited Diana Economy, Senior Associate Director of Admissions at University of Michigan Ross and Terry Nelidov, Managing Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise to tell us more about Michigan Ross, […]

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Listen to the show!Sustainability is the wave of the future, and leading the way is Michigan Ross and specifically the Erb Institute.

This week, we invited Diana Economy, Senior Associate Director of Admissions at University of Michigan Ross and Terry Nelidov, Managing Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise to tell us more about Michigan Ross, Erb, and how to get accepted to both.

Listen to the show!

00:02:31 – A quick glance at the Ross 2-year MBA program.

00:06:06 – About the Erb Institute and the dual-degree program.

00:10:59 – Where Erb Institute grads are making an impact.

00:12:20 – Rolling water in India: An exciting Erb alum project.

00:15:12 – What some cool Ross MBAs are up to.

00:17:30 – Analyzing the Ross admission requirements: What the program is looking for and what applicants do wrong.

00:20:46 – Calculus – still a must at Ross?

00:21:50 – GMAT vs. GRE rumors and facts.

00:24:04 – How to make your application come alive.

00:26:45 – What the Erb Institute is looking for in applicants.

00:28:57 – Does past experience matter for Erb applicants?

00:34:50 – The optional team exercise (and why its optional).

00:36:51 – Final words of advice for applicants.

Click here to listen to the show!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

Michigan Ross 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
Ross MBA Application Requirements and Deadlines
Admissions Director Blog
Erb Institute
Erb Strategic Plan 2015-20
Erb Videos & Podcasts
Erb Perspective Blog
Michigan Ross MAP
Michigan Ross Application Requirements
Michigan Ross Team Exercise

Related shows:

MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart
How To Earn A Spot On Team Fuqua
The Admissions Team at the Very Center of Business
It’s MBA Season: Do You Know Where Your Applications Are?

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!
The Quick Guide To Admissions Resumes - Download your free guide today!

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So These Two Grad School Applicants Walk Into A Bar . . . http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/03/so-these-two-grad-school-applicants-walk-into-a-bar-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/03/so-these-two-grad-school-applicants-walk-into-a-bar-2/#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:51:57 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32348 This might be a great opening line for a comedy night at a university student center, but can you use humor in a graduate school application essay? Should you even try? The answer is . . . maybe. If you can use humor effectively, it will help you stand out from your competitors in an […]

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Learn the 5 fatal flaws to avoid in your grad school application

If used right, humor can help you stand out from your competitors in an unexpected way.

This might be a great opening line for a comedy night at a university student center, but can you use humor in a graduate school application essay? Should you even try?

The answer is . . . maybe. If you can use humor effectively, it will help you stand out from your competitors in an unexpected way.  (“Oh, is she the one who joked about her first time playing jazz in a live audience?”, an adcom member might ask while reviewing the season’s applicants.)  Humor can make us appear more human and relatable, especially with the most popular form of humor: the gently self-deprecating remark. For example, “My single New Year’s resolution this year is to buy a new bathroom scale, and, perhaps, one day, use it.” Or, “I discovered that I had a textbook case of ‘Congenital Fraidy Cat Syndrome.’  I knew it: my expanding medical knowledge was slowly killing me.”

This kind of humor reveals a writer’s vulnerabilities, making her sympathetic. However, as a grad school applicant, your goal is to show yourself as a focused, qualified, intelligent, and capable individual. If you lack the confidence to show that vulnerability, or the confidence to try to get a laugh, do not try. It is far more important to speak with your authentic voice. But if you have a track record of getting laughs among friends, don’t be afraid to use humor — judiciously — in a personal essay.

Here are a few examples of how – and how not – to use humor:

Good: “In all my travels, I had never before sipped anything called Toadstool Brew. After I was finished, I hoped never to have to sip it again.” This works because it is gently self-deprecating; you are poking fun at your own lack of appreciation for an exotic tea.

Not good: “In all my travels, I had never seen a more bizarre-looking individual. My first thought was, ‘This guy could get a gig on a reality TV show in the States.’” This doesn’t work because poking fun at someone else looks petty.

Never force humor into your writing. Use it when it feels natural, and perhaps try it out on another reader first. Adcom members will surely appreciate a laughter break while reading through all those serious essays!

From Example to Exemplary - Download your guide today!

Judy Gruen By , MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

 
Related Resources:

• From Example to Exemplary [Free Guide]
Can I Use Humor In My Application Essays?
• How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions

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The 4 Must-Haves Of A Grad School Application http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/the-4-must-haves-of-a-grad-school-application/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/the-4-must-haves-of-a-grad-school-application/#respond Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:12:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32831 Linda Abraham has been living and breathing admissions for over 20 years. Does she know the secret to getting accepted to graduate school? Well, since you asked – yes she does. Listen to the show (and takes notes!) for the four things you need to know and do to get admitted to your top choice […]

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Listen to the show!Linda Abraham has been living and breathing admissions for over 20 years. Does she know the secret to getting accepted to graduate school? Well, since you asked – yes she does.

Listen to the show (and takes notes!) for the four things you need to know and do to get admitted to your top choice grad school.

00:00:36 – Obsessed with stats? You may be barking up the wrong tree.

00:03:16 – Linda’s holistic framework for grad school admissions success.

00:04:39 – #1: Show you can excel: the role of grades and test scores.

00:05:30 – #2: Don’t apply to med school to become a financial analyst (but do apply if you want to be a doctor) AKA the importance of goals.

00:06:44 – #3: Can you show fit?

00:08:19 – #4: Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Just kidding.

Applying the framework to:

00:12:26 – MBA Admissions.

00:18:47 – Grad School Admissions.

00:21:44 – Med School Admissions.

00:24:29 – Law School Admissions.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related links:

Get Accepted to HBS / Wharton / Stanford CBS
Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016
Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted

Related shows:

How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions
How to Earn a Spot on Team Fuqua
The Admissions Team at the Very Center of Business
Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
• Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

Register to learn how to get accepted to Wharton! Tags: , , , , ,

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Train The Brain, Nail The GMAT [Or GRE] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/22/train-the-brain-nail-the-gmat-or-gre/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/22/train-the-brain-nail-the-gmat-or-gre/#respond Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:34:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32618 What do sports and graduate admissions test have in common? More than you’ve ever imagined. Have a GMAT or GRE coming up? Listen to our talk with Brett Ethridge, founder and CEO of Dominate the GMAT and Dominate the GRE for invaluable test prep insights and advice – – and a healthy dosage of sports […]

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Listen to the show!What do sports and graduate admissions test have in common? More than you’ve ever imagined.

Have a GMAT or GRE coming up? Listen to our talk with Brett Ethridge, founder and CEO of Dominate the GMAT and Dominate the GRE for invaluable test prep insights and advice – – and a healthy dosage of sports allegories.

00:02:45 – How Brett got involved in test prep. (The honest answer.)

00:05:51 – The online education style at Dominate the GMAT.

00:08:23 – What happens when a student at Dominate the GMAT is just not picking up the info.

00:10:27 – Looking for test prep? Dominate the GMAT’s unique value.

00:14:44 – Comparing the GRE and GMAT.

00:17:20 – GMAT vs. GRE: Which test to pick!

00:28:21 – Brett’s top test prep advice. Prepare to un-teach.

00:33:44 – A surprising tip for raising your GMAT score.

00:39:13 – How much time to do you need to study to increase your score by 50 points?

00:43:18 – “Get dressed up” and other final words of advice.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related links:

• dominatethegre.com
• dominatethegmat.com
• Preparing for the GMAT: Video Tips to Live By
• Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GMAT

Related shows:

• How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions
• To GRE or Not To GRE? That Is The Question
• The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree
• The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well
Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT on What MBA Applicants Need to Know

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

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Does UCI’s 5+2 For PhDs Add Up? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/14/does-ucis-52-for-phds-add-up/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/14/does-ucis-52-for-phds-add-up/#respond Tue, 14 Jul 2015 16:16:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32345 It’s no secret that the academic job market for humanities PhDs is, euphemistically, challenging— and PhD programs are beginning to make some tough choices, including limiting program sizes at some institutions. With the average time-to-degree in the humanities stretching to nearly a decade (and many students taking much longer than that), UC Irvine has a […]

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Choosing a Ph.D Program: 3 Tips - Download your free copy today!It’s no secret that the academic job market for humanities PhDs is, euphemistically, challenging— and PhD programs are beginning to make some tough choices, including limiting program sizes at some institutions.

With the average time-to-degree in the humanities stretching to nearly a decade (and many students taking much longer than that), UC Irvine has a new proposal to shorten degree times: doctoral study capped at 5 years (with a more generous funding package, including summer support), followed by a two-year, teaching-intensive post-doctoral position.

The 5+2 program will begin in two Irvine departments this fall—philosophy and visual studies. The university anticipates that more departments will follow. (With the new funding structure in place, philosophy experienced an increase in yield from 40 to 75%; visual arts’ yield stayed flat at 40%.)

This move follows an MLA report last year that called for shorter PhD programs and better funding packages, along with stronger career preparation.

Critics of UCI’s plan have voiced concern about both sides of the proposal—the 5-year PhD, because they worry it will put limits on complex dissertation projects and shut out people who might need more time, such as students with families or those from disadvantaged backgrounds; and the 2-year postdoc, because they are concerned that it could contribute to the growing “adjunctification” of the university by creating a new pool of low-paid lecturers (while taking jobs away from experienced non-tenure track lecturers).

While these are certainly valid concerns (particularly the concerns about adjuncts) this seems like a step worth trying— especially the proposal for a better-funded, 5-year doctorate. Given the state of the job market, it does not make much sense to spend 10+ years in a PhD program, amassing debt while writing a dissertation that might never translate to a job. A program that allows students to complete their dissertations faster (with better financial support) and also attempts to provide opportunities for professional development sounds like a step in the right direction. (The problem of universities relying so heavily on contingent faculty will require different solutions!)





Plott Your Way to a PhD: 6 Topics in PhD Admissions  - Download your guide today!



Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca BlusteinAccepted.com 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 MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources:

Choosing a PhD Program: 3 Tips
• PhD Funding Disparities
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?

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How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/08/how-to-think-like-a-dean-of-admissions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/08/how-to-think-like-a-dean-of-admissions/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2015 16:21:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32239 If you could pick one person to provide insight into graduate admissions, who would it be? A dean of admissions, of course! Applicants, rejoice! The guest on this week’s show is a former dean of graduate admissions who has reviewed and signed off on over 45,000 applications. Tune in to our enlightening conversation with Carol […]

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Listen to the show!If you could pick one person to provide insight into graduate admissions, who would it be? A dean of admissions, of course!

Applicants, rejoice! The guest on this week’s show is a former dean of graduate admissions who has reviewed and signed off on over 45,000 applications.

Tune in to our enlightening conversation with Carol Drummer for an insider’s perspective on important graduate admissions questions: Who should go to grad school? How to show fit in an application? How to get accepted even with grades that are nothing to brag about?

00:01:25 – Featured Question: Does “element X” equal automatic rejection?

00:04:58 – Carol’s route to graduate admissions via a wine and cheese party.

00:09:47 – The formula for calculating if grad school is right for you.

00:15:01 – Differences in applying for different specialties/ fields and showing fit in your application.

00:21:36 – How even an applicant with non-impressive stats can impress the adcom.

00:25:05 – The #1 application killer.

00:27:35 – Best way to approach the SOP: Tell a story!

00:32:55 – Advice for selecting a strong recommender.

00:35:36 – What to do when your recommender says, “You write it, I’ll sign it.”

00:39:28 – When helicopter parents hover over grad school applicants.

Click here to listen to the show! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related links:

Carol Drummer’s Bio Page
“What Next….” Is Graduate School For You?
Making Friends with the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform at Your Best
Kisses of Death for Your Grad School Application

Related shows:

• Admissions Straight Talk: Interview with Dr. Drew Appleby
• To GRE or Not To GRE? That Is The Question
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?
• Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers
• Which Graduate Schools Should You Apply To?

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!
Get Your Game On: Preparing for Your Grad School Application, a free guide

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Accepted Consultant Publishes Her First Novella http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/#respond Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:43:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32090 You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point: When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she […]

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Read more about Jessica here!You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point:

When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she just published her first novella!

Based on a death penalty trial that she worked on as a law student,  A Trial for Grace explores the complicated question of guilt and innocence. It’s available for Kindle (and Kindle apps).

You can download A Trial for Grace here.

Check out the book!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• An Interview With Our Own: Jessica Pishko
• 5 Ways To Start Your Med School Personal Statement
• So You Didn’t Get Into Law School…

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Happy July 4th From Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/03/happy-july-4th-from-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/03/happy-july-4th-from-accepted/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:02:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32018 Tags: College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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Happy July 4th from Linda Abraham and the Accepted Team!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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LBS Launches New Finance Master’s For New Grads http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/29/lbs-launches-new-finance-masters-for-new-grads/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/29/lbs-launches-new-finance-masters-for-new-grads/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:46:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31976 LBS has announced a new master’s program in finance. The new Master’s in Financial Analysis (MFA) will be a 12-month intensive program aimed at recent graduates from quantitatively-focused fields, who want a rigorous grad program that will prepare them for careers in the finance sector. The first class will begin the new program in the […]

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Click here for more information on LBSLBS has announced a new master’s program in finance. The new Master’s in Financial Analysis (MFA) will be a 12-month intensive program aimed at recent graduates from quantitatively-focused fields, who want a rigorous grad program that will prepare them for careers in the finance sector.

The first class will begin the new program in the fall of 2016. The MFA curriculum will focus on six areas: Corporate Finance (including M&A and Capital Structure); Asset Management (incorporating topics such as credit markets, practical asset allocation, market efficiency and anomalies, liquidity, long-short investing or slow-moving capital); Accounting (focusing on Accounting and Securities Analysis and Valuations); Financial Markets (financial institutions, personal finance); Financial Econometrics; and Global Markets and World Economy.

Students will also develop their soft skills, such as communication, commitment, and commercial awareness. The program will balance coursework in London with international fieldtrips.

