Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:17:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog http://blog.accepted.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://blog.accepted.com Management Consulting at Top MBA Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/24/management-consulting-at-top-mba-programs/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/24/management-consulting-at-top-mba-programs/#respond Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:46:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22633 ]]> MBA In Sight: Focus on Management Consulting - Click here to download your copy!Entrepreneurship is the sexy post-MBA job, but the reality is that less than 5% of grads from top MBA programs start a business at graduation. Per GMAC’s just released Prospective Students Survey Report, 34% of all graduate business students seek consulting positions after they earn their degree. My suspicion is that the figure is even higher among full-time MBA candidates. True, many will work as consultants for a few years, and then down the road start their own business.

If you are in that vast mass of MBA wannabes planning/hoping for a job in consulting immediately after you earn your degree, this ranking is for you! We’ve examined US News’ top MBA programs and the number of grads who have gone into consulting from each one. (The data here is from U.S. News.)

Ranked by Percentage of Grads Going into Consulting

School Full-Time Graduates # Reporting Consulting Jobs % of Grads
Yale 230 69 30%
Kellogg 627 180 29%
Duke 434 124 29%
Michigan Ross 512 140 27%
MIT Sloan 390 105 27%
CMU Tepper 208 55 26%
Chicago Booth 579 146 25%
Emory 123 31 25%
Dartmouth 266 66 25%
Wharton 800 191 24%
UVA Darden 312 74 24%
Georgetown 248 55 22%
NYU Stern 375 83 22%
USC Marshall 210 45 21%
Texas McCombs 271 56 21%
Harvard 905 175 19%
Notre Dame Mendoza 129 22 17%
UNC Kenan-Flagler 283 48 17%
Cornell 282 47 17%
UC Berkeley Haas 241 40 17%
Indiana Kelley 216 35 16%
Columbia Business School 730 107 15%
Stanford 391 49 13%
UCLA Anderson 369 41 11%

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Ranked by Number of Grads Going into Consulting

School Full-Time Graduates # Reporting Consulting Jobs % of Grads
Wharton 800 191 24%
Kellogg 627 180 29%
Harvard 905 175 19%
Chicago Booth 579 146 25%
Michigan Ross 512 140 27%
Duke 434 124 29%
Columbia Business School 730 107 15%
MIT Sloan 390 105 27%
NYU Stern 375 83 22%
UVA Darden 312 74 24%
Yale 230 69 30%
Dartmouth 266 66 25%
Texas McCombs 271 56 21%
CMU Tepper 208 55 26%
Georgetown 248 55 22%
Stanford 391 49 13%
UNC Kenan-Flagler 283 48 17%
Cornell 282 47 17%
USC Marshall 210 45 21%
UCLA Anderson 369 41 11%
UC Berkeley Haas 241 40 17%
Indiana Kelley 216 35 16%
Emory 123 31 25%
Notre Dame Mendoza 129 22 17%

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Certainly a high ranking in either of these lists indicates that the program has the recruiting ties, placement track record, and alumni network, as well as the curriculum, to support your consulting goals.  This solid indication implies these schools deserve further research about the appropriateness of a given school for you. However, it doesn’t tell the full picture. Dig into the schools’ class profile, placement stats, curriculum, extra-curricular activities and opportunities to determine which schools to apply to.

Ultimately you want to apply to programs that will take you where you want to go and that are likely to admit you.

Join us live for "The Secret to MBA Acceptance"!

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

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Is a PhD a Good Idea? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/24/is-a-phd-a-good-idea/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/24/is-a-phd-a-good-idea/#respond Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:17:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22681 ]]> Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Karen Kelsky!If you dream of living the rest of your life in the world of academia, this podcast is for you.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Dr. Karen Kelsky, founder and consultant at The Professor is In for some important insights into the very hot topic: Is a PhD a good path?

Warning: you may not like what you hear.

00:02:47 – The mission of The Professor Is In.

00:03:55 – How to hack the academic job search (and why you need to hack it in the first place).

00:05:55 – How a traumatic first job-market experience created an ongoing obsession.

00:08:24 – Karen’s response to the comment: “Not sure the PhD is good for most students’ goals anymore.”

00:13:36 – Why are people still pursuing PhDs?

00:16:18 – Advice for students who are already in PhD programs.

00:22:06 – The non-academic track: Don’t let shame corrupt your thinking process.

00:33:25 – Industries hiring non-academic PhDs.

00:42:47 – What an applicant can do before starting a PhD program to better position themselves for careers.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk  to keep up with the latest in admissions news and trends! And leave a comment while you’re there.

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Choosing a Ph.D. Program: 3 Tips
• Plotting Your Way to a PhD: 6 Topics in PhD Admissions
• 
The Professor is In
Should You Go to Graduate School?
•  Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application
• STEM PhD Job Market is Down

Related Shows:

• Kisses of Death for your Grad School Application
• Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/24/is-a-phd-a-good-idea/feed/ 0 PhD,podcast If you dream of living the rest of your life in the world of academia, this podcast is for you. - Listen to the recording of our conversation with Dr. Karen Kelsky, founder and consultant at The Professor is In for some important insights into the ver... If you dream of living the rest of your life in the world of academia, this podcast is for you. Listen to the recording of our conversation with Dr. Karen Kelsky, founder and consultant at The Professor is In for some important insights into the very hot topic: Is a PhD a good path? Warning: you may not like what you hear. 00:02:47 – The mission of The Professor Is In. 00:03:55 – How to hack the academic job search (and why you need to hack it in the first place). 00:05:55 – How a traumatic first job-market experience created an ongoing obsession. 00:08:24 – Karen’s response to the comment: “Not sure the PhD is good for most students’ goals anymore.” 00:13:36 – Why are people still pursuing PhDs? 00:16:18 – Advice for students who are already in PhD programs. 00:22:06 – The non-academic track: Don’t let shame corrupt your thinking process. 00:33:25 – Industries hiring non-academic PhDs. 00:42:47 – What an applicant can do before starting a PhD program to better position themselves for careers.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk  to keep up with the latest in admissions news and trends! And leave a comment while you're there. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • Choosing a Ph.D. Program: 3 Tips • Plotting Your Way to a PhD: 6 Topics in PhD Admissions • The Professor is In • Should You Go to Graduate School? •  Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application • STEM PhD Job Market is Down Related Shows: • Kisses of Death for your Grad School Application • Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 49:00
10 Medical Schools with the Most Applicants http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/24/10-medical-schools-with-the-most-applicants/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/24/10-medical-schools-with-the-most-applicants/#respond Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:01:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22678 ]]> medical schoolMedical school application volume was at an all time high in 2013, up 6.1% to 48,014. Below are some more fun facts about U.S. News’ new rankings, followed by the list of top 10 med schools with the most applicants.

•  The 10 med schools that got the most applicants in 2013 were all private schools located on the East Coast.

•  Pennsylvania tops the charts with four of the top 10 med schools, including the top two slots.

•  The schools on this top 10 list are the same as last year, but in a different order. For example, last year Washington University took the top slot, but this year it came in fifth.

•  An average of 10,646 students applied to each of the top 10 schools, more than twice as high as the average number of applications submitted to the 114 schools that responded to the survey. (The average number of applications was 5,066.)

Top 10 Med Schools with Most Applications:

1. Drexel University College of Medicine (PA) – 13,620 applicants
2. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (PA) – 12,901 applicants
3. Georgetown University (DC) – 12,250 applicants
4. Temple University (PA) – 10,980 applicants
5. George Washington University (DC) – 10,397 applicants
6. Jefferson Medical College (PA) – 10,118 applicants
7. Boston University (MA) – 9,665 applicants
8. New York Medical College (NY) – 2,044 applicants
9. New York University (NY) – 8,830 applicants
10. Tufts University (MA) – 8,647 applicants

Create a Compelling AMCAS Application Webinar

Accepted.com

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The College Rejection Crisis http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/the-college-rejection-crisis/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/the-college-rejection-crisis/#respond Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:05:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22635 ]]> Need College Admissions Advice? Check out our College Admissions 101 Pages!

People are starting to look at college admissions like a crapshoot.

This year, Stanford University accepted only 5% of applicants. While enrollment is down in general, competition for spots at elite U.S. universities is on the rise. As a New York Times article reported last week, the competition is “more cutthroat and anxiety-inducing than ever.”

These top colleges are receiving more applications than they’ve ever received, and are forced to reject the vast majority of them, many of them being impressive candidates that would have been accepted if not for the deluge of applications. In fact, according to the NYT piece: “Admissions directors at these institutions say that most of the students they turn down are such strong candidates that many are indistinguishable from those who get in.”

People are starting to look at admissions decisions as a crapshoot – one can get rejected from Stanford and accepted to Yale, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for which schools will accept and which will reject these crème de la crème students.

Some numbers (from the NYT article):

•  In 2007, 315 colleges accepted the Common Application. This year, that number jumped to 517 schools.

•  In 1990, only 9% of applicants applied to seven or more colleges, compared to 29% of applicants in 2011.

•  This year, Stanford received 42,167 applications (for the class of 2018). 2,138 applicants were accepted. Around 1,700 will enroll as first-year students in the fall.

•  UCLA received the most applications this year (more than 86,000), doubling its numbers in 2005. (This doesn’t include the 19,000 applications from transfer students.) The acceptance rate for UCLA and UC Berkeley are expected to drop below the 20% mark for the first time.

•  In terms of other top school acceptance rates: Harvard and Yale accepted about 6% of applicants; Columbia and Princeton – 7%; MIT and University of Chicago – 8%. (A decade ago, Chicago’s acceptance rate was 40%!)

One critical point to remember: There are a lot of excellent colleges and universities outside the elite where the numbers are saner. Focus on fit, not ranking.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Accepted.com

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4 New Ways to Display Teamwork in Application Essays http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/4-new-ways-to-display-teamwork-in-mba-essays-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/4-new-ways-to-display-teamwork-in-mba-essays-2/#respond Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:25:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22038 ]]> How should you convey to the adcom your ability to motivate, persuade, and empower?Teamwork, and its close cousin, leadership, are highly prized by graduate programs and universities. Haven’t worked in teams on any regular basis? Don’t worry! There are more ways than you may realize to prove your chops in this area. Consider the following 4 options:

1. No Man is an Island

Unless you’ve been living alone on an island for the last several years, you have undoubtedly participated in various groups. You may have been a member of a sports team or dance troupe, a member of a committee on either a volunteer or workplace basis, helped to organize an event, planned a triathlon, or been a tutor, Big Brother, or Big Sister. In each case, you were working with other people, even if it was only one other person, and had opportunities to display teamwork.

