Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » MBA Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:39:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2 Making Friends with the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform at Your Best http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/22/making-friends-with-the-gre-how-to-overcome-test-anxiety-and-perform-at-your-best/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/22/making-friends-with-the-gre-how-to-overcome-test-anxiety-and-perform-at-your-best/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:13:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30227 “I can’t stop trembling….can’t eat….cry for little or no reason….I am so nervous.”  All of this from Janelle, a prospective graduate student on her response to scheduling a GRE test date.  I was not surprised that Janelle was nervous as almost all prospective graduate students are a bit anxious about admissions’ tests.  However, Janelle took […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!Carol DrummerBy Carol Drummer, Former Hofstra University Dean of Graduate Admissions, who for 10 years reviewed and signed off on over 4500 admissions decisions per year and has taught communications and rhetoric since 1991.

Related Resources:

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

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The Admissions Team At The Very Center Of Business http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/22/the-admissions-team-at-the-very-center-of-business/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/22/the-admissions-team-at-the-very-center-of-business/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:00:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30273 If Columbia Business School is the name you doodle on back of your notebooks, then you’ll want to get to know the folks who hold the key to acceptance. Click here to listen to the recording of our conversation with the CBS admissions team – although they sound more like a family- and find out […]

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Listen to the show!If Columbia Business School is the name you doodle on back of your notebooks, then you’ll want to get to know the folks who hold the key to acceptance.

Click here to listen to the recording of our conversation with the CBS admissions team – although they sound more like a family- and find out what the masterminds who shape the MBA class have to say about the admissions process and Columbia B-School.

00:03:18 – Meet the Columbia Business School Admission Team and hear why they love their jobs!

00:08:00 – An overview of the 2-year MBA Program at Columbia.

00:11:04 – What the J-Term is and who it’s for.

00:14:55 – A preview of the 2015-16 application, and what they’re looking for in this year’s essays.

00:18:07 – No longer a pilot program: No-cosignor loans available for international students.

00:20:58 – Why apply early decision.

00:24:13 – The journey of a submitted CBS application.

00:27:07 – The format and purpose of a CBS interview.

00:30:00 – Great features of CBS that the adcom members wish prospective students would know about.

00:36:47 – Suggestions for waitlisted applicants.

00:39:44  – Rejection does happen. What next?

00:44:27  – Ingredients of a successful application.

00:48:38  – The most common MBA application mistake. (But you won’t do this, right?)

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

Related Links:

Columbia MBA Admissions
• Columbia J-Term
• Columbia JTerm app to be Released Early
• Experiences & Advice from Columbia MBA Student Kendall Miller
• Columbia 2014-15 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines
• Get Accepted to Columbia Business School – free webinar recording

Related Shows:

Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment
• The Facts About Financial Services
Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options at NYU Stern
At the Nexus of Business & Law: Penn/Wharton’s JD/MBA
• Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

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

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

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

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

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

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

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

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

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

Related Resources:

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

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6 Tips for Applying to Business School with Low Stats http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/21/6-tips-for-applying-to-business-school-with-low-stats/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/21/6-tips-for-applying-to-business-school-with-low-stats/#respond Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:09:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30160 For most business school applicants, “low stats” are GMATs and GPAs at the lower end of or below the mid-80% range for a given school. It may be difficult to find average GPAs, but if you have a 2.6, you know it’s low for almost any MBA program. Except for the most elite schools, where […]

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Webinar: Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats!

Can you show the adcom an upward trend?

For most business school applicants, “low stats” are GMATs and GPAs at the lower end of or below the mid-80% range for a given school. It may be difficult to find average GPAs, but if you have a 2.6, you know it’s low for almost any MBA program. Except for the most elite schools, where the number is higher, a GPA below 3.0 warrants a deliberate effort to counterbalance.

Here are 6 tips for applying with low numbers:

1. Analyze your situation. Which numbers are low – test score (GRE or GMAT), GPA, or both? If your GPA is low, did you have an upward trend that would show the committee you improved during college? Did you have one bad semester that pulled you down? If the problem is your test score, is there one section that is stronger than the other?

2. Address low quant scores (GMAT/GRE and transcript) by: taking additional courses for higher grades; highlighting your quant-oriented achievements in your essays; and asking recommenders to confirm your quantitative ability.

3. Address low verbal scores (GMAT/GRE and transcript) by: writing fantastic essays; taking additional courses that focus on business communication or involve substantial writing; and asking recommenders to comment on your communication skills.

4. Make your essays count! Draw on examples of your accomplishments, leadership skills, and exceptional impact to counterbalance the low scores.

5. Pick the right schools to apply to. Some schools are more focused on numbers, while others are known for a more holistic review.

6. Consider the optional essay. If your scores are below the 80% range, you’ll probably want to acknowledge and provide context for your situation. The optional essay provides an opportunity to briefly explain the circumstances behind your scores. If you write the optional essay, make it short and straightforward. Provide a brief explanation, take responsibility, and focus on evidence of your talents that counters the impression made by the low stats. Also, explain (or, ideally, show through example and anecdote) that either you have dealt with the problem causing the poor grades, or the circumstances no longer apply.

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Navigate the MBA Maze
Do Low Stats Sink Your App?
Should You Retake the GMAT?

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Exclusive Low Stats MBA Webinar Airing Live on Wednesday! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/20/exclusive-low-stats-mba-webinar-airing-live-on-wednesday/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/20/exclusive-low-stats-mba-webinar-airing-live-on-wednesday/#respond Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:26:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29999 You have just a few days left to register for our upcoming webinar and make time to focus on what we promise will be an enlightening, practical, and helpful presentation on how to get into top business schools despite low GMAT/GPA scores.Register ASAP for Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats to reserve your […]

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You have just a few days left to register for our upcoming webinar and make time to focus on what we promise will be an enlightening, practical, and helpful presentation on how to get into top business schools despite low GMAT/GPA scores.Register for the webinar!Register ASAP for Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats to reserve your spot.

Grab Your Spot! We’ll see you at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST on Wed morning (April 22nd).

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Small San Diego B-School Gets Big Boost http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/19/small-san-diego-b-school-gets-big-boost/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/19/small-san-diego-b-school-gets-big-boost/#respond Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:39:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30135 On April 9, the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego announced a new $100 million gift from philanthropists Evelyn and Ernest Rady—one of the largest donations ever to a US business school, and especially significant given the small size of the program, which was founded only a decade ago. The Rady Family Foundation […]

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Click here to download a free copy of "Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One" On April 9, the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego announced a new $100 million gift from philanthropists Evelyn and Ernest Rady—one of the largest donations ever to a US business school, and especially significant given the small size of the program, which was founded only a decade ago. The Rady Family Foundation has previously made several large gifts to the school, including $30 million in 2004, which helped establish and grow the business school at UCSD.

According to Robert Sullivan, the Dean of the Rady School, the new gift will go towards attracting top faculty, endowing scholarships and fellowships to bring in high achieving students, developing institutes, and creating a new master’s program in “Big Data.” The school hopes to continue capitalizing on UCSD’s strengths in innovation and the health sciences.

The Rady School is a small program (only 57 entering MBA students in 2014), with a high proportion of international students. For the most recent class, the median GMAT score was 680 and median GPA was 3.4. Tuition for California residents is $44,000, and $49,000 for out-of-state students. In addition to the full and part-time MBA programs, the school also offers a PhD and Master of Finance, and will soon launch master’s degrees in Business Analytics and Accounting.  The most recent Rady gift will help develop these programs as well.

Evelyn and Ernest Rady are active in the San Diego community and have funded many organizations, including the Rady Children’s Hospital, Scripps Health and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The Rady School has been steadily rising in the rankings—placing 51st overall in BusinessWeek’s B-School rankings in 2014, and 1st for Intellectual Capital. With this substantial gift, the university and the Rady School will have the means to grow their young program and continue to build their reputation.
MBA 5 Fatal Flaws
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Best MBA Program: A Guide to Selecting the Right One 
Business School Zones for Top Programs
MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know

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Do Low Stats Sink Your App? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/19/do-low-stats-sink-your-app/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/19/do-low-stats-sink-your-app/#respond Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:55:28 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30165 Applicants and Admissions Directors almost always seek the same thing. Applicants want to be desired by Admissions Directors and Admissions Directors want their schools to be desired by applicants. Applicants want to optimize their ability to gain admission to the highest-ranking school that fits their education/career needs, and Admissions Directors want to optimize their ability […]

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Got low stats? Join our webinar, Get Accepted to Top B-Schools With Low Stats!

If you have low stats, you’ll have to be strategic about your application choices.

Applicants and Admissions Directors almost always seek the same thing. Applicants want to be desired by Admissions Directors and Admissions Directors want their schools to be desired by applicants. Applicants want to optimize their ability to gain admission to the highest-ranking school that fits their education/career needs, and Admissions Directors want to optimize their ability to climb in the rankings, so that applicants will continue to find their schools desirable.

Logic has it that if Admissions Directors can change the input of the rankings by increasing test scores and GPA (a metric that fails to take into account the school of origin and the rigor of the curriculum), then the school should climb in the rankings. However, in a year like 2015, where 20% of the schools that consistently see 80% of the applicant pool all had double-digit application increases, we know the schools will stay relatively the same in the rankings. In fact, the USNews ranking hasn’t changed dramatically over the years for this very reason:  the schools move in a group.

It’s a vicious cycle that often leaves incredibly gifted and desirable applicants in the dust. It’s also a vicious cycle that leaves incredibly forward thinking/innovative schools in the dust.

If you are an applicant with high aspirations and low statistics, you need to be strategic about your actions and your application choices but there are also several things you can do to improve your chances of acceptance.

1. Request an assessment: Obtain a realistic assessment from an admissions officer or an admissions consultant.  The assessment should give you an indication of schools that would be stretch for you, schools that match your qualifications, and schools that you should select as safeties.  You would be surprised to learn the number of C-level executives and successful entrepreneurs who attended safety schools.

2. Cast your net widely: Note that the larger the class, the better an admissions director can hide his or her lower statistic candidates. Look at the Forbes wealthiest individuals and aside from the over-proportional number of drops outs (note: I believe in education opening doors and do not condone dropping out of school even if you are Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Marc Zuckerberg or Sheldon Adelson), you will see a lot of billionaires that attended schools that many prospective students don’t have on their radar.

3. Be proactive:  if your grades tanked, take classes to mitigate concerns before you apply.  If your scores tanked, obtain tutoring you need to bring your score up (tutors have helped my clients increase their scores dramatically in just a few hours of intense study).

4. Show your interest:  Visit the school.  Get to know students and alumni who can go to bat for you on your behalf.

5. Be interesting:  One-trick ponies don’t make for interesting reading. The Art of Admissions is very much like blind dating.  It’s up to you to get the admissions committee interested in eating a 5-course meal with you rather than speeding through a cup of coffee.

6. Make a compelling case of acceptance.  Show fit with the school’s culture, strengths, and values. Reveal leadership, contribution, impact, innovation, and a track record that will cause the admissions readers to say “Wow!”

As an admissions director, I was more likely to invite the person behind an interesting, well-written application for an interview – regardless of stats.  If a candidate could engage me in the interview, I would recommend a well-spoken, witty candidate over someone who had high numbers and offered only one dimension.

Of these lower statistics students whom I accepted, many have become successful business people – and some of the most prestigious alumni.
Download your free copy of Navigating the MBA Maze!
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.

Related Resources:

That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application, a free webinar
Low GPA? Don’t Panic…Yet.
MBA Rankings: Why Should I Care?

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4 Tips for the New MBA Admit http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/17/4-tips-for-the-new-mba-admit/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/17/4-tips-for-the-new-mba-admit/#respond Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:20:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29789 Do you think you’re done with my advice now that you have received that acceptance letter? Not so fast. I still have a tip or two for you. There are a few things you can do to prepare for your MBA studies and enhance your chances of getting a great internship and ultimately post-MBA job. […]

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Download 12 Terrific Tips for MBA Applicants now!

Prepare now and hit the ground running when classes start.

Do you think you’re done with my advice now that you have received that acceptance letter? Not so fast. I still have a tip or two for you. There are a few things you can do to prepare for your MBA studies and enhance your chances of getting a great internship and ultimately post-MBA job.

Take note of the following 4 tips:

1. Consider a pre-MBA internship. Especially if you are a career changer, consider asking your employer if she can give you an internship more related to your post-MBA goals. I know there aren’t too many employers that will do so, but some will. If yours is one of them, take advantage of the opportunity. Your employer will have a motivated employee until the last day and you will have a valuable learning experience…along with a satisfied employer.

2. Use the next several months to explore your intended fields. Set up information interviews with people in your field to find out what courses they found most valuable when they were in b-school. Ask about good internship options and typical career paths. Remember: You are not asking for a job or internship at this point, just information. But I have heard of informational interviews leading to internships and jobs.

3. Allow yourself time to unwind and have some down time before starting your MBA.  Financial reality may dictate that you work until the last minute, but if you can, give yourself time to vacation, travel, or relax.

4. Plan living logistics at business school before business school starts. Set up your apartment, open a bank account, figure out where the supermarket, post office, dry cleaners, and hairdresser are.

Follow these tips to hit the ground running when classes actually start.