LBS’s Masters in Finance has been ranked number 1 by the Financial Times for five years running. Drawing on the school’s strengths, as well as the manifold advantages of studying in London, the new Masters in Financial Analysis program will provide an intensive, 1-year option for students near the beginning of their careers.

Click here for the lowdown on one of the most up and coming specialized masters programs in the business world.Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

London Business School Master’s in Finance Application Essay Tips
• Master in Finance: What You Need to Know
• The Facts About Financial Services

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Approaching The Diversity Essay Question http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/writing-the-diversity-essay/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/writing-the-diversity-essay/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:27:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31871 Many applications now have a question, sometimes optional, geared to encouraging people with minority backgrounds or unusual educational or family histories to write about their background.  If you are an immigrant to the US, the child of immigrants or someone whose ethnicity is a minority in the US, you might find this question an interesting […]

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Learn How to Use Examples to Write an Exemplary Essay

Explain how your experiences built your character.

Many applications now have a question, sometimes optional, geared to encouraging people with minority backgrounds or unusual educational or family histories to write about their background.  If you are an immigrant to the US, the child of immigrants or someone whose ethnicity is a minority in the US, you might find this question an interesting one to show how your background will add to the mix of perspectives at the program you are applying to. If you are applying after having an unusual experience for applicants like joining the military, becoming part of a dance troupe, or caring for an elderly relative, you can use your experience to evoke the way in which you will bring diversity to campus.

Your family’s culture, situation and traditions, and the way they have helped you develop particular character and personality traits are of interest, as well unusual experiences that have shaped you. Perhaps you have grown up with a strong insistence on respecting elders, attending family events or learning your parents’ native language and culture. Perhaps you are close to grandparents and extended family who have taught you how teamwork can help everyone survive. Perhaps you have had to face and deal with difficulties that stem from your parents’ values being in conflict with those of your peers. Perhaps teachers have not always understood the elements of your culture or outside-of-school situation and how they pertain to your school performance. Perhaps you have suffered discrimination and formed your values and personality traits around your success in spite of the discrimination. Perhaps you have learned skills from a lifestyle that is outside the norm–living in foreign countries as the child of diplomats or contractors, performing professionally in theater, dance, music or sports, or communicating with a deaf sibling.

Understanding and explaining how your experience built your empathy for others, a strong will, and character is a good focus for the diversity question.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes [Free Guide]
Writing About Overcoming Obstacles in Your Application Essays [Short Video]
• How To Write About Overcoming Challenges Without Sounding Like A Whiner

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Venture For America: Champion Of U.S. Entrepreneurship http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/24/venture-for-america-champion-of-u-s-entrepreneurship/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/24/venture-for-america-champion-of-u-s-entrepreneurship/#respond Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:17:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31837 Entrepreneurship among 18 – 30 year olds in the USA is at a 24 year low, but the founder of Venture for America, is on a mission to spur economic growth through entrepreneurship. Listen to our talk with Andrew Yang, Venture for America’s founder, for great insights into the state of entrepreneurship today, the case […]

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Listen to the show!Entrepreneurship among 18 – 30 year olds in the USA is at a 24 year low, but the founder of Venture for America, is on a mission to spur economic growth through entrepreneurship.

Listen to our talk with Andrew Yang, Venture for America’s founder, for great insights into the state of entrepreneurship today, the case for why you should become an entrepreneur (and not a management consultant), and more.

00:02:14 – What is Venture for America?

00:04:20 – The story of how Venture for America came to be.

00:06:35 – How to create 100,000 jobs by 2025.

00:09:00 – Becoming a Venture for America fellow.

00:11:04 – What VFA Fellows do after boot camp.

00:14:27 – A look at where grads of the program end up.

00:19:20 – Chickpea pasta: A Venture for America success story.

00:22:18 – What inspired Andrew to write Smart People Should Build Things.

00:23:34 – Society aside, what is the benefit of becoming an entrepreneur to the individual.

00:28:45 – Do entrepreneurs need business school?

00:30:30 – Why the best and brightest should be kept out of consulting.

00:35:17 – Advice for making the transition from the corporate world to the start-up world.

00:37:20 – The definition of entrepreneurship and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related links:

• Venture for America
• Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America
Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast
• The MBA and Entrepreneurship
Which B-Schools Send the Most Grads into Entrepreneurship?

Related shows:

• Jon Medved & OurCrowd: The Remarkable Story of an Entrepreneur
• A Wharton Grad Rids the World of Bank Fees
• An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup Street
• A B-School Professor on Main Street, USA
• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:
Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher! Download your free copy of the Quick Guide to Admissions Resume now!

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An Interview With Our Own: Jessica Pishko http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/23/an-interview-with-our-own-jessica-pishko/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/23/an-interview-with-our-own-jessica-pishko/#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:06:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31799 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Jessica Pishko. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do you […]

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Read Jessica's Bio here!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Jessica Pishko.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do you currently live?

Jessica: I went to Rice University in Houston, Texas for undergrad where I majored in English and French. I currently live in San Francisco with my family.

Accepted: Can you share 3 fun facts about yourself?

Jessica:

1. I used to be a yoga teacher (but haven’t taught in a few years).

2. I worked in the French department in college where one of my primary jobs was to open bottles of wine for faculty parties. So, I got very good at it and used to work at a few faculty parties as a bartender for extra money.

3. I have a two-year old daughter and a Chihuahua named Sammy.

Accepted: Do you hold any graduate degrees? 

Jessica: Yes, I have a JD from Harvard Law School and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University.

Accepted: Can you walk us through the jobs and experiences you had that led you to become an admissions consultant for Accepted? 

Jessica: Before I went back to school for my MFA, I worked as a recruiter – this was 2008, which was a terrible time to be recruiting. But, I did learn a lot about the legal job market and found that I enjoyed working with people. As an MFA student, I had the opportunity to work in Columbia’s writing center, where I helped all sorts of students with their writing, from admissions essays to final papers. Based on my work there, I was asked to become a writing consultant for Columbia’s Postbac Program and worked with students applying to medical school. I really enjoyed helping people achieve their dreams, as cheesy as that sounds, and am thrilled to be on the team at Accepted.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Jessica: As someone who switched careers herself, I’m very sympathetic to the challenges of applying to school and getting accepted into the right program. I really like to help people who are working hard to achieve their goals and make their dream careers happen. That’s very satisfying for me, and I hope it’s equally satisfying for my clients!

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Jessica: Law school, medical school and graduate school.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Jessica:

1.  Try to see the application – including the personal statement and interview, if applicable – as an opportunity rather than a hurdle to overcome. I think that changing your attitude about the process helps to reduce anxiety.

2.  Be flexible and willing to change. It can be hard to take criticism or encounter a set-back, but if you are able to let go of your preset notions, it’s a lot easier to revise and improve your application and admissions strategy.

3.  Be yourself. Too often, I think applicants worry about what admissions committees want or try to “stand out” rather than write something that actually reflects who they are.

Learn more about Jessica and how she can help you get accepted!

View our catalog of admission services! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application
• Law School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant

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“What Next….” Is Graduate School For You? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/23/what-next-is-graduate-school-for-you/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/23/what-next-is-graduate-school-for-you/#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:51:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31791 I was grading midterm exams in my office one frigid day in March when I was surprised to see Marco, a former student, standing in my doorway. He had that all too familiar “deer in headlights” look on his face. I invited him to step in and asked how I could help. He proceeded to […]

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Prepping Early for Grad School Applications Can Get You Accepted!

Calm the deer in headlights by using the 3 E strategy.

I was grading midterm exams in my office one frigid day in March when I was surprised to see Marco, a former student, standing in my doorway. He had that all too familiar “deer in headlights” look on his face. I invited him to step in and asked how I could help. He proceeded to look up at the ceiling (almost as if he was seeking divine intervention) and mumbled, “I don’t know where I am and what I should do.”  Since I knew that he would earn his bachelor’s degree in May, I sensed that he was probably experiencing some of the usual emotions associated with college graduation.  Most college students can’t wait to “get out” until the reality of the “getting out” hits them.  That’s when they begin to question— What next?  Marco confirmed my assumption when he said that he needed to make some plans, and he didn’t know where or how to start.

All of his questions, concerns, and fears for the future came flying out in machine gun-like fashion. He finally took a deep breath and said that “getting it all out there” was actually a relief and that he was now ready to ask, “How do I decide if graduate school is the right path for me.” From my experience leading graduate school workshops I was sure that I could successfully guide Marco through this process. I told him that in order to find the answers he was seeking, he would need to ask himself the right questions. I promised to develop a problem-solving plan for him and we scheduled a follow-up meeting.

I decided to “borrow” some of the critical thinking and problem solving techniques I use in the interpersonal communications classes that I teach at the undergraduate level.  I was planning to use the “Three E’s”, as I have coined them, involved in the brainstorming process.

At our next meeting I told Marco that I had developed a 3 “E” (explore, examine, evaluate) brainstorming strategy that he would need to apply to four graduate school-related questions in order to find his answers. He would, by answering all four questions utilizing this strategy, be in the best position to successfully make an informed decision about his future. Here’s how we did it:

QUESTION #1:  What are your short and long-term goals/objectives?

Explore:  Make a list of what you believe are your short and long-term goals as well as your educational and professional objectives. Try not to over-think this question.  In other words, list everything that comes to mind.

Examine:  Once you have listed everything and anything you can think of, you will be ready to carefully examine your list. Did you omit anything? Did you include items that may not really belong in this category?  Would you like to revise a list item?

Evaluate:  You are now ready to evaluate and prioritize all of the items in order of importance to you. You may well be surprised by how much you learn about yourself.

This three step process is even more important for those who have been out of school for a few years, hate what they are currently doing, and have no idea of what they want to do. For this group an additional list of what they do well and enjoy doing will help to facilitate their decision-making process.

QUESTION #2:  Will graduate school help you to reach your goals?

Explore:  Conduct some field research. Gather information from current and/or former professors, attend a graduate open house or info session, participate in content-specific breakout sessions, request feedback from graduate students in a variety of programs,  make contact with people who are currently employed in your area of interest and, of course, seek additional assistance from graduate admissions’ consultants who are experts in the field

Examine:  Compile an all-inclusive breakdown of all of your findings. Read the results and look for patterns in the responses from different sources. Once you note any patterns or lack thereof, you will be ready to evaluate.

Evaluate:  Place some sort of weight or value by priority next to each of the responses you received.  Take the reliability/ credibility factor into consideration in each case. Whose opinion do you trust? Is she or he a credible source of information? And last, but not least, what really “grabbed” your interest. Have some fun with this—use emoticons  (happy faces, winky faces, angry faces, fist pumps, hearts, etc.) – whatever works for you and helps you to evaluate the information you have collected.

QUESTION #3:  Is now the right time?

Explore:  The answer for this question is somewhat dependent on the field you think you may want to pursue. You will need to explore the admissions’ criteria as this may vary from program to program.  For example some MBA programs require 2-3 years of business experience in order to apply, while other MBA programs welcome applications from students’ who have just earned their bachelor’s degrees. An Executive MBA program will require that applicants present with 5-7 years of higher level management experience. Another example might be Ph.D. programs that will only consider those who will earn the master’s degree enroute to the Ph.D.  Other programs will consider both categories in making admission decisions.  Clearly, you need to explore all of the options that may be available to you as well as their requirements.

Examine:  Compile all of your research on the timing of graduate studies in terms of field of study and personal needs. Create a balance sheet listing the timing based on field of study on the left and your personal needs on the right.  This will help you to compare/contrast, organize and visualize, so that you can move on to the assessment/evaluation step.

Evaluate:  At this time you should weigh each of your needs and plans in order to assess, under what circumstances, the timing and your needs intersect or appear to be oppositional. This is not quite as easy as it sounds since there are so many variables to consider.  For example, what do you do if  you need to start right now, need to cut costs and stay in your home city but  all of the programs in your city require 2 or more years of experience.  Something has to give. As a result, you may need to be open to all possible options in order to decide the best course of action for you.

QUESTION #4:  What are the benefits/costs of pursuing an advanced degree?

Explore: Since costs and benefits vary from person to person, you will, once again, need to explore the personal benefits and costs based on your expectations. For some the costs will be strictly financial, while, for others, the costs may include time to degree, lost earnings, energy, and impact on interpersonal relationships. Just as with costs, the benefits are also subjective.  Some will perceive the value of an advanced degree strictly in terms of salary levels while others will view it in terms of how the advanced degree will expand them intellectually. I suggest that you fold a sheet of paper in half and list what you consider the benefits on one side and the costs on the other side. You are now ready to examine the information that you have compiled.

Examine:  Once you have listed all costs/benefits that came to mind, you are ready to carefully examine the items on both sides of the page.  Did you miss something?  Are all of the items relevant to the question?  Is there something you wish to eliminate or change in some way?

Evaluate:  Now you will need to weigh the level of importance of each cost and benefit. In fact, I suggest you use “Interpersonal Exchange Theory.”   This theory is based on a very simple equation (Benefits-Costs= + or – gain.)   If we deduct the costs we pay from the benefits we receive we can come up with either a positive or negative outcome.  Clearly if the benefits outweigh the costs then will have a positive gain. Keep in mind that this is not strictly a “numbers” game.  The weight of each benefit and cost must also be carefully considered. You may have many more benefits but the costs, though few, may carry a greater weight.  Even though this equation may seem somewhat simplistic, it can be one more helpful technique in the decision making process.

Marco couldn’t wait to get started and thanked me for the help.  About 4 weeks later he once again appeared at my office door.  This time the “deer in the headlights” look was replaced by a huge smile. He said he had decided to pursue a master’s degree and wondered if I had a plan that would help him identify graduate schools that would be a good fit for him. I smiled and said, give me some time to develop a strategy for you.  His answer, “You got it!”

Get Your Game On: Preparing for Your Grad School Application, a free guide
Carol DrummerBy Carol Drummer, Former Hofstra University Dean of Graduate Admissions, who for 10 years reviewed and signed off on over 4500 admissions decisions per year and has taught communications and rhetoric since 1991.