2. Put Your Listening Ears On

Teamwork and collaboration involve effective listening, so if you can discuss a time when you took the time to listen to others, patiently and skillfully, and how doing so eased tensions and increased collaboration, that will demonstrate your teamwork abilities.

3. Boosting Morale and Conflict Resolution

Talk about the steps you took to improve morale or motivate. If you helped to generate enthusiasm for a project when enthusiasm was flagging, or brainstormed an idea to strengthen a group or project, that’s also teamwork. If you were a member of a committee and figured out a way for two warring members of the committee to stop fighting and start working together, that would also constitute teamwork. Any time you took the initiative to get involved with other people (especially when they are difficult!) to find a better way to get things done, find a middle ground, brainstorm a new idea, it’s all teamwork.

4. Think Small

Effective teamwork can also be shown in very small groups. A client once wrote about her efforts to heal a serious rift in her family after her father passed away and siblings fought for control of the successful family business. An ugly succession fight was underway. The client’s ability to patiently coax cooperation in such an emotionally charged environment, including her “shuttle diplomacy” and active listening among family members, displayed skilled teamwork and leadership. Another client wrote about having organized a trip with a few friends, and how she dealt with a dispute between two of the participants whose bickering threatened to ruin the trip for everyone. Her effective listening, and creatively figuring out an activity that both of the “combatants” would not be able to resist, helped defuse the situation and save the trip from descending into a hellish situation for everyone. In both these situations, the “teams” were small but the stakes for those involved were high.

So do not feel stymied when asked for examples of how you have displayed teamwork – as you now see, you’ve been working in teams more often than you realize!

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

Accepted.com

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Learn the Secrets of MBA Application Success! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/learn-the-secrets-of-mba-application-success/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/23/learn-the-secrets-of-mba-application-success/#respond Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:10:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22654 ]]> If you are applying to b-school and are seeking specific, detailed instructions to guide you to your b-school goal, then you won’t want to miss our upcoming FREE webinar, The Secret to MBA Acceptance, on Wednesday, April 30th at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET.

Register now to learn the secrets that will help you position yourself so that you’re headed to acceptance!

Find out what you need to know to get admitted to business school!

Spaces are limited! Reserve your spot for The Secret to MBA Acceptance now!

Learn How to Get Accepted to B-School!

Accepted.com

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Tips for Applying to Part-time MBA Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/18/tips-for-applying-to-part-time-mba-programs-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/18/tips-for-applying-to-part-time-mba-programs-2/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:50:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22013 ]]> Download your free copy of Ace the EMBA: Expert Advice for the Rising Executive

Attending grad school while working is grueling, period.

The extensive available advice about applying to MBA programs was largely created with applicants to full-time MBA programs in mind. If you are applying to part-time MBA programs, most of this advice will be pertinent for you as well. But there are some nuances to applying to part-time programs that warrant attention.

The fact of working while you are studying is one, and it affects the application. The nitty-gritty of your daily work is a resource you will bring directly to class discussions and group projects. You can share the reality of your work world in “real time” with your classmates.  The adcoms view this factor as a core benefit of part-time programs and integral to their unique learning process.  Hence, in your resume, essays, and the application form, put thought into how you present your current work scenario; look at it from the eyes of prospective classmates.

Moreover, since you are continuing to work, your goals won’t necessarily start at the magic moment you graduate. So, in a goals essay (depending on how the question is worded) discuss specific goals that you want to achieve in your current role, while you’re in the program – doing so allows you to further illuminate your work. Part-time MBA programs are usually not for career changers, at least in the short term, and they may not open recruiting to them. Review the program’s policies about recruiting for part-time students before you say that you’ll be using it for post-MBA employment.

Attending grad school while working is grueling, period. Hence, adcoms look for evidence that you are prepared for it.  The last thing they want is students dropping out. Sometimes an essay question directly addresses this issue.  If not, it can never hurt to briefly convey awareness of the challenge and mention plans for handling it.  If you’ve previously successfully studied while working full time, note that fact.

Finally, for the bulk of part-time programs that target local applicants, their applicant pool may contain high concentrations from strong local industries, such as pharma and finance in New York.  Consider and address this factor in differentiating yourself.

Good luck with your applications!

Download your free copy of Ace the EMBA!

Cindy Tokumitsu By , 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.

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Emlyon Launches New MSc in Luxury Management & Marketing http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/18/emlyon-launches-new-msc-in-luxury-management-marketing/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/18/emlyon-launches-new-msc-in-luxury-management-marketing/#respond Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:35:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22123 ]]> Emlyon Business School (formerly École de management de Lyon) just announced the launch of its new pre-experience Masters in Luxury Management and Marketing, a program designed to prepare students for an international management career in the luxury industry.

The 16-month program, which will be run in collaboration with the London College of Fashion, will offer maximum exposure to the world of luxury goods and manufacturing. Classes are held on three continents; students will participate in an internship anywhere in the world.

This looks like a great way to acquire marketable skills while having a blast in Lyon, London, and Shanghai! See more info here.

 Click here to download your free report!

Accepted.com

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Review of PreMD Tracker, a New App http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/17/review-of-premd-tracker-a-new-app/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/17/review-of-premd-tracker-a-new-app/#respond Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:32:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22126 ]]> Check out the App!This app is fantastic! It allows students who are planning on applying to medical school to actively track their progress for their activities, academics and letters of recommendation. It could be used to help students stay motivated during the lengthy process of preparation.

At the top of the main page, there are three small icons: “General Info, Tips & Links, and PreMD CV.” The first two icons will help you get started by teaching you how to use the app and explaining how the percentages are calculated for the three main categories: Activities, Academics and Letters. The third icon generates an email that will allow you to send an excel spreadsheet with all of the information that you have entered into the app.

If you click on the first large icon, “Activities,” from the main menu, you can choose from “Medical, Community, Research, or Additional” to list each experience as you complete it, under these four categories. For each activity you enter, you can include the experience name, hours completed, start and end dates, organization name, contact title, phone number and email address. There is even space to include a description of the activity. Writing the description as you are participating in the activity would be helpful rather than waiting to write all fifteen activity descriptions at the same time for the AMCAS application! Not only can you keep track of all of your activities, but there are also “Tips & Links” with more information about how to make sure that you have completed enough of the different types of activities that medical schools like to see. They have created a useful way to capture each activity and to provide percentages of how much time you spend in each area to determine if you have reached the recommended number of hours. Keeping your eye on the big picture perspective of the combination of activities that you are participating in can give you an edge in the application process.

Under “Academics,” you can track your BCPM GPA and MCAT scores, by entering in each class that you have completed or MCAT score that you have received. Under “Tips & Links,” they have included updates on the new MCAT and useful FAQ’s with general information about coursework and selecting a major.

For the last option on the main menu, “Letters,” this section includes a list of the types of letters required to help you cover your bases. It allows you to list the name of the letter writer and to check off each letter of recommendation after you receive it. You receive a percentage for the total number of letters you have.

For those students who may be struggling academically or unsure of applying to medical school with a low GPA or MCAT score, the app could include information on postbac programs or a way to track a postbac GPA in the future. I guess that element is for PreMed Tracker 2.0

However, today’s version of the app is easy to use and can simplify the process of applying to medical school.

Check out PreMD Tracker here.

Create a Compelling AMCAS Application Webinar
Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

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Brave New Worlds http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/17/brave-new-worlds/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/17/brave-new-worlds/#respond Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:10:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22112 ]]> Check out our GMAT 101 pages!Helen Keller once wrote: “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” This is an apt quote for many undertakings, and is particularly appropriate for folks setting out to pursue an MBA and entire all the risk and uncertainly of the modern global market.

In hero myths the world over, the hero who wants to attain some lofty goal (the Holy Grail, marriage to a beautiful maiden, etc.) must enter a region of uncertainty and challenge. Often, there’s some preliminary challenging figure at the outset, the Guardian of the Threshold, such as the Tuskan Raiders for Luke Skywalker.

For all who aspire to an MBA, that initial challenge is the GMAT. Standardized tests are always challenging, and this one reflects the uncompromisingly high standards of the business world. Certainly it’s very important to be aware of all the resources available from GMAC, the folks who write the GMAT. While those resources are expensive, the questions therein are by far the best preparation for the GMAT. In fact, I would recommend learning and warming up with other materials, and saving those official questions for relatively late in your studies, so they are the last things you do in the weeks leading up to your GMAT.

It’s also important to get acquainted with the simple logistics of the GMAT. How long is the GMAT? Where does one take it? What ID does one need? etc. etc. It’s very important to get all these little details sorted out well ahead of time, so that on test day, you can remain in your “game head” and not have to sweat niggling details.

Beyond this, it will be important to identify the best MBA Admission resources. There are some fantastic resources available for free, but unfortunately, there are others that so aptly fit the sarcastic description, “Free, and worth every penny!” It’s very important to have some wise guidance when wading through all these potential study aids, particularly if it is all new to you.

All this new information and all these new demands may be intimidating, but remember: how a person responds when facing the unknown is a defining aspect of that person. If you are the kind of person that easily gets overwhelmed and freezes in the face of the unknown, it’s somewhat unclear how you plan to make effective decisions in the ever-evolving electronically driven business world. This is a world that demands resilience and a lion-hearted confidence, and there’s no better place to begin exhibiting those traits than in your preparation for the GMAT.

Visit GMAT 101 for advice.

magooshThis post was written by Mike McGarry, resident GMAT expert at Magoosh, a leader in GMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’s GMAT blog.

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Which MBA Programs Should You Apply to Next Season? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/16/which-mba-programs-should-you-apply-to-next-season/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/16/which-mba-programs-should-you-apply-to-next-season/#respond Thu, 17 Apr 2014 04:10:06 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22115 ]]> Download a free copy of the Navigate the MBA Maze special report!

Set the course for an efficient, productive application process.

“Which MBA Programs Should You Apply to Next Season?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One.  To download the entire free special report, click here.

It’s late winter or early spring, already in the ebb of the current MBA admissions season. That means it’s the perfect time for people planning to apply next season to break out of hibernation and start tackling a part of the application process that is often shortchanged: school selection.  Doing this part right sets the course for an efficient, productive application process with greater likelihood of satisfying results.

In 15 years of MBA admissions consulting I have found that otherwise highly capable and focused people often basically wing it when it comes to creating their school list. “I’m just applying to all the top ten.” Top ten according to what source? “I realize now [after R2 deadlines have passed] I was overreaching. Are there any good schools I can still apply to?” Probably. “I’m applying to H/S/W, with Duke as my safety.” Duke as your safety?

By starting to develop your list of prospective schools now, you can avoid these and similar problems (yes, these responses are all problems – real ones I’ve heard, more than once).

