Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » MBA Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:06:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Why Applicants Should Consider A School’s Soft Skills Training http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/20/why-applicants-should-consider-a-schools-soft-skills-training/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/20/why-applicants-should-consider-a-schools-soft-skills-training/#respond Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:06:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33539 You need a lot more than an advanced degree to climb the old career ladder. Corporate recruiters are looking for newly minted MBAs to show leadership potential, ability to work in diverse teams, and communication skills. These tools in the MBA toolbox fall under the umbrella of soft skills and were not actively taught by […]

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Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One  - Download your copy today!

“Is success part of your DNA?”

You need a lot more than an advanced degree to climb the old career ladder. Corporate recruiters are looking for newly minted MBAs to show leadership potential, ability to work in diverse teams, and communication skills. These tools in the MBA toolbox fall under the umbrella of soft skills and were not actively taught by most business schools until relatively recently.

Why? To please employers, of course. Eighty-nine percent of recruiters in the just-released GMAC 2015 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report said that communications skills are a “critical factor” when selecting whom to interview, second only to “Proven ability to perform” and ahead of “Strong technical and/or quantitative skills.”  “Strong writing skills” are fifth with 56% of recruiters saying they are a critical factor.

That’s why applicants are also becoming more interested in what’s on the soft skills menu at their dream schools.

“As we recognize that content, such as marketing and strategy, has become increasingly accessible, applicants are discussing what kinds of skills they will pick up at school,” says Dan LeClair, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the accrediting organization, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Many applicants will tell you they are looking for a program in which they can “grow,” which is code for becoming a better leader. While they are not choosing schools based solely on their trust exercises, obstacle courses, or group therapy sessions, they are looking for something in addition to being able to read financial statements.  

For example, when applying to business schools, James Rapuzzi says he was less impressed with rankings and core curriculum than the leadership training schools provided.

“I was more focused on finding out, ‘What are you going to teach me that I don’t already know?” he says. “And who will I be surrounded by and what can I learn from my classmates?’”

In fact, Rapuzzi, who graduated from the Notre Dame University Mendoza College of Business’ full-time MBA program in May 2015, says his greatest lessons came from group projects and communication coursework that had him giving speeches and writing in a professional manner. He recently moved to New York City, where he’ll be working at an investment bank in its financial sponsors group, and he credits his communication and networking training for helping him get interviews and later a full-time job offer.

“Recruiters are vetting you throughout the job search,” adds Rapuzzi. “They are looking at you and asking, ‘Are you the type I can put in front of a client? Is success part of your DNA?’”

Octavia Costea, who graduated from Babson College’s F.W. Olin School of Business in May 2015, shares a similar story. She sought programs that would help her with strategy, analytics, and entrepreneurial endeavors, she writes in an e-mail. She too picked up soft skills nonetheless and adds she found herself taking advantage of resources that weren’t required but helped her develop as a manager.

When Costea was facing challenges with her cohort, she turned to the school’s sessions on improving communication. “I tend to be direct, lay the problem on the table, talk it out and move on,” adds Costea. “However, non-confrontational people don’t respond well to that approach. The speech center helped me understand that.”

For some schools, soft skills are old hat. Stanford Graduate School of Business has been offering its most popular elective, “Interpersonal Dynamics,” which was long ago nicknamed “Touchy Feely,” for more than 40 years. Columbia Business School has the Program on Social Intelligence, which includes a roster of courses designed to hone leadership skills. Other schools have begun offering retreats, lessons in meditation, and workshops with improvisational actors. The list goes on.

Swimming through the information available on all these programs can be overwhelming for applicants. LeClair suggests applicants search for transformative experiences by asking business schools about opportunities for hands-on learning, personal coaching, and examples of how they demonstrate to potential employers the so-called softer achievements of their graduates.

Today, soft skills are at the “heart of the value proposition of an MBA education,” says LeClair.

“The world is changing,” he adds. “Our success will depend less on what we know than our ability to frame and reframe problems, communicate, and think creatively.”

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One - Download your copy today!

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Related Resources:

• MBA Project Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses
• The Hottest Skills that will Land You the Hottest Jobs
• Have an Open Mind, Learn Skills, Build Relationships: Darden MBA Interview

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Columbia MBA Class Of ’17: More Women, Internationals, U.S. Minorities http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/19/columbia-mba-2015-entering-class-profile/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/19/columbia-mba-2015-entering-class-profile/#respond Wed, 19 Aug 2015 22:31:49 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33627 Columbia Business School posted its incoming MBA class profile. Here’s the scoop: What does the data show? Pretty much steady state with marked improvements in class diversity. And there’s both good news and bad from an applicant perspective. The most noteworthy change is a 12.5% increase in the female make-up of the class — no pun intended […]

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Columbia Business School posted its incoming MBA class profile. Here’s the scoop:

Check out our Columbia GSB zone page!

What does the data show? Pretty much steady state with marked improvements in class diversity. And there’s both good news and bad from an applicant perspective.

The most noteworthy change is a 12.5% increase in the female make-up of the class — no pun intended — and a 9% increase in minorities of U.S. origin. The percentage of internationals went down insignificantly, but I expect that small decline will reverse itself in this upcoming application cycle since Columbia now has a no-cosigner loan program fully operational for international MBA students.

The 1-point dip in CBS’ average GMAT score is also not significant, especially given the lower acceptance rate and higher yield that Columbia enjoyed last year. It is a little surprising because of the GMAT score arms race that seems to have gripped much of CBS’s competition. (Chicago, Kellogg, and Wharton have all reported increased average GMAT scores for their incoming classes.)

Apparently in this past year CBS chose to focus more on diversity and less on the GMAT. I expect that CBS will want to report an increase in its GMAT average in the upcoming class. And with it’s 715 score, it still remains one of a handful of schools with an average GMAT equal or greater than a lofty 715.

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, 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:

• Columbia Business School 2016 MBA Essay Tips
• Get Accepted to Columbia Business School
• The Admissions Team at the Very Center of Business

 

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Stanford Applicants: September 22 Will Be Here Before You Know It! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/18/stanford-applicants-september-22-will-be-here-before-you-know-it/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/18/stanford-applicants-september-22-will-be-here-before-you-know-it/#respond Tue, 18 Aug 2015 16:34:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33506 On your mark…get set…go! That Stanford GSB Round 1 finish line is in sight, and yours for the conquering…if you play your cards right! The following resources will sharpen your competitive edge, making you a prime candidate for Stanford’s class of 2018: 1.  Get Accepted to Stanford GSB – What are the Stanford GSB adcom […]

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Get Accepted to Stanford GSB! On your mark…get set…go! That Stanford GSB Round 1 finish line is in sight, and yours for the conquering…if you play your cards right!

The following resources will sharpen your competitive edge, making you a prime candidate for Stanford’s class of 2018:

1.  Get Accepted to Stanford GSB What are the Stanford GSB adcom readers looking for when reviewing applications? View this webinar to learn the four key principles that will boost your GSB candidacy and get you accepted. **Updated for 2015-2016 applicants!

2.  Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines Here you’ll find detailed advice on writing each of Stanford’s application essays.  

3.  Intellectual Vitality, Demonstrated Leadership Potential, and Personal Qualities And Contributions are the three qualifications Stanford seeks in its applicants. Read these articles for advice on how to make sure you demonstrate them all.

4.  Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup Street Enjoy this interview with Nick Hinrichsen and Chris Colemen, Stanford GSB alums and founders of the startup Carlypso, which Tech Crunch calls a “brilliant concept.”

5.  Do Stanford GSB Grads REALLY “Change Lives. Change Organizations. Change the World”? – Are YOU ready to change organizations and change the world? Do you have what it takes to live up to Stanford’s motto? Read this blog posts for details.

Want more? With one of our MBA Application Packages, you’ll work one-on-one with an experienced consultant who will guide you through each and every element of your Stanford application.

Register for our free webinar: Get Accepted to Stanford GSB!

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Future Whartonites…Tune In On Wednesday! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/17/future-whartonitestune-on-wednesday/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/17/future-whartonitestune-on-wednesday/#respond Mon, 17 Aug 2015 18:36:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32826 Attention Wharton Applicants: The webinar you’ve all been waiting for, Get Accepted to Wharton, will take place this Wednesday, August 19th! Reserve your spot now and tune in on Wednesday to hear important Wharton application tips that could transform your Wharton dream into reality! Tags: MBA Admissions

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Attention Wharton Applicants: The webinar you’ve all been waiting for, Get Accepted to Wharton, will take place this Wednesday, August 19th!

Get Accepted to Wharton! Register for the webinar today!

Reserve your spot now and tune in on Wednesday to hear important Wharton application tips that could transform your Wharton dream into reality!

Save your spot!

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Wharton: “Putting Knowledge Into Action” http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/16/wharton-putting-knowledge-into-action-part-4-in-the-big-brand-theory-series/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/16/wharton-putting-knowledge-into-action-part-4-in-the-big-brand-theory-series/#respond Sun, 16 Aug 2015 16:18:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33445 Episode 4 in our Big Brand Theory Series for MBA applicants: Wharton’s motto. Does the oldest business school actually have a brand?  Does the oldest business school actually need a brand? Ironically, Wharton is a more powerful global brand than the elite Ivy League university of which it resides.  In fact, many people don’t know that the […]

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Register for the webinar!Episode 4 in our Big Brand Theory Series for MBA applicants: Wharton’s motto.

Does the oldest business school actually have a brand?  Does the oldest business school actually need a brand? Ironically, Wharton is a more powerful global brand than the elite Ivy League university of which it resides.  In fact, many people don’t know that the University of Pennsylvania is a highly regarded Ivy League institution. Outside the United States the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton’s “parent” university is often confused with Penn State University, the “parent” university to the Smeal College of Business, to the humorous consternation of both schools.

As I searched through Wharton’s collateral, it was difficult to zero in on its point of view. However, its tagline, putting knowledge into action, was easy to find. But I ask, is Wharton’s tagline synonymous with its brand?  I will go out on a limb here and say, “no.” Wharton is its own brand.  Wharton is Wharton. But the admissions officers and their marketing colleagues are giving you a hint through this tag line that they are seeking students who can “put knowledge into action”.

How does one “put knowledge into action”?  Well, I would venture to say that you would put knowledge into action the same way Columbia students “bridge theory with practice” and how Michigan Ross students put “thought into action.”  These taglines sound extremely similar, but they do get to the crux of the type of student these schools seek.

Wharton seeks a student who can take the information that he or she gathers from school, the workplace, the community, and the world, process the information and then act on the ideas and concepts acquired.   As an applicant you need to demonstrate that you not only know the information, but that you have implemented the concepts that you’ve learned. For more information on how to do explain this process in an essay, read my blog post “Show me, Don’t Tell Me.”  While I wrote the blog for PhD students, the “theory” applies to MBA candidates as well.

In the application, the main essay looks toward the future, so you can’t demonstrate that you have the trait to turn your knowledge into action in the main essay. You can only explain that you can act on your knowledge in the work experience, extracurricular activities and community service section in the application.  You can also establish that you offer this trait on your resume and in optional essay 1.  

I’ll focus on optional essay 1 for the purpose of this blog. I suggest exhibit how and where you learned about something and then acted upon it in optional essay 1.  Did you read about a theory in a book and then test it out in the real world?  Did you hear a political pundit on the news describe something and gather your friends in a grass roots effort to implement or refute the pundit’s opinion?  A great example comes from a environmentally astute MBA.  He believed that if areas of the world that don’t have access to potable water were given access to potable water that it would lessen the political unrest in these countries where access to water is a big issue.  He researched his theory through expert white papers and journal articles. He tested his theory by creating a process to make polluted water potable and distributed his patented invention to several regions that suffered from political unrest.  He put his theory into action, and had results that proved his theory worked in over half of the regions where he distributed this process.  He is now working with a manufacturer and an NGO to gain more distribution throughout the world.  

While your example doesn’t need to have the kind of impact that changes the world, it does need to describe in detail, what you did to make a difference.  Did your Relay for Life impact the latest therapies for cancer?  Did your understanding of the book Trading Systems that Work lead you to pursue a finance degree?  Did your Improvisational class at school help you become a skilled public speaker?  Did you learn something from a colleague at work or at school that enabled you to arrive at a better answer.

Their tagline is put to the test during their Team Based Discussions.  If you are invited to participate, you are given a mini-case, asked to present a solution and then work for 35 minutes with a team of potential future classmates to come up with the best or optimal solution.  The evaluators will observe how you synthesize the information around the table and use it to come up with a viable action Wharton can use in the future.

So while Wharton’s brand stands alone, its tagline is instrumental to the success of your application.  For more information about successful strategies on your Wharton application, register for Accepted’s Get Accepted to Wharton Seminar and contact our consultants for assistance with your application.

Register to learn how to get accepted to Wharton!

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:

• Wharton 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
The Wharton Difference
• Wharton B-School Zone Page

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An Interview With Our Own: Michelle Stockman http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/13/an-interview-with-our-own-michelle-stockman/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/13/an-interview-with-our-own-michelle-stockman/#respond Thu, 13 Aug 2015 16:43:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33297 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Michelle Stockman. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

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

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

Michelle: Messenger + Target Audience + Content = Persuasion.

That’s the formula I learned as a journalist.

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

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

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

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

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Michelle:

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

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

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

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

View our catalog of admission services!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

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

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Global Opportunities: The “Wharton Difference” And Fit With The Program http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/13/global-opportunities-the-wharton-difference-and-fit-with-the-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/13/global-opportunities-the-wharton-difference-and-fit-with-the-program/#respond Thu, 13 Aug 2015 16:05:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33402 My previous posts on defining your fit with Wharton addressed three of the four components of “The Wharton Difference” (Largest Global Network, Culture of Engagement, and Innovative Leadership Learning).  Here I’ll look at the fourth, final component: Global Opportunities.   BUT… you might think, all top MBA programs have a global dimension; why is it […]

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Register for the "Get Accepted to Wharton" webinar, today!

Today, everyone working anywhere can directly or indirectly identify a global dimension to their work.

My previous posts on defining your fit with Wharton addressed three of the four components of “The Wharton Difference” (Largest Global Network, Culture of Engagement, and Innovative Leadership Learning).  Here I’ll look at the fourth, final component: Global Opportunities.  

BUT… you might think, all top MBA programs have a global dimension; why is it part of The Wharton Difference?  

The answer lies in how those specific opportunities align with the other three components by emphasizing connection, growth through experience, sharing/collaboration, and exploration.  This is evident in the following phrases:

• The Global Opportunities prepare you for “an interconnected world.”

• You will “immerse yourself” in local cultures and business approaches.

• You will “extend” your experience to your classmates as part of a “global community.”

The bolded words above reveal the adcom’s distinct lens on the global dimension:  its global resources start with you connecting with other people and groups to understand and eventually impact global business holistically.

BUT… What if your goals don’t include global enterprise?  Perhaps you plan to launch an IT initiative in a region of the U.S. where coal mining is dying.  Perhaps you plan to develop strategy for domestic healthcare provider chains.  In the first case, other countries, e.g. Poland, face the same challenge; perhaps there’s a prospective global collaboration on the horizon!  In the second case, perhaps learning from countries with different healthcare systems would give you fresh ideas to adapt.