Career Strategy for MBA Applicants WebinarAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans
• How to Find the Ideal Internship
• The MBA Family: A Roundup and Overview

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So, Your GMAT Score Isn’t Quite A 780… http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/16/so-your-gmat-score-isnt-quite-780/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/16/so-your-gmat-score-isnt-quite-780/#respond Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:45:51 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29996 What?! You have a low GMAT/GPA score and still haven’t signed up for the Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats webinar? Consider this post your personal reminder to reserve an hour of your time and attend THE webinar that will help you overcome your less-than-desirable GPA or GMAT score and apply successfully to […]

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What?! You have a low GMAT/GPA score and still haven’t signed up for the Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats webinar? Consider this post your personal reminder to reserve an hour of your time and attend THE webinar that will help you overcome your less-than-desirable GPA or GMAT score and apply successfully to your top choice MBA programs!

Register for the webinar!The Details:

Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

Registration link: Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats (Registration is free, but required.)

Click here to reserve your spot for the webinar!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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MBA Admissions A-Z: U is for Undergrad Grades http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/15/mba-admissions-a-z-u-is-for-undergrad-grades-3/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/15/mba-admissions-a-z-u-is-for-undergrad-grades-3/#respond Wed, 15 Apr 2015 18:15:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30105 3 Steps for Handling a Low Undergraduate GPA Grades show whether you previously performed well in an academic setting. If your college GPA is low, then you need to provide evidence that even though you may have faltered back then, now you’ve got you’re A-game and are capable of academic excellence. But how? The following […]

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U_is_for_undergrad_grades3 Steps for Handling a Low Undergraduate GPA

Grades show whether you previously performed well in an academic setting. If your college GPA is low, then you need to provide evidence that even though you may have faltered back then, now you’ve got you’re A-game and are capable of academic excellence.

But how?

The following 3 steps will help you overcome a low GPA and present a solid case to the admissions board that you mean academic business:

1.  Identify.

First, identify the cause of your low GPA.

Is it low because you partied a little too hard your first two semesters, but then buckled down after that and worked to pull up your low freshman GPA? Or did you start out high and then get really lazy and bored with school your senior year and let things spiral out of control? Or is it possible that your low GPA is truly an indication that your workload was too challenging and that you’re not school material? Or perhaps you were dealing with a serious illness or family problems? Or maybe back then you just weren’t motivated to succeed?

Once you understand why you have a less-than-impressive GPA, you’ll have an easier time figuring out what to do next (Step 2) and how to explain the situation (Step 3).

2.  Ameliorate.

Once you determine that you are motivated this time around and are capable and competent academically, then it’s time to take action to improve your profile. (And if after deep introspection you decide that school is just not for you, then consider yourself lucky that you figured that out now and not after you’ve paid $100,000+ on even more schooling.)

Obviously, you can’t go back and raise your undergraduate GPA, but there are steps you can take NOW to show the adcom that your undergrad GPA doesn’t define your current academic abilities:

• Take a few business-related, college-level courses and earn A’s in them.

• Ace the GMAT.

3.  Explain.

There are three places in your MBA application where you may want to address a low GPA: the optional essay, the required portions of the application, and your letters of recommendation.

In a non-whiny, non-defensive tone, you can clearly and straightforwardly explain why your GPA is lower than it should be in the optional essay. Perhaps there was a death in the family one semester or maybe you had emergency surgery that left you on bed rest for three weeks mid-semester. Or maybe you just didn’t realize the importance of grades until halfway through your sophomore year and by then your GPA had taken a serious hit. Or maybe you worked thirty hours a week to support yourself. Let the reader know the context of your grades. Write honestly and write well.

In other parts of the application, show the skills that your transcript hides without drawing attention to the grades. For example, if you did not do well in Econ 101 or college math classes, but now are do some really heavy lifting in terms of financial modeling, then either in your resume or in a required essay, write about a quantitative challenge that you handled with elan.

Regarding letters of recommendation – getting a supervisor to vouch for your maturity and abilities is probably one of the best things you can do to bolster your case. Again, if you had poor grades in classes requiring a lot of writing, ask your boss if she can comment positively on your communications skills. If you had poor quant grades, ask if she can praise your quantitative analysis of a complex project. In either case, your boss doesn’t have to reference the negative you are trying to overcome – just the positives you want to bring out.

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Related Resources:

• MBA Admissions Tip: Dealing with a Low GPA
• How to Handle a Low GMAT Quant Score
• How to Handle a Low GMAT Verbal Score

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What Are My Chances? Research Analyst Interested in Luxury Corporate Strategy http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/15/what-are-my-chances-research-analyst-interested-in-luxury-corporate-strategy/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/15/what-are-my-chances-research-analyst-interested-in-luxury-corporate-strategy/#respond Wed, 15 Apr 2015 18:03:27 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30067 This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?”  by Michelle Stockman. For this series Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, provides selected applicants with school recommendations as well as an assessment of their strengths […]

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This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?”  by Michelle Stockman. For this series Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, provides selected applicants with school recommendations as well as an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.

If you would like Michelle to evaluate your profile at no charge and as part of this series, please provide the  information requested at http://reports.accepted.com/what_are_my_chances.

PROFILE: Akanksha, Indian research analyst at consulting firm seeks future in luxury corporate strategy.

Download Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

It’s not enough to be a leader in an extracurricular role.

– PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: 20-something Indian female who graduated in 2012 from University of Delhi with a business finance degree. Describes herself as a “quasi-consultant” currently working at a professional services consulting firm in Delhi for a US-based client.

Why do you describe yourself as a “quasi-consultant?”  Either own the full term “consultant”, or drop it. It makes you sound young and whimsical.

From what I can gather, you’re a smart, eager businesswoman. That shows both in the awards you’ve racked up at work and from your go-getter attitude as an entrepreneur.

You’re in a tricky situation as a research analyst, however, as it’s sometimes difficult to describe leadership experiences, and quantify how much impact your work has had.

First of all, leadership. You are a leader in an extracurricular role where you work. But what about the money-making part? Have you ever stepped up to take the place of a manager on a project? Did you ever disagree with a superior on the direction of a project and have to win him/her over as a stakeholder? In your essays, you want to show how you punched above your weight as an effective, yet diplomatic leader on actual client work.  Also, be sure to highlight if you have received any promotions in title in the two years you’ve been at the consulting firm.

Next, your impact. Can you check back with your clients to see if any of your research has been acted upon? Also, in your recommendations, your recommenders need to comment on how you stood out above and beyond your peers in terms of smarts and leadership. You can’t write these letters for them–but there’s no harm in giving them a one-page achievement summary as a reminder of why you’ve won all those awards.

– GOALS: Move into a corporate strategy role at a large CPG or luxury firm.

With your work trajectory and your sideline in jewelry, this appears to be a solid goal. You need to draw a closer connection to any consulting work you have done on consumer products to show experience. Also, try to spruce up the website for your jewelry sales. Right now it doesn’t look very luxury. The pieces are attractive (a bit difficult to see because the photos are so dark), but more of a casual style instead of high end. If you’re going to highlight that as evidence of a trajectory toward the luxury market–it’s not quite there yet.  

– GMAT: Not taken yet. Aiming for 700-720.

Aim for a 720 or above. That will give you more options.

– GPA: 71%. First class honors.

This is a solid, respectable GPA. No worries here.

– EXTRACURRICULAR: Heads the ‘fun’ employee engagement club at her firm, comprising a team of >10 individuals. In October 2012, undertook a 5 day, 55 km trek in Northern India. Also holds a junior diploma in Hindustani Classical Music.

These are great, but nothing truly special or stand out. However, depending on the schools you end up choosing, you could talk about the discipline you developed in training in Hindustani music, and how that drive has bled into other aspects of achievement in your life.

– EXTRAS: Runs a bespoke jewelry business with mother, serving clients in India and overseas.

See above, under goals.

– SCHOOLS:

Because you haven’t taken the GMAT yet, I will only recommend schools that you should research: Wharton, Kellogg, NYU, Tuck, Ross, HEC, Emory.

Overall I find your profile intriguing, and I’d send you on for a second read if you’ve got convincing stories of leadership and ingenuity in your essays.

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Michelle Stockman Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.

 

Related Resources:

• Your 3-Part Plan to Dominate the GMAT
• How to Show the Adcom that You are a Leader
• What are My Chances? Latina Software Developer Moving to Marketing

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Leaning In While Pursuing Your MBA: The MBA Mama Story http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/14/interview-with-two-on-the-way-to-business-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/14/interview-with-two-on-the-way-to-business-school/#respond Tue, 14 Apr 2015 16:37:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30048 This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now for a chat with Nicole Ponton and Divinity Matovu… Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? […]

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Read more MBA applicant interviews

Nicole Ponton and Divinity Matovu

This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now for a chat with Nicole Ponton and Divinity Matovu…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite non-school book?

Nicole Ponton: Born and raised in Pasadena, CA. I studied International Relations and Religion at the University of Southern California, Class of 2010. If I had to pick one book, it would be 100 Years of Solitude.

Divinity Matovu: I’m from a small town in Wisconsin, and I’m a first-generation college graduate. I studied Political Science at the University of Southern California, Class of 2008. I am a fiery entrepreneur and independent thinker who will begin my MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in Fall 2015 with a focus on finance and entrepreneurship. I’ve launched four start-ups: a fashion company in Los Angeles, a youth development non-profit in Uganda, a consulting firm with clients in Africa and the US, and now my latest venture, MBA Mama. I am a mother to two wonderful children, Nyah and Shafiq. I’ve lived and worked in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and pride myself on being a global citizen and an advocate for women. I am passionate about start-ups, technology, women’s empowerment and African affairs. Interestingly enough, I did not know Nicole during undergrad. We are both 2015 Social Innovation Fellows with StartingBloc. We had instant chemistry when we met in February at SB’s Los Angeles Institute. My favorite non-school book is “The Alchemist.” I’ve read it at least once a year since 2009.

Accepted: Can you tell us a bit about your MBA application process? How did your experience inspire you to develop your new venture, MBAMama.com? And where do you see MBAMama going in the future?

NP: I actually went through the application process twice, back to back, with only the support of friends. It has been a character building experience, to say the least, and when I heard about Divinity’s concept, I knew that I had to help other women going through that process. I know that this platform has amazing potential and it has received an excellent response and support from people of all walks of life. I envision MBA Mama growing into a powerful network, becoming the go-to website for women balancing family planning and career advancement, and becoming the host of an exceptional annual conference.

DM: My MBA application process began Fall 2013 when I applied, and was admitted, to Forte Foundation’s MBA Launch Program and Management Leadership for Tomorrow’s (MLT) MBA Prep Program. Completing both programs in 2014 kept me focused, helped me be strategic, and held me accountable for advancing towards my goal of matriculating to a top-tier MBA program in 2015. I struggled for months with the GMAT, taking the exam 3 times before I received a score I felt confident with. After the recommendation of my amazingly supportive MLT coach, Kendra Crook, I took supplemental courses in Statistics and Calculus to boost my quantitative profile.

While researching MBA programs, I often had to dig deep within school websites to find common-sense information applicable to me as a pre-MBA mama. In my experience, the images many schools project of “students with families” are predominantly male students whose wives are stay-at-home mothers. I know taking care of children is a full-time job, so I certainly respect stay-at-home mothers; however, it was frustrating to not see images of women MBAs who had children. At some moments, I doubted whether my goals were attainable. I reached out to some programs specifically requesting to be put in contact with an MBA mom who could talk to me about childcare options in the area, and I’d be connected with a woman whose retired parents lived in the same city and cared for the child full-time– thereby eliminating childcare concerns. While we certainly both had children, our situations and needs were completely different.

I had my “aha moment” for MBA Mama after receiving a text message from Derek, one of my MLT MBA Prep colleagues. Derek texted me saying he admired my perseverance, and my ability to balance Forte, MLT, GMAT prep, running my own business and being a single mother. I was extremely touched by Derek’s text. As an entrepreneur, I immediately started to think about how I could impact more people like I’d impacted Derek. The concept for MBA Mama was born within 1 week of Derek’s text.

MBA Mama is a dynamic blog featuring exclusive, inspirational content that provides Millennial Mamas with tools and resources to pursue a graduate business degree. As Nicole mentioned, the goal for MBA Mama is to evolve as the premier website for young women balancing family planning and career advancement. While pitching this idea over the past few months, I’ve received overwhelming support from Millennial women – like Nicole – who do not have children yet. Nonetheless, the message that an MBA, career advancement and children are not mutually exclusive resonates with them.

Accepted:  How have you been able to integrate your commitment to social justice into your career?

NP: In addition to running Communications for MBA Mama, I currently work full time for a social justice nonprofit called Life In Abundance, International. We are an African-founded and African-led organization that carries out sustainable community development in urban and rural impoverished areas, empowering the most vulnerable families to become self-sustaining and help others to do the same. It has been an incredible experience to work for this organization and witness the transformation that takes place throughout the 10 countries we work with, and I am fortunate that social justice is a part of my day-to-day life. I also continue to give back to programs in my hometown that promote education initiatives and gang prevention which I volunteered with during my time in California.

DM: As a social entrepreneur, I am always thinking about social impact within the context of my career. Ultimately, I plan to monetize MBA Mama and build equity in this brand. It is a win-win scenario if I can build a revenue model that works, and simultaneously inspire women by sharing stories of MBA mamas, and giving them actionable steps they can take to pursue their MBAs and career goals relentlessly while balancing family commitments. I want to see women’s enrollment in business school on par with men’s enrollment within the next 5-10 years. Admissions officers are missing out big time if they are not targeting, recruiting, and supporting talented women with children to their MBA programs.