By approaching school selection thoughtfully and systematically, you will save time, money, and effort in the long run (even if you expend more of all initially). You will conserve precious energy for the nitty-gritty work of the applications. You will be able to start planning school visits and recommendations, two things that often get tangled up when first addressed in the heat of the application season.

In this series I provide various tips and approaches to developing a solid list of schools. Each person’s needs are unique, and there is no one formula that works for everyone, so I will guide you in asking the right questions, answering (or finding answers to) those questions, and deciding accordingly.

This series will cover, among other topics:

•  assessing your profile

•  the role of rankings

•  how many schools you should apply to

• identifying and prioritizing your b-school needs and wants.

Ready? Here are a couple of things you can and should do right now to get started on the school selection process for next season:

•  Capture on paper or your preferred electronic medium those random thoughts that have been floating around in your head, for example, “top 10,” “friendly to older applicants,” “strong quant focus,” “need to be within an hour by plane from my ailing mother.”

•  Read blogs of MBA students not just at schools you’re already interested in but from a wider array of schools – both the substance and the tone of those blog posts will give you a subjective feel for different programs and your own responses to them.

•  If possible talk to MBA students and ask them about their school selection process; what went well and what proved difficult or problematic; ask what they would do differently.

•  Visit schools now! Visit schools you know you are interested in (you can always re-visit later), schools you might be interested in, and even schools on the margins. It’s the perfect time: schools are in session, you’re not pressed by the application process yet, and it’s close enough to application time for your insights from the visits to be relevant if you discuss them in essays. Take advantage of travel you may do for business or pleasure to schedule a visit, rather than trying to cram everything in the fall—when you’ll be even busier than usual with applications plus work. Moreover, visiting now gives you time to digest and reflect on your campus experiences.

Join us live for "The Secret to MBA Acceptance"!
Cindy Tokumitsu By , 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.

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Tuck Announces New December Business Bridge Program http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/tuck-announces-new-december-business-bridge-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/tuck-announces-new-december-business-bridge-program/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:55:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22108 ]]> Check out our Dartmouth Tuck b-school zone!

Tuck Hall at Dartmouth

Tuck Announces New December Business Bridge Program Liberal arts undergrads have been attending the Tuck’s summer Business Bridge program for the last 18 years. Now the Tuck Business Bridge program will be adding a December option for students, starting December 2014.

This new session will be open to any undergraduate or graduate student, but it is designed for Dartmouth undergrads and will run December 1-19 and will cover (for the most part) the same topics covered during the four-week summer program (and will therefore be more intensive due to the shorter period of time). The program will introduce students to important business and managerial subjects (corporate finance, managerial economics, financial accounting, marketing, etc.), and will feature team projects, industry explorations, and career coaching.

4,000 undergrads have attended Bridge since its inception in 1997. About 30% of alumni have gone on to attend top b-schools.

Application deadlines for December Bridge are June 1, August 1, and October 1. There will be financial aid available for the December program.

Learn more about the program here.

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

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A Non-Traditional Med School Applicant Gearing up For May http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/a-non-traditional-med-school-applicant-gearing-up-for-may/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/a-non-traditional-med-school-applicant-gearing-up-for-may/#respond Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:35:27 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22103 ]]> Download Ace the AMCAS Essay, a free special report that teaches you the who, what, why, and how of creating a winning AMCAS essay.This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the med school application process. And now, introducing our anonymous blogger, “A.”…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergraduate? What is your favorite flavor ice cream?

A.: I have lived in California for almost my entire life. Though I have moved a few times, I have never left LA County and I actually attended UCLA as an undergraduate. I came into UCLA with a passion for working with children and an interest in Psychology, which led me to major in Psychobiology and minor in Applied Developmental Psychology. I worked my way through college and was involved in a few extracurriculars, my favorite being Campus Events where I helped put on advanced screenings of feature films.

My favorite flavor ice cream? That’s a tough one! I would have to say that during my time at UCLA, I converted from Rocky Road to Jamoca Almond Fudge – you just can’t beat that precious union of coffee and chocolate!

Accepted: What stage of the med school application process are you up to?

A.: Well, I recently took the MCAT and am currently preparing my list of schools. I am researching both MD and DO programs as well as a few post-bacc and special master’s programs and narrowing down my options. I am also beginning to draft up my personal statement and contact certain professors for letters of recommendation. So I guess I’m sort of just gearing up for when the application opens up on May 1st (which I just realized is less than a month away!).

Accepted: Would you describe yourself as a traditional or non-traditional med school applicant?

A.: A traditional medical school applicant is one who goes directly into medical school after undergraduate, right? So I guess I would describe myself as a non-traditional medical school applicant since I am taking at least two years off in between. And even more so because throughout my years in college, I entertained other career choices as well and was extremely close to pursuing a PhD in Developmental Psychology instead!

Accepted: What’s been the most challenging stage of this premed process so far? What steps have you taken to overcome that challenge?

A.: Oh, I would definitely say that my undergraduate years were the most challenging “stage” of the premed process thus far (yes, even more so than the MCAT!). You come into college being told to keep an open mind and therefore, I, personally, had a hard time coming to terms with what I really wanted.

Being a doctor was definitely up there as a career choice, but so was being a writer, a teacher, or a film industry professional.

I was so afraid of choosing a career path that I would later regret or be unhappy with, that although I took pre-med classes, I was hesitant in committing 100%. Therefore, my heart wasn’t really into it and more so, I felt inadequate compared to those students who you would typically label as “gunners”.

In such an academically competitive environment, my self-esteem definitely took a hit and I felt like there was no way I could succeed, so instead, I just tried to remain afloat. And because I threw myself into so many extracurriculars and tried to get the most out of my college experience, I never had a moment to step back and really consider what I was truly passionate about.

It wasn’t until I had graduated and traveled abroad for a bit that I had a moment to breathe. And that was when a sense of clarity set in – there is no other profession I would rather pursue and even if it takes years, I will become a doctor one day.

Accepted: Do you have a dream med school? Where do you hope to attend?

A.: Every day as I do a little more research, another really amazing school catches my eye and I think, “Wow, it would be great to go here!” So I guess to answer your question, I don’t have a dream medical school. Every school I apply to is a “dream medical school” and I would be honored to get just one acceptance.

That being said, I have been looking at a lot of DO schools lately – I absolutely love the philosophy behind osteopathic medicine – and would definitely be thrilled to attend a DO school in California such as Touro University or Western University of Health Sciences. Actually, any medical school in California would be the dream given the tuition prices!

Accepted: Your About A. page is so intriguing! Can you give us a few more hints about your identity?

A.: Well, here are some fun facts: my full name is 26 letters long, longer than Chrysanthemum, and the same length as the American alphabet. I don’t have a middle name, but the first part of my first name means infinity and the second part means music, so I like to think my first name means infinite music. But wait! There’s more – my last name literally translates to ‘Lion King’, which I think is appropriate, as I believe my Animagus would be a lion. Not enough information? Google “ENFJ” – it’s pretty spot on!

Accepted: You have about a year until you start med school. How many items on your Bucket List do you think you can knock off by then?

A.: Oh, I hope I can knock out at least ten by the end of this year! But you know, the best thing about bucket lists is that they are never-ending. The more you get out of your comfort zone and explore the world, the stronger the desire to see even more. I mean, we are human after all – we have this yearning for more. So I’m pretty sure that in a year, though I may be lucky to get a few items crossed off, my list will probably be even longer than it is now! And I’m always open to suggestions!

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? What do you hope to gain from the blogging experience?

A.: I began my blog back in 2009, when I was a senior in high school and awaiting to hear back from colleges. I have always found comfort in writing down my thoughts and opinions and to be able to share them through a public forum was invigorating. Though I may not write consistently as some other bloggers, I find that when I do write, it is driven by an intrinsic need to share a momentous memory or event. Regardless of whether I am experiencing joy or hardship, writing allows me to clear my mind and think logically.

Yes, I am a pre-med student and I do hope to attend medical school one day. So I often write about what I encounter through this application process. And maybe when that time comes, my blog may shift its focus to include more stories from a medical perspective. However, there is more to me than simply being a pre-med student – I am a young woman, a musician, a writer, an explorer, an optimist, a hopeless romantic, and so much more. I come from a low-income, ethnic background and every day I learn something new.

Therefore, when you ask if I have a “target audience”, I would hope that my blog would cater to anyone who is simply going through this roller coaster ride known as life. As cheesy as that metaphor might be, I think it definitely illustrates the ups, downs, and transitions that everyone from adolescents to adults face today. As students, we may be taught exceptional material by renowned teachers and professors, but no one ever teaches you how to deal with the “in-betweens”. The curveballs that get thrown at you. What actually comes after “happily ever after”. I hope my blog conveys that sentiment – that there is confusion, struggle, and sometimes a little fear when figuring out what’s next. But with the downs, there are always ups, and that is the beauty of life.

I titled my blog Serendipity five years ago because it was such a lovely word and a great feel-good romantic comedy. I’ve held on to that title five years later, however, because I have noticed several events in my own life that seemed to be fortunate accidents. Life works in mysterious ways and what may seem ill fated at the time may actually be a blessing in disguise. So all in all, whoever my readers may be, my only wish is that they begin to see and perhaps appreciate serendipitous acts in their own lives.

You can read more about A.’s journey by checking out her blog, ser·en·dip·i·ty. Thank you A. for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

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College Planning: May is for Making Your Case http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/college-planning-may-is-for-making-your-case-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/14/college-planning-may-is-for-making-your-case-2/#respond Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:18:28 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22023 ]]> Start your college applications off right by downloading our free special report!

The keys are incorporating your challenges into your college search.

Are you a high school junior planning to apply to top colleges and universities next year? This post is part of a series of posts that will help you prepare for next year’s application process. 

Oh, and if you don’t want to wait for the monthly posts, please download Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders. It’s all there.

Your high school path suddenly takes a detour. Your grades, which had been steady and consistent, take a nosedive. Perhaps it’s due to illness, personal or family issues, or a learning disability that eventually made itself clear. As you move forward into the summer before your senior year, it is time to consider whether or not this impacts the colleges you plan on applying to.

For most students, the answer is yes. Sometimes, the circumstances change your mind about how far you would like to be from home. In other cases, illness or other family issues have a financial impact that necessitates finding financial safety schools, or looking first to a nearby community college for a period of time. If your challenges impacted your GPA or course selection, then that also may impact the schools you choose to apply to.