Today, everyone working anywhere can directly or indirectly identify a global dimension to their work.  If it’s not immediately obvious, think further, and you will surely discern how it’s so in your own situation.

To demonstrate fit with Wharton, portray the “Global Opportunities” component in your application:

•  Familiarize yourself with both the academic opportunities (majors, Global Modular Courses, Global Immersion Program, and Global Consulting Practicum, and exchange programs) and the extracurricular opportunities (conferences, International Volunteer Program, and Global Career Treks), decide which ones best meet your needs, and discuss how and why in your essay and interview.

•  In your essay and interview, as appropriate, include anecdotes and examples about global experiences and the human, cultural, and values-oriented factors beyond the hard facts and numbers (you can include non-business experiences if relevant, even interactions with colleagues from other countries/cultures if you don’t have firsthand international experience).

•  In your resume and application form, mention activities with a global or international element.

Register to learn how to get accepted to Wharton!

 

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:

• Understanding The Wharton Difference
• Wharton 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Interested In Impact: A Talk With Wharton Student Jenna Gebel

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Seats Running Out For Our Wharton Webinar… http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/12/seats-running-out-for-our-wharton-webinar-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/12/seats-running-out-for-our-wharton-webinar-2/#respond Wed, 12 Aug 2015 18:37:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32821 If you are applying to Wharton – then you’ll want to tune in on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 for our Get Accepted To Wharton webinar. Access winning tips that put you ahead of your competition including the 4 key strategies you need to get accepted and advice for your team-based discussion! Don’t get left behind – reserve your spot for Get Accepted to Wharton […]

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If you are applying to Wharton – then you’ll want to tune in on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 for our Get Accepted To Wharton webinar.
Get Accepted to Wharton - Register for the webinar today!

Access winning tips that put you ahead of your competition including the 4 key strategies you need to get accepted and advice for your team-based discussion!

Save your spot!

Don’t get left behind – reserve your spot for Get Accepted to Wharton now!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Financing Your INSEAD MBA http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/11/financing-your-insead-mba/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/11/financing-your-insead-mba/#respond Tue, 11 Aug 2015 15:55:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33359 I was lucky enough to get accepted to study at INSEAD 10 years ago. But before the great news I had spent at least 18 months preparing: from doing the GMAT, writing essays, deciding which school to go to, and determining how to finance this unique and life changing experience. I probably spent the least […]

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Get tips for writing successful INSEAD application essays!

I was lucky enough to get accepted to study at INSEAD 10 years ago. But before the great news I had spent at least 18 months preparing: from doing the GMAT, writing essays, deciding which school to go to, and determining how to finance this unique and life changing experience. I probably spent the least amount of time on the financing point, but in the end it was the most important.

Here are a few recommendations to keep in mind when financing your MBA:

The first recommendation is that whatever you expect to spend on your MBA, you are going to spend at least 30% more on your living expenses, and other expenses that come up. Of course, I wanted to make the most of the experience, and every MBA program, including INSEAD’s, has more activities than anyone can imagine going to. And it’s very tough to say “no” to them due to lack of savings. So tip 1: save at least an extra $5,000 for “travel expenses” per year.

The second recommendation is to evaluate the financial difference between a 1 year and 2 year MBA program. It is not only the opportunity cost of not working and making money, but the 2 year MBA is normally 50%-100% more expensive due to cost of living and 2 years of tuition. Choosing a 1 year MBA like INSEAD was not a conscious decision on my part but I’m glad I decided on it in the end. There is a trend around the world for more 1 year MBAs because of this reason.

The third and most important recommendation is to look for other sources of funding aside from a loan – a few options include:

1.  Scholarships (there are a lot more per country than you may think. In Spain, there are at least 8 organizations that give scholarships)

2.  Ask family and friends for donations or savings

3.  Crowdsource your MBA experience

4.  Get a side job for extra money

I started with the 4th option and managed to save a worthwhile extra amount for INSEAD. Three months before starting the program, I got lucky and got an amazing scholarship from Fundacion Rafael del Pino in Spain for my studies.

Finally, I encourage you to look at what others are doing around you, search on blogs and forums, be creative, and most importantly: if you are set on doing an MBA, with a little bit of discipline and structure, you can save for the future.

Prodigy Finance - RicardoRicardo is Prodigy Finance’s Head of Business Development. He got his MBA from INSEAD in 2006. After his MBA, he worked in management consulting for 8 years before shifting his focus to consult for startup companies in the Fintech space. He joined the Prodigy Finance team in 2014.

 

Related Resources:

• MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Terrific Tips [Free Guide]
• INSEAD Essay 3: Writing About Cultural Diversity
• The Money will Sort Itself Out: IV with a Future INSEAD Student

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6 Fatal Resume Flaws To Avoid http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/09/6-fatal-resume-flaws-to-avoid/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/09/6-fatal-resume-flaws-to-avoid/#respond Sun, 09 Aug 2015 16:07:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32926 The MBA Resume: Done right, this one-to-two-page list of accomplishments can woo the adcoms towards acceptance; done wrong, a resume could be your ticket to ding-hood. 1. Don’t view your resume as an afterthought; it should not be your last priority. Your resume provides an amazing opportunity to share a snapshot of your candidacy with the admissions […]

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Click here for more MBA Resume tips!

Don’t offer unnecessary information such as your weight or marital status

The MBA Resume: Done right, this one-to-two-page list of accomplishments can woo the adcoms towards acceptance; done wrong, a resume could be your ticket to ding-hood.

1. Don’t view your resume as an afterthought; it should not be your last priority.

Your resume provides an amazing opportunity to share a snapshot of your candidacy with the admissions committee. This is your chance to introduce yourself and leave a positive first impression.

2. Basic job descriptions just won’t cut it.

When top b-school adcoms quickly scan a resume (which is what they do at first), they’re looking for career progression. Even a list of the most impressive jobs won’t mean nearly as much to an adcom as a list of impressive jobs that show that a candidate has achieved goals, been promoted, and has generally made an impact on his or her surroundings.

3. Do not submit a job resume as part of your MBA application.

Your MBA resume should not include industry-specific or technical lingo that you might include on a resume for, say, an IT position. The details on your resume should be as accessible as possible to the widest circle of readers.

4. When formatting your resume, standards trump creativity.

Review the resume standards for your target school. Check out resources at the school’s career services department to find out how you should standardize your tenses, punctuation, and formatting. Don’t bold headings if your school-specific format doesn’t bold headings, for example.

5. Don’t offer information overload.

That means no SAT or GMAT scores, no high school education, and no references. The school will have all of that information from other parts of your application. Needless to say, date of birth, marital status, height, and weight should be excluded.

6. Don’t forget to edit.

A resume that hasn’t been spell-checked, grammar-checked, and reviewed by an extra set (or two) of eyes, will probably have errors, and therefore won’t make a very good first impression.

Need help perfecting your MBA admissions resume? Check out Accepted Resume Services and work one-on-one with an admissions expert to create a coherent, compelling admissions resume that will convince your target school’s adcom that they should keep reading.

The Quick Guide To Admissions Resumes - Download your free guide today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Reminder for Your Resume [Short Video]
• Aligning Your Resume With Your Application Essays
• Write a Resume that is Readable, Impactful, and Unique

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Interested In Impact: A Talk With Wharton Student Jenna Gebel http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/07/interested-in-impact-a-talk-with-wharton-student-jenna-gebel/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/07/interested-in-impact-a-talk-with-wharton-student-jenna-gebel/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2015 16:08:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33134 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 Jenna Gebel, a second-year MBA student at Wharton. Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study […]

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Read more MBA 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 Jenna Gebel, a second-year MBA student at Wharton.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where are you currently in school and what year?

Jenna: Originally from New Jersey, I’ve been an east coast girl all of my life. I went to undergrad at University of Maryland where I focused on marketing and international business. Currently I’m getting my MBA at Wharton and am set to graduate in 2016.

Accepted: Why did you choose Wharton? How is it the best fit program for you?

Jenna: When I decided that I wanted to go to business school, I would have never guessed that I would end up at Wharton. I’m very interested in social enterprise so I looked at schools with strong programs in that area like Harvard, Kellogg and Duke. I was really surprised that when I went to visit these schools, none of them felt like the right fit.

Wharton was the best fit for me because I loved the amount of effort they were putting into their social impact initiatives. This has given me the chance to lead and develop new projects rather than simply participate. For example, I helped launch the school’s Women & Girls Initiative to explore business solutions that support females at the bottom of the pyramid. Plus, I find Wharton’s data-driven approach is balancing out my skillset since I am definitely a writer at heart.

Accepted: What’s your favorite class so far?

Jenna: I loved negotiations! No matter what I do in life, I know the lessons I learned in that class will be applicable. From negotiating my rent to pitching a new idea, I learned how to position my argument, understand others’ motivations and approach relationships with a shared value perspective.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your summer internship? What are you doing? What role did Wharton play in helping you secure this position?

Jenna: Currently I’m interning at the Office of Sustainability at Coca-Cola. It has been an amazing experience! This summer I am working on the EKOCENTER project, a Coca-Cola initiative that is empowering communities through social enterprise. EKOCENTERs are modularly designed kiosks that provide access to basic goods and services such as safe drinking water, solar power, health supplies and wireless connectivity.

Here is more information on my internship experience.

Accepted: We hear you’re working on an interesting project with fellow Accepted interviewee Mary Patton Davis – we’d love some details! How can our blog readers help?

Jenna: Yes! Business school is a whirlwind of an experience. People often talk about all the amazing experiences that MBA students have, but the reality is that it’s altogether stressful, social, lonely, stimulating and exhausting! Mary Patton and I wanted to create space for our classmates to pause, reflect and gut check our goals and ambitions for our internships, final year of business school and beyond. And the Wharton Wrap Up was born!

The first retreat was such a success that we are expanding the experience to all Penn graduate students in the fall – but we have a much bigger vision. We want to help more students and young professionals take a break from their hectic lives to connect with likeminded people, learn mindfulness tactics and find time to align their passions with their actions.

Wharton Wrap-Up

Given that the readers of Accepted.com are our target audience, we would love to hear from you! Please fill out this quick survey and let us know your thoughts so we can create the most exciting and useful experience to fit your needs.

Accepted: Looking back at the MBA admissions process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? How would you advise others who may be facing a similar challenge?

Jenna: Throughout the MBA admissions process, you will get advice and perspective from countless people. Everyone will have an idea on the best place for you to be and why. At the end of the day, it’s your choice and you need to follow your gut.

Plus, I think it’s important to hit the road and visit all the schools you are considering. As soon as I got to Philadelphia, I got this overwhelming sense that it was the place where I belonged. Even though some of my family and friends thought it was a nontraditional choice for me, I had a strong feeling it was the best place for me – and looking back, I know I made the right choice since I really listened to my instincts.

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

Thank you Jenna for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck! (Jenna also maintains a blog with her mom on adult mother-daughter relationships called “My Mother, My Daughter, My Friend.” – check it out!)

Register to learn how to get accepted to Wharton!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

Wharton 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
Understanding The Wharton Difference
• Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute

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HURRY! 5 Weeks Until HBS’s R1 Deadline http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/06/hurry-5-weeks-until-hbss-r1-deadline/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/06/hurry-5-weeks-until-hbss-r1-deadline/#respond Thu, 06 Aug 2015 16:37:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33171 Harvard Business School’s Round 1 deadline is on September 9th – are you ready to rock those applications? The following resources will help you navigate the windy road to an HBS admit: 1. Get Accepted to Harvard – View this webinar for a full hour’s worth of Harvard-specific application advice with a focus on four key principles […]

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Read more about Harvard Business SchoolHarvard Business School’s Round 1 deadline is on September 9th – are you ready to rock those applications?

The following resources will help you navigate the windy road to an HBS admit:

1. Get Accepted to Harvard – View this webinar for a full hour’s worth of Harvard-specific application advice with a focus on four key principles that will help you wow the HBS adcom. **Updated for 2015-2016 applicants!

2.  Harvard 2016 MBA Essay Tips – Read up on expert advice on how to approach the Harvard essay question, as well as pointers on putting together your post-interview reflections.

3.  Harvard looks for three qualities in its applicants: Habit of Leadership, Analytical Aptitude and Appetite, and Engaged Community Citizenship. Do you possess these traits? Explore these attributes here and learn how to demonstrate them in your application.

4.  A Window into Life at Harvard Business School – In this interview, Tim, a current HBS student, shares stories and thoughts on Harvard’s recruiting season, the FIELD program, and what surprised him most about HBS.

5.  Life as an HBS MBA Student – Listen to this podcast episode with guest Philip Blackett, a member of the Harvard MBA class of 2016, who tells of his successful reapplication journey, as well as details about the ins and outs of life at Harvard.

For one-on-one assistance on your HBS application, be sure to check out our MBA Application Packages – A-Z assistance on your entire HBS application, at a flat rate.

Wathc the webinar: Get Accepted to Harvard Business School!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Application Timing: When Should You Submit? [Podcast]
• MBA Maze: Application Timing
• MBA Round 1 Timeline

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

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

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

Listen to the show!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to listen to the show!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

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

Related shows:

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

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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The Quick Guide To Admissions Resumes - Download your free guide today!

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Get Accepted To Stanford GSB—Webinar On Demand! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/05/get-accepted-to-stanford-gsb-webinar-on-demand/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/05/get-accepted-to-stanford-gsb-webinar-on-demand/#respond Wed, 05 Aug 2015 16:10:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32954 Our recent webinar, Get Accepted to Stanford GSB, was a huge success! Thanks to our wonderful audience for your great participation and questions. In case you missed it—or if you want to review— the webinar recording is now available on our website! Watch it today for critical advice on how to create a successful Stanford application. Best of luck! […]

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Our recent webinar, Get Accepted to Stanford GSB, was a huge success! Thanks to our wonderful audience for your great participation and questions.

Watch the webinar!In case you missed it—or if you want to review— the webinar recording is now available on our website!

Watch it today for critical advice on how to create a successful Stanford application.

Watch the webinar!

Best of luck!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Innovative Leadership Learning: The “Wharton Difference” And Fit With The Program http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/04/innovative-leadership-learning-the-wharton-difference-and-fit-with-the-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/04/innovative-leadership-learning-the-wharton-difference-and-fit-with-the-program/#respond Tue, 04 Aug 2015 16:22:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32991 My previous post on defining your fit with Wharton addressed two of the four components of “The Wharton Difference” (Largest Global Network and Culture of Engagement).  Here I’ll look at the third component: Innovative Leadership Learning. On the Wharton website, the short paragraph introducing this component contains the keys to unlocking its real meaning and […]

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Register for our webinar!My previous post on defining your fit with Wharton addressed two of the four components of “The Wharton Difference” (Largest Global Network and Culture of Engagement).  Here I’ll look at the third component: Innovative Leadership Learning.

On the Wharton website, the short paragraph introducing this component contains the keys to unlocking its real meaning and import.  Let’s look at those keys – literally, the key words and phrases.  They reveal the adcom’s core interests and values.

•  “You’ll find your leadership style…”  Leadership isn’t the pivotal word here, but rather find.  Of course MBAs are about leadership.  But “find” indicates that the adcom wants people who are “in process” – seeking, growing, and changing in response to what they learn.

•  “…by participating in unmatched entrepreneurship and leadership activities.”  What’s the pivotal word here?  Yeah, participating.  It means active involvement.  The little word by is important too, because it indicates that this participation is the way through which you grow, change (including finding your leadership style).

