Everything You Wanted to Know About MD/MBA Programs

Listen to the full conversation about MD/MBA programs with Dr. Maria ChandlerIntrigued by business and medicine? Not sure whether you want to be the next Steve Jobs or Jonas Salk?

AST’s guest this week is the person who can show you how to combine these two complementary, but in some ways disparate interests, with an MD/MBA.

Meet Dr. Maria Chandler, founder of the Association of MD MBA Programs and the UC Irvine MD/MBA program, MD/MBA Faculty advisor at UC Irvine, Assoc Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Assoc Professor at the Paul Merage School of Business, and practicing pediatrician.

Tune in to our conversation for fascinating insight about the place where medicine meets management.

00:01:11 – Featured Applicant Question: Should I apply in Round 2 with my good essays, or apply Round 3 with excellent essays?

00:04:10 – Why Dr. Chandler decided to pursue an MBA.

00:06:30 – The story behind the founding of the UC Irvine MD/MBA Program.

00:08:08 – Inviting the east-coasters to Irvine in February: The founding of the Association of MD MBA Programs.

00:10:42 – Curriculum at the typical MD/MBA Program.

00:13:04 – Culture gap alert! What it’s like to go to b-school after med school.

00:17:51 – MD/MBA career paths.

00:20:15 – Do most MD/MBAs leave clinical medicine eventually?

00:22:14 – How and why this new degree became so popular so fast.

00:27:01 – The dual-degree application requirements.

00:31:35 – Maria’s dream for the future of medicine.

00:36:35 – Advice for applicants considering an MD/MBA.

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

Related Links:

• The Rise of the M.D./M.B.A. Degree
MD/MBAs: Fixing Hearts & Healthcare
UC Irvine M.D./M.B.A. Program
• Contact Maria: mchandle@uci.edu

Related Shows:

• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro
• MCAT Mania: How to Prepare
• Healthcare Management at Wharton and at Large
• Med School Application Process: From AMCAS to Decisions

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Oxford Said 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Click here for more MBA application essay tips!This program packs a lot into its one year, including a lot of team and group workTherefore, it needs students who can quickly connect and form working relationships (and hopefully personal relationships).  Also, its short duration means there is not time for creative soul searching and for exploring this and that industry or function – to get the most out of it and to gain desirable employment upon completion, you need to have self-awareness and focused goalsThese essays will elicit those qualities.

Essays:

1. What should Oxford expect from you? (500 words)

Interesting question. Can they expect you to get involved in specific activities? Which ones? How would you like to contribute to the school? Any activities you would like to initiate?

Do you have a business idea you want to develop as part of Oxford’s entrepreneurship project? Are you also thinking of participating in the strategic consulting project? Any places you would like to go on an optional student trek? Oxford is giving you 500 words here.

You have the room to show how you have contributed in the past and how you intend to contribute at Oxford. If you are getting the idea that you need to know something about the program before you respond to the question, you’re getting the right idea.

If you have specific ideas (along with relevant past experience), you can also mention how you will represent the school after you graduate.

2. How do you hope to see your career developing over the next five years? How will the MBA and Oxford assist you in the development of these ambitions? (500 words)

This essay focuses on shorter-term goals – the one MBA year and the four years following.  Describe your target post-MBA position, give an example or two of preferred organizations, and describe what you expect to do in that role.  Also, explain briefly why you are choosing this path, what motivates you.  Then sketch how you will likely advance over the four years – this time frame may include one company move or new position, but probably not more than that.  Finally, identify aspects of the program most important to you – those that will yield skills and knowledge relevant to your goals, and/or are meaningful to you for personal reasons.  

3. Plus your preferred essay from the options below:

Sport is pure competition. What does it teach us about companies, individuals, and markets? (500 words)

OR

The business of business is business. Is this true? (500 words)

Both of these options challenge you to express your thoughts about concepts related to business.  Therefore, they both present the danger of luring you to expound for 500 words in abstract terms about competition, the nature of business, etc.  Please do the opposite.  Whichever question you choose to answer, and whatever point you posit, ground your essay and your argument in specific examples, details, and/or experience.  That will make it both interesting and credible.  As for which to answer, which one elicits your interest and ideas?  Don’t hold back and be bland and mild in your opinions.  The adcom is looking for people who have something to say and can make a case for their ideas. 

Reapplicant Essay What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA programme? (Maximum 250 words)

This is they key question for all MBA reapplicants. What has changed that will make you a more compelling applicant this year than you were last time you applied?

If you would like professional guidance with your Oxford Said 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 Oxford application.

Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decision Notification
Round 3 January 9, 2015 February 27, 2015
Round 4 March 13, 2015 April 24, 2015
Round 5 April 24, 2015 May 29, 2015
Round 6 May 29, 2015 June 26, 2015

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

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:

School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
Leadership in Admissions
7 Signs an Experience Belongs in Your Application Essays

Meet Ashley: A Wharton MBA Student Making an Impact

Click here to read more MBA student interviews!

Wharton student Ashley Wells

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 Ashley Wells, a first-year 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? What was your most recent pre-MBA job?

Ashley: I have spent the last eight years living in Washington, DC, first to pursue my undergraduate degree in Political Science at The George Washington University and staying after undergrad to work in Deloitte Consulting’s Federal Practice. Although I grew up in Tampa, Florida and live for sunshine and the beach, I had an inherent love of government and politics which brought me to DC. Ultimately, this passion has transitioned into a broader realization that I love making an impact on people and communities around me, and I find that business can present profound solutions to social problems in addition to government.

In my career, I had some really interesting experiences learning about and trying to solve some of our country’s challenges alongside my clients. Working on issues such as reducing military suicides, tracking and protecting Department of Homeland Security personnel in the Middle East, and providing nutritious food to the one in five children who suffer from hunger in the United States were just a few of the challenges that brought me to work every day. I also had the opportunity to work in Deloitte’s Hong Kong practice, which is a very new joint venture between Deloitte US and Hong Kong. This “start-up” environment within the framework of a massive company enabled me to see the excitements and challenges that are innate to forming a company’s market presence from the ground-up.

Accepted: Can you tell us about Forte’s MBALaunch program? How did you decide to join the program and what did you gain for the experience?

Ashley: I was lucky to be an inaugural member of Forte’s MBALaunch program in Washington, DC in 2013! Forte has an incredible reputation within the business and MBA communities as a solid support network for women. Until this point, Forte focused on women currently pursuing MBAs and post-MBA women. I was really thrilled to see them offer a program for pre-MBA women to bring their programming full loop.

Like anything, the Forte MBALaunch program is what you make of it. I had an excellent relationship with my assigned Forte advisor who reviewed my essays, met with me monthly, and offered me encouragement throughout the process. I met with my assigned Forte small group over brunches and essay review sessions to offer one another feedback and support. At the end of our journey, many of us had gotten into top schools and we were beside one another (over mimosas!) to celebrate what we’d been through together. I took advantage of the Forte sessions on topics such as resume and interview preparation, which I believe gave me valuable insights that are not available from open-source information. Finally, I got a great network of friends from this and my investment in the program has already paid for itself in leaps and bounds. Two friends from the program actually connected the nonprofit I was on the board of to their companies, who then sponsored multiple major events for the nonprofit. All of the above benefits from the program far surpassed what I anticipated, and I look forward to my network continuing to grow from it moving forward.

Accepted: What are some of your most rewarding extracurricular activities (both before entering Wharton and current activities)? How have those activities helped shape your career?

Ashley: Two activities were core to my development and truly my identity prior to coming to Wharton. First was joining the board as a Vice President of United Women in Business (UWIB), a start-up nonprofit that provides professional development, networking, and community service opportunities to young female professionals. As a nonprofit entrepreneur, I teamed with fellow 20-something women to build UWIB, drive its overall programming strategy in three cities, and planned and executed all professional development events for DC women. This experience was aligned to my passion of impacting my community and taught me how much I enjoy building an organization, giving me an interest in start-ups that I am exploring in Business School. Furthermore, this experience positioned me well for my Wharton extracurricular activity leadership roles in Wharton Women in Business, and in Ashoka’s Catapult program where I advise six high school entrepreneurs starting a business.

Second, I actively challenged myself to broaden my horizons through travel. I traveled to 37 countries over six years, including studying in Madrid, Spain, backpacking Latin America for two months, working in Hong Kong this past summer, and religiously taking off work for 2-3 weeks each May to travel to a new region. These experiences reinforced my desire to live and work abroad throughout my career, and gave me a deeper sense of empathy, wonder, cultural differences, and appreciation for kindness that I believe will forever shape my career and my life.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Wharton so far? Is there anything you’d change about the program?

Ashley: My favorite thing about Wharton thus far is the energy. Walking into Huntsman Hall each day is just a beautiful commotion of ideas, priorities, learning, and conversations. People are eager to connect and support one another, hungry to learn and push their expectations of themselves, and excited to carve their niche in the world. The people here inspire me each day to be better and think bigger, and the environment is molding me to see the world more analytically and creatively. You just can’t get this experience taking business classes on Coursera.

One thing I would change is just making some of the “summer prep” content available earlier. Many schools have “math camp” style tutorials, accounting prep sessions, etc. during the summer, but it’s honestly never too early to start learning some of that content! Had I had a bit more time to prepare in advance, I think I might have felt a bit better about the extremely quant heavy curriculum. So, for those of you out there without calculus experience like me, I highly recommend learning from my mistakes and prepping for that now!

Accepted: How is Wharton helping you to secure your future internship?

Ashley: Wharton is extremely hands-on with the recruiting process. I usually don’t like having my hand held as a highly independent person, but with Career Services, you are paying for these services and you should absolutely take advantage of them. Career Services preps you for everything from going from “good to great” on behavioral interviews, to how to nail a case, to industry-specific career overviews, to in-depth resume reviews, to individual sessions one-on-one to help you plot your path to getting your dream job.

What I really like about Wharton Career Services and Wharton overall is that there is an enhanced focus on evaluating your interests holistically. Important parts of your personality and life are analyzed in addition to your career goals. There is an emphasis on thinking critically about careers where you can thrive in multiple dimensions of your life. They are also just an awesome reassuring presence to ascertain that every first year’s worst nightmare – not getting an internship or job! – is unrealistic because, as they always say, “Everyone gets a job. Everyone!”

Accepted: Can you share your top 3 MBA admissions tips with our readers?

Ashley:

•  Submit your applications when you’re ready. I submitted my applications saying to myself “They may not like me, but I gave 100%. There isn’t a single word I would change.” You should feel like you did absolutely everything you could on your application, and then you can mentally move on from it to more important things like interview prep and evaluating school choices.

•  But if possible, apply round one. Everyone has a different strategy for this, but from my perspective, it was so much easier to find out in December, make a decision by January, and then start planning an exciting and fulfilling summer pre-MBA. I don’t think I could have handled the prolonged anxiety of applying from August-March, but if you do go through multiple rounds of applications, just give yourself iterative breaks and rewards to sustain your energy.

•  Only apply to schools you really want to go to. I look back on one school specifically that I applied to, and it was truly a waste of my time. Had I been honest with myself, I would have realized that I would have been miserable there. No matter what school ratings say or how good the school’s reputation is, if you don’t get an inspiring vibe when you’re visiting and engaging with students there, it’s just not worth it. Instead, focus more attention on the schools you can envision being elated by when you hear the news that you got in.

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

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

Get Accepted to Wharton: Watch our free webinar to learn how!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Wharton Executive MBA 2014 Essay Tips
• Get into the Wharton School, a free webinar
• Four Tips for the Wharton Interview

MIT Sloan 2015 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Click here to download a free copy of "Ace the EMBA"

This set of essay questions shows that MIT seeks applicants who have a vision for the career they are building, who understand the impacts of their actions, and who have the judgment and practical skills to effectively handle the challenges that will come at them like fastballs in a World Series.  The essays are your main means to show that you possess, as MIT’s website states, “strong leadership performance, global perspective, functional expertise, and innovation.”  While the statement of purpose challenges you to succinctly create your portrait as an applicant, the three essay questions, each in its own way, probe how you create value while responding to various types of challenges.

In an overall plan for the essays, the statement of purpose works as a context, a positioner, an opening pitch, a frame.  You will describe specific experiences in each of the three essays, so strategically try to select experiences that are different, to give a comprehensive view.  Also, usually it’s advisable to discuss recent experiences, to allow the adcom to see you working at a high level and showing what you’ll bring to the table.

Statement of purpose:

Please provide a statement indicating your qualifications, why you are pursuing the MIT Executive MBA Program, and what you will contribute to the program. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

This is your portrait – your candidacy at a glance.  It should convey a vivid, immediate sense of you as a person and as a candidate.  It should go beyond just facts to present a point of view and a message.  Decide your message first, before drafting the essay, and let it guide you in selecting and elaborating the content details.

Beware of a potential pitfall: in discussing qualifications, do not repeat your resume in prose format.  Also, don’t present all your qualifications.  Select carefully, focusing on those that (a) are really distinctive and relevant to the MBA and/or (b) support your goals directly or indirectly and also (c) reflect your message. Make a short, meaningful point about each qualification, such as the insight it lends or its influence on you, supported by a fact or example.

For why you are pursuing the MBA, of course you’ll discuss your professional goals and objectives.  Focus not only on what you want to do, but also on what you want to accomplish for the organization and/or its customers/market.

The contributions you mention should reference your own experience from work or outside work; think of what about you would be most meaningful and interesting to prospective classmates.  This element of your response is an opportunity to show that you understand the program.

Essays:

1. The educational mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to “develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world.” Please discuss how you will contribute toward advancing this mission based on examples of past work and activities. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

In answering this question, clarify what “principled, innovative leader” and “improving the world” mean to you.  These points represent your point of view, your “vision” – they should be short, but without them this essay lacks focus.  The bulk of the essay will focus on action – your examples of past work and activities that make the case for how you have been and will continue to be a principled, innovative leader who improves the world.  They key to making this a gripping, memorable essay is strong experiences and examples combined with your reflection on them pertaining to the essay’s theme.  End by briefly discussing how you will build on these experiences to be such a leader in the future.

2. During your career, what is the hardest challenge that you have had to solve? Consider examples when more than one viable solution was present. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

There are really two points this question asks about: how you define and respond to a major challenge, and your decision-making process in selecting the solution.  Choose your topic accordingly.  With just 500 words, structure the essay simply: narrate the challenge as a brief story, portraying your thought process as you encounter it.  As you approach the solution part of the story, describe the solution options and your determination of which to take.  In writing the essay, clarify why you consider it the “hardest challenge” – is it one that was extraordinarily complex, one that had no desirable solution, one that had huge stakes, etc.? 

3. Tell us about a time within the past three years when you had to give difficult feedback to a peer. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

This question is a straightforward inquiry into your interpersonal skills, judgment, leadership, and (again) decision making.  It’s one thing to give difficult feedback to a subordinate – something you probably do as part of your supervisory role.  It’s another thing altogether to give such feedback to a peer – someone you don’t manage and whose performance you aren’t accountable for.  If possible, make the essay do “double duty” by selecting a story that also portrays you performing at a high level in a significant role.   Think about the topic and how your actions align with and complement the other essays.

Optional Essay.

As part of the MIT Executive MBA curriculum, you will participate in Organizations Lab (O-Lab). This Action Learning course focuses on making a substantive improvement in the performance of your organization, usually by fixing one of its processes.

Identify something, within your organization, upon which to improve. (This does not have to be a large change initiative, small improvements to a process can have a big impact). Please describe the change and why you might choose it? This can be something you have tried to improve in the past and has yet to be realized (whether based on lack of expertise or tools).

Should you do this optional essay? I believe yes. It’s an opportunity to further demonstrate your organizational awareness, possibly highlight important elements of your role, and show your perceptiveness. A key element here will be your perspective on change and its potential impact(s). Select an issue that has an interesting, challenging dimension. Consider the experiences you describe in the other essays and make sure this one isn’t redundant – it should reflect a new facet of your experience. Keep it short – certainly under 500 words. And keep it simple: describe the issue you’d like to improve (and why), and then very briefly reflect on why it’s challenging. You may suggest a possible solution or approaches to solutions, but you don’t have to “solve” it. MIT is interested in your thought process here.

Deadlines:

Application Opens: November 14, 2014

Round 1 Deadline: February 17, 2015 (11:59pm EST)

Round 2 Deadline: June 1, 2015 (11:59pm EDT)

If you would like help with MIT Sloan’s executive MBA essays, please consider Accepted.com’s Executive MBA packages or our hourly consulting/editing services.

Download your free copy of Ace the EMBA!


Cindy Tokumitsu By , co-author of The EMBA Edge, and author of the free special report, Ace the EMBA. Cindy has helped MBA applicants get accepted to top EMBA programs around the world. She is delighted to help you too!

Related Resources:

• School-Specific Executive MBA Essay Tips
• Tips for Executive MBA Reapplicants
• The GMAT and EMBA Programs

MBA Interview Must-Know #4: The Interview Type

Click here to download your copy of Ace the MBA!

Be prepared to address your weaknesses.

“MBA Interview Must-Know #4: The Interview Type” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, How to Ace Your MBA Interviews To download the entire free special report, click here

The Interview Type. Is it blind (where the interviewer knows only what’s on your resume and what you tell him or her)? Or is it informed with an interviewer who has gone thoroughly through your file. Is it a case presentation?

If blind, then you can use material from your application because that material presents your most impressive experiences, and it will be new to your interviewer, but don’t limit yourself to that material.

If you are interviewed by someone who has gone through your file, prepare to address weaknesses and gaps and also be ready to bring something new to the interviewer’s understanding of you. Know how to go deeper into the stories you have told and prepare to tell additional anecdotes.

Whether blind or informed, make sure to tell your interviewer of important developments that have occurred since you submitted your application – a better GMAT score, an A in a business-related course, a promotion, leadership of a community service initiative… This last step is particularly important if you are interviewing at schools like Harvard and Wharton, which in the past have discouraged or not accepted new information from applicants after the application submission date — even if the information is highly relevant and/or the applicant has sat on the waitlist for months.

MBA Interview Tip #4:
Know the type of interview you will have and prepare accordingly.

Tips to help you ace those MBA interviews!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Tips for Your In-Person Interview with an MBA Student or Alumnus
• Tips for Your In-Person Interview with an Adcom Member
• Seven Tips for MBA Interview Prep