MBA Admissions News Round Up

  • A Financial Times article, “Masters in Management takes a three continent twist,” discusses the efforts of three international business schools to create a unique, collaborative Masters in Management program. The one-year pre-experience degree, called the 3Continent Master of Global Management, will be launched in September 2011 by Belgium’s Antwerp Management School, New York’s Fordham University, and India’s Xavier Institute of Management. 60 students (20 from each continent) will spend four months at each of the business schools, studying business topics as they relate to each school’s home continent.
  • Indiana’s Kelley School of Business hosted its second annual MBA Case Invitational for women last month. Four-woman teams gathered at the Kelley School from UCLA, Boston College, University of North Carolina, University of Southern California, and other participating schools. The competition focused on developing a business strategy for Global Gifts, an Indiana-based nonprofit Fair Trade store that supports global artisan co-ops. According to an email received about the event, “It is the only competition designed solely for female MBAs and it is an event the Kelley School was absolutely thrilled to host this year.” See the Kelley Women’s Case Invitational site for more information.
  • Long standing dean at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Roger Martin, was just appointed to his third term as dean. He will now hold the position of dean until June 2014, 16 years after he began his post in 1998. Check out the Financial Times article “Roger Martin gets third terms at Toronto’s Rotman school” for more information.
  • According to another Financial Times article, “The growing appeal of healthcare,” business school students are showing an increased interest in the healthcare field since the U.S. and U.K. placed healthcare reform on the agenda. Experts say that this growth field “offers business graduates opportunities to solve complex challenges, work toward the public good and draw a substantial salary.” The healthcare industry is still not so popular, but the increase in company recruiting and student interest is significant: Last year 33 out of 426 Duke Fuqua graduates took jobs in the healthcare sector, up from just a few five years ago. At Indiana Kelley last year, 17 graduates took healthcare-related jobs, compared to six just two years prior.

Not sure where you should apply? Sign up for Accepted’s FREE 10-day email course, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One, to receive the tips you need to select the b-schools that are right for you!

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Multimedia Hits the MBA Application

More and more highly qualified applicants are applying to business school, which means that if you want to gain admission to a top b-school, you’re going to need to show some serious skill, that is, serious multimedia skills—at least that’s the recommendation according to a recent Financial Times article, “Express Yourself.”

High test scores, a strong academic record, impressive letters of recommendation, and killer essays may not be enough to gain you admission to your dream MBA program. Many schools are now introducing an optional essay, or “third essay,” often in the form of an electronic submission, including PowerPoint slides, PDF files, videos, CDs, DVDs, and links to personal websites or YouTube videos.

The thinking here is that an admissions reader can gain a better, more complete, picture of an applicant by taking a look at his or her creative abilities, rather than by simply reading an essay entitled, “Why I Want to Go to Business School.” Kurt Ahlm, senior director of admissions at Chicago Booth, explains that “while the other two essays are ‘valuable,’ they are also ‘somewhat programmed’.”

Also, it’s harder to cheat or plagiarize when it comes to multimedia submissions. 

Still, some schools believe that their current admissions process works just fine and that there’s no reason to complicate things by adding a new component. According to James Holmen, head of admissions at Indiana Kelley, “[T]he [application] process we have now works really well for us… My concern with the multimedia option format is: would [the admissions committee] be getting a good sense of who the applicants are and what they bring to the table, or would they be swayed by style over substance?”

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A Few of the Mostest at Accepted.com

This is the time of year to look back at the most, best, (worst), etc. I am going to stick to the positive.

Top Ten Most Visited Accepted Admissions Almanac Posts of 2010:

In a nutshell, rankings and application tip posts rule. (I am only listing the current tip post when last year’s tip post also made the list):

  1. Financial Times Global 2010 MBA Rankings
  2. Forbes ROI MBA Rankings for 2010
  3. Harvard HBS 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  4. INSEAD 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  5. NYU Stern 2011 MBA Application Questions, Tips, Deadlines
  6. Common Application Essay Tips
  7. Columbia 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  8. 2010 MBA Rankings Released by BusinessWeek
  9. Kellogg 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  10. London Business School 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips

Three Most Commented Accepted Admissions Almanac Posts of 2010

  1. Harvard HBS 2010 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (269)
  2. INSEAD 2010 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (246)
  3. INSEAD 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (60)

Keep ‘em coming! (Please post your questions about this year’s applications on this year’s tips.)

Five Most Popular Articles on Accepted.com of 2010:

  1. Go for the Goals in your Statement of Purpose
  2. Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation for Medical School
  3. 4 Must-Haves in Residency Personal Statements
  4. MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA 
  5. Sample MBA Interview Questions

Most Popular Resources of 2010:

Our Absolute, Best, Most Superlative Asset: YOU, our readers, followers, fans, subscribers, and most of all, our clients.