Related Resources:

• Graduate School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
Should You Pursue a PhD? [Podcast]
Which Graduate Schools Should You Apply To? [Podcast]

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A Groundbreaking $100 Million Gift For Cornell Tech http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/19/a-groundbreaking-100-million-gift-for-cornell-tech/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/19/a-groundbreaking-100-million-gift-for-cornell-tech/#respond Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:32:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31693 At a groundbreaking ceremony on June 16, Cornell Tech announced a $100 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies that will help fund the construction of the campus. The first academic building on the new campus will be named the Bloomberg Center, honoring Emma and Georgina Bloomberg, the daughters of former NY mayor Michael Bloomberg. Cornell Tech […]

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Learn how to write excellent essays for your application by downloading "From Example to Exemplary" today!At a groundbreaking ceremony on June 16, Cornell Tech announced a $100 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies that will help fund the construction of the campus. The first academic building on the new campus will be named the Bloomberg Center, honoring Emma and Georgina Bloomberg, the daughters of former NY mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Cornell Tech is a partnership between Cornell and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, aimed at promoting high-tech entrepreneurship in New York City. In 2011, Cornell and the Technion won a bid to create an applied sciences institution on Roosevelt Island to foster high tech innovation in New York City.

The campus currently occupies temporary space in Manhattan. The new campus—the first phase of which is slated for completion in 2017—will house approximately 2000 graduate students and hundreds of faculty and staff on Roosevelt Island. The design of the buildings has already garnered attention and praise for innovation and sustainability.

At Cornell Tech, the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute promotes innovation in key areas, including Connective Media, Health Tech and the Built Environment.  They also offer an entrepreneurially-focused post-doc program for recent Ph.D.s who are interested in launching their own startups—the Runway Program. Cornell Tech offers degrees in conjunction with Cornell’s Engineering School and its Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

A Conversation about Cornell Tech NYC with Dr. Douglas Stayman
Verizon Donates $50 Million to Cornell Tech
• Cornell Tech Student Interview: Where CS Meets the MBA

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Five Killer GRE Tips Webinar Available for Download http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/18/five-killer-gre-tips-webinar-available-for-download/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/18/five-killer-gre-tips-webinar-available-for-download/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2015 18:53:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31272 Our recent webinar with Magoosh GRE expert Chris Lele was a huge success! If you missed it, it’s not too late—it’s available for viewing or download now. Watch it today! Tags: Grad School Admissions, GRE, Magoosh, MBA Admissions, webinar

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View a recording of the webinar now!Our recent webinar with Magoosh GRE expert Chris Lele was a huge success! If you missed it, it’s not too late—it’s available for viewing or download now. Watch it today!

Watch the webinar now!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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An Interview With Our Own: Natalie Grinblatt Epstein http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/an-interview-with-our-own-natalie-grinblatt-epstein/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/an-interview-with-our-own-natalie-grinblatt-epstein/#respond Tue, 16 Jun 2015 15:50:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31580 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Natalie Grinblatt Epstein. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you […]

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View Natalie's bio page!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Natalie Grinblatt Epstein.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees? Where do you currently live?

Natalie: I’m a first generation immigrant who grew up in suburban Detroit surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins (we have a large family) that didn’t speak English, so I picked up Yiddish, French, and a little Hebrew along the way. My parents felt travel and community service were both extremely important to our upbringing and by the time I was 18, I put in over 1000 hours of community service for organizations ranging from the American Cancer Association to UNICEF. We also traveled to 20 different countries before I began university (that count is closer to 80 now).

I attended the University of Michigan and my closest friends and I lived in the same dorm, so we created our own sorority without having to go through pledging. We are best friends to this day.

I waived out of a lot of courses through AP and university testing, so I actually started as a sophomore, but decided to use that to explore the sciences, the arts and a lot of literature. I was active in theater groups, political action groups and I was lucky enough to be assigned on a research project that changed my world. I studied the Elizabethan period in depth and dropped pre-med having fallen in love with Shakespeare instead of Jonas Salk.

Theater enabled me to be fearless, but it didn’t lead to post-BA careers, so after spending two years in retail, I returned to Ann Arbor for my MBA.

Accepted: Can you walk us through the jobs and experiences that led you to become an admissions consultant for Accepted?

Natalie: I initially pursued the MBA for a career in CPG, but again, a research project turned my world upside down and my marketing professor/mentor suggested I implement my research at Michigan. I thought I would stay for a year, I stayed for 11. Understanding that I needed to diversify my resume, I was offered and accepted the role of Admissions Director at Cornell.

My first day was memorable: I walked in from orientation and 75% of my staff had resigned (I hadn’t even started yet), I negotiated to move Financial Aid under my charge, I discovered 10,000 “inquiries” that were still being hand entered and then automated the system. That year we broke all prior records despite being short staffed, and I created a team that I knew could navigate the most rigorous rapids.

I worked my way up at Michigan from Assistant Director, to Associate Director and finally Director managing not only admissions, but also students services, student affairs, events, marketing (now each of those has separate departments, but I was a one woman shop under the guidance of amazing mentors). I created my own roles at both Michigan and Cornell. They trusted me to make the school better, and I used intra and inter university relationships to do so. I created recruiting teams out of multiple schools to share costs and also data. It worked well for all schools who are now solidly placed in the top 15. Moreover, I volunteered for GMAC (the Graduate Management Admissions Council) for 9 years in order to strengthen those relationships. At Cornell, no one thought it possible to work together with the Fundraising offices at other schools to pipeline students. I institutionalized this at Cornell and again, it works well for all parties involved.

I loved Michigan and Cornell, but on a snowy day in Ithaca, I received a call from Arizona State University. My best friend lived in Phoenix, and I was missing the sunshine. I accomplished a lot at Cornell and felt like it was time for a move. So I did.

Soon after moving to Phoenix, I met the man who became my husband. He sent me a business plan before our first official date. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to date me or hire me. He did both. We launched a business together and then tied the knot. I became a mother instantly to two wonderful boys (my stepsons) and a technology venture.

We sold the business two years later, and I missed higher education, so I called Linda Abraham and asked her if she needed another consultant. I knew Linda because she was running chats for us that benefitted Cornell and Accepted.com, and I really enjoyed working with her. I knew she was sharp and I always want to surround myself with brilliant and positive people and Linda certainly fits that definition. I’ve been with Accepted.com ever since that phone call in 2008 and I enjoy being on the other side of the table helping clients understand the inner workings of admissions. Transparency helps everyone, and my knowledge has been a powerful tool for my clients. I also brought on two of my former admissions colleagues and have been conducting some business development for Accepted.com when I have time.

Accepted: What is your favorite book?

Natalie: My favorite readings are Shakespeare’s canon. I still love to read the history plays. Currently, I’m reading The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt (no relation), but this Harvard professor writes eloquently and I’m learning a lot about how once lost classical literature was found again and created the entire Renaissance movement.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Natalie: My favorite thing about consulting is helping others make their dreams come true. I find it so gratifying to hear, “I’ve been accepted and I couldn’t have done it without you.” It’s a great boost to my ego, but more importantly, I love to see my clients blossom and grow. Education is vital to growth and if I can help clients gain the education they deserve, I feel I’ve accomplished my vision for the future.

In terms of the nuts and bolts, I love brainstorming ideas with my clients and preparing them for interviews. I believe I have the greatest impact in helping my clients shape their stories both in their application and in person.

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Natalie: Given my business school background, I work mostly with MBAs and EMBAs, but I also work with high school students (because I did work with undergraduates at Michigan), PhDs (because I did work with the PhDs at Cornell), MF or MFEs (because I had experience reviewing those candidates files as well) and MPH or EMPH because they are similar to MBA candidates and I have a personal interest and read a lot about healthcare. I also work with a variety of dual degree candidates because I’ve had that experience as well.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Natalie:

1. Keep it simple (many clients want to cram everything into an essay and it doesn’t work).

2. Show your multi-dimensionality. For example, I love Columbia Business School’s question, “What would your cluster be surprised to learn about you?” Surprise them. Many clients think this is business only, but as an admissions director, I loved reading about other things that motivated my candidates: athletics, cooking, unique travel; musical instruments; standup comedy (Twitter’s CEO, a fellow Michigan graduate, spent many years as a standup comic). Don’t be a one trick pony.

3. Use relationships you have to put in a good word for you (not too many or that becomes desperate, but a shout out coming from a faculty member, student or alum will gain the attention of the admissions director).

4. I know you asked for three, but I have 5 suggestions: Seek the help you need (consulting, tutoring, editing, proof-reading, resume-writing, interview rehearsals).

5. Finally, don’t wait until the last minute. Applying to school takes time, introspection, and a realistic outlook. Cast the net widely and you will land softly and in the right place for you.

Learn more about Natalie and how she can help you get accepted!

See how Accepted can help you succeed!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

MBA Interview Prep: How to Ace Your Interviews [Free Guide]
• MBA Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
MBA Admissions According to an Expert [Podcast]

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I’m About to Make Your Day… http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/im-about-to-make-your-day-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/im-about-to-make-your-day-2/#respond Sun, 14 Jun 2015 16:24:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31493 …by giving my essay a catchy opening line that doesn’t turn you away or bore you to tears. See, I could have started this tip post with “Today I am going to tell you how to create a compelling essay opening,” but you probably would have skipped over something as drab as that. How about […]

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Download Your Free Guide to Crafting a Killer Admissions Resume

Does your opening line catch the reader’s attention?

…by giving my essay a catchy opening line that doesn’t turn you away or bore you to tears.

See, I could have started this tip post with “Today I am going to tell you how to create a compelling essay opening,” but you probably would have skipped over something as drab as that. How about these?

It is the art of philosophical car washing that got me thinking about pursuing an MBA.

or

There are numerous ways to make a banana split cry.

…now THOSE are essays or personal statements I’d like to read!

Yes, you want an engaging opening for your admissions essay or personal statement, but you also want to make sure to avoid anything obvious or chock full of clichés.

A good essay opening is one that:

• …sets the tone. A serious essay should be introduced by a serious opening line. If an intro sentence makes you chuckle, on the other hand, then you can assume the essay itself it humorous as well.

• …raises intrigue. Your essay’s opening line should encourage questioning or engender curiosity. Like for our first example above, “What is philosophical car washing?” or “What is the art form of this activity like?” or, as per our second example above, “Huh?” And that’s okay too!

• …surprising, shocking, or suspenseful. Causing your reader to flinch, raise an eyebrow in surprise, jump with shock, or furrow her forehead from suspense is a good thing. That reader will want to read on.

Grab your readers’ attention so they will read your essay because they want to and not because they have to.

NOTE: If you can’t think of a catchy opening, but know what you plan on writing, feel free to write your essay first and add a catchy hook at the beginning of the essay once you’re done, or sometime along the way.

Download your free Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application
• From Example to Exemplary – A Free Guide
• Writing The MBA Application Essay

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Get To Know Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/12/get-to-know-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/12/get-to-know-accepted/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2015 16:39:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31490 As the dynamic and thoughtful community at Accepted continues to grow, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for your engagement and to introduce ourselves to those of you who may not know what we are all about. Keep up the great conversation in the comments section! We love hearing from you. Related […]

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As the dynamic and thoughtful community at Accepted continues to grow, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for your engagement and to introduce ourselves to those of you who may not know what we are all about.

Keep up the great conversation in the comments section! We love hearing from you.

See how Accepted can help you succeed!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Get to know our admissions consultants
Download a free admissions guide
Check out the Admissions Straight Talk Podcast

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How To Study For The GRE (Part II) http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/10/how-to-study-for-the-gre-part-ii/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/10/how-to-study-for-the-gre-part-ii/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:58:51 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31105 Click here to read “How To Study For the GRE (Part I)“ Think like the test writers You may have noticed the wording that accompanies many questions: “choose the best answer.” That phrase points to the somewhat subjective nature of the test, and yes, I’m talking primarily about the verbal section. (Don’t worry, number sense doesn’t […]

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Register for the webinar "5 Killer GRE Prep Tips" this Thursday, June 11

As you start to improve, it will get harder to improve. But don’t give up!

Click here to read “How To Study For the GRE (Part I)

Think like the test writers

You may have noticed the wording that accompanies many questions: “choose the best answer.” That phrase points to the somewhat subjective nature of the test, and yes, I’m talking primarily about the verbal section. (Don’t worry, number sense doesn’t become subjective on the GRE.)

Many interpret this phrasing as arbitrary and unfair. Often, we find an answer that sort of works and feel cheated that it is not credited as being the correct answer. It is best, though, not to become upset or resigned; rather, try to understand why the test writers consider one answer the best. On the flip side, figure out what made your seemingly logical answer turn out to not be the best according to the test writers’ thinking. There is a certain logic to the way the test writers construct the “best answer,” and conversely a certain logic to the way the wrong answers are written.

Wrapping your head around this notion and thinking like the test writers is one of the most effective strategies to improving on the test. That is not to say that this is the magic bullet. After all, you’ll still have to deal with dense, convoluted questions where wrapping your head around the question is half the battle. But overall, understanding why the right answer is right and the wrong is answer wrong will go a long way toward helping you on test day.

Use official material as much as possible

Writing test answers—both math and verbal ones—is something of an art form. Constructing an answer so that it is sort of right but just wrong enough so that it is not unassailably correct, as well as writing an answer that is unassailably correct, is tough.

Nobody does it better than the test writers themselves (the reason for this is not that the test writers are the Michelangelos of test prep—they use sophisticated statistics to determine answer validity). For this reason, you’ll want to stick to official material as much as possible. In this case, you’ll want to stick with ETS, the creators of the test.

The downside is ETS hasn’t released too much material: it has a few practice tests and about 100 practice questions scattered throughout its few books. That doesn’t mean that you should eschew other sources altogether; there are still decent sources out there. You just have to be careful, since poorly constructed questions will disrupt the logic you’ll have been fine-tuning by studying the official material.