Accepted: Can you talk about your experience so far with the Forte Foundation? Would you recommend that other women interested in business check them out?

DM: I recommend Forte Foundation’s MBA Launch Program to any woman who is interested in the MBA. Last Fall, I published a full blog post about my experience on Forte’s Business360 blog titled: ROI on MBA Launch Program Has Had Exponential Benefits.

NP: Though I am not a Forte Fellow (yet) like Divinity, the Forte Foundation has provided me with access to excellent resources and advice during my application process and transition preparation. I highly recommend that other women interested in business check out the site and everything they have to offer.

Accepted: Is there anything else you think we should know about you and your work?

DM: MBA Mama’s blog officially launches April 15, 2015. We’d love Accepted’s network to visit the site, www.mbamama.com – engage with us on social media @MBAMamaDotCom and sign up for our newsletter. We’d also love for your readers to support our ThunderClap campaign which runs through April 15:  Anyone interested in learning more about MBA Mama can contact me at divinity@mbamama.com.

Thank you Divinity and Nicole for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of success!

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• Why MBA?
Wharton 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Forte Helps Women in Business Thrive: Interview with Elissa Sangster

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Which B-School Admission Offer Should I Accept? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/13/which-b-school-admission-offer-should-i-accept/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/13/which-b-school-admission-offer-should-i-accept/#respond Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:07:36 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29357 You’ve just received the best news ever: Not only have you been accepted to b-school, but you’ve received offers of admission from more than one program. Congratulations! Now you have the delightful dilemma of choosing among suitors. Here are factors to consider when deciding among multiple acceptances: Factor #1: Which institution best supports your future […]

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Click here for career strategy tips.

Good luck with your delightful dilemma!

You’ve just received the best news ever: Not only have you been accepted to b-school, but you’ve received offers of admission from more than one program. Congratulations! Now you have the delightful dilemma of choosing among suitors. Here are factors to consider when deciding among multiple acceptances:

Factor #1: Which institution best supports your future goals and most likely career path? 

This criterion is paramount when you have clear, well-defined goals, for instance, “I want to run an IT consultancy serving financial services firms.” If financial aid is an issue, calculate whether the full tuition program will increase your earning power by more than the amount of the scholarship or whether your preference for the more expensive school is worth the difference in cost.

Factor #2: Which educational approach do you prefer?

Look at methodology, curriculum, and flexibility. For applicants with more general goals, this criterion plays a more significant role.

Factor #3: Where would you rather live for X years? 

Do you want to live in a big city or small college town? What region do you want to live in? Do you prefer a big university or a small college? Urban or rural? Religious or secular? Liberal or conservative?

Enjoy your great options and use these criteria to guide you as you make your decision.

If you would like guidance from any of our experienced, dedicated consultants, please browse our services and contact us for more information.

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Selling Yourself Short? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/12/selling-yourself-short/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/12/selling-yourself-short/#respond Sun, 12 Apr 2015 16:05:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29932 “I founded a small candy company.”  I could see in the faces of my fellow admissions committee members that they were not that impressed with the candidate; none of them had ever heard of “Del Sol Candy,”* and Roberto’s modest description did not make it sound all that impressive an accomplishment. Many times while interviewing […]

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Get advice for writing exemplary personal statements.

Don’t sell yourself short!

“I founded a small candy company.”  I could see in the faces of my fellow admissions committee members that they were not that impressed with the candidate; none of them had ever heard of “Del Sol Candy,”* and Roberto’s modest description did not make it sound all that impressive an accomplishment.

Many times while interviewing international MBA candidates, I have found that some of them sell themselves short, particularly with regards to their work experience. Whether it is because of culture or family upbringing, there is a certain type of candidate who finds it hard to present his or her own professional accomplishments in the best light.

This contrasts dramatically with what is expected from MBA applicants; committee members expect candidates to present their best case and promote their accomplishments. This mismatch between the candidate’s culture and the committee’s expectations can sometimes harm the candidate’s chances of admission. A second layer of complexity also arises for some international students: if an American applicant mentions that he or she is a regional manager at Hershey’s, for example, the adcom would have at least an idea of the size of the operation, the level of responsibility, and the selectiveness of the company. If, on the other hand, you come from abroad and your company is not well known in the U.S., the adcom may have a harder time evaluating your work experience.

Just by chance, I had been to Roberto’s home city the previous year on a recruitment trip, and I happened to know that the company he had started from scratch was not only the biggest candy maker in the country, but that it exported millions of dollars’ worth of goods to international markets as far away as the Middle East. During the interview I asked him a couple of probing questions about it, and once he started talking about specifics (sales figures, market share, etc.) he became more comfortable. More importantly, the committee was able to assess the magnitude of his accomplishments.

If you, like Roberto, feel hesitant to promote your achievements for fear of sounding boastful, you need to be aware of those emotions and make a determined effort to overcome that tendency. It is up to you, the candidate, to provide the school with enough information to evaluate your accomplishments.

A good way to overcome any qualms regarding self-promotion is to be ready to provide the adcom with hard data that will document what you have done. If at all possible, do research and be prepared to provide them with a benchmark, a point of comparison with an American company, or at least some details of the level of the operation, but most importantly, the size of your responsibilities. By preparing yourself with facts, you will dramatically improve your chances of admission and, later on, your employability prospects for internship and beyond.

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

Esmeralda CardenalBy Esmeralda Cardenal, previously the Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, Director of MBA Admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the UK. She is happy to help you showcase your achievements in your MBA application.

Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
• 4 Application Strategy Tips: Stand Out AND Fit In
• 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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First HEC Paris Case Study Competition http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/12/first-hec-paris-case-study-competition/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/12/first-hec-paris-case-study-competition/#respond Sun, 12 Apr 2015 14:46:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30040 HEC Paris held its inaugural student-organized international case study competition the weekend of April 10-11, which involved masters students from 33 top universities in a series of business-focused challenges. The HEC Business Game (HBG) was developed by a team of 20 HEC students in partnership with top companies, including Lufthansa, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment […]

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HEC ParisHEC Paris held its inaugural student-organized international case study competition the weekend of April 10-11, which involved masters students from 33 top universities in a series of business-focused challenges.

The HEC Business Game (HBG) was developed by a team of 20 HEC students in partnership with top companies, including Lufthansa, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Crédit Agricole S.A, and Gameloft.

Participating students were selected via online test and competed in five challenges, set by the companies, in fields such as innovation, corporate evolution and strategy. Prizes included tuition fees for HEC’s summer school, as well as the opportunity to be invited to visit the partner company’s offices. The project also provided opportunities for students to network with their peers, meet with top firms and gain hands-on experience of real, practical case studies.

The HBG was organized as part of the Alliance of European Business Games (AEBG), a European network composed of five business schools (Solvay School of Economics, St Gallen, Durham University, Nova University and HEC Paris) dedicated to fostering the creation of new business games across Europe.

More information about the competition can be found at www.hecbusinessgame.com, via Facebook or via Twitter.

Click here for financial aid and health insurance for the international student

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HEC Paris: Why to Go and How to Get In
Tips for Applying to European B-Schools
• HEC Paris 2015 MBA Essay Tips

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Insights Of An International Student At MIT Sloan http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/09/insights-of-an-international-student-at-mit-sloan/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/09/insights-of-an-international-student-at-mit-sloan/#respond Thu, 09 Apr 2015 17:09:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29969 This 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. And now for a chat with Christian Marek who is in his final year at MIT Sloan. Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you […]

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Read more MBA student interviewsThis 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. And now for a chat with Christian Marek who is in his final year at MIT Sloan.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any other degrees?

Christian: Originally I’m from the scenic Vienna in Austria. There I completed Bachelor’s in Software Engineering and a Master’s in Information Systems Management. Because I wanted to immerse myself even further in the tech industry, I decided to pursue an MBA.

Accepted: Where are you in business school? What year?

Christian: I’m currently a second-year MBA student at MIT Sloan and will be graduating June 2015.

Accepted: Why did you choose MIT Sloan? How is it the best program for you? Which other MBA programs had you considered?

Christian: When I chose my MBA program, the primary factors I considered were quality of the school, entrepreneurial ecosystem of the university, school affinity for technology (and data), class size, and location. This lead me to consider MIT Sloan, Berkeley Haas and UCLA Anderson. All programs were almost equally amazing. However, once I saw the MIT campus I knew this was the place to be for me. The geekiness and culture was impossible to match. Coming from an engineering background this is where I wanted to be.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming first year students, to help make their adjustment to b-school easier? What do you wish you would’ve known when you were just starting out?

Christian: Adjusting to b-school is a great experience but it’s definitely challenging – there are so many variables. Being an international student adds an additional challenge as it takes some time to get used to local communication style and culture. Here are a few things that make the adjustment easier:

Keep reaching out after your acceptance: The MBA years are among the best in your life. Having a rough sense of what you want to get out of the MBA is really helpful. Obviously as an incoming student you do your research online. Additionally, I recommend reaching out to a variety of current MBAs at your school that are doing what you are looking to do. This should be even easier after acceptance. For example if you’re interested in entrepreneurship try to talk to a club VP over the phone. They can tell you if the club a good choice for your, help develop your interest further and intro you the others who might have similar interests.

•  Attend post-admission events: I find that the admission events (weekends, seminars, etc.) I attended really helped me in making my decision. You get to know your potential future classmates. Doing so, let’s you figure out if you’re kind of on the same wavelength and even find roommates. Furthermore the schools will showcase what the programs have too offer in even greater detail.

•  MBA communication classes: These classes are amazingly helpful, especially for international students. As I said communication in the U.S. can seem very different. The communication classes at Sloan taught me a lot about American communication standards in business personal interactions.

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

Christian: I’m a co-president of the European Business Club at MIT Sloan and I really enjoy the experience. However, I think club involvement is a personal choice. I know classmates who are members in up to eight clubs and I know classmates who are in zero clubs. Some classmates are VPs and presidents, others just aren’t. Personally, I think clubs can offer a lot of value in terms of making friends, finding classmates with common interests and taking on leadership opportunities. Just like everything in life it helps aligning your decision on the extent of your club involvement to what you want to accomplish. If you want to be an entrepreneur, joining the Entrepreneurship club makes sense. If you want to do something for the overall community, join a culture club. See if you like it and then you can typically still decide whether or not to go for a VP position.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your internship at Google last summer? What role did Sloan play in helping you secure that position? 

Christian: My internship at Google last summer was amazing. The internship program is run by an amazing team at Google that makes the experience at Google unique. On a weekly basis leaders in the organization gave us their inside scoop on leadership and the tech industry. Google offers a variety of MBA internship roles. Over the summer you take responsibility for executing your very own project. Sloan helped in a variety of ways. First, the internal network at Sloan is extremely helpful to learn about a company. As I was in the internship recruiting process, I reached out to former Googlers and former Google MBA interns at Sloan. They were extremely helpful in telling me about their experiences at Google. Second, the various clubs at Sloan help you with the internship process by doing resume reviews among other things. Coming from Europe, I found this particularly helpful because the U.S. job application process is very different. Third, the MIT Sloan Career Development office collaborates closely with Google to host coffee chats and recruiting events. In that way Sloan MBA students can connect directly to Googlers to learn more about the company and the internship.

Accepted: Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the MBA admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?

Christian: For me personally the most challenging part getting connected to the schools. I was the first in my network to pursue an MBA. However, from reading online I got the sense that insights from current students are extremely valuable to the application. Even though the notion of writing cold emails was completely foreign to me, I researched Europeans (particularly Austrians) that were attending my target schools. I was surprised how quickly they responded. Even though arranging these chats and conversations was a lot of work, I do believe building those connections contributed to my admission offers. Talking to current students is irreplaceable and it helps you get a feel for the school.

Accepted: Do you have any other advice for our med school applicant readers, especially for international applicants?

Christian:

1. Connect to your target school: Your future school is probably a couple thousand kilometers away. Still connecting to current students is the best way to learn about your school.

2. Make a well-rounded application package: Show who you are personally and professionally. Ideally you’ll be able to tie this to together and paint your future to the reader. Also, use data points to quantify the impact you had. I think for internationals (or at least Europeans) – this is particularly unusual. Still, you need to get over it and do it.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages. 

You can follow Christian on Twitter and by checking out his blog Producteria.

Thank you Christian for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Download your free copy of Navigating the MBA Maze!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Navigate the MBA Maze
MIT Sloan 2015 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
IV With an Overrepresented Minority MIT Sloan Admit!

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

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

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

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

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

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What Are My Chances? Indian Start-Up Refugee Seeking Fresh Start in Consulting or Entrepreneurship http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/06/what-are-my-chances-indian-start-up-refugee-seeking-fresh-start-in-consulting-or-entrepreneurship/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/06/what-are-my-chances-indian-start-up-refugee-seeking-fresh-start-in-consulting-or-entrepreneurship/#respond Mon, 06 Apr 2015 16:48:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29898 This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?”  by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendation as well as an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. […]

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This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?”  by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendation as well as an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.

If you would like Michelle to evaluate your profile at no charge and as part of this series, please provide the  information requested at http://reports.accepted.com/what_are_my_chances.

PROFILE #10: Tushar, Indian start-up refugee seeking fresh start in consulting or entrepreneurship

Read more profiles here.

The most important thing for you to do right now is to get a job.

-BACKGROUND: 27-year-old Indian male who graduated in 2010 from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University with an engineering degree. After eight-month search, hired as technical writer for engineering education firm. Switched to multimedia education start-up in 2012, but lost job after company hit cash crisis in 2014. Big impact was leading a social media marketing initiative before being made redundant. Currently looking to start own business.

