Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » MBA Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Sun, 05 Jul 2015 20:30:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Accepted Consultant Publishes Her First Novella http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/#respond Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:43:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32090 You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point: When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she […]

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

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

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

You can download A Trial for Grace here.

Check out the book!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

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

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

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

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Snag Your Seat At Harvard Business School! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/02/snag-your-harvard-business-school-class-of-2018-seat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/02/snag-your-harvard-business-school-class-of-2018-seat/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:09:57 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31725 If you’re aiming to attend Harvard Business School in 2016, then you’ll want to check out our recent webinar, Get Accepted to Harvard Business School. In her presentation, Linda Abraham, CEO & Founder of Accepted.com, offers important advice on how to gain a competitive edge to a top b-school in general, and Harvard Business School in […]

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If you’re aiming to attend Harvard Business School in 2016, then you’ll want to check out our recent webinar, Get Accepted to Harvard Business School.

Watch the webinar!In her presentation, Linda Abraham, CEO & Founder of Accepted.com, offers important advice on how to gain a competitive edge to a top b-school in general, and Harvard Business School in particular.

View Get Accepted to Harvard Business School now!

Watch the webinar!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Save 10%. Get Accepted. Smile. http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/save-money-get-accepted-smile/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/save-money-get-accepted-smile/#respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:46:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31994 Hey b-school applicants – are you looking to save money this summer AND get one step closer to gaining acceptance to your top choice school? Introducing Accepted’s SUPER Summer Sale – 10% off your choice of MBA services through Wednesday, July 15th.* Not sure which service is best for you? Check out these options: • […]

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Hey b-school applicants – are you looking to save money this summer AND get one step closer to gaining acceptance to your top choice school?

Save 10% on MBA Admissions Services by using 'SUMMERMBA' through July 15

Introducing Accepted’s SUPER Summer Sale – 10% off your choice of MBA services through Wednesday, July 15th.*

Not sure which service is best for you? Check out these options:

MBA Essay Editing
MBA Application Packages
MBA Interview Help
MBA Resumes
Admissions Consulting

We look forward to helping you get into business school!

Shop and save!* Offer valid only on non-rush services and may not be combined with other offers.

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Get Accepted To Stanford GSB! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/30/get-accepted-to-stanford-gsb/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/30/get-accepted-to-stanford-gsb/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:35:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31979 A beautiful campus in the heart of Silicon Valley. An entrepreneurial mindset. Gorgeous Northern California weather. All the cultural offerings of the SF Bay Area. And…you? Will you be at Stanford GSB next year? If you’re preparing to apply, don’t miss our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Stanford GSB! Accepted.com’s founder and CEO, Linda Abraham, […]

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A beautiful campus in the heart of Silicon Valley. An entrepreneurial mindset. Gorgeous Northern California weather. All the cultural offerings of the SF Bay Area. And…you?

Will you be at Stanford GSB next year?

Register for our webinar to see how to get accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business!

If you’re preparing to apply, don’t miss our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Stanford GSB!

Accepted.com’s founder and CEO, Linda Abraham, will teach you how to:

• Master the 4 key strategies for showing that you belong at Stanford.

• Apply those strategies in the different elements in Stanford’s 2015-2016 application.

…and much more!

Register for the webinar, now!The details:

Who: Anyone applying to Stanford GSB

When: Tuesday, July 21st at 10 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

Presented by: Linda Abraham, Accepted.com Founder & CEO

Register for Get Accepted to Stanford GSB now to boost your chances of joining the 7% of students who will be accepted at Stanford GSB!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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MBA Admissions: Preparing For The Interview http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/30/mba-admissions-preparing-for-the-interview/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/30/mba-admissions-preparing-for-the-interview/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:09:19 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31915 “MBA Admissions: Preparing For The Interview” is the latest post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze. Here are three key tips on how to present yourself during those crucial face-to-face minutes. 1.  Structure Your Answers. Structure helps your interviewer see where you’re going with your answer and helps you remember where you’re going, too. […]

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Download "Navigate the MBA Maze" today!

“MBA Admissions: Preparing For The Interview” is the latest post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze.

Here are three key tips on how to present yourself during those crucial face-to-face minutes.

1.  Structure Your Answers. Structure helps your interviewer see where you’re going with your answer and helps you remember where you’re going, too. So when they ask, “Why do you want to attend Harvard/Stanford/Kellogg?” don’t say, “Well, I was born in Florida in 1984, and . . .” Instead, lay out a clear structure: “There are three primary reasons why this school is my top choice: curriculum, culture, and community.” After providing the structure upfront, provide details for each reason you mention. Not every interview answer requires an upfront structure (some are more story-oriented), but use one for those that lend themselves to it. You’ll be glad you did.

2.  Project Confidence. Regardless of your general confidence level, do your best to clear your mind of doubt and believe that you deserve an offer. As you prepare for the interview remind yourself of your past achievements in challenging circumstances. And make sure your confidence doesn’t spill over into arrogance (“Well of course you should accept me because…”).

3.  Read Your Interviewer. Some are high-energy. Some aren’t. Some like humor. Some don’t. Some are by-the-book. Some won’t ask a single question you’ve practiced for. While you can’t prepare for every single type of interviewer, you can adjust your style a bit to match theirs. Though schools stress that they seek objective opinions from their interviewers, we all know the reality: a large factor in interview performance is likeability, and interviewers like candidates who remind them of themselves. An even simpler strategy is to pay attention to clear cues from your interviewer— if they’re yawning and looking at their watch, you’re probably being too long winded or need to use more compelling examples; if they’re asking probing questions for everything you say, try including more details in your initial answers.

If you are interested in individualized interview coaching or a mock interview, check out Accepted.com’s MBA interview assistance packages.

Download your copy of Navigating the MBA MazeAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• How To Ace Your MBA Interview [Free Guide]
• MBA Admissions Interviews: Behavioral AND Qualitative Questions [Short Video]
• MBA Interview Questions: Walk Me Through Your Resume

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Resources:

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

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Dartmouth Tuck 2016 MBA Essay Tips And Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/28/dartmouth-tuck-2016-mba-essay-tips-and-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/28/dartmouth-tuck-2016-mba-essay-tips-and-deadlines/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 17:15:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31572 The Dartmouth Tuck adcom is interested in learning about what you as an individual, a businessperson, and a leader can contribute to Tuck’s small, close-knit program. Use your essays as a platform for expressing your earnest desire to enter the world of management and to make a difference.   I strongly recommend Tuck applicants read “The MBA […]

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Want to learn more about Tuck? Check out our Dartmouth Tuck MBA Zone!The Dartmouth Tuck adcom is interested in learning about what you as an individual, a businessperson, and a leader can contribute to Tuck’s small, close-knit program. Use your essays as a platform for expressing your earnest desire to enter the world of management and to make a difference.  

I strongly recommend Tuck applicants read The MBA Gatekeeper To Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business,” Poets and Quants interview with Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at Tuck. The article is a couple of years old, but still worth reading if you are applying to Tuck. I also recommend you review Dartmouth’s six evaluation criteria for admission.

Tuck tweaked its Essay #1 and #2, but the optional is unchanged.

Tuck provides length guidelines, not limits.  That “encouragement” and gentle suggestion gives you a little leeway. Please don’t make the mistake of abusing that typical Tuck friendliness. It is an opportunity for you to show judgment and consideration of your reader by still being succinct.

Accepted has been helping applicants to Tuck gain acceptance for roughly 20 years. Explore our services to learn more about how we can help you prepare your Tuck MBA application. 

Essays:

Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to 500 words for each essay. Please double-space your responses.

1. What are your short- and long-term goals? Why do you need an MBA to achieve those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The MBA is a means to an end, not an end in itself. That’s why Tuck (and many other schools) ask question like this one. Tuck wants to know that it can help you achieve your goal.  So clearly you have to have both short- and long-term goals to respond to the question.  And then you need to explain how an MBA will help you realize those goals and finally, why Tuck is the best place to do so.

You have to know  Tuck as well as your goals to respond effectively to this question. Why do you want a small, tight-knit program in rural New Hampshire? Why do you want a program that stresses the integration of business functions?  Which of Tuck’s strengths appeal to you? How will they help you achieve your goals? 

2. Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. How will that experience contribute to the learning environment at Tuck?

This question reflects the importance Tuck, like many MBA programs, places on leadership, and Tuck really wants to see you as a leader. 

Have you chaired  a fundraiser that raised a record amount of money? Have you been a board member for a not-for-profit organization? Have you captained a sports team that led your company league? Have you been a team lead on a project that came in early and under budget? Are you the head of a sales team who empowered other members of your team in a way that greatly contributed to the success of that initiative? These could all be examples of leadership. How did you motivate your teammates? Tell the story of that event.

Then, how will your leadership style and the lessons learned through this experience enable you to contribute? Tuck treasures its close-knit, collaborative culture and values teamwork.  How does this experience reveal about you and how you will interact with the MBA community at Dartmouth. In answering the last question, don’t fall into the trap of answering “What do they want to hear?” What do you most want them to know?

3. (Optional) Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

It is almost impossible for two (or even three) 500-word essays plus a bunch of boxes, a transcript, and a GMAT score to represent fully the uniqueness and talents of a truly impressive candidate. That comment has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with the complexity of accomplished human beings. In my opinion this “optional essay”  is optional in name only.

At the same time, don’t waste the reader’s time by writing a meaningless, superficial “grand finale” or summary. Don’t repeat what can be found elsewhere.

4. (To be completed by all reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

Straightforward MBA reapplication question. It is critical that every reapplicant be able to answer it for every school they are reapplying to: What has changed that would compel Tuck to admit you this year?

If you would like professional guidance with your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Dartmouth Tuck application. 

Dartmouth Tuck 2016 Application Deadlines:

Round Due Date Decisions Released
Early Action October 7, 2015 December 17, 2015
November Round November 4, 2015 February 12, 2016
January Round January 6, 2016 March 11, 2016
April Round April 4, 2016 May 13, 2016

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on your MBA Essay Questions

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

Related Resources:

• The Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement 
Darmouth Tuck Zone Page
• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

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

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Learn How to Use Examples to Write an Exemplary Essay

Explain how your experiences built your character.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related links:

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

Related shows:

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

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:
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How To Write About Overcoming Challenges Without Sounding Like A Whiner http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/24/write-about-overcoming-challenges-without-sounding-like-a-whiner/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/24/write-about-overcoming-challenges-without-sounding-like-a-whiner/#respond Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:51:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31814 It’s a classic MBA essay question: Write about a time when you overcame a challenge. How did you handle it? What did you learn from the experience? Let’s start by easing one worry you may have. Not everyone has faced a significant challenge at work by the time they apply for an MBA. If that […]

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Download our Example to Exemplary guide today!

Just state the facts – they speak for themselves.

It’s a classic MBA essay question: Write about a time when you overcame a challenge. How did you handle it? What did you learn from the experience?

