Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » Law School Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:50:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » Law School Admissions http://blog.accepted.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://blog.accepted.com/category/law-school-admissions/ Can I Use Humor In My Application Essays? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/08/can-i-use-humor-in-my-application-essays/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/08/can-i-use-humor-in-my-application-essays/#respond Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:15:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22027 ]]> Want to let your funny side show in your application essays? Here is what Linda Abraham has to say about humor in admissions:

For more application essay advice, download a free copy of our popular special report Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Personal Statement.

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Get a GRIP on Team Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/06/get-a-grip-on-team-questions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/06/get-a-grip-on-team-questions/#respond Sun, 06 Apr 2014 14:39:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21917 ]]> Learn 4 tips for displaying teamwork in your application essays.

Remember that a tight GRIP = a tight team

I took away a lot of wonderful concepts, frameworks and strategies from my MBA education that led to a successful admission career. In fact, one of the most powerful lessons I learned at Michigan (now Ross) was how to lead and work effectively on teams.

Professor Noel Tichy, one of the gurus of Organizational Behavior and Leadership offered us a simple acronym that has stuck with me to this day: GRIP.  His theory was as follows:  if everyone on the team works toward a common goal that each individual fully understands and to which he/she commits; and everyone on the team understands and has the skills to carry out his/her roles and responsibilities; and everyone on the team shares information in a way that is productive; and the team has agreed to a process by which they will accomplish the goal, then the team will be effective.  In fact, our teams would periodically do a GRIP check to make certain that our GOALS, ROLES, INFORMATION and PROCESS would align to keep the projects moving forward.  When a team has only one GRIP element out of place, the team will be dysfunctional.

I use this framework with my clients when they need to describe their own teams’ successes or failures.  It helps them pinpoint what really happened to the team and not point fingers at an individual that may not have carried or had the skills to carry his/her weight because the “R” was out of alignment.  It helps them understand that by not having a process “P” in place, misunderstandings may occur.  It helps them understand the importance of working towards a common goal.  And it helps them understand the importance of transparent and effective communication “I”.

So when you are asked about teamwork, remember that a tight GRIP = a tight team and I will remember to thank Dr. Tichy for his wisdom and insight and for telling me to get a GRIP on my team.  Thank you Dr. Tichy.

Download our special report- Leadership in Admissions

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

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CommonBond Offers New Refinancing Program for Grads http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/30/commonbond-offers-new-refinancing-program-for-grads/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/30/commonbond-offers-new-refinancing-program-for-grads/#respond Sun, 30 Mar 2014 21:20:23 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21746 ]]> CommonBond just released its new Grad Refinance Loan™, available to law school, med school, engineering, and b-school graduates.

With the new refinancing program, borrowers will receive:

•  Low fixed rates for 10- and 15-year loans.

•  A single monthly bill after the consolidation of multiple loans.

•  Personalized service from the CommonBond team.

Do you want to learn more about CommonBond and how they can help you pay for grad school? Check out our recent podcast, CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans, in which Wharton grads and co-founders of this student loan financing startup share excellent advice on how you can finance your education.

CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

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Wharton JD/MBA Student Interview with Craig Carter http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/28/wharton-jdmba-student-interview-with-craig-carter/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/28/wharton-jdmba-student-interview-with-craig-carter/#respond Fri, 28 Mar 2014 15:08:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21714 ]]> Download free: Navigating the MBA MazeThis interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs (or in this case, a top JD/MBA program). And now for a follow up interview with Craig Carter, a second-year student at UPenn’s joint JD/MBA program. (We first met Craig last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: How’s your JD/MBA program going so far? Last we spoke, you had just completed your first year and had been involved only in the law school component of the program. How has your impression of the program changed now that you’ve had more exposure to Wharton?

Craig: The program is going great! Unfortunately, time is flying by too fast. In a couple months, my JD/MBA cohort will have completed the first two years.

My impression of the program has been enhanced through the Wharton experience. Business school and law school are two completely different environments and learning experiences. Business school is largely a team-based project oriented education. Whereas, law school is more individualized theoretical learning. The joint-program provides a complementary training that can only be appreciated after experiencing both schools.

Accepted: What was your favorite thing about Wharton? Least favorite?

Craig: My favorite thing is definitely the endless amount of opportunities to pursue – from clubs and conferences to the entrepreneurship center and leadership treks. There is definitely a place for each individual to develop and thrive in their chosen field or area of interest.

My least favorite thing is the size, which is a bit of a gift and a curse. There are about 850 people in each MBA class. The large size is my least favorite because it’s impossible for me to get to know each classmate as well as I would like. On the others hand, the size and scale creates more opportunities for networking, more diversity of experience in the classroom, and a broader alumni network to leverage.

Accepted: Are you feeling any sort of pull towards either law or business? Is there one field that’s drawing you in more than the other?

Craig: I am definitely feeling the pull toward business. The law is interesting, complex, and necessary; however, I will pursue a career in business. I entered the program intending to begin my career in business, but I have certainly gained a greater appreciation for the legal field after these first two years.

Accepted: Do you have an internship lined up yet for this year? If so, what is it and what role did Wharton play in helping you secure that position?

Craig: I will spend the summer in New York interning in J.P. Morgan’s M&A group. Wharton played a huge role facilitating the recruitment process. Between the career management office and the finance club, each student is completely prepared to secure an internship and succeed thereafter.

Accepted: What is your favorite class so far?

Craig: My favorite business school class was a dynamic marketing simulation. The course focused on issues such as the selection of which businesses and segments to compete in, how to allocate resources across businesses, segments, and elements of the marketing mix, as well as other significant strategic issues facing today’s managers in a dynamic competitive environment.

Accepted: With your dual curriculum, do you find you have time for extracurricular activities or for simply hanging out? Can you talk about how you manage the juggling act?

Craig: The dual curriculum does allow for extracurriculars and a lot of fun. However, it is quite a challenge to maintain a presence in both schools. On the social side, there is plenty of time to hang out with friends. At Wharton, people go out every night – who said Monday night can’t be just like Friday night? Law school is a little less aggressive about the party scene, but law students still know how to have some fun.

Accepted: Which clubs are you involved in on campus? How central to student life is club involvement?

Craig: I am involved in many clubs – affinity, professional, and athletic – at both schools. At Wharton, I am primarily involved with the Black MBA Association, the Finance Club, and Basketball Club. At the law school, I am in the Black Law Student Association, serve on the student government, and represent the student body on the faculty committee.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school or law school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages and Law School Admissions Services. For specific advice on how to create the best application for Wharton see:

• Wharton 2014 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips

• Wharton Executive MBA 2014 Essay Tips

• What’s Right with Wharton (and How to Get In), a free webinar

• CommonBond: How Two Wharton Grads Revolutionized Student Loans

Thank you Craig for sharing your story with us!

Want to start a business? Partner in a law firm? Go into private equity? Run a media and entertainment company? How about all of the above?

Accepted.com

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5 Million to Share: The 43North Competition http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/20/5-million-to-share-the-43north-competition/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/20/5-million-to-share-the-43north-competition/#respond Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:48:23 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21705 ]]> Want to know more? Listen to the full episode!Do you have a great business idea but need 1 million dollars to get yourself started? Meet Peter Burakowski, Senior Marketing Manager at 43North.

Listen to the recording of our fascinating conversation with Peter to find out why 43North is going to give away $5 million dollars to eleven promising entrepreneurs and what you need to do if you want to be one of the winners.

00:01:43 – About 43North (and why you really want to win).

00:10:06 – Who can apply.

00:11:21 – Why retail and hospitality are excluded.

00:12:25 – The 43North application process.

00:14:30 – What are the judges looking for?

00:16:33 – Setting up shop in Buffalo.

00: 21:49 – How many applicants are vying for the gold?

00:23:37 – About the judges. (Will you be one of them?)

00:27:32 – Mentorship and community.

00:31:03 – A lot more than a t-shirt: what happens to the semi-finalists.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  43North
•  Which Universities Contribute the Most to VC-Backed Entrepreneurship?
•  MBA Admissions Special Reports
•  Grad School Admissions Special Reports
•  Med School Admissions Special Reports
•  Law School Admissions Special Reports

Related Shows:

•  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship
•  Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
•  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman
•  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC
•  Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship
•  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/20/5-million-to-share-the-43north-competition/feed/ 0 entrepreneurship,podcast Do you have a great business idea but need 1 million dollars to get yourself started? Meet Peter Burakowski, Senior Marketing Manager at 43North. - Listen to the recording of our fascinating conversation with Peter to find out why 43North is going to ... Do you have a great business idea but need 1 million dollars to get yourself started? Meet Peter Burakowski, Senior Marketing Manager at 43North. Listen to the recording of our fascinating conversation with Peter to find out why 43North is going to give away $5 million dollars to eleven promising entrepreneurs and what you need to do if you want to be one of the winners. 00:01:43 – About 43North (and why you really want to win). 00:10:06 – Who can apply. 00:11:21 – Why retail and hospitality are excluded. 00:12:25 – The 43North application process. 00:14:30 – What are the judges looking for? 00:16:33 – Setting up shop in Buffalo. 00: 21:49 – How many applicants are vying for the gold? 00:23:37 – About the judges. (Will you be one of them?) 00:27:32 – Mentorship and community. 00:31:03 – A lot more than a t-shirt: what happens to the semi-finalists.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  43North •  Which Universities Contribute the Most to VC-Backed Entrepreneurship? •  MBA Admissions Special Reports •  Grad School Admissions Special Reports •  Med School Admissions Special Reports •  Law School Admissions Special Reports Related Shows: •  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship •  Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship •  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman •  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC •  Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship •  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 35:53
Can You Get Accepted After Doing Something Stupid? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/16/can-you-get-accepted-after-doing-something-stupid/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/16/can-you-get-accepted-after-doing-something-stupid/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 14:50:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21603 ]]> Check out our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!

Don’t try to hide a conviction.

The point of this article is not to tell you that you shouldn’t engage in disorderly conduct, petty theft, or other minor (or major) infractions (though you really shouldn’t…); what we want to discuss here is how you should overcome the obstacle of a criminal record when approached with the application question: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain.”

If you did something stupid, something deserving of a conviction or suspension, how do you prove to an admissions committee that you are worthy of their acceptance?

First, don’t try to hide a conviction. Clients often ask me if they really need to bring up their troubled past, and I tell them they do. Admissions committees (and the firms they hire) conduct background checks on applicants, and an unexplained discrepancy gives them an easy reason to reject your application or withdraw an offer of admission, so, when asked, own up to your behavior on your application.

Don’t make excuses. The biggest struggle I face when helping troubled clients is getting them to move past their tendency to justify their behavior: their writing tends to get overlong with explanations. Even very subtle self-serving statements can be read by an admissions committee as failure to take responsibility for your behavior, so leave out the excuses and directly address what you did.

Don’t go overboard addressing the infraction. The second biggest struggle I face is keeping clients from turning their applications into overblown mea culpas. A client once came to me having written two required essays and an optional essay all addressing a mistake from the past—too much! Often, a well-written response to an application’s “failure” essay question is enough.

Do show that you learned your lesson and that your past behavior won’t happen again. This step tends to be less of a struggle for clients, because usually they can show remorse, they can show the actions they took to atone for their behavior, and they can show how they matured from their experiences. Often such clients become heavily involved with their community, counseling others who tend toward their same behavior and managing to turn their failure into a success benefitting others.

Perfect execution of these suggestions certainly will increase your chances of admission, but they may not be enough to gain you acceptance to a top school. So avoid having to deal with this situation altogether: think twice and three times before you do something that you could regret for a very long time.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own! Click here to download our free report!

 

Accepted.com

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Pew Study Shows Grad Degrees Pay Off! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/12/pew-study-shows-grad-degrees-pay-off/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/12/pew-study-shows-grad-degrees-pay-off/#respond Wed, 12 Mar 2014 17:59:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21534 ]]> Learn how to evaluate your profile, skills, and experiences to determine if, when, and where you should apply to graduate school.

A graduate education can be a fantastic investment, or burdensome expense.

According to a Pew study, earnings of college grads with no further education have increased 13% since 1984, while earnings of those with advanced degrees have risen 23% in that same time period. For those with professional and doctorate degrees, the numbers jump even higher, to 34%.