•  “You’ll take risks, try new roles…”  Wharton adcom equates risk-taking with action; putting yourself out there; opening up not just intellectually but personally.  Wharton’s leadership and entrepreneurship (and other) resources offer avenues for risk-takers to try new roles. And note the word try: you don’t have to follow a straight, smooth path to a goal; the adcom recognizes the growth value in varied experiences, which you internalize and synthesize along the way.

 “…inspire others, and work with peers to shape your experience.”  In a word, collaboration.  In Wharton’s culture, it’s the magic through which the alchemy of growth happens.  The verbs inspire and shape imply deep experience and profound, transforming outcomes.  Innovative Leadership Learning clearly is more than “gaining skills” and “building networks”…

Here’s how you can portray the “Innovative Leadership Learning” component to demonstrate fit with Wharton in your application:

•  Throughout your essay(s), weave in anecdotes and examples that show you participating, taking risks through collaboration, inspiring others in the process – and growing as a leader as a result.  Given the tight word counts, you can even do this within 1-2 sentences, e.g., “When I [did some activity/initiative], it challenged me to [think differently in some way; be specific], which proved valuable when I subsequently [led in a new capacity].

•  The Wharton interview process is a natural extension of this component – develop a strategy for portraying these qualities in a way that is natural to you.

•  In your resume and application form, mention activities where you took initiative and/or drew others in and/or “stretched” beyond your comfort zone.  These won’t be as in-depth as the essays, but they’ll enhance the related points elsewhere in the application.

Register to learn how to get accepted to Wharton!

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:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One [Free Guide]
• Wharton 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• The “Wharton Difference” And Fit With The Program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Example to Exemplary - Download your guide today!

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

 
Related Resources:

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

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Should You Retake The GMAT? [Short Video] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/31/should-you-retake-the-gmat-short-video/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/31/should-you-retake-the-gmat-short-video/#respond Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:52:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32836 Not sure if you should retake the GMAT? Check out this video for the three key factors to examine when evaluating your GMAT score: Related Resources: • That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application [webinar] • Low GMAT Score? Don’t Panic…Yet. • GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep  Tags: GMAT, MBA Admissions, MBA Video Tips

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Not sure if you should retake the GMAT? Check out this video for the three key factors to examine when evaluating your GMAT score:
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application [webinar]
• Low GMAT Score? Don’t Panic…Yet.
• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep 

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What You Need To Know To Get Accepted To Wharton http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/30/what-you-need-to-know-to-get-accepted-to-wharton-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/30/what-you-need-to-know-to-get-accepted-to-wharton-2/#respond Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:35:53 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32811 Applying to Wharton? You are invited to attend our upcoming webinar! On Aug 19th, Accepted CEO and b-school admissions expert, Linda Abraham, will share the secret to creating a standout application including: • The 4 ingredients of a successful Wharton application. • Insights into what the adcom is looking for. • How to ace Wharton’s […]

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Applying to Wharton? You are invited to attend our upcoming webinar!

Get Accepted to Wharton! Register for the webinar today!

On Aug 19th, Accepted CEO and b-school admissions expert, Linda Abraham, will share the secret to creating a standout application including:

• The 4 ingredients of a successful Wharton application.

• Insights into what the adcom is looking for.

• How to ace Wharton’s TBD/interview.

Save your spot!

Spaces are limited! Reserve your spot for Get Accepted to Wharton today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Duke Fuqua 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/30/duke-fuqua-2016-mba-essay-tips-and-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/30/duke-fuqua-2016-mba-essay-tips-and-deadlines/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:38:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32724 Leadership, teamwork, ethics, and a global approach to business are essential elements of the Duke Fuqua MBA, which is why you’ll need to make sure you express your passion for these ideals in your application essays. Impress the Fuqua adcom by positioning yourself as an innovative leader and team player, as someone who can see the big picture, work […]

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Check out more school specific MBA Essay TipsLeadership, teamwork, ethics, and a global approach to business are essential elements of the Duke Fuqua MBA, which is why you’ll need to make sure you express your passion for these ideals in your application essays. Impress the Fuqua adcom by positioning yourself as an innovative leader and team player, as someone who can see the big picture, work collaboratively, and shape global business.

My tips are in blue below. 

Three short answer questions and 2 essays are required from all applicants.

• Responses should use 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
• Respond fully and concisely.
• Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
• Prepare your responses carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your answers important in the selection process.
• All essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will not be tolerated in the admissions process.

Application Tip: Check out Fuqua’s section criteria.

Required Short Answers Questions

Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each short answer question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

1. What are your short term goals, post-MBA?

State what you see yourself doing immediately after you earn your MBA in terms of function and industry. If location or geography are important to your goal, include them.  If you know the type of companies you would like to work for, you can include that information too, but don’t say you want to work for Company X, unless Company X is sponsoring you. Without sponsorship, a “Company X” answer is probably too narrow, but saying you would like to work for a firm like Company X would work.

2. What are your long term goals?

Your long term goals should flow logically from your short-term goals. They can be fuzzier and both in terms of direction and timing. But you should have them. They can, but don’t have to, include larger aspirations and present a broader perspective on where you are headed. But please don’t go so general and say something like “I aspire to be a good person” or “I strive to leave a lasting impact on my community.” Nice sentiments, but way too vague.

3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

What’s your Plan B? If you can’t get a job at a leading strategy consulting firm — your first choice — what do you want to do? If Plan A is investment banking, what’s Plan B?

First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself

Instructions: Answer the following question — present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

1. The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

Have some fun with this list. It certainly allows a more creative approach than permitted by most essay prompts. Note that the questions asks you to go “beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript.”  So you can list your Pez collection or perhaps your brief membership in a rock band or the fact that you took violin from age 6-18 or your membership in a gospel choir or your volunteer work in a hospital, your needlepoint, your favorite recipe or photo. Gosh the list is endless. Just let it reflect you. Think of this list as an introduction to potential friends.   For more insight into this question and the  motivation behind, please read Megan Overbay’s, the former Director of Admissions’, advice. I believe you will find it helpful. And very friendly.

Second Required Essay (choose 1 of 2)

Instructions: Choose only 1 of the following 2 essay questions to answer. Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length, and should reflect your knowledge of the Fuqua program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

Choose to the prompt that will let you reveal something important to you and impressive about you. Write the essay that you will be able to draft most enthusiastically and easily.

1. Why Duke: When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.

Why Duke? But you’re not talking to the admissions committee, whom you just may be a tad less than candid with. You are talking to your family, friends, and colleagues, people you know and like (at least the friends).  The Fuqua admissions staff really wants to get to know you. Authenticity is the goal. The admissions readers want to be able to imagine you as a part of Team Fuqua — their family — as a friend or colleague. Will you be real stiff and formal? Of course not. You will be friendly in a professional way. Don’t take this as an invitation to be inappropriate, coarse, or rude. Just friendly.

What appeals to you at Duke? What about its program, culture, and professional opportunities attracts you and would compel you to accept an offer of admission? Maybe address a letter to a close friend and tell her why you want to go to Duke.  That letter may morph into this essay.

2. The Team Fuqua community is as unique as the individuals who comprise it. Underlying our individuality are a number of shared ideas and principles that we live out in our own ways. Our students have identified and defined 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” that we feel are the guiding philosophies that make our community special. At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect the research you have done, your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

1. Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.
2. Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.
3. Collective Diversity:  We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.
4. Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.
5. Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most.
6. Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part.

Do your homework about Fuqua (and yourself) before responding to this question. What activities and groups appeal to you? How do you see yourself participating? Making a difference? Then look at the list of six principles above. Which do you most identify with? Imagine how you would exemplify that principle in your activities. The story of that role and how would see yourself earning an award is your essay.  While you can reference similar activities in the past, keep the focus of this essay on what you would do at Fuqua and why you would earn recognition for exemplifying one of these six principles.

Optional Essay Question:

If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, or any significant weakness in your application).

• Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
• The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.
• Limit your response to two pages.

Why isn’t your current supervisor writing your rec? Why is there a six-month gap on your resume? Why did your grades dip during the first semester of your senior year? What are your responsibilities while working for a family business after having left a prestigious investment bank, and why did you make the change? Answering any of those questions (but not all) could be the topic of your optional essay.

Duke Fuqua 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Check out our other school-specific MBA Essay Tips

If you would like professional guidance with your Duke Fuqua 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 Duke application. 

12 Terrific Tips for MBA Applicants - Download your free copy today!

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:

How To Earn A Spot On Team Fuqua [Podcast]
• Culture, Location, and Support: A Duke MBA Speaks
• 2016 MBA Application Essay Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

00:06:44 – #3: Can you show fit?

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

Applying the framework to:

00:12:26 – MBA Admissions.

00:18:47 – Grad School Admissions.

00:21:44 – Med School Admissions.

00:24:29 – Law School Admissions.

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

Related links:

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

Related shows:

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

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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The “Wharton Difference” And Fit With The Program http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/28/the-wharton-difference-and-fit-with-the-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/28/the-wharton-difference-and-fit-with-the-program/#respond Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:04:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32801 The Wharton MBA adcom offers you some help in shaping your Wharton application – by clearly and succinctly defining the four core components of “the Wharton difference.”  Understanding these components is a key to conveying your fit with the program. These four components are encompassed in Wharton’s emphasis on “putting knowledge into action.”  This value […]

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The Wharton MBA adcom offers you some help in shaping your Wharton application – by clearly and succinctly defining the four core components of “the Wharton difference.”  Understanding these components is a key to conveying your fit with the program.

These four components are encompassed in Wharton’s emphasis on “putting knowledge into action.”  This value should guide your application approach: action is always specific, anecdotal.  Therefore, keep your resume, essays, and application answers specific, anecdotal, and action focused.

In this post I’ll discuss two of the four components that are tightly correlated, then I’ll do one post each for the remaining two.  In all, I’ll keep on the radar screen the overarching “putting knowledge into action.”

Largest Global Network and Culture of Engagement are the two interconnected components.  They go hand-in-hand:

•  The vast global alumni network is an immense resource, and culture involves a cyclical process of using, synthesizing and creating new resources.

•  A network and a culture are both built on and serve people.

•  The network component uses the phrases “call on” and “tap into” while the culture of engagement component uses the words “join” and “collaborative” – reflecting dynamism, connection, proactivity.

There is another fascinating but perhaps less intuitive point of alignment between these two components: impact.

•  “Increase your impact through the resources of this diverse, connected community” (from Global Network).

•  “…Turning knowledge into impact” (from Culture of Engagement).

What does all this add up to?  PEOPLE TAKING ACTION CREATE IMPACT.  That’s basic.  What you want to demonstrate, and what Wharton seeks, is you being part of PEOPLE TAKING ACTION TOGETHER TO CREATE CONSTRUCTIVE, DESIRED IMPACTS.

Here’s how you can demonstrate fit with Wharton by incorporating these values into your application:

•  Refer specifically in your application and interview to how you will use the global alumni network to advance your goals and/or how you will engage with it (specific actions as opposed to the ubiquitous but bland “contribute to”).

•  Give examples and anecdotes in essays that illustrate your resourcefulness and collaboration leading to concrete outcomes.

•  In discussing how you will achieve your goals, include these elements, which also align with the action orientation.

• Ensure that your resume reflects these values, and start bullet points with verbs to underscore action.

•  If your recommenders are open to your input, ask them to use examples and present strengths that reflect these attributes (and not just “ability to” but also achieving impacts).

•  In your interview frame your answers and points to reflect these elements and even refer specifically to them, if you can do so naturally.

Register to learn how to get accepted to Wharton!

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:

• Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute
• Wharton 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• The Wharton Executive MBA Program: An Insider’s View [Podcast]

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Choosing From Multiple Business School Acceptances http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/27/choosing-from-multiple-business-school-acceptances/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/27/choosing-from-multiple-business-school-acceptances/#respond Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:11:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32702 “Choosing From Multiple Business School Acceptances” is the final post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze. You’ve been accepted at two solid schools. Great! Or, you’ve been offered admission to an OK school with a significant scholarship and your #1 choice with no financial aid. Or, you’ve been admitted to a top-tier program, but you […]

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Multiple acceptances: Congrats! But what now?

Choosing From Multiple Business School Acceptances” is the final post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze.

You’ve been accepted at two solid schools. Great! Or, you’ve been offered admission to an OK school with a significant scholarship and your #1 choice with no financial aid. Or, you’ve been admitted to a top-tier program, but you really wanted to go to Harvard. You should be celebrating, but instead you’re worrying.

What do you do now? What criteria do you use in making your decision? Here are the factors that should guide you:

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

2. Which educational approach do you prefer?  Do you prefer to learn through case study or analysis, or a combination of the two?

3. Where would you rather live for X years? Do you want to live in a big city or small college town? What region do you want to live in? Do you prefer a big university or a small college? Religious or secular? Liberal or conservative?

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

Navigating the MBA Maze - Download your free guide today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• How To Pay For Your MBA [webinar]
Show Me The Money
• MBA Choices: Dream School vs. Scholarship School?

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MBA Admissions Decisions: Should You Go Full-Time Or Part-Time? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/24/mba-admissions-decisions-should-you-go-full-time-or-part-time-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/24/mba-admissions-decisions-should-you-go-full-time-or-part-time-2/#respond Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:40:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32704 When I was applying to b-school, I contemplated part-time vs. full-time, and one of my best friends, Colleen, had to make the same decision at the same time. Ultimately, I decided to attend the full-time program at the University of Michigan. Colleen decided to attend a part-time program at the University of Michigan. We shared […]

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Get your free guide to selecting the best MBA programs for you!

Full-time or Part-time?

When I was applying to b-school, I contemplated part-time vs. full-time, and one of my best friends, Colleen, had to make the same decision at the same time.

Ultimately, I decided to attend the full-time program at the University of Michigan. Colleen decided to attend a part-time program at the University of Michigan. We shared 60% of the same classes, 40% of the same professors and even had a class together (Michigan offered, at the time, courses where they reserved half the registrations for full-time students and half the registrations for part-time students). Since that time, they dramatically changed the full-time curriculum and it is unlikely that we would overlap now like we did then. However, I graduated two years before Colleen with a unique internship, an opportunity to begin a new career and a lot of debt. Colleen advanced quickly with the company that hired her upon our graduation from college and graduated without debt because her company sponsored her education. We both have the same degree.

Now as an Accepted.com consultant and as a former Admissions Director and Dean of full-time, part-time and EMBA programs, I lend you my insight and guidance from the other side of the table in this brief analysis of programs.

Full-time programs: Traditional full-time programs are the media darlings of MBA programs. A school’s reputation relies mostly on its full-time program rankings. They consume the largest portion of the school’s budget, and they rarely make revenue for a school. More than 90% of all scholarships and fellowships are dedicated to full-time students. Full-time programs are perfect for career-changers in the 23-30 year old age range that can afford the opportunity cost of leaving work to immerse themselves in education and experience. If you choose this experience, you will feel like you are an undergraduate again with clubs and activities, but the workload will be greater. You will have access to on-campus recruiting (I always recommend you conduct your own off-campus job search in parallel with on-campus recruiting), company presentations, fellowships and scholarships and a lot of fun. Full-time students prioritize the job search and school. Family often gets the short stick, but there are typically resources to support a spouse. If you are single, it’s a great opportunity to form a romantic relationship. My grad school roommate found the love of her life in our core operations course.