Let’s start by easing one worry you may have. Not everyone has faced a significant challenge at work by the time they apply for an MBA. If that is your situation, think of another significant challenge you have faced in another realm: a community or volunteer organization, the military, or perhaps even a difficult personal situation. It’s important that the challenge be something in the recent past – preferably within the last two or three years. If the challenge you write about is farther back than that, it will need to have that much greater impact or significance.

What makes a good “challenge” for the purpose of this essay? The possibilities are almost limitless, but here are a few strong examples:

•  “Joe’s” boss informed him he was going to fire “Freddy,” a new-hire Joe had been mentoring, for poor performance. Joe believed in Freddy’s technical skills, and felt Freddy’s shyness and lack of English fluency had hurt him. Joe took it upon himself to try to help save Freddy’s job. He convinced his boss to give Freddy another chance, and coached him after-hours, directed him to a language fluency program, and engaged in role playing to help Freddy gain confidence. Freddy began to thrive, kept his job, and became the go-to guy in his department for certain technical knowledge.

At no time did Joe complain about his boss or call him unreasonable or insensitive. At no time did Joe play the martyr, patting himself on the back about the extra steps he was taking to work with Freddy. He just stated the facts about what he did, which spoke for themselves.

•  Here’s another example. “Lori” joined a community service organization whose membership was plummeting. Lori believed in the organization’s goals, volunteered to spearhead a membership drive, which was successful, and then ran for president of the organization and won. Then, she worked to create more dynamic programming, a social media presence, and added appealing incentives for people joining or renewing membership.

Joe made a huge impact on one man, and by extension, an impact on his organization. Lori also was able to show direct and tangible impact on her group. Neither Joe nor Lori made themselves out to be heroes by describing their exhaustion because of long hours spent on their respective “projects.” They didn’t pat themselves on the back for the contributions they made. They simply stated the circumstances, why they believed in their mission, and related what they did to fix what was wrong around them. Presenting their stories in a “just the facts, Ma’m” manner make Lori and Joe sound like exciting management material: filled with vision, creativity, incentive, and energy. And it is succinct.

•  Let’s look at one final example. “Gary” had written a marketing plan to boost awareness and fundraising at the non-profit where he worked. His CEO at first approved his plan, then suddenly nixed it, replacing it with his own plan. Gary was sure the CEO’s plan was not viable. It lacked a marketing budget yet had lofty target goals for fundraising. The CEO gave Gary six months to achieve these goals.

Now that’s a challenge.

When Gary couldn’t get the CEO to reconsider, he appealed to others in the organization who had the CEO’s ear. Fortunately, they were willing to speak to the CEO, who then agreed to Gary’s original plan. Now, based on the first few examples we’ve seen, you will already have guessed that in this case, Gary did not complain about the CEO, call him short-sighted or stingy. He did offer some explanations for why the CEO might have seen the situation as he did, but nothing pejorative was written.

Gary’s workaround to his challenging situation showed boldness, initiative, and perseverance. At no time did he complain about the added workload of having to unravel this situation, or make himself sound like he had saved the day.

Let’s recap: A strong “challenge” example will allow you to show direct impact on either your organization or another individual. Ideally, it will be something that happened in the last two or three years, unless it was a monumental achievement. Finally, do not cast blame on others who may have helped create the problem/challenge in the first place, and do not sound like a martyr in describing the efforts (no matter how great) you made to get the job done. Simple, direct writing about the challenge will make it abundantly clear that you have the initiative, problem solving, communications, and organizational skills a good MBA program looks for.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own! Judy Gruen By , MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
• Writing About Overcoming Obstacles in Your Application Essays
Selling Yourself Short?

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MBA Admissions: Letters of Recommendation http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/22/mba-admissions-letters-of-recommendation/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/22/mba-admissions-letters-of-recommendation/#respond Mon, 22 Jun 2015 16:35:53 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31758 “MBA Admissions: Letters of Recommendation” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze. The best letters of recommendation come from people who have seen you perform. The weakest letters are of the “character reference” variety (from the clergy member who knows you only as a person who dozes during weekly services) or […]

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Click here to download your copy of "Navigate the MBA Maze"!

The best letters of recommendation come from people who have seen you perform.

MBA Admissions: Letters of Recommendation” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze.

The best letters of recommendation come from people who have seen you perform. The weakest letters are of the “character reference” variety (from the clergy member who knows you only as a person who dozes during weekly services) or the VIP genre (from influential people like your mother’s college roommate’s sister, who is on an admissions committee). In both cases, the recommender barely knows you. A letter need not be lengthy to be effective, and the writer need not have known you since grade school. A letter from an immediate supervisor who describes your work and rates your performance as much stronger than that of other employees in similar positions, tells an admissions committee something significant about you.

It’s important to avoid repetition and duplication in your letters. “Only one recommendation per single source” is a good rule of thumb. Each letter should highlight a different facet of you and your accomplishments and, ideally, present you from a different vantage point. If you have a job in which you report to more than one person, don’t ask each person for a letter. Ask one of them and then ask another supervisor from a different project or a previous position.

Last but not least, request your letters in person whenever possible, and give each recommender a copy of your resume and your personal statement. Ask the person if s/he is able to write you a strong letter, and offer to provide any additional material the person requests.

Download your copy of Navigating the MBA Maze
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes [Free Guide]
• MBA Letters Of Recommendation
• Recommenders And Recommendations

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Future Harvard Business School MBAs – Tune In On Tuesday! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/21/future-harvard-business-school-mbas-tune-in-on-tuesday/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/21/future-harvard-business-school-mbas-tune-in-on-tuesday/#respond Sun, 21 Jun 2015 18:16:03 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31723 You have just a couple days until our webinar, Get Accepted to Harvard Business School, airs live. If you plan on applying to Harvard Business School or another top-tier MBA program, then you’ll want to make sure you catch the important advice that Linda will cover in Get Accepted to Harvard Business School. The webinar will take […]

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You have just a couple days until our webinar, Get Accepted to Harvard Business School, airs live. If you plan on applying to Harvard Business School or another top-tier MBA program, then you’ll want to make sure you catch the important advice that Linda will cover in Get Accepted to Harvard Business School.

get-accepted-to-hbs-live-webinar

The webinar will take place Tuesday, June 23rd, at 5:00 PM/8:00 PM ET. [Please note: The June 24th 10:00 AM PT and the 5:00 PM PT sessions are now completely FULL.]

See you there!Save your spot at the webinar!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Applying For Your MBA Through The Consortium: Best Deal In Town http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/21/applying-for-your-mba-through-the-consortium-best-deal-in-town/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/21/applying-for-your-mba-through-the-consortium-best-deal-in-town/#respond Sun, 21 Jun 2015 16:12:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31741 Our consultants receive a lot of questions from clients about applying to MBA programs through The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.  I’ve heard myths flying around that applying to one (or more) of the 18 Consortium schools through The Consortium’s application is disadvantageous.  But as the former director at two Consortium schools, I can […]

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Download our 'MBA in Sight: Focus on Management" guide, today!Our consultants receive a lot of questions from clients about applying to MBA programs through The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.  I’ve heard myths flying around that applying to one (or more) of the 18 Consortium schools through The Consortium’s application is disadvantageous.  But as the former director at two Consortium schools, I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth — provided you meet the Consortium’s minimum qualifications.

Though the requirements, the schools, and the corporate partners have changed over its 49-year history, the Consortium is not only the best deal in town; it also gives Consortium members an alumni network that expands throughout the 18-member schools.

Initially, The Consortium provided opportunities for young African American men to have a fair chance at rising up the corporate ladder via the MBA. Later, the Consortium added Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and women to its mix.  Membership came along with the fellowship.

However, after the Supreme Court decided on the Gratz vs. Bollinger and Grutter vs. Bollinger cases, the Consortium opened up its doors to offer membership to selected applicants that further the mission of The Consortium in providing inclusion of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in business.  Members and fellows do not have to belong to these groups. Thus, membership is no longer race-based, but rather mission driven.  Applicants must also demonstrate the ability to succeed in an MBA program.

Like the undergraduate Common Application, candidates can apply to up to 6 Consortium schools with only one application for a fraction of the cost the candidate would incur applying to each of these schools separately.  The catch:  the candidate must rank order the schools.  Having just attending a Consortium recruiting event, the Admissions representatives on the panel suggested that candidates rank order the schools from the most preferred to the least preferred.  However, in order to obtain a fellowship, I believe there is a strategy involved in the ranking.

To be sure, Consortium membership assures the candidate of access to the orientation and corporate partners.  In fact, many candidates receive internship offers prior to the start of school.   Membership, however, does not guarantee admission to the schools of choice, nor does it guarantee a full-tuition fellowship.

To summarize the benefits:

1. One application for up to six schools at one low cost.

2. Access to vast alumni network of 18 schools that includes mentorship from Consortium alumni (formal or informal).

3. If selected as a member, access to corporate sponsors at orientation

4. If selected as a fellow, full tuition and stipend

To learn more about applying through the Consortium and the strategy behind the rank order, please contact me for a free consultation.  Moreover, Accepted will offer Consortium applicants a special coupon code for 10% off all purchases of $2000 or more for services to help you apply through the Consortium. The best deal in town just got even better.

Download your 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:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid In Your MBA Application Essays [Free Guide]
• The Consortium: Diversifying B-School and Corporate Management [Podcast]
• Approaching the Diversity Essay Question

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Georgetown McDonough 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/19/georgetown-mcdonough-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/19/georgetown-mcdonough-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Fri, 19 Jun 2015 17:47:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31681 Georgetown McDonough, the top MBA program at the intersection of business and government, takes advantage of its Washington D.C. location, its connections to the greater Georgetown University community, and its Jesuit roots while at the same time focusing on the global nature of twenty-first century business.  Your application should show that you need the education provided by […]

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Check out the rest of our 2015 MBA application essay tips!Georgetown McDonough, the top MBA program at the intersection of business and government, takes advantage of its Washington D.C. location, its connections to the greater Georgetown University community, and its Jesuit roots while at the same time focusing on the global nature of twenty-first century business.  Your application should show that you need the education provided by McDonough to achieve your goals and that you wholeheartedly embrace its values.

Essay:

Create your essays in separate documents and upload them into the appropriate application fields. Please adhere to word limits, and label each page with your name. Re-applicants will be prompted to submit a specific essay question. Dual degree applicants and Georgetown MBA re-applicants will be prompted to submit specific essay questions.

(Essays should be double-spaced using a 12-point font.)

1. Why You? (Hint: we are looking for an answer that cannot be found from research on our website) (750 words or fewer)

This question is all about fit. It is an attempt by Georgetown to learn about you and why you think you belong at Georgetown and why Georgetown should admit you.  Georgetown wants to see how you think and come to a major decision. It also wants you to make a coherent case for your own acceptance to McDonough.

There are lots of different ways to approach this essay. Clearly you shouldn’t spit back the McDonough web site. If you can, talk to current students about the culture and distinctive elements of the program to gain a deeper understanding of it. You also need to reflect on the reasons Georgetown should choose you? While your reasons for wanting to attend are a factor, the big question will be what do you intend to contribute. What will you add?