Stay positive

Prepping for the GRE and even taking a practice test is in large part mental. There is quite a bit of stress (and boredom) attending both practices. But instead of just telling you to stay positive—a cliché wrapped in bromide and served on a platitudinous platter—here are a few tips to help make GRE prep interesting, rewarding, and (most importantly!) effective.

1. Getting better is a struggle

As you start to improve, it will get harder to improve. It is important to keep this in mind, since you’ll likely hit a plateau after an initial score increase. Though you might start to wonder if you can improve any more, don’t become dispirited. The better you do, the more difficult the material will become, since the test section is adaptive. To keep things in perspective, it’s also helpful to remember that others are also struggling to improve.

2. You’re not learning Swahili

This is my way of saying that what you’re learning on the GRE is something that is relevant to what you’ll be doing in grad school. (I’m assuming you don’t have any plans to visit the southern half of Africa soon!) Essentially, you’ll be fine-tuning your ability to use logic, sift through dense texts, and, in some cases, work with numbers and number logic.

3. Take a break

Sometimes what you’ve learned takes time to incubate. Take a break from studying for a couple of days to let things sink in. Often, it is during this supposed “downtime” that your brain makes little connections regarding what you’ve recently learned.Join our upcoming webinar: How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats!

Magoosh This post was written by Chris Lele, resident test prep expert at Magoosh and a leader in GRE prep. For more advice on taking the GRE, check out Magoosh’s GRE blog.

Related Resources:

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips
• To GRE Or Not To GRE? That Is The Question
• Making Friends with the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform at Your Best 

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Record-Setting Donation For Harvard Engineering School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/record-setting-donation-for-harvard-engineering-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/record-setting-donation-for-harvard-engineering-school/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2015 16:50:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31351 Billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson has donated $400 million to Harvard for its engineering school—the largest donation in the university’s history. The engineering school will be renamed the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. According to the university, the gift will be used to fund research, teaching, financial aid, and faculty development […]

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Click here for more info about Harvard Business School.Billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson has donated $400 million to Harvard for its engineering school—the largest donation in the university’s history. The engineering school will be renamed the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. According to the university, the gift will be used to fund research, teaching, financial aid, and faculty development at the school of engineering.

Paulson is an alumnus of Harvard Business School who has made billions operating Paulson & Co, his hedge fund.

Harvard is the world’s richest university, with an endowment of $36.4 billion. The university is two years into a 5-year, $6.5 billion fundraising campaign, that has already brought in significant gifts (totaling over $5 billion by the end of 2014).

Admissions Resume GuideAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
Harvard’s School of Public Health Receives $350 Million Gift from Hong Kong Group
• UCLA Anderson Bags $100 Million Gift

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5 Tips To Beat The GRE- This Thursday! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/5-tips-to-beat-the-gre-this-thursday/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/5-tips-to-beat-the-gre-this-thursday/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2015 16:17:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31211 Our free webinar with Magoosh GRE expert Chris Lele will air this Thursday, June 11 at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET. Don’t miss this chance to learn vital tips you need to master the GRE—register now! Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

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Our free webinar with Magoosh GRE expert Chris Lele will air this Thursday, June 11 at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET. Don’t miss this chance to learn vital tips you need to master the GRE—register now!

Register for the webinar!

Save your spot!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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An Interview With Our Own: Herman “Flash” Gordon http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/an-interview-with-our-own-herman-flash-gordon/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/an-interview-with-our-own-herman-flash-gordon/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2015 15:56:28 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31369 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Herman “Flash” Gordon. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do […]

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Click here to see how 'Flash' get you the acceptance you are waiting for!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Herman “Flash” Gordon.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do you currently live?

Flash: I was born in Tokyo and have lived in many places, both inside and outside the US. I was a biochem major at Harvard and then a developmental neuroscience graduate student at Caltech. Despite my apparent credentials as a biologist, I always seem to come back to programming. My early talents were in math and then they evolved into programming. I’ve had a research career in developmental neuroscience. Now I’ve developed a pedagogy and associated software called ThinkShare™ to support the development of problem solving skills. I live in Tucson, AZ.

Accepted: Why “Flash”?

Flash: When I was in high school, I had a job as a system programmer for the Purdue University Computer Center. My office mates were Moira Gunn, now host of Tech Nation on NPR, and Ward Cunningham, later inventor of the Wiki. In those days, we submitted programming “jobs” as stacks of punch cards to a main frame. The first card was a 5 character job card. Employees got to use their last names, so my job card read GORDN. The resulting line printer output would then end up in my cubby labeled GORDN. One day, I couldn’t find my job output, and I was looking all around for it. People were smiling and giggling in the printer room. Finally, someone said, “Look under FLASH.” Ward didn’t like the missing “O” in my job card, so he swapped my job card for one with a 5 character name and created a new cubby. I’ve been Flash ever since.

Accepted: Can you tell us more about ThinkShare™?

Flash: ThinkShare™ is a social networking platform for developing problem solving skills. I invented it to support a course I teach about scientific problem solving. ThinkShare has really taken off for teaching Case Based Instruction in med school where small groups of students work on “challenges” online and then come together in face-to-face sessions to review and extend their work.

ThinkShare supports “structured problem solving” which is the use of a stepwise structure when working on a problem. A typical structure is 1) frame the problem, 2) brainstorm, 3) strategize, 4) execute, 5) reflect. By separating the steps, people know what they’re supposed to be doing, and they don’t get stuck going in circles.

With ThinkShare, students work in parallel, and after having made their own entry, they get to see peer entries at the same step and are free to edit their own entries in response. Students in this environment own their own entries, but they benefit from the compare and contrast with peers engaged at the same level of the problem. ThinkShare also provides instructors with a window into students’ minds. After working online, everyone comes together, aware of each other’s thinking. This jump starts the face-to-face session so that it gets moving more quickly and goes deeper as well.

ThinkShare leverages diversity in that everyone learns from each other’s perspectives and approaches. Even in scientific problem solving, where there is one answer, there can be many, very different ways to that answer. It’s very powerful to see the tools that others use and to be able to add them to your own toolbox.

ThinkShare is now available to everyone at ThinkShareApp.com. There are free, basic, and premium versions.

Accepted: What is your favorite flavor ice cream?

Flash: Pistachio (gelato actually).

Accepted: Do you hold any graduate degrees?

Flash: PhD.

Accepted: Can you walk us through the jobs and experiences you had that led you to become an admissions consultant for Accepted? 

Flash: My first exposure to admissions was as a freshman at Harvard. I sat in on the admissions committee and was amazed at how diverse the applicant pool was. There were all kinds of cool people applying. I especially remember one candidate whose personal statement read “I don’t have a lot to say for myself, but I’m quite proud of the attached 3 part invention that I wrote.” The committee sent the score off to the Music Department for evaluation. I always hoped that he got in.

As an academic, you’re exposed to “admissions” throughout your career. Students, post-docs, and faculty are always recruited to help evaluate students and job candidates. I served on various evaluation committees over the years. However, it wasn’t until I served on the University of Arizona College of Medicine Admissions Committee that admissions became a passion. I served for 2 years as a committee member and then another 2 years as chair. I always valued “uniqueness” in candidates, and I still see it as the most fair and productive way to generate diversity in a class. After chairing the admissions committee, I felt it was time to move on and allow new blood to make their impact on the process. Now I’m involved in outreach, especially to Native American applicants, and I consult for Accepted.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Flash: When I reviewed applications, I felt that it was too late to help candidates. Now I can help candidates portray themselves in ways that give them the chances they deserve. I love helping people gain the confidence to be themselves in the admissions process.

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Flash: I mostly work with applicants to med school and scientific graduate programs.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Flash:

1. The Personal Statement is EVERYTHING.

2. Be the unique person you are.

3. Be genuinely interested in the school and the people there with whom you interact.

Learn more about Flash and how he can help you get accepted!

catalog - grad CTA Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Plotting Your Way to a PhD: 6 Topics in PhD Admissions
• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant

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Beat The GRE With Accepted And Magoosh http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/29/beat-the-gre-with-accepted-and-magoosh/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/29/beat-the-gre-with-accepted-and-magoosh/#respond Fri, 29 May 2015 16:16:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31130  A low GRE score can be bad news. But the good news is that you can raise your score with some smart preparation! If you’re looking ahead to the GRE—or if you’re planning to retake it—join us for a FREE webinar with Magoosh GRE expert Chris Lele, who will share the 5 key steps you […]

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 A low GRE score can be bad news. But the good news is that you can raise your score with some smart preparation!

Register for the webinar!

If you’re looking ahead to the GRE—or if you’re planning to retake it—join us for a FREE webinar with Magoosh GRE expert Chris Lele, who will share the 5 key steps you need to take to master the GRE. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to:

• Manage your study time efficiently.

• Overcome test anxiety.

• Ameliorate your weaknesses.

• Develop a winning test-prep plan.

The webinar will air Thursday, June 11 at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET. It’s free, but registration is required. Save your spot at the 5 Killer GRE Prep Tips webinar.

Register for the webinar!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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How To Study For The GRE (Part I) http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/28/how-to-study-for-the-gre-part-i/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/28/how-to-study-for-the-gre-part-i/#respond Thu, 28 May 2015 16:12:03 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31102 Sitting down to prep—seems pretty obvious what you are going to do. Open up a GRE prep book and start reading. But what exactly does that mean? Do you go through a book sequentially, a page at a time, so that by the end of the book GRE mastery is yours? Or do you read […]

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Tip 1: Maximize your study time!

Sitting down to prep—seems pretty obvious what you are going to do. Open up a GRE prep book and start reading. But what exactly does that mean? Do you go through a book sequentially, a page at a time, so that by the end of the book GRE mastery is yours? Or do you read just those areas in which you don’t feel confident? Or do you do a mixture of both, or something else entirely?

While there is no clear answer to these questions, you may want to keep some points in mind. First off, becoming better at the GRE is about learning techniques and then applying those techniques to questions that are similar to the ones you’ll encounter on the test. Secondly, GRE material is often more like a reference book than a textbook. While you should read the beginning to get a sense of the entire text, you’ll want to skip around and revisit—often many times—areas to which you are new. It is this combination of targeted practice and repetition that will yield the most gains.

Maximize your time

Each GRE session will differ. After all, sometimes you won’t have two hours to devote to studying. Other times, you’ll have an entire afternoon—just you and the GRE. However, even if you have just one hour of interrupted prep time, you should plan to do the following:

Apply what you’ve learned

Some fall prey to the temptation to read technique after technique, without tackling any questions that will actually allow them to apply the technique. This temptation is understandable since reading about a technique gives you false confidence; the writers often apply the technique to the problem so that everything seems deceptively straightforward. You’ll likely think, “I got this!” or “That makes sense!” after reading about a new technique. However, it is only when you try a problem “in the wild” and attempt to apply these techniques that you’ll have a better sense of how well you truly understand them.

At Magoosh, we want to ensure our students are aware of this approach (we have little pop-up windows and the like). Otherwise, many will watch hours of lesson videos (where you learn the techniques and strategies), and only do one or two practice questions.

When prepping from a book, you won’t have any pop-up windows. So always make sure to do questions that relate to whatever strategy you are learning that day, or have been learning in the last few days. For example, if you’ve been reading about the properties of a circle, make sure to do practice problems relating to circles. And don’t try to learn every aspect of a circle without first practicing some of the basics. If you’re reading a book that is six pages of concepts, don’t try to read the entire thing and then answer the questions pertaining to those six pages. Instead, read a few pages at a time and attempt those questions relating to the concepts about which you just read.

Learn from your mistakes… and your successes

Given that you’ll be completing many problems, it is easy to fall into the mindset that more is better. Indeed, many students correlate the number of questions they complete with their score on test day. Many will trawl the web desperately looking for questions, as though they were vampires looking for blood.

However, whether you answer a question incorrectly—or even correctly—you shouldn’t deem the question to be of no further use. Understanding the reason why you answered the question incorrectly is a skill that will help you both to avoid similar mistakes and to think the way the test writers do. This applies even to questions that are correctly answered. Often, you’ll be wavering between two answers and will end up picking one that turns out to be correct. Understanding why you weren’t 100% sure about the question is very helpful to improving. You’ll get a deeper sense of why you were drawn to one of the incorrect answers as well as your thought process for why you ended up going with the correct answer.

The insights you gain from this process can be applied to future questions, and future study sessions. For instance, if you notice after answering a series of reading comprehension questions that you tend to struggle with science passages, then you would know to include more science passages in your upcoming study sessions.

Takeaway

Effectively preparing for the GRE isn’t just a question of sitting down to study. How you prepare will go a long way to determining your score on test day. Make sure to learn just a few new concepts or strategies at a time. Doing related practice questions will help you reinforce these concepts before you move on to something new. Remember also to revisit these concepts a few days after initially learning about them. Finally, don’t forget that the best teacher can oftentimes be your mistakes. Take the time to review your problems and to understand why you missed the question. An awareness of what went wrong will help you avoid similar mistakes in the future.Join our upcoming webinar: How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats!

Magoosh This post was written by Chris Lele, resident test prep expert at Magoosh and a leader in GRE prep. For more advice on taking the GRE, check out Magoosh’s GRE blog.

Related Resources:

Navigate the MBA Maze
• To GRE Or Not To GRE? That Is The Question
• Making Friends with the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform at Your Best 

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The Dangers Of High Scores And MBA Application Strategy http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/27/the-dangers-of-high-scores-and-mba-application-strategy/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/27/the-dangers-of-high-scores-and-mba-application-strategy/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 17:21:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31056 MBA application season has begun! Get the ball rolling with Linda Abraham’s kickoff episode with invaluable advice for 2016 applicants. Have high stats? Linda has a warning for you. Think you can fill out the boxes on your app on the day you submit? Think again. If you have any other questions about getting your […]

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Listen to the show!MBA application season has begun! Get the ball rolling with Linda Abraham’s kickoff episode with invaluable advice for 2016 applicants.

Have high stats? Linda has a warning for you. Think you can fill out the boxes on your app on the day you submit? Think again.

If you have any other questions about getting your applications started, just leave us a note in the comments section of this post.