Part-time programs: Part-time programs are the cash cow of MBA programs and have to live in the shadow of their smaller full-time counterpart. They take very few resources, but they often share the same faculty as the full-time program. Many professors would rather teach at night or on the weekend to lighten their teaching load and dedicate their days to research. Schools will also complement the faculty with adjuncts in part-time programs. Aggregated, the part-time applicant pool is not as competitive or as diverse in terms of admissions as schools typically receive fewer applications, and they are limited to their immediate region and the industries that dominate that industry. Furthermore, schools have the capacity to serve at least as many and often more students than their full-time counterpart.

As much as schools say the quality of the full-time students and the part-time students are the same, the quality is dependent on location and how that location generates applications. Bigger cities have an easier time of attracting great applicants to their part-time program and can maintain higher quality standards, but full-time programs generate applications from around the globe and it’s much easier to pick and choose candidates for admission.

Part-time programs are perfect for the 24-35 year old career enhancer, but rarely serve the career changer. Part-timers typically do not have the same access to comprehensive career services as full-time programs because company presentations and interviews are typically held during the day. At one school for whom I worked, we dedicated one career services staff member to all of our professional programs (part-time, EMBA, on-line) serving over 1000 students and 5 career services staff to the small 200-student full-time program.

Part-time students can often get full or partial sponsorship from their company lessening the financial burden, but do not typically have access to fellowships or scholarships from the school. It typically takes students longer than 2 years to complete a part-time program and part-time students prioritize work first, school second and again, family gets the short end stick. Part-time students often feel like the stepchild of the full-time counterparts.

EMBA programs: EMBA programs are also lucrative for schools, but they typically are not as large as full-time programs, and schools charge a premium to attend an EMBA program. They are perfect for students in the 30-year-old to 42-year-old age range that have been supervising employees and that have the support of their executive management to attend a program because executives view these students as fast-trackers in their company. These programs are typically held every other weekend and offer no fellowships or scholarships because schools expect the student’s company to sponsor the student partially or completely. EMBA students typically prioritize work first, family second and school last. While EMBA students may cross from technical supervisory roles to business supervisory roles in their companies, EMBA programs do not cater to the career changer only the career enhancer. Schools take care of their EMBA students for their tuition premium. However, these students rarely interact with either the part-time or full-time students, but bond well with their cohort and the faculty.

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One - Download your copy today!

 

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:

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

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UC Berkeley Haas 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/24/uc-berkeley-haas-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/24/uc-berkeley-haas-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:12:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31574 The supplemental information that Haas requests is almost unchanged. The essays are different from last years. For #1 they have an essay question very similar to one from two years ago. And for #2, they give you a choice of prompts. My tips are in blue below. Essays: At Berkeley-Haas, we seek candidates from a broad […]

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Check out other school specific essay tips!

UC Berkeley Haas

The supplemental information that Haas requests is almost unchanged. The essays are different from last years. For #1 they have an essay question very similar to one from two years ago. And for #2, they give you a choice of prompts.

My tips are in blue below.

Essays:

At Berkeley-Haas, we seek candidates from a broad range of cultures, backgrounds, and industries who demonstrate a strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles. Our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles — Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. Please use the following essays as an opportunity to reflect on and share with us the values, experiences, and accomplishments that have helped shape who you are.

(Learn more about Berkeley-Haas’ Defining Principles)

Please use the following essays as opportunities to reflect on and share with us the values, experiences, and accomplishments that have helped shape who you are.

As you are answering the following four questions really think about Haas’ defining principles and when possible tie your answer and experiences to those principles. As I frequently do, I want to warn you against simply repeating the principles or stuffing them into your essays. That’s a waste of time and space. Use your essays to reveal that you share those values and have those qualities.

1. If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 word maximum)

If it’s heavy metal, go for it. And if it’s a Beethoven Sonata, let it sing forth. And if it’s a classic folk song that you learned as a child in a non-Western country, don’t hesitate to share that information too. The “what” isn’t nearly as important as the “why.” Be authentic and tell them which song best expresses your essence, whatever it is. And then tell them why you believe it reflects the true you.  

2.  Please respond to one of the following prompts: (250 word max)

• Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world and how it transformed you.

• Describe a significant accomplishment and why it makes you proud.

• Describe a difficult decision you have made and why it was challenging.

First question: Which to choose? Select the one that you can answer most easily and enthusiastically and that complements the other essays and information found elsewhere. 

Please note that each option is asking for one experience or one accomplishment, or one difficult decision. Haas seeks an example that you find meaningful and illustrative of how you approach situations and events. they want a window into how you act and think. Whatever option you choose, don’t omit answering what comes after the “and.”

Try to choose an event that illustrates you identifying with at least one of Haas’ 4 Principles.

3. Tell us about your path to business school and your future plans. How will the Berkeley-Haas experience help you along this journey? (500 words max)

This is a connect-the-dots goals question.  What do you want to do after you earn your MBA? How has what you have done in the past convinced you this is the right path for you? How will the Haas MBA experience prepare you to achieve your goals for your MBA? 

You don’t have to answer the questions I posed in the order I posed them, but the strong answer to this question will answer all three questions if you want to answer Haas’ question. And to answer the about the Berkeley-Haas experience, you must thoroughly understand Haas program and culture.  How will take advantage of its strengths?

Supplemental Information:

1.  If you have not provided a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, please explain. If not applicable, enter N/A.

Keep it short and sweet. This is primarily for those of you who don’t want to tell your boss yet that you plan to leave.

2. List in order of importance all community and professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Include the following information for each organization or activity using the format below:

• Name of organization or activity
• Nature of organization or activity
• Size of organization
• Dates of involvement
• Offices held
• Average number of hours spent per month

Whenever possible, quantify your impact or contribution. Please note that Haas is not interested in high school grades or activities. Note also that they want the list not in chronological order, but in order of importance — however you define “importance.”

3. List full-time and part-time jobs held during undergraduate or graduate studies, indicating the employer, job title, employment dates, location, and the number of hours worked per week for each position held prior to the completion of your degree.

Again, quantify as much as possible your responsibilities and impact. Focus on achievements. Avoid  job descriptions that are obvious from your job title.

4. If you have ever been subject to academic discipline, placed on probation, suspended, or required to withdraw from any college or university, please explain. If not, please enter N/A. (An affirmative response to this question does not automatically disqualify you from admission.)

Please, please, please don’t “forget” to answer this question if it applies to you. It’s far worse to ignore it than to answer it.

Optional Essay: Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? You may also use this essay to provide further explanation of employment gaps or your quantitative abilities. (500 word maximum)

A bonus! If there is an element in your background, be it personal, academic or professional, that you have not revealed elsewhere and would like the adcom to know about, this is the spot. Give them another reason to admit you, but don’t submit the grand summary, appeal, or closing statement. Keep it succinct and focused.

Obviously, you could use this essay to explain a weakness, but that would leave your application ending on a weakness, which is less than optimal. Try to fit the explanation in somewhere else in the app or if necessary tuck the weakness into this essay, but have the main focus of this essay be something positive. For example: Your pride in working your way through undergrad, the challenges, and the ultimate satisfaction of learning to manage your time. 

If you would like professional guidance with your UC Berkeley Haas 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 Haas MBA application. 

UC Berkeley Haas 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Check out our other school specific essay tips!

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

• 2016 MBA Application Essay Tips
• UC Berkeley Haas Zone Page
Why MBA? [Free Guide]

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Short And Sweet: Tips For Writing “Mini” MBA Essays http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/short-and-sweet-tips-for-writing-mini-mba-essays-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/short-and-sweet-tips-for-writing-mini-mba-essays-2/#respond Thu, 23 Jul 2015 16:15:28 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32638 What is an admission committee’s message, intent, behind limiting an “essay” answer to 100, 200, or 300 characters? Just the facts, please. In fact, just the key facts. No adornment, no backstory, no extended rationale. Columbia Business School has had such a goals question for a few years, Darden has had a 140-character Tweet question, […]

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Click here for school specific MBA essay tips and deadlines!

Make sure you’re answering the exact question asked.

What is an admission committee’s message, intent, behind limiting an “essay” answer to 100, 200, or 300 characters? Just the facts, please. In fact, just the key facts.

No adornment, no backstory, no extended rationale.

Columbia Business School has had such a goals question for a few years, Darden has had a 140-character Tweet question, and now HBS has a couple of these mini-essay questions. Yes, it’s a trend.

In working with clients on such questions, I’ve been struck by how hard providing “just the facts” really is – it’s counterintuitive, it’s letting go. It makes the writer feel, well, a little naked out there. Adornment, backstory, rationale – those are the comfortable “clothes” now in a heap on the floor.

OK, but how do you give them what they want – while simultaneously serving your goal of creating a compelling application that differentiates and distinguishes you?

Here are some unadorned tips to answer that question.

• Read the question carefully and weigh each word, to make sure you’re answering the exact question. (Seems obvious? I’ve witnessed many very smart people misread the question, with predictable results.)

 Short doesn’t mean easy. The opposite is often true. Allocate and devote some up-front thinking time to what you’ll say. The fewer words you have, the greater weight each word has.

• In this thinking process, decide the 1-3 key points you must convey. Don’t even consider anything else.

• Also in this thinking process, consider the application overall. These mini-essays must work within a larger whole. For example, if you only have 200 characters to write about your goals, and you’re planning to shift careers, look for other places in the application to indicate that you have relevant skill sets, understand the industry/function, etc.

• In drafting, write a little over the limit and pare down.

• Make sure each word is meaningful. Stick to nouns and verbs. Use short, direct sentences, which allow you to “squeeze” the most out of the limited characters.

• Avoid repeating the question (if it’s about post-MBA goals, the reader will know what you’re referring to, you don’t have to say, “Post-MBA I plan to…).

You know the expression “short and sweet.” Turn brevity to your advantage. A short statement can have great power, propulsion. The key is to do it right.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid In Your MBA Application Essays - Download your free guide!

 

Cindy Tokumitsu By , Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Related Resources:

• Twelve Terrific Tips for MBA Applicants [Free Guide]
School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
• Choosing Topics For The B-School Essay

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Kellogg 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/22/kellogg-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/22/kellogg-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 17:07:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32294 In September 2014, Kellogg “rebranded” itself and adopted a more concrete (and in my opinion better) mission statement: “Inspiring growth.” The video below explores and clarifies this mission as well as the values Kellogg holds dear. I highly recommend that you watch it to grasp Kellogg’s fundamental principles.  A couple of key takeaways from the video: Kellogg seeks individuals […]

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In September 2014, Kellogg “rebranded” itself and adopted a more concrete (and in my opinion better) mission statement: “Inspiring growth.” The video below explores and clarifies this mission as well as the values Kellogg holds dear. I highly recommend that you watch it to grasp Kellogg’s fundamental principles. 

A couple of key takeaways from the video: Kellogg seeks individuals who:

Have a growth mindset (for details, please see Caroline Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, one of my favorite books).

Work well in a collaborative environment while striving to grow individually and at the same time inspiring growth in individuals, organizations, and markets.

Kellogg also changed both its questions this year and #2 certainly reflects the new emphasis on growth.

My tips are in blue below.

Essays:

1.
 Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)

First things first: Kellogg is asking for ONE experience. Not more. It also reflects Kellogg’s belief that teamwork and leadership go hand-in-hand. Unlike last year’s similar essay question, Kellogg is not limiting your professional settings. You do have the option to use a non-professional leadership experience.

 You can use a STAR framework for this response (Situation, Task, Action, Results). Start with the situation and simply describe what was situation/problem/opportunity you were asked to respond to. Then relate your group’s task and your responsibility. How did you motivate the others to move in one direction? How did you influence and persuade? Finally what were the results for the group? And what did you learn about leadership, collaboration, and influence?

While it isn’t a requirement, and I can imagine instances where this may not be true, examples where you led by virtue of your stature and others’ respect for you will be more compelling than those where you led by virtue of station and title. 

2.
 Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)

This is a difficult question that should provide Kellogg with real insight into the individuals applying to its MBA program. Before responding do your homework on the Kellogg program and what you want to do after you leave Kellogg. The latter will tell you how you want to grow and the former will tell you how you will do so at Kellogg.

First think about the times you have grown either professionally or personally. Which of those instances would you like Kellogg to know about? Ideally the event you choose to focus on will relate in some way to the growth you want to have at Kellogg.

Then reflect on how you intend to grow while at Kellogg. I think this the strong answer to this question will really go beyond mere skill acquisition, although that can be part of your response. How are you going to take advantage of what Kellogg offers to become more like the people in the video: able to see opportunity when faced with challenge, to envision a beautiful finished structure when staring at a bare shell, and to harness your emotional intelligence and acquired skills to lead collaboratively and with clarity of purpose? 

Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)

A straight-forward response is required here.  What do you want to do that requires both degrees? Why is this joint program the right one to fill in the gaps in your education and take you to a point where you can go down your desired professional path.

Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

No trick questions here. How are you a better candidate today than when Kellogg rejected you? Have you addressed weaknesses in your previous application? Check out MBA Reapplicant 101 — a lot of (free) resources. 

All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information:

If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)

This is a true optional question If necessary, use it to provide context for possible negatives. Take responsibility for mistakes if necessary and discuss what you have changed so that you don’t err in the same way again.

Keep this section short and to-the-point. Don’t be fooled by “No word count.”

Video Essay: 

The Video Essays provide applicants with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what they will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community – in an interactive way. Each applicant will complete two short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.

After submitting a completed application, each applicant will be asked to complete two Video Essay Questions. One will be about the candidate’s interest in Kellogg and the other will be a “getting to know you” type of question.

There are 10 practice questions which candidates can complete as many times as they like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool and help applicants feel prepared.

There is not an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions. We encourage applicants to practice so they are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions.

Candidates will have 20 seconds to think about their question and up to 1 minute to give their response.

We estimate the Video Essays will take 15-20 minutes to complete – which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions.

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. For tips on how to prepare and behave during the webcam session, please see Kellogg’s “Video Essay” on its Application Components page as well as my Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions.

If you would like professional guidance with your Kellogg 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 Kellogg application. 

Kellogg 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Check out our other school-specific MBA Essay Tips

*Your application must be received by Kellogg no later than 5p.m. CT on the deadline for the round in which you are applying.

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.

Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your MBA Application Essays [Free Guide]
• 2016 School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
• Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them [Short Video]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related links:

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

Related shows:

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

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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Catching Up With Recent Stanford GSB Graduate Tim Eisenman http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/catching-up-with-recent-stanford-gsb-graduate-tim-eisenman/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/catching-up-with-recent-stanford-gsb-graduate-tim-eisenman/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:11:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32603 This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a follow up interview with Tim Eisenman, who just completed the MBA program at Stanford GSB. We first met Tim last year – you can read our first interview […]

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Read more MBA student interviewsThis interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a follow up interview with Tim Eisenman, who just completed the MBA program at Stanford GSB. We first met Tim last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: Last we spoke you were in the middle of your first year at Stanford GSB, and now you’ve just received your MBA — congrats! Can you bring us up to speed? How was your last year and a half?

Tim: Sure, it is so scary to think that the last time we talked is already 1.5 years ago. As you said, I graduated about a month ago and was fortunate enough to have my parents and my sister from Germany with me.