You could start with a highly influential experience that molded your decision to pursue an MBA, go into more depth about what you hope to achieve and why you believe Georgetown is the best place for you to achieve it.

Alternatively, you could start with a day in the future where you attain your goal and then circle back to discuss the development of that goal and McDonough’s role in helping you achieve it. You can also discuss how you intend to contribute to McDonought’s community.

In short, why should McDonough accept you? How will you make the school proud that they did?

Optional Essays:

1. If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)

Show them that you are using this period of unemployment to acquire new skills, contribute to your community, or grow in some way.

2. Please provide any information that you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

Please see The Optional Essay: To Be or Not to Be.

Re-Applicant Essay:

How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

This is a key question (whether asked explicitly or not) for all reapplicants to any MBA program. What has changed? How are you “new and improved” since last year — when you were rejected? Georgetown does you the favor of providing this explicit prompt so you can address this question while retaining the ability to address the main essay.

If you would like professional guidance with your Georgetown McDonough School MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Georgetown McDonough MBA application.

Georgetown McDonough 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decision Notification
 Round 1  October 1, 2015  December 15, 2015
 Round 2  January 5, 2016  March 20, 2016
 Round 3  April 1, 2016  May 15, 2016

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

Download our free special report: Best MBA ProgramsRelated Resources:

2016 MBA Application Essay Tips
Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them [Short Video]
The Georgetown McDonough MBA: Everything You Need to Know

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Around The Word At MIT Sloan http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/19/around-the-word-at-mit-sloan/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/19/around-the-word-at-mit-sloan/#respond Fri, 19 Jun 2015 16:11:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31658 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 Kate Agnew, a student at MIT Sloan…. Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an […]

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Read more MBA 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 Kate Agnew, a student 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? What are your hobbies? Favorite TV show?

Kate: I was born and raised in Minnesota and lived there right up until I moved to Boston for business school. I went to Macalester College for my undergrad, where I studied mathematics and also got an environmental studies minor. Outside of school, I almost entirely allow myself to be consumed by TV and movies. I’m a big fan of superheroes and action movies as a whole, and watch most of the major hit TV shows. Scandal, Walking Dead, Criminal Minds, Longmire, Orange is the New Black, Arrow, and Covert Affairs just to name a few…

Accepted: Congrats on finishing your first year at MIT Sloan! What were some of the most challenging and rewarding parts of your first year of b-school? Is there anything that you would change?

Kate: Contrary to what some students like to tell perspective students, business school is really hard. I was only out of school for 3 years and still found it hard to jump back into the groove of things. I had little exposure to economics before, so I found that subject to be especially difficult. There is also always something to do, so prioritizing my time was hard but extremely important.

So far, the most rewarding experience has been participating in The Yarn, which is a monthly event at Sloan where select students share stories from their lives. It was one of the few times I really allowed myself to be vulnerable to such a large group of people in person. I was proud of myself for having the courage to do it, but was also really encouraged by the feedback I received from my peers afterwards. If my story can help even just one other person, it is all worth it. This is why I write as honestly as I do.

Accepted: I see that you’ve had the opportunity to travel a good deal this year. What have those experiences been like, and what have you learned?

Kate: One piece of advice I received my first week of orientation was to write down my 5 goals for business school and to use that when prioritizing my time. My goals were: travel internationally, explore the entertainment industry, decide between entertainment and consulting, engage in empowering women in business, and make strong social connections (in this order). Because of my goal to travel more, I have taken advantage of every travel opportunity that has presented itself.

First I went to Turkey. A small group of Sloan students spent a weekend in Istanbul during the fall, solely because flights were cheap (less than $500 round trip!). Turkey really allowed me to see that things outside of the US are not always as they seem. I was so surprised to find that the city was more… European… than what I expected when traveling to a country in the Middle East. It was also an experience that reminded me how unbelievably fortunate I am. I saw mothers of infants who fled from Syria and were living on the streets with their children. It was heartbreaking.

This Spring I enrolled in a class titled China Lab that allowed me to work on a small consulting project with a partner from MIT and two from Yunnan University. It was different from any other travel experience I’ve had in that it allowed me to see the business side of the country. Corruption is extremely prevalent there and it is concerning how many of the business decisions are made while people are completely intoxicated. Additionally, I saw literally hundreds of skyscrapers being built that still have no plans for tenants. It feels like an economy built on vaporware, or a false expectation of growth. China’s economy plays such a huge role globally and supports so much of the economy of the United States that these issues cannot be ignored.

Most recently I spent 10 days in Israel. On the way there, I had a 12 hour layover in Amsterdam and got to explore the city. It was my first time in a new country all alone and it was quite a liberating experience. I went to the Van Gogh museum and took more selfies than one should in a day.

Israel itself was surreal. In so many ways it is very similar to the United States, especially Tel Aviv where we went clubbing and shopping. I had the opportunity to visit their air force base as well, and it was inspiring to see how much pride everyone has for their country, in part because of their required military service. I seriously left wanting to join the Israeli Army, but I do have a tendency to be easily influenced. Later, we went ATVing about 100 yards from the Syrian “border” (it is really a cease-fire line) and even explored a building that used to be the Syrian Military Headquarters. All of a sudden everything I had read about online or heard on the news was right in front of me… I will definitely think differently of these events moving forward.

Accepted: Your blog covers a lot of topics- from b-school, to work, to more personal writing (and thoughts on the process of writing itself). I can tell you take writing seriously! How did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience?

Kate: Growing up, I felt very alone. I thought I was the only one who had a difficult childhood. Once I got older, I realized my past wasn’t all that unique. I began reading stories of other childhoods, books such as Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt and Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. They provided me a lot of comfort. I saw that I could be successful and craft my own future; my past didn’t have to dictate who I would become. It also inspired me to begin writing. I figured that if some stories helped me growing up, potentially my stories could help others. The drive behind my writing is really helping others feel connected and less alone.

Additionally, writing has given me the opportunity to deeply reflect on things and to become more open and comfortable with who I am. There are still things about me that are unique, and I’ve been able to embrace these attributes rather than shy away from them. It is still a work in progress though.

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 starting out?

Kate: Business school feels more like high school than it should. While in some ways this can be frustrating, it is also refreshing. Everyone has gone through high school and most cases college as well. By applying those same skills both socially and academically, b-school can feel more approachable. Your reputation will be extremely important, but don’t worry too much about what people think about petty things.

Accepted: Do you have any advice for our b-school applicant readers?

Kate: Deeply consider how business school will help you grow and why that growth is important for who you want to be. Because I’m interested in entertainment, b-school wasn’t a requirement for my career. However, I am a first generation college student and have spent a lot of time mentoring younger girls and encouraging them to seek higher education. I felt that having a master’s degree would enhance my ability to be a strong role model and giving back to the community is very important to me.

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

To read more about Kim’s b-school journey, please check out her blog, Kate’s a Cliche. Thank you Kate for sharing your story with us! 

Download your free copy of 12 Terrific Tips for MBA Applicants Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

Why MBA? [Free Guide]
• It’s MBA Season: Do You Know Where Your Applications Are? [Podcast]
• Hone Your MBA Goals [Short Video]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Resources:

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

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

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

Watch the webinar now!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Harvard Business School: Engaged Community Citizenship http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/18/harvard-business-school-engaged-community-citizenship-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/18/harvard-business-school-engaged-community-citizenship-2/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2015 15:58:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31645 This is not about “community service” — it’s not about doing halo-worthy things in your free time. (Though neither HBS nor I will discourage that, and “engaged community citizenship” and “community service” certainly can overlap.) Community service is an activity that you do; engaged community citizenship is a quality that you embody. Doing community service […]

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Register for our upcoming webinar "Get Accepted to Harvard Business School" now!This is not about “community service” — it’s not about doing halo-worthy things in your free time. (Though neither HBS nor I will discourage that, and “engaged community citizenship” and “community service” certainly can overlap.)

Community service is an activity that you do; engaged community citizenship is a quality that you embody. Doing community service does not automatically mean you possess the quality of engaged community citizenship.

Harvard Business School explicitly seeks this quality in its applicants – announced in bold letters on its “Who are we looking for?” page.

Plaudits to HBS for the directness and clarity. Yet it’s a complex idea. Let’s see exactly what “engaged community service” means by examining each element.

Engaged: Showing up. Participating, with your heart and mind as well as your actions. When you ask questions or make a comment, it’s not just for participation brownie points; it’s thoughtful, pertinent, contributing. You share doubts and fears as well as offer solutions. You know how to listen, you do listen, and you synthesize what you hear. You check your ego at the door, knowing it’s not about you, it’s about the issue or project or process.

Community: Your organization and your team or department within it. Your social circle. Your sports team and/or religious group and/or music ensemble and/or hobby club. Your service organization. Not least, your school – including the HBS classroom. It is also your neighborhood. And your country. It’s the people around you on the subway platform. It’s every group formal or informal with which you have a connection.

Citizenship: A sense of responsibility. A sense of ownership. The values that inform and drive your engagement with your community. First and foremost, you care. About the community at large, the people within it, and, yes, yourself. You act on that caring and your actions reflect that caring. Therefore, you are ethical and honest. You are reliable and generous. In a nutshell: You can be counted on to pitch in and do the right thing for your community.

Actually, the quality of engaged community citizenship is something that any b-school adcom will value. So how do you express it effectively in your application? Use example and anecdote. For HBS, focus on it in your responses to your “Three most…” questions in the body of the app. Also, try to bring it out in your resume and your interviews. Ask your recommenders to highlight it.

If you have it – let it enhance your candidacy.

Watch the webinar of 'How to Get Accepted To Harvard Business School' today!

Cindy Tokumitsu By , author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted. She can help you assess your strengths and weaknesses and develop a winning MBA admissions strategy. She is a member of the Association of International Graduate Application Consultants.

Related Resources:

• Harvard Business School 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• What Does Harvard Business School Want?
• Harvard Business School: The Habit of Leadership

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June Already! What Now? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/18/june-already-what-now/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/18/june-already-what-now/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2015 15:29:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31672 It’s June, and your plan is to apply to Round 1 deadlines. That’s three months away. What should you be doing now? 1. Hopefully, you have taken the GMAT or GRE already and are happy with your score. One less thing to worry about. If you haven’t, now it’s the time to take it. 2. […]

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Get those Round 1 applications started now!

It’s June, and your plan is to apply to Round 1 deadlines. That’s three months away. What should you be doing now?

1. Hopefully, you have taken the GMAT or GRE already and are happy with your score. One less thing to worry about. If you haven’t, now it’s the time to take it.

2. You have done your research and have a pretty good idea of what schools you will be applying to. Get the final list of schools ready, with their deadlines arranged in chronological order. In that list, you should include your dream school for sure, a couple where your profile fits right in, and at least one ‘safety’, where you are almost sure you can get admitted. This is the time to narrow down your choices. Having this list will help you narrow your research and concentrate on those schools only.