This data, however, doesn’t take into account the following two things: 1) These increases don’t reflect the unemployment rate – that is, they only show a pay increase for those graduates who have found work; 2) They don’t take household income into consideration – the higher the socioeconomic status, the greater the chance is that marriage and childbearing has been delayed (i.e. fewer dependents) and the greater the chance for greater gains.

Let’s take a look at monthly household income for a moment: The median adjusted monthly household income of college graduates has gone up $1,300 since 1984. For households headed by someone with an advanced degree, that inflation-adjusted amount is $1,500, and for those with professional or doctorate degrees, it’s skyrocketed to $3,400. For those who have not completed a bachelor’s degree, monthly household income has decreased since 1984.

Here are two additional points:

•   The study doesn’t show that higher education has caused financial gain, just the association between the two.

•   Since 1984, the percentage of college grads who’ve gone on to complete an advanced degree has only gone up 1% (from 26% in 1984 to 27% in 2009). This amount is statistically insignificant and goes against the belief that a weak economy pushes people into higher education.

My Thoughts

While I’m always glad to see evidence that a graduate education pays off, I’m concerned about two omissions in this report.

1. This research doesn’t reflect the increased cost of graduate education since 1984.

2. By talking in terms of averages and aggregates, this research doesn’t reflect the uneven benefits of graduate and professional education. The STEM fields in general are booming. The job market for humanities and law grads has basically crashed.

Before plunking down those tuition dollars or even starting the application process, it behooves you to pursue your dreams with an eye on the top and bottom line and a few of the lines in between. What is your education going to cost you? What are the likely financial benefits?

A graduate education can be a fantastic investment, or burdensome expense. Do the homework and research necessary before spending your hard earned cash or assuming thousands of dollars in debt. You want to arrive on campus with confidence that the return on your tuition dollar and time will be more fantastic than the cost.

Download your free copy of GET YOUR GAME ON: Preparing for Your Grad School Application

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

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2015 Best Law Schools by U.S. News http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/11/2015-best-law-schools-by-u-s-news/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/11/2015-best-law-schools-by-u-s-news/#respond Tue, 11 Mar 2014 21:26:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21575 ]]> Ready for this year’s U.S. News best law school rankings? Let’s jump right in!

Download your free copy of The Law School Admissions Guide!2015 Best Law Schools

1. Yale

2. Harvard

3. Stanford

4. Columbia

4. Chicago

6. NYU

7. UPenn

8. UVA

9. UC Berkeley

10. Duke 2015

Best Part-Time Law Schools

1. Georgetown

2. George Washington University

3. Fordham University

4. George Mason University

5. Loyola Marymount University

6. University Connecticut

7. Lewis & Clark College – Northwestern

7. Southern Methodist University – Dedman

7. University of Maryland – Carey

10. Temple University – Beasley

10. University of Houston

The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success

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Waitlisted! What Now? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/27/waitlisted-what-now/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/27/waitlisted-what-now/#respond Thu, 27 Feb 2014 19:08:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21411 ]]> Listen to the full recording of 'Waitlisted! Now What?'So, you’ve been waitlisted and you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. You can choose to do either, neither or both, but then it is time to figure out what to do next.

Listen to the recording of our latest podcast episode to hear Linda Abraham’s six tips for waitlisted applicants. Make sure you know what to do (and what not to do!) to ensure that you are the candidate on the very top of that waitlist.

00:01:28 – Devastated about your waitlisted status? Don’t give up!

00:02:16 – Don’t be an independent thinker please.

00:03:43 – Self-evaluate and take action.

00:04:24 – Spread the good word (even if it doesn’t relate to your weaknesses).

00:05:44 – Schools like applicants who are interested in attending their program!

00:06:13 – Don’t spam the adcom.

00:06:48 – How a waitlist letter should begin and what it should include.

00:07:33 – Addressing your weaknesses without sounding weak.

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single show!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  MBA Waitlist Advice 101
•  Med School Waitlist Advice 101
•  Grad School Waitlist Advice 101
•  College Waitlist Advice 101 
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist, an ebook

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/27/waitlisted-what-now/feed/ 0 MBA Waitlist,podcast,Wait List,weakness So, you’ve been waitlisted and you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. You can choose to do either, neither or both, but then it is time to figure out what to do next. - Listen to the recording of our latest podcast episode to hear Linda Abrahamâ... So, you’ve been waitlisted and you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. You can choose to do either, neither or both, but then it is time to figure out what to do next. Listen to the recording of our latest podcast episode to hear Linda Abraham’s six tips for waitlisted applicants. Make sure you know what to do (and what not to do!) to ensure that you are the candidate on the very top of that waitlist. 00:01:28 – Devastated about your waitlisted status? Don’t give up! 00:02:16 – Don’t be an independent thinker please. 00:03:43 – Self-evaluate and take action. 00:04:24 – Spread the good word (even if it doesn’t relate to your weaknesses). 00:05:44 – Schools like applicants who are interested in attending their program! 00:06:13 – Don’t spam the adcom. 00:06:48 – How a waitlist letter should begin and what it should include. 00:07:33 – Addressing your weaknesses without sounding weak.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single show! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  MBA Waitlist Advice 101 •  Med School Waitlist Advice 101 •  Grad School Waitlist Advice 101 •  College Waitlist Advice 101  •  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlist, an ebook •  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlist, an ebook •  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist, an ebook Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 12:34
Two Ways to Reveal Leadership in Your Applications http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/25/two-ways-to-reveal-leadership-in-your-applications/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/25/two-ways-to-reveal-leadership-in-your-applications/#respond Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:12:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21367 ]]> Leadership is one of the of the most valued attributes in admissions. In this short video, Linda Abraham discusses two main ways you can show the adcom that you are a leader.

For more tips on revealing leadership in your applications, check out:

•  Leadership in Admissions, a free special report.

•  4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

•  What Should I Write About? Making a Difference

•  MBA Admissions A-Z: L is for Leadership

Accepted.com

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Pre-Law Kaplan Survey Results Released http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/24/pre-law-kaplan-survey-results-released/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/24/pre-law-kaplan-survey-results-released/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2014 15:49:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21276 ]]> Download free: The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success

Nearly 1400 pre-law students were surveyed in Kaplan Test Prep’s recent survey, with the following findings:

•  58% students prefer a two-year law school program (instead of the current three).
•  97% would like additional clinical experience built into the law school curriculum. Meanwhile, 71% of JD programs are taking this almost unanimous preference to heart and are integrating more practical training and clinical courses into their curricula.
•  Law school goals: 58% of pre-law students will be entering law school because of their desire to practice law; 11% are career changers; 7% want to improve their salaries; and 7% are pursuing a career in politics.

See the Kaplan Test Prep press release for more details, and check out Accepted.com law school admissions resources for advice on gaining admission to your top choice law school.

Free Download: 8 Tips for Law School Admissions Success!

Accepted.com

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Review of BenchPrep’s Online Test Prep Site http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/20/review-of-benchpreps-online-test-prep-site/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/20/review-of-benchpreps-online-test-prep-site/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2014 19:34:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21045 ]]> Check out BenchPrep!I just logged into the BenchPrep test prep website and am welcomed with their greeting of “Gain an unfair advantage on test day”; I like this – a test prep site with an edge! Let’s continue exploring…

After you sign in and choose your test (see list below), you’ll then choose your target test date. The program then generates a study plan of week-by-week tasks that you’ll need to complete to achieve your optimal preparedness for your chosen exam. Each task has a timeframe next to it, indicating the expected amount of time the exercise should take – a nice touch.

As you move through the little icons on the left side of the screen, you’ll encounter some nice features – games (mainly flashcard games – pretty simple and straightforward), practice tests, discussion boards, study groups, and others. Another organizational feature is the table of contents icon which, when you click on it, gives you a very clear outline of your study plan with links to other parts of the site.

There is also a BenchPrep mobile app (Android and iPhone), making this program excellent for test-preppers on-the-go!

One thing I’d like to see more of on this site are videos. There is certainly no shortage of written prep resources here – there are loads of practice tests and explanations and tips, which of course are extremely important. For some people, this may be exactly what they’re looking for, but others – those auditory/visual types – the absence of video will be noticed.

Tests (a sampling):

ACT • GMAT • PMP Exam
• AP Exam • GRE • Police Officer Exam
• CFA Level I Exam                       . • LSAT • Postal Exam
• CLEP • MCAT • Praxis Test
• EMT • Nursing School Entrance Exams        . • SAT
• FRM • PCAT
• Firefighter Exam • PE Exam

Features:

• Ask-a-tutor, and receive an answer within 24 hours
•  Bookmarking and highlighting features
•  Ratings/tracking of your confidence level (so you can go back to review those weak areas)
•  Games
•  Practice tests
•  Discussion boards
•  Study groups

Head to BenchPrep now to check out these features on your own!

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips

Accepted.com

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Personal Statement Fatal Flaw #1: Lack of Substance http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/19/personal-statement-fatal-flaw-1-lack-of-substance-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/19/personal-statement-fatal-flaw-1-lack-of-substance-2/#respond Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:12:53 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21236 ]]> Click here to learn how to avoid the other 4 personal statement fatal flaws.Writing about nothing tends to bore, like a trite sitcom or movie with no plot. They lack substance and so will your essay if it isn’t based on:

• Substantive self-reflection.

• Use of specifics, examples, and anecdotes.

• Willingness to reveal your thought processes and feelings.

So start your writing process with self-knowledge. You don’t have to search the internet or a large library. Start with your experiences and your dreams. Search your head and your heart. That is where the substance of a good personal statement is stored.

Then use anecdotes, specifics, and examples to reveal what’s in your heart and show that your dreams are grounded in experience. Good examples can bring your essays to life and engage the reader.

At the same time, recognize that essays with only examples and anecdotes don’t reveal your thought processes and consequently are also superficial. Make sure you balance your stories with insight and analysis.

Avoid Fatal Flaw #1: Bring your essays to life with self-reflection and astute use of examples balanced by analysis.

This tip is an excerpt from Five Fatal Flaws: Eliminate the 5 Most Common Flaws in your Application Essays and Personal Statements. To view the entire free special report, please click here.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application Essay or Personal Statement

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8 Law School Tips to Get You ACCEPTED! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/04/8-law-school-tips-to-get-you-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/04/8-law-school-tips-to-get-you-accepted/#respond Tue, 04 Feb 2014 15:42:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20847 ]]> Are you looking for specific tips to help you through the various stages of the law school application process?

Download your guide to law school admissions success!

We’d like to introduce you to our newest special report, The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success, in which you’ll receive professional advice in eight different admissions areas including choosing a topic for your personal statement, editing your application, getting your application in on time, developing a strong law school admissions strategy, and more!

Check out the tips now!

Accepted.com

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How to Write Waitlist Update Letters http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/31/how-to-write-waitlist-update-letters-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/31/how-to-write-waitlist-update-letters-2/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 16:23:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20363 ]]>
You are so close to acceptance, but still not quite there! Get the guidance you need to get that offer of admission.

Continue fighting for that acceptance!

The application process is not over for waitlisted applicants. You’ve still got a chance of getting into your dream school, so now’s not the time to slack off, and it’s certainly not the time to give up. Continue fighting for that acceptance!

Your waitlist updates (you write those) and letters of support (other people write these) should focus on three areas:

1) Your growing list of qualifications. You want to prove to the adcoms that while you were a responsible, accomplished, impressive candidate before, now you are even more so. Discuss recent initiatives you’ve taken—in the workplace and in your community—and developments or advances you’ve made in your career or academics.

2) Steps you’ve taken to ameliorate shortcomings. Figure out what weaknesses were revealed in your application and/or interview and work to improve them. Be able to discuss specific changes you’ve made in your life—education and career—that make you a stronger candidate.

3) How you fit with the school. You were born to attend this school and this school was created just for you. Your fit is as perfect as a cozy glove on a cold hand.

Waitlist Update Writing Step-By-Step:

1) Begin your letter by briefly thanking the school for considering your application. Don’t talk about your disappointment; instead focus on how the school’s philosophy and approach fit your educational goals.

2) Discuss your recent accomplishments. Choose achievements that you did not address in your application and try and tie them back to key themes in your essays. These could include a recent promotion, freshly minted A’s, a new leadership role in a project or organization, a recent volunteer experience, initiatives you’ve taken in your department, business, or club, additional work responsibilities, etc.