Right now I am in New York looking for an apartment and getting to know the city before I start my job at McKinsey in fall. I am also volunteering at a kids soccer camp in Manhattan three days a week and am thinking about writing a book. As you can see – I can’t just do nothing.

Highlights from last year are moving off-campus into a house with classmates from Austria, Japan, Turkey, Brasil and Argentina and having amazing BBQ parties as well as developing really close friendships to some GSBers through 1:1s or runs along the Bay. On the academic side, developing the first ever GSB “Travel and Hospitality Industry” elective with a former co-worker of mine was amazing. We will teach the class again this fall.

Accepted: Which clubs or activities were you involved with on campus? How central to student life is club involvement?

Tim: Club involvement was crucial to my GSB experience – both from a professional perspective, but also as a way to get to know likeminded classmates. I was heavily involved in the “Travel & Hospitality Club” and the “Stanford Africa Business Forum.” The Travel Club gave me the opportunity to network with high-profile execs in the airline industry, who also come and speak at our travel class.

At the GSB, it is not only what the school can give to you, but also what you can give back through your background. Aviation was a great example for that and I believe that we really strengthened the industry exposure of the school for years to come. Working on the “Africa Business Forum” was amazing, because I was the only non-African on the team and therefore learnt a lot about different cultural working styles. That team really came together strong at the end and we created an amazing conference.

Accepted: Looking back, what would you say was the most challenging aspect of business school? How would you advise others who may be facing that challenge?

Tim: Figuring out what you want to get out of school was most challenging. I remember double- or even triple-booking my lunch breaks for the first couple of weeks. Everything sounds interesting and you do not want to miss out. What I came to realize though is that I can’t be fully present for several things at the same time and that I needed to prioritize. At the end I was fine taking a 2 hour walk with a classmate and missing Mitt Romney speak – that classmate is going to turn into a lifelong friend and I am totally fine not having a picture with Mitt on my Facebook wall.

If you have time before going off to school make a list with things that are important to you – don’t forget to include sleep, healthy food, exercise and so on. If business school helps you get into the habit of exercising daily then this is a great achievement. Not everything has to be career related.

Accepted: What did you end up doing for your summer internship last year? Can you talk about the process by which you obtained your internship? How does it work at Stanford?

Tim: I worked for McKinsey in London and went through very straightforward on-campus recruiting. A lot of classmates got their internship less formally through networking and knocking on doors of interesting companies. Stanford helps with that process through events (such as the “Fewer than 300 Employees Event”) targeting smaller companies that might not want to set up a booth right next to GE and BCG.

I also did a one-month GMIX, a social impact immersion, working for a mushroom company in Kigali that was founded by a GSBer and that I had worked for before school already. The founder and I have become close friends and this January he offered me to join his board. He graduated twenty years ago and stayed at my house for his reunion this spring. It’s amazing how tight so many of the Stanford connections can get.

Accepted: What’s next for you? Where will your MBA bring you?

Tim: As I said, I will join McKinsey in their New York office this fall working mostly on airline and transportation topics. Eventually I will go back into the industry and hope to take on a leadership role someday. Aviation is not a traditional post-MBA industry, but given that there are no real low-cost airlines in Africa, that there are very few ultra-low-cost long haul carriers and that there is huge room for consolidation, I believe that industry dynamics will continue to shift. I want to be a part of that and feel that the out-of-the-box thinking at Stanford is a great asset for me to have when the time comes.

On the side I will continue to engage in the for-profit social impact sphere in Africa and who knows? Maybe I will get bored in the developed world and take a big leap to work in an underdeveloped African country. I like to have options as I see that traditional picture of a ladder of success being antiquated. It is much rather a climbing wall of success. Instead of going up, going sideways might actually make more sense sometimes.

Accepted: Are you still blogging?

Tim: I am still blogging, but I have slowed down and it is on my to-do list to get back into it again. Everyone talks about the power of journaling at Stanford. It is nice to sometimes just reflect about a topic through writing about it.

To read more about Tim’s journey, please check out his blog, From PA to the World. Thank you Tim for sharing your story with us and we wish you lots of luck!

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

Register for our free webinar: Get Accepted to Stanford GSB!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Understanding Stanford GSB’s Interest In Personal Qualities And Contributions
• 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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Waitlisted – What Now? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/20/on-the-mba-waitlisted-now-what/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/20/on-the-mba-waitlisted-now-what/#respond Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:16:15 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32468 “Waitlisted – What Now?” is the latest post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze. First, a word of introduction: Realize that receiving a wait-list letter means you qualify for admission. You pass. You are probably on the wait-list (and not admitted) because they have already admitted applicants with your profile and want diversity in […]

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Listen to Lindas podcast as she discusses how to get off the waitlist!

Being put on the waitlist could mean that your goal is almost within reach!

Waitlisted – What Now?” is the latest post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze.

First, a word of introduction: Realize that receiving a wait-list letter means you qualify for admission. You pass. You are probably on the wait-list (and not admitted) because they have already admitted applicants with your profile and want diversity in the class. Or they find your qualifications impressive, but find someone else’s even more so.

I encourage you to seize the initiative and launch a campaign. Unless the school discourages additional contact, take a proactive approach. You have already shown that you qualify for the school; otherwise you wouldn’t find yourself on the wait-list. They like you. Now give the adcom additional reasons to admit you by writing a succinct wait-list letter.

Your waitlist updates and letters of support from others should focus on three areas:

1. Your qualifications: specifically recent professional achievements, academics, research, increases in responsibilities, initiatives, and community service.

2. Steps you have taken to ameliorate weaknesses.

3. How you fit with the school.

The first two areas demonstrate that you are an even better applicant today than you were when you applied. The third reveals that you belong at that school like a hand fits in a snug glove on a cold winter day, and that you will attend if, or should I say when, accepted.

Suggestions for a Waitlist Update:

1. Briefly thank the school for continuing to consider your application and mention how the school’s philosophy and approach fit your educational preferences and goals. Don’t dwell on your disappointment at not being accepted.

2. Agree to take any additional courses or follow any additional instructions provided.

3. Discuss recent achievements. Did you have a 4.0 during the last quarter? Have you led a project or organization? Volunteered? Have you taken your department, business, or club in a new direction? Have you had an article published? Earned a patent? Launched a business? Received a promotion or assumed additional responsibilities? Succeeded in a particularly demanding class or project? You should bring out any recent accomplishments not discussed in your application and ideally tie them back to some of the themes or experiences you raised in your essays.

4. Discuss how you have addressed shortcomings—without highlighting them. For example, if you enrolled in Toastmasters to improve your communications skills, inform the adcom that you did so two months ago, tell them of any awards you have won, and enlighten them as to how much you are enjoying the experience. BUT don’t say that you are doing all this because you are concerned about your low verbal score or sub-standard grades in social science courses.

5. If you are certain you would attend this school, make it clear that this is your first choice and that you will attend if accepted.

Keep the letter short and sweet — two pages max. Don’t succumb to the temptation to rewrite or even summarize your life history or essays. Stay focused on what you have accomplished since applying.

Accepted.com’s editors are available to help you evaluate your application, advise you on your wait-list strategy, and edit wait-list letters. For more information, please visit our wait-list services for more details.





Navigating the MBA Maze - Download your free guide today!



Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlist [ebook]
• Waitlisted! What Now? 
• 3 Topics to Discuss in Waitlist Correspondence [Short Video]

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Applying To Stanford GSB? Read This! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/19/applying-to-stanford-gsb-read-this/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/19/applying-to-stanford-gsb-read-this/#respond Sun, 19 Jul 2015 19:25:15 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31989 Are you applying to Stanford GSB? Our webinar on Tuesday will give you the tools to create a strong application. You don’t want to miss this! Sign up now for Get Accepted to Stanford GSB, airing live on Tuesday, July 21, at 10am PT/1pm ET. Tags: MBA Admissions

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Register for our webinar "Get Accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business" today!Are you applying to Stanford GSB? Our webinar on Tuesday will give you the tools to create a strong application. You don’t want to miss this!

Sign up now for Get Accepted to Stanford GSB, airing live on Tuesday, July 21, at 10am PT/1pm ET.

Register now!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Chicago Booth 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/19/chicago-booth-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/19/chicago-booth-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 17:11:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32291 Chicago Booth has always prided itself on valuing applicants who can handle ambiguity and lack of structure. And its application reflects that principle. In spades. This year’s Booth application also mirrors Chicago’s pride in its distinctive culture. This essay/presentation question, which is new for this year, is about as open-ended and original as it gets. My tips […]

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Check out our webinar: Get Accepted to Chicago Booth!Chicago Booth has always prided itself on valuing applicants who can handle ambiguity and lack of structure. And its application reflects that principle. In spades. This year’s Booth application also mirrors Chicago’s pride in its distinctive culture. This essay/presentation question, which is new for this year, is about as open-ended and original as it gets.

My tips are in blue below.

Presentation/Essay:

Chicago Booth values individuality because of what we can learn from the diverse experiences and perspectives of others. This mutual respect creates an open-minded community that supports curiosity, inspires us to think more broadly, take risks, and challenge assumptions. At Booth, community is about collaborative thinking and tapping into each other’s different viewpoints to cultivate new ideas and realize breakthrough moments every day.

Using one of the photos provided, tell us how it resonates with your own viewpoint on why the Booth community is the right fit for you.

This is a really difficult question.

What do you want to tell Booth that reflects your adventurous and curious nature, your distinctive perspective and experience –which will contribute to the class’ diversity–and your ability to contribute to a vigorous but still collaborative exchange of ideas?  And yes it should be genuinely you.

To start make a list of the experiences and achievements that you are most proud of and that best reflect who you are.   Then review the Booth admissions criteria. Next to each item on your list, add the qualities from Booth’s criteria that this experience or achievement reveals.

Next review Booth’s website for insights into its community. If possible, talk to current students and recent alumni. Here is Booth’s succinct description of its community:

“Our community is intensely collaborative. At Booth, ideas compete and people collaborate. We have a culture where we value people who are curious. Whether presented by a classmate or a professor, every idea is examined with a belief in data over dogma. We prefer to let arguments stand and fall on their own merit. Ideas are authentically and rigorously tested and refined through honest and thoughtful discussion and discourse. There are no wrong questions, except the ones that go unasked.

“This experience will take you deeper into an issue, broaden your perspective, and compel you to challenge assumptions. You will uncover new realities and INSIGHTS, crack open seemingly intractable challenges, and develop more valid and useful solutions.”

Now that you have done your research, look at the pictures. Which one resonates with you? Which one will allow you to show fit with Booth’s community, especially the admissions criteria related to community?  

Presentation/Essay Guidelines

Choose the format that works for you. Feel free to submit a traditional essay, slide presentation, or any format that you feel best captures your response. Please use the format you are most comfortable with, the Admissions Committee has no preference.

Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.

Technical Guidelines

File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.

Accepted Upload Formats: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting.

Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.

A few thoughts:

Should you write an essay or use a visual presentation? That depends on you. If you are talented visually and love graphics and powerpoint, use a visual medium as long as it will translate to PDF. If you are a “words person” who prefers expressing your thoughts in writing, write the response. Do what will make it easiest for you to express your essence.  

Don’t take the lack of a word limit as a license to write the great American novel or your culture’s equivalent of War and Peace.  Don’t use more words or take more of their time than necessary. Don’t mistake quantity for quality.  This is a great place for you to show judgment — good or bad. 

Reapplicant Essay: Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)

This answer to this question is critical for MBA reapplicants. Remember, Chicago (and any school you are reapplying to) wants to see growth. Same ol’, same ‘ol got you a ding last time and probably will again this time.

Let this brief essay show a maturation and evolution of your goals and reasons for wanting to attend Chicago Booth.  Let it also reveal that you meet Chicago’s criteria better this year than last. 

If you would like professional guidance with your Chicago Booth 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 Booth application. 

Chicago Booth 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Check out our other school-specific MBA Essay Tips

Learn how to get accepted to Chicago Booth!

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: 

• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips 
Chicago Booth B-School Zone
Audio & Video in Admissions, a free guide

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Big Boost For Michigan Ross Entrepreneurship Institute http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/17/big-boost-for-michigan-ross-entrepreneurship-institute/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/17/big-boost-for-michigan-ross-entrepreneurship-institute/#respond Fri, 17 Jul 2015 17:05:01 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32433 The University of Michigan has announced a $60 million gift from the Zell Family Foundation, to support the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. The funds will support entrepreneurship programs for students, including a $10 million fund for student business ventures. Since its […]

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Check out Michigan Ross's zone page!The University of Michigan has announced a $60 million gift from the Zell Family Foundation, to support the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

The funds will support entrepreneurship programs for students, including a $10 million fund for student business ventures.

Since its creation in 1999, the Zell Lurie Institute has fostered entrepreneurship at UM Ross and supported the creation of hundreds of start-up businesses, including more than 100 companies in the 2014-2015 academic year alone. The Zell Lurie Institute has been ranked in the top three programs for entrepreneurship for three years running.

Helen and Sam Zell are both UM alumni, and have supported their alma mater to the tune of over $150 million (including founding a program in entrepreneurship and law at the UM law school and helping to support the university’s creative writing program).




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Related Resources:

• An Interview with Anne Perigo of University of Michigan’s Master of Entrepreneurship Program 
• Michigan Ross Zone Page
• Michigan Ross Receives $20M Gift to Launch Leadership Center

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Do Stanford GSB Grads REALLY “Change Lives. Change Organizations. Change the World.”? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/17/do-stanford-gsb-grads-really-change-lives-change-organizations-change-the-world/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/17/do-stanford-gsb-grads-really-change-lives-change-organizations-change-the-world/#respond Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:52:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32396 Episode 3 in our Big Brand Theory Series for MBA applicants: Stanford GSB’s motto. Who wouldn’t want to change lives, change organizations, and change the world?  Right? For Episode 3 in our Big Brand Theory series, I set out to prove that Stanford GSB admits, transforms and graduates students who accomplish great feats.  I wanted […]

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Check out Stanford GBS zone page!Episode 3 in our Big Brand Theory Series for MBA applicants: Stanford GSB’s motto.

Who wouldn’t want to change lives, change organizations, and change the world?  Right? For Episode 3 in our Big Brand Theory series, I set out to prove that Stanford GSB admits, transforms and graduates students who accomplish great feats.  I wanted to demonstrate that Stanford GSB students, faculty and graduates lived GSB’s brand.

I’ve always been a big proponent of Stanford GSB (even when they had classrooms and desks that reminded me of my high school).  Regardless of their old environs, the Knight Center makes their facility live up to their students and their program.

I love the vibe when I walk onto Stanford’s campus.  I love the fact that their students have infinite access to Silicon Valley.  I love that the faculty turns their electives over so frequently that the course catalogue reads like a fresh new book each year.  I love the questions Derrick Bolton asks on his application.  In fact, I love Derrick (don’t tell my husband).  I do believe Derrick has done a great job in selecting some of the smartest people I know.  My clients who have gained admission to Stanford surprise me with their intelligence, talent, accomplishments and ideas.  They are futurists who can see beyond the horizon, but they still need me to plant the seed for their ideas to grow into great essays and interviews.  Regardless, I love my clients too (my husband already knows that fact).