3. Finalize your resume. There’s no need to wait around any longer. Your resume should be good to go now so that you have one less piece of the puzzle to worry about.

4. Fine tune your goals. If your goals are still not quite clear in your mind, this is the time to give them some deep thought and write them down. This is particularly true if you are planning on changing fields. Do your homework now so that you start your applications with a clear idea of what you want to do short and long term.

5. Start choosing your recommenders and track them down.  Maybe you haven’t seen one of them in a while, so it’s probably a good idea to contact him/her and re-connect. Taking care of this now will allow you to find alternates if for some reason one of the people you had in mind is unwilling or unable to write a recommendation for you.

6. If you feel you lack community service or extracurricular activities, get on it right away. See my blog about this on Extracurriculars and Community Service.

7. Start working on your essays. If you have completed 1-6 and your target schools have released their application questions, you can start drafting essay responses.  If your schools’ questions aren’t out, then just start a file, mind map, or folder where you jot down examples of leadership, top achievements, successes, failures, teamwork, initiative etc. When the questions are available this file will put good stories and examples at your fingertips to anchor your essays.  It will also be useful when you want to prepare for interviews.

The coming months will be very stressful for you, no doubt. So start working on these things now to allow time to dig deeper on the essays and the rest of your application materials later. You will find that ninety days go by very quickly, so make sure every day counts.

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

7 Steps To A Strong MBA Application [Webinar]
• It’s MBA Season: Do You Know Where Your Applications Are? [Podcast]
• Why Extracurricular Activities Make a Difference

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Is A Harvard MBA In Your Future? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/17/is-a-harvard-mba-in-your-future-3/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/17/is-a-harvard-mba-in-your-future-3/#respond Wed, 17 Jun 2015 18:20:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31615 If you want to answer that with a resounding “yes,” then you need to tune in to our upcoming webinar, The Accepted Guide to Harvard Business School. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 23rd, at 5:00 PM/8:00 PM ET. [Please note: The June 24th 10:00 AM PT and the 5:00 PM PT sessions […]

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If you want to answer that with a resounding “yes,” then you need to tune in to our upcoming webinar, The Accepted Guide to Harvard Business School.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 23rd, at 5:00 PM/8:00 PM ET. [Please note: The June 24th 10:00 AM PT and the 5:00 PM PT sessions are now completely FULL.]

Register for our upcoming webinar on June 24th!

Reserve your spot for Get Accepted to Harvard Business School now!

save my spotAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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The Importance Of Extracurriculars And Community Service http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/the-importance-of-extracurriculars-and-community-service/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/the-importance-of-extracurriculars-and-community-service/#respond Tue, 16 Jun 2015 16:28:27 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31596 While business schools deeply value your academic background, work experience, and career progression, they also ascribe significant weight to your extracurricular and community service activities. Why? Because they want to see that you are an individual who is not just focused on work, that you have other passions, and that you are well rounded. Whether […]

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Start now! A little bit of community service is better than no community service at all.

While business schools deeply value your academic background, work experience, and career progression, they also ascribe significant weight to your extracurricular and community service activities. Why? Because they want to see that you are an individual who is not just focused on work, that you have other passions, and that you are well rounded.

Whether it be practicing sports, singing in your church’s choir, or helping at soup kitchens, community service and extracurricular activities are extremely important for you as an applicant beyond their feel-good value. What does being involved in this type of activity show b-schools?

1. It gives them a more holistic picture of you. You are not just the two-dimensional person going to work every day and taking it easy on the weekends. It shows them that you have other interests, and that you’re not afraid to take (mostly unpaid) responsibilities outside of your job.

2. It shows traits that would probably not come up on the rest of the application: your leadership, initiative, passion, and interpersonal skills. People that are used to acting to the benefit of others make for better team players, whether in the community or the corporate world. Those traits are indispensable in order to succeed at b-school and later on in your career.

3. Individuals who have a track record of community service, once they are in b-school, have no trouble getting involved in clubs, school initiatives and later, as alumni.

What if you haven’t volunteered and you are planning to apply to business school this fall? Start today. You may think that adcoms will notice that the sudden rise in your extracurriculars and community service coincided with the time when you started preparing your applications, and you would be right. They’ll notice that, but they won’t hold it against you. If anything, it will help you.

As the saying goes, better late than never. A little bit of community service is better than no community service at all. Why start right now? If you plan on applying to Round 1 deadlines, that would give you three months of service. By the time the schools invite you to interview, you’d have around six months under your belt. Those are six months of experience and anecdotes that can bring color to your interview.  By your enrollment date, you would have done over a year of community work, an invaluable experience that would give you an advantage when you meet recruiters and start interviewing for internships.

What if you don’t get admitted this time around? What if you have to re-apply? No one knows what the future holds and in spite of your hard work and dedication, there’s the chance that you will get waitlisted or, heaven forbid, denied admission. In this scenario, you would have 15 months of community service by the time you hit your application submit button next year, and that might make the difference the second time around.

So, go and do service. You’ll become a better applicant, and most importantly, a better person for it.

"7 Steps to a Strong MBA Application" watch the webinar now!

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:

• Why Extracurricular Activities Make a Difference
• It’s MBA Season: Do You Know Where Your Applications Are? [Podcast]
• Selling Yourself Short?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accepted: What is your favorite book?

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

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

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

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

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

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

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Natalie:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Harvard Business School: Analytical Aptitude And Appetite http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/15/harvard-business-school-analytical-aptitude-and-appetite-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/15/harvard-business-school-analytical-aptitude-and-appetite-2/#respond Mon, 15 Jun 2015 16:28:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31550 So HBS wants “analytical aptitude and appetite.” What is there to add? I mean, it’s pretty obvious. We didn’t really need HBS to say it. Yet they did say it. Maybe it’s not as obvious as it sounds. Let’s take a look. Analytical: This concept encompasses a range of things – quantitative methods, various tools […]

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Learn How To Get Accepted to Harvard Business School!So HBS wants “analytical aptitude and appetite.” What is there to add? I mean, it’s pretty obvious. We didn’t really need HBS to say it. Yet they did say it.

Maybe it’s not as obvious as it sounds. Let’s take a look.

Analytical: This concept encompasses a range of things – quantitative methods, various tools and processes such as decision trees and FMEA, mental objectivity, an exacting attitude. Parsing the relationship between a whole and its parts. Pursuing root causes.

Aptitude: Ability, innate and/or learned.

Appetite: This is the really interesting word, because it’s open to interpretation. We can read it as meaning to enjoy, to savor, to be open to, to relish, to hunger for, to have capacity for. Here are some of its practical implications and nuances (in question form):

• Do you use objective analysis in understanding past events, planning future actions and strategies, and making decisions?
• Do you respect results and outcomes determined by analysis when they don’t jive with your preconceptions, ideologies, or preferences?
• Does your analytic mindset allow you to be comfortable with – even relish – ambiguity and uncertainty?
• Do you help your teammates understand and use analytic approaches and thinking?
• Perhaps most important, do you use language effectively as an analytic tool, e.g., when the team is facing a muddle, are you the one who can verbally separate the threads, clarify them, and guide the team to understand their relative weight and importance?

As the HBS website indicates, for HBS, analytical aptitude is not a solitary feast (regardless of how hearty the analytic appetite). You’ve got to bring your analytical chops to the table, i.e., to classroom debates and case studies, projects, etc. Therefore, you must be able not only to read and play the analytic score – but also to improvise, on the spot and with other virtuosos.

The adcom will grasp your analytic aptitude from your transcript(s), test score, and resume. But if you feel these elements don’t properly show this dimension, use other parts of the application (essay, short answers, additional info, recommendations) to amplify it.

As for showing analytical appetite:

• Your resume may reflect this quality, depending on your work.
• Invite your recommenders to discuss this quality and to provide examples.
• In your essay(s) use a story or two that demonstrates analytical appetite.

And be assured, it won’t hurt to let other programs you apply to appreciate your analytic aptitude and appetite!

Watch the webinar of 'How to Get Accepted To Harvard Business School' today!

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

Related Resources:

• What Does Harvard Business School Want?
Harvard Business School: The Habit of Leadership
• Harvard Business School 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

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Aligning Your Resume With Your Application Essays http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/15/aligning-your-resume-with-your-application-essays/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/15/aligning-your-resume-with-your-application-essays/#respond Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:42:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31562 “Aligning Your Resume With Your Application Essays” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze. MBA and other graduate school applicants frequently submit a resume with their applications. Many schools require it, and some schools, such as Columbia Business School, even specify a given format. The resume not only will present a […]

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Everything you write should directly or indirectly relate to your goals – including the resume.

Aligning Your Resume With Your Application Essays” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze.

MBA and other graduate school applicants frequently submit a resume with their applications. Many schools require it, and some schools, such as Columbia Business School, even specify a given format. The resume not only will present a valuable context for your other materials, but it also will give the adcom readers an easy point of reference as they read your essays.

To use the resume strategically in the application, you must align it with your essays. First, follow the basic rules of good resume writing for your MBA application resume. Beyond that, there are several points to consider in preparing your resume for your graduate school applications:

• The resume can free up space in your essays. By summarizing your experience, responsibilities, and achievements in the resume, you don’t have to worry about cramming every noteworthy item into your essays or sketching out your career path. Rather, you can be very selective and detailed in the experiences you do elaborate on in the essays. These two components, the essays and the resume, should complement each other rather than being redundant. When they harmonize, they sharpen your message and give both depth and breadth to your application.

• Be consistent in your resume and essays: refer to companies, job titles, departments, technologies, and other items in the same way in both pieces. Not only does this practice prevent confusion, it also heightens the unity and coherence of the overall application.

• Review your essays and determine whether there are particular skills, abilities, talents, or experiences that you should reinforce. Then use your resume to do so. For example, if your verbal score was low, presumably you demonstrated your verbal skills in your essays. Use the resume to further strengthen the impression of strong verbal skills.

• Your goals anchor your application essays and statements of purpose; everything you write should directly or indirectly relate to them. So should the resume. In selecting the experiences and accomplishments to highlight, give the resume a slant that reflects your goals.

Download your copy of Navigating the MBA Maze
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
4 Tips for Demonstrating Professional Growth in a Flat Organization
Hone Your MBA Goals, a short video

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Michigan Ross 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/michigan-ross-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/michigan-ross-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 18:32:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31298 Michigan Ross essentially condensed last year’s two required questions into one and added a goals essay question.   Review Ross’ Evaluation Criteria and Admissions Director Soojin Kwon’s excellent blog post on the new questions before you sit down to write the essays. Most importantly remember: your essays should reveal the qualities Ross seeks — not just mouth them. Show that […]

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Click here for more top b-school application essay tips!Michigan Ross essentially condensed last year’s two required questions into one and added a goals essay question.  

Review Ross’ Evaluation Criteria and Admissions Director Soojin Kwon’s excellent blog post on the new questions before you sit down to write the essays. Most importantly remember: your essays should reveal the qualities Ross seeks — not just mouth them. Show that you walk the walk, not just talk the talk. 