Yes, you will have opportunities to explain your circumstances, and many times, you will be met with  a sympathetic reader on the other side of your application. Sympathy, however, does not guarantee  admission. Be prepared to discuss your situation. You can do this through your essay, an additional  statement, your guidance counselor recommendation, or, in some cases, a personal interview on campus with an admission counselor. In most situations, the admissions staff will be evaluating your response to the challenge. Did you overcome adversity? What did you learn from the situation? Is the college going to be able to meet any future needs you might have?

In most cases, it is to your benefit to discuss any aberrations or weaknesses in your academic  performance. The keys are incorporating your challenges into your college search and then finding the  appropriate avenue to explain your record.

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

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How to Write the Statement of Disadvantage http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/13/how-to-write-the-statement-of-disadvantage/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/13/how-to-write-the-statement-of-disadvantage/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:43:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22040 ]]> Download Free: A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs

End on a high note.

If you have experienced any form of social, economic or educational disadvantage—at any time in your life—you can apply to medical school as a disadvantaged applicant.  To receive this designation means that you will need to complete an additional essay on the AMCAS application.  The character limit for this short essay is 1,325.  Examples of each of the three forms of disadvantage are listed below:

1. Social: Being treated differently due to ethnicity, language or religion.

2. Economic: Receiving any form of government aid or growing up in a single parent household on one income that is below the poverty threshold.

3. Educational: Overcoming a learning disability or attending low performing public schools.

It can be difficult to know what to include in the Statement of Disadvantage.  I recommend approaching it by using the following strategies:

• Create a timeline that includes any forms of social, economic or educational barriers that you experienced, from the beginning of your life through college.
•  State the facts, no need to express any emotions or to emphasize any details.
• End on a high note.

It’s important to remember that your application will be treated with the utmost respect and that you are heroic for overcoming obstacles that would have prevented most people from applying to medical school.  Congratulate yourself for making it to this point in your education!

It can be helpful to have another person review this essay to make sure that you have included all relevant information.  Be sure to include the details of the most significant obstacles that you have overcome to reach higher education.  The advantage of applying to medical school as a disadvantaged applicant is that most medical schools will not reject your application until it has been reviewed by at least one admissions officer.

If you’re unsure whether you should apply as a disadvantaged applicant or not, you are welcome to contact me for a free consultation.

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Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

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IV with a UC Berkeley Haas Admitted Student and 2013 MBA Launcher http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/13/uc-berkeley-haas-admitted-student-and-2013-mba-launcher/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/13/uc-berkeley-haas-admitted-student-and-2013-mba-launcher/#respond Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:22:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22046 ]]> Check out the rest of our MBA Applicant Interview series!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicants, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing Marisa who will be starting at UC Berkeley Haas in the fall.

Accepted: Let’s start with some basics: Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite non-school book?

Marisa: I’m from Santa Barbara, CA, but went to college at Northwestern University, where I majored in Middle East History and International Relations.  My favorite non-school book is “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini — he’s such a powerful storyteller.

Accepted: Congrats on your acceptance to Haas! How would you say that you’re a good fit with the program?

Marisa: Thank you!  I was really attracted to Haas’ four Defining Principles, but particularly “confidence without attitude.”  When I visited the school and spoke with both current and former students, I found this cultural attribute to be absolutely true — these people are rockstars, but they are humble about their accomplishments and eager to collaborate with others.  I think this phrase describes me pretty well.  I’m confident and ambitious but don’t like to be a jerk about it, and I certainly don’t believe that my success should come at the expense of someone else’s. Plus, I truly believe that humility is essential to good leadership, and I like how Haas emphasizes that as a key aspect of their culture.

Accepted: Which other b-schools had you considered?

Marisa: I applied to Stanford’s GSB in Round 1, and Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in Round 2 (but withdrew my application after being accepted to Haas).  I also strongly considered Northwestern’s Kellogg SOM but ultimately decided I did not want to return to Evanston.  I don’t like to repeat experiences, even though I’m sure Kellogg itself would have differed from undergrad.  Also, it’s freezing.  But we’ll pretend that wasn’t a serious factor…

Accepted: What are you most looking forward to in starting b-school in the fall?

Marisa: I’m most looking forward to meeting my classmates and hearing about their experiences and goals for the future.  I’m also looking forward to some of the experiential education opportunities at Haas, like the International Business Development course and Social Sector Solutions consultancy.  As a history major, I rarely had the opportunity to directly tie my classroom learning to practical applications, so I look forward to learning new material in class and then applying it on projects right away.

Accepted: You have a really interesting work history — currently at Deloitte and previously at the FBI. First, can you tell us about what you did at the FBI (if you’re allowed…), and then, how did that lead you to Deloitte, and where do see yourself working post-MBA?

Marisa: My work history sounds more interesting than it is!  I was a strategic intelligence analyst in the FBI’s counterterrorism division, where I basically conducted research and wrote papers (sounds like a history major, right?).  The intelligence products I wrote, and briefings that I gave to decisionmakers, theoretically helped guide investigations of terrorist activity.  I did have some cool experiences (briefed the Director a couple times and traveled internationally to brief some partner agencies), but ultimately I found the pace a little slow and the bureaucracy more than a little maddening.  I was also far from the action on the ground, so I didn’t feel like I was able to have a true impact in my role.  Ultimately, it just wasn’t the right fit.

I saw consulting as an opportunity to help organizations like my previous employer address the issues that get in the way of executing their missions effectively. So last January I joined Deloitte as a consultant in their Federal Practice here in DC, where I have been working with IC clients on things like strategic planning and business process improvement. I have also been heavily involved with the Federal Women’s Initiative (WIN), founding and leading the WIN Gen Y team focused on engaging and empowering junior women professionals in the Federal Practice. Deloitte is a great company and I’ve learned a ton, but I feel ready to take the next step in my career with an MBA.  Post-Haas, I see myself working in international development consulting, helping organizations create positive social and economic impacts in emerging markets (specifically, in the Middle East).

Accepted: Can you tell us about your experience as a 2013 MBA Launcher? And what about your experience with Forte? Are these programs that you’d recommend to other b-school applicants?

Marisa: I really enjoyed participating in the pilot Forte MBALaunch program.  For those who are unfamiliar, Forte Foundation established this program to help MBA-interested women navigate the application process, from identifying target schools to acing the GMAT to executing on essays and interviews.  In 2013, the program was launched in New York, DC, and Chicago and included an in-person kick-off event, monthly webinars, a personal advisor, placement in a peer group of other MBALaunch women, and attendance at a local Forte-sponsored MBA fair.

I found the monthly webinars, particularly the ones that forced me to really think about my “story” and how to present myself to the admissions committee, to be extremely helpful.  I don’t think I would have had quite the edge I needed without that guidance.  Plus, since the program started in January, it forced me to start thinking about the process very early, and then kept me on track for Round 1 submissions.

When I applied to the program, I was most excited about being paired with an advisor — a woman who had received her MBA and would help me through the application process.  However, I ended up finding the peer mentorship of my fellow MBALaunch women to be even more impactful.  My advisor provided some necessary tough love and advice — like insisting I consider retaking the GMAT when that was the last thing I wanted to do, which led me to improve my score by 30 points.  But my peer group provided me nearly constant support.  We shared resources, read each others’ essays, and advised one another when we ran into challenges.  In fact, even though the program has officially ended, we’re still getting together soon to help one of our members make her enrollment decision.

Overall, I had a really positive experience with MBALaunch and the awesome Forte women who run the program.  I hope to continue my involvement with Forte in the future.

Accepted: As someone who applied successfully to b-school, you must have some good tips to share. Can you offer 2-3 tips for our readers?

Marisa: Every applicant is different, but I can offer some general tips that worked for me:

1. Get beyond the rankings lists.  Really think about what you want, and what characteristics are important to you — class size, location, specific focus areas or experiences, recruitment relationships, etc.  It’s not as obvious as you’d think, so talk to those people in your life who know you best and can help you figure out what aspects of a program to prioritize.  And keep an open mind — your dream school might just surprise you.

2. Talk to current students at the schools you’re considering before you start your applications, especially if you’re unable to visit campus before applying.  Not only will this help you get a feel for a school’s culture and determine whether it’s a good prospect for you, but it will also help you target your essays and guide your recommenders in a way that demonstrates your fit with the school.  Speaking of guiding your recommenders…

3. Have candid conversations with your recommenders about why you’re applying to MBA programs, why you’re a fit with the schools you’ve chosen, and what questions they need to address in your recommendations.  I put together packets of logistical and background information for my recommenders, including deadlines, instructions, the specific questions (if available), and context on what I was hoping to get out of an MBA at each school.  Some recommenders will want you to write your own recommendations — resist the urge, and push back!  You can offer to provide as much or as little support they need in terms of brainstorming content and keeping them on track with deadlines, but ultimately the best recommendations are genuine.  If someone doesn’t want to write your rec themselves, they’re probably not the best person for the job.

4. Visit campuses in the spring before you apply!  I totally didn’t do this and wished I had, because many schools don’t open for tours prior to the R1 deadlines.

5. Be sure to take breaks to be with friends and talk about something — anything! — besides b-school.  When you’re head-down in applications with deadlines approaching, it’s tempting to shut everyone and everything out.  The whole process can become an obsession very quickly, so this is way easier said than done, but totally worth keeping in mind.

Join us live for "The Secret to MBA Acceptance"!

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What if Your Child is Rejected from Medical School? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/11/what-if-your-child-is-rejected-from-medical-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/11/what-if-your-child-is-rejected-from-medical-school/#respond Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:26:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22075 ]]> Download your free copy of A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs!

Each rejection from a medical school feels like a kick or a punch.

While we always hope for the best, sometimes life does not go as we expect.  If your child has received rejections from all of the medical schools that s/he has applied to, it may seem like the end of the world.  To help your future physician overcome this devastating experience, here are a few tips:

•  Give them some time

Our brains process rejection like physical injury.  Each rejection from a medical school feels like a kick or a punch.  Understanding the science behind rejection can help us to understand that what we’re feeling is normal and experienced by everyone in a similar situation.  Giving your pre-meds time to process the experience can be helpful.  Encourage them to be kind and gentle to themselves as they grieve this lost opportunity.

•  Be supportive

When they are ready to talk about their next move, encourage them to research alternative options.  There are lots of ways to turn a rejection into an acceptance.  When it’s time, you can help your premeds reevaluate their application or encourage them to seek the guidance of a professional consultant or mentor.  There are lots of options and lots of alternative paths to medical school!  Don’t hesitate to remind them of this fact.  Here are some alternative routes to consider:

1. Formal Postbac Programs

2. Informal postbac coursework

3. Special Master’s Programs

4. Working a year to gain clinical experience and then applying earlier or perhaps retaking the MCAT

•  Put it in perspective

It’s difficult to see the big picture when we’ve experienced a minor setback in our academic plan.  Remind your premeds that this will only be a hiccup in the timeline of their life, if they even remember it.  While it is a painful experience, they can develop the resilience to re-evaluate their application and reapply successfully the next time by addressing any weaknesses in their application.