00:01:54 – The risks of a high GMAT score.

00:07:16 – A strategic approach to the boxes and the essays on an MBA application

00:12:00 – What you can do before the essay questions come out.

00:12:25 – How to make the most of your resume and job history.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related links:

Get Accepted to Columbia Business School webinar
Resume 101
MBA Essay 101

Related shows:

The Admissions Team At The Very Center Of Business
Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options at NYU Stern
Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management
The Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!
MBA 5 Fatal Flaws

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PhD Funding Disparities http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/22/phd-funding-disparities/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/22/phd-funding-disparities/#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 15:46:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30990 The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that unequal funding for PhD students across disciplines is leading to an “unequal education,” where students in relatively flush disciplines (such as business and the STEM fields) enjoy more comfortable stipends, while those in the humanities and social sciences are left scrambling to find jobs off campus or take […]

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How will you afford your Social Science Ph.D?

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that unequal funding for PhD students across disciplines is leading to an “unequal education,” where students in relatively flush disciplines (such as business and the STEM fields) enjoy more comfortable stipends, while those in the humanities and social sciences are left scrambling to find jobs off campus or take out loans to supplement their much smaller paychecks.

The Chronicle’s story focuses on grad students at the University of Houston—a PhD student in Business whose stipend of $33,000/yr puts her among the most generously-funded grad students, as well as students in the humanities and social sciences whose stipends started at a far more modest $11,000-$13,000 (even after recent, hard-won funding increases, funding in those departments is well under $20,000/yr).

There are many factors that contribute to this disparity, including the availability of research grants in the field, the competitive profile of the department, and the university’s investment in developing its reputation in the discipline (as well as what it is willing to do to recruit top students in the field).

As the Chronicle story makes clear, low stipends have multiple effects: students might be forced to take out loans to fund their degree, when they likely already carry debt from their undergrad education and the academic job market is ever more insecure. Or they might search for off-campus employment (often in violation of the terms of their PhD funding packages), which can slow their progress to their degrees and take time away from the work they need to do to be successful academically (publishing, university service, etc).

A recent piece in The Atlantic highlighted the problem of PhD student debt and compared the average debt burden across disciplines:

Visit our PhD 101 page for more info
Not only do students in the Humanities and Social Sciences take on more debt—more of them take on debt. The NSF survey for the same year found that while more than ¾ of engineers graduated without debt, over half of humanities PhDs had student loans.

There are other disparities, too: a study has found that Black and Latino PhDs, even in STEM fields, graduate with substantially more debt than their white counterparts.

What is there to be done about disparities in funding? Would higher stipends improve the PhD experience? What does all this mean for you, if you’re considering a PhD?

First off, a few schools have been considering ways of increasing their funding packages for students in the humanities and social sciences. Some have suggested funding fewer students at a higher level, or funding students at a higher level for fewer years.

Second, what should you be aware of as an applicant? I advise you to look into your funding options carefully—including outside and summer fellowships. Find out how many years the programs you’re targeting will guarantee funding for. Is summer funding available? What about travel funds for research or conferences? What is the cost of living? Finally: would you be willing to go into debt to earn a PhD? For me, the answer to that question was “no.” I was fortunate to have funding throughout grad school—but you don’t need me to tell you that living in Los Angeles on $15K a year required some careful budgeting! The experience also made me acutely aware of the benefits of applying for outside funding, which helped me finish debt free.

Plott Your Way to a PhD: 6 Topics in PhD Admissions

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca BlusteinAccepted.com 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 MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources:

Choosing a PhD Program: 3 Tips
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?
• STEM PhD Applicants: Strengthen Your Candidacy

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5 Mistakes To Avoid In A Cover Letter http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/14/5-mistakes-to-avoid-in-a-cover-letter/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/14/5-mistakes-to-avoid-in-a-cover-letter/#respond Thu, 14 May 2015 15:55:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30704 You only have one chance to make a first impression. If the first impression you need to make is through a cover letter to a prospective employer, school admissions office, or internship sponsor, make sure it shines a light on your qualifications and displays your enthusiasm for the position or that seat in the class. […]

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Think of your cover letter as the appetizer for what you know will be a great meal.

You only have one chance to make a first impression. If the first impression you need to make is through a cover letter to a prospective employer, school admissions office, or internship sponsor, make sure it shines a light on your qualifications and displays your enthusiasm for the position or that seat in the class. Unfortunately, too many cover letters I see are dull as dust, containing only generalities or jargon and lacking confidence. These letters hurt your cause.

Here are 5 common mistakes in cover letters. Don’t make them in yours!

1. Sound as if you’re bored.

“I am writing in response to your opening for a marketing manager, listed on Job Site website.” This response is honest and to the point, but it also lacks a sense that you really want this gig. Better: “I am enthusiastically applying for the position of marketing manager for Best Company Ever. My experience as a top saleswoman for the last three years for an organic beauty supply is an ideal match for your needs.” Feel the energy of the second sentence? The reader will, too.

2. Don’t make any effort to get inside knowledge about the company or school, or explain why you want to attend their program/get hired by them. Also omit your most relevant experiences that should make them want to give careful consideration to your resume.

There could be a dozen different reasons why you’ve chosen to apply for this job or to attend this program. For example, if it’s a start-up, you’ll have more opportunity to perform multiple roles and gain a broader view of small businesses. In a larger company, you may have more chances for travel or longstanding career growth. Perhaps the company has innovated a technology, product type, or employee-friendly atmosphere that you strongly admire. Identify these things, as well as your most relevant experience/qualifications that match what they are looking for. Don’t go into too many details; keep it short. For example:

“My friend Bonnie V. told me how much she learned about digital media sales and marketing as a result of her internship with Best Company Ever last summer. My experience with the Streaming Live Network in building their salesforce over the last year will make me an ideal fit for your team.”

“As a future entrepreneur in green technology, I admire Live Green Now’s innovations in environmentally friendly plastics and am eager to learn more about these innovations from the inside. My master’s degree in Environmental Studies and research into new techniques for recycling plastics without water makes me a strong candidate for this position.”

3. Ignore the stated requirements for acceptance or position.

If a company says that knowledge of a particular software knowledge, skillset, or academic record is required for a position, don’t waste your time or theirs by submitting a letter if you don’t have it. If you feel you are still qualified, you had better have a compelling explanation and say so up front. Otherwise move on. Pay attention to what companies and schools say they are looking for. They mean it.

4. Sound needy or wishy-washy about getting a call back for an interview. 

A recent cover letter I edited – by someone whose professional experience spanned more than 20 years, numerous awards and 10 patents in his name – ended his letter like this: “If after reviewing my materials you believe that there is a match, please contact me.” This sentence is passive and sounds insecure, as if he doesn’t really expect them to call. And they probably wouldn’t.

I suggested he end the letter like this: “I look forward to the opportunity to meet you to discuss this position and how I can add value to Best Company Ever.” See how the simple change of writing in active voice (“I look forward. . . “) exudes confidence in his ability to demonstrate value.

5. Make them take the extra step of going back to you to get references.

This is one of the mistakes that drives me crazy every time I see it, which is often. Why in the world would you write “References available upon request” instead of providing the actual references in the letter, and/or the resume? List names, titles, phone numbers and emails. If a reference doesn’t have a title, put the person’s relationship to you so the caller will know in what context he or she is providing the recommendation.

Finally, keep the letter short – preferably only a half to three-quarters of a page. This is an appetizer only to get them to want to give your resume careful review, and then call you for the next step. Using active voice, specific facts about your qualifications and the reasons you like the company or school, will demonstrate you are not sending cover letters in a scattershot way, but in a thoughtful, carefully considered manner. And this should help you bring your job search to a swifter and happier conclusion.

Download your free copy of the Quick Guide to Admissions Resume now!

Judy Gruen

By , MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

 

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application Essay or Personal Statement
Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume 
Sample Resumes and Cover Letter

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To GRE Or Not To GRE? That Is The Question http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/13/to-gre-or-not-to-gre-that-is-the-question/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/13/to-gre-or-not-to-gre-that-is-the-question/#respond Wed, 13 May 2015 15:55:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30730 Before your dream of getting accepted to graduate school comes true, you’ll have to face – and conquer – the GRE. Listen in on our conversation with Dr. Lydia Liu, Managing Senior Research Scientist at the ETS and Tom Ewing, Director of External and Media Relations, for GRE advice, their perspective on the GRE vs […]

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Listen to the show!Before your dream of getting accepted to graduate school comes true, you’ll have to face – and conquer – the GRE.

Listen in on our conversation with Dr. Lydia Liu, Managing Senior Research Scientist at the ETS and Tom Ewing, Director of External and Media Relations, for GRE advice, their perspective on the GRE vs GMAT debate, and more.

00:03:22 – An overview of the GRE.

00:05:18 – Don’t stick with your first instinct: The GRE’s changing score feature and how it helps you snag a higher score.

00:09:13 – Paid and free GRE study tools.

00:12:16 – The GRE as a predictor of success in b-school.

00:13:18 – Why MBA applicants should take the GRE and not the GMAT.

00:17:24 – GRE prep strategies.

00:19:57 – Ongoing research studies at ETS.

00:21:09 – The latest news from ETS (and it doesn’t reflect well on US grad students).

00:25:58 – Tips for graduate school applicants.

Listen to the show!

Related links:

ets.org
takethegre.com
Should You Take the GMAT or GRE?
GRE vs. GMAT: Trends
GMAT vs. GRE: Harvard Business School Weighs In

Related Shows:

The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree
The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well
GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep
Interview with Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT 

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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Magoosh Guide To The TOEFL eBook http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/08/magoosh-guide-to-the-toefl-ebook/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/08/magoosh-guide-to-the-toefl-ebook/#respond Fri, 08 May 2015 16:21:15 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30184 Feeling overwhelmed by the TOEFL test? Don’t know where to start? Or have you taken the test 5 times before and just need a quick refresher before you take it for (hopefully!) the last time? Either way, it can be tough to find quality resources that provide everything you need to know for the test […]

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Click here for help on your TOEFLFeeling overwhelmed by the TOEFL test? Don’t know where to start? Or have you taken the test 5 times before and just need a quick refresher before you take it for (hopefully!) the last time?

Either way, it can be tough to find quality resources that provide everything you need to know for the test while also being easy to understand. But that’s where our friends at Magoosh TOEFL come in!

They’ve put together this new (and free!) TOEFL iBT eBook to help you prepare for and succeed on your TOEFL test! So no need to spend hours browsing the web for TOEFL practice questions, test strategies or problem explanations–you can find all these resources and lots more in the Magoosh TOEFL eBook.

Go ahead and get to studying–and of course, good luck on your test!

Click here to download your TOEFL iBT eBook!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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An Interview with Our Own: Jennifer Weld http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/05/an-interview-with-our-own-jennifer-weld/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/05/an-interview-with-our-own-jennifer-weld/#respond Tue, 05 May 2015 18:02:23 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30522 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Jennifer Weld. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold […]

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Learn more about Jen and see if she is the consultant for you!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Jennifer Weld.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees? Where do you currently live?

Jennifer: I spent most of my formative years in Michigan, with the exception of my junior and senior years of high school, which I spent in Japan. My father worked at Ford, and we moved there for the Ford/Mazda joint venture. I graduated from an international school in Kobe.

By no means while living in Japan did I master the Japanese language, so I majored in it at the University of Michigan. My first job after college was at a Japanese trading company, but since then I haven’t used the language much and have gotten rather rusty!

I have an MBA from Cornell University (The Johnson School), and currently live in Durham, North Carolina.

Accepted: What’s your favorite book?

Jennifer: Since I have two young children, I don’t have time to read much other than children’s books these days, so I’d have to say, The Gruffalo, The Pout Pout Fish, and, Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent.

Accepted: What was your role with the Cornell Executive MBA program? How has that experience contributed to your role as an Accepted admissions consultant?

Jennifer: I was the Assistant Director of Admissions and Marketing, so in addition to serving on the admissions committee and all that entails (vetting prospective students, interviewing, making decisions on applicants, etc.), I also was responsible for the marketing messaging that we put forth to prospective students.

As a result of my role at Cornell, I am confident I have a good sense of what makes a successful applicant, and I make sure to get to know my clients well enough so that they present a multi-faceted view of themselves, not one that they “think” an admissions committee wants to hear (because trust me, they don’t!).

Admissions committee members read A LOT of essays, and you want yours to be the ones they can’t put down, not the ones that put them to sleep!

Accepted: Can you talk about the road that led you to becoming an admissions consultant for Accepted? What jobs and experiences led you to this point?

Jennifer: My road to Accepted was a bit unexpected. After I received my MBA from Cornell, I was happily developing a career in brand management at Unilever when my husband decided to go back to Cornell for his PhD. Since I didn’t want to have a long distance marriage, as well as the fact I wanted to support him in this endeavor, I looked for a job in Ithaca. With the emphasis on marketing with the Cornell EMBA position, it was a good fit. While in the role I discovered how much I enjoyed my part in helping others reach their goals.

Once I had kids, and after my husband graduated, I wanted to find something more flexible than a traditional 9-5 job. Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, who was at Cornell when I was a full-time student, was already working at Accepted, and suggested I consider a position there. And the rest, shall they say, is history!

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Jennifer: My favorite thing is when some advice or knowledge I share with clients really hits home, and they take it to heart. As I mentioned earlier, one of the common misconceptions applicants have is that essay topics should always stick to work-related experiences. While the content provided in those types of essays is always informative, it might not be very attention-grabbing.

When I challenge clients to come up with alternative topics they are almost always spectacular. For example, one of my recent clients came back to me with an answer to “What’s the most challenging experience you’ve ever faced?” with a perfectly reasonable work story about developing the first app in his company, which wasn’t app-savvy. It showed all of the hurdles he surmounted and that he no doubt was a valuable employee, but the essay was thoroughly boring. When I encouraged him to share with me some other examples of challenging experiences in his life, one of them was a time he broke his ankle on a remote hiking trail with his family. Pay dirt!