You’ve been hit by some unfortunate turns in bad luck. You graduated into a still-recovering economy after the 2008 downturn, and got laid off by no fault of your own despite earning promotions along the way.

Right now is not the best time for you to apply to an MBA program. The story you want to tell is: You’re a comeback kid. But you’re currently at the low point of that narrative–the point when you started building toward a better future. Apply when you’re flying high off the rush of a career success. That’s what your competitors will be doing.

The most important thing for you to do right now is to get a job, both for your financial future and for your MBA chances. That can be with an established firm, or in a company that you start yourself as an entrepreneur.

If you eventually want to get into international-level consulting, see what you can do about getting onboard, at a leadership level, with a national or local consultancy dealing with education. Any interaction you have with the national government would be a plus.

You could take the entrepreneurship route, but that’s riskier. Really anyone can start a business. It’s about how successful you make that business, and what kind of wow factor you elicit in the ad comm for the innovation you bring through the product or service you’re bringing to market and how you made that company grow.

-GOALS: Short-term — Consulting. Long-term: Entrepreneurship

You’ve got your work cut out for you in terms of what you can tell consultants that you bring to the table. You do have some good education development skills. Figure out what you can offer on a technical level, then a policy level. Then do your research to find an MBA program that has a specific focus on the business of education.

-GMAT: 590

Ooh. This score is very low. You’ve got to improve this to have any chance, really, of going to a business school that will be worth your time.

-GPA: 72.5%

This is a solid, respectable GPA. No worries here.

-EXTRACURRICULAR: Volunteered for Times of India “Teach for India” initiative, teaching English to underprivileged kids. Also served as volunteer in 2012 Delhi half marathon and in the 2010 Commonweath Games. Just started a state-wide social initiative for women and girls’ safety.

You spoke to another consultant who said extracurricular activities are just “icing on the cake.” The ad comm first wants to see a solid track record of achievement and leadership in work activities.

In this, I would have to agree. You need to extracurriculars to show you are a well-rounded individual. But unless your activities are absolutely extraordinary, they can’t make up for a less than stellar work record.  

-EXTRAS: Studied “Technology Entrepreneurship Online Course” from Stanford University in September 2013.

This is a great MOOC, but I don’t see it having a major impact to make up for other weaknesses in your profile.

-SCHOOLS:

You mentioned Kellogg and Indian School of Business as your target schools. Kellogg has a great education focus that could set you up to enter the type of consultant practice you seek. At IIT you’re sure to get tons of job offers right down your alley. But right now your profile is not competitive enough for either.

Get a job, build your business, increase your GMAT. Orchestrate your comeback, then think about applying. 

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs
Michelle Stockman Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.

 

Related Resources:

Against the Odds: MBA Admissions for Indian Applicants
• Volunteering and Extracurriculars in Your MBA Application
• Indian MBA Applicants: Prepare for Your Job Hunt Now

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Got a Low GMAT or GPA? Top B-Schools Are Still Within Reach! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/03/got-a-low-gmat-or-gpa-top-b-schools-are-still-within-reach/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/03/got-a-low-gmat-or-gpa-top-b-schools-are-still-within-reach/#respond Fri, 03 Apr 2015 16:42:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29993   Join us live on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST for Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats – a webinar that will teach you how to overcome a low GMAT/GPA and apply successfully to top business schools. Registration is required (and free). Reserve your spot for Get Accepted […]

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Register for the webinar!

 

Join us live on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST for Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats – a webinar that will teach you how to overcome a low GMAT/GPA and apply successfully to top business schools.

Registration is required (and free). Reserve your spot for Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats now!

Reserve your spot now!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Experiences & Advice from Columbia MBA Student Kendall Miller http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/03/advice-experiences-from-columbia-mba-student-kendall-miller/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/03/advice-experiences-from-columbia-mba-student-kendall-miller/#respond Fri, 03 Apr 2015 16:38:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29954 This 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. And now for a chat with Kendall Miller, a student at Columbia Business School. Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did […]

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Click here for more MBA student InterviewsThis 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. And now for a chat with Kendall Miller, a student at Columbia Business School.

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Can you tell us three fun facts about yourself?

Kendall: I originally hail from the Midwest, growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attending Indiana University where I graduated with honors in Finance. Afterwards, I spent four years working in Chicago as a management consultant before finally making it to New York!

Three fun facts about me: I have traveled to 30 countries in under 30 years, my favorite films are The Godfather and When Harry Met Sally, and for New Year’s Eve this year I went to a house party in Valparaiso, Chile, where I knew no one.

Accepted: Where are you in business school? What year?

Kendall: Currently I am a second year at Columbia Business School.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Columbia so far? If you could change one thing about the program, what would it be?

Kendall: While I have lots of favorite things about Columbia, I can narrow it down to two. First, the core classes last only a semester and you have the option to test out of core subjects. Coming from a degree in Finance and a consulting background, I was itching to get to interesting electives instead of repeating content I already knew. Second, being in New York for graduate school is amazing. The number and seniority of guest lecturers in class is largely due to the fact they just have to taxi up to campus from their office, and I’m able to be constantly networking in the city. At least once a week I am at an event off-campus, meeting people outside of the MBA community.

If I were to change one thing, it would be to have more group work space in the school. However, I do know this is a priority for the new property being developed.

Accepted: Where did you intern last summer? What role did Columbia play in helping you secure that position?

Kendall: Last summer I was lucky enough to live in Milan, Italy, working for a luxury eCommerce company called Yoox. I attribute this internship entirely to Columbia, as the CEO and co-General Manager both went to Columbia for their MBAs, and they used the resume book at school to reach out to potential candidates. My consulting background was also a huge help, as the group I was working in (Office of the CEO) consisted almost entirely of ex-consultants.

More recently I have been interning part time in the city for Moda Operandi, another luxury eCommerce company. Many people at Columbia who are interested in careers in retail, startups, venture capital and private equity do internships during the school year, particularly if they are a career switcher. Again, this is only possible because we are in the city.

Columbia also offers “block week” classes, which are accelerated classes taken at the beginning of the semester, allowing students to free up time during the school year for work.

Accepted: And do you have a job lined up yet for when you graduate? Again, how did Columbia help you during that process?

Kendall: After school I will be returning to Deloitte Consulting, which sponsored my school tuition. However, last year during the internship search I used the career office often, for resume and cover letter reviews, interview prep, and guidance when deciding between offers. The alumni network is also very valuable, and industry-specific alumni career coaches provided some of the best feedback and advice I have received to-date.

And I can’t forget the Executives in Residence! These individuals may or may not be alumni, but they are all veteran executives with expertise in a specific industry and hold weekly office hours to discuss career questions with students. I met with two in my first year when I was exploring options.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming first year students, to help make their adjustment to b-school easier?

Kendall: If you are coming from a non-traditional background, I would suggest brushing up on Excel skills and getting a primer in either accounting or corporate finance. Yes, these are both core classes, but it’s better not to be caught flat footed. Getting back into the swing of weekly (or daily) homework assignments was hard for me, and it does require careful planning because there are so many things vying for your attention, and you constantly feel like it’s the “last and only opportunity” for everything.

Accepted: Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the MBA admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?

Kendall: Most challenging for me was nailing down exactly what I wanted to do after school, and being able to create a coherent and well-developed narrative that tied in the MBA. It sounded clichéd, when others said I needed to have an exact job in mind. Wasn’t I going to school to figure that out? Once I was able to do that, writing my essays became so much easier, and I was able to seek out the schools that best fit my goals. Many people do change their story, their minds, once they get to school – but two years is only so long, and you don’t want to spend all of it trying to figure out what you want to do post-graduation. At some point, you need to lock that down so that networking, training, and interviewing can be focused and successful.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages. 

 You can read more about Kendall’s journey by checking out her website, http://www.kendallmiller.co/about/. Thank you Kendall for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Free on-demand webinar: Get Accepted to Columbia Business School!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

MBA In Sight: Focus on Finance
• Columbia Business School 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
B-School Student Interviews

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Why Do You Need an MBA? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/02/why-do-you-need-an-mba/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/02/why-do-you-need-an-mba/#respond Thu, 02 Apr 2015 16:44:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29716 Reason for asking the question: The interviewer wants to make sure your reasons for getting an MBA match up with what the MBA degree will provide you. How to prepare: This is hopefully one of the easiest questions for you to answer. Coming from almost any function, the likely answer is that you have a […]

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Click here for step by step interview prep help! Reason for asking the question: The interviewer wants to make sure your reasons for getting an MBA match up with what the MBA degree will provide you.

How to prepare: This is hopefully one of the easiest questions for you to answer. Coming from almost any function, the likely answer is that you have a significant amount of depth in a particular field (marketing, finance, IT, engineering), but in order to break free of being labeled as simply a subject matter expert, you need more breadth.

Most people look to get an MBA in order to move into a management role or to change fields. To succeed in management, you need to have understanding of all functional areas of business, from finance to operations to technology and more. An MBA degree provides the toolbox you need to succeed in management in the shortest amount of time.

For career-switchers, a full-time MBA program provides one of the best opportunities to make that switch. It gives you everything from critical coursework to training in “soft skills” and leadership to the all-important summer internship.

Important things to remember: This is not meant to be a “gotcha” question, and you should in no way feel threatened by it. The interviewer simply wants to ensure that your expectations for the MBA are in line with what the program delivers.  They want to know you are realistic.

Additional things to consider: There is no doubt that adding an MBA degree to your resume will bolster credibility and prestige. You want to make sure you don’t come across as only going after an MBA degree because of the pedigree. That is a big turn off.

Learn how to create a compelling MBA goals essay.

Jennifer Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted.com. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing.

Related Resources:

• The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews
MBA Interview Questions: Walk Me Through Your Resume
Hone Your MBA Goals [Video]

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

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

Want to know more, right?

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

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

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

00:09:09 – Up and coming at BankMobile: The “Can I Buy” feature.

00:10:58 – How BankMobile came to be.

00:13:40 – Did you really learn anything in b-school?

00:17:55 – What Luvleen wishes she knew before b-school: The application process doesn’t end after you are admitted!

00:20:19 – The best and worst about Wharton.

00:26:41 – Advice for Wharton applicants and future entrepreneurs.

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

Related Links:

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

Related Shows:

• CommonBond: How Two Wharton Grads Revolutionized Student Loans
• The Wharton Executive MBA Program: An Insider’s View
• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup St.
• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment
• An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
• Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship

Get Accepted to Wharton

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Welcome Aboard, Esmeralda Cardenal! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/31/welcome-aboard-esmeralda-cardenal/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/31/welcome-aboard-esmeralda-cardenal/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 16:40:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29823 Esmeralda Cardenal has served on MBA admissions committees for over 10 years—including as Admissions Director at Michigan State’s MBA program. As Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, she led the school’s initiatives for women and underrepresented minorities, recruiting prospective students around the world and reviewing countless applications. Most recently, she has worked as a […]

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Read Esme's bio!Esmeralda Cardenal has served on MBA admissions committees for over 10 years—including as Admissions Director at Michigan State’s MBA program. As Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, she led the school’s initiatives for women and underrepresented minorities, recruiting prospective students around the world and reviewing countless applications. Most recently, she has worked as a consultant for Cardiff Business School in the UK.

After growing up in Nicaragua, she earned a scholarship to pursue her undergraduate degree in the US. She also holds an MBA from Michigan State.

Esmeralda’s extensive experience on the other side of the table has given her deep insight into what makes an application successful—or unsuccessful.

We’re thrilled to have her as part of our team!

Check Out Esmeralda's Profile!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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MBA School Visits: Start Off Right http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/30/mba-school-visits-start-off-right-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/30/mba-school-visits-start-off-right-2/#respond Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:54:10 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29833 Last season I was often asked, “How should I act during my MBA visits?”  It’s wise to consider, because adcom members start to assess your social intelligence even at this early stage. Having an effective “elevator pitch” will enable you to attend such visits without anxiety, show you to be socially adept, and free you […]

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Check out our tips for researching MBA programs.

A meaningful nugget of information can ripple to great conversation.

Last season I was often asked, “How should I act during my MBA visits?”  It’s wise to consider, because adcom members start to assess your social intelligence even at this early stage.

Having an effective “elevator pitch” will enable you to attend such visits without anxiety, show you to be socially adept, and free you to focus on listening and responding rather than thinking about what to say in those initial moments.  Aim to present a thoughtful, meaningful nugget of information to make a positive first impression and facilitate conversation.  You can use your nugget with adcom members, MBA students, and fellow applicants.  With the latter two groups, you can also follow up with “What is your industry background?” or “What are your post-MBA goals?”

Your elevator pitch should be one to two sentences only.  Its content should usually focus on present and future.  The key is to convey core information in a way that is engaging.   Here are two examples:

• Hi, I’m Mary Liu, a consultant in McKinsey’s supply chain practice.  I hope to develop and lead the next-generation of supply chain innovations in emerging markets.

• Hello, Manish Das here.  I’ve been troubleshooting Bank Paribas’ risk management applications in Eastern Europe during the global financial crisis.  Post-MBA I want to focus on developing new risk management strategies to avert such crises.