My comments are in blue below. 

Essays:

1.  What are you most proud of and why? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)

The first part of the question is fairly straightforward. What are you truly proud of? The reasons for your pride and the influence of this experience require thought and soul-searching. And of course, you only have 400 words.

Possible examples: Contributed significantly to your team, department, company, or club. Raised money for a favorite charity. Organized a political event. Engaged in interfaith dialogue that broke down communications barriers. Led a sports team to victory.  Or perhaps, overcoming a significant personal challenge.  

If possible, quantify this part of your answer. Numbers are a great way to show both contribution and impact.  However, if your #1 achievement is qualitative or difficult to quantify, don’t let lack of numbers stop you from using it.

Your response to “why?” is extremely important.  As Soojin Kwon writes on her blog “We want to understand what makes something important to you. It gives us a glimpse into how you think about and process things, and what your priorities and values are.” Choose the reasons that genuinely reflect who you are and also show fit with Ross and its values. 

For the third part of the question (how did it shape who you are today?), think and then focus. Choose one or two lessons from this accomplishment that changed how you think or behave and describe those changes.  You don’t have room for many lessons learned, so select the most important.

Please don’t write that you learned you can do anything you put your mind to. That response is cliched and not really true. There are limits to what you can do. A good response will show how this crucial experience has molded you.2.  What is your desired career path and why? (up to 400 words)

What do you want to do after you earn your MBA? This question doesn’t limit itself to your first job. It ask for the “path” and is asking how would you like to see your career progress.  Why is this path appealing to you?

You can point to 1-3 experiences (don’t focus on the same one used in your response to #1) that convinced you that the desired one is right for you. Analyze the impact of these events. Highlight 1-3 aspects of these experiences that you enjoyed that will also be part of your desired future direction. 

Right genuinely about your future career, but realize as Soojin Kwon says that Ross uses the answers to see if business school makes sense. Ross doesn’t want to admit you if its MBA won’t help you go where you want to go professionally.  Show that a Ross MBA in the missing link between what you have done in the past and what you want to do in the future.

If you would like professional guidance with your Michigan Ross MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Michigan Ross application. 

Michigan Ross 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Round 1
Applications due Oct. 5, 2015 at 11:59 PM (EST)
Decisions posted Dec. 18, 2015 at 12:00 PM (EST)

Round 2
Applications due Jan. 4, 2016 at 11:59 PM (EST)
Decisions posted March 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM (EST)

Round 3
Applications due March 21, 2016 at 11:59 PM (EST)
Decisions posted May 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM (EST)

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

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

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Does your opening line catch the reader’s attention?

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

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

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

or

There are numerous ways to make a banana split cry.

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

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

A good essay opening is one that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Sustainability Center With Eco Leader At Helm For NYU Stern http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/12/new-sustainability-center-with-eco-leader-at-helm-for-nyu-stern/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/12/new-sustainability-center-with-eco-leader-at-helm-for-nyu-stern/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2015 17:02:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31470 With concerns about sustainability and environmental/human impact gaining more currency in the business community, NYU Stern has announced the establishment of a new Center for Sustainable Business, launching in January 2016. The new center will be led by Tensie Whelan, President of the Rainforest Alliance and an experienced leader in the field. In addition to […]

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Check out NYU Sten's zone pageWith concerns about sustainability and environmental/human impact gaining more currency in the business community, NYU Stern has announced the establishment of a new Center for Sustainable Business, launching in January 2016. The new center will be led by Tensie Whelan, President of the Rainforest Alliance and an experienced leader in the field.

In addition to research and teaching, the Center will bring together companies from different sectors and parts of the world with stakeholders and experts for an annual conference exploring solutions for a particular environmental and developmental challenge.

Whelan holds a master’s degree in international communication from American University’s School of International Service and a bachelor’s degree in political science from New York University. She has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics” by Ethisphere for several years.

As president of the Rainforest Alliance, Whelan built the organization from a $4.5 million budget to $50 million, transforming the engagement of business with sustainability and recruiting 5,000 companies in more than 60 countries to work with the organization. She partnered closely with sustainability leaders from multinational corporations, CEOs from around the globe, key NGO and United Nations leaders, as well as donors.

During her 25 year career in environmental leadership, she has also served as vice president of conservation information at the National Audubon Society and executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

“More and more, society and consumers expect companies to address social and environmental issues in their business models. Corporations, in turn, are seeking new employees who come ready to innovate and contribute. As educators, we have a responsibility to help our students develop their perspectives and skills to meet this new reality,” said NYU Stern Professor Bruce Buchanan in a statement. The new Center is aimed at doing just that.

Learn more at: Center for Sustainable Business

Download your free copy of 12 Terrific Tips for MBA Applicants Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Navigate the MBA Maze
• The MBA Family: A Roundup and Overview
• 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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

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

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

See how Accepted can help you succeed!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

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

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Harvard Business School: The Habit Of Leadership http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/11/harvard-business-school-the-habit-of-leadership/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/11/harvard-business-school-the-habit-of-leadership/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:53:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31377 Thank you, Harvard Business School. IMHO, that’s what applicants should think when they visit the program’s website and find “habit of leadership” on its “Who are we looking for?” admissions page. It’s common knowledge that HBS values leadership, but with this phrase, the adcom succinctly expresses how they view leadership – dynamic, deep, intrinsic, long-term. […]

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Register for our upcoming live webinar on How To Get Accepted To HBS!Thank you, Harvard Business School. IMHO, that’s what applicants should think when they visit the program’s website and find “habit of leadership” on its “Who are we looking for?” admissions page.

It’s common knowledge that HBS values leadership, but with this phrase, the adcom succinctly expresses how they view leadership – dynamic, deep, intrinsic, long-term. It’s something you possess and bring to your experiences, not something that happens to describe your involvement in a few isolated incidents (i.e., the proverbial “leadership experience”). Not just HBS applicants, but all b-school applicants can benefit from reflecting on the phrase – and then determining how they embody it in their actions.

There are a gazillion excellent articles and treatises on the meaning of leadership. And most of them are valid. I’m focusing on the other word. The key to this message is habit. First, it’s active. It’s something done. It’s not something bestowed upon you (like the title Team Lead) and it’s not something ascended to (advanced to Project Manager). Whether good or bad, habits are something you do.

Second, a habit is reflexive, a part of you. You may think about it objectively in your mind, but it’s also behavior. Yet that doesn’t automatically mean it’s innate – a habit may be learned (you probably know someone who trained herself to become more patient or more decisive or less defensive). Therefore, if you aren’t a “born leader,” you can still develop the habit of leadership.

A habit knows no boundaries. You exercise the habit of leadership in school, in your family, with friends, at work, in your community. It means that when something needs doing or when you perceive an opportunity for positive impact, you shift into gear to make it happen – even if it’s hard, even if it’s not your designated role, even if you’re not sure exactly how you’ll do it. Simply, it’s what you do.

Because it’s action oriented, not title or ego oriented, the habit of leadership, ironically, may sometimes seem invisible, a hidden force. Routine and regular. Example: your friends, tired after a long day of canoeing on the Delaware River, squabble about where to go for dinner. You gently draw the group’s focus to the two most feasible options, proposed by two different members of the group; everyone starts to feel enthusiastic again. They may not consciously recognize your leadership; in fact, the person who proposed the “winning” idea might feel like the leader! (More irony: real leadership often allows others to feel like the top dog.) Of course, the opposite is also true sometimes: your leadership habit may require you to visibly assert an opposing vision or emphatically convince people to join you in taking a risk.

While this quality is something HBS explicitly seeks, any b-school adcom will value it – after all, someone with “leadership experience” isn’t necessarily a leader fundamentally, but someone with the “habit of leadership” is. All b-schools want leaders.

Having the habit of leadership is great, but it’s only helpful to the application if you express it effectively. That means – you’ve heard it from us ad infinitum – use example and anecdote. Look for opportunities to weave in the message of your habit of leadership, even in essays on other topics. Also, try to bring it out in your resume and your interviews. Ask your recommenders to highlight it. It can only enhance your application and your candidacy.

Watch the webinar of 'How to Get Accepted To Harvard Business School' today!
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:

• Harvard Business School 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
Life as an HBS MBA Student
• What Does Harvard Business School Want?

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It’s MBA Season: Do You Know Where Your Applications Are? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/10/its-mba-season-do-you-know-where-your-applications-are/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/10/its-mba-season-do-you-know-where-your-applications-are/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2015 16:27:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31431 Is it phony to start volunteering three months before applying to business school? What can I do to prepare to hit the ground running when my target programs release their applications? What is the worst thing to ask a school rep when I come to visit? Get the adcom perspective on these questions and more […]

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Listen to the show!Is it phony to start volunteering three months before applying to business school? What can I do to prepare to hit the ground running when my target programs release their applications? What is the worst thing to ask a school rep when I come to visit?

Get the adcom perspective on these questions and more in our enlightening conversation with Esmeralda Cardenal, former admissions director and current Accepted admissions consultant.

00:00:37 – Featured Applicant Question: I have a low GMAT quant score and few extracurriculars, but want to attend Stanford/Harvard/Wharton. Am I aiming too high?

00:08:59 – How Esmeralda got involved in MBA admissions.

00:10:14 – Applicants who sell themselves short and why they do it.

00:13:21 – What b-school applicants would be so much better off knowing.

00:15:54 – An overview of how an application is reviewed.

00:17:31 – Differences between U.S. and U.K. schools and admissions.

00:19:35 – Advice for Latin American applicants to United States b-schools.

00:21:52 – Get to work before applications are live!

00:27:10 – What to look for when visiting schools.

00:29:24 – Questions to ask (and not to ask) when you visit and interview.

00:31:20 – The best way to prepare for a blind interview.

00:32:25 – Important advice for business school reapplicants.

00:35:50 – Final words of wisdom. Pay heed.

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

Related links:

Esmeralda Cardenal’s Bio Page
Selling Yourself Short?
Get Accepted to Columbia Business School
Get Accepted to Harvard Business School
MBA Admission for Smarties
Application Rejection Review Aka Ding Analysis

Related shows:

The Admissions Team at the Very Center of Business
Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options at NYU Stern
Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management
At the Nexus of Business & Law: Penn/Wharton’s JD/MBA
Honing in On the Cornell Johnson MBA
The Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement

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

Want more school specific MBA application essay tips? Click here!

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

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

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

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

Think like the test writers

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

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

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

Use official material as much as possible

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

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

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

Stay positive

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

1. Getting better is a struggle

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

2. You’re not learning Swahili

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

3. Take a break

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

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

Related Resources:

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

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

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

Register for the webinar!