3) Talk about the measures you’ve taken to ameliorate your weaknesses, if necessary. Focus on the action you’ve taken rather than on the actual shortcoming. For example, if you have/had weak communication skills, discuss how you enrolled in Toastmasters and how the experience has influenced and inspired you.

4) If you are sure that upon acceptance you would attend, inform the school of your commitment.

Above all, stay positive as your letter will reflect your attitude. Adcoms do not want to read a bitter and angry letter, nor will they want that writer in their classrooms.

A couple of caveats:

• Don’t waste your reader’s time by repeating material already in your application.

• Don’t write if the school states explicitly that it doesn’t want to hear from you.

Help! I'm on the waitlist!

For more information on how to transform your waitlist status into an acceptance, check out one of Accepted’s popular waitlist ebooks:

• The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlist

• The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlist

• The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist

Accepted.com

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CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/16/commonbonds-story-a-revolution-in-student-loans/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/16/commonbonds-story-a-revolution-in-student-loans/#respond Thu, 16 Jan 2014 16:13:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20648 ]]> Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Michael and David.

The CommonBond co-founders (L to R: Michael Taormina, CFO; Jessup Shean, Advisor; David Klein, CEO)

Welcome to the glorious world of applications, admissions, and…well, student loans.

CommonBond to the rescue! Meet David Klein and Michael Taormina, Wharton grads and co-founders of this very exciting student loan financing startup.

Listen to the full recording of the show to learn about CommonBond, student loans in general and some excellent advice on financing your education.

00:02:45 – Inspiration at Wharton (or ‘Wow, tuition is high!’).

00:05:04 – The three S’s that make CommonBond unique.

00:09:10 – Beyond funding: community, mentorship, and support at CommonBond.

00:13:00 – Is there a 100 million dollar upgrade coming up?

00:14:02 – Flat rates for all. (Even lawyers!?)

00:17:28 – A guided tour of the loan application process.

00:22:52 – Refinance candidates vs. in-school candidates.

00:24:06 – CommonBond’s goals for 2014.

00:25:40 – What about international students?

00:28:42 – Financial advice for applicants and future applicants.

00:37:18 – A personal question: What motivated 2 guys with successful careers go to b-school?

00:43:17 – Some very concrete tips for getting into business school.

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss any segments! Stay in the admissions know.

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  CommonBond
•  MBA Budget Calculator
•  MBA Special Reports
•  Law School Special Reports
•  Pre-Med Special Reports
•  Grad School Special Reports

Related Shows:

•  Interview with SoFi Co-Founder, Daniel Macklin
•  Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute
•  Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
•  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman
•  Healthcare Management at Wharton and at Large

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/16/commonbonds-story-a-revolution-in-student-loans/feed/ 0 entrepreneurship,podcast,Wharton Welcome to the glorious world of applications, admissions, and…well, student loans. - CommonBond to the rescue! Meet David Klein and Michael Taormina, Wharton grads and co-founders of this very exciting student loan financing startup. - Welcome to the glorious world of applications, admissions, and…well, student loans. CommonBond to the rescue! Meet David Klein and Michael Taormina, Wharton grads and co-founders of this very exciting student loan financing startup. Listen to the full recording of the show to learn about CommonBond, student loans in general and some excellent advice on financing your education. 00:02:45 – Inspiration at Wharton (or ‘Wow, tuition is high!’). 00:05:04 – The three S’s that make CommonBond unique. 00:09:10 – Beyond funding: community, mentorship, and support at CommonBond. 00:13:00 – Is there a 100 million dollar upgrade coming up? 00:14:02 – Flat rates for all. (Even lawyers!?) 00:17:28 – A guided tour of the loan application process. 00:22:52 – Refinance candidates vs. in-school candidates. 00:24:06 – CommonBond’s goals for 2014. 00:25:40 – What about international students? 00:28:42 – Financial advice for applicants and future applicants. 00:37:18 – A personal question: What motivated 2 guys with successful careers go to b-school? 00:43:17 – Some very concrete tips for getting into business school.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss any segments! Stay in the admissions know. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  CommonBond •  MBA Budget Calculator •  MBA Special Reports •  Law School Special Reports •  Pre-Med Special Reports •  Grad School Special Reports Related Shows: •  Interview with SoFi Co-Founder, Daniel Macklin •  Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute •  Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship •  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman •  Healthcare Management at Wharton and at Large Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no
4 Tips for Writing about Last Minute Extracurricular Activities http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/14/4-tips-for-writing-about-last-minute-extracurricular-activities/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/14/4-tips-for-writing-about-last-minute-extracurricular-activities/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2014 19:31:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20636 ]]> Learn how to demonstrate leadership in your admissions essays!

It’s possible that you’ve been involved in extracurricular activities without even realizing it.

You want to write about all your fantastic non-school and non-work endeavors so that you really stand out from your competition, but when you start to think about it…you draw a blank. There must be SOMETHING you can show for how you use your free time, but what?

Have you found yourself in a last minute lurch looking for extracurricular activities? Note the following:

1. Better Late than Never.

If you don’t have any extracurricular activities to speak of, then I suggest you find something interesting to do and start NOW. You may ask: “Isn’t it better to try and bypass the subject of extracurriculars entirely rather than highlight the fact that I’ve only gotten involved in an activity for the sake of my application? Won’t that seem phony?” While involvement in an extracurricular activity for just a few months is less impressive than long-term participation, it’s still better than presenting no participation at all. You can keep kicking yourself, over and over again, wishing that you had thought of this earlier and gotten involved in some activity years ago, but now’s not the time to harp on regrets; now is the time to act. Get out there and do something.

2. Even Short-Term Involvement Can Transform You.

Participation in a non-school and non-work activities, even if just for a limited period of time, will elevate your flat, one-dimensional admissions profile into something more vibrant, colorful, and interesting. Now’s your chance to transform yourself from a pile of grades and scores into a real, live human being – one who pursues his or her interests and passions outside of the work and school arenas.

3. Your Application Efforts May be Delayed or Extended.

Another reason why you should jump right into an extracurricular activity, even though you may feel like it’s too last minute, is because you don’t know for certain the outcome of your application effort. You may, for one reason or another, decide to push off applying until the next year; you may get waitlisted; you may get dinged from all your top choice schools and decide to reapply next year – whatever the case may be, this could be the beginning of what turns out to be an entire year of extracurricular involvement.

4. Hobbies are Good for YOU!

Forget for a minute that you’re applying to school (if that’s possible) and think about what’s actually good for you. It’s not healthy to site at work for 18+ hours a day only to go home and crash on the couch because you’re too tired to make it to bed. Forget the application process – you should find something to do non-work (and non-school and non-other-obligations) related because it will enrich your life and make you a happier person.

Also, it’s possible that you’ve been involved in extracurricular activities without even realizing it. Mine your experiences to uncover unique experiences that could be considered “extracurricular.” You don’t need clear-cut activities like “Acted as president of the chess club” or “Volunteered in local soup kitchen”; consider non-traditional or non-altruistic activities, like singing in a choir, participating in a weekly fiction writing circle with friends, helping your hyperactive triplet cousin do homework catch-up once a week since forever ago.

These are all completely valid ways of breaking from work, and it won’t be hard to illustrate your passions and interests in these activities, not to mention the leadership skills your developed and the other ways in which you grew and learned from them.

Take home message: It’s NEVER too late to get involved in some meaningful, interesting, and fun extracurricular activity!

Learn everything you need to know about how to tackle the tricky leadership questions that the adcoms love to throw into applications and interviews.

Accepted.com

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Interview Tip: Prepare Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/09/interview-tip-prepare-questions-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/09/interview-tip-prepare-questions-2/#respond Thu, 09 Jan 2014 15:48:19 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20343 ]]> Learn how to use sample essays to create exemplary essays of your own!

An interview is a two-way street.

Usually when applicants prepare for their admissions interviews, they spend their time trying to figure out what questions will be asked and how they can best answer them. This is important and a good idea. But it’s not the only step to prepping for an admissions interview.

An interview is a two-way street.

Your interviewer will ask you questions and listen your answers, and then will turn the asking over to you. When your interviewer says, “Do you have any questions?” you don’t want to shut the interview down by saying, “Nope, I’m set” but want to keep the flow of the conversation going by taking the reins of the interview into your hands and asking some questions of your own.

There are two things you can do before your interview to help you come up with intelligent questions:

1) Familiarize yourself with the program’s website and other literature. Never ask a question that can be answered easily online.

2) Review your application. Your questions should be specific to your unique situation – your skills, interests, and goals. Questions about the faculty or clubs, for example, should relate to your own education, career, and goals.

Since your goal should be to come up with questions that are specific to your situation, I can’t give you a list of must-ask questions without knowing who YOU are. But here are a few sample questions that you can review and tweak so that the questions are more appropriate for YOU:

• How difficult is it to enroll in a popular class like XYZ? (Insert a class that appeals to you. Not a required course.)

• Do recruiters from XYZ (a company or a particular field that interests you) visit the school? How do students get interviews with recruiters?

• Are business plan competitions (or something else that’s relevant to you) open to all students, or are there certain requirements to qualify?

If you are interviewing with school alum or a second-year student, then you should ask questions about their experiences, for example:

• Who were some of your favorite professors? Favorite classes?

• What is/was a typical day like for you?

• Are there clubs or activities that you would recommend for someone interested in XYZ? What clubs are you involved in? How important do you think it is to be involved in extracurricular activities?

• If you could change anything about your experience at this program, what would it be?

You get the idea. You want to come up with questions that personalize you and that show you have an interest in your interviewer’s experience (if relevant). Be specific, show that you’ve done your research, and most importantly, relax!

Good luck and let us know how we can further help you prepare for your interviews!

Click here to download our free report!

Accepted.com

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The Best of 2013 at Accepted.com! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/01/the-best-of-2013-at-accepted-com/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/01/01/the-best-of-2013-at-accepted-com/#respond Wed, 01 Jan 2014 18:01:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20480 ]]> Best wishes for a happy, healthy new year!
5 Things Y’all Wanted to Learn More About in 2013:

1. Addressing MBA Application Weaknesses. Let’s face it. Nobody is perfect.

2. The Accepted.com Team! And who can blame you. To know them is to love them we say (and our clients agree).

3. Writing about Goals in a Grad School Statement of Purpose. The opportunity to prove that you know what graduate school is all about.

4. All Things Related to MBA Interviews. Making a good impression on paper is only half the battle.

5. How to Obtain Winning Med School Letters of Recommendation.

Everyone Loves a Sample Essay. :) Here Are the Favorites:

MBA: The Goals Essay  It is critical in the goals essay found in almost every MBA application to show that you have clear direction and purpose based on experience and planning. Business school is not another opportunity to “find yourself.”

Med: The Story  This essay is one of our favorites. The applicant tells a story and weaves a lot of information about his background and interests into it. Note how the lead grabs attention and the conclusion ties everything together. 

Grad: Public Health Essay  “My days in the physical therapy department often made me think about the prevention of injuries as well as the injuries themselves.”

Law: Returning to School  Note how this applicant successfully explains his career change and highlights his professional achievements.

College: While the World Sleeps  “When I wake up to the ear-splitting sound of my alarm clock, and blindly search for the snooze button, a sudden thought dawns: “What am I doing?”"

8 Blog Posts Our Readers Loved Last Year:

•  Harvard Business School 2014 MBA Application Tips

•  Tips for Completing Your Princeton Supplement to the Common Application

•  What to Include in Your Admissions Resume

•  6 Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions

•  7 Fatal Resume Flaws to Avoid

•  Boost your GPA for Med School Acceptance

•  Common Application Essay Tips

•  University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Secondary Application Essay Tips

Accepted.com

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Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Your Resume – Part 2: The 10 Don’ts http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/31/dos-and-donts-for-writing-your-resume-part-2-the-10-donts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/31/dos-and-donts-for-writing-your-resume-part-2-the-10-donts/#respond Tue, 31 Dec 2013 21:38:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20354 ]]> Recently we offered 9 Do’s for Writing Your Resume. Let’s get right to business now talking about the 10 ‘Don’ts.’

Click here for more resume advice!

Don’t make things up!

1) First and foremost, don’t make things up. This includes inflating your accomplishments, your level of responsibility, or your skills. Besides the fact that it’s dishonest, your resume reviewer may find out (like if he or she follows up on one of your references or does a background check) and then you’ll be busted…not to mention jobless.