On behalf of Accepted’s staff, this post is where I

Thank you, all of you Acceptees, for making 2010 our best year ever!

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

Indiana Kelley 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips.

Indiana Kelley 2011 MBA Essay Questions

This Indiana Kelley 2011 MBA Application tip post is one of a series of posts providing MBA application and essay advice for applicants to top MBA programs around the world. You can access the entire series at http://blog.accepted.com/acceptedcom_blog/tag/2011-mba-application-tips. My tips for answering Kelley‘s essay questions are in blue below.

Your essays will give us an idea of your personality, perspectives, and opinions and will let us know how closely your professional objectives match the objectives of the MBA program.

Below you’ll find five essay areas. All applicants must answer number 1. You must also choose two of the next three essay questions (2 through 4). Number 5 is optional. Please limit each essay to no more than two double-spaced pages.

Finally, please include the essay number and your name at the top of each sheet.

We encourage you to be informative, creative, and concise.

Mandatory:

1. Please discuss your post-MBA short- and long-term professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals?

This is a straight-forward MBA goals question. As always with this type of question, connect the dots. Let the reader see that your goals grow organically from your experience and are achievable given your experience and an MBA from Kelley.

Choose two of the next three:

2. Describe an ethical dilemma that you faced in your professional career. How was it resolved and what did you learn from the experience?

First realize that an ethical dilemma is not a choice between right and wrong. It is a choice between conflicting values or the lesser of two evils.  Briefly describe the dilemma you faced. Then describe the pros and cons of the available options and discuss how you handled the situation. Don’t forget the lessons learned.

3. Suppose you had to choose three people—people alive now or people from another era—to travel with you on a cross-country automobile trip. Who would you choose and why? What would you hope to learn from them? (Think carefully about the company you want on those long stretches through Nebraska or Kansas.)

Have fun with this question and use it to show a non-professional side of you. What  books, movies, sports, artists, or thought leaders would you love to spend time with? Who from the past has fascinated you.  More important than the person you choose is why you picked these individuals and what you would like to learn in those endless stretches through Kansas and Nebraska.

4. Describe what there is about your background and your experiences that will contribute to the diversity of the entering class and enhance the educational experience of other students.

What is the distinctive stone or hue that you will add to the mosaic that is a Kelley class. Think about this diversity question broadly, not just in ethnic or professional terms. What are you going to add? Is it an enthusiastic commitment to Barak Obama, a local environmental cause, your church, or a hobby, sport, or art form? Is it an unusual personal background? Perhaps, overcoming distinctive challenges?  And then, how will this unique facet cause you to contribute?  Will it lead to involvement in a specific club or Kelley project? An active role in classroom discussions on a specific topic?  Interest in a particular program? Show your knowledge of Indiana Kelley as well as your  fit with this great MBA program.

Optional:

5. Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer this question.

It is almost impossible for three essays plus a bunch of boxes, a transcript, and a GMAT score to represent fully the uniqueness and talents of a truly impressive candidate. That comment has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with the complexity of accomplished human beings. While I certainly agree that if you have nothing to say, you should say nothing, you should have something valuable to add in your optional essay.

If you would like help with your Indiana Kelley MBA application, please consider Accepted.com’s Indiana Kelley School Packages or our essay editing services.

Indiana Kelley 2011 MBA Deadlines

Domestic and International
Applicants:

Deadline Notification
Early Nov 1 Mid January
Priority Jan 5 Mid March
Third Mar 1 Late April
Final Apr 15 Late May
 
Consortium applicants

Deadline Notification
Priority Nov 15 Early February
Final Jan 5 Mid March

 

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

2010 AIGAC Conference in Boston

The Charles River Near MIT Sloan

I will run out of superlatives if I attempt to describe the 2010 AIGAC Conference in Boston. Suffice it say that it was extraordinarily illuminating.  MIT Sloan and Harvard Business School graciously and generously hosted the event, which was kicked off by MIT Sloan’s Dean David C. Schmittlein, who discussed the reasoning behind MIT Sloan’s portfolio of programs as well as the school’s three-fold focus on innovation, action learning, and knowledge creation. He was followed by multiple presentations about MIT Sloan, several panels with representatives from Columbia, NYU Stern, Michigan Ross, INSEAD, Tuck, Yale SOM, Haas, Kelley, UCLA Anderson, UVA Darden, and Duke Fuqua. The conference ended at HBS with a dynamic presentation and tour of the magnificent HBS campus. (Ok I’ll can the superlatives.)