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Jennifer: I work with MBA applicants, those looking to enter full-time, part-time or EMBA programs.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Jennifer:

1. Be sure. If at all possible, visit the schools you are considering applying to. Sit in on some classes, speak with students, and see what environments feel right to you. That is the best way to decide if the school is a good fit, and those visits often provide rich material for essays where you are supposed to discuss the whys of a particular school.

2. Be yourself. Own up to who you are, warts and all. No one is perfect, and don’t try to present yourself as such in your application. If you have extenuating circumstances that can help explain a poor semester, share them. If you have a gap in your resume, clarify it. If your GMAT score is not as high as you’d like it, present other evidence as to why the lower score should not be a concern.

3. Be selective (with your recommenders). Choose people who know you well and can speak to your strengths, weaknesses and how an MBA will help you succeed in your chosen profession, not those who may have impressive titles but have little to no insight into you as a working professional.

Learn more about Jen and how she can help you get accepted!

MBA catalog CTAAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• MBA Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
Grad School Admissions 101
• Why MBA?

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Jon Medved And OurCrowd: The Remarkable Story Of An Entrepreneur http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/29/jon-medved-and-ourcrowd-the-remarkable-story-of-an-entrepreneur/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/29/jon-medved-and-ourcrowd-the-remarkable-story-of-an-entrepreneur/#respond Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:57:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30381 Time flies. The Admissions Straight Talk podcast has hit the 100-episode mark! And in honor of our big milestone we invited a  most exciting guest yet. Want to know what one of the most prominent entrepreneurs of our times has to say about leadership, graduate education, and bodysurfing? For all this and more, listen to […]

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Listen to our conversation with Jon Medved!Time flies. The Admissions Straight Talk podcast has hit the 100-episode mark! And in honor of our big milestone we invited a  most exciting guest yet.

Want to know what one of the most prominent entrepreneurs of our times has to say about leadership, graduate education, and bodysurfing?

For all this and more, listen to the recording of our interview with Jon Medved – CEO and founder of Our Crowd, venture capitalist, and serial entrepreneur.

00:03:43 – Jon’s solution to having too many shoeboxes: The world’s largest equity crowdfunding platform.

00:08:14 – What really matters to a VC when choosing a company to invest in.

00:10:17 – How a history major made it to the top of the business world with no formal business education.

00:14:09 – Qualities that young professionals need to cultivate. (Is luck quality?)

00:21:08 – Graduate education vs. common sense.

00:22:33 – Exciting new partnership between Wharton’s Social Impact Initiative and OurCrowd.

00:24:02 – A preview of the future of business and the world.

00:27:11 – Why Jon loves his job. (Who helps more people, Jon or Linda? Linda says “Jon.”)

00:28:28 – Entrepreneurs: Here is the best piece of advice you are going to get!

Want to leave us a Happy 100th message? We’d love to hear from you!

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

Our Crowd
OurCrowd Partners with Wharton Students to Launch Impact Investing Platform
• Wharton Essay Tips
Jon Medved, OurCrowd CEO, Interviewed (Video)

Relevant shows:

The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders
Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship
• Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!

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An Interview with Our Own: Robbie Walker http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/28/an-interview-with-our-own-robbie-walker/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/28/an-interview-with-our-own-robbie-walker/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 15:53:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29072 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Robbie Walker. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any […]

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Learn more about Robbie and how she can help you get accepted!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Robbie Walker.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees?

Robbie: I grew up in northern Illinois in an area that my mother’s family homesteaded when they immigrated to America back in the early 1800s. We were a multi-generational household, and my six siblings and I shared many childhood adventures.

For college, I chose to attend Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and studied Political Science. After earning my degree, I joined Real Estate Research Corporation (RERC), a consulting firm which, at the time, specialized in urban economics. I primarily advised governments at all levels (local, state, national) on how to develop and implement projects that would serve as a catalyst for implementing broader objectives. For instance, I led a groundbreaking project for a Chicago suburb that wanted to identify how to equitably assess fees on residential land use developers for the necessary schools, parks, water and sewage use that additional residents would require. I also helped lead a national study to assess the cost-benefit implications of active solar energy usage in residential developments across the United States for the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

While working as a consultant, I found I needed a more structured approach to solve related business and financial issues, so I decided to get an MBA. My choice of an MBA program was predicated on a quite specific and individual calculation. First, since I would continue working full-time, my job tied me to a Chicago area school, which limited my choices. Second, I had already earned one degree at Northwestern and wanted to experience a different academic environment. Result: Chicago Booth was my best option. This is not a decision making process I necessarily recommend to my clients! Nonetheless, after several years of hard work and study, I earned my MBA.

While working at RERC, I met my future husband, a Japanese citizen who also earned his MBA at Chicago Booth and who subsequently moved his career into a different industry. We married, and when his new company asked him to move back to Japan to direct their Tokyo operations, we decided to accept the offer and moved our growing family to Japan. We lived in Tokyo for about 15 years.

During this time, I had to switch my career focus away from consulting, primarily due to language issues but also because I wanted to concentrate on the needs of our young children. I chose to teach English to adults (my clients were primarily career diplomats in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and C-level executives of major Japanese corporations) and freelance writing (for whichever publication that accepted my work!). Eventually, my freelance writing expanded to include editing the work of others, with a focus on business and scientific papers. To this day, I continue to write and edit on a freelance basis. I currently write a regular column for two publications, one in Japan and one in Mexico, and contribute to several blogs and news sources.

Accepted: What’s your favorite non-school/non-work book?

Robbie: It’s impossible to identify my favorite book in any context! Since I’ve always loved reading, I am fairly well read, so all I can say is that in the past few years, I’ve preferred non-fiction to fiction, tend to focus my reading on history and science, and have a particular love of biographies. I do have several favorite fiction authors and, if they’re alive, will read anything new that they publish, and I will also typically take a chance with a new author, especially women, whose book descriptions intrigue me.

Accepted: Can you walk us through your journey to becoming an admissions consultant for Accepted?

Robbie: My freelance editing work led me to becoming an Admissions Consultant. It started with a friend who handled applications for Japanese applicants to graduate school. She needed help handling her work load during a family crisis and asked if I’d be willing to assist her. Once I said yes, that was it – I was hooked!

I loved how admissions consulting combined my knowledge of graduate programs with my ability to advise individuals regarding their particular needs. Most especially, I loved how I can help clients zero in on telling their story in a way that made them unique. (In my opinion, that is the key to the success of my clients.) When my friend decided to leave the business, I explored my options at other firms and was fortunate to be “accepted by Accepted.com.” In the past 8 years with Accepted.com, I’ve developed my expertise in business, law (including LLM), public policy and PhD programs at universities in North/South America, Europe and Asia, as well as expanding my network among AdCom Directors and fellow consultants throughout the world.

A consultant’s value is measured in part by providing the most informative, comprehensive and detailed information needed by a client. I work hard to offer my clients all the necessary information and insights necessary to their individual needs.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Robbie: My clients! (That’s an easy question!) Each is unique, each makes me optimistic about the future of business, and each teaches me something, however small.

Accepted: Do you miss teaching ESL? How do you think your teaching skills contribute to your work as a consultant?

Robbie: When we returned to the US (we naturally returned to the Chicago area, given my close family ties to the area), I taught ESL to adults as an adjunct Professor at a local college. My students came from everywhere in the world; in one class, 16 countries were represented among my 17 students, including the Republic of the Congo, Chile and Bulgaria, to name only three.

We moved to Baja, Mexico, when our youngest entered college, but I still teach ESL, although my teaching is now limited to children who are part of the Baja Scholarship Foundation (BSF). I’ve always believed strongly in giving back to my community, wherever I live, and this volunteer work is part of “acting on my word.” The children I teach weekly are quite poor but academically gifted; the mission of BSF is to help them become active participants in their community through funding of their education costs, and my English language instruction is provided as part of that mission.

It’s a joy to teach bright, motivated children. And that’s where I see one connection with my clients, who are also bright and motivated, albeit older. I would say that both groups (BSF students and Accepted clients) are among the smartest, most motivated people I’ve ever encountered in my life. It’s a real pleasure to work with them.

One major part of teaching is knowing how to draw people out, to get them to experiment with a new idea or concept or way of expressing themselves, so whether it’s with learning a different language or helping people uncover something in their background that is pertinent to a goal they want to achieve, my teaching experience contributes greatly to my work as a consultant (and vice versa).

Accepted: What are some of your favorite business school memories?

Robbie: My favorite business school memories include the day a professor won the Nobel Prize in Economics, a few life-long friends I met in the process of earning my degree, and my satisfaction at earning decent grades in quant-heavy courses given my decidedly non-quant background. I learned that Chicago Booth is truly oriented to the individual and open to giving a chance to those of us who don’t fit their typical profile.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Robbie: I’m going to sound like an AdCom interview here, but learning the answers to these questions is, to me, key to helping my clients gain admission.

Number 1: I’m a big believer in goals and demonstrating how an MBA suits a career vision. ‘Why do you really need an MBA’ is almost always my first question for prospective clients.

Number 2: Why this school? All of the top schools know what they can do for you, the question is, what can you do for them? Show your fit.

Number 3: Why you? What makes you unique? Everyone has a story, and how you tell that story matters a lot. This is where I think I, as an admissions consultant, can make the biggest difference.

Learn more about Robbie and how she can help you get accepted!

View our catalog of MBA School AdmissionsAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

MBA Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
Law School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
Why MBA?

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Making Friends with the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform at Your Best http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/22/making-friends-with-the-gre-how-to-overcome-test-anxiety-and-perform-at-your-best/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/22/making-friends-with-the-gre-how-to-overcome-test-anxiety-and-perform-at-your-best/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:13:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30227 “I can’t stop trembling….can’t eat….cry for little or no reason….I am so nervous.”  All of this from Janelle, a prospective graduate student on her response to scheduling a GRE test date.  I was not surprised that Janelle was nervous as almost all prospective graduate students are a bit anxious about admissions’ tests.  However, Janelle took […]

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Click here for more GRE tips“I can’t stop trembling….can’t eat….cry for little or no reason….I am so nervous.”  All of this from Janelle, a prospective graduate student on her response to scheduling a GRE test date.  I was not surprised that Janelle was nervous as almost all prospective graduate students are a bit anxious about admissions’ tests.  However, Janelle took “anxious” to a whole new level.   It was clear to me that I would need to develop a somewhat different plan of action to successfully help Janelle perform at her very best on this exam.

My first step was to listen carefully as Janelle shared all her feelings and fears. She said that she actually felt better just by having someone listen without judgement.  I told her that I would brainstorm some options and we scheduled a follow-up meeting.

I decided to “borrow” some of the techniques I use to deal with speaker anxiety in the public speaking classes that I teach at the undergraduate level. I was planning to use cognitive restructuring– changing the way we think about something.

At our next meeting I told Janelle that I had developed a three stage strategy to position her for success. I asked her to think about the GRE process like the development of a relationship.  In other words going from the acquaintance level to friend level to intimate level.   We were going to “Make Friends with the GRE.”  Here’s how we did it:

STAGE 1: Acquaintance Level—-This is the “getting to know you” stage of the process.

• Understand the GRE Testing program- Research the GRE general test and the discipline-specific subject tests especially in terms of available test administration dates, time limitations on retakes, score delivery options, etc.

• Determine which tests are required by the schools/programs of your interest—Check the admission criteria and the application deadlines to determine which tests are required and the application deadlines so that you can schedule the appropriate exams to meet all of the criteria of the school/programs of your choice. Keep in mind that while the GRE general test has multiple test administration sites and dates, the GRE subject test administrations are often scheduled only 2 or 3 times per admission cycle. Advance and careful planning is necessary to meet these deadlines so that you do not find yourself in a situation where your application is not complete by the deadline date.  Many programs will only review complete applications.

• Learn even more by surveying and requesting feedback from others who have taken the exam.  They may well have some tidbits of advice for you.   They may alert you to specific pitfalls to avoid.  Keep a list for future reference.

STAGE 2: Friendship Level— This is the “let’s become friends” stage of the process.

• Visit the ETS website to learn about the GRE subject tests offered and to access the associated subject test review books which will provide details on the content areas for the test, the weights assigned to each topic, as well as a practice test. This will provide you with a guide on what to study as well as how much time to allocate to specific topics. The subject test practice book can be downloaded from the web free of charge or will be mailed when you register for the exam.

• To prepare for the GRE general test, you should invest the time to diagnose the skill areas that need the most attention by identifying areas of weakness that require intensive review. These may include, but are not limited to, reading for meaning, analyzing and general organization of your ideas in short essay format, general mathematics, algebra, geometry, charts, etc.

• Take advantage of the diagnostic services offered by ETS which includes GRE’s Diagnostic Tests and Score It Now!, the online writing practice. Check out these low cost options on the ETS website.

• Make use of the GRE Powerprep software for reviews of the verbal and quantitative measure sections of the GRE exam.

• Be prepared to write 2 timed essays. One essay will present your perspective on an issue and the second essay will assess your ability to analyze an argument.  You can practice typing an essay response under timed conditions using GRE Powerprep software or you can pay for Score- it -Now! for online writing practice. The analytical writing measure serves as an assessment of critical thinking and the following analytical and writing skills:  articulation of complex ideas, clear and effective examination of claims and evidence, supporting ideas with relevant reasons and explicit examples, preparing a well-focused and coherent discussion, and displaying mastery of standard written English.

• Throughout this entire stage use positive self-talk as a confidence booster.  Place the emphasis on all of the progress you have made and continue to make.

(On a side note, I made sure that I was always available for confidence boosting and positive feedback)

 STAGE 3Intimate Level—- this is the commitment stage of the process.

• Become comfortable taking a computer delivered, timed, online exam by practicing in that type of environment.  If you only practice using a review book, the new delivery format may increase your level of anxiety and, as such, may impact your performance.

• Look back at how far you have come and continue to invest in the relationship you have established.  You may even learn to enjoy the challenge and the rewards that the relationship may bring.

• Last but not least, allow yourself enough time for the relationship to strengthen (prepare and study for the exam) and take hold.