If there is something important in your past to add for a clearer picture, mention it.  E.g., a listener would probably assume Manish Das grew up in India.  What if Manish grew up in Kenya, an interesting tidbit: “Hello, Manish Das.  I grew up in Kenya.  I’ve been troubleshooting…”

Finally: practice!  Your pitch should be natural for you to say, and practicing will help you adjust it to make it so.

Enjoy your school visits!

Download your free copy of Navigating the MBA Maze!
Cindy Tokumitsu By , author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.
Related Resources:

• 6 Top Tips for Visiting Schools
• How To Pay an Effective “Virtual” School Visit
Tips for Researching MBA Programs

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Columbia Jterm App to be Released Early http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/29/columbia-jterm-app-released-early/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/29/columbia-jterm-app-released-early/#respond Mon, 30 Mar 2015 05:01:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29873 For those of you who can’t wait to move forward with your 2016 MBA applications — especially those of you interested in Columbia Business School‘s January entry option (AKA Jterm)–I’ve got good news: The Columbia Jterm application for the 2015-16 application cycle will be available on April 23, 2015.  You can learn more by registering […]

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Columbia Jterm Releases Application Early

Columbia releases its Jterm application in April.

For those of you who can’t wait to move forward with your 2016 MBA applications — especially those of you interested in Columbia Business School‘s January entry option (AKA Jterm)–I’ve got good news:

The Columbia Jterm application for the 2015-16 application cycle will be available on April 23, 2015.  You can learn more by registering for Columbia’s MBA Virtual Session: January Entry  Experience to be held on April 22.

And you can become an absolute expert on Columbia admissions by tuning into the Admissions Straight Talk April 22 show, when I will explore CBS MBA admissions with a special focus on JTerm by interviewing representatives from CBS’ MBA admissions office.  (Even better: subscribe to AST and then you can’t miss it!)

There will also be an On-Campus Information Session in July for Columbia Jterm applicants. (Registration & exact date TBA).

The application deadline for Columbia Jterm is October 7, 2015.

Can you believe it? The 2014-15 MBA application season isn’t even over, and the next one is beginning. It’s almost like ever-expanding sports seasons. Let the fun begin!

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

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

Related Resources:

MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know
• Columbia Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• MBA Application Timing

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How Much Will a Top MBA Earn You? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/26/how-much-will-a-top-mba-earn-you/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/26/how-much-will-a-top-mba-earn-you/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:18:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29739 Poets & Quants released some excellent data last week on the value of an MBA, concluding that b-school grads did very well in 2014 in regards to average salary and bonus. Here are some highlights from the article: • In 2014, Harvard and Stanford grads earned average salaries that exceeded pre-recession levels for the first […]

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Do rankings really make a difference? Poets & Quants released some excellent data last week on the value of an MBA, concluding that b-school grads did very well in 2014 in regards to average salary and bonus. Here are some highlights from the article:

• In 2014, Harvard and Stanford grads earned average salaries that exceeded pre-recession levels for the first time. For Harvard MBAs, the average salary was $144,750, compared to $144,261 in 2008. The average salary for Stanford MBAs was $142,834, compared to 2008’s $140,771.

• There were a total of seven b-schools that reported average pay above $140K. Michigan Ross was one of these schools whose salary and bonus package jumped 20.9% in five years to $140,497.

• Washington Foster experienced a huge increase in average salary and bonuses, from $91,593 in 2010 up 36.9% to $125.367 in 2014. Average salary and bonuses also took huge leaps at Rochester Simon (30.6% – from $78,083 to $101,961) and at Emory Goizueta (28.0% – from $100,300 to $128,347).

• In 2010, only 24 U.S. business schools landed job that paid six-figures; in 2014, that number increased significantly to 44 schools.

• The top five schools with the most highly compensated grads were HBS, MIT Sloan, Stanford, Wharton, and Tuck.

• A few schools saw year-over-year decreases, including USC (from $116,011 to $114,129), Boston Carroll (from $96,915 to $94,963), and Minnesota Carlson (from $117,972 to $112,828).

See the P&Q article for more details.

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

MBA in Sight: Focus on Finance
• Does it Pay to Get an MBA?
• PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

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Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options at NYU Stern http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/exploring-the-part-time-mba-options-at-nyu-stern/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/exploring-the-part-time-mba-options-at-nyu-stern/#respond Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:32:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29767 Not all b-school students are career changers. Not all seeking an MBA want a full-time program that requires them to leave the work force. Enter the part-time MBA, specifically the part-time MBA program at NYU Stern Langone, the option for students who want to keep their jobs while earning a top MBA. Want to learn […]

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Click here for NYU Stern Lagone 2015 MBA Essay Tips & DeadlinesNot all b-school students are career changers. Not all seeking an MBA want a full-time program that requires them to leave the work force.

Enter the part-time MBA, specifically the part-time MBA program at NYU Stern Langone, the option for students who want to keep their jobs while earning a top MBA.

Want to learn more? Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions for NYU Stern for a run-down on the flexible MBA programs at Stern.

00:00:54 – Featured Applicant Question: Is finding a home for two stray dogs community service?

00:03:15 – An overview of the part-time programs at NYU Stern.

00:06:12 – How the new Accelerated Program works.

00:13:26 – Admissions requirements/standards for the part-time MBA programs.

00:18:09 – Stern’s Career Center for Working Professionals.

00:21:51 – The Advanced Professional Certificates in Finance, Marketing, and General Business. A non-degree alternative.

00:29:36 – Time management is essential for part-time MBA students. Is the adcom looking for candidates with this skill?

00:31:46 – Great advice for potential applicants.

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

Related Links:

• NYU Stern Langone
• Accelerated Part-time MBA Program with sample schedule
• Advanced Professional Certificates
An Artist at B-School: Interview with an NYU Stern Langone Student
• NYU Stern 2015 MBA Essay  Tips
• NYU Stern Langone 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Nik’s Comment

Related Shows:

• From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke
• An NYU Stern Grad and Strat Consultant Helping Vets Get Into School
• The Wharton Executive MBA Program: An Insider’s View

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Related Resources: 

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

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INSEAD Essay 3: Writing About Cultural Diversity http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/23/insead-essay-3-writing-about-cultural-diversity/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/23/insead-essay-3-writing-about-cultural-diversity/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:04:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29707 For those of you struggling with INSEAD’s cultural diversity question [Essay 3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.) and the INSEAD EMBA choice of questions for Essay 5. Have you ever experienced culture shock? What insights did you gain? […]

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Click here for INSEAD Essay Questions and Tips

Ready to answer the diversity essay question?

For those of you struggling with INSEAD’s cultural diversity question [Essay 3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.) and the INSEAD EMBA choice of questions for Essay 5. Have you ever experienced culture shock? What insights did you gain? OR Describe the ways in which a foreigner in your country might experience culture shock. (500 words max.)], Pamela Druckerman has provided an interesting starting point in her New York Times Op Ed piece “Decoding the Rules of Conversation”.

Druckerman is an American expatriate in France and typically writes about the cultural differences she notices in French child rearing. On the other hand, “Decoding” explores not only how her de facto French children speak and interact, but also how French adults do, with added insight into UK culture thanks to her husband’s British background.

While Druckerman’s mention of British self-deprecation is well known, her description of the French emphasis on one-upping and even humiliating others will certainly come as a culture shock to many. Non-French INSEAD applicants exposed to these behaviors could discuss their own experiences navigating the team environment in France where, according to Druckerman, it is de rigueur to emphasize one’s intelligence at the expense of his or her peers’. Conversely, a French professional working in a global environment could share his experience adapting to a culture that places more emphasis on teamwork and gaining support from others – where he could no longer employ the French strategy of putting everyone else down.

Druckerman demonstrates the cultural astuteness that INSEAD is seeking in its students. Sharing an example of your own cultural insight and response to cultural challenges is essential to any applicant to this renowned international business school.

Applying to INSEAD? Check out our application essay tips!

Jennifer Bloom By Jennifer Bloom who has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 15 years. She is happy to serve as your personal coach and hand-holder throughout the entire process. There’s no time like the present to begin!

Related Resources:

Best MBA Program: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• An Inside Look at INSEAD
• Tips for Applying to European B-Schools

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Interview with a Techie at Chicago Booth http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/20/interview-with-a-techie-at-chicago-booth/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/20/interview-with-a-techie-at-chicago-booth/#respond Fri, 20 Mar 2015 15:55:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29643 This 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. And now for a chat with Andrew Edelman, a student at Chicago Booth. Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as […]

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Click here for more b-school student interviews!This 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. And now for a chat with Andrew Edelman, a student at Chicago Booth.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What was your most recent pre-MBA job?

Andrew: Thanks for featuring me on Accepted.com! I was born in Paris, France, but grew up here in the U.S. where I spent most of my youth in the Boston area. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the outcome of this year’s Super Bowl!

I attended Davidson College in North Carolina where I received a B.A. in Economics with a Concentration in Applied Mathematics. At Davidson, I was captain of the Men’s Division I Swimming team and met my future wife who was captain of the volleyball team. We now have two amazing sons, the second of whom was born during my first week at Chicago Booth. I always say my wife is my secret weapon during this business school journey.

Immediately before attending business school, I was a Vice President at Corrum Capital Management, a boutique alternative investment management firm headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Upon moving to Chicago and before starting classes, I did a two-month internship with a classmate’s startup that was participating in Chicago Booth’s Polsky Center Accelerator Program. My experience was actually featured in a recent WSJ article about pre-MBA internships and was an exciting opportunity to diversify my skill set before starting summer internship recruiting.

Accepted: Where are you currently in b-school? What year?

Andrew: I’m a second year at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It’s hard to believe I’m already entering my final quarter; graduation is less than 100 days away!

Accepted: Why did you choose Booth? How would you say you’re a good fit for the program? Which other programs had you considered?

Andrew: I choose Booth because I wanted to surround myself with extremely intelligent, high quality people. From the incredible faculty to my impressive classmates to the accessible alumni, I’ve been fortunate to learn from such a diverse and humble group.

I’ve personally benefitted most from Booth’s pay it forward mentality that permeates career preparation and recruiting. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to give back as a member of the Graduate Business Council and co-chair of the Booth Technology Group.

My business school decision came down to Booth and UC Berkeley (Haas), both great programs. It was a difficult decision, but after visiting Booth during the admitted students weekend, now called First Day, I knew it was the right fit for me.

Accepted: And if you could change one thing about the program, what would it be?

Andrew: With evening, weekend, and PhD programs, Booth is unique in the sheer number of working professionals concurrently pursuing their MBAs. Although I’ve taken a couple evening classes at our downtown Gleacher Center, I feel that most of my academic experience has been centered down at the Harper Center in Hyde Park and kept separate from evening/weekend students. With more work experience on average and equally diverse backgrounds, I wish I had more organized opportunities to interact with these students to expand my network and learn from their experiences.

Accepted: Where did you intern last summer? Can you tell us about the role Booth played in helping you secure that position?

Andrew: I did my summer internship at Google in Mountain View. I was an MBA intern with the Global SMB Solutions team, which is responsible for increasing product adoption and driving revenue growth with small and medium businesses. It was an amazing experience!

As a career switcher, from financial services to tech, the preparation and mentorship offered through Career Services and the members of the Booth Technology Group were invaluable to my success securing a coveted spot at Google. I also benefited from the advantages of Booth’s flexible curriculum that permitted me to take courses early in my first year to prepare for the internship, including the experiential Developing New Products & Services course that paired my group with a leading digital media company for a consulting project.

Many people assume that because Booth is in the Midwest there are fewer opportunities in the technology industry, but that’s a common misconception. I had internship interviews with five of the largest technology companies in the world and was one of a dozen Boothies at Google this summer. In fact, Booth placed more students from my class in tech internships than investment banking, second only to consulting. It’s a trend that is developing at business schools across the country and it’s exciting to see Booth leading the way!

Chicago also has a very underrated tech scene that is booming. Booth has been a large contributor with successful startups growing out of our New Venture Challenge like GrubHub, BrainTree, and MuSigma.

Accepted: Likewise, if you have a job lined up for next year, can you talk about how Booth was involved in that process? What’s recruiting like on campus? How early does it start?

Andrew: I’m excited to be returning to Silicon Valley as a Management Associate with Box in their Rotational Leadership Program. I was looking to join a smaller tech firm full-time, so the majority of my recruiting this year was done off-campus. I was able to leverage the Booth network and my experience at Google to gain access to several high-growth tech companies.

Although I didn’t participate in on-campus recruiting for my full-time search, I can tell you that it does begin very quickly, pretty much right when we all return from our summer internships in late August. There tends to be a flurry of on-campus activity the first two weeks back, which this year included tech firms like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung.

Accepted: Looking back at the MBA application process, what would you say was your biggest challenge? How would you advise others who are facing a similar challenge?

Andrew: The biggest challenge for me was managing the surprisingly demanding application process while balancing my career and family responsibilities. Looking back, I wish I had started the process earlier to meet the Round 1 deadlines and not felt obligated to push my applications back to Round 2. In addition, it’s become increasingly difficult to fully showcase your whole self in such a short amount of space and limited word count. Getting to an interview was my biggest objective because I knew I could better convey a sense of self than I could in an essay.

Accepted: How are you enjoying your time in Chicago? How does student life differ there than in North Carolina?

Andrew: My wife and I always joke that if you could remove the harsh winters from Chicago it would easily be the best city in the U.S., if it’s not already. We’ve honestly loved our time here in Chicago. We live downtown where we have several world-class museums, an abundance of amazing restaurants, and even the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan right at our doorstep. Having grown up in the Northeast, the winters have not been too bad for me, but I definitely feel for my classmates from South America who are experiencing true winter for the first time.