While these tips may only help you manage the immediate crisis, if your premeds are reapplying to medical school, it will be critically important that they do make significant changes to their application the second time they apply.  Working with a medical school admissions consultant like those of us at Accepted.com can make a significant difference since many of us have spent years working in admissions and can provide lots of insight on the application process and the strategies required to be successful.

Download free: A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs!

Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

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How Does the Essay Affect Your SAT Score? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/10/how-does-the-essay-affect-your-sat-score/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/10/how-does-the-essay-affect-your-sat-score/#respond Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:47:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22043 ]]> Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

Love it or hate it, your essay will influence your SAT score.

Although the SAT essay is going to be optional before long (when the test changes in 2016), as of right now it’s a must. So, love it or hate it, your essay will influence your SAT score, and the admissions offices at the colleges you’ll apply to will see that score. So let’s answer one key question: how much does the SAT essay actually count for?

The Numbers

First, the essay is scored according to its own grading system. There will be two readers—real people, not a Scantron machine!—who read and judge your writing, each assigning a mark of zero to six. Zero is the worst (in case that wasn’t totally obvious), but it’s only used for the absolutely ungradable essays. If you write on a completely different topic than what’s assigned, for example, you will get a zero. That means no memorizing a fantastic essay ahead of time! You have to write on the topic they give you. You’d also get a zero if you wrote in another language, say, or simply put no clear thoughts on paper.

A six, on the other hand, is reserved for long, structured essays that are full of clear, concrete ideas, high-level vocabulary, and correct grammar. There’s a bit more to it, but that’s the gist.

After each reader goes through and marks your essay, the two scores will be added to give you a score of 0–12 (if you actually wrote anything remotely relevant, that’s 2–12).

Then that score, in turn, is added to the raw score from the Writing multiple-choice questions, since the essay is just a part of the Writing Section. The multiple-choice sections count for more points, altogether.

Then, once they have the raw total of your essay score and your multiple-choice score added up, they convert that score into the scaled, 200–800 score.

The Importance of the Essay

The scaled score is a little bit hard to explain—how it’s calculated, I mean—and it’s not worth really getting stuck talking about. All that matters is the zero to twelve score ends up affecting how many hundreds are in that scaled score. And I did say that the multiple-choice counts for more than the essay, but that doesn’t mean the essay isn’t important.

In truth, the SAT essay score counts for around 30% your total writing score—in the ballpark of 200 points, altogether. It’s not the only thing, but it’s a significant piece of the puzzle.

And what about those who say the essay doesn’t matter? Simply put, they’re usually wrong. Most schools were really skeptical of the Writing Section when this version of the SAT first debuted it back in 2005. And sure, some are still not totally signed on, but for the most part it does factor into your admissions. And 99% of the time, you’ll have no idea how much that lady who works in the admissions office cares about your Writing score—you’ll just have to trust that a high score is better than a low one.

And for that high score, you need to put some energy into preparing to write your essay!

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

Magoosh SAT This post was written by Lucas Fink, resident SAT expert at Magoosh. For more advice on SAT prep, check out Magoosh’s SAT blog.

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MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/10/mbas-across-america-entrepreneurs-with-a-heart/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/10/mbas-across-america-entrepreneurs-with-a-heart/#respond Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:14:51 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22050 ]]> Listen to the Show!

Casey Gerald

Listen to the Show!

Michael Baker

Michael Baker and Casey Gerald, CEO & CFO of MBAs Across America are making the American dream come true in towns and cities across the country.

Listen to the full recording of our conversation to learn about MBAxAmerica’s past experiences, plans for the future, and what these two Harvard MBAs have to say about their time at HBS.

00:02:20 – What day one looked like for the MBAxAmerica team.

00:06:54 – Can Harvard educated MBAs relate to the challenges of a mom and pop shop?

00:11:01 – The proof of the pudding: How many entrepreneurs actually implemented the advice.

00:12:58 – Where is MBAxAmerica going next?

00:14:35 – The criterion for choosing MBAs and entrepreneurs for next year’s trip.

00:18:13 – Will MBAxAmerica expand beyond the MBA and the USA?

00:25:10 – The benefits on the MBAxAmerica internship for non-entrepreneurs.

00:27:20 – Mike and Casey’s biggest Aha moments of last year’s trip.

00:31:32 – Best Harvard Business School moments.

00:35:45 – Advice for next year’s HBS applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

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

Relevant Links:

MBAs Across America
The Secret to MBA Acceptance Webinar
“M.B.A. Students Hit the Road to Help Small-Business Owners”
MBAXAmerica Application For MBAs
MBAXAmerica Application For entrepreneurs
From Psychology to the Media Industry, Strat and Harvard B-School

Related Shows:

•  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship (Last year’s interview)
•  5 Million to Share: The 43North Competition
•  Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng
•  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman
•  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC
•  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/10/mbas-across-america-entrepreneurs-with-a-heart/feed/ 0 Harvard Business School,podcast Michael Baker and Casey Gerald, CEO & CFO of MBAs Across America are making the American dream come true in towns and cities across the country. - Listen to the full recording of our conversation to learn about MBAxAmerica’s past experiences, Michael Baker and Casey Gerald, CEO & CFO of MBAs Across America are making the American dream come true in towns and cities across the country. Listen to the full recording of our conversation to learn about MBAxAmerica’s past experiences, plans for the future, and what these two Harvard MBAs have to say about their time at HBS. 00:02:20 – What day one looked like for the MBAxAmerica team. 00:06:54 – Can Harvard educated MBAs relate to the challenges of a mom and pop shop? 00:11:01 – The proof of the pudding: How many entrepreneurs actually implemented the advice. 00:12:58 – Where is MBAxAmerica going next? 00:14:35 – The criterion for choosing MBAs and entrepreneurs for next year’s trip. 00:18:13 – Will MBAxAmerica expand beyond the MBA and the USA? 00:25:10 – The benefits on the MBAxAmerica internship for non-entrepreneurs. 00:27:20 – Mike and Casey’s biggest Aha moments of last year’s trip. 00:31:32 – Best Harvard Business School moments. 00:35:45 – Advice for next year’s HBS applicants.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: • MBAs Across America • The Secret to MBA Acceptance Webinar • “M.B.A. Students Hit the Road to Help Small-Business Owners” • MBAXAmerica Application For MBAs • MBAXAmerica Application For entrepreneurs • From Psychology to the Media Industry, Strat and Harvard B-School Related Shows: •  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship (Last year's interview) •  5 Million to Share: The 43North Competition •  Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng •  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman •  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC •  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 43:37
Applying to Medical School: Selecting Extracurricular Activities http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/09/applying-to-medical-school-selecting-extracurricular-activities/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/09/applying-to-medical-school-selecting-extracurricular-activities/#respond Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:17:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21929 ]]> Download your free copy of Navigating the Med School Maze!

Look for activities that allow you to create more balance in your life.

When considering your long term goal of attending medical school, selecting extracurricular activities that will set your application apart can seem overwhelming.  This blog post will provide you with strategies for finding and selecting activities.  In choosing activities, it’s important to consider the following:

1. Do what you love.

It’s more interesting to see applicants who have a diverse variety of genuine interests rather than those who only participate in activities that will “look good” to medical schools.  If you are an artist, continue developing your skills as this may help you when you take anatomy or may result in you having the fine motor skills to perform surgeries.  You never know how your interests may guide the direction of your career in the future.

2. Look for activities that cover multiple areas.

It is important to have some leadership, clinical, and volunteer experience.  When looking at activities that you enjoy, be flexible and open to taking on roles that may combine more than one of these areas.  For example, some students volunteer at free clinics or health fairs; this combines volunteer and clinical work, as well as the possibility of leadership if they take on more responsibility with the organization over time.  The time they put into this activity benefits them three-fold.  Rather than running around and participating in three different activities, this is fantastic way to use their time to gain valuable life experience.

3. Manage your time, realistically.

Time is finite.  There are only 24 hours in a day so every choice we make (or don’t make) about how we spend it is important.  Look for activities that allow you to create more balance in your life.  Participating in inter-mural sports or exercising regularly can allow you to de-stress and also include teamwork in your activities section.  It may take some time to locate those activities that will relax you the most in the shortest amount of time possible, but you will be glad you did once you get into medical school and have less time to maintain the same level of balance.

While this advice sounds great in theory, you may be wondering how to apply it.  Start by making a list of the activities that you most enjoyed in the past.  Are there any that you would like to continue?  Are there any that also cover leadership, clinical, or volunteer work?  Here are some practical ways to find these activities:

•  Visit your pre-med advising office on campus.

Often, they will maintain a binder or list of activities that you can peruse for ideas.  Some schools even have a lottery for the most popular clinical activities in the area.

•  Search the web for a community service planning council or composite list of volunteer activities in the city or town where you live.

Some cities actually sell a directory of community services opportunities in the area, from working with children to assisting the elderly.  They often provide the most comprehensive perspective of what’s available and needed in your community.  Or you can stop by your local town hall or civic center to inquire in person.

•  Ask friends and family in the area.

Network by asking everyone that you know in the area about the activities you are interested in pursuing.  If you are new to the area, this can be a great strategy in establishing a strong network of support early in your education.

The more time that you spend deciding how you will use your time can ensure that you make the most of it.  Pursue your interests and continue to develop those skills that may benefit you in unexpected ways.  More outlets and support systems that you have in place will keep you grounded.  As you further your education, you can enrich your life as well as your AMCAS activities section by taking the time to make the conscious decision to participate in those activities that will bring you the greatest joy and nurture personal growth and development.

Create a Compelling AMCAS Application Webinar

Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

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Learn Key Secrets to MBA Admissions Success! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/08/learn-key-secrets-to-mba-admissions-success/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/08/learn-key-secrets-to-mba-admissions-success/#respond Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:47:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21985 ]]> Shh…I’d like to tell you a secret…

Wait – you didn’t think I’d give anything away here, did you? To learn the secret to choosing the best MBA programs for you (and gaining acceptance to them), I’d like to invite you to attend our upcoming webinar, The Secret to MBA Acceptance.

In this webinar we’ll cover some important topics, including the #1 secret to success – understanding WHO YOU ARE and how you can make the right decisions that will land you in the best MBA program FOR YOU to reach YOUR GOALS (okay, I gave away some of the secret).

Find out what you need to know to get admitted to business school!