At this point I am sure you are wondering if Janelle was successful.  Yes she was–she handled the stress very well and was accepted to her top choice schools. I was certainly proud to have helped her achieve her goal.

Get Your Game On: Preparing for Your Grad School Application, a free guide

Carol DrummerBy Carol Drummer, Former Hofstra University Dean of Graduate Admissions, who for 10 years reviewed and signed off on over 4500 admissions decisions per year and has taught communications and rhetoric since 1991.

Related Resources:

The GMAT, GRE and the Guy Who Knows Them Well
Should You Take the GMAT or the GRE?
Why You Don’t Need a Perfect GRE Score

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An Interview With Our Own: Dr. Rebecca Blustein http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/21/an-interview-with-our-own-dr-rebecca-blustein/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/21/an-interview-with-our-own-dr-rebecca-blustein/#respond Tue, 21 Apr 2015 17:55:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29919 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. First up is…Dr. Rebecca Blustein. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you […]

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 Learn more about Rebecca Blustein and how she can help you get accepted!

Rebecca and Alex Trebek. Rebecca was a contestant on Jeopardy in March 2012. She came in second place!

Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. First up is…Dr. Rebecca Blustein.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees?

Rebecca: I earned my BA at UCLA (with a double major in English and Comparative Literature). After that, I went to Ireland for my MA in Old and Middle Irish. Then I returned to UCLA for my PhD in Comparative Lit. I’m a California native – I grew up in Oakland and now live in Los Angeles with my husband and two cats.

Accepted: What’s your favorite non-school/non-work book?

Rebecca: Hmm…that’s tough – there are too many to choose! I read almost constantly. (My Kindle is my insomnia buddy!) For light reading, I like mystery novels. To cheer me up if I’m having a bad day, PG Wodehouse is unbeatable. (I have a shelf full of his books.) And every once in a while I come across a book I think is so good I flip right back to the beginning and read it again as soon as I finish it. (Most recently: Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies.)

Accepted: How have your travels around the world influenced you as a writer?

Rebecca: In addition to living in Ireland for a year, I spent a summer in Russia and a month in Israel, and backpacked around Europe. I think that studying languages made me a better writer, and traveling made me a sharper observer.

Accepted: Can you talk about the road that led you to becoming an admissions consultant for Accepted? What jobs and experiences led you to this point?

Rebecca: During grad school, I took a job working as a counselor at the scholarship office on campus. That work – leading workshops, coaching students on their personal statements, helping them find funding for school, etc. – made me realize I really love working one-on-one with students to help them improve their writing and achieve their goals.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Rebecca: I enjoy working with people who are really excited about their plans for grad school – and it makes me happy to be able to help them through the process.

Accepted: How did funding applications become one of your specialties?

Rebecca: I worked at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center for four years before joining Accepted. I also successfully applied for various types of funding myself – so I know, first of all, what goes into the process, and second of all, what a big difference scholarships can make. With tuition rates what they are – across all disciplines and at all levels of study – scholarships are a great way of lowering loan debts and increasing access.

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Rebecca: Master’s and PhD, across all fields. I also often work with medical and dental school applicants.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Rebecca: Research your options. Plan ahead. And stay organized.

Learn more about Rebecca and how she can help you get accepted!

Download our free guide: GET YOUR GAME ON: Preparing for Your Grad School ApplicationAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

Graduate School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
Med School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
Plotting Your Way to a PhD: 6 Topics in PhD Admissions, a free admissions guide by Dr. Rebecca Blustein

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Exploring Yale’s Top-Rated Physician Assistant Program http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/15/yales-pa-program-and-its-new-online-option/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/15/yales-pa-program-and-its-new-online-option/#respond Wed, 15 Apr 2015 19:15:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30090 One of the fastest growing fields in the country is that of physician assistants. The need for PAs is growing by a torrid 38%. Check out the recording of our interview with Jim van Rhee, Director of Yale University’s Physician Assistant Program, to learn about Yale’s PA program. 00:01:10 – Introducing Jim van Rhee. 00:02:41 […]

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Click here to listen to the recording.One of the fastest growing fields in the country is that of physician assistants. The need for PAs is growing by a torrid 38%.

Check out the recording of our interview with Jim van Rhee, Director of Yale University’s Physician Assistant Program, to learn about Yale’s PA program.

00:01:10 – Introducing Jim van Rhee.

00:02:41 – The million dollar question: What made Jim attend PA school?

00:04:11 – An overview of the Yale PA program.

00:06:03 – What do PAs actually do?

00:07:22 – There is a 3% acceptance rate at the Yale PA program. How do you get in?

00:08:45 – About the new online (blended) program Yale hopes to launch.

00:14:30 – Why Yale sees the need for an online program.

00:16:25 – Comparing the traditional and blended programs: Full Time vs PT, admissions requirements, and class size.

00:19:42 – The importance of research for PAs.

00:22:38 – The best thing for future PA applicants to do right now.

00:26:58  – A last piece of advice for a college student hoping to become a PA.

Click here to listen to the show!

Shortly after this podcast was recorded, it was revealed that the online PA program did not receive the accreditation it was seeking since the accrediting body viewed the new program not as a class extension, but as an entirely new program. Yale will now need to apply for both accreditation for a new program as well as state licensing.  For more details, please see:

Yale Medical School’s Request to Expand Campus Program Online Is Denied
Online PA Program Proposal Rejected

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

Yale Physician Assistant Program
Yale PA Online

Related  Shows:

A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes
Where MedEd & Leadership Meet: An Inside Look at AMSA
Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

Download your free guide 10 Tips for PA Program Acceptance!

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Prepare for the TOEFL With This Infographic! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/07/prepare-for-the-toefl-with-this-infographic/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/07/prepare-for-the-toefl-with-this-infographic/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2015 15:04:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29808 There’s a lot to be tense about when it comes to the TOEFL speaking section–you’ll need to show your comfort level with the English language while speaking clearly into a microphone while surrounded by other test-takers who are also speaking into their microphones, and all of this done under a time crunch. That’s enough to […]

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Don't be afraid of the TOEFL.  Check out this infographic and get prepared!There’s a lot to be tense about when it comes to the TOEFL speaking section–you’ll need to show your comfort level with the English language while speaking clearly into a microphone while surrounded by other test-takers who are also speaking into their microphones, and all of this done under a time crunch. That’s enough to make even the most sophisticated test-taker break out in a sweat!

However, all is not lost. There is a lot you can do to practice and improve on this section of the test. And as a first step, you can study this handy TOEFL Speaking infographic that our friends at Magoosh TOEFL put together! It’s complete with info on the structure of the test, useful strategies to keep in mind, and helpful tips to make this section more manageable.

 So take a look at the infographic below and get confident about your TOEFL speaking skills!
Magoosh TOEFL Speaking Infographic
Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• All Things Test Prep: The Test Prep Guru Speaks
• What is a Good TOEFL Score?
• Studying For GRE Verbal and the TOEFL at the Same Time

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A Wharton Grad Rids the World of Bank Fees http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/01/a-wharton-grad-rids-the-world-of-bank-fees/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/01/a-wharton-grad-rids-the-world-of-bank-fees/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:38:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29958 BankMobile is bank with a vision, ATMs everywhere, no fees, and no branches. Want to know more, right? For the full scoop, listen to the entire recording of our conversation with Luvleen Sidhu, Wharton alum and Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at the mobile-only, fee-free bank for Millennials. 00:01:40 – Introducing Luvleen Sidhu and the […]

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Listen to the recording!BankMobile is bank with a vision, ATMs everywhere, no fees, and no branches.

Want to know more, right?

For the full scoop, listen to the entire recording of our conversation with Luvleen Sidhu, Wharton alum and Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at the mobile-only, fee-free bank for Millennials.

00:01:40 – Introducing Luvleen Sidhu and the many benefits of BankMobile.

00:07:05 – BankMobile is planning to become the “Uber of banking.” True or False?

00:10:03 – Up and coming at BankMobile: The “Can I Buy” feature.

00:11:04 – How BankMobile came to be.

00:14:00 – Did you really learn anything in b-school?

00:18:07 – What Luvleen wishes she knew before b-school: The application process doesn’t end after you are admitted!

00:20:30 – The best and worst about Wharton.

00:27:10 – Advice for Wharton applicants and future entrepreneurs.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

• Bankmobile
• BankMobile Aims to Become the Uber of Banking
• Wharton 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
Get Accepted to The Wharton School

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• An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
• Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship

Register to learn how to get accepted to Wharton!

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Will the Final 4 be Your Top Choice Schools? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/31/will-the-final-4-to-be-your-top-choice-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/31/will-the-final-4-to-be-your-top-choice-schools/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2015 02:52:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29755 One story-line that pops up frequently this time of year is the idea that a school that does well in the NCAA tournament will see an increase in application numbers, or in the number of students enrolling. This is popularly known as the Flutie Effect, after Doug Flutie of Boston College, whose dramatic game-winning Hail […]

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Click here for the 5 fatal flaws to avoid on your essays

Are college sports more than a game for you?

One story-line that pops up frequently this time of year is the idea that a school that does well in the NCAA tournament will see an increase in application numbers, or in the number of students enrolling. This is popularly known as the Flutie Effect, after Doug Flutie of Boston College, whose dramatic game-winning Hail Mary pass in a 1984 game has been credited with raising the college’s profile among applicants and leading to a dramatic increase in applications.

A 2009 study by economists Jaren and Devin Pope suggested that participating in the NCAA basketball tournament does translate into higher undergraduate application rates the following year: a 1% increase for teams that make the tournament, 3% for teams that make the Sweet 16, 4-5% for teams that make the Final 4, and up to 7-8% for the champion.

A 2013 working paper by Doug Chung at HBS also explored the relationship between college athletics and applications, and found that applications do rise at schools that experience success in basketball and football. Chung regards athletic success as a form of advertising for universities.

Is athletic success a factor in your decision-making process?

If you’re applying to graduate school, are you interested in a field related to athletics, such as sports management or marketing, or sports medicine? Were those interests shaped by your experience of intercollegiate athletics? Let us know!

grad 5 Fatal Flaws

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca BlusteinAccepted.com 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 MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources:

• Athletic Appeal in Admissions
Preparing for College in High School
• From Example to Exemplary

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New to The Team: Carol Drummer http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/29/new-to-the-team-carol-drummer/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/29/new-to-the-team-carol-drummer/#respond Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:34:23 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29817 We’re excited to welcome Carol Drummer to our staff. Carol brings over 20 years of experience in higher education, including 10 years as Dean of Graduate Admissions at Hofstra. She has coached and mentored thousands of prospective MBA, Ph.D, MFA, MA/MS and Pre-Med Post Baccalaureate graduate students through the application, admission, and enrollment process. And […]

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Click here to check out Carol's profile!We’re excited to welcome Carol Drummer to our staff. Carol brings over 20 years of experience in higher education, including 10 years as Dean of Graduate Admissions at Hofstra. She has coached and mentored thousands of prospective MBA, Ph.D, MFA, MA/MS and Pre-Med Post Baccalaureate graduate students through the application, admission, and enrollment process. And as Dean, she reviewed admissions decisions for thousands of applicants. She knows what committees are looking for, and can help you put together the most effective application possible.

Carol is also a professor of communication and rhetoric, and is co-writing an “Admission 101” book for parents.

We’re thrilled to welcome her to our team!

Check out Carols Profile!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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March Madness and Story Time http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/march-madness-and-story-time/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/march-madness-and-story-time/#respond Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:38:36 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29749 Is your bracket busted yet? (Probably.) One of the things that draws even casual sports fans to March Madness is the storylines—the last-minute excitement, the players’ personal stories, the upsets, the Cinderella runs deep into the tournament. And during the tournament, absolutely everything becomes a story. As I write, one of the top stories on […]

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Can your application tell a story?Is your bracket busted yet? (Probably.)

One of the things that draws even casual sports fans to March Madness is the storylines—the last-minute excitement, the players’ personal stories, the upsets, the Cinderella runs deep into the tournament.

And during the tournament, absolutely everything becomes a story. As I write, one of the top stories on Yahoo Sports is about the chair that GA State coach Ron Hunter fell out of in excitement when his son hit a game winning shot. Yes—the chair, which is now a treasured object of superstitious reverence. Of course! But another great story (and one of the enduring images of this year’s tournament, even after GA State was eliminated in the next round).

Stories make the game more exciting by giving us a personal connection to it. That’s how we tend to relate to the world around us. And I think it’s a useful thing to remember when you’re writing application essays: stories matter.

Your personal experiences add depth and interest to your application essays, helping you stand out and illustrating the qualities and goals you’re explaining. As you prepare to write, think about the stories you want to tell. It can be helpful to do some prewriting—think through some of the experiences you want to write about and what you learned from them, as well as how they relate to what you want to do in the future. This will give you some good material to draw on in your essay(s).

And…Go Bruins! (If they’re eliminated by the time you read this—better luck next year.)

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!

 

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca BlusteinAccepted.com 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 MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources: 

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application Essays
• Telling Your Story in Your Application Essay
• MBA Application Essays: All You Need is a Story

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Yale to Offer New Online Master of Medical Science Degree http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/24/yale-to-offer-new-online-master-of-medical-science-degree/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/24/yale-to-offer-new-online-master-of-medical-science-degree/#respond Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:15:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29663 There’s big news in the Ivy League-online world: Yale University is creating a new online master of medical science degree for physician assistants, reports a recent Wall Street Journal article. Yale’s program for aspiring PAs has been around for decades, but each class only has room for about 40 students a year, with more than […]

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Get Your Game On: Prepping for your Grad School Application.  Download here!

Your classroom at Yale may be the one you are in right now.

There’s big news in the Ivy League-online world: Yale University is creating a new online master of medical science degree for physician assistants, reports a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Yale’s program for aspiring PAs has been around for decades, but each class only has room for about 40 students a year, with more than 1000 applicants vying for those spots. With the introduction of the web-based course, there’s potential to accept up to 360 students (across the on-campus and web versions of the degree program). Next January, for the first online class, there will only be 12 students, but that number is expected to grow over the course of the next five years.