Stanford GSB Alumni: Famous and Infamous

However, when I looked at Stanford GSB’s list of “notable” alumni, I only saw a handful of game changers.   The list is similar to those I see at other schools with notable founders, CEOs and investors like GM’s first female CEO, Mary Barra, Acumen Founder Jacqueline Novogratz, Charles Schwab of Charles Schwab, Nike’s Phil Knight, Ultra-investor Vinod Kosla, Atari’s Nolan Bushnell, KPCB’s Brook Byers; notable authors like Tom Peters and Jim Collins; and “famous celebrities” like Alex Michel (Alex Michel, really?  Do “reality” TV participants count as celebrities? More importantly, does anyone really watch The Bachelor?).

Stanford has also has its share of CEOs and a handful of leaders who have been heavily criticized like former BP CEO, Lord John Browne who was forced to resign, not because BP’s Texas City, Texas plant exploded under his watch or because he commissioned Deepwater Horizon that also forced his successor’s resignation, but because a newspaper “outed” him when he lied under oath about his boyfriend/male escort. Lord Brown cut costs for financial gains and as a result, he changed BP and also the Gulf of Mexico.

Go Deep and Authentic for What Matters to You Most

So how can you present the fact that you will change the world for the better?  Stanford asks two questions that I know Derrick and his team really take to heart.  My clients typically struggle with “What matters most to you and why?” The latter part of this question being equally, if not more important that the former.  This question requires a tremendous amount of introspection and if done well should show that you have the heart to change the world.

It requires you to know yourself at a very personal level and share that self-awareness with an admissions committee.  It’s not easy, and the best essays I’ve seen on this topic have knocked the wind out of me.  Several have made me cry. It is a dig deep into your soul question.  Derrick is a very smart and authentic individual, and he wants to get to know what drives you.

I begin brainstorming this question with clients by asking them for what they would give their life.  At that point, you already know it will be an intense brainstorm.  Often I hear, “family” or “helping others,” which can fall into the trap of discussing work. I ask my clients to frame this into a one- word value, and then I begin to peel away the layers until we find something deep and raw and revealing. After this digging, my clients also understand why they feel this value is most important to them.

Most of those clients have gained admission to Stanford GSB.  Some have not. The application is a complete picture and while you have revealed something raw to the committee, you may have other flaws in your application.

Why Stanford: Reveal the Capacity to Effect Change

Or you may not demonstrate in your “Why Stanford?” essay that you have already or have the capacity to change lives, change organizations, and yes, change the world.  If the first question is about heart, the second question is about intent and ability.  Do you intend to initiate change and have the talent to make it happen?

You really do need to think beyond the horizon for Stanford and make certain that you know why you need the Stanford MBA for you to create change: Jacqueline Novogratz did it; Vinod Kosla did it; and of course, Phil Knight did it. You just need to “just do it” like them. Swoosh.





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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:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• Understanding Stanford GSB’s Take On Demonstrated Leadership Potential
• Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

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7 Tips For MBA Applicants From Family Businesses http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/16/7-tips-for-mba-applicants-from-family-businesses/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/16/7-tips-for-mba-applicants-from-family-businesses/#respond Thu, 16 Jul 2015 16:47:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32390 You work for the family business and are applying for an MBA. Will this background be a net plus for you, or a minus? How can you make the most of this experience? I have worked with several clients who worked in a family business, including tiny start-ups whose headquarters was the family basement to […]

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12 Terrific Tips for the MBA Applicant - download your copy today!

Show the adcom how you got your voice heard in your family business!

You work for the family business and are applying for an MBA. Will this background be a net plus for you, or a minus? How can you make the most of this experience?

I have worked with several clients who worked in a family business, including tiny start-ups whose headquarters was the family basement to multimillion dollar enterprises with hundreds of employees. No matter the size of the business, I found that my clients had many strengths to offer in their essays based on their experiences. Here are a few of them.

1. You see the forest and the trees. If you’ve grown up in the business, no matter its size, you probably have gained some valuable knowledge about many aspects of it: sales, production, marketing, product innovation, customer service, perhaps even basic finance. Over the years (some applicants will have started working in the business on weekends as teenagers), and especially if the business is small, you will have the same advantage as other applicants who have worked in start-ups or other small businesses, which is the experience of filling different roles and gaining a more holistic view of how the business operates. This allows you to show knowledge of and appreciation for the importance of various business functions working together for a common goal.

2. You have an owner’s mindset, not an employee’s mindset. You can also demonstrate a built-in investment in the success of the business, whether you plan to return to work there post-MBA or not. This added incentive to see the business thrive and grow may have prompted you to work after-hours on projects that you initiated. Additionally, with some level of built-in trust from management, you may also have been given more leeway to innovate, making the potential impact of your contributions that much greater and the lessons learned that much more valuable.

3. You’ve developed communications skills that allow you to influence those senior to you. You are most likely much younger than your relatives who own and manage the company. Therefore, you may have helped to introduce more tech-savvy innovations or a social media presence, which come more naturally to you. Getting “buy-in” from an “old school” mentality is another opportunity to show your communications skills and savvy.

4. You have a job when you graduate, if you want it.. The school won’t need to worry about your employment prospects, if you want to return to the family business. Having said all that, you still need to prove that you’ve enjoyed the level of responsibility that you claim.

The adcom members may be skeptical that your dad/mom/uncle/aunt really held your feet to the fire in meeting deadlines or proving yourself on the job. The dynamics among relatives who work together can also be tricky, and getting letters of recommendation will be a challenge. Here’s how you can deal with these issues:

1. Quantify your achievements and offer as much anecdotal evidence as possible. Yes, this is strategically important even if you are not from a family business background, but it’s especially true here. If you successfully negotiated a new lease agreement for the business saving it $X per month, found a better way to screen job applicants, brought in new customers through the Facebook business page you created that reduced cost per lead by Y%, write about it. The classic rule of “show, don’t tell,” is critical here.

2. Demonstrate your ability to successfully navigate the built-in pitfalls of working with family members. I once had a client where family members fought hard over the succession plans of the business after the business owner and patriarch passed away. Things were getting ugly. My client convinced everyone to work with a skilled mediator whom he had chosen to help reach an understanding. The mediation succeeded, which arguably saved the business from being eaten up by lawsuits. It also managed to preserve family relationships. Another client had ideas to expand sales territory for her family business, but the management resisted change. Through her research, my client was able to prove her idea was a good and calculated risk. She succeeded in selling her fresh thinking to her parents, and the business benefitted from her ideas.

3. Don’t ask relatives, especially those who share your last name, for your letters of recommendation, even if that relative is your direct supervisor and knows your work and capabilities better than anyone. There is simply no way that a letter from a parent, cousin, grandparent or other family member will seem objective enough to be credible. You may need to approach a supervisor from a previous job who can attest to your maturity, quantitative skills and initiative, and other achievements, or someone who supervised you in another organization – perhaps if you were an active volunteer in a community organization or church group. However, you need to have recommenders who can speak about your abilities in the recent past – within the last two years. If you don’t have these options available to you and you’ve only worked in the family business, perhaps someone affiliated with the business might be suitable: an accountant or attorney, or an important customer or supplier. Remember, your interactions with these individuals must be frequent enough and substantial enough for them to comment intelligently and with some specificity on your work and personal character traits.

All in all, working for a family business has probably provided you with extremely valuable experience. It may also have made you nimble in your abilities to work across different departments, and given you a front-row seat in watching your relatives deal with the ongoing challenges of running a business in rapidly changing times. Not a bad set of experiences with which to apply to b-school!

12 Terrific Tips for MBA Applicants - Download your free copy today!

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

Related Resources:

• MBA Admissions: Letters of Recommendation
• Jon Medved & OurCrowd: The Remarkable Story of an Entrepreneur
• How To Write About Overcoming Challenges Without Sounding Like A Whiner

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Understanding Stanford GSB’s Interest In Personal Qualities And Contributions http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/15/understanding-stanford-gsbs-interest-in-personal-qualities-and-contributions-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/15/understanding-stanford-gsbs-interest-in-personal-qualities-and-contributions-2/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2015 19:46:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32374 What are the qualities that Stanford GSB is looking for as they build their class? How do successful applicants stand out from the crowd? At a school as competitive as Stanford, it’s a fact that many smart, accomplished applicants won’t get in—so how can you demonstrate that you have that “it” factor? Let us walk […]

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Stanford

What are the qualities that Stanford GSB is looking for as they build their class? How do successful applicants stand out from the crowd? At a school as competitive as Stanford, it’s a fact that many smart, accomplished applicants won’t get in—so how can you demonstrate that you have that “it” factor? Let us walk you through Stanford’s evaluation criteria and give you some advice.

Criteria #3: Personal Qualities and Contributions

In an MBA essay on a meaningful personal experience:

• Applicant A describes his ascent of Machu Picchu; we learn that it was awe-inspiring, challenging, required excellent teamwork, and that he was moved on a deep level.

• Applicant B takes us on a walk around her block. We learn about the struggles of her neighbors in the face of gentrification and how she feels as one of the gentrifiers; how she informally refereed an argument among residents about the stop-and-frisk policy; the diversity of canine life on the block and the particular friendship between her pug and a neighbor’s Rottweiler.

We conclude from these essays that Applicant A spends a lot of money on personal fulfillment, lacks imagination, relies on banalities, and relishes physical challenges; and that Applicant B is alive to the richness of daily life, has humor, is compassionate, is attentive and alert, and cares about meaningful issues. Point: our personal qualities flow from and mirror our character. And when it comes to personal qualities, be assured, Stanford will prefer those of Applicant B – even though Applicant A’s topic is superficially more dramatic – because of the quality of character they reflect. There’s not anything different or mind-blowing about Applicant B’s personal qualities – they simply represent an engaged, thoughtful person. And there’s nothing wrong with climbing Machu Picchu – but it’s not the fact of doing it that will impress; rather, what you have to say about it, arising from your personal qualities and reflecting your unique perspective that will catch the thoughtful admissions reader’s eye. Lesson:

• Don’t struggle and strain for “unique” things to say.

• Rather, for Stanford, share your life. Open it up, let it dance or swagger or sashay or skip or march or cartwheel, whatever your style is.

Now the contribution part. Because Applicant B is attentive to and cares about her surroundings, she can respond and contribute to the daily life of her neighborhood. Again, nothing particularly dramatic or unique; mainly interactions with neighbors. But they’re quality interactions. She cares. She has specific questions and concerns and feelings and insights – which become her offering. She can bring this abundance, this world, this humanity “to the table.” You just know this person will be a big contributor wherever she is. She doesn’t have to explain that fact – it’s obvious! Follow her example. Let your personal qualities come alive by sharing what’s meaningful to you in your essays (and elsewhere if/as possible in the application). Don’t explain that you will contribute; show that you do contribute, as a result of these qualities. It’s simply who you are.

Check out the rest of the What Stanford GSB is Looking For series!



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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:

Stanford School of Business Zone
Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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How To Earn A Spot On Team Fuqua http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/15/how-to-earn-a-spot-on-team-fuqua/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/15/how-to-earn-a-spot-on-team-fuqua/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2015 17:20:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32384 For an extra-strong dose of concrete MBA admissions advice, tune in to our conversation with Liz Riley Hargrove, Associate Dean for Admissions at The Fuqua School of Business. She is the woman responsible for all elements of the applicant evaluation process at one of the world’s top b-schools. In fact, Bloomberg Business ranked Fuqua #1 […]

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Listen to the show!For an extra-strong dose of concrete MBA admissions advice, tune in to our conversation with Liz Riley Hargrove, Associate Dean for Admissions at The Fuqua School of Business. She is the woman responsible for all elements of the applicant evaluation process at one of the world’s top b-schools. In fact, Bloomberg Business ranked Fuqua #1 in its 2014 ranking.

We couldn’t be more excited to have Liz Riley Hargrove as the star of this episode of Admissions Straight Talk.

00:02:02 – A customized b-school experience: The Duke 2-year MBA program.

00:03:30 – No conflict here: the fusion of team culture and consequential leadership.

00:08:49 – Profile of a recent grad who is doing something super exciting.

00:11:33 – Fuqua’s position on GMAT vs GRE.

00:14:47 – One thing not enough people realize about Fuqua.

00:16:35 –  A look at the Energy Finance and Energy and Environment concentrations.

00:18:36 – About Fuqua’s 25 random facts application question (and why its optional).

00:20:41 – Understanding how the open interview season works and what the adcom wants from you.

00:23:13 – What makes Liz excited about an application.

00:24:14 – The Golden Rule for applicants: Tell the story that only you can tell.

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

Related links:

• Duke Fuqua Application Instructions
Why Fuqua and the Leadership
• The MBA Gatekeeper At Duke’s Fuqua School

Related shows:

The Admissions Team at the Very Center of Business
It’s MBA Season: Do You Know Where Your Applications Are?
Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management
• Interview with Sheryl Dirks, Associate Dean for Career Management at Duke Fuqua

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Don’t Miss Out On Stanford Advice! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/14/dont-miss-out-on-stanford-advice/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/14/dont-miss-out-on-stanford-advice/#respond Tue, 14 Jul 2015 20:10:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31986 A quick reminder that our  webinar, Get Accepted to Stanford GSB, is happening next Tuesday, July 21 at 10am PT/1pm ET. There’s still time to sign up. If you’re  applying to Stanford, you won’t want to miss this! The webinar is free, but registration is required. Sign up today and Get Accepted to Stanford GSB! […]

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A quick reminder that our  webinar, Get Accepted to Stanford GSB, is happening next Tuesday, July 21 at 10am PT/1pm ET. Register for the webinar, now!

There’s still time to sign up. If you’re  applying to Stanford, you won’t want to miss this!

Save your spot at the webinar!

The webinar is free, but registration is required. Sign up today and Get Accepted to Stanford GSB!

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UVA Darden 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/13/uva-darden-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/13/uva-darden-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2015 20:14:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31869 Darden led the way with a one-essay application.  Some may feel that fewer essays indicate that essays are losing importance. My suspicion is that the remaining essays and short-answers are as important or even more important than they ever were. Especially at a program emphasizing the case method and experiential learning, evidence that you can […]

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UVA_DardenDarden led the way with a one-essay application.  Some may feel that fewer essays indicate that essays are losing importance. My suspicion is that the remaining essays and short-answers are as important or even more important than they ever were. Especially at a program emphasizing the case method and experiential learning, evidence that you can communicate, analyze a problem from multiple perspectives, and handle the rigorous program that Darden is famous for are all critical. 

My tips for answering the Darden application essay are in blue below.

Essay:

Describe the most important professional feedback you have received and how you responded to this feedback. (500 words max)

First of all, I strongly encourage you to watch the video with Darden’s Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions Sarah Neher where she lays out what they’re looking for in this essay:

As Sara Neher says in the video, they want to see how you respond to feedback in the work place. It could be interpersonal or technical feedback, but how did it change your behavior on the job? How did it transform your approach or attitude?   

You could start with the feedback or the event that prompted the evaluation. Then discuss your initial reaction to it and how it influenced your professional performance.

Alternatively, you can start with an event or interaction that reflects you successfully incorporating that feedback into your work. Then flash back to the feedback, perhaps the event the prompted it, and reflection on the importance of that feedback. 

Final tidbit: Make sure you answer all elements of the question. 