2) Don’t turn your resume into an autobiography. Your resume will include biographical information, but its primary purpose is to focus on aspects of your life and career that make you an ideal b-school candidate and that address a potential employer’s needs. Don’t include information from high school or earlier.

3) Don’t provide personal data. This includes marital status, age, height/weight, race, religion, or any other non-work-related information. Besides the fact that it’s irrelevant, it may also be used illegally to discriminate against you.

4) Don’t include a separate “objective” line at the beginning of your resume.

5) Don’t use articles (“the,” “a”) or pronouns (“I,” “you”). They waste precious space, detract from resume impact, and reduce professionalism.

6) Don’t overuse a few action words. There are more words you can use besides “led” or “developed.” Consider similar terms like “accelerated,” “delivered,” “established,” “implemented,” “initiated,” or “reengineered.”

7) Don’t forget your dates. Even functional resumes should include dates of employment, even if they’re only included at the end.

8) Don’t use long paragraphs to describe your accomplishments. If you have a lot of information to convey, use bulleted points instead of dense, wordy paragraphs. Each bullet should be limited to two lines of text, and there should really be no more than five bullets per position.

9) Don’t use clichés like “dynamic” or “self-starter.” Rather, use the details of your resume to show that you personify these qualities.

10) Don’t turn your resume into a list of job duties. Instead, list your accomplishments within each position.

For individualized help with your MBA admissions resume or cover letter, visit Accepted’s catalog of resume services or speak with one of our experienced admissions consultants today!

Download our free special report, Leadership in Admissions.

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

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What Our Listeners Loved in 2013! http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/26/what-our-listeners-loved-in-2013/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/26/what-our-listeners-loved-in-2013/#respond Thu, 26 Dec 2013 16:41:01 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20381 ]]> 2013 has been an incredible year for the Admissions Straight Talk podcast. Thank you to all of our fascinating, insightful guest and of course our wonderful listeners!

AdmissionsStraightTalk2013

Check out the 10 episodes that were most listened to in 2013 and subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or Zune to ensure that you don’t miss the best of 2014. :)

1.   MBA Video Essays: A Conversation with Rotman’s Niki da Silva

2.   Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng

3.   Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC

4.   Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute: IV with Dr. Marcy Bevan

5.   Interview with SoFi Co-Founder, Daniel Macklin

6.   Interview with Duke Fuqua’s Sheryle Dirks

7.   Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More!

8.   Kisses of Death for your Grad School Application

9.   Health Care Management at Wharton and at Large: IV with June Kinney

10. Are Online MBAs the Real Thing? A Conversation with MBA@UNC’s Beth Flye 

If you have any comments, ideas, or feedback, we’d love to hear it! Just leave a comment on this blog post or in iTunes or just shoot us an email at onlinesupport@accepted.com.

Happy listening!

Accepted.com

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Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Your Resume – Part 1: The 9 Do’s http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/24/dos-and-donts-for-writing-your-resume-part-1-the-9-dos/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/24/dos-and-donts-for-writing-your-resume-part-1-the-9-dos/#respond Tue, 24 Dec 2013 15:48:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20264 ]]> Use these resources to help you construct a winning business school resume. While some potential employers or b-school adcoms may spend a few minutes looking at your resume, the vast majority will spend less than that. You may conclude from that that your resume is not so important since it will only receive a cursory glance, but it actually works the other way around: Since they’ll only be spending about 20 to 30 seconds looking at your resume, you need to make sure that your resume is written in a way that only a moment’s glance will provide its readers with an understanding of your key skills and experiences.

This is not an easy feat.

The following “Do’s and Don’ts” will help you create a powerful, dynamic resume that will enable you to sail through the employer’s initial 15-second screening process and earn your outstanding qualifications the closer look they deserve. If your resume will be used in your b-school application, these tips will help you compose a resume that complements the other components in your application to help show that you are the well-rounded, capable, and compelling applicant that the adcoms are seeking.

The Do’s:

1) Place your strongest material at the top of your resume. Create a two-inch space 2 5/8 inches from the top of the page and use this as your “primetime” space—this is where you’ll showcase your most impactful, impressive qualifications and achievements. If your resume reader only gets this far, at least he or she will have received a compelling image of who you are and what you can do. You should write this professional profile/qualifications section after you’ve completed the rest of your resume, when you have a better idea of what your strongest assets are.

2) Give your most recent professional experience the most attention. This position should receive the most space on your resume and should include more bulleted accomplishments than previous positions.

3) Rank accomplishments in order of decreasing relevance.

4) Use details to quantify your impact on the organizations you’ve worked for. Include how much or by what percentage you reduced expenses. Say how many people were on the team that you supervised. Demonstrate your impact by using specific numbers.

5) Place your educational information after your work experience if you’ve been working for more than five years.

6) Resume design should be as important as resume content. Use a 10- to 12-point conservative typeface (nothing in script or with squiggles that you think looks fancy or pretty), use lines to separate resume sections, and try and stay within 1″ margins (slightly smaller on the top and bottom of the page).

7) Include resume “extras” like honors, publications, presentations, patents, professional licenses or certifications, and relevant volunteer experiences. These points of interest could be what convince the employer or adcom to invite you in for an interview.

8) Proofread and edit mercilessly. Reduce fluff and make every word count. Spell check, grammar check, and style check. Have a friend or a professional editor look over your resume for errors you may have missed.

9) For your MBA application, stick to a one-page resume.

Stay tuned for Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Your Resume – Part 2: The 10 Don’ts.

Click here to download your free report!

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

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Law School Enrollment Plummets http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/20/law-school-enrollment-plummets/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/20/law-school-enrollment-plummets/#respond Fri, 20 Dec 2013 16:19:56 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20307 ]]> For some law school application advice, download 'Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statement'

First-year law school enrollment is down 11% this year

The American Bar Association reports that first-year law school enrollment dropped 11% this year, down 5,000 students to 39,675. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, this is the lowest first-enrollment has been since 1977 (when enrollment was 29,676 – just one student higher).

Here are some additional stats from the WSJ article:

• This is the third year of law school enrollment decline; in 2010, enrollment hit an all-time high with more than 52,000 students beginning law school.
• One of the biggest enrollment jumps occurred in 2002 with an increase in enrollment of 7.48%.
• About two-thirds of the 202 ABA accredited U.S. law schools reported enrollment declines this year. At 81 schools, the decline exceeded 10%.
• Not all law school news is negative, though – 27 law schools this year increased their first-year class enrollment by 10% or more.

With the decreased demand in law school comes a decrease in competition; so ask yourself – is now the time to apply? Good question. Don’t answer solely based on the decline in application volume and law school enrollment. You also need to look at cost and job opportunity.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statement

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How to Edit Your Application Essays http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/19/how-to-edit-your-application-essays/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/19/how-to-edit-your-application-essays/#respond Thu, 19 Dec 2013 16:18:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20295 ]]> Linda AbrahamIn an exclusive interview with… well, herself, Linda Abraham shares some advice that she’s learned over the course of almost two decades of application essay editing.

Listen to the full recording of this excellent episode to learn concrete steps you can take right now to ensure that your essays are working for –and not against –you.

00:01:22 – The three goals of an application essay and how to make sure your essays realize them.

00:02:55 – Is your resume hiding you? (The mistake of friends’ children & children’s friends.)

00:05:24 – How to evaluate each of your essays individually: Know if you need to rewrite before you submit, not after you are rejected.

00:07:57 – You may not like this, but proofing is vital. Here are the three critical steps to proofing when you think you can’t proof anymore.

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss any segments! Stay in the admissions know.

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  Accepted Services Section
•  MBA Admissions 101
•  Med School Admissions 101
•  Grad School Admissions 101
•  Law School Admissions 101
•  College Admissions 101

Most Popular Shows:

•   MBA Video Essays: A Conversation with Rotman’s Niki da Silva
•   Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng
•   Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC
•   Interview with SoFi Co-Founder, Daniel Macklin
•   Interview with Duke Fuqua’s Sheryle Dirks

Subscribe:

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http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/19/how-to-edit-your-application-essays/feed/ 0 application essay,personal statement,podcast,writing techniques In an exclusive interview with… well, herself, Linda Abraham shares some advice that she’s learned over the course of almost two decades of application essay editing. - Listen to the full recording of this excellent episode to learn concrete steps... In an exclusive interview with… well, herself, Linda Abraham shares some advice that she’s learned over the course of almost two decades of application essay editing. Listen to the full recording of this excellent episode to learn concrete steps you can take right now to ensure that your essays are working for –and not against –you. 00:01:22 – The three goals of an application essay and how to make sure your essays realize them. 00:02:55 – Is your resume hiding you? (The mistake of friends’ children & children’s friends.) 00:05:24 – How to evaluate each of your essays individually: Know if you need to rewrite before you submit, not after you are rejected. 00:07:57 – You may not like this, but proofing is vital. Here are the three critical steps to proofing when you think you can’t proof anymore.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss any segments! Stay in the admissions know. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  Accepted Services Section •  MBA Admissions 101 •  Med School Admissions 101 •  Grad School Admissions 101 •  Law School Admissions 101 •  College Admissions 101 Most Popular Shows: •   MBA Video Essays: A Conversation with Rotman’s Niki da Silva •   Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng •   Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC •   Interview with SoFi Co-Founder, Daniel Macklin •   Interview with Duke Fuqua’s Sheryle Dirks Subscribe:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 15:16
Approaching the Diversity Essay Question http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/17/approaching-the-diversity-essay-question-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/17/approaching-the-diversity-essay-question-2/#respond Tue, 17 Dec 2013 16:39:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=20075 ]]> For more application essay writing tips, check out our free special report 'From Example to Exemplary'!

Show how your background will add to the mix of perspectives at the college you are applying to.

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 college 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! Click here to download our free report!

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Happy Thanksgiving! http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/28/happy-thanksgiving-5/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/28/happy-thanksgiving-5/#respond Thu, 28 Nov 2013 15:27:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19936 ]]> Today is a national holiday here in the United States, when we pause — at least for a brief moment — to count our blessings. Wherever you are, that is a good exercise.

My family has expanded this year with the birth of two grandchildren. We’ve had a couple of children move to California with their families, and love having our children and grandchildren near by. I certainly have what to be grateful for. We are  truly blessed.

As I have done annually for the last few years on Thanksgiving, I want to highlight one of my favorite posts: Admissions Tip: Thanksgiving Appreciation.

And with that, let me wish anyone reading this blog today a Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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Your $100 Savings Expires TODAY! http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/27/your-100-savings-expires-today/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/27/your-100-savings-expires-today/#respond Wed, 27 Nov 2013 15:51:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19849 ]]> Seeking one-on-one assistance on your college/grad/med/law/business school application? Get the help you need AND put $100 back in your pocket when you take advantage of our November Special.



Through MIDNIGHT (Pacific Standard Time) TODAY, Wednesday, November 27th, you can save $100 on all non-rush orders over $2000 with coupon code Nov100.

Get crackin’ on those apps – deadlines will be here before you know it! Choose from the following catalogs of services: MBA, Medical School, Law School, Grad School, College



      

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Save $100. Smile. Get Accepted. http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/25/save-100-smile-get-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/25/save-100-smile-get-accepted/#respond Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:22:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19845 ]]> Want to move closer to acceptance at your top choice school and put $100 back in your pocket?

Save $100 on all non-rush admissions services over $2000! Click here to shop now! Purchase non-rush Accepted.com editing or consulting services totaling $2000 or more through Wednesday, November 27, 2013 and save $100!

Choose the service that meets your admission goal:

MBA Admission Essay Editing and Consulting Services

Medical School Admissions – Catalog of Services

Law School Application and Personal Statement Consulting

Grad School Admission and Personal Statement Services

College Catalog of Admission Services

Don’t delay – get your $100 discount today with coupon code NOV100!

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WSJ Law Blog Offers Most Recent Law Applicant Stats http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/12/wsj-law-blog-offers-most-recent-law-applicant-stats/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/12/wsj-law-blog-offers-most-recent-law-applicant-stats/#respond Tue, 12 Nov 2013 16:15:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19440 ]]> Check out our recent podcast episode, "Business, Law, and Beyond."

Number of LSAT test takers is down, and that’s a good thing.