The price of the on-campus and online programs will be the same. Currently the 28-month course costs $83,162. The majority of the course work for online students will be done via live, interactive online classes; students will also visit various clinical field sites, participate in clinical rotations (students will be placed at medical facilities near them), and meet on-campus at Yale three times.

Download your free guide 10 Tips for PA Program Acceptance!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Statement of Purpose
• Is it Worth it for Women to Become Doctors?
The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes

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3 Ways to Make Your Own Student Loan Luck http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/3-ways-to-make-your-own-student-loan-luck/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/3-ways-to-make-your-own-student-loan-luck/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:47:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25942 “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”  – Benjamin Franklin If you’re one of the 37 million Americans with student loans, you know it’s going to take a lot more than a few four-leaf clovers to make your debt disappear. You wouldn’t rely on winning the lottery in order to pay your loans, would you?  […]

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Luck can’t pay off student loans, but YOU can!

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”  – Benjamin Franklin

If you’re one of the 37 million Americans with student loans, you know it’s going to take a lot more than a few four-leaf clovers to make your debt disappear. You wouldn’t rely on winning the lottery in order to pay your loans, would you?  Unfortunately, neglecting to understand the various loan repayment options can be just as foolish, because you may be missing out on opportunities to reduce or even eliminate your debt burden. Essentially, leaving your loans to chance could mean leaving money on the table.

Rather than wait around for good fortune to find you, take a proactive approach by seeing if one of these three options apply to you:

1.  Spend money to save money
. All education loans, whether federal or private, allow for penalty-free prepayment, which means that you can pay more than the monthly minimum or make extra payments without incurring a fee. Prepaying may sound painful, but the benefits can be huge. The more you do it, the sooner you’re done with your loans – and the less interest you spend over the life of the loan.

Let’s say you have a $100,000 student loan balance at a 6.8% interest rate and 10-year term. If you increased your monthly payment by just $100, you’d save about $5,600 in total interest and pay off your loans about a year early. Or perhaps you pay down an extra $2,000 per year using your annual bonus, saving yourself about $7,400 in interest and paying off your loans about 1.5 years early. Every borrower’s situation is different, but you can do the math on your own loans with a calculator like this.

One thing to note – prepaying is most effective when the extra cash is applied directly to your principal, rather than being earmarked for future payments.  It’s best to check with your loan servicer to see what their policy is before increasing or adding extra payments.

How to get lucky: Commit to increasing your monthly student loan payment each time you get a raise and/or putting a percentage of every bonus toward your loan balance.

2.  Recalibrate your rate
. One of the fastest ways to slash your student loan burden is to lower the interest rate on your loans, which can only be accomplished through the act of refinancing. In addition to reducing the amount of interest you pay on your loan over time, refinancing can allow you to make lower monthly payments or shorten your payment term (so that you can be done with your loans sooner).

Student loan refinancing is still a relatively new option, so many borrowers who could be eligible to refinance aren’t even aware the opportunity exists. Which is unfortunate, because the savings can be significant.  For example, the average SoFi borrower saves $9,400 when they refinance with us.*  In addition, some private lenders offer additional benefits to borrowers when they refinance, such as complimentary career coaching and entrepreneurial support.

How to get lucky: When shopping around for a refinance lender, be sure to compare interest rates as well as other potential benefits.

3.  Ask for forgiveness. What borrower hasn’t fantasized about winning the lottery and paying off their loans in one fell swoop?  Unfortunately, you’re more likely to get hit by an asteroid than win a seven figure jackpot. So what’s the next best thing? How about making your student loan balance magically disappear.

It sounds too good to be true, but this is the basic idea behind student loan forgiveness. Surprisingly, there are quite a few ways to get your loan slate wiped clean, but the most well-known one (and the one that applies to the most people) is the government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Under the program, borrowers who work full-time for a qualifying public service organization may be eligible to have federal loans forgiven after 10 years of on-time monthly payments.

Before you skim over this section and assume that PSLF won’t apply to you, consider this: The CFPB estimates that about one in four working Americans has a job that meets the definition of “public service”, and yet they believe a “substantial sum” is left on the table by borrowers who don’t take advantage. This may be because the definition is broader than what most people would expect – for example, soldiers, doctors at non-profit hospitals and public defenders are all examples of professions that may qualify a borrower for PSLF.

How to get lucky: Find out if you qualify for PSLF or other forgiveness programs by contacting your student loan servicer.  

*SoFi average borrower savings assumes 10-year student loan refinancing with a weighted average rate of 7.67% and a loan balance of $86,000, compared to SoFi’s median 10-year rates of 5.875% (with AutoPay).

This post is by Anna Wolf and originally appeared on the SoFi Blog. SoFi connects alumni borrowers and investors to refinance private and federal student loans.

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Related Resources:

• SoFi: Alumni Funded Student Loans
Tips for Financing Your MBA
• PayScale: How Much You Can Earn, and How to Earn It

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Three Topics to Discuss in Waitlist Letters http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/three-topics-discuss-waitlist-letters/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/three-topics-discuss-waitlist-letters/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:44:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29324 If you are on a waitlist, Linda Abraham has something to tell you: Related Resources: • College Applicants: Waitlisted or Rejected? • Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted! • How to Write Waitlist Update Letters Tags: College Admissions, College Video Tips, Grad School Admissions, Grad Video Tips, Law School Admissions, Law Video Tips, MBA Admissions, MBA Video Tips, […]

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If you are on a waitlist, Linda Abraham has something to tell you:

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• College Applicants: Waitlisted or Rejected?
Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted!
How to Write Waitlist Update Letters

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4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/06/4-ways-show-youll-contribute-future/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/06/4-ways-show-youll-contribute-future/#respond Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:33:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29350 Schools want to see that the applicants will actively participate in and contribute to their student bodies and alumni communities, not to mention the greater community and society. Yet grandiose, declarative statements and promises to be a superlative do-gooder are unpersuasive. So how is an applicant to show what he or she will do in […]

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Click here to learn how to demonstrate leadership in your application

Will your past allow the adcom a peak into your future?

Schools want to see that the applicants will actively participate in and contribute to their student bodies and alumni communities, not to mention the greater community and society. Yet grandiose, declarative statements and promises to be a superlative do-gooder are unpersuasive.

So how is an applicant to show what he or she will do in the future? Point to the past. Most admission committees are firm believers that past behavior reveals abilities and interests and is a good predictor of the future.

Here are four tips to help you relay the message that you plan on achieving greatness by contributing to your school/community/world-at-large, by highlighting your impressive past.

1. Share the story of past achievements and quantify if possible the impact you had. – By showing how you’ve already contributed, you demonstrate that you have the initiative, people skills, and organizational talent to make an impact in the future.

2. Discuss skills you’ve developed that will aid to future contributions. – You can show the adcoms that you’re prepared to give back by proving that you’ve got the skills and the tools needed. Use evidence to support your skill development by talking about how you’ve worked to build your skill set, i.e. by taking a course or through work experience, etc. Analyze your success and failures (when asked for the latter) to reveal that you are a thinking, growing, dynamic individual. And when asked about failures or setbacks, discuss what you learned from the tough times. Demonstrate a growth mindset.

3. Show how your skills are transferable. – To contribute to your classmates or school, you’ll need to show how your unique talents or experiences can be shared with your classmates, professors, or work colleagues. Talk about how your skills, understanding, and ethics can impact those around you.

4. Mention how your target school will help. – Now the adcom readers know that you’ve got skills and that you’re ready to share them. Next, you need to reinforce the idea that their school is THE PLACE to accelerate your upward trajectory.

A good essay on your contributions will cover each of the above topics – what you’ve done in the past, how you’ve developed your skills, how you plan on sharing that knowledge, and how your target school will help you effect change. Remember, the past reveals much about the future, so share the story of what you’ve done and how you’ve reached this point and you’ll be well on your way to proving that you’ve got what it takes to contribute in the future.

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Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions
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Does Extracurricular Equal Extra Credit?

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3 Tips for Parents of Grad School Applicants http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/3-tips-parents-grad-school-applicants/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/3-tips-parents-grad-school-applicants/#respond Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:22:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28344 I’ve been working in graduate admissions for almost 20 years so I have witnessed this trend firsthand: Parents are playing a much larger role in the application process these days than they used to. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – parents can provide a lot of much-needed support (financial, practical, emotional) for their kids […]

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Make sure your child’s in the driver’s seat

I’ve been working in graduate admissions for almost 20 years so I have witnessed this trend firsthand: Parents are playing a much larger role in the application process these days than they used to.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – parents can provide a lot of much-needed support (financial, practical, emotional) for their kids during the admissions process; but I cringe when I see parents overstepping their bounds, attempting to control their children’s actions and outcomes.

How much involvement is TOO MUCH involvement for parents of applicants? Check out these 3 tips:

• Make Sure Your Child’s in the Driver’s Seat. – When you take the lead in the admissions process, you’re essentially telling your child: “I don’t think you have what it takes to manage this process yourself.” And what you’re telling the school is: “My kid isn’t competent or ambitious enough to apply to school himself.” You can help your child apply, surely, but make sure that’s what you’re doing – helping them, and not the other way around.

• Your Child’s Voice Should be the Sole Voice of this Operation. – All communication with the school should be between your child – not you, the parent – and the school. Likewise, the voice your child uses to write her application essays should be her voice – and not yours. And it should go without saying that this advice relates to interviews as well. Help, guide, coach, and edit, but please never speak for your child.

• Help Your Child Deal with Disappointment. – Be it a rejection or a poor score, a parent needs to understand the role they play here. First, your child is the one experiencing this distress, not you. By showing your disappointment, you will only make your child feel worse, not to mention potentially preventing your child from continuing to move forward. Instead, allow your child time to express disappointment, provide the appropriate amount of comfort (you know your child best), and then encourage your child to persevere.  Suggest that your applicant explore alternatives and examine the factors he or she can change to improve the outcome in the future. Play the role of the motivational coach; don’t play the blame game.

Not sure you can effectively guide your child through the grad school admissions process (in a balanced, non-pushy way of course)? Browse our catalog of services to access professional guidance today!

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Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on Your Grad School Statement of Purpose
• The Biggest Application Essay Mistake
•  Admissions Tip: BE YOURSELF!

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An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/25/hbs-entrepreneur-promoting-career-flexibility/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/25/hbs-entrepreneur-promoting-career-flexibility/#respond Wed, 25 Feb 2015 17:31:10 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29115 Check out our interview with HBS alum and entrepreneur Allison O'Kelly exploring the Flex Movement, the value of b-school for entrepreneurs, HBS, and more.

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Click here to listen to our conversation with Allison O'KellyPeople looking for traditional 9 to 5 desk jobs almost seem to be the exception in 2015. HBS grad and entrepreneur Allison O’Kelly is all for the change.

Want to know more? Listen to the full recording of our talk with Allison, Founder/CEO of Mom Corps and champion of the Flexibility Movement.

00:01:31 – Introducing Allison O’Kelly and Mom Corps.

00:04:13 – The value of the “traditional route” of spending a few years in the workforce before launching a startup.

00:05:41 – How an I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-life moment shaped Allison’s future.

00:07:27 – Pros and cons of “staffing up” your small business.

00:10:37 – How helpful is b-school for an entrepreneur?

00:16:10 – What people simply get wrong about Harvard Business School.

00:17:46 –The “flexibility movement” – beneficial for employers and employees.

00:20:52 – Want to join the flex movement? Here’s what you need to do.

00:24:23 – Thoughts on enhancing your profile for HBS admissions.

00:26:56 – Advice for future entrepreneurs. (And a word to those who “don’t have it in their blood.”)

00:29:14 – What the future holds for Mom Corps.

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

Related Links:

Mom Corps

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• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup Street
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Valentine’s Day, Economics, and Stanford GSB
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Introducing Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/13/introducing-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/13/introducing-accepted/#respond Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:40:06 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28867 The Accepted team is super excited to welcome all of our new blog readers! For those of you who don’t know much about Accepted, here is a little bit about who we are and what we do best: We look forward to getting to know you better too – so keep up the great conversations in […]

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The Accepted team is super excited to welcome all of our new blog readers!

For those of you who don’t know much about Accepted, here is a little bit about who we are and what we do best:

We look forward to getting to know you better too – so keep up the great conversations in the comments section.

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Cornell Tech Receives $50 Million Gift from Verizon http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/13/cornell-tech-receives-50-million-gift-verizon/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/13/cornell-tech-receives-50-million-gift-verizon/#respond Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:32:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28857 Cornell Tech will open its new 12-acre Roosevelt Island campus in summer 2017, in part due to a recent $50 million gift from Verizon which will go towards developing the innovative Verizon Executive Education Center. According to the Cornell Tech press release, “The center will be a place for the entire tech community to gather, […]

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Listen to our podcast interview for the scoop on Cornell Tech.

Cornell Tech’s new campus design

Cornell Tech will open its new 12-acre Roosevelt Island campus in summer 2017, in part due to a recent $50 million gift from Verizon which will go towards developing the innovative Verizon Executive Education Center.

According to the Cornell Tech press release, “The center will be a place for the entire tech community to gather, a convening place to leverage the impact the campus has on technology beyond its degree programs. The center will be part of the first phase of the campus, which began construction last month and is due to open in the summer of 2017.”

The center in particular and Verizon’s involvement in general will not just contribute to active technological innovation, but will “facilitate direct collaboration with other companies and Cornell Tech students to bring cutting-edge ideas to market.” It will facilitate cross-sector learning – for students, corporations, and customers, and will increase the number of internships, full-time positions, and scholarships for Cornell Tech students.

Lowell McAdam, Verizon Chairman and CEO, says: “Our donation to Cornell Tech is an investment in the future and fits perfectly with our mission to use communications technologies to solve big challenges and make people’s lives better. The Verizon Executive Education Center will be a magnet for developers, entrepreneurs, educators and innovators across all industries, building on the great talent and creativity we already have in the tech sector here in New York City.”

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Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
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• Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC
• Cornell Tech Student Interview: Where CS Meets the MBA

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