If you would like professional guidance with your UVA Darden 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 UVA Darden application. 

UVA Darden 2016 Application Deadlines:

Check out our other school specific MBA Essay Tips




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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:

• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
• UVA Darden Zone Page
• Have an Open Mind, Learn Skills, Build Relationships: Darden MBA Interview

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4 Tips For Team Interviews http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/13/4-tips-for-team-interviews/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/13/4-tips-for-team-interviews/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2015 16:49:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32309 “4 Tips For Team Interviews” is the latest post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze. Since so much of b-school life and learning includes team discussions, the adcom needed a tool for assessing how applicants will fit in the team-based discussion culture of their programs. Thus, the Team-Based Discussion (TBD) was born. In team-based interviews, […]

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Learn the first steps that lead the way to your acceptance!

4 Tips For Team Interviews” is the latest post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze.

Since so much of b-school life and learning includes team discussions, the adcom needed a tool for assessing how applicants will fit in the team-based discussion culture of their programs. Thus, the Team-Based Discussion (TBD) was born.

In team-based interviews, applicants need to use a different set of skills than they use during traditional, individual interviews. Personal interviews require one-on-one presentation, interpersonal skills, and self-awareness, while team interviews require critical thinking, listening, persuasion, and leadership.

Here are four to-do’s to help you win an Academy Award for your performance in an interview:

1. Review school material. This includes the specific materials that the school provides prior to the interview, as well as all other material about the program. As with an individual interview, you need to know the school well – its mission, curriculum, teaching style, etc. Review the school’s website and speak with current students and recent grads so you get a clear picture of what it’s like to be a student at B-School X.

2. Read Case in Point. This is an excellent book by Marc Consentino that will teach you how to state your position during team-based interviews, and then clearly and succinctly support your position.

3. Role-play. Use family, friends, colleagues, and consultants at Accepted.com to role-play with you. The more in-the-know your mock interviewer and peers are, the better idea you’ll get of how the interview will run on the big day.

4. Take notes. You are allowed to bring notes to the interview, and while you don’t want to read off a piece of paper or even refer to it frequently, it may help you feel more confident knowing that some of your key points are written down in case you need them. You never know how performance anxiety may set in, and if your brain freezes and you completely forget your plan, you’ll be glad you jotted some ideas down beforehand.

TIP: Don’t bring a 400-page stack of papers! You don’t want to spend the whole time shuffling through your notes, making noise and ignoring your co-interviewees while they speak. Paperless notes on a tablet may reduce the shuffle, but they won’t reduce the distraction – keep paperless notes to a minimum as well.

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Related Resources:

How to Ace Your MBA Interviews [Free Guide]
7 Tips for MBA Interview Prep
How to Ace Your Team Based Interview: 4 Tips for the Big Day

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Summer Savings Continue – 5 More Days To Save 10% http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/12/summer-savings-continue-5-more-days-to-save-10/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/12/summer-savings-continue-5-more-days-to-save-10/#respond Sun, 12 Jul 2015 17:38:11 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32006 Our super summer 10% off sale continues through Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Ready to get the help you need to whip those applications into tip-top shape? Then NOW is the time to purchase services. 10% off can save you hundreds of dollars!* Our expert admissions consultants and editors are at your service. Please review our […]

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Summer saleOur super summer 10% off sale continues through Wednesday, July 15, 2015.

Ready to get the help you need to whip those applications into tip-top shape? Then NOW is the time to purchase services. 10% off can save you hundreds of dollars!*

Our expert admissions consultants and editors are at your service. Please review our catalog of MBA services  and contact us with any questions you may have.

Shop and save!* Use coupon code SUMMER at checkout to save. Offer valid only on non-rush services. Discount may not be combined with other offers.

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Understanding Stanford GSB’s Take On Demonstrated Leadership Potential http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/12/understanding-stanford-gsbs-take-on-demonstrated-leadership-potential-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/12/understanding-stanford-gsbs-take-on-demonstrated-leadership-potential-2/#respond Sun, 12 Jul 2015 16:09:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32270 What are the qualities that Stanford GSB is looking for as they build their class? How do successful applicants stand out from the crowd? At a school as competitive as Stanford, it’s a fact that many smart, accomplished applicants won’t get in—so how can you demonstrate that you have that “it” factor? Let us walk […]

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Applying to Stanford GSB? Join our live webinar for tips on how to get in!

Naturally you’ve got leadership, or you wouldn’t be applying to Stanford.

What are the qualities that Stanford GSB is looking for as they build their class? How do successful applicants stand out from the crowd? At a school as competitive as Stanford, it’s a fact that many smart, accomplished applicants won’t get in—so how can you demonstrate that you have that “it” factor? Let us walk you through Stanford’s evaluation criteria and give you some advice. 

Criteria #2: Demonstrated Leadership Potential

Of course Stanford GSB seeks demonstrated leadership potential – don’t all b-schools? And naturally you’ve got leadership, or you wouldn’t be applying to Stanford.

Wait. There are some unique nuances to Stanford’s conception of leadership that are essential to understand in order to portray it effectively in your application. Let’s break the phrase down word by word, starting with the core principle.

Leadership. Principle? Yes, not just a quality or an activity in Stanford’s eyes, but an actual principle. Whatever change you’re guiding the client to achieve, or whatever vision you’re advocating, or whatever project you’re driving the team through Hades to complete on time – it should be constructive and beneficial according to your own values and ideals. In GSB’s view, leadership isn’t just rallying the troops to achieve a given end – it’s having an end worth achieving (and, conversely, declining to pursue an inappropriate end). Therefore, if you are to provide such leadership, you must have core values or ideals and be guided by them as you lead, both how you lead and where you lead. GSB’s preferred leadership is essentially value- and ideal-driven, what it calls “directed idealism.”

Potential. Even if you are already a leader per the above definition, you’re not satisfied. You know that improving will only enable you to achieve more of what you value – therefore you actively seek growth as a leader. You are open to critique and feedback, you are resourceful, you are humble, and you are hungry to learn.

Demonstrated. Concrete evidence that allows the adcom to conclude that you will grow as a leader and provide leadership in the future. You must demonstrate both leadership and potential to grow as a leader. For the former, provide this evidence by portraying experiences in your application boxes, essays, resume, and recommendations that reflect your leadership to date. For the latter, in these same application components frankly reflect on where you are in your leadership development – you understand what parts are innate to you, and where you need to improve.

So “demonstrated leadership potential” is actually rather complex, at least per GSB’s perspective of leadership. Plan to spend some time and effort on a strategy to integrate these points into your entire application.

Check out the first post in this series, Understanding Stanford GSB’s Core Value Of Intellectual Vitality.





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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:

• Stanford School of Business Zone
• Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• What Stanford is Looking for: Personal Qualities and Contributions

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NYU Stern 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/10/nyu-stern-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/10/nyu-stern-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 16:15:53 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31860 Last year Stern gave you a choice for its second question. This year all three questions are required and what I call Stern’s “signature question” (#2) is once again required. Your essays will need to highlight your qualities as a successful, leadership-driven, creative thinker and businessperson. For NYU Stern, you’ll want to reveal that you […]

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NYU SternLast year Stern gave you a choice for its second question. This year all three questions are required and what I call Stern’s “signature question” (#2) is once again required.

Your essays will need to highlight your qualities as a successful, leadership-driven, creative thinker and businessperson. For NYU Stern, you’ll want to reveal that you are a perfect fit with the program, the Stern community, and the global business world at large. Keep in mind that Stern is a place that values EQ as much as IQ.

At Accepted, we have advised clients successfully through the NYU Stern application process for approximately twenty years. We would be happy to help you too. Please explore our services to see how we can guide you.

My tips are in blue below.

Our Stern essay questions give you the opportunity to more fully present yourself to the Admissions Committee and to provide insight into your experiences, goals and thought processes.

Please note the following details when completing your essays.

• All written essays must be typed and submitted using the standard U.S. 8 1/2” x 11” format, double-spaced, in 12-point font.

• Word limits apply to the total question. For example, your response to Essay 1 should answer all parts of the question with a total maximum of 750 words.

• Label the top of each essay with the following: Name, Date of Birth (month, day, year), Essay Number and Page Number (e.g.: Joe Applicant, January 1, 1988, Essay 1, Page 1).

• Your essays should be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be revoked if you did not write your essays.

Essays:

1. Professional Aspirations (750 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life?
• What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience?
• What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation?

Stern states explicitly that it seeks students with a “well-articulated plan to achieve their career aspirations.” 

Stern’s #1 is an MBA goals question with a couple of small twists. A and C are fairly typical of this genre, only C doesn’t ask about long-term goals.  At the heart of this question: What do you want to do after you graduate that requires an MBA and A asks why is now the right time to get it?  You should be able to answer Stern’s #1, or you shouldn’t be applying.

Another small twist occurs in B: Have you done your homework about Stern? What have you done to research the program, its curriculum, career opportunities, and student life? What aspects of the program will help you achieve the goals you provide in C?

The part of the question asking about your career goal “upon graduation” is critical. Are you realistic about where your past experience plus a Stern MBA can take you? Stern doesn’t want people in la-la-land who will be impossible to place.

Finally make sure you answer all elements of the question while staying within the word limits (not guidelines). No adcom member sits there and counts words, but the readers can tell when you are significantly over. “Significantly” in my book is more than 10%. Write succinctly. 

2.  Personal Expression

Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message (e.g. words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative.

If you submit a non-written piece for this essay (i.e., artwork or multimedia) or if you submit this essay via mail, please upload a brief description of your submission with your online application.

Please note the following guidelines and restrictions:

• Your submission becomes the property of NYU Stern and cannot be returned for any reason.
• If you submit a written essay, it should be 500 words maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font.
• If you submit a video or audio file, it should be five minutes maximum. NYU Stern accepts most common video formats.
• The Admissions Committee reserves the right to request an alternate essay if we are unable to view your submission.
• Do not submit anything perishable (e.g. food), or any item that has been worn (e.g. clothing).
• Mailed materials must be postmarked by the application deadline date. Please follow our mail and labeling instructions.

Please note that mailed packages are subject to size restrictions. Submissions that exceed the stated size restrictions will not be accepted for review by the Admissions Committee. Please see the table below for the maximum package size guidelines:

Packaging Type                         Dimensions: Metric                            Dimensions: Non-metric                      
Box 36cm x 31cm x 8cm 14” x 12” x 3”
Cylindrical tube 8cm x 91cm 3” x 36”
Triangular tube 97cm x 16cm x 16 cm x 16 cm 38” x 6” x 6” x 6”

Candidates can get very creative with this essay and use different media (other than edibles and worn attire), but many of you will convey your ideas in words. Think of how you describe yourself in a social setting when meeting people for the first time.

If it’s the first day of class or a mixer early in the pre-term, how would you break the ice? Would you try to set up a tennis game or golf match? Would you find someone to explore NYC’s museums? Or do you hate museums and prefer hiking through the woods? What would you say if you were in the campus coffee shop and sat down with some new classmates? Could you create a dialog? A short skit?

NYU Stern also permits the use of multimedia in response to this question. While the media may vary, the point again is to introduce yourself to friends. Given the other questions, this can be a great venue for hobbies, extra-curricular interests, and community service.

When I visited NYU Stern a few years ago, the admissions officer I met with proudly showed me several “personal expressions.” Her faves. They were incredibly creative, but much less slick than you might imagine. A year ago, Stern hosted AIGAC for a day and again presented two of the videos filmed in response to this question.  They were thoughtful introductions to the applicants who created them. But neither one was super-slick or professional. Just revealing, creative, and clever.

If you want to submit something three-dimensional or multi-media, don’t worry if you aren’t ready for the Louvre or the Academy Awards as long as your creation is authentically yours, introduces you, and sticks to the above requirements. It will be taken seriously and appreciated.

If you are considering video, download Audio/Video in Admissions: Get Ready for Prime Time, a free special report.

3. Additional Information (optional)

Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL or any other relevant information.

If you are unable to submit a recommendation from your current supervisor, you must explain your reason, even if you are a re-applicant.

If you are a re-applicant from last year, please explain how your candidacy has improved since your last application.

Obviously if you fit into one of the categories described in the three points above, you need to write this essay. If you don’t fit into the above categories and have something you want the admissions committee to know that isn’t part of the required essays, then you still should write this optional essay.

If you are an MBA reapplicant, please realize that the question posed here by NYU Stern is THE key question you need to answer as a reapplicant. What have you done to improve your candidacy that should change the outcome?

NYU Stern 2016 Application Deadlines:

Come read our other school-specific MBA Essay Tips

 

If you would like professional guidance with your NYU Stern 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 NYU Stern MBA application. 





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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:

More School Specific Essay Tips
Tips For Video MBA Essay Questions
• Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options at NYU Stern

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Understanding Stanford GSB’s Core Value Of Intellectual Vitality http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/09/stanford-gsb-core-value-intellectual-vitality/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/09/stanford-gsb-core-value-intellectual-vitality/#respond Thu, 09 Jul 2015 16:44:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32259 What are the qualities that Stanford GSB is looking for as they build their class? How do successful applicants stand out from the crowd? At a school as competitive as Stanford, it’s a fact that many smart, accomplished applicants won’t get in—so how can you demonstrate that you have that “it” factor? Let us walk […]

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Get Accepted to Stanford GSB! [Register for the webinar]

Do you have the smarts SGSB is looking for?

What are the qualities that Stanford GSB is looking for as they build their class? How do successful applicants stand out from the crowd? At a school as competitive as Stanford, it’s a fact that many smart, accomplished applicants won’t get in—so how can you demonstrate that you have that “it” factor? Let us walk you through Stanford’s evaluation criteria and give you some advice.

Criteria #1: Intellectual Vitality

You’re smart. But this isn’t about smart. Most of the people Stanford GSB rejects are smart (often very smart). A person of average IQ may have enormous intellectual vitality, while a person with a stratospheric IQ may have scant intellectual vitality. Pretty much everyone uses their raw intellect, whatever its degree, in practical application – to get things done. People with intellectual vitality do that and more – they nurture and refine their raw intellect to make it a force in itself, one that draws them into new and challenging territory. No wonder Stanford wants it.

So what does intellectual vitality consist of? Here are 5 key components (separated for discussion purposes only, as they’re interconnected).

1. Zest for ideas. When you encounter a new or challenging idea, you’re tantalized. You have to find out more. What does it mean? Where did it come from? And how, and why? You relish ideas for their inherent meaning; they’re alive to you. You value them as a new lens to see through.

2. Dynamic, engaged mind. You’re always mentally comparing and contrasting, probing limits and boundaries, seeing overlaps between disparate points and differences between similar ones. To you, an event is not static, but rather part of a continuum, with a history to explore and future ramifications to consider. And you never take things at face value!

3. But why…? When you were a child, you probably were told you’re too curious. But curiosity underpins intellectual vitality. It drives you to learn more and more and more about something, to set off on thrilling learning journeys. (And you sometimes snag other people along for the ride!)

4. There’s a reason for what you believe and for what you do. Back to ideas – they animate you. Whether you’re politically conservative, moderate, or liberal, you’re not that way because your family or friends are, but because you’re interested in and think about the issues – from multiple angles. Your thought process informs your decisions, beliefs, actions.