Several impressions and take-aways for applicants from the different events and sessions:

MIT Sloan Panels:

From the MIT panels it is clear that MIT is looking for demonstrated success academically and professionally.  The latter translates into success or professional progression that is better than the norm for your peers. In terms of those fuzzy attributes and personal characteristics that schools talk about, Sloan wants to see drive; an ability to build relationships and influence others;  and the establishment, pursuit and achievement of goals.  A few details about the individual programs:

  1. 100% of the MFin grads have jobs this year, this program’s inaugural graduating class.
  2. The EMBA is a program for those in mid-management with a demonstrated record of success who either want to advance in their career or make a slight career change without leaving their job.  Neither sponsorship nor the GMAT is required. (the latter may be requested if MIT has questions about the applicant’s quant skills.)
  3. The LGO program focuses on managing the global production and distribution of goods and services. It is a joint, quant-heavy 24-month program between MIT Sloan and MIT’s School of Engineering. Participants earn both an MBA and an MS in Engineering.

MIT Sloan

We also heard two presentations by MIT Sloan professors. If you have any doubt that MIT Sloan is serious about innovation and global reach, abandon them. The creativity and global impact evident in just these two hours would force you to reshape your views.

Impressions from Conference Day 2 (Multiple presentations by various schools reps)

  • Schools and admissions committee members look at different elements when they evaluate an application.  Pay attention to the nuances.
  • Your informal and personally identifiable interactions with school admissions personnel are highly revealing. They COUNT! Arrogance at any point in time is a death knell for your application (and most relationships too.) Rudeness to a receptionist is a ding. What qualities impress positively? In your essays and interviews, reveal dignity, generosity of spirit, self-awareness, authenticity, and consideration of others. These qualities cannot be faked or “spun.”
  • Regarding financial aid, merit aid tends to go to the top X% based on academic stats. Generally, when evaluating fellowship essays, the readers do not refer to your application essays. Poor credit can prevent you from obtaining the loans necessary for you to attend the school of your dreams if merit aid and your resources don’t cover the tab; get your credit in order before you apply.
  • Regarding career development, the MBA employment picture improved throughout 2009-10. Read the employment reports for schools before you decide to apply and certainly before you decide to attend; you need to know school strengths as revealed in these reports. Understand the role of the career services staff (educating students about effective career planning and job search) and the limitations of that role. (They don’t create or find jobs for you.) Networking, which is about building relationships not the size of your contact list, is more important than ever. In order to build relationships, you must move beyond email.

Harvard Business School

Harvard Business SchoolBaker Library at HBS
At Harvard, we enjoyed an interactive two-hour presentation that was stimulating and engaging. To the extent it reflected the dynamism of the Harvard educational experience, I was extremely impressed.

This visit clarified for me that Harvard’s unparalleled brand is not just a matter of US News Rankings or smoke-and-mirrors branding.  At the same time, HBS is not for everyone, but like any top graduate program, it can be a fantastic experience for the right individuals.

Before the conference started my husband and I met with an acquaintance who is a professor at HBS. The professor was curious about my work, and I was curious about his. He asked me what I believe distinguishes Harvard students from the rest of the applicant pool. I thought for a moment and replied, “Leadership and impact.” He smiled, and the conversation moved on. Just before leaving, I asked him, “From your perspective as an HBS professor, what is a common quality shared by HBS students?” He replied, “I smiled when you answered my question because the students come from incredibly diverse backgrounds. However, if I have to identify a common thread, it would be leadership and impact.” If you are serious about attending Harvard Business School, make sure you demonstrate leadership and impact.

Reflections and Thank yous

Accepted.com staff at HBSAccepted Staff at Aldrich Hall (HBS). Standing: Robbie Walker, Tanis Kmetyk, Paul Bodine. Seated: Cindy Tokumitsu, Jennifer Bloom, Linda Abraham, Judy Gruen
It is our job as admissions consultants to help you choose the best target programs and show that you  belong at your chosen schools. The candor and graciousness shown by the hosting schools as well as by the presenting admissions directors will help Accepted’s staff do exactly that.

I am proud to report that Accepted’s staff was well represented at  the conference. In addition to myself, Jennifer Bloom, Paul Bodine, Judy Gruen, Tanis Kmetyk, Cindy Tokumitsu, and Robbie Walker attended.

Profound thanks to the hosts and presenters as well as to AIGAC, led by Graham Richmond of Clear Admit, and specifically to Maxx Duffy of Maxx Associates and Anna Ivey of Ivey Consulting who co-chaired the event. Thanks also to the sponsors: Veritas Prep, Clear Admit, Hult International Business School, Manhattan GMAT, MBA Podcaster, and Zoom Interviews

Learn More:  Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Choosing the One for You.

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