Save your spot!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Applying To Harvard Business School – A How-To Guide http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/08/applying-to-harvard-business-school-a-how-to-guide-3/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/08/applying-to-harvard-business-school-a-how-to-guide-3/#respond Mon, 08 Jun 2015 18:43:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31208 If you’re applying to Harvard Business School, then you’ll want to attend Accepted’s upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Harvard Business School. During the webinar, Linda Abraham, Accepted’s CEO and founder, will discuss important application tips that apply specifically to Harvard’s application, including 4 key steps for HBS acceptance! Mark your calendars! The webinar will air live […]

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If you’re applying to Harvard Business School, then you’ll want to attend Accepted’s upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Harvard Business School.

During the webinar, Linda Abraham, Accepted’s CEO and founder, will discuss important application tips that apply specifically to Harvard’s application, including 4 key steps for HBS acceptance!

Register for our live webinar: Get Accepted to HBS!

Mark your calendars! The webinar will air live on Tuesday, June 23th. [Please note: The June 24th 10:00 AM PT and the 5:00 PM PT sessions are now completely FULL.  We have have opened up another webinar slot to meet demand and it will take place on June 23 at 5 PM PT.]

save my spot

Reserve your spot for Get Accepted to Harvard Business School today and get one step closer to securing your seat in the Harvard HBS class of 2018!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Writing The MBA Application Essay http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/08/writing-the-mba-application-essay/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/08/writing-the-mba-application-essay/#respond Mon, 08 Jun 2015 16:30:18 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31329 “Writing the MBA Application Essay” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze. You’ve decided which schools to apply to, and you even know what you want to write about, but you’re staring at a blank screen…What now?  Follow these three steps to write your winning essay. Step 1: Introspection – You […]

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Download your free copy of 'Navigate the MBA Maze" today!“Writing the MBA Application Essay” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze.

You’ve decided which schools to apply to, and you even know what you want to write about, but you’re staring at a blank screen…What now?  Follow these three steps to write your winning essay.

Step 1: Introspection You are the first topic you need to know. After all, the essay will be about you. What do you want to do after your MBA? Why do you want to attend this program? When have you demonstrated the qualities this school appreciates, the qualities that show you belong here?  Before you introduce yourself to the adcom, you must make sure that you know yourself well.

Step 2: Write Killer Openings – Don’t get lulled into writing a generic opening. It’s easy, but lethal. Instead, think through the story you wish to tell and grab the reader’s attention by opening with a moment at the height of the action.

Step 3: Be Positive – You want to emphasize the positive: Where are you going? What do you want to accomplish? What do you like? What attracts you to business?  If you are asked to write about a failure or mistake, briefly and honestly describe that experience, but spend the bulk of the essay focusing on what you learned from it and how in a similar later situation you behaved differently as a result of those lessons. Think and write positive.

Download your copy of Navigating the MBA Maze
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• From Example to Exemplary – A Free Guide
• How to Write about Overcoming Challenges without Sounding like a Whiner
• 6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays

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Yale SOM 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/08/yale-som-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/08/yale-som-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:30:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31172 Yale has retained its one essay from last year with no change. As Bruce DelMonico explained in a blog post, “this question really gets to the core of what Yale SOM is about and embodies our founding mission of educating leaders for business and society. So we decided that we would keep this essay question in […]

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Check out the rest of our 2015 MBA application essay tips!Yale has retained its one essay from last year with no change. As Bruce DelMonico explained in a blog post, “this question really gets to the core of what Yale SOM is about and embodies our founding mission of educating leaders for business and society. So we decided that we would keep this essay question in place for another year.”

As you did last year, you need to make the most of that single essay, but you also need to take the time to make every box in the application a home run.  They are not after-thoughts. Your job descriptions and activity history are very important. Write and edit them carefully. Focus on achievements. Quantify when possible and keep in mind Yale’s commitment to “educating leaders for business and society.”

My tips are in blue. 

Essay Question:

The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent.

This essay would do really well with an anecdotal response telling the story of how you positively affected your department, team, club, company, client or any entity that benefited from your contribution.  You can start with a moment of challenge or triumph. Then go back, provide context, and tell your story of contribution, hurdles overcome, and complexity handled. If your impact has lasted, say so.

Video Questions:

As part of your application, you will be asked to answer three video questions. These questions are intended to give you another opportunity to tell us about yourself. These questions are not meant to be difficult and should not require extensive preparation or special knowledge to answer. After hearing each video question, you will have 20 seconds to formulate a response, followed by up to 60 seconds to respond.

After August 15th, you will see a link in your applicant status page checklist that will allow you to complete the video questions once you have submitted your application and fee. To answer the questions, you simply need an internet connection and a webcam. These questions will take roughly 15 minutes to complete, and you will have the opportunity to test your connection and respond to a sample question before answering the questions. Once you have completed the questions, your responses will be added to your application and we will begin the review process.

To prepare for your webcam session, you need to practice for the experience of talking to a video camera with no responses from another human being. It is a weird experience. For tips on how to prepare and behave during the webcam session, please see: Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions and listen to this interview with Yale’s Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Yale SOM.

Optional Information:

If any aspect of your candidacy needs further explanation (unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, promotions or recognitions, etc.), please provide a brief description here. (200 words maximum)

You can use the optional essay to explain or provide context as Yale SOM suggests, or you can use your optional essay to highlight something in your experiences, background, personal or professional life that didn’t fit into the required essay and that you want the admissions committee to know about. Consider relating a diversity element, a unique area of interest, or an accomplishment that you don’t feel is adequately described elsewhere.

Don’t use this optional essay as a grand summary of your application or reasons for wanting to attend Yale. Make sure the optional adds value.

Required for Reapplicants Only: 

Since your last application, please discuss any updates to your candidacy, including changes in your personal or professional life, additional coursework, or extracurricular/volunteer activities. (200 words maximum)

This is the key question that every re-applicant has to answer. Why should Yale SOM admit you this time around? What’s changed? What’s improved?

If you would like professional guidance with your Yale SOM MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Yale MBA application.  

Click here for more school-specific MBA application essay tips!

Yale SOM 2015 Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decision Release
Round 1  September 16, 2015  December 7, 2015
Round 2  January 7, 2016  March 25, 2016
Round 3  April 21, 2016  May 20, 2016

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:

Yale SOM Zone Page
• Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management
• Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions

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Books To Read Before You Begin Your MBA Application http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/07/books-to-read-before-you-begin-your-mba-application/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/07/books-to-read-before-you-begin-your-mba-application/#respond Sun, 07 Jun 2015 16:10:10 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31300 I’m certain everyone knows that before you apply to business schools, it’s a good idea to read The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Economist and Bloomberg-BusinessWeek to familiarize yourself with the jargon and the stories you will be discussing while in school.  I also believe its a good idea to read about MBA […]

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Check out our very own MBA Admissions for Smarties by Linda Abraham and Judy Gruen!I’m certain everyone knows that before you apply to business schools, it’s a good idea to read The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Economist and Bloomberg-BusinessWeek to familiarize yourself with the jargon and the stories you will be discussing while in school.  I also believe its a good idea to read about MBA programs and the strategies experts suggest before applying to said programs.  For the latest in Bschool gossip and the best admissions tips, subscribe to this blog and keep an eye on Poets and Quants.

While I’ve seen a lot of books out there on the MBA admissions process including our very own MBA Admissions for Smarties by Linda Abraham and Judy Gruen, I think it’s important before you apply to schools to find inspiration outside the narrow walls of “MBA admissions.”  I’m hoping these books will get you thinking and tickle the left side of your brain when so many MBA applicants are right-brained thinkers.

Leadership:

The Five Levels of Leadership – John Maxwell

Talent is Overrated – Geoff Colvin

Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson

Businesses:

Great by Choice – Jim Collins and Morten Hansen

Inside Apple – Adam Lishinsky

The McKinsey Way – Ethan Raisiel

Creative Thinking:

Jumping the Curve – Nicholas Imparato and Oren Harari

The Art of Possibility – Rosamund and Benjamin Zander (catch Ben’s TED talks too)

The Singularity is Near – Ray Kurzweil

Creative Confidence – Tom Kelley

And if you can’t get away from your right brain try:

The Art of Persuasion – Bob Burg

Competitive Advantage – Michael Porter

The Essays of Warren Buffet – Warren Buffet and Lawrence Cunningham

Regardless of what you read, it’s important to read before putting pen to paper or finger to key. Using books as your muse for your business school essays will enable you to dream bigger and engage your own reader…the admissions committee.

Download your free copy of "5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in your MBA Application Essays" now! 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:

Navigate the MBA Maze
Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• MBA Admissions According to an Expert

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Is Columbia Business School Calling Your Name? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/05/is-columbia-business-school-calling-your-name-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/05/is-columbia-business-school-calling-your-name-2/#respond Fri, 05 Jun 2015 15:50:51 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30589 The webinar aired live last week and was a huge success, so if you missed it or if you attended and would like to review, then you’ll want to tune in to the online recording for not-to-be-missed advice on how to snag that Columbia acceptance. Don’t you want to make sure you’re approaching Columbia’s application […]

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The webinar aired live last week and was a huge success, so if you missed it or if you attended and would like to review, then you’ll want to tune in to the online recording for not-to-be-missed advice on how to snag that Columbia acceptance.

Watch the webinar!

Don’t you want to make sure you’re approaching Columbia’s application properly? View Get Accepted to Columbia Business School for free now!

Watch the webinar now!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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MBA Letters Of Recommendation http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/04/mba-letters-of-recommendation-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/04/mba-letters-of-recommendation-2/#respond Thu, 04 Jun 2015 15:49:11 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31243 Selecting your recommenders takes a strategy. I like to begin with the basics: Who, When, What, Where, and How. I also like to suggest that you waive your right to access it. The waiver makes the recommendation more credible to the admissions committee. Who: Who are the best people to address the questions the schools […]

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Offer to do things like pick up dry cleaning or groceries, walk the dog, or drive carpool to make time in your recommenders’ schedule to write the letter

Offer to walk the dog to make time in your recommenders’ schedule to write the letter.

Selecting your recommenders takes a strategy. I like to begin with the basics: Who, When, What, Where, and How. I also like to suggest that you waive your right to access it. The waiver makes the recommendation more credible to the admissions committee.

Who:

Who are the best people to address the questions the schools are asking? Who are the best people to affirm what you say and also add information that you don’t have the chance to include in your essay? Many schools ask for supervisor. While it is best to ask your supervisor for the letter of recommendation (and ask if (s)he can write you a strong letter of recommendation), there are times when you just can’t ask a supervisor for a letter. If you find yourself in that situation, you’ll need an explanation.  For example, “I asked my mentor to write my recommendation because she knows my leadership, drive and work ethic better than anyone else I know.” Or, “I’ve asked a former supervisor to write my recommendation letter because asking my current supervisor would jeopardize my current project/promotion.”  Or, “I’ve asked a supplier to write my recommendation because my supervisor has only been on board for one month and I’ve known my supplier for three years.”  Regardless, develop a strong relationship with your recommender prior to “the ask.”