5. Open, as in unafraid. So, you have your beliefs, your ideas. But you don’t hide behind them. You welcome them being challenged – it’s actually … fun. Intellectual fun. And you challenge back thoughtfully. You’re a skillful devil’s advocate, able to argue from multiple perspectives, even ones you personally disagree with. You relish learning what drives and underlies opposing ideas and beliefs (there’s that curiosity again…).

Hopefully the above points make clear that intellectual vitality is not something ponderous – it’s a thrill! Yes, it engages matters of seriousness and gravity. But it’s fundamentally invigorating. It fuels you. And it scintillates others.

Now, how do you let Stanford know you have it? The application essays are the perfect venue for showcasing this quality – integrate it into anecdotes, details, and reflections. If you are invited to interview, that’s an ideal place to demonstrate intellectual vitality.

Register for our free webinar: Get Accepted to Stanford GSB!

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:

Stanford School of Business Zone Page
Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Valentine’s Day, Economics, and Stanford GSB

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Emory Goizueta 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/09/emory-goizueta-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/09/emory-goizueta-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Thu, 09 Jul 2015 16:27:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31856 Taken together, these essay questions cover a lot of ground: your professional path and plans, your alignment with the program’s core values, and who you are as a person.  Moreover, this vast ground is covered in few words – these essays are short, requiring tough decisions about what key points and anecdotes to include and […]

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Check out the rest of our school-specific application essay tips!

Emory Goizueta

Taken together, these essay questions cover a lot of ground: your professional path and plans, your alignment with the program’s core values, and who you are as a person.  Moreover, this vast ground is covered in few words – these essays are short, requiring tough decisions about what key points and anecdotes to include and what to leave out. Write simply and directly to squeeze as much meaning and impact as possible out of each word.  Most important: the three key questions require thoughtful reflection.

Essays:

1.  Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)

This question invites you to define your short-term goals in a 3D context: your past experience, your skills, and your unique character.  Yet, with only 300 words, you can’t give a comprehensive, detailed delineation of those elements.  I suggest discussing one point from each category that is relevant to your goals.  The key to making this part of the essay work is specificity, detail, anecdote – e.g. don’t just explain how you have a charismatic personality that brings people together; present a brief anecdote showing how it lets you be the “glue” in a rough-and-tumble team.  Then discuss directly the relevance of this quality to your short-term goal.  The question’s emphasis on short-term goals indicates practical and concrete: what (type of) position and in what industry, to achieve what, and why (and, sometimes, where).  

2. The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Mr. Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise. Provide an example of your leadership – professional or personal – and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 word limit)

I suggest addressing this question as a story (a very succinct story): describe a time you led in a situation of some significance. Walk through it straightforwardly, focusing on your actions. In a final, brief paragraph reflect on what this leadership experience taught you about yourself; don’t list ten things, but rather focus on the 1-2 most meaningful.

To select the best topic or experience to portray, look for something that is fairly recent and that has a clear impact. While most people will want to grab this opportunity to showcase their impact at work, it may make sense to select a non-work story if, for example, it reflects a situation or experience that truly distinguishes you in a relevant way and illustrates substantial leadership as well. Think strategically in selecting the topic and choose one that enhances your overall application and adds to the information found elsewhere.

3. Complete one of the following statements. (250 word limit)

• I am passionate about…
• The best piece of advice I’ve received is…
• The best day of my life was…
• A personal goal I want to accomplish is…

First, which question should you respond to? The one you will find easiest to answer in an engaging, enthusiastic, and authentic way. The one that will best complement the rest of your application by illuminating something fresh about you.  It wouldn’t hurt to select something that might surprise the reader a bit; e.g., you’re a total tech nerd and your great-aunt urges you to take up knitting.  It would be nice if your answer to this question leaves the reader with a little smile on her face.

4.  Share with the committee and your future classmates a fun or noteworthy fact about you. (25 word limit)

Align this short essay with essay 4 above – it’s another opportunity to round out your profile. This one can be work or non-work related.

Be natural in your tone – don’t strain to sound “fun” if it doesn’t come naturally to you in writing, and don’t hold back if it does.

Optional Essay:

If you have additional information or feel there are extenuating circumstances which you would like to share with the MBA Admissions Committee (i.e. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance issues or areas of weakness in application). Please limit your response to 250 words.

You can of course use this essay solely to address an extenuating circumstance. If you don’t need it for that purpose, if there is something you believe would add to your case for admissions that is not covered in the rest of the application, write about it here. Focus on one facet of your life or an experience that is important to you, reveals the human being you are, and isn’t described in other parts of the application.

Re-Applicant Essays

Applicants who have applied to Goizueta Business School in the past are required to answer the following questions:

1.  Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)

See tip for essay 1 above.

2. Explain how you have improved your candidacy for Goizueta Business School’s MBA Program since your last application. (250 word limit)

This is THE key question for all MBA reapplicants. Goizueta just asks it explicitly. Please see MBA Reapplicant 101 for more advice.

If you would like professional guidance with your Emory Goizueta 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 Emory Goizueta application. 

Emory Goizueta 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Check out our other school-specific MBA Essay Tips

* Preferred deadline for One-year MBA applicants, international applicants, and applicants interested in consideration for top named scholarships
** Final deadline for general merit-based scholarships

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

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:

• Why MBA? [A Guide to Clarifying and Writing About Your Goals]
• 2016 MBA Application Essay Tips
• Emory Goizueta B-School Zone

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MBA Trends: Post-MBA Salaries Up, Strong Satisfaction http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/09/mba-trends-post-mba-salaries-up-strong-satisfaction/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/09/mba-trends-post-mba-salaries-up-strong-satisfaction/#respond Thu, 09 Jul 2015 15:55:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32185 The results of GMAC’s Global Management Education Graduate Survey are in, and they show a positive picture for new grads. Some highlights: • 59% of job-seeking new business grads had a job offer before graduation. • 89% of new grads would rate their business degree good or outstanding, and 88% would recommend their program to […]

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Listen to our podcast: Payscale, how much you can earn and how you can earn it.The results of GMAC’s Global Management Education Graduate Survey are in, and they show a positive picture for new grads.

Some highlights:

• 59% of job-seeking new business grads had a job offer before graduation.

• 89% of new grads would rate their business degree good or outstanding, and 88% would recommend their program to others considering a graduate business program.

• The median salary increase reported by those accepting an early job offer was 90%– an increase over last year’s reported 80% rise.

This chart (from GMAC) shows the demographic breakdown:

Listen to our Podcast: Payscale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

GMAC has full details of the report’s findings.

Take Away’s from the GMAC Graduate Survey:

• Once again, the value of the MBA for the overwhelming majority of students is confirmed.

• The value of an MBA is higher if you pursue the degree earlier in your career. While generally it’s harder to get accepted with less than three years of work experience, if you can attend with 3-5 years of work experience as opposed to 5+ years of work experience, you’ll see higher ROI.

• For international applicants, specifically those coming from India, the average increase in salary was an eye-popping three times their pre-MBA salary. I suspect that result stems from the fact that many came international MBA students from countries, like India, with lower salary scales. Many MBA grads are after their degree work in countries, like the U.S., with higher salaries. Nonetheless, it’s a phenomenal figure.

• Those going into consulting and technology saw the greatest increase in salary among different industries. I suspect that there is overlap between the international and industry figures. In other words, a lot of Indians going to MBA programs want to go into technology or consulting.

How to Pay for your MBA! Watch the webinar today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Rosy Outlook For MBA Grads
• The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree
• Is it Worth it to Get an MBA?

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Wharton 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/08/wharton-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/08/wharton-2016-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 16:27:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32057 After several years of change and shrinkage, Wharton is keeping its essays unchanged this year. My tips for completing the Wharton application essays are in blue below. The Admissions Committee wants to get to know you on both a professional and personal level. We encourage you to be introspective, candid, and succinct. Most importantly, we suggest you […]

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Check out our Wharton b-school zone! After several years of change and shrinkage, Wharton is keeping its essays unchanged this year.

My tips for completing the Wharton application essays are in blue below.

The Admissions Committee wants to get to know you on both a professional and personal level. We encourage you to be introspective, candid, and succinct. Most importantly, we suggest you be yourself.

First-time applicants and reapplicants are required to complete the same set of essay questions.

Essays:

1. What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

What do you want to do personally and professionally that you can’t do now and that a Wharton MBA will help you do? What do you hope to learn? Note the question is not just asking what you want to do after you graduate, and it’s not asking for exclusively professional aspirations. It is giving you the option to dream a bit and tell Wharton those dreams.

As with most MBA goals questions, Wharton still wants to see how you connect your Wharton education to your future. Keep in mind that Wharton has an incredibly rich curriculum. How will you take advantage of its premier offerings to prepare yourself to achieve your vision for the future?

2. Optional Essay: Please use the space below to highlight any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about your candidacy. (400 words)

You can use the optional essay to explain or provide context for decision you have made or events in your life. For example:

• Why isn’t your current boss writing your recommendation?

• Why is there an eight-month gap between your first and second job?

• Why did your grades dip during the last semester of your junior year?

• What are your responsibilities while working for a family business after having left a prestigious consulting firm, and why did you decide to go into the family business?

Your optional essay can respond to any of those questions (but not all).

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. You can discuss a diversity element, a unique area of interest or an accomplishment that you don’t feel is adequately described elsewhere.

Don’t use it as a grand summary of you application or reasons for wanting Wharton. Make sure it adds value.

Reapplicant Essay:

All reapplicants to Wharton are required to complete this essay. Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). (250 words)

All applicants, including reapplicants can also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

The key part of this question is the update part. Don’t ignore reflection on your previous decision, but focus on the new and improved you. For more suggestions for your reapplication, please see MBA Reapplication 101.

If you would like professional guidance with your Wharton 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 Wharton MBA application.

Wharton 2016 Application Deadlines:

Check out our other school-specific MBA Essay Tips

*To be considered for a round, you must submit a complete application by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the day of the deadline.

Register to learn how to get accepted to Wharton!

 

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:

Wharton Zone Page
• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
• Meet Ashley: A Wharton MBA Student Making an Impact

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

00:25:05 – The #1 application killer.

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

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

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

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

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

Related links:

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

Related shows:

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

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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How Meaningful Is The GMAT? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/07/how-meaningful-is-the-gmat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/07/how-meaningful-is-the-gmat/#respond Tue, 07 Jul 2015 16:52:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32175 The GMAT is important for b-school admissions. But does it predict success beyond that? GMAC never claimed that it does, and according to research from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the answer is no: their data suggests that the GMAT is not predictive of employability. Their study is based on […]

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Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats! - Watch the webinar to learn how!

Can the GMAT predict the future?

The GMAT is important for b-school admissions. But does it predict success beyond that? GMAC never claimed that it does, and according to research from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the answer is no: their data suggests that the GMAT is not predictive of employability.

Their study is based on a review of Rotman MBA grads’ admission files and employment outcomes over several years. They analyzed numerous factors, including students’ performance on admission interviews, their undergrad GPAs, their TOEFL scores, their Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) scores, their years of pre-MBA work experience, etc.  Each of these elements was found to be more meaningful for candidates’ future employability than their GMAT scores. For example, a strong AWA or admissions interview was found to be predictive of future employment success, while 10+ years of work experience proved to be a warning sign, with these candidates more likely to be unemployed 3 months after graduation.

Because of the significance of rankings that use GMAT scores, such as US News, the GMAT can take on an outsized importance, with schools often reserving scholarship funds for high scorers in a bid to boost their averages.

With this research in hand, Rotman plans to consider a range of factors as it builds its class—particularly achievements and qualities, such as communication skills, that indicate that a candidate has strong potential for success both in b-school and in his/her future career. While Rotman will continue to use the GMAT in admissions, and the admissions office will make sure that Rotman’s average GMAT does not dip below 660, the admissions staff will place increased emphasis on factors such as the AWA and the interview, especially when awarding scholarship funds."Your 3-Part Game Plan To Dominate the GMAT - watch the webinar today! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree 
• Low GMAT Score? Don’t Panic…Yet.
• Handling a Low GMAT Quant Score

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Tips For Video MBA Essay Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/06/tips-for-video-mba-essay-questions-3/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/06/tips-for-video-mba-essay-questions-3/#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2015 16:11:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32129 “Tips for video MBA Essay Questions” is the latest post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze. Worried about being literally on stage? Here are my tips if you need to respond to a question in a short 1-2-minute video. First, realize that these video essays, like the written ones, are attempts to get to […]

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Navigate the MBA Maze- Learn how and download your free guide, now!

Schools are seeking to see how you present yourself visually and with little time to prepare or polish answers.

Tips for video MBA Essay Questions” is the latest post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze.

Worried about being literally on stage? Here are my tips if you need to respond to a question in a short 1-2-minute video.

First, realize that these video essays, like the written ones, are attempts to get to know you. Unlike the written word, however, the schools are seeking to see how you present yourself visually and with little time to prepare or polish answers. They are testing articulation and presence in a way that essays can’t and at much less expense than interviews. In that sense, these videos are a pre-interview screening device in addition to a way to learn more about your likes and dislikes, achievements, dreams, goals, and challenges.

And while you may not be able to prepare for a specific question, you definitely can and should prepare.

You need to practice for the experience of talking to a video camera with no responses from another human being. No body language. No facial expressions. No audience energy. Zero feedback. It’s just a dumb machine. Having created videos for Accepted, I found the experience very unnatural, but I think/hope I’ve gotten better with practice. You can too.

Until the questions become known, practice answering different essay questions in the announced time limit and then view the video. Here are a few sample questions to get you started, but I may update this list as we get more information from the schools:

• What do you do for fun?
• What are your passions, interests, and hobbies?
• If you could travel across the United States in a car with anyone, whom would you choose to travel with and why?
• What would you do on a rainy Sunday afternoon?
• How have you handled a difficult interaction? What did you learn from it?
• Describe a difficult professional decision you had to make.  What were the consequences, and what, if anything, did you learn?

If you are really nervous about the video exercise or about speaking in public, consider joining Toastmasters and forcing yourself to speak publicly. You will improve your “presence” and gain confidence. Both will help you with your video interview, any admissions interview, job interviews, and required public speaking.

So beyond preparing and simply getting comfortable with the format or anticipated questions, when it comes time for the real thing, do the following:

1. Dress neatly. Follow any dress guidelines the school provides. Women, put on make-up and jewelry lightly. If you wonder if your attire is too revealing, it is.  Men, have a hair-cut and shave. Make sure beard or mustache, if you have, are trimmed and neat.

2. It should go without saying, but keep your language clean — no profanity.

3. Think for a few seconds before you reply and then minimize pauses that we tend to fill with “ums” and “uhs.” They don’t contribute to “presence.”

4. If you tend to perspire, put on the air conditioning so the room is cool.

5. Sit up straight and lean a little bit forward.

6. Remember to smile. I put a smiley face next to the camera.

And two final points:

1. Schools want to accept students who reflect well on them.
2. You’ll do great!

If you would like help with your video essay, Accepted’s experienced MBA admissions experts, who have been prepping and critiquing MBA applicants for almost twenty years, are more than happy to help you.Listen to our podcast with Niki Da Silva as she discusses MBA Video EssaysAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips [a free guide]
• Videos: MBA Admissions Tips
MBA Video Essay Essays: How They Work and How to Ace Them

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

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

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

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

You can download A Trial for Grace here.

Check out the book!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

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

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