Learn more at our webinar on Wednesday, April 30th, at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Register for The Secret to MBA Acceptance today to reserve your spot. The 1-hour webinar is free, but spaces are limited, so act now!

Learn How to Get Accepted to B-School!

Accepted.com

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Can I Use Humor In My Application Essays? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/08/can-i-use-humor-in-my-application-essays/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/08/can-i-use-humor-in-my-application-essays/#respond Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:15:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22027 ]]> Want to let your funny side show in your application essays? Here is what Linda Abraham has to say about humor in admissions:

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

Accepted.com

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The Story of an Aspiring Minority Doctor http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/07/the-story-of-an-aspiring-minority-doctor/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/07/the-story-of-an-aspiring-minority-doctor/#respond Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:42:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21891 ]]> Download Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for SuccessThis interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the med school application process. And now, introducing Danielle Ward…

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

Danielle: My name is Danielle Ward, and I was born in Germany. I grew up as an Army Brat, so I’m pretty much from everywhere! I graduated from Louisiana State University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (minor in chemistry). I also received a Master of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Saint Joseph in 2013.

I pretty much love every flavor of ice cream, but butter pecan never gets old. Cold Stone Creamery’s “Birthday Cake Remix” also holds a special place in my heart.

Accepted: Where will you be starting med school in the fall? How would you say you’re a good fit for that program?

Danielle: I will be attending Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – Georgia Campus. I believe that I am a good fit for the program because I have a very strong passion for learning, serving and helping others, and being a part of something greater than myself. I also really value the philosophy of osteopathic medicine, and I believe this program really fits my personality and will help me become the best possible physician that I know I am capable of being. Additionally, I love the south, so I am happy to be attending a school that allows me to be closer to family.

Accepted: What would you say was the most challenging aspect of the application process? How did you approach that challenge?

Danielle: For me, the most challenging part of the application process was overcoming both an extremely low undergraduate GPA and MCAT score. I had a great amount extracurricular activities, volunteering, clinical experiences, research, and work experience, but that means nothing to schools that screen based on numbers alone.

To approach my low undergraduate GPA, I enrolled in a hard science master’s degree program where I excelled. Some schools tend to weigh graduate courses or more advanced courses a lot more heavily, so I feel that this really helped me. I also spoke with admissions officers at a few schools and from their opinions, this was the best course of action for me to take.

I retook the MCAT four times, but was not able to obtain a high score despite studying extremely hard for the test. I think I may have burnt myself out in the process of studying, and this probably had a large effect on my performance. I was actually considering taking the test a fifth time right before I received my interview. I’m so glad that I no longer have to worry about it!

Accepted: Your blog focuses a lot on being a woman, a minority, and a single mom. How did those aspects of who you are play into your desire to be a doctor?

Danielle: I have wanted to be a physician since I was a young child, so I can’t say that any of the above mentioned aspects really played into this desire. After trying to find others like myself, I realized that I may be a bit of an anomaly going into the field of medicine, so I created my blog for those with similar circumstances to have something to relate to. The main focus of my blog is to document my journey, highlight minority women in medicine, and give helpful advice to pre-medical students.

Even though being a single mother has not influenced my desire to become a doctor, it does push me to work harder because I now have someone who looks up to me. I have to be the best role model for my child, and I can’t let her see me give up on my dreams. I want my child to know that with hard work and dedication, it is possible to achieve any goal.

Accepted: Related, how did those three things influence or affect the admissions process?

Danielle: Honestly, I do not think that being a woman or a minority had any influence on the admission process at all. I never mentioned being a minority in my medical school applications, and being a woman does not give anyone a heads up in admissions.

I do believe that managing to be a single mother while completing two degrees, working multiple jobs, and still being heavily involved in a variety of activities may have had the greatest influence. (Did I mention I was still able to graduate with my undergraduate class even after having a child sophomore year?) I believe it speaks volumes that I was able to accomplish so much all while raising a very small child. It shows that I am determined, efficient at managing my time, and able to make the best out of any given situation.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about your daughter? How excited is she that her mom is going to be a doctor?

Danielle: My daughter is 7 years old and pretty awesome! She keeps me busy with all her various activities, but there’s never a dull moment when she’s around. She’s really excited that I am going to be a doctor, and makes it a point to tell anyone who will listen whenever we go somewhere! LOL She’s also ready for the move to Georgia so that she can spend more time with her cousins who are all around the same age as her. I’m definitely glad that I’ll be attending medical school with her being a lot older, because I can only imagine how hard it would be to do it all with an infant/toddler.

Accepted: What type of doctor do you want to be? (I know that may change a million times, but what’s your guess?)

Danielle: I’ve done quite a bit of shadowing, and I am definitely interested in becoming a surgeon. I know many students tend to change their minds along the way, so I am keeping my options open as to what type of surgery I would like to pursue. I absolutely love being in the OR though, and I like being able to see immediate results after the work is finished.

Accepted: Can you share your top three application tips with our readers?

Danielle:

1. Don’t Get Discouraged!

I was not accepted into medical school until my third application cycle. If you get rejected the first time, don’t be afraid to contact the schools and find out ways in which you can improve your application. Also, do not compare yourself to others around you. When the time is right for you, everything will fall into place. Quite a few of my peers from undergrad have already graduated from medical school and it can be pretty discouraging to not be right there with them. Luckily, I kept pushing and I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep believing that you will reach your goals, and eventually you will.

2. Apply Early!

An early application can definitely make a difference in terms of getting an interview. By having all your materials ready to go when the application cycle opens, you will be able to receive and submit your secondary applications sooner. Having an interview date early in the application cycle also increases your chances of not being put on a waitlist. One month before the application opens, try to have your personal statement finished, letters of recommendation on hand, and a complete list of all your activities ready to go.

3. Enjoy the Journey!

Don’t get so caught up in trying to make a perfect application that you forget to have fun and enjoy yourself in the process. Take some time to do some of the things that you love and explore some new interests. Also, try not to rush the process. Once a physician, you will probably practice for 20-30 years, so don’t throw away some of the best years of your life. Work hard, but don’t forget to play hard as well.

You can read more about Danielle’s journey by checking out her blog, Aspiring Minority Doctor. Thank you Danielle for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Create a Compelling AMCAS Application Webinar

Accepted.com

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Cornell Johnson: A Visit http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/07/cornell-johnson-a-visit/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/07/cornell-johnson-a-visit/#respond Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:22:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=22002 ]]> Check out our Cornell Johnson B-School Zone!

Sage Hall at the Johnson School

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University . A few elements in my visit really stand out, and I want to share them with you.

Class visit I attended a Managing and Leading in Organizations class taught by Dr. Kathleen O’Connor. She led with wit and humor a lively case discussion on Lincoln Electric. The high level of engagement impressed me. I sat at the back of a theater style classroom so I had a great vantage point. No one was surfing the web, checking email, or visiting Facebook pages. All were focused on the discussion at hand, and the overwhelming majority seemed highly prepared to deal with the questions posed, whether they volunteered answers or were cold-called.

I was also impressed with Dr. O’Connor’s practical approach. She mentioned early in the class that one outcome must be learning something from Lincoln Electric’s success that could be applied by the MBA students in future work. My sense was that her orientation is not unique to her or this particular case.

I met with a first-year MBA student before the class, and he proudly told me that he has a summer internship lined up, and that it was exactly what he had hoped for. He seems very happy with his Cornell Johnson experience. After class, when I commented on the lack of electronics in the classroom, he explained that Johnson classrooms are electronics-free zones.  Wise policy.

Meeting I also met with Christine Sneva, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, and Ann Richards, Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Financial Aid Latin America, East & Southeast Asia. Here are a few highlights of our discussion.

Portfolio of programs We spoke about the portfolio of graduate business programs Johnson at Cornell University has developed over the last several years, focusing mostly on the MBA programs. It was clear from our discussion that the two-year program and the different one-year programs each fill different needs in the graduate management education marketplace. Ann and Christine spoke proudly of the May launch of Cornell Tech’s one-year MBA program in Manhattan and its digital focus. They acknowledged the broadening of the one-year Ithaca program from one geared to people with advanced degrees in science and technical fields to one for people with an expanded array of higher educational achievement including JD, CPA, and other masters and advanced degrees. Then of course there is the two-year Ithaca program geared towards those seeking a broader and more traditional MBA education. They also indicated that other options may be coming.

Entrepreneurship A big buzz word and focus in top business schools now is entrepreneurship. While entrepreneurship is great, and I know my MBA was critical to my launching Accepted, I also know that it is still a path pursued upon graduation by less than 5% of new MBAs.  I expressed a certain skepticism about the current entrepreneurial obsession and received two great responses: 1) Many MBAs start their own business further down the road so ultimately they will be business owners. 2) Entrepreneurship is state of mind, a willingness to take risks and start something new. This mindset is something that can be taught and is valuable for existing companies who want to grow and respond to a dynamic and fluid market place. Cornell, which has evinced its own entrepreneurial spirit with the growth of Cornell Tech and the expansion of its programs, is walking the walk and talking the talk. Ann and Christine also told me that Ithaca is growing as an entrepreneurial hub for a few reasons:

1. The University resources are right there.

2. Since the cost of living is low, it is more affordable to attempt a start-up.

3. New York State is giving major tax breaks to start-ups in Northern New York.

4. Quality of life is good.

I’m glad I was able to visit Johnson at Cornell University even briefly. It’s in a gorgeous part of the country and housed in a magnificent facility. Enjoying the surroundings is a bonus, but the real value lies in seeing a school close-up, talking to members of its community, and being able to add greater context and insight to information found online, in brochures, and even gleaned from conversations. There is simply nothing like a visit when you want to learn about a school.

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

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

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

Remember that a tight GRIP = a tight team

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

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

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

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

Download our special report- Leadership in Admissions

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

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Obtaining Graduate Assistantships http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/04/graduate-assistantships/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/04/graduate-assistantships/#respond Fri, 04 Apr 2014 14:50:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21974 ]]> @TNicole84 asks us for advice on obtaining graduate assistantships. Here’s information and a few application tips:

Check out our PhD Admissions 101 Page!

Need help funding your graduate education?

Assistantships are a way of funding your graduate education. They are more often awarded to PhD students than to master’s students (though a department may sometimes have funding available for exceptional master’s students). You may be awarded a Teaching Assistantship (meaning you help teach a class, teach a section of a larger class, teach a lab, or the like—responsibilities vary by institution); or a Research Assistantship (meaning you work with faculty to support their research—your responsibilities will depend on your field).

Most PhD programs will evaluate your application for funding (including assistantships, fellowships, etc) when they admit you, based on the same materials you submitted with your application for admission. Most universities also require that you file a financial aid application (including the FAFSA, if you are eligible for federal aid), so that they can also determine your financial need. Check the requirements for each university you’re applying to.