When:

It’s best to ask your recommender to write the letter at least 6 weeks prior to your anticipated date of submission.  Everyone will face delays, so make allow for them. Six weeks should give your recommender enough time to

1.  Review your preparation materials (see what).

2.  Meet with the recommender for the request (in person if possible).

3.  Meet again to give the packet of information that you will provide.

4.  Meet again to answer any questions the recommender has for you.

What:

Many schools ask similar questions, but it is best to use the unique e-form each school provides the recommender and answer the questions the school asks. You will add the recommenders’ information on your application, and the school will send your recommender a link. Many of these documents can be written in word and uploaded as a .doc, .docx or pdf.

Regardless of how the letter is delivered, you need to give your recommender a packet of information to use to help him or her answer the questions. Often the questions will ask about your leadership in relation to your peers or when did your recommender offer you criticism and how did you receive the criticism?  This latter question has been problematic for many recommenders.  I suggest that the recommender think about the question in a different way.  Rather than thinking about a weakness, think about a time the recommender “offered the candidate advice and how did the candidate act on that advice.”

A letter of recommendation is not your annual review; it’s your recommendation.  Your recommender may even ask you to write the letter and (s)he’ll sign the letter.  You need to stand your ground and say, “the school really wants your honest perspective, and I would be so grateful to you for your original work.”

However, you can coach your recommender by providing a list of the schools to which you are applying and why, a copy of your resume, your goals statement, and items you would like to your recommender to cover like your achievements or items that you can’t cover in your essays, but your recommender can elaborate on your affinity for paragliding or your talent with the cello (this is your packet). You can also ask your recommender to highlight achievements that may counteract a negative – like your communications skills if you have a low verbal score or a quantitative achievement if you have a low quant score.  I know when I write letters for my former students, having this information will remind me of the great things that the student did for the school or for me.  It gives me the launching point to tell a story and all the statements a recommender makes should be backed up with evidence (a story) to make it more interesting and hammer home the point of the recommendation.  Many recommendations also offer grids.  Your recommender should be honest, but I must say that if my candidates fell below the top two categories, it sent up a red flag.

Where:  

If your recommender says (s)he doesn’t have the time to write the recommendation, I’ve suggested my clients book a one hour appointment (after they give the packet of materials needed to write the recommendation) and then call the recommender and say, okay, I’d like you to use this hour to write my recommendation.  You can also offer to do things like pick up dry cleaning or groceries, walk the dog, or drive carpool to make time in your recommenders’ schedule to write the letter.  Regardless, they need at least one hour of quiet time to get this right.

How:

If your recommender says that (s)he can’t write a strong letter for you, you need to find another recommender.  If they enthusiastically say “yes!” make the task easy for the recommender by giving the recommender the packet to which I referred in the “what” section.

Please contact us if you have other questions regarding your recommendations and good luck.

MBA-Admissions-CTA
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:

• MBA Letters of Recommendation that Rock – an ebook
• Recommenders And Recommendations
• Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes

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Top Ranked Part-Time MBAs http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/03/top-ranked-part-time-mbas/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/03/top-ranked-part-time-mbas/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2015 16:43:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31236 The U.S. News has released its list of the top-ranked part time MBA programs. Here are the top 10: 1. UC Berkeley (Haas) 2. U Chicago (Booth) 3. Northwestern (Kellogg) 4. NYU (Stern) 5. UCLA (Anderson) 6. U Michigan (Ross) 7 (tie). Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 7 (tie). U Texas- Austin (McCombs) 9. Ohio State (Fisher) 10 (tie). U Minnesota- Twin Cities (Carlson) 10 […]

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The U.S. News has released its list of the top-ranked part time MBA programs.

Here are the top 10:

Are you using the rankings correctly?1. UC Berkeley (Haas)

2. U Chicago (Booth)

3. Northwestern (Kellogg)

4. NYU (Stern)

5. UCLA (Anderson)

6. U Michigan (Ross)

7 (tie). Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

7 (tie). U Texas- Austin (McCombs)

9. Ohio State (Fisher)

10 (tie). U Minnesota- Twin Cities (Carlson)

10 (tie). USC (Marshall)

For the full list and details of the ranking methodology, visit the rankings. We offer comprehensive consulting services for both full- and part-time MBA applicants!

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Ace the EMBA
• Tips for Applying to Part-time MBA Programs
• The MBA Family: A Roundup and Overview

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Choosing Topics For The B-School Essay http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/01/choosing-topics-for-the-b-school-essay/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/01/choosing-topics-for-the-b-school-essay/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2015 15:49:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31187 “Choosing Topics For The B-School Essay” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze. In your applications, the schools are attempting to get to know you through your essays. So what should you write about? Write about what is most important to you and distinctive about you. The admissions readers seek to uncover […]

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Download your complete copy of Navigate the MBA Maze!

First and foremost, answer the question being asked.

“Choosing Topics For The B-School Essay” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze.

In your applications, the schools are attempting to get to know you through your essays. So what should you write about? Write about what is most important to you and distinctive about you. The admissions readers seek to uncover how you will contribute to their class, their program, and the diversity of their schools. By telling your story – not what you think they want to hear and not what you share with 50% of other applicants—you will reveal how you can uniquely add to their class.

For applications asking you to respond to specific questions and requesting statements of purpose, you have to first and foremost answer the question being asked. Frequently when reviewing application essays and personal statements, I read the essay first and then the question. If I can answer the question based on the essay I just read, it passes the first check. If the question asks you to discuss a failure, somewhere in that essay you must discuss a time when you really blew it. And then explore what you learned, and if appropriate, a nice dose of how you successfully handled a similar subsequent situation. But the starting point has to be an answer to the question posed.

If the question asks why you want to attend a given program, you need to provide specifics about that program that relate to your interests and goals. Don’t respond with an answer that could apply to all programs in your field. That is a non-answer, non-starter, and probable ding. Don’t tell them why you are more qualified than anyone else to attend their program. Just answer the question.

What if it’s an open-ended question with just general instructions? Then follow the general instructions and enjoy the luxury of writing about what interests you and best presents your qualifications.

When applying to business school, perform the following check before you submit your essays to an admissions committee reader:

•  Make sure your essay answers the question.

•  Make sure it answers the question as well as you can.

•  Make sure it is a coherent, articulate demonstration of your writing ability.

Download your copy of Navigating the MBA MazeAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Avoid These 5 Fatal Flaws in Your Application Essay
Rosy Outlook For MBA Grads
• 5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You

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Webinar Available For On-Demand Viewing: How To Fund Your MBA http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/31/webinar-available-for-on-demand-viewing-how-to-fund-your-mba/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/31/webinar-available-for-on-demand-viewing-how-to-fund-your-mba/#respond Sun, 31 May 2015 16:05:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30488 Missed last week’s webinar, How to Pay for Your MBA? Still worried those b-school price tags will get the best of you? No problem. Get the facts you need to finance your business degree when you view How to Pay for Your MBA online now. The webinar, which was presented by guest Julianna Young from […]

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Watch the webinar!Missed last week’s webinar, How to Pay for Your MBA? Still worried those b-school price tags will get the best of you? No problem. Get the facts you need to finance your business degree when you view How to Pay for Your MBA online now. The webinar, which was presented by guest Julianna Young from CommonBond, was a huge success – loads of tips and suggestions on how YOU can secure the funds needed to pay for b-school.

Don’t let tuition bills stand in your way. Get the MBA you need and deserve and learn how to pay for it with How to Pay for Your MBA. And as always, please be in touch if you have any questions – about paying for your MBA or about any other stage of the admissions process!

View the webinar!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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

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

Register for the webinar!

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

• Manage your study time efficiently.

• Overcome test anxiety.

• Ameliorate your weaknesses.

• Develop a winning test-prep plan.

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

Register for the webinar!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Recommenders And Recommendations http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/29/recommenders-and-recommendations-3/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/29/recommenders-and-recommendations-3/#respond Fri, 29 May 2015 15:28:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31077 Some applicants have this idea that if they can just get their company CEO, whom they have never met, to write their business school recommendation, then the admissions committee will cower in awe and immediately accept them.  It’s not a new idea; applicants have asked me every year for the last ten years if they […]

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Download "5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in your MBA Application Essay"

A recommendation from someone with power is not half as good as a recommendation from someone who knows you well.

Some applicants have this idea that if they can just get their company CEO, whom they have never met, to write their business school recommendation, then the admissions committee will cower in awe and immediately accept them.  It’s not a new idea; applicants have asked me every year for the last ten years if they should choose high-level people as recommenders.  The short answer is no.

Here’s the longer answer.  There are two simple rules for choosing recommenders:  You should choose people who know your work very well, and you should choose people who will write the recommendations themselves (with your guidance).

What makes a recommendation bad?

The typical bad recommendation, the kind written by someone who does not know you well (like a CEO), is full of assertions about what a good person you are but gives no evidence to back up those assertions.  It’s a generic write-up full of platitudes that does not help you.

What makes a recommendation good?

A great recommendation, on the other hand, is written by someone who knows your work very well, someone who can go beyond simple assertions to give examples of impressive contributions that provide evidence of your leadership skills and teamwork ability and business acumen.  People who know you well can often write great stories of your work that you had completely forgotten or taken for granted.  They write about what was important to them, and therefore they give great third-person points of view about your candidacy to the admissions committee, which is exactly what the committee wants.  So again—choose people who know your work well.

Who should recommend you?

Typically, this means that your recommender should be a supervisor, a colleague, or a client.  Do not choose someone who simply has a big title or happens to be an alumnus of the school, thinking that this will carry weight with the admissions committee, because that person will write something generic that will not help you.  Only if this big titleholder or alumnus knows your work very well should you choose them.

Also, try to select a range of recommenders—ones who have seen you in different situations—so that they all don’t end up saying the same things about you or using the same stories.  For example, choosing your supervisor and that person’s supervisor is rarely a good strategy, because they’ve seen you work on the same projects from the same point of view.  The admissions committee wants views of you from different angles; they do not want the same point of view given two or three times.

Should you write your own recommendations?

Do not write your own recommendation if you can avoid it.  Seriously.  Put aside the likelihood that the admissions committee will recognize your writing style and discount the recommendation accordingly: the problem is that if you write your own recommendation, you’ll just write things you already know about yourself, or repeat things from your essays—and as I said above, it’s a recommendation that brings out new things about you that works well.

Now, you do want to guide your recommenders; you want to tell them you’re applying to business school, tell them your goals, remind them of successful projects you’ve worked on together, and suggest to them that they write about your business-related skills rather than your technical-related skills.  You can even write an outline or a series of bullet points for them to serve as helpful reminders and save them some time.  In these ways, you can influence the recommendation process.  But really, they should write the recommendation in their own hand, in their own style, with their own thoughts.  Someone who takes the time to write your recommendation is someone who believes in you and your candidacy; you can draw your own conclusions about someone who does not want to take the time.

MBA 5 Fatal Flaws

R. Todd King By an MIT MBA, who has worked with MBA applicants since 2001. Todd can help you make the most of your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses.