Highlights of the Wall Street Journal article, “Number of LSAT Test Takers Is Down 45% Since 2009,” include:

• The number of LSAT exams administered in October 2013 (33,673 exams) is 11% lower than in October 2012 (37,780 exams). This is the lowest test taker volume since 1998.

• The total number of LSAT test takers in June and October is down 38% from four years ago when test taker volume peaked. The number of test takers in October alone is down 45% compared to the 2009 high.

• The number of law school applicants dropped 12.3% compared to last year, and application volume dropped 17.9% this year.

My Take

This is good news.

There used to be a naïve belief that a legal degree was a “good thing to have.” That’s true if it’s also an inexpensive thing to have, which a law degree is not.

When the legal job market initially tanked, applicants were still applying to law school in droves. Apparently that madness has ended. These LSAT stats indicate that those serious about the law and using their legal education professionally are taking the LSAT and that far fewer applicants are defaulting to law from the social sciences and humanities than did so a few years ago.

People committed to a career that requires a legal degree and promises an income in excess of the cost of a legal education are the ones who should be taking the LSAT. And there are simply fewer people who believe they fit that description today than there were five years ago. Plus, more people today recognize both the high cost and the more limited opportunity associated with a J.D. than in years past.

They should have recognized it five years ago. The good news is that more do so today.







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5 Keys to Concreteness http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/11/five-keys-to-concreteness/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/11/five-keys-to-concreteness/#respond Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:40:34 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19359 ]]> Make sure your application essays don't contain any of the 5 fatal flaws!

Chris Adcom: Smart, hardworking, and short on time.

I like to apply the principles established in Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick to personal statements and application essays. In this post I focus on concreteness.

The third of Made to Stick‘s six key principles, concreteness, doesn’t seem to apply to intangibles like leadership, achievement, teamwork, or character – the topics you typically need to cover in your essays. Yet, even when discussing abstractions, if your essays are concrete they will communicate more effectively and more memorably.

Here are five tips to make your personal statements and application essays concrete:

1. Use sensory language when appropriate. Write in terms of sights, sounds, smells, touch, and taste.

2. Break down large ideas into smaller sub-topics and concepts. (For more on this idea, please see “Fatal Flaw #4: Superficiality.” ) The grand summary or platitude won’t cut it.

3. Quantify when possible. Did you increase membership a lot when president or did you increase membership by 50%? Did you lead a team or did you lead a 10-person team?

4. Without using clichés, relate events, entities, and concepts to ideas that the reader already knows and trusts. For example if I say that “Accepted is the McKinsey of admissions consulting firms,” clients will expect top-notch work and a strategic approach to admissions.

5. Think about the human beings you are addressing in your essays. You have read interviews of and met with admissions committee members. Perhaps create a character that represents Chris Adcom for you. For me, Chris is usually smart, professional, and hard-working. Typically a “people-person” with a genuine interest in others, she also has a well–practiced nose for baloney and doesn’t like the odor. She is always short on time and consequently ends up skimming essays if they are boring or don’t answer the question, even though she doesn’t like to do so. She is dedicated to helping her school create a diverse, talented class of students who will be happy to attend her school, contribute to campus life as students, and add to the school’s reputation as alumni. That’s her job. Write your essays for Chris.

Use these five keys to concreteness when crafting your essays to make them more compelling.







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

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Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/07/business-law-and-beyond-an-interview-with-john-engleman/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/07/business-law-and-beyond-an-interview-with-john-engleman/#comments Thu, 07 Nov 2013 16:35:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19476 ]]> Check out other podcast episodes here.Want to start a business? Partner in a law firm? Go into private equity? Run a media and entertainment company? How about all of the above?

Learn from someone who has done it all. And doesn’t normally give interviews.

Listen to the full recording of our interview with John Engelman, for tips, advice and insights from a guy who’s made the journey from lawyer to private equity dealmaker to media and entertainment entrepreneur and executive.

00:01:40 – Meet our guest, John Engelman. Sounds like he’s been busy for the past few years.

00:03:45 – From crisis control to strategic planning: The transition from law partner to businessperson.

00:04:58 – When (and if) a law degree is a good path to the business world.

00:07:19 – An MBA, JD, both, or neither?

00:09:12 – The skill a would-be-entrepreneur needs to master. (Is entrepreneurship class a contradiction?)

00:12:48 – Media & entertainment: The most dynamic, regulated, and international industry out there. Are they paying me or am I paying them?

00:15:37 – The lifecycle of a media property (for Linda, the hills are still alive with the sound of music).

00:19:27 – The definition of good networking? Mom was right – you really should be nice to your roommate.

00:22:39 – Top tips for negotiating and the biggest negotiating mistakes people make.

00:26:43 – What separates a good businessperson from a bad businessperson. Hint: it isn’t IQ points.

00:29:14 – The secret of maintaining a work-life balance and the tragic risk of burnout.

00:35:12 – John’s best piece of advice for someone considering a career in business or law.

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss any segments! Stay in the admissions know.

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
•  MBA in Sight: Focus on Finance

Related Episodes

•  Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng
•  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship
•  Interview with Anne Perigo, UM Master in Entrepreneurship
•  Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship
•  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC

Subscribe

•  Admissions Straight Talk on iTunes
•  Admissions Straight Talk on Stitcher

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http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/07/business-law-and-beyond-an-interview-with-john-engleman/feed/ 3 career changers,entrepreneurship,finance,podcast Want to start a business? Partner in a law firm? Go into private equity? Run a media and entertainment company? How about all of the above? - Learn from someone who has done it all. And doesn’t normally give interviews. - Want to start a business? Partner in a law firm? Go into private equity? Run a media and entertainment company? How about all of the above? Learn from someone who has done it all. And doesn’t normally give interviews. Listen to the full recording of our interview with John Engelman, for tips, advice and insights from a guy who’s made the journey from lawyer to private equity dealmaker to media and entertainment entrepreneur and executive. 00:01:40 – Meet our guest, John Engelman. Sounds like he’s been busy for the past few years. 00:03:45 – From crisis control to strategic planning: The transition from law partner to businessperson. 00:04:58 – When (and if) a law degree is a good path to the business world. 00:07:19 – An MBA, JD, both, or neither? 00:09:12 – The skill a would-be-entrepreneur needs to master. (Is entrepreneurship class a contradiction?) 00:12:48 – Media & entertainment: The most dynamic, regulated, and international industry out there. Are they paying me or am I paying them? 00:15:37 – The lifecycle of a media property (for Linda, the hills are still alive with the sound of music). 00:19:27 – The definition of good networking? Mom was right – you really should be nice to your roommate. 00:22:39 – Top tips for negotiating and the biggest negotiating mistakes people make. 00:26:43 – What separates a good businessperson from a bad businessperson. Hint: it isn’t IQ points. 00:29:14 – The secret of maintaining a work-life balance and the tragic risk of burnout. 00:35:12 – John’s best piece of advice for someone considering a career in business or law.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss any segments! Stay in the admissions know. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One •  MBA in Sight: Focus on Finance Related Episodes •  Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng •  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship •  Interview with Anne Perigo, UM Master in Entrepreneurship •  Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship •  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC Subscribe •  Admissions Straight Talk on iTunes •  Admissions Straight Talk on Stitcher Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 38:40
Brand New Law School Rankings Available! http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/06/brand-new-law-school-rankings-available/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/06/brand-new-law-school-rankings-available/#respond Wed, 06 Nov 2013 17:00:49 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19333 ]]> Tipping the Scales just released its first law school rankings ever.

Here are the top 25 law schools:

Rank and School Index USN LSAT Accept Rate Jobs At Grad Private Salary Public Salary
1. Stanford 100.00 2 170 9.7% 93.2% $160,000 $62,401
2. Yale 99.9 1 173 8.3% 90.7% $160,000 $60,000
3. Harvard 98.4 2 173 16.1% 90.9% $160,000 $57,408
4. UPenn 97.3 7 170 15.5% 83.6% $160,000 $58,376
5. Columbia 97.2 4 172 18.4% 93.2% $160,000 $55,000
6. Duke 95.1 11 169 19.1% 72.9% $160,000 $57,000
7. Northwestern 94.8 12 170 23.7% 77.4% $160,000 $60,000
8. Berkeley 94.7 9 167 11.6% 72.6% $160,000 $55,000
9. Virginia 93.8 7 170 15.2% 97.3% $160,000 $36,000
10. Michigan 93.7 9 169 24.5% 70.7% $160,000 $61,245
11. Chicago 92.9 4 171 20.1% 90.6% $160,000 $47,657
12. New York 92.6 6 171 27.9% 93.1% $160,000 $53,500
13. GW     91.2 21 167 29.7% 81.7% $160,000 $62,467
14. Cornell   90.5 13 167 29.1% 69.7% $160,000 $62,467
15. Georgetown  90.1 14 169 28.4% 63.7% $160,000 $61,245
16. Alabama 89.5 21 165 25.2% 66.5% $90,000 $57,000
17. UT-Austin 88.3 15 167 27.2% 62.0% $155,000 $55,017
18. Minnesota 87.7 19 167 23.2% 64.0% $110,000 $50,000
19. USC 87.2 18 167 29.0% 54.6% $160,000 $61,350
20. Vanderbilt 86.8 15 169 30.2% 65.2% $125,000 $56,000
21. UCLA 86.2 17 168 23.7% 45.9% $145,000 $60,000
22. Wash U. 85.2 19 166 28.5% 52.7% $105,000 $58,000
 23. Washington 84.5 26 164 21.8% 54.9% $100,000  $50,000
24. Georgia State 83.8 54 159 26.8% 64.5% $67,838 $54,268
25. George Mason 83.0 41 163  27.8% 49.4% $75,000 $62,467

Source: TippingTheScales

The TTS article describes their approach as follows:

Tipping the Scales’ ranking zeroes in on two key dimensions of the J.D. experience: the quality of the students getting into a law school and the success of the graduates going out. Bottom line is, these metrics are simple to understand and they get at what really counts in a law school education.

Applicants want to know that their classmates will be as good as they are, that a school is highly selective in crafting its classes, and that at the end of the experience they will have a job and sizable compensation.

Here’s the breakdown of their scoring:

• 25% – acceptance rate

• 25% – median LSAT results

• 25% – the percentage of grads that have secured jobs by graduation

• 12.5% – median public interest salaries

• 12.5% – median private sector salaries

TTS are highlighting that their methodology is simple – simpler than U.S. News’ methodology which takes into account the opinions of law firm partners, federal and state attorneys, and deans and other faculty members.

See the Tipping the Scales article for more details.

For a scathing critique of the Tipping the Scales rankings, please see “Another random website cooks up another off-kilter ranking…” by Professor Brian Leitner who dismisses this ranking as “ill-conceived and worthless.” He is particularly critical of the fact that TTS includes salaries but doesn’t adjust for differences in cost of living. And this rankings’ definition of  ”student quality” determined solely by LSAT and acceptance rate leads him to reject the validity of that measure too.

And the rankings game continues…


5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statement




Accepted.com

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Resourceful Essay Recycling http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/05/resourcesful-essay-recycling/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/05/resourcesful-essay-recycling/#respond Tue, 05 Nov 2013 15:40:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19368 ]]> Click here for tips for writing exemplary applicaiton essays.

Recycle with Caution.

You’re applying to six different schools and each one requires 2-7 essays/personal statements which equals…a whole lot of writing. How can you draft so many essays and still maintain a fresh and original voice in each?

Did you know that you can probably adapt one essay from a given application to another essay on another application?

You can, and you should – that is, if you follow the guidelines below to ensure that you’re not simply cutting and pasting (no matter how similar the questions appear to be) and that you’re not sloppy about it.

A few helpful tips:

1. Give Each Essay a Unique Theme and Focus on Different Experiences: If you present two essays on the same experience in a single application, you’ll probably end up with duplicate copy, and at least one of the essays will be boring. Within a single application, you want to present varied experiences, keep repetition as close to zero as possible.

2. Chart Yourself: If you have multiple essays/personal statements to manage, consider making a chart and attributing certain experiences, accomplishments, and skills to certain questions so you don’t end up using the same experience, accomplishment, or skill for more than one question at a given school.

3. Portray Your Multi-Dimensional Self: While composing multiple essays, keep in mind the different layers and textures of your personality. Try to present these layers in your essays so the adcoms receive a rich, multi-dimensional portrait of you as a human being.

4. Double Check Your Name Dropping: Check CAREFULLY (and then check again) to make sure that you don’t forget to change an occurrence of “Wharton” to “Ross” when you adapt your essay. Sending a “Why I want to go to Wharton” essay to the Ross adcom doesn’t bode well for you!








Accepted.com

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Should You Retake the LSAT? http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/04/should-you-retake-the-lsat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/04/should-you-retake-the-lsat/#respond Mon, 04 Nov 2013 15:45:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19321 ]]> Click here for advice on dealing with a low LSAT score

To retake or not to retake?

Completing the LSAT requires both time and money – you must dedicate extra effort to preparing for the test in order to earn as high a score as possible. After you receive your initial LSAT score, you must then decide if it is worth the additional resources necessary to retake the test, aiming for a better score. In coming to this conclusion, there are three factors that you should consider.

How far below your intended school’s ideal score were you?

Schools typically publish the range of LSAT scores for their admitted students, and future admissions decisions are largely based on the candidate’s GPA and LSAT score. Obviously, the higher your LSAT score, the stronger your application will be, but you need to consider how close both your GPA and your LSAT score are. If one, or both, are at the top of the range, then you have less to gain from retaking the test – you are already in a comfortable position for admission. If you are on the low end, however, then you may wish to sit for the exam again in order to increase your score and therefore your odds of acceptance as well.

How many more points do you need for scholarship money?

Some schools will make scholarship decisions based, in part, on LSAT scores. Even if your LSAT score and GPA are comfortably within the school’s required range, an LSAT score above the school’s 75th percentile can often translate to awarded financial aid. The less you pay for school, the less debt you will graduate with, and therefore, it may be worth the extra effort to take the LSAT again.

What was your LSAT score the first time?

Before deciding whether to retest, you need to critically examine what your LSAT score was and why you got that score. Lower scores are, by their nature, easier to improve upon; it is easier to go from a 150 to a 160 than it is to go from a 160 to a 170, and it is harder still to get from a 170 to a 175.

In deciding whether or not you have room to improve, the first thing to consider is what your highest practice scores were – were they better than your test day score, or lower? If your test day score was significantly higher (more than three or four points) than your strongest practice score, then you may want to hold on tight to the score that you have. Try taking another practice test and see if you are able to get a score close to, or higher than, your test day score.

You should also determine why you got the score that you did. Did you run out of time on a section and answer the last five questions incorrectly? Did you struggle with one particular logic game, but get the rest of the section largely correct? In situations like this, retaking the test, especially if you can fix the timing issue or understand how to solve the game that you didn’t comprehend the first time, can improve your score. However, if you answered random questions incorrectly for no discernible reason (and not, for example, all of a certain type of logical reasoning problem, like the assumption questions), then it will be more difficult to increase your score.

Retaking the LSAT, if your score increases, will likely aid you in gaining acceptance into a better school, and may result in more scholarship money. However, retaking the test can also be a gamble and you do risk your score dropping. You need to consider whether the potential reward justifies the time, expense, and uncertainty. If it can ensure your acceptance to your first-choice school, greatly increase your chances of a scholarship, or is an easily correctable mistake from the previous test, then taking the exam again is probably advisable. Otherwise, it might be best to stick with the score that you have.







Justin Meyer is a professional LSAT tutor and contributing writer for Varsity Tutors. He holds a JD from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary.

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Application Essay Tip: Generic-Itis Prevention http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/01/application-essay-tip-generic-itis-prevention-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/11/01/application-essay-tip-generic-itis-prevention-2/#respond Fri, 01 Nov 2013 15:30:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19123 ]]> Suffering from Generic-itis? We can help.

If you are suffering from Generic-itis, make sure to seek treatment.

Accepted’s editors have noted an epidemic. Generic-itis.

The symptoms:

• Mind-blowing, meaningless, and grand generic declarative statements without any substance, specifically related to why an applicant wants to attend a certain program.

• Irritation to admissions readers causing them to believe that you know nothing about their school and don’t belong.

Treatment:

• For the Adcom: Deny the application as quickly as possible and move on to the next application.

• For Applicants: See below.

Here is an example of a severe case of generic-itis that I drafted based on several different examples I recently read, along with years of experience in this business:

“I find Top Choice’s global MBA program very exciting and interesting. With it, I will be able to elevate my already diverse knowledge of the world to a higher and more sophisticated level.  Combining the business analytical skills that I will obtain at Top Choice with my advanced mathematical skill, I will be able to help the fast-growing industry of clean energy progress and profit.  Moreover, I will explore Top Choice’s other outstanding academic fields, thus exposing me to resources outside the business school.  Not to mention Top Choice’s amazing students and alumni who will become my colleagues and with whom I will be sharing my experiences. TOP CHOICE will certainly add to my expertise and help me achieve my goal in the future. Having ambitious goals, I need the help of a great school like TOP CHOICE, a school that also has great ambitions.  I can and will use the Top Choice’s education to the fullest possible extent.  Today, I would be proud to join the community of TOP CHOICE, and tomorrow, TOP CHOICE will be proud to have me as an alumnus connecting Top Choice to the world of business and clean energy.”

I hope you are thinking that no one really writes like this. In that case your immune system is strong even if your conclusion is incorrect. However, if the above bears any resemblance to the reasons you provide for wanting to attend a specific program, you are suffering from generic-itis.

Your treatment:

• Find specifics in the program that compel you to apply and attend.

• Tie those specifics to your future goals or to your educational preferences.

Although the example above is for an MBA application, if you are writing “Why this school” essays or paragraphs  for college, law, medical school or any other program you too could be suffering from Generic-itis.

Have yourself tested today. Accepted’s staff of experienced, professional editors would be happy to help you just as we have helped thousands of other generic-itis sufferers.







Accepted.com

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What do Law School Adcom Think about Law School Admissions? http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/28/what-do-law-school-adcom-think-about-law-school-admissions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/28/what-do-law-school-adcom-think-about-law-school-admissions/#respond Mon, 28 Oct 2013 15:15:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19171 ]]> Law School Enrollment Declines

54% of law schools reduced their 2013 entering class size

The Kaplan’s 2013 survey of law school admissions officers provide the answer to this and many other questions about law school admissions trends, trends in legal education, and the role of the LSAT. Here are some highlights from the Kaplan report:

• 54% of law schools reduced their 2013 entering class size as compared to class size in 2012.
• Only 2% of admissions officers said that they are “very confident” that law school applications will begin to rebound in the next application cycle; 32% were “somewhat confident”; 45% were “not too confident”; and 22% were “not at all confident.”
• 70% of admissions offers accepted June 2013 LSAT scores for fall 2013 admission; 30% did not.
• 60% of respondents “generally disagree” with President Obama’s statement that law schools should condense their three-year programs into two-year programs. 5% “completely agree”; 20% “generally agree”; and 15% “completely disagree.”
• 12% of admissions officers said that their law school currently has an accelerated two-year JD program.
• Of the 88% of schools that do not have an accelerated program, only 6% say that they plan on creating a two-year program.
• 42% of schools offer 6-10 clinical programs; 29% offer 1-5 such programs; 16% offer 11-15; 13% offer more than 15; and 1% offer no such program.
• 62% of respondents “generally agree” with the following statement: “The LSAT is important to law schools because it is the only uniform, objective measure by which law schools can compare applicants.” 26% “completely agree”; 9% “generally disagree”; and 3% “completely disagree.”
See the Kaplan report for more details.

Take-aways

1. With 88% of respondents agreeing that the LSAT is important, it isn’t going away anytime soon.

2. The two-year law school will remain the exception and not the rule for the foreseeable future.

3. Don’t look for the go-go days of law school to return in the next couple of years.







Accepted.com

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Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/24/global-business-leadership-at-wharton-lauder/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/24/global-business-leadership-at-wharton-lauder/#respond Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:40:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=19141 ]]> Marcy Bevan International business is booming, and there is no better place to prepare for a future in global business leadership than at the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Listen to the full recording of our podcast interview for answers and insights into the Lauder Institute.

00:01:20 – Introducing Dr. Marcy Bevan, Director of Admissions & External Affairs at Wharton’s Lauder Institute.

00:02:00 – What is the Lauder Institute and who is it for? And Happy 30th Birthday!

00:04:59 – 3 Points about the Lauder Institute: It’s intense. It’s affordable because of generous financial aid options. It’s for the intellectually curious.

00:10:38 – Major recent developments at Lauder: The Global Program, the Global Knowledge Lab, and a giant treasure hunt.

00:15:41 – What the Lauder Institute is looking for in applicants and how the application process differs from Wharton’s.

00:18:23 – A bit about the eight-week Summer Immersions.

00:21:39 – Global Knowledge Lab research projects. Cool.

00:24:43 – Popular positions that students take after graduation.

00:27:41 – Does the Estee Lauder connection present employment opportunities for graduates?

00:29:26 – Advice and an invitation for Wharton Lauder applicants.

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes to keep up with the latest in admissions news and trends. You know you want to give it a five star rating. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.  

Relevant Links:

•  MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Terrific Tips

•  Wharton Lauder

•  Wharton MBA Admissions

Penn Law Admissions

Make the Most of School Visits

Transcript of chat with Dr. Marcy Bevan and Meghan Ellis of Wharton Lauder (May 2012)

Related Shows:

•  Healthcare Management at Wharton with June Kinney

Subscribe Links:

Admissions Straight Talk on iTunes

Admissions Straight Talk on Stitcher







Accepted.com

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http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/24/global-business-leadership-at-wharton-lauder/feed/ 0 podcast,Wharton,Wharton-Lauder International business is booming, and there is no better place to prepare for a future in global business leadership than at the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Listen to the full recording of our podcast interview for answers and ... International business is booming, and there is no better place to prepare for a future in global business leadership than at the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Listen to the full recording of our podcast interview for answers and insights into the Lauder Institute. 00:01:20 – Introducing Dr. Marcy Bevan, Director of Admissions & External Affairs at Wharton’s Lauder Institute. 00:02:00 – What is the Lauder Institute and who is it for? And Happy 30th Birthday! 00:04:59 – 3 Points about the Lauder Institute: It’s intense. It’s affordable because of generous financial aid options. It’s for the intellectually curious. 00:10:38 – Major recent developments at Lauder: The Global Program, the Global Knowledge Lab, and a giant treasure hunt. 00:15:41 – What the Lauder Institute is looking for in applicants and how the application process differs from Wharton’s. 00:18:23 – A bit about the eight-week Summer Immersions. 00:21:39 – Global Knowledge Lab research projects. Cool. 00:24:43 – Popular positions that students take after graduation. 00:27:41 – Does the Estee Lauder connection present employment opportunities for graduates? 00:29:26 – Advice and an invitation for Wharton Lauder applicants. Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes to keep up with the latest in admissions news and trends. You know you want to give it a five star rating. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.   Relevant Links: •  MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Terrific Tips •  Wharton Lauder •  Wharton MBA Admissions • Penn Law Admissions • Make the Most of School Visits • Transcript of chat with Dr. Marcy Bevan and Meghan Ellis of Wharton Lauder (May 2012) Related Shows: •  Healthcare Management at Wharton with June Kinney Subscribe Links: • Admissions Straight Talk on iTunes • Admissions Straight Talk on Stitcher // Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 35:11
How to Choose X Number of Essay Questions to Answer from Y Number of Choices http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/14/how-to-choose-x-number-of-essay-questions-to-answer-from-y-number-of-choices/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/14/how-to-choose-x-number-of-essay-questions-to-answer-from-y-number-of-choices/#respond Mon, 14 Oct 2013 15:46:58 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18894 ]]> Optional Essays: When & how to write them.

How do you know which one(s) to pick?

If you face multiple essay questions on an application, how are you going to choose which one(s) you should answer and which one(s) you should skip? (Note: Fewer schools are offering multiple-question options though it’s good to know how to approach this issue if you’re using the Common Application, or applying to Stanford GSB or one of the other schools that does offer you question choices.)

First, options are good! But they do force you to think (a task we’re not always so excited to do). If a school makes you choose two out of four or three out of four questions to answer – how do you know which one(s) to pick?

You want to choose the questions that allow you to portray yourself at your best – to present your most impressive qualifications and talents, and to demonstrate to the adcom that you’re top applicant material.

How?

• Choose topics that complement the other topics that you have discussed (or will discuss if you haven’t written any yet), and that complement the information you’ve provided in other parts of your application (like your resume/CV, letters of rec, transcript, etc.). For example, your resume presents your work history, but can’t go into any depth. Your essays can go into depth and can discuss experiences in greater detail, as well as non-professional experiences that didn’t make it into your resume.

• If you feel uncomfortable writing about a certain topic (like if a question asks about your career vision, and your career goals are still fuzzy), then that’s another reason to choose (or not choose) one question over another.

In short, figure out what you would like the admissions board to know about you, and then choose essays that will do the job and minimize repetition.

You’ve got options – and opportunity!







Accepted.com

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Our Very Own Judy Gruen is Published in the Wall Street Journal! http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/13/judy-gruen-in-the-wall-st-journal/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/13/judy-gruen-in-the-wall-st-journal/#respond Sun, 13 Oct 2013 16:22:28 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18862 ]]> Check out Judy Gruen's profile!

No, she’s not leaving Accepted.

Accepted’s own Judy Gruen has her first column, “Too Many Reps to Raunchy Music Hurt My Core”, in the Wall Street Journal! If you’re a subscriber, just click on the link. If you’re not a WSJ subscriber, google “Judy Gruen Wall Street Journal” and it may come up without requiring login.

No, she’s not leaving Accepted, and the piece is social commentary and unrelated to admissions, but the fact that an Accepted consultant is also a Wall Street Journal contributor is indicative of the kind of editing skill that Accepted brings to your application. And of course Judy has the admissions know-how too. She has been advising applicants since 1996 and co-authored MBA Admission for Smarties along with many admissions ebooks, special reports, and blog articles.

Congrats Judy Gruen!







Accepted.com

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4 Application Strategy Tips: Stand Out AND Fit In http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/09/4-application-strategy-tips-stand-out-and-fit-in-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/09/4-application-strategy-tips-stand-out-and-fit-in-2/#comments Wed, 09 Oct 2013 16:10:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18753 ]]> Check out our free special report "From Example to Exemplary" for great tips on writing a compelling application essay!It can be confusing: Half of the advice you read urges you to stand out in your application, while the other half advises you to explain how you’ll fit in. So which is it? Should you stand out or fit in?

The answer, unsurprisingly, is BOTH. You need to show your distinction and demonstrate fit simultaneously.

Here are some tips to help you juggle the stand out/fit in dichotomy:

1) Highlight unique interests, hobbies, or activities. You can safely assume that there will be other applicants in your professional/social/economic/geographic group. Whether you’re an Indian IT male applying to b-school or a Long Island Jew applying to law school or an Exeter Prep student applying to an Ivy League college… you’re probably (okay, definitely) not alone. In these cases you’re going to need to highlight your individuality. You’ll need to prove to the adcom that while your profile lands you smack in the middle of their “Typical” file, you’re actually an incredibly distinct and unique person. For example, you play the harp professionally. You started your own moving company when you were 19 years old. You won the regional juggling competition six years in a row. Now you’ve got their attention.

2) Connect your “stand out” factor to your goals to create a coherent overall message. Distinguishing your personality through your unique interests is one way to stand out, but it’s not the only way, or even the most effective way. You should also distinguish yourself by expressing your unique goals. Maybe most psych majors who apply to med school go into psychiatry. Your motivation for becoming a doctor, however, wasn’t the psychology courses you took in college, but your summer job in an orthopedist surgeon’s office. You want to combine your passion in psychology with your interest in the human skeleton to become a geriatric orthopedist. Congratulations – you’re no longer the typical psych-major-turned-med-student!

3) Demonstrate fit for balance. For those who fit snugly into an overrepresented profile group, demonstrating fit should be a piece of cake – after all, so many of you are attracted to Top School X probably because it’s the best school for people like you to pursue their goals. Conversely, those who have no trouble distinguishing themselves (like, say, a coffee farmer from Kenya), may need to tug at their creative strings to make the “fit factor” happen. How do you convince the adcoms that you’re a good fit for their program? By explaining the ways in which you and the program are MFEO – how the program will help you achieve your goals and how you, in turn, will contribute to the class and to the school’s overall goals and missions.

4) Envision a mosaic. A good way to both demonstrate fit and distinguish yourself is to think of a mosaic. Each tile is distinct – with its own shape and color combination – yet when pieced together with the other tiles, becomes part of a large, beautiful, cohesive picture. You want the adcom readers to think that they’ve stumbled upon the missing tile in the mosaic that will become the next Top B-School, College, Law School, Med School, or Grad School Class: YOU. You in all your differentiating glory and unifying power. You who both stands out and fits in perfectly.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own! Click here to download our free report!

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Personal Statement Tip: Story Time http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/22/personal-statement-tip-story-time/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/22/personal-statement-tip-story-time/#respond Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:55:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18437 ]]> Story Time

Want to Read More?

The moment I found the lump, I suspected my life was about to change—in a big way.

Good enough for an opening line? Want to read more? I hope it’s yes on both counts. Because I’m going to tell you a story. A short one. A true one. Not so much for the sake of this particular story, but to get you to think about your own life—your achievements, dreams, and challenges—in stories. It’s busy season, yours and ours, for applications, and one of the best ways to set yourself apart is to tell a good story, in individual essays and with your overall application.

So how do you tell a good story? It’s not about lifting plots from Harry Potter or hoping you suddenly gain magic storytelling powers. It’s about making sure to tie together several key elements. As a reader, filmgoer, and enjoyer of gossip (admit it), you already know them. But you probably haven’t thought of them formally as story elements and likely haven’t used them much since grade school.

The first element, as suggested above, is a killer opening. To get them to keep reading, start with something that grabs their attention. Usually it’s something in the middle of the action. If I’d started with One day I decided to watch TV (that’s what I was doing when I found the lump), you probably wouldn’t really care what happened next (um, I turned on the TV). Hopefully my actual opening makes you curious about the lump. But first we have to set context:

It was mid-May 2001. I was a busy consultant in McKinsey’s Chicago office, the proud father of a boy about to turn one, and a generally happy guy in his early 30s.

This part covers two key elements: it immediately places the killer opening in context and, in this case, introduces the stakes. Context (person, place, time) is important because readers want to understand the story’s circumstances; it helps them relate to the story, even if they’ve never been in that situation. Stakes are important because it’s hard to relate to a story if there’s little for the main character to lose. Luke Skywalker had to destroy the Death Star to prevent Darth Vader from taking over the universe, which would have meant a lot of suffering for everyone. If Dorothy couldn’t navigate Oz’s Yellow Brick Road past the Wicked Witch, she never would have gotten back home to Kansas. If I didn’t figure out the source of the lump and get it treated (if needed), I couldn’t have continued being a busy consultant, proud father, and generally happy guy. And remember, the universe (or even one’s life) needn’t be at stake to tell a story people relate to. But effective stakes are something most of us would fight for—health, a job, our community’s welfare, and the like.

It was tempting to wish the lump would just go away, and for a few days that was my strategy. I didn’t even tell my wife. But soon I recognized that knowledge is power, and made an appointment with my doctor. Within a week I had a diagnosis: cancer.

This keeps the reader interested because it brings in two new elements: an obstacle (cancer) and character (my personality traits). You know by now that I’m the main character, a consultant, father, etc. But the text above shows you what kind of character I am: one who’s human (tempted to wish something bad away) but also one who takes action in adverse circumstances (going to the doctor). Character isn’t only about positive traits though. Many essay questions ask you to discuss a time you failed or made a mistake. For those, you often highlight negative traits (e.g., Luke Skywalker’s lack of faith in himself and the Force) upfront, but in the context of how you gained insights and ultimately more positive attributes from dealing with their consequences.

Hopefully that gives you a good start on thinking about story elements—killer openings, context, stakes, obstacles, and character—and how to use them in your essays.

The admissions consultants at Accepted.com would be happy to help you use story elements to write effective essays.







Accepted.com

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The Importance of Obstacles http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/16/the-importance-of-obstacles-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/16/the-importance-of-obstacles-2/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2013 16:15:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18341 ]]> Get tips for writing about challenges without sounding like a martyr.

Obstacles make your essays more memorable.

When my clients write about their accomplishments, whether in personal statements for graduate school or b-school essays that ask for greatest accomplishments, challenges, and the like, they almost always come up with real accomplishments: driving innovations that led to revenue boosts for their firms, conducting original and meaningful research in their fields of study, or leading a volunteer group on a major community service initiative. But as genuine and significant as these accomplishments are, my clients’ initial essay drafts are often missing a key ingredient: obstacles.

Obstacles are ubiquitous in everyday life—the traffic detour, the rude tech support representative, even the mean-looking dog on your favorite walking route—and inevitable in major initiatives such as those in a business setting. But too often when asked to talk about their accomplishments my clients have amnesia for the things that got in their way, even though getting past them was often as challenging as executing all the foreseen elements of their plans. The result is bland essays, such as this paraphrased (made up) version:

As the leader of my product research group, I came up with a plan for a new widget that would save us 10% in costs. After communicating my vision to the team, we worked hard for four weeks on a prototype, completing it by the deadline, to the delight of management. Today my widget is still the standard for my company, saving us over $300k annually.

Sure, it sounds like a solid accomplishment, but would you remember it as well as the following, obstacle-rich version?

As the leader of my product research group, I came up with a plan for a new widget that would save us 10% in costs. But when I communicated my vision to the team, two senior engineers immediately pointed out key flaws in the design, and I had to revise my plan to correct them. We worked on a prototype for two weeks before discovering that the material we planned to use for the product had become over 30% more expensive in the last month, so I pulled an all-nighter researching alternative materials, and we chose one. We met our four-week deadline and presented the prototype to management, but the VP of Manufacturing argued that we would need to purchase major new equipment to produce the widget. I convinced the team to work long hours on a manufacturing proposal that proved we could make the product with existing equipment. Today my widget is still the standard for my company, saving us over $300k annually.

See the difference a discussion of obstacles makes? Obstacles make your essays more memorable in at least two ways: they heighten the drama of the story, and they give the reader more elements and images to associate with you. In the second version, it’s easy to imagine the two dissenting engineers, the surprise of discovering the price hike for materials, and the VP’s frown. In the first, there’s little to imagine but an employee smiling about a job well done.

So don’t forget to include key obstacles in your essays, along with how you negotiated them. Showcasing your ability to overcome the unexpected is actually more powerful than proving you can execute on a well-defined plan.







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

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Weakness, What Weakness? http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/15/weakess-what-weakness/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/15/weakess-what-weakness/#respond Sun, 15 Sep 2013 16:15:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18297 ]]> SuccessIsNotI saw it.  The question was looming in an essay and hiding behind a corner in the brain and/or instruction sheet of my interviewer.

“So Natalie, tell me about your weaknesses and what you did to overcome them”? Gosh, there are so many, I don’t even know where to begin.  Ding!

What do you do when you read/hear the weakness question? Schools are assessing how well you self evaluate. Like a business problem, they want to hear your plan of action, your implementation, and your success rate.

  1. Prepare the answers in advance.
  2. Be honest. If you are let go from a position, you need to discuss the lessons learned from this negative situation and how you overcame the situation.
  3. Remain professionally focused. Don’t discuss your cousin’s attraction to arson or your mother-in-law’s conspiratorial behavior.
  4. Proactively address the issues. If you have a quantitative weakness, take courses that address the weakness (accounting, statistics). Don’t wait for the admissions committee to ask you to take a course. If you are uncomfortably shy, discuss your involvement with Toastmasters.
  5. Avoid clichés. If your weakness is that you work too hard and can’t say no, well, that is not a weakness, that is the life of an MBA.
  6. Ask for help. If you need help drafting your essay or framing your answer for your interview, Accepted.com is here to help you. Please contact us for assistance.








Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

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3 Essential Components of a Personal Statement http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/12/3-essential-components-of-a-personal-statement/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/12/3-essential-components-of-a-personal-statement/#respond Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:06:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18272 ]]> MAPWhile listening to a podcast, I started thinking about the essential components of a strong personal statement, statement of purpose, or MBA goals essay. Basically, the adcoms want a map of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going for the statement of purpose and the goals essay. For a personal statement your readers will want to know your current location and how you got here; clear plans for the future are secondary and usually not required.