It’s hard to compare my undergrad experience in Davidson, NC to my graduate student experience here in Chicago. Overall, studying business at Booth in a big city like Chicago has been a great complement to my liberal arts education at a small school in rural North Carolina. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both experiences!

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages. 

You can read more about Andrew’s journey by checking out his Twitter and LinkedIn pages. Thank you Andrew for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Learn how to get accepted to Chicago Booth!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
Chicago Booth 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
• Chicago Booth: A Social Experience Outside of My Comfort Zone

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The MBA Family: A Roundup and Overview http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/18/the-mba-family-a-roundup-and-overview-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/18/the-mba-family-a-roundup-and-overview-2/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2015 15:57:36 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29441 At its core, the MBA is a graduate program in business administration for professionals who seek knowledge, skills, a credential, and/or a network to advance in business and to maximize their business performance.  While “MBA” makes many people automatically think of a two-year, full-time program, in recent years the variations on the MBA theme have […]

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Not Sure which MBA program is right for you?  Download a free guide!At its core, the MBA is a graduate program in business administration for professionals who seek knowledge, skills, a credential, and/or a network to advance in business and to maximize their business performance.  While “MBA” makes many people automatically think of a two-year, full-time program, in recent years the variations on the MBA theme have multiplied, in order to meet changing and diversifying needs and interests of students and organizations.  Here’s a roundup of the main MBA options that are currently available, and their benefits and drawbacks.

Full-Time MBA Programs: This is a two-year, full-time program with an internship in the summer.  It targets business (and sometimes other) professionals with roughly 3-8 years of experience.  Obtaining a new position post-MBA is often a major focus of students, and recruiting by potential employers is a significant benefit of attending a full-time MBA.

Pros: close and sustained interaction with other full-time students, ideal for career changers, internship opportunity, strong recruiting.

Cons: significant opportunity cost, time away from industries that are undergoing rapid change.

Part-Time MBA Programs: Ideal for people who don’t want to leave their company or industry for any significant period or who can’t afford to stop working. Such programs target people who are employed full time, under the premise that students’ ongoing work will inform classroom discussion and projects. Part-time MBA students trend a little older than full-time MBA students.  While these programs have traditionally served local students, increasingly they are offering varied structures and online components to attract distance students.  They do not generally offer access to recruiters.  Often admission is less competitive than for the same school’s full-time program, enabling part-time students to obtain a “brand” they may not qualify for otherwise.

Pros: can continue to work/earn, apply learning in real time, access to top-tier programs.

Cons: take longer, no internship, usually no recruiting, it can be grueling to work and study simultaneously.

One-Year MBA Programs:  Of course, most European full-time MBA programs are one-year.  Some top US MBA programs, e.g., Cornell’s Johnson and Northwestern’s Kellogg, have offered one-year options for a while, and others are joining the fray as demand for such programs grows.  Often these one-year programs have special requirements, such as some prior business education or an advanced degree.  They are ideal for people who don’t need an internship and who have a strong base of experience; not usually the best path for career changers.

Pros: the intensity of a full-time program with less opportunity cost, usually regular recruiting, ability to quickly rejoin a fast-moving industry.

Cons: no conventional internship, less time to network with students and faculty.

Executive MBA Programs:  EMBAs are part-time programs targeting seasoned managers and entrepreneurs, typically people from mid-thirties to late forties (depending on the program) whose rise to senior manager level is imminent or who are already in senior management.  There is range within this category in terms of desired/required length of experience.  While coursework covers the same topics as regular MBA programs, it’s developed and presented with the higher level perspective.  A great benefit of EMBAs is the chance to network and form relationships with peers from a variety of industries and functions at a career phase when a fresh perspective is quite valuable but sometimes hard to obtain.  These programs don’t target career changers, but are increasingly used by and open to them, even though most EMBA programs don’t offer formal recruiting.

Pros: can apply learning immediately at work, breadth of exposure at a pivotal professional moment, valuable credential.

Cons: challenge of school plus demanding career and personal/family responsibilities, usually no formal recruiting for career changers.

Specialized MBA Programs: These programs offer the MBA course with focus on a specific industry or function; there are such options among both regular and executive MBA programs.  They vary in their formats and approaches.  Boston University’s Public & Nonprofit MBA is an example of a two-year specialized MBA; UC Irvine’s Health Care Executive MBA (HCEMBA) is an example of a specialized EMBA.  A relatively new one-year specialized MBA is Cornell Johnson’s Tech MBA.

Pros: intensive focus on area of interest with coursework adapted accordingly, network of colleagues with related experience and goals.

Cons: missing out on the diverse perspectives from other industries/sectors that can refresh and invigorate your thinking.

While you can’t apply to two different types of MBA programs at the same school in the same admissions cycle, you can do so in different cycles.  And you can apply to different types of programs at different schools at the same time.  For example, if someone is between regular and executive MBA in terms of age or length of experience, he could apply to some regular MBAs that trend older and some exec MBAs that trend younger.  Or someone may apply to full-time MBA programs but also apply to a part-time program nearby as an acceptable back-up.

Please do keep in mind, and address in your application, the nuances of the type of MBA as well as the particular program!

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs
Cindy Tokumitsu By , author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Related Resources:

MBA Action Plan: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply
Tips for Applying to Part-time MBA Programs
• Ace the EMBA

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

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Not sure how to fund your MBA? Listen to this podcast for pointers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

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

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Tips for Applying to European B-Schools http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/15/tips-applying-european-b-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/15/tips-applying-european-b-schools/#respond Sun, 15 Mar 2015 14:35:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29499 Applying to a European MBA program isn’t quite the same as applying to an American program. The programs themselves often have a different focus than U.S. schools, and adcoms therefore look out for different skills and qualifications. I’d like to direct you to the following resources on our website – blog posts that focus specifically […]

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Click here for more European school essays and tips

Do you know what you need to do to get admitted to a European MBA program?

Applying to a European MBA program isn’t quite the same as applying to an American program. The programs themselves often have a different focus than U.S. schools, and adcoms therefore look out for different skills and qualifications. I’d like to direct you to the following resources on our website – blog posts that focus specifically on how to answer specific questions on specific European b-school applications. Please check them out and be in touch if you have any questions!

Tip Posts for European B-Schools:

• ESADE 2015 MBA Essay Tips

HEC Paris 2015 MBA Essay Tips

HKUST 2015 MBA Essay Tips

IMD 2016 Essay Tips

INSEAD 2015 MBA Essay Tips

London Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips

London Business School 2015 MiM Essay Questions and Tips

NUS MBA 2015 Essay Tips

Oxford Said 2015 MBA Essay Tips

For more advice, I recommend you check out these podcasts that feature interviews with adcom members from top European b-schools – it’s always good to get advice from the source itself!

• The Scoop on the London Business School Masters in Management Program

• Interview with Philippe Oster of HEC Paris

• An Inside Look at INSEAD

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

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A Window into Life at Harvard Business School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/13/window-life-harvard-business-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/13/window-life-harvard-business-school/#respond Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:35:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29496 This 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. And now for a follow up interview with Tim Massey, who is about to complete his first year at Harvard Business School. (We first met Tim last year – you can read […]

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Click here for more mba student interviewsThis 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. And now for a follow up interview with Tim Massey, who is about to complete his first year at Harvard Business School. (We first met Tim last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: Since we last spoke you applied to and got accepted to HBS. Congrats! How has your first year been so far? It b-school as you expected it to be? Any surprises? 

Tim: The first year has been an incredible ride. I’ve really enjoyed pretty much every aspect of it so far and I haven’t regretted my decision to study in the US for a second. The students here are an incredible bunch of people, and it’s really evident that the professors love teaching here. We’re fortunate enough to meet many of the protagonists of our cases or leading business leaders who come to visit our campus. The worldwide draw of HBS really enhances the experience. Without particularly seeking these opportunities out I’ve been able to listen to Peter Thiel (founder of Paypal and hugely successful investor), and Alan Mullaly (former CEO of Ford and Boeing).

HBS also is far more friendly and collaborative than I expected. It has a reputation for being a tough dog-eat-dog place, and that’s not really been my experience at all. Yes, it’s competitive but certainly not at any cost.

My biggest surprise is quite how busy I’ve been (despite HBS’ reputation) – it’s very different from my undergraduate studies and I’ve barely had a minute to myself from when I started right up until the Christmas break at the end of the first semester.

Accepted: Which MBA programs did you end up applying to? Was HBS your first choice? 

Tim: I described HBS originally as my joint first choice. As an engineer, I was also keen on MIT, but MIT made it an easy decision for me! I had a few other applications that I withdrew from early as I knew where I was going to be, and HBS is pretty much one of the first decisions you get in Round 1.

Accepted: If you could change anything about the program, what would it be?

Tim: My least favorite aspect of the whole MBA experience has undoubtedly been recruiting season. In contrast to many other parts of the experience, which tend to focus on self-growth and really achieving something meaningful, this seems very much stuck in the past.

I am sure this is borne out of necessity to compete with other schools and maintain league placing high up the recruitment league tables that applicants look at. But depth of support is really variable between traditional MBA industries (finance/consulting) and other more creative directions. It is very much at odds with the rest of the course and HBS’s mission to ‘educate leaders who make a difference in the world.’

I have a strong suspicion this is not unique to HBS and I think the competitive stats-based ranking system for admissions to the top business school really influences behavior here. Any school that deviates from promoting the top highly paid starting salaries and internships will suffer from a disadvantage in these metrics, and this promotes a ‘groupthink’ approach.

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

Tim: There is a pretty huge array of clubs on campus to join, HBS definitely benefits from its size in this respect with members forming based on range of different interests. The majority are based around either professional/career interests (e.g. VCPE club (venture capital/private equity), Tech club), geographical locations (e.g. Euro club/LatAm club) or sports, with some special interests thrown in.

I’m been involved in helping to organize several of these, which is a bit of a throwback to my undergrad days when I was also heavily involved in the student body.

The main difference is a slightly more ‘professional’ edge than undergraduate clubs, with most designed to help navigate and network amongst the diverse student body, and attract specific career opportunities to campus.

Accepted: Can you tell us about  your experience with HBS’ FIELD program?

Tim: So far, I’ve travelled to Chengdu in China on FIELD 2, working with a social enterprise focused on promoting recycling electronics (I wrote about this in a little more detail on my blog here). It was a great project and really allowed me to get a unique perspective on awareness of environmental issues in China. As a whole experience, it really challenged some perspectives I had before I went.

At the moment I’m in the thick of FIELD 3, in the early stages of starting my own business with a group of other students. I’ll be sure to write more about it as we make progress!

Accepted: Have you been keeping up your blogging? Can you direct us to one or two posts that will further help us get up to date with your b-school adventure?

Tim: In addition to my post about FIELD above, I wrote down some of my perspectives on the first semester here.

I’m trying to keep up the blogging, but the strain on my time commitments makes it a bit more difficult to find time than it used to be! I try to write once a month or so – I’m in an incredibly fortunate position to write about what’s it like on the inside – I try to answer the questions I had as an applicant, and if anyone has any suggestions of things they’d like to know more detail about, I’m happy to take requests!

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages.  To read more about Tim’s b-school journey, please check out his blog, The Adventures of a MBA Student. Thank you Tim for sharing your story with us! 

Check out our free webinar: Get Accepted to Harvard Business School!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• What Does Harvard Business School Want?, a video
• Life as an HBS MBA Student

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The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/the-gmac-the-gmat-and-the-mba-degree/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/the-gmac-the-gmat-and-the-mba-degree/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2015 22:30:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29590 Admit it. You just can’t stop thinking about the GMAT. If you are a b-school student (present or future), then Rich D’Amato, Vice President of Global Communications at GMAC, has some important info to share with you. Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Rich for the scoop on new GMAT features, the […]

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IV with Rich D'AmatoAdmit it. You just can’t stop thinking about the GMAT.

If you are a b-school student (present or future), then Rich D’Amato, Vice President of Global Communications at GMAC, has some important info to share with you.

Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Rich for the scoop on new GMAT features, the MBA Alumni survey, the relevance of the MBA degree, and more.

00:02:44 – The low-down on GMAC’s Enhanced Score Reports and how they can help you prepare effectively and score higher on the GMAT.

00:08:17 – The new Score Preview feature: how it works and how it can help you.

00:11:22 – Featured Applicant Question: Can I retake the GMAT, and then cancel the score and reinstate the original score?

00:12:08 – The case for the GMAT in the GMAT vs GRE battle.

00:15:24 – The role of “entrepreneurial traits” (and an MBA education) in career success.

00:19:16 – Is the end of the MBA degree in sight?

00:21:54 – The growth of specialized business degrees.

00:26:36 – Rich’s awesome advice for future test-takers.

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

Related Links:

• The Official GMAT Website 
GMAT NEWSFLASH: GMAT to Feature Score Preview
• GMAT’s New Enhanced Score Report
GMAT Unofficial Enhanced Score Report FAQs
Control Your GMAT Experience with These Three Features

Related Shows:

• The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well
• The GMAT Score Preview and Application Boxes
• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep
• Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT on What MBA Applicants Need to Know

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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

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

Get off that waitlist! Listen how Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

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

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AIGAC’s 2015 MBA Applicant Survey [You Can Win $500!] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/aigacs-2015-mba-applicant-survey-can-win-500-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/aigacs-2015-mba-applicant-survey-can-win-500-2/#respond Wed, 11 Mar 2015 19:51:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29532 As Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) members, we are conducting a survey to help us better understand our readers’ goals and needs. We’d like to invite all of our MBA readers to share their school selection priorities and views on the MBA application process. Take the MBA Search Survey, and win $500 and […]

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Click here to take the survey!As Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) members, we are conducting a survey to help us better understand our readers’ goals and needs.

We’d like to invite all of our MBA readers to share their school selection priorities and views on the MBA application process.

Take the MBA Search Survey, and win $500 and our sincere gratitude! The anonymous data will be shared with admissions officers from top programs. Make your voice heard!

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Everyone completing the survey will be entered to win $500 cash (contact email will be used for prize purposes only). We’ll also be sharing the results of the survey this spring to help candidates better understand the nature of today’s applicant pool.

Click here to take our MBA prospect survey.

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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U.S. News 2016 Best Graduate Business Schools http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/u-s-news-2016-best-graduate-business-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/u-s-news-2016-best-graduate-business-schools/#respond Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:35:57 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29502 U.S. News released its graduate school rankings today. Let’s see how our top b-schools fared… Top 20 U.S. B-Schools – 2016 1. Stanford GSB (1) 2. Harvard Business School (1) 3. UPenn Wharton (1) 4. Chicago Booth (4) 5. MIT Sloan (5) 6. Northwestern Kellogg (6) 7. UC Berkeley Haas (7) 8. Columbia Business School […]

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U.S. News released its graduate school rankings today. Let’s see how our top b-schools fared…

Top 20 U.S. B-Schools – 2016

Visit our b-school zone page for info on the top business schools.1. Stanford GSB (1)
2. Harvard Business School (1)
3. UPenn Wharton (1)
4. Chicago Booth (4)
5. MIT Sloan (5)
6. Northwestern Kellogg (6)
7. UC Berkeley Haas (7)
8. Columbia Business School (8)
9. Dartmouth Tuck (9)
10. UVA Darden (11)
11. NYU Stern (10)
11. Michigan Ross (11)
13. Duke Fuqua (14)
13. Yale SOM (13)
15. UCLA Anderson (16)
16. Cornell Johnson (17)
17. Texas McCombs (15)
18. UNC Kenan-Flagler (19)
19. Washington Olin (22)
20. CMU Tepper (18)

25% of US News rankings is made up of survey responses from business school deans and directors; 15% is based on recruiters’ survey responses. The remaining 60% is based on statistical data reflecting program selectivity and placement success. (For details, read up on U.S. News methodology.)

Here are some highlights from the Poets & Quants article on the rankings:

• Last year’s three-way Stanford/Harvard/Wharton tie was broken this year with each school taking one of the first three spots (Stanford in first, HBS in second, and Wharton in third).

• The P&Q article states that Wharton’s slip to third is due to lower peer assessment and corporate recruiter survey scores.

• Wharton also reported an acceptance rate of 20.7%, up from last year’s 18.7% — this is another metric used by U.S. News in their methodology.

• Another factor contributing to Wharton’s position this year is its position regarding salary and bonus. Last year it took top slot at $141,243, while this year it slipped to fourth place at $142,574 – yes, higher than last year, but this year, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford reported even higher salaries/bonuses (HBS took the cake at $144,936 this year).

• Stanford’s top stats this year: average GMAT – 732; average GPA – 3.74; acceptance rate – 7.1%.

• In the top 20, there weren’t significant changes beyond a given school moving up or down a couple places. But further down in the rankings there were some big shifts. Texas A&M jumped 10 places to 27th place (tied with Carlson); Wake Forest jumped 13 places to 45th place; and Louisville moved up at least 31 places to 71st place – it was previously unranked.

• Big drops include Missouri Trulaske which fell 21 places from 58th to 79th place; Pepperdine Graziadio which fell at least 25 places, from last year’s 76th place to its unranked position this year.

Wondering how much rankings should play a roll in determining where you apply? Watch the video below for Linda Abraham’s answer:

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2015
• What’s an MBA Really Worth?
• PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

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What Are My Chances? Young Veteran Looking for Investment Banking “In” http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/10/chances-vet-u-s-college-grad-looking-investment-banking/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/10/chances-vet-u-s-college-grad-looking-investment-banking/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 16:02:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29428 This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?”  by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendation as well as an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. If […]

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This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?”  by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendation as well as an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.

If you would like Michelle to evaluate your profile at no charge and as part of this series, please provide the information requested at http://reports.accepted.com/what_are_my_chances.

PROFILE #9: Eli, Army veteran and U.S. college student looking for investment banking “in”

Watch this video on how to show leadership in your application

Where is the evidence that you take charge?

-BACKGROUND: American male who will graduate in 2016 from Baruch College. Completed eight month finance internship at VR, Inc. “a corporation engaged in the innovation, development and monetization of intellectual property.” Served two years in the Israeli Defence Force. Worked for a summer at a home for developmentally disabled adults.

Going through your profile, I feel like I’m looking at a tidy construction site with a newly laid foundation. The structure looks like it will be solid. But gaping holes have yet to be filled, raw materials yet to arrive.

So let’s talk about that foundation. It looks good. You’ve accrued a strong mix of technical and business skills at university. An internship at VR shows off your IT skills. The philosophy minor and military experience sets you up, potentially, as an insightful leader.

But where is the evidence that shows you taking charge, making an idea into a reality, or convincing a reluctant group to take on a challenge? As you have relatively little work experience, I’d have to base that judgment off your military service. By what you’ve provided on your resume, I have little to go on.

-GOALS: Sales & Trading at a bulge bracket or high end boutique firm.

This goal makes sense with your past, although an internship at a bank would be stronger than at the intellectual property firm. That’s likely why you want an MBA–to get that “in” at an investment bank.

So what do investment banks want in their new recruits?  In his how-to-book, Andrew Gutman says IB recruiters ask themselves two questions. First, would I want this person working for me? She’ll want someone who has the intellectual capacity to handle complex, fast-moving transactions, plus the physical stamina and good attitude required to put in long hours. Your grades and internship demonstrate a keen intellect. To show you’ve got the guts, bring out stories from your military experience about making tough decisions under pressure, and keeping up morale during long stretches on duty.  

The second question is: would I mind being stuck at the airport with this guy? Can you handle hours of chatting about interesting subjects, or are you a bore? Your extracurriculars on campus show that you’re social. You put down snowboarding, classical music, fitness, and paintball as interests on your resume. Make these activities come to life in your essays. Show how you’re a leader, how you challenge yourself in perfecting your skills, and how you’ve developed your interior life.

-GMAT: ??

A unique choice. You’ve decided to take the GRE, but you have yet to take the test. That’s the big gaping hole.

Ad comms decided to accept the GRE to attract non-traditional candidates from liberal arts or hard science backgrounds. You, sir, fall into the traditional pool. It’s not against the rules for you to take the GRE, but you would raise fewer eyebrows if you took the GMAT.

Seek to score 720 or above.

-GPA: 3.8 with a major in finance and two minors, CIS and Philosophy.

This is a great GPA. It puts you right near the top of the competition at elite business schools. No worries here.

-EXTRACURRICULAR: Served on the executive board of the Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society. Active Member at Baruch Hillel.

It’s difficult to decipher, from your brief descriptions, how you impacted these organizations.

Will you go down in history for the epic activities you organized, the vast network you created for yourself, or the new avenues you forged to have a real social impact on the surrounding community? In your resume you need to be much more descriptive of what you actually did. Titles are not enough.

-SCHOOLS:

I really can’t recommend any schools for you without your GMAT score. All the programs on your target list are reach choices with your profile, even if you score a 720 or above on the GMAT.

My question for you is: what will you do if you don’t get into business school right away? You’re a unique case because you’ve had military experience and you’re a fresh grad. But you’ve done little actual work in finance. You could apply right now, but you’ve got to convince me of why now is the time for you to get an MBA, instead of a couple more years out on the job.

In conclusion, the big missing piece for me is: your military experience. From my understanding, the Israeli military is much less hierarchical than the U.S. military. So you have a chance to show not only leadership, but also how you asserted your ideas, perhaps when you weren’t in the top spot and had an impact.

The pieces of your profile make sense with your ultimate goal, but start filling in those gaps.

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

Michelle Stockman Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.

 

Related Resources:

Your 3-Part Plan to Dominate the GMAT, a free webinar
• An NYU Stern Grad and Strat Consultant Helping Vets Get Into School
Two Ways to Reveal Leadership in Your Applications

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Complimentary MBA 2016 Webinar on Wednesday! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/09/complimentary-mba-2016-webinar-wednesday/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/09/complimentary-mba-2016-webinar-wednesday/#respond Mon, 09 Mar 2015 16:08:03 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29046 We’d like to remind you about Wednesday’s webinar, Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA Application, which will take place at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET (that’s on March 11th). It is essential that you attend if you are planning on applying to b-school next year. Applicants who get an early start […]

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We’d like to remind you about Wednesday’s webinar, Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA Application, which will take place at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET (that’s on March 11th). It is essential that you attend if you are planning on applying to b-school next year.

Register for the webinar!

Applicants who get an early start can move through the application process more quickly, more efficiently, and with better results than their peers who leave their MBA applications to the last minute.

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What is a Goal? (And What is Not) http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/08/goal-not/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/08/goal-not/#respond Sun, 08 Mar 2015 15:50:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29339 Let’s start by talking about what ISN’T a goal. When an applicant says something along the lines of: “I’m interested in investment banking or consulting or marketing,” then I know there’s significant work to be done, because THIS is NOT a goal. A strong, clear MBA goal should guide your admissions research and your choice […]

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Learn more tips on how to clarify your goals.

Let’s start by talking about what ISN’T a goal. When an applicant says something along the lines of: “I’m interested in investment banking or consulting or marketing,” then I know there’s significant work to be done, because THIS is NOT a goal.

A strong, clear MBA goal should guide your admissions research and your choice of target schools. A goal is something you want to do (not just study), and for MBA admissions purposes it should relate to a specific function and ideally to an industry. For some applicants, geography is also an important element in their goal. Your goal should be based on your experience, not on television, not on what your parents/significant other or friends think you should do, and not simply on what will make you a lot of money.

I am not saying that you can’t change careers. After all, roughly 50% of MBA students are career changers. But you need to have a realistic vision of your future based on skills and character traits you have developed and based on experiences that you have had.

Let’s return to our initial point of what ISN’T an MBA goal. What’s the problem with stating that you want to go into marketing, for example? There are numerous dimensions and opportunities subsumed under the heading of “marketing,” including business development, market research, brand management, and channel management.

Do you see how general and unfocused you seem if you say your post-MBA goal is “marketing,” not to mention a goal of “marketing, investment banking, or consulting”?

On the other hand if you are a software consultant who has worked on software marketing projects or a software designer who has worked in product development and you now want to go into brand management in the software industry, your goal makes sense. It is focused. It is clear. It is an asset to you in the application process.

There is a Proverb that goes, “Without a vision, the people will perish.” The adcom readers will note the red flags when they see your lack of vision. Know where you’re going before you start packing your bags. And certainly before you start applying.

Get clear, practical guidelines for answering the MBA goals essay question. Click here to download our free report.
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Why MBA?
MBA 2016 – Ready, Set, Go!
MBA Goals 101

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

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Click here to learn how to demonstrate leadership in your application

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes: Get your free copy!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions
How to Prove Character Traits in Essays
Does Extracurricular Equal Extra Credit?

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Hone Your MBA Goals [Video] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/04/hone-mba-goals-video/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/04/hone-mba-goals-video/#respond Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:27:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29157 A solid MBA goal should drive many of the decisions surrounding your business school application and education. In this video, Linda Abraham explores the essential components of a compelling MBA goal and shares a few tips on how to develop it. By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for […]

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solid MBA goal should drive many of the decisions surrounding your business school application and education.

In this video, Linda Abraham explores the essential components of a compelling MBA goal and shares a few tips on how to develop it.

Get clear, practical guidelines for answering the MBA goals essay question. Click here to download our free report.

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

Related Resources:

Why MBA? 
• Your MBA Goals Essay: Get Ready, Get Set, THINK!
Getting Your MBA Goals in Shape

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Why Extracurriculars Activities Make a Difference http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/03/extracurriculars-activities-make-difference/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/03/extracurriculars-activities-make-difference/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:02:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28957 Don’t underestimate the value of extracurricular activities in your b-school application! Use the following Q&A to help you prioritize and then write about your extracurricular activities. What are extracurricular activities? An extracurricular activity is a non-academic, non-professional activity that you participate in. These activities include hobbies, sports, the arts, and volunteering or community service. Why […]

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Click here for MBA Admissions 101

Your hobby may be your ticket to acceptance

Don’t underestimate the value of extracurricular activities in your b-school application! Use the following Q&A to help you prioritize and then write about your extracurricular activities.

What are extracurricular activities?

An extracurricular activity is a non-academic, non-professional activity that you participate in. These activities include hobbies, sports, the arts, and volunteering or community service.

Why are extracurriculars important?

Extracurricular activities play a critical role in your MBA application. Here are five reasons why:

1. Extracurricular activities add color and texture to an otherwise one-dimensional application. They help the adcom get to know YOU – not just the you that works nine to five (or six to ten) crunching numbers at the desk, but the YOU that also has ten state-wide blue ribbons in figure skating or that has quilted the largest quilt east of the Mississippi with the help of your town’s local special ed school.

2. Extracurricular activities prove your commitment. You’ve taught piano (pro bono) to the same kid for eight years straight? You must be a committed, reliable, and dependable person. Admissions committees like that.

3. Extracurriculars demonstrate creativity and passion. Extracurricular or volunteer commitments don’t need to be typical soup kitchen or Big Brother/Big Sister experiences, although those are valuable too. Think beyond run-of-the-mill examples to other things you’ve done – like all those winter breaks you spent running a camp for your autistic baby brother and two other kids from the neighborhood, or that summer you traveled to India to help run a vaccination clinic. These examples don’t specifically relate to business, but creativity and passion can easily be seen in each experience. If you share your passions, you’ll inspire your readers!

4. Extracurricular activities allow you to demonstrate initiative, as well as leadership and organizational skills. Let’s look back at our examples from above and ask a few questions: What steps did you take to set up your backyard camp? Whose idea was it? What sorts of activities did you plan and execute with the kids? And about the clinic in India: What role did you play in running the vaccination clinic? Did you just sit around and do what you were told to do? Or did you take initiative to present your own organizational ideas? Did you fund raise? Get others to commit too? In both of these cases, it shouldn’t be hard to demonstrate that you are the type of thoughtful, inspirational leader who transforms an idea into reality.

5. Extracurricular activities can tip the scale in your favor when you’re up against an otherwise equally competitive candidate. Extracurricular activities and community service can make the difference between acceptance and rejection when adcoms are sizing up two applicants with similar competitiveness. A fundamental assumption of admission is that past behavior predicts future behavior. Admissions committees are proud of their schools and know that to thrive, these communities constantly need new, active, involved members. Furthermore, they want people who will also be involved as alumni and community leaders after business school. If two applicants have the same scores, equally persuasive essays, impressive letters of rec, and similar professional experience, AND if there’s only one more seat to be filled, then the adcom members will choose the applicant who has served her community or shown commitment, leadership, and all those other good things we’ve discussed above, through an extracurricular activity, over the guy who’s focused only on furthering his career.

What should you do if you don’t have long-term extracurricular or volunteer commitments?

This is a common question I’m asked, and a good one. If you don’t have much (or any) extracurriculars to write about, then it is better to start an activity, pick up a new hobby, or resume participation in a past activity or hobby just before applying to b-school so that you have something to write? Will the adcom view this as a shallow or phony move? Is it better to not mention any extracurriculars and hope that the adcoms just don’t notice, rather than highlight the fact that you just a few, or none at all, worth mentioning?

My Answer: You should start now! Here are four reasons why:

1. A little volunteering or a new extracurricular activity is better than no volunteering/extracurriculars at all. The impact you can make in even a short period of time can be great. Involvement in an extracurricular activity or in community service can dramatically affect you as a person, and therefore can significantly affect your MBA candidacy as well.

2. A little commitment is better than no commitment at all. Obviously a commitment that’s lasted only a couple of months will not be as effective as one that’s lasted years, but it’s still better than no commitment at all. Think of it this way: If you don’t show that you’ve been committed to a non-academic, non-professional activity, then the adcom may think that you’re incapable of doing so.

3. Even a little extracurricular activity will liven up a flat application. See #1 in the first list. You don’t want to come off as a workaholic who has no time or interest in anything non-work related. Demonstrate your humanity and liven up your application – a little could go a long way.

4. What if you’re waitlisted or you need to reapply? Obviously we hope for the best, but it doesn’t hurt to think ahead and make room for Plan B, which is: You may be waitlisted. You may need to reapply. If yes, then won’t you be glad that you started your extracurricular/volunteer experience as early as you did? What looked like a brief volunteer encounter during your first application effort now looks like an impressive long-term experience. By now your endeavor is more impressive and has had a greater impact – on you and on others. The same goes for people who plan on applying this year, start volunteering, and then change their minds to apply next year.

So, to sum up: If you’re not already involved in an extracurricular activity, take the time NOW to find an activity that you feel passionate about. Then, follow your passions and DO something.

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions
How to Prove Character Traits in Your Application Essays
4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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MBA 2016 – READY, SET, GO! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/02/mba-2016-ready-set-go/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/02/mba-2016-ready-set-go/#respond Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:48:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29173 It’s not even spring yet. So why am I nagging you to get moving on your MBA application prep? Not just because those Round 1 deadlines creep up with wicked stealth and speed. But also because there is so much you can still do between now and then to improve your candidacy (sometimes a lot, […]

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Download: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply

Deadlines are sooner than you think. Are you prepared?

It’s not even spring yet. So why am I nagging you to get moving on your MBA application prep?

Not just because those Round 1 deadlines creep up with wicked stealth and speed. But also because there is so much you can still do between now and then to improve your candidacy (sometimes a lot, sometimes on the margins, but margins matter). Also, preparing now will enable you to apply to more programs earlier, and therefore to adjust strategy in Round 2 if necessary.

So, what should you be doing NOW?

First, two obvious things.

GMAT: I’ve seen too many people leave the GMAT till late summer or early fall, get a lower score than they expect, and have to recalculate their plans. If you don’t have a GMAT score yet, NOW is the time to prepare and take the GMAT, ideally by end of spring. Then, if your score isn’t realistic for your schools of choice, you have time to retake the test, reconsider your target schools, or both. And you will have it behind you when you focus on the applications.

SCHOOL RESEARCH: It’s best to visit schools when classes are in session. So NOW is the ideal time to research schools for a preliminary list. I developed an easy-to-use resource, Best MBA Programs, A Guide to Selecting the Right One, to walk you through this process. This effort will also get you thinking about your profile strategically.

Then there are the less obvious things.

ACADEMIC RECORD: Is your academic record a potential weakness? There is time (not much), NOW, to take a relevant course or two, complete it, and have an A or two to report to the adcom as evidence of your ability to excel academically.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Not sure whom to ask for recommendations? Sort it out NOW, while there’s time to weigh the pros and cons of various options, to possibly broach the issue (directly or indirectly) with people, and adapt as needed. You do know whom you’ll ask? NOW is time to enhance your positive visibility to them, so they can’t help but write a scintillating letter.

LEADERSHIP: You can improve – deepen, broaden, refine – your leadership NOW and every day before your application. Whether or not you have a formal leadership role, you can always find ways to exercise informal leadership. And you can’t have too much leadership in an MBA application. If there isn’t space to write about it in essays, portray it in your resume.

GOALS: Naturally, since you’re planning to apply for an MBA, you know what your goals are. But what are you going to say about them of interest? About your planned industry, company, function? Read. Books, journals, company reports, not just the WSJ. And do informational interviews (use your undergrad alumni network). An interview needn’t be longer than 10 minutes with two good questions to be illuminating! Interesting, informed perspective on your goals will make your essay jump out from the sea of merely competent essays. But do this research NOW, to digest and integrate it well.

RESUME: NOW is also the perfect time to prepare or adapt your resume for business school. You can get it at least 95% done, and adjust as needed for any new developments later. This way, if you have a chance to visit or school or meet with an adcom member earlier than you planned, you’re ready.

Six months and counting to round 1 deadlines…

Cindy Tokumitsu By , author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Related Resources:

MBA Action Plan: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply
Best MBA Programs, A Guide to Selecting the Right One
5 Tips to Assess Your MBA Profile

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

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Download Get Your Game on Special Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get Your Game On: Free Special Report

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

Related Resources:

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

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IV With an Overrepresented Minority MIT Sloan Admit! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/iv-overrepresented-minority-mit-sloan-admit/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/iv-overrepresented-minority-mit-sloan-admit/#respond Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:02:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29082 This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing our anonymous blogger, “John Thunder”… Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your […]

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Click here to download "MBA Admissions: A-Z"

This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing our anonymous blogger, “John Thunder”…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your current job?

John: I’m from the midwest and went to an Ivy League to study economics and mathematics. I was a former investment banker and currently work in investment management.

Accepted: Congrats on your recent acceptance! Can you tell us where you applied and where you got accepted/rejected/waitlisted?

John: I got accepted at Sloan. Waitlisted at Wharton and Booth. Rejected at Kellogg/HBS/Stanford GSB.

Accepted: And if you get more acceptances from the waitlists, how will you decide where to go?

John: I’m fortunate to receive an acceptance to one of my preferred schools. If I get off the waitlist at other schools, maybe I will reconsider.

Accepted: Can you share some admissions tips as an “overrepresented minority”? How would you advise others who are trying to stand out from the crowd?

John: This is the tough question. If I had to re-do my 2-3 year plan for MBA, I would do 1 year of international development in the “motherland” and/or get involved with organizations in those countries. I did not do anything different to standout, except I demonstrated that sure I have similar stats and background to others but coworkers ranked me as the top analyst each year out of the whole class. Instead of thinking about other “Asians,” I saw my application holistically with the applicant group.

Accepted: Do you have any other admissions advice for our applicant readers? 

John: This is a stressful process. I took my GMAT in Fall 2013 to apply for Class of 2017. Get started early and have set goals. If you are targeting HBS/Stanford only, I recommend applying to only one of those round 1 and the other round 2 and go all-out to visit and hustle. I’ve seen success from those who did that.

Accepted: What is your post-MBA plan? 

John: Finance has lost its luster. Please hire me Google.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When and why did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience? 

John: Kudos to the community created at GMATClub. I used it religiously to study for my GMATs. I just wanted to give back to that community. I was stressed out throughout the whole application process and it was helpful to see other applicants’ experiences. It’s important to pay-it-forward, and that’s what it’s about in business school.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages.

You can read more about John Thunder’s b-school journey by checking out his blog, John Thunder MBA. Thank you for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Navigate the MBA Maze
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Waitlisted! What Now

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How to Get Accepted in 2016: FREE WEBINAR! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/27/get-accepted-2016-free-webinar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/27/get-accepted-2016-free-webinar/#respond Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:25:10 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29044 That’s right – we’re already talking about 2016 MBA applications! You may feel like you’ve got loads of time, but believe me…you’ve got loads to do!  We’d like to help you start out on the right foot by inviting you to our upcoming live webinar, Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA […]

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That’s right – we’re already talking about 2016 MBA applications! You may feel like you’ve got loads of time, but believe me…you’ve got loads to do! 

Get_Accepted_FEB2015

We’d like to help you start out on the right foot by inviting you to our upcoming live webinar, Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA Application, in which Linda Abraham, Accepetd.com CEO & Founder, will outline the steps you can take NOW to increase your chances of a successful application next year.

Let me repeat this point: It’s NOT TOO EARLY to get started!

Remember, the early bird gets the worm – those who are prepared to hit the ground running once those apps are released are the ones who will stand a better shot at getting accepted.

Get Accepted in 2016_Register

WEBINAR DETAILS:

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET

(Spaces tend to fill up quickly, so grab your spot now!)

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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4 Qualities Top MBA Programs Seek http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/26/4-qualities-top-mba-programs-seek/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/26/4-qualities-top-mba-programs-seek/#respond Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:08:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28050 There are four main qualities that top b-schools look for when reviewing MBA applications. If you’re aiming for the top 10, then you’ll want to make sure not only that you possess these qualities, but that you’ve highlighted them in your application. • Problem Solving Skills – This is probably the most important quality, at least initially. Schools […]

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Don't think your application is good enough?  We can help!

Does your application highlight the qualities that top b-schools are looking for?

There are four main qualities that top b-schools look for when reviewing MBA applications. If you’re aiming for the top 10, then you’ll want to make sure not only that you possess these qualities, but that you’ve highlighted them in your application.

 Problem Solving Skills – This is probably the most important quality, at least initially. Schools want the types of students that exclusive consulting firms like McKinsey would take interest in, and that type of student is an expert problem solver. Everyone working in firms like McKinsey needs to be adept at solving a range of “problems” – top schools recognize this and seek out students who would eventually be an excellent fit at these top firms.

• Drive/Ambition – Applicants must show evidence of longstanding drive for success in their applications, resumes, and interviews. Did you push yourself to succeed inside and outside the classroom in college? Do you have an ambitious vision for your career path? B-schools want students who will succeed in the business world once they graduate – if you prove that you have drive/ambition, then you’ll stand out as someone who they want in their classrooms, and beyond.

• Interpersonal Impact – “Brains on a stick” just won’t cut it at business school and then later on in the business world. You also need to be dynamic and likable. You need to be able to work well on a team and gain the respect of your teammates, not to mention later on, your employers and employees. You can show the adcoms your interpersonal impact by highlighting your involvement in teams at work as well as in clubs, sports, or other socially driven activities. Additionally, choose recommenders who know you well and who will attest to this attribute. 

• Leadership/Management Capabilities – Demonstrating general interpersonal impact isn’t enough: top candidates need to show strong evidence of leadership experience and potential. Did you take on leadership positions in clubs, sports teams, and service organizations? You need to express that you are the type of person who will earn the respect of those around you so that they’ll be eager to follow your lead. In your application, resume, and interview, come up with concrete examples that show how you wielded authority with skill and integrity.

Do you need help highlighting these essential qualities in your MBA application? We’re here to help! Contact us so we can provide the one-on-one counseling you need to put together the highest-impact b-school application.
The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes: Get your free copy!Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

5 Ways to Make B-Schools love you – free webinar
• Leadership in Admissions
How to Prove Character Traits in Essays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Links:

Mom Corps

Related Shows:

• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup Street
• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
Valentine’s Day, Economics, and Stanford GSB
• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart
• Life as an HBS MBA Student
MBA Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses

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