Related Resources:

Letters of Recommendation that Rock! – an ebook
Best MBA Program and How to Choose the Right One
Ten Do’s and Don’ts For Your Resume

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

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Tip 1: Maximize your study time!

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

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

Maximize your time

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

Apply what you’ve learned

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

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

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

Learn from your mistakes… and your successes

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

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

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

Takeaway

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

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

Related Resources:

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

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Rosy Outlook For MBA Grads http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/28/rosy-outlook-for-mba-grads/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/28/rosy-outlook-for-mba-grads/#respond Thu, 28 May 2015 15:28:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31083 The GMAC 2015 Corporate Recruiters Survey has found a positive hiring climate for new MBAs, with demand increasing worldwide. Some highlights from the report: •  Worldwide, 84 percent of recruiters plan to hire MBA graduates in 2015, up from 74 percent in 2014. •  75 percent of recruiters in Asia-Pacific, 56 percent of European recruiters, […]

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What to MBA rankings mean to you?The GMAC 2015 Corporate Recruiters Survey has found a positive hiring climate for new MBAs, with demand increasing worldwide.

Some highlights from the report:

•  Worldwide, 84 percent of recruiters plan to hire MBA graduates in 2015, up from 74 percent in 2014.

•  75 percent of recruiters in Asia-Pacific, 56 percent of European recruiters, 75 percent of Latin American companies, and 92 percent of US recruiters plan to hire MBAs this year, all increases from 2014.

•  Starting salaries for MBA hires are also up at more than half of companies internationally.

•  Along with MBA hiring, hiring of new graduates from Master in Management, Master of Accounting, and Master of Finance programs is up over last year.

•  This year’s report also included analysis relating to massive open online courses—MOOCs— that indicates some skepticism on the part of corporate recruiters: only 15 percent of companies globally and 8 percent in the United States consider MOOCs an alternative to graduate management education.

See more details and download the full report here!

Download your copy of Navigating the MBA MazeAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Are MBA Rankings Really Important?
• The Hottest Skills that will Land You the Hottest Jobs
The Benefits of an MBA According to John Byrn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related links:

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

Related shows:

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

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

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Choosing And Visiting Business Schools http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/26/choosing-and-visiting-business-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/26/choosing-and-visiting-business-schools/#respond Tue, 26 May 2015 16:17:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31049 “Choosing and Visiting Business Schools” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze. In deciding whether to apply to specific MBA programs, you need to understand how the schools differ. What are their relative strengths and weaknesses? And it isn’t easy to get a real sense of what makes a school unique: […]

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Download your complete copy of Navigate the MBA Maze!“Choosing and Visiting Business Schools” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze.

In deciding whether to apply to specific MBA programs, you need to understand how the schools differ. What are their relative strengths and weaknesses? And it isn’t easy to get a real sense of what makes a school unique: They all claim top faculties, great student bodies, and networks that will sizzle when you graduate. How can you tell the differences between them?

Here are a few points that will help you determine differences between schools:

•  The employment profile. See where graduates find jobs. Which schools send the most grads to the companies, industries, and locations you are most interested in?

•  The class profile. Do you want a large class or a small, close-knit class? Do you want an urban or rural setting? Do you really want to be in a class that draws over 70% of its students from engineering, business, and technical fields? Or would you prefer to be in a class where 46% came from the social sciences and humanities? Both MIT and Stanford provide outstanding MBA educations, but their class make-up is very different. You may prefer one or the other.

•  The curriculum. Would Harvard’s rigid first year curriculum, where everyone takes the same classes, chafe?  Or would you be lost with all the options at Chicago, which prides itself on its flexibility? Is the ability to pass out of prerequisites important to you? Do you want a lot of teacher cooperation and integration of business functions, as is provided by Tuck or Yale?

•  Methodology. Do you prefer a mix of methodologies? Check out Wharton. Do you seek an emphasis on projects and hands-on learning as at Ross? Do you want strict case method? Take a closer look at HBS and Darden.

•  Clubs and extra-curriculars. Many schools have imitated MIT Sloan’s business plan competition. But not everyone has a social enterprise competition (HBS does). If you are interested in social enterprise, that competition may be particularly appealing.

What are some of the unusual clubs at the different schools that you might be interested in? For example almost every school will have a Marketing Club, but only some, like Columbia, will have a Luxury Goods Marketing Club. Again, if this is your interest, the existence and health of that club may be an important attraction for you.

•  Professor research. If there is a prof or two researching the niche that appeals to you, he may be the magnet pulling you to that program. Are there independent study opportunities? Does he teach MBA students? What classes?

•  “Fit.” Then there is that almost indefinable quality called “fit.” Visit the schools you are considering to determine fit. If visiting isn’t feasible, talk to current students, read MBA student blogs, and follow the student newspapers.

Grasping these points of difference will enable you to make more intelligent application and acceptance decisions.

Finally, here are some visiting-day tips to maximize your school visits:

1.  If possible, visit when class is in session. Then, take a tour, meet with students, and attend the info sessions. In short, take advantage of whatever is offered.

2.  Prepare for your visit by going through the school’s website thoroughly. It isn’t great when you ask a question that is answered three times on the school’s site.

3.  As you go through the school website, write down any questions that you may have and take them with you.

4.  If you can’t visit the school, prepare questions to ask at receptions or info sessions that will be held in your city.

Download your copy of Navigating the MBA MazeAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA Application
• 6 Top Tips for Visiting Schools
• How Many B-Schools Should You Apply To?

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Harvard Business School 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/26/harvard-business-school-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/26/harvard-business-school-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 15:49:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30769 Change has once again come to the Harvard Business School MBA application. For the upcoming 2015-16 application cycle, there is now one required essay.  For the last two years, it has been optional. Also the prompt has changed. As it did last year, Harvard does not suggest a word limit. It leaves it to your […]

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Click here for more info about Harvard Business School.

Make Every Word Count.

Change has once again come to the Harvard Business School MBA application. For the upcoming 2015-16 application cycle, there is now one required essay.  For the last two years, it has been optional. Also the prompt has changed.

As it did last year, Harvard does not suggest a word limit. It leaves it to your judgment. The operative word is judgement. Harvard has in the past requested a significant amount of information in the boxes on its application and last year (this year’s app isn’t live yet.) there were significant word and character limits.

Also, HBS has virtually the same deadlines this year as last. Its round 1 deadline is so far the earliest at September 9, 2015.

There is one question for the Harvard MBA Class of 2018. Here it is:

It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.

Introduce yourself.

Note: Should you enroll at HBS, there will be an opportunity for you to share this with them.

We suggest you view this video before beginning to write.

There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.

While the advice offered on the site is good, I also want to quote from additional information Dee Leopold gave on her blog as to why they chose this question:

• It’s just about as straightforward and practical as we can make it. It gives you a chance to tell your story however you choose. Imagine simply saying it out loud.  This is what we mean when we’ve been encouraging you to use your own “voice” when approaching this part of the application.  We have no pre-conceived ideas of what “good” looks like. We look forward to lots of variance.

• It’s useful. You will actually be introducing yourself to classmates at HBS.

Tell us again what the essay is for?

• For you: an opportunity to pause and reflect. Business school is a big experience –  it’s exciting, it’s an unknown, it’s a beginning, it’s an investment in your future. Stopping to reflect and gather your thoughts in writing is a useful exercise. That’s not just our opinion –  it’s what we hear from students all the time.

• For us: a chance to get to know you beyond the elements of the application that feel fixed and stationary. Can also be a starting point for interview conversations.

I think the last element that I quoted is critical. “The essay is a chance to get to know you beyond the elements of the application that feel fixed and stationary. Can also be a starting point for interview conversations”

That quote reminds me of last year’s optional HBS question:

“We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?”

Finally, before you approach the question, watch the video about the HBS case method as recommended by Harvard. We embedded it above.

Note the focus on conversation in both the video and Dee Leopold’s advice. How will you start the conversation with your section mates? What would you want them to know about you? Keep in mind that the admissions committee is listening this time, and its members may want to use what you write as a starting point for the “interview conversation.”

Other important themes in the video: preparation, engagement, imaging yourself as the protagonist — the decision maker.   The use of the case method as practice in decision making. If you think other elements of this video are important, please add in the comments box below.

And realize that they want this conversation starter to go beyond what’s in the rest of the application.

So what else – really and truly — do you want both the HBS admissions committee and your future section mates to know about you? What do you want to share  that will show you can participate in the conversation that is the HBS classroom? The answer to that question is not something I can give or even suggest to you in a blog post aimed at the many. (For individual advice, please see Accepted’s MBA Admissions Consulting.) It should be different for each of you. Again, refer to the HBS criteria, as you contemplate possible topics, but the options are infinite. A few possibilities:

•  Context for events described in the required elements that may be of interest to your section mates.

•  Motivations for the decisions or commitments you have made.

•  Challenges you have faced.

•  Something you would like to do at HBS.

•  More depth on an activity or commitment that is particularly important to you.

•  A skill they may be useful to your section

Please don’t limit yourself to these suggestions. I am offering them to stimulate your creativity, not to shut it down. 

Since I’ve been in MBA admissions consulting (over 20 years now), HBS has valued concision. And, in today’s tweet- and sound-bite-driven world, it is requiring even shorter responses, at least in the required portion of the application. Don’t take the absence of a word limit on the essay as a license for verbosity. Make every word count. If you must pull a number out of me, don’t go over 800 words. And if you can say what you need to say in less than 800 words, do so. A few caveats and warnings on the essay. It is not:

•   Stanford’s “what matters most to you and why?” or Columbia’s #3.

•   The kitchen sink in which you throw everything.

•   An autobiography.

Post- Interview Reflections

2016 Application Deadlines:

Application Due    Decisions Released
Round 1     09 Sept 2015  Dec 2015
Round 2 06 Jan 2016  Mar 2016
Round 3 04 Apr 2016  May 2016

Watch the webinar of 'How to Get Accepted To Harvard Business School' today!
Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• What Does Harvard Business School Want?
• Harvard Business School: The Habit of Leadership
Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw

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Last Call For Columbia Business School Admissions Webinar! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/25/last-call-for-columbia-business-school-admissions-webinar-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/25/last-call-for-columbia-business-school-admissions-webinar-2/#respond Tue, 26 May 2015 03:51:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30586 Wednesday is the day we share our application-changing tips on how to apply successfully to Columbia Business School! Do you have questions on optimizing your CBS application for admission? Do you need concrete tips on how to answer the essay questions? Do you need help evaluating your profile to determine if CBS is the school […]

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Wednesday is the day we share our application-changing tips on how to apply successfully to Columbia Business School!

Do you have questions on optimizing your CBS application for admission? Do you need concrete tips on how to answer the essay questions? Do you need help evaluating your profile to determine if CBS is the school for you?

Want to get accepted to Columia? Click here to reserve your spot for the webinar!

Time’s running out. Reserve your spot for Get Accepted to Columbia Business School before it’s too late. The webinar will air live,on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST.

Save your spot at the webinar!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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