MAP has a double meaning for those of you writing statements of purpose and goals essays. It stands for Motivation, Aspiration, and Perspiration.

•  Motivation: What makes you tick? Why have you made the decisions you have made? Why do you want to go into your chosen field?
 • Aspiration: Where are you headed? What do you aspire to immediately after you complete your degree and sometimes long term.
 • Perspiration: When in the past have you sweated to achieve? When have you dedicated yourself to a cause or goal? When have you worked hard to make an impact and contribute?

When you write your statement of purpose or MBA goals essay, check it for MAP. If it has these three critical elements, you have started down the right path.

If you would like us to check whether you have MAP in your essay or you want us to work with you so you take the right road, please explore Accepted’s services.







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Personal Statement Tip: Use Vivid, Active Verbs http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/11/personal-statement-tip-use-vivid-active-verbs/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/11/personal-statement-tip-use-vivid-active-verbs/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 16:35:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18088 ]]> What was that flame doing?

What was that flame doing?

I watched a candle burn a few nights ago. It happened to have a particularly nice flame that conjured up many different images:

• The flame stood erect.

• The flame danced.

• The flame cavorted.

• The flame pranced.

• The flame swayed.

• The flame flickered.

• The flame fluttered

• The flame twinkled.

• The flame glowed.

• The flame glittered.

“The flame burned” sounds so dull next to the alternatives. It’s factual, but pedestrian. Ordinary. Blah. It does not convey any of the images that the other sentences do because it doesn’t have the visual impact.

In describing your activities, you want to use active verbs that convey sensory information. They will transform your readers into flies on the wall of your stories. Those well-chosen lively verbs will make your essays come alive.

When you edit your essays, examine at least some of your verbs. Evaluate replacing the humdrum ones. Choose muscular, powerful verbs that convey images, sounds, smells, and experiences.

Consider the following examples:

Did you “try,” “plan” “strive,” or “struggle” to complete your project on time? And what about that marathon your ran? Did you just “run” it?

Alternatively, did you limp across the finish line plagued by blisters, or did an adrenaline surge at the end combined with earlier weeks of training carry you, propel you, or thrust you across that finish line?

When editing your essays, take a minute to examine your descriptions. Do they bore? Are they common? If so, look at your verbs. Then look up the worst offenders in a thesaurus. You may find descriptive options far better than the ones you are so used to using. Looking in the thesaurus is like going to the store to buy a new pair of thick-soled, walking shoes. It means making the effort to turn in your trusty, worn-out pair for new ones.  Your walk will have new bounce when you pull just the right pair off the shelf. Your writing will also have restored vigor when you use the thesaurus to inject life into it.

Warning: To enliven your writing without making a fool of yourself, only use words that you know the meaning and connotation of. Don’t choose words to impress. Choose them to convey meaning succinctly and vividly.







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

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New web site! http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/08/new-web-site/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/08/new-web-site/#respond Sun, 08 Sep 2013 15:10:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18189 ]]> The time had come to change the decor at www.accepted.com. And we did it! We are still working out a few minor kinks, but the dust has mostly settled on our new home. Please come and check out our new look.

Accepted.com Site Redesign

Why the redesign?  We wanted to:

  1. Improve site navigation. With all the information at Accepted, it was increasingly difficult for people to find what they were looking for. We have tried to make it easier for you to access all the resources we offer.
  2. Make it easy to access the site on your smart phones and tablets. We knew that Accepted didn’t offer a great experience for mobile. We want you to have a great experience!
  3. Just freshen things up a bit. (But 1 & 2 are the real reasons.)

Please click on over. Let us know what you think. If you find any bugs or glitches or anything missing that you really loved, please let us know. You can either leave a comment below or email onlinesupport@accepted.com. And if you really like it, please tell us that too.

Thanks for stopping by!







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

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UGH! THOSE @!#$* WORD LIMITS!!! http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/04/ugh-those-word-limits-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/09/04/ugh-those-word-limits-2/#respond Wed, 04 Sep 2013 15:36:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18093 ]]> Now, now. Don’t get angry. Deal. Use writing techniques that convey your message and stay within the word limits. First and foremost, focus.

Additionally, poor writing habits can make your writing wordy and flabby; good writing techniques make it powerful and concise. To give your writing a healthy diet and exercise routine incorporate these techniques:

1) Minimize use of the passive voice.

• Flabby: Experience A has been complemented by experience B. (8 words)
• Lean: Experience B complements experience A. (5 words)

2) Use active, descriptive verbs.

• Obese: I was the one who made the decision… (8 words)
• Slender: I decided… (2 words)

3) Minimize use of the verb “to be” (Please note that I did not say “eliminate.”)

• Plump: She is a skillful negotiator. (5 words)
• Slim: She negotiates skillfully. (3 words)

4) Check whether you need the verb preceding an infinitive.

• Fat: She was able to fix… (5 words)
• Trim: She fixed… (2 words)

These few techniques will put your writing in shape, help you stay within those limits, and give you one less reason to curse your applications.

This article is one of the tips provided in Submit a Stellar Application: 42 Terrific Tips to Help You Get Accepted. Check out this instantly downloadable ebook for the other 41.






Accepted.com

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How Personal is Too Personal? http://blog.accepted.com/2013/08/29/is-my-personal-statement-too-personal/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/08/29/is-my-personal-statement-too-personal/#respond Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:25:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=18023 ]]> Check out our free special report, "Leadership in Admissions."The personal statement is a terrific opportunity to share with admissions committees an interesting and unique aspect of your life.  However, many applicants are understandably frightened of having to face the “camera” and speak personally about their lives while also trying to impress.  So, how much should you tell, and how much is too much?

When I applied to college, I wrote a personal statement describing some challenging family circumstances I’d had while growing up.  I can still remember my best friend warning me that it was too risky, too intense.  So I went back to the essay and asked myself: what did I learn from this experience?  Does it speak to my strengths and individual qualities, or is it something meant for a therapist’s office (or a private journal)?  I studied the essay carefully and made sure it gave the reader a good sense of who I was, not just the people in my family.  I was careful to focus on what I had learned from these challenges, and how the experience had made me a more independent, compassionate person.  I decided to send it in, and I was lucky to get great responses.  (In fact, one admissions counselor even wrote me a personal note!)  So, in this case, taking the leap was well worth it.  But, in some cases, it is not.

All admissions committees want to accept a wide range of interesting, talented applicants.  They want – as you would, if you were picking a team of any sort – a diverse group of smart, motivated, innovative, and unique individuals who can add up to an interesting, richly layered community.  They want people with integrity who will get along with others, and they want people who will add to their campus in an endless variety of ways.  They also want applicants who are stable, confident, and have already achieved important things in their lives.

So, when facing the personal statement, try listing all of the meaningful events in your life.  Which experiences really changed you, influenced you, and made you the person you are today?

For example, did you grow up overseas, having to speak several languages?  Are you from a cultural background that might make you stand out, or may have enriched your life in a special way?  Do you have a handicap that has in fact made you stronger?  Do you love to cook Thai food, run marathons, play the piano?  Do you have a passion or interest that might be unusual but gives meaning to your life?  What have you had to work really hard at?

Then, mark the ones that, while they may be very personal, helped you to learn what you want to do with your life; the ones that led you to clarify your values.  Ask yourself: do these experiences make me sound emotionally unstable, or ambivalent, or insecure?  If so, I’d take them to a therapist, not the admissions committee!  But, if your topic has helped you become stronger and wiser, then I’d consider it to be a viable option.

A few tips:

•  Always be honest (admissions committees can smell exaggeration from a mile away!).
•  Explain as much as you have to, but be careful not to give unnecessary and boring details.
•  Humor can be great, but don’t force it.
•  Focus on what you learned and what you’d like to do with that knowledge, not just on what happened.
•  Have someone you trust read it over for you.
•  Then, read it yourself.  Does it sound like you?  Is the topic something you can be proud of?   Will it make you stand out not just in some way, but in a good way?

If so, I’d say go for it.  Be yourself.  Make it interesting.  And tell the truth.







Eliot SloanBy  a college writing professor specializing in the personal narrative; journalist, writing coach, and admissions consultant. She has helped applicants gain acceptance to Ivy League and other top programs.

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“I’m Smart, Really I Am!” How to Prove Character Traits in Essays http://blog.accepted.com/2013/08/20/how-to-prove-character-traits-in-essays/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/08/20/how-to-prove-character-traits-in-essays/#respond Tue, 20 Aug 2013 16:50:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=17727 ]]> HelloAdcomWhen you write an application essay or statement of purpose, you’re trying to accomplish several goals at once: You are trying to prove your worthiness to be accepted to your target school, while also trying to impress upon the adcom that you have desirable character traits that your program values. But how do you prove to people whom you have never met that you really are smart, determined, focused, and creative, without sounding like a braggart?

The cardinal rule for achieving this is an old but very true adage: “Show, don’t tell.” This requires you to draw upon true anecdotes from your life that will illustrate the trait you are trying to show in a compelling way. If you do the opposite, “tell, not show,” you end up with boastful claims, such as “I was considered among the smartest in my department,” “I’m a team player,” or “I have the maturity of someone much older.” I have seen some clients make these statements and not back them up with any evidence at all. Would this sound convincing to you, coming from someone whom you’ve never met? Hardly.

However, when you highlight selected experiences chosen to underscore your fantastic qualities, you’ll make your own case far more convincingly than by just telling the adcom that you are creative, motivated, and hardworking. Let’s say for example that you’re applying to law school, and you want to prove your dedication to this career. Show the steps you’ve taken to reach the goal. Write about the summer you interned at a law office, volunteered to help re-elect your state senator, and took a part-time job at a law library. Thoughtfully describe what you learned from these experiences and how they further encouraged your interest in the law. These actions will show your dedication beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Another example: you want to show you’re a team player – a valuable trait for just about any career, and especially important for aspiring MBAs. Good examples could include: a time you came up with a creative compromise to a problem where your co-workers on a team were deadlocked; offering to take on additional responsibilities at work or on a school or club project when you saw everyone else was overloaded; or asking your supervisor what you could do to add more value to your department. Devoting anywhere from 3-5 sentences to each of these examples should be enough to demonstrate your point.

Whether you want to reveal creativity, intelligence, dedication, commitment to social action, or anything else, choose two examples (or three if you have room) where you have actively displayed those traits. Telling these mini-stories will save you from awkwardly claiming a certain quality. Let your own actions make the case for you.

Remember: show, don’t tell.







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.

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Flaws Make You Real http://blog.accepted.com/2013/08/07/flaws-make-you-real-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2013/08/07/flaws-make-you-real-2/#respond Wed, 07 Aug 2013 16:05:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=17175 ]]> magnifyingglass

“Nothing in the natural world is flawless.”

A speaker recently told a story about traveling in Asia where he saw a stunning emerald. Enchanted by the stone’s beauty, he decided to buy it. On the spot.

He returned home and took the emerald to a jeweller for appraisal. The jeweller began to examine the stone through his magnifier, and as he did so, his face went pale.

“What’s the matter?” asked the proud owner of the emerald.

“I can’t find a flaw.” said the jeweller.

“Wonderful!” said the stone’s owner.

“No, it’s not. If it’s flawless, it’s a fake. A phony. It’s not real. Nothing in the natural world is flawless.” replied the jeweller.

“Then find a flaw!!!”

After a few more tense moments the jeweller found a small flaw, and the owner of the stone could again enjoy its beauty without worrying that he had been taken in by a piece of plastic masquerading as a gem.

The adcoms are trying to appraise you through your essays. If they ask you about a flaw, failure, or weaknesses and you fail to provide that proof of authenticity, then you will be a phony and fake in their eyes.

Remember what the jeweller said: “Nothing in the natural world is flawless.” Everything in nature has an imperfection, a flaw. Certainly human beings are wonderful proof of his point. But, the question becomes how do you handle yours? Do you deny they exist? Do you just throw up your hands and say, “That’s me. Take it or leave it.”

If asked, don’t hesitate to reveal a real weakness. Also, try to show how you have strengthened that area, developed other talents to compensate, or grown as you dealt with and minimized your imperfection so that over time it has become much harder to see, perhaps imperceptible.

Now if we can only get the schools to realize that when asked about their weaknesses they too should answer honestly to prove authenticity and enhance their credibility…







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

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