Some universities offer “named” fellowships/assistantships through campus research centers or interdisciplinary teaching centers—these programs are likely to have independent application processes. Research your options carefully and make sure you get all your application materials in on time.

If you’ve been admitted for a PhD and your department has not offered you funding (in the form of assistantships/fellowships), contact the department to ask whether students are able to apply for assistantships in other (allied) departments. For instance, the university might offer graduate teaching assistantships for interdisciplinary general education courses, and positions might become available late in the year. If you’re in English, perhaps the Composition department needs additional TAs. Find out what materials you need to submit (normally your CV, LORs, occasionally the application you submitted for admission).

If you’re applying for a TAship independently of your admission application, use your CV to highlight any previous teaching experience. In your cover letter, explain why pedagogy is important to you and why you see teaching as an important part of your academic training (and career). If you’re applying outside of your home department, make sure you can demonstrate you have the skills to do the job (for instance, if you’re an Applied Math student, can you also TA Physics? If you’re a Comparative Literature student, can you TA German?).

In addition, you can often supplement your primary funding with work as a grader or reader during exam periods.

Helpful resources on campus will include your home department, the office of graduate studies, and the financial aid office.

Good luck!

Check out our ebook, Financing Your Future. It is a comprehensive guide to graduate funding.

Download free: Plotting Your Way to a PhD

Rebecca Blustein By , Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Rebecca will be happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

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Insights of a Tennis Player Turned Kellogg MBA http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/04/insights-of-a-tennis-player-turned-kellogg-mba/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/04/insights-of-a-tennis-player-turned-kellogg-mba/#respond Fri, 04 Apr 2014 14:14:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21815 ]]> Check out the rest of our MBA Student Interview seriesThis 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…introducing Kate Ruckert, a first year student at Northwestern Kellogg.

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?

Kate: I grew up in Vienna, Virginia, a suburb just outside of Washington DC. I received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Texas-Austin. I majored in Government and I minored in German. I had a great experience at Texas both in the classroom and on the tennis court. I had some outstanding professors, in particular one of whom is considered an expert on the American Presidency. After graduation, I played professional tennis, competing on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour (WTA Tour). After playing on the tour, I decided that I wanted to pursue other opportunities, prompting me to get my MBA.

Accepted: Why are you pursuing an MBA at this stage of your career? What do you plan on doing post-MBA?

Kate: In order to maximize my opportunity to succeed in “traditional” business, I needed to get an MBA. Building a stronger understanding of business concepts would provide me tremendous value long term. I came to Kellogg with the expectation that I would focus on a career in marketing, with a particular concentration in sports. However, I determined that my strengths were actually better suited for a career in finance. I have enjoyed learning about the market and gaining a deeper perspective for capital budgeting decisions that firms make. I am looking forward to my summer internship as an investment banking associate at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York. Long term, I hope to have a successful career in investment banking.

Accepted: Can you tell us more about your tennis experience? What’s it like to pursue an MBA and a life in the business world alongside your involvement in the WTA?

Kate: Ever since I was young, I wanted to be a professional tennis player. To put so much into a dream and then actually see that dream become a reality was incredibly rewarding to me. I loved the competition, the training, the fitness and of course winning. I think tennis helped me to develop the skills that will serve me throughout my life. From tennis, I gained tenacity, developed a strong work ethic and an inner drive that has helped me flourish at Kellogg.

Accepted: How’s Kellogg going so far? What’s your favorite thing about the program? Least favorite?

Kate: I have loved my experience at Kellogg. I was excited and proud to have been accepted into the Kellogg program. The actual experience is even better than I expected. There are several things that distinguish Kellogg from other business schools, but the primary one is the people. Kellogg students are incredibly collaborative. They really want to help each other be successful. Kellogg students view each other as assets and they are truly interested in learning from one another. As a result my understanding both inside and outside of the classroom has increased tremendously. I came to Kellogg with no formal business training and I have developed a new lens in which to view the world. In addition, I would say one added benefit of pursuing finance at Kellogg is having the opportunity to work with some outstanding finance professors who are genuinely committed to students’ development.

My least favorite aspect of the program related to me and my lack of experience because in some classes they assume a certain level of expertise which I did not have and had to learn. Consequently, in the first quarter I spent a large amount of time learning the basic concepts and terminology and as a result, probably could not be as engaged as others. Now having spent the time to learn the terminology and the concepts, I have become a better participant in the learning experience.

Accepted: Can you recommend a nice coffee shop on or near campus, a good place to study or hang out with friends?

Kate: I actually find that most people tend to study at the Jake (Jacobs Center). I would also recommend studying at the Starbucks in downtown Evanston. It is one of the nicest Starbucks I have ever been to and it is usually fairly full of students busy studying. I would also suggest Pete’s Coffee and Tea for some studying.

In terms of hanging out, I think a lot of people enjoy going to BAT-17, it is a local restaurant/bar that has really great sandwiches and salads. In my second year, I hope to have a little more free time to explore Chicago.

Accepted: What are your top three tips for MBA applicants?

Kate:

1) Be yourself. I think that this is one of the most underappreciated areas for prospective students. Be genuine and don’t be afraid of enthusiasm. I think that admissions teams are looking for bright students who are passionate and the best way to convey that is to let your personality shine through.

2) Talk to students at each of the schools you are applying to. I contacted the Women’s Business Association at every school I applied to and spoke with a female student about her experience in the program. I find that students give the most honest practical advice to prospective students. They are a great resource in understanding the culture of the school and how you might fit into the environment.

3) Research the programs you are applying to and see how those programs fit into your future goals.

In closing, I would advise any applicant to realize the incredible opportunity the MBA program affords, opportunities that most people will never get to experience. While the admissions process is difficult, there will be a tremendous sense of appreciation and pride once you are enrolled in the program.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages. For specific advice on how to create the best application for Kellogg see:

•  Kellogg 2014 MBA Essay Questions & Tips

•  2013 Kellogg Executive MBA Admissions Tips

Thank you Kate for sharing your story with us!

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GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/03/gmat-gre-sat-and-all-things-test-prep/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/03/gmat-gre-sat-and-all-things-test-prep/#respond Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:39:11 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21977 ]]> Bhavin-1-closeup-500x500GMAT, GRE, SAT… If one of these tests graces your future, tune in to our interview with Bhavin Parikh, CEO and founder of Magoosh, the leading online test prep company.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Bhavin for great test prep advice and the lowdown on Magoosh.

00:02:17 – The story behind Magoosh and a word about it’s future.

00:04:10 – Why Bhavin is on a “mission to change the way people learn.”

00:06:09 – More effective than traditional test-prep: How do you know?

00:07:44 – What makes Magoosh different.

00:11:39 – The risks of self-study (Magoosh is like a gym membership).

00:14:24 – Best GMAT (and GRE) prep tips.

00:18:29 – The million dollar question: GMAT or GRE?

00:22:15 – SAT changes ahead.

00:25:43 – The Hansoo Lee Fellowship for Haas entrepreneurs.

00:27:58 – Bhavin’s stand on the debate about the value of the MBA to entrepreneurs.

00:30:18 – Last pieces of advice for applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

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

Relevant Links:

•  Magoosh
•  Should You Retake the GMAT?
•  How to Put Your Best Foot Forward on Test Day 
•  The Hansoo Lee Fellowship
•  7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application

Related Shows:

•  Interview with Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT
•  Linda Abraham on Overcoming Weaknesses
•  MBA Admissions According to an Expert
•  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/03/gmat-gre-sat-and-all-things-test-prep/feed/ 0 GMAT,GRE,Magoosh,SAT,UC Berkeley Haas GMAT, GRE, SAT… If one of these tests graces your future, tune in to our interview with Bhavin Parikh, CEO and founder of Magoosh, the leading online test prep company. - Listen to the recording of our conversation with Bhavin for great test prep ad... GMAT, GRE, SAT… If one of these tests graces your future, tune in to our interview with Bhavin Parikh, CEO and founder of Magoosh, the leading online test prep company. Listen to the recording of our conversation with Bhavin for great test prep advice and the lowdown on Magoosh. 00:02:17 – The story behind Magoosh and a word about it’s future. 00:04:10 – Why Bhavin is on a “mission to change the way people learn.” 00:06:09 – More effective than traditional test-prep: How do you know? 00:07:44 – What makes Magoosh different. 00:11:39 – The risks of self-study (Magoosh is like a gym membership). 00:14:24 – Best GMAT (and GRE) prep tips. 00:18:29 – The million dollar question: GMAT or GRE? 00:22:15 – SAT changes ahead. 00:25:43 – The Hansoo Lee Fellowship for Haas entrepreneurs. 00:27:58 – Bhavin’s stand on the debate about the value of the MBA to entrepreneurs. 00:30:18 – Last pieces of advice for applicants.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  Magoosh •  Should You Retake the GMAT? •  How to Put Your Best Foot Forward on Test Day  •  The Hansoo Lee Fellowship •  7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application Related Shows: •  Interview with Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT •  Linda Abraham on Overcoming Weaknesses •  MBA Admissions According to an Expert •  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 32:24
Is it Worth it to Get an MBA? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/03/is-it-worth-it-to-get-an-mba/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/03/is-it-worth-it-to-get-an-mba/#respond Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:12:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21810 ]]> Check out our MBA Admissions 101 pages!

Does an MBA Pay?

Ah, an age old question. Let’s dive right in!

Forbes reports on a recent 2010 peer-reviewed study that was published in the Journal of Education for Business in which 550 MBA alumni were surveyed and survey data relating to pre-MBA pay, post-MBA starting salaries, and five years post-graduation salaries.

To make this research relevant to most prospective MBA students, this study is based on salary data from a high-quality business school that typically is ranked in the Forbes Top 50 but is not one of the most elite schools, such as Harvard or Stanford. For salary data on all of the Forbes Top 50 business schools, see the 2013 Forbes business school ranking.

Here are some highlights from the study:

• For full-time MBAs, post-MBA starting salaries increased by 50% compared to pre-MBA salaries. This is virtually unchanged from the 50-60% increase in 1994 and the 51% increase in 1997.

• The five-year post-MBA salary increase for full-time MBA grads was up 80% over the post-MBA starting salaries. Again, there was no significant change in this figure compared to previous years.

• For part-time MBAs, the post- over pre-MBA salary increase was 41%.

• The five-year salary increase for part-time MBAs was 56%.

• The report found little connection between the number of years of pre-MBA work experience and the five-year post-MBA salaries.

• For starting salaries, there was a $2,822 pay increase for each year of pre-MBA work experience – this isn’t very significant.

• Starting salaries were about $1,000 higher for finance majors than for marketing majors, but by the end of the five year post-MBA period, those salaries were identical.

• Women earned about 87% of what men earned for post-MBA starting pay. Five years later, they were earning 88% of what men were making. This is true across all disciplines other than finance and marketing. In finance, women earned about 90% of what men earned straight out of b-school, but five years later were earning only 70%. In marketing, both straight out of b-school and five years later, men and women were earning about the same amount.

• The report found no connection between an MBA’s GMAT score and his or her post-MBA salary.

• 94% of MBAs surveyed answered “yes” to the question: “If you had it to do over again, would you still go for an MBA degree?” In 1992, only 92% responded “yes” to that same question.

According to these numbers, there are substantial pay increases post-MBA, particularly five years later. (The Forbes article points to its 2013 Forbes business school ranking for further confirmation, reporting that almost all of the Top 50 programs illustrate an investment payback period of less than five years.)

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Prepare to Submit Your AMCAS Application Early! [Short Video] http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/02/prepare-to-submit-your-application-application-early-short-video/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/02/prepare-to-submit-your-application-application-early-short-video/#respond Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:52:34 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21961 ]]> Find out what you can do right now so you will be ready when the AMCAS application opens in June:

Learn the secret to create an AMCAS application that will get you accepted!

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How to Find the Ideal Internship http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/02/how-to-find-the-ideal-internship/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/02/how-to-find-the-ideal-internship/#respond Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:10:06 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21904 ]]> Guest post by Seven Ma, MBA Student at Duke Fuqua in its Health Sector Management Program.

Check out our MBA Goals 101 page!

Understand Your Goals

Most full time MBA students choose to do at least one internship during the summer between their 1st and 2nd years. It’s a great opportunity to apply what we’ve learned in class, rapidly build a professional network in the firm, experience what is going on in the industry, and may even lead to a full time offer. But how does one begin the searching process and find the ideal internship?

1) Talk to a lot of people

The first thing to do is to talk to people who either interned or worked for the firms or industries you’re targeting. It’s okay to not have a specific industry target, and that’s why this is a process that should begin as early as possible. I’d even argue that this should happen even before or during the MBA application process. It’s the easiest, and arguably the most efficient way, to learn about a future job role without actually taking the position. These are also called informational interviews, and offer fantastic insight on what it’s like to work in specific industries or functions.

Where does one start? An effective channel is with alumni. LinkedIn makes this very easy. Do an advanced search and put in some search criteria (company, geography, industry) and also input a school you went to. You’ll be able to create a spreadsheet fairly quickly.

2) Know what companies recruit MBAs for

Companies who recruit on campus at MBA programs are looking for specific roles to fill. It’s important to figure out what these roles are and think about which ones, if any, would be helpful for your future goals. This was something I did not do well initially. In retrospect, I should’ve explored marketing in pharma sooner.  When I started recruiting, I only knew that I wanted to work in pharma but did not know exactly which role would be the most interesting to me.

I should’ve taken time during the spring or summer before the MBA program to figure this out. That way, during on campus corporate presentations and networking events I can dig deeper in the firm’s culture and build more meaningful relationships with recruiters. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the first term of the MBA as classes and recruiting for the summer happen together. Having a targeted approach and head start in the process will be helpful.

3) Be open, and understand your goals

In the recruiting process, it’s important to think about the customer. In this case, it’s the hiring firm. An applicant has to clearly articulate how past experiences are relevant to a future position. To do this, the applicant must first understand what his or hers goals are in order to figure out the translatable skills and experiences.

One tip I have is to be as open as possible. This means to approach this process as a way to learn more about oneself. At Duke Fuqua, we had “Day in Consulting”, “Day in Finance”, and “Day in Marketing” for new first-year MBA students to do just that. However, it’s up to the student to take advantage of these opportunities through being introspective and inquisitive. This is again something that can happen before the MBA. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities in industry conferences, Meetups, and several ways to network with folks in your industries or functions of interest.

4) Keep talking to people

Because the first point is so important, I want to repeat it again here. There is no substitute to engaging in conversation with people. I found that this is a great way to test your assumptions and also learn unexpected things about a role or company. The recruiting process is ultimately about finding the right fit between a firm’s culture and the applicant. Talking to people in these firms is often the only way to know what it’s like on the inside, short of actually having worked there. On my blog, I review a lot of books about biopharma companies and enjoy reading them, but they are no substitute to talking to actual people.

Download our free special report, Why MBA, to learn how you can best answer the popular "Why MBA?" application essay question.

Steven_MaSteven Ma is an MBA student at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (’15). He has a background in the life sciences and is passionate about innovation in health care. The Duke MBA and its Health Sector Management Program has been a critical part in Steven’s transition into business and he enjoys sharing his experiences. Visit his blog, From Bench to Board.

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The HBS Round 3 Deadline is Coming Right Up! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/01/the-hbs-round-3-deadline-is-coming-right-up/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/01/the-hbs-round-3-deadline-is-coming-right-up/#respond Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:23:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21952 ]]> For all of you who are wondering if there is one last thing you can do to improve your Harvard Business School application before you hit submit, the answer is YES!

Take an hour and watch the recording of our popular webinar, The Accepted Guide to Getting into Harvard Business School

Learn the four key principles to gaining acceptance to HBS and make sure you’ve incorporated them in your application.

Watch The Accepted Guide to Getting into Harvard Business School!

Good luck completing your application and let us know if you have any questions.

Watch the Accepted Guide to Getting into Harvard Business School!
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Choosing Among Multiple Offers http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/01/choosing-among-multiple-offers/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/01/choosing-among-multiple-offers/#respond Tue, 01 Apr 2014 14:48:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21922 ]]> Preparing to apply for a PhD? Check out our PhD Admissions 101 Page.

Which program most closely matches your interests?

Whether you’re applying for a Master’s or a PhD, entering April with multiple offers in hand is a terrific position to be in. Now you need to evaluate which program is the very best one for your needs. Here are some important things to think about as you make your choice:

Location: Can you see yourself living in the city/region where the university is located—either for 1-2 years for a master’s, or up to 6 (or more) for a PhD? Do you have family or friends in the area where the school is located? Do you have a spouse who will need to find work in the area? Consider the practical and emotional aspects of choosing a place to live.

Reputation: Is one of the departments a better match in terms of its reputation in your field of interest? (Note: this doesn’t necessarily correspond with rankings!)

Fit: Go back to the notes you made when you were selecting schools to apply to. (If you didn’t make careful notes then, now’s the time.) Which program has the best opportunities for you, in terms of curriculum, research opportunities, etc? Which program most closely matches your interests?

Research: This applies mainly to PhD students. Who will be your research supervisor? Have you had the chance to meet or correspond with potential supervisors at the programs you’re choosing from (or their current students)? Your undergraduate adviser is also a helpful resource, if s/he knows the field well. You want to do your best to choose a program where you will have great mentoring and research supervision.

Funding: This is of more significance for PhD students, since PhD programs are often fully funded, while fewer MA/MS programs offer funding. Which program offered you the best/most attractive funding package? How do the packages compare in terms of their composition (fellowships vs assistantships)? How many years is funding guaranteed for, and is summer funding available?

Cost of living: Related to both funding and location is the cost of living. In some parts of the country, a graduate stipend might be plenty to live on, while in very expensive markets, you may need to consider loans (or additional employment) to cover living expenses.

Evaluating multiple attractive offers is an enviable position to be in! We wish you the best as you make your choice.

Choosing_a_PhD_program

Rebecca Blustein By , Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Rebecca will be happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

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Study Skills: How to Improve your GPA to Become a More Competitive Med School Applicant http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/01/study-skills-how-to-improve-your-gpa-to-become-a-more-competitive-med-school-applicant/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/04/01/study-skills-how-to-improve-your-gpa-to-become-a-more-competitive-med-school-applicant/#respond Tue, 01 Apr 2014 14:16:58 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21790 ]]> Get Advice for Dealing with a Low MCAT or GPA

Who doesn’t want more free time?

As an aspiring doctor, you have a lot on your plate.  This blog post is designed to help you get the most out of your study time.  Being more efficient about how you study will save you time, help you improve your grades and allow you to establish the study skills that will see you through medical school.  These strategies can make a major difference!

Have you tried…

•  Reviewing notes as soon as you can?

To save yourself the time and effort required to “relearn” material, review notes from lecture as soon as you can—ideally within hours after class.  The sooner you review them, the more you will remember and the less time that you will have to spend later relearning information that you could simply be reinforcing.

•  Identifying your learning style?

Most people are auditory, kinesthetic or visual learners.  There are hundreds of free tests available online to help you identify your primary learning style(s).  Knowing how you learn best can help you save a lot of time—especially as you refine your approach.  As a visual learner, I know re-copying my notes, using different colors for different topics, and re-organizing material into flashcards, concept maps, or other visual formats will help me learn the information more quickly.  Different subjects will require flexibility in adapting your strategy.

•  Attending all office hours?

Some of the most effective study approaches that students have told me about were suggested to them by professors and TA’s.  Going to office hours can give you the chance to ask your instructors about the best way to study their subject material.  Since they are the experts in their subject, they would know!  Also, you can use this time to cover the material that you have questions about or that you have difficulty understanding.  If you feel like you already have it all covered, that means you’re not studying enough or familiar enough with the material to accurately “self-evaluate” your knowledge of it.  Back to the books!  Preparing these questions for your instructors on a weekly basis will help you better prepare for the exams.

•  Creating practice tests to identify gaps in your knowledge?

Current research in educational psychology suggests that the best way to prepare for exams is by using practice tests.  This allows you to simulate the method of evaluation being used to test your knowledge.  Also, creating practice exams with and for friends, forces you to think like the professor.  In examining the class material from this perspective, it may become easier for you to predict how and what you will be tested on.  Most importantly, you will be able to identify what you do and don’t know.  Focus your time and energy on learning the material that you don’t know.  It’s too easy and comfortable to focus on that which we do.

Hopefully, you’ve learned some new ways to approach studying.  Since we are all such unique learners, one method or approach will not work for everyone.  It’s important to test as many approaches as possible to figure out what works and what doesn’t.  The more time that you spend refining your study strategies can actually decrease the amount of time you actually spend studying.  Who doesn’t want more free time?

Download your free special report: Medical School Reapplicant Advice - 6 Tips for Success

Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

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9 Fun Facts about the GMAT http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/31/9-fun-facts-about-the-gmat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/31/9-fun-facts-about-the-gmat/#respond Mon, 31 Mar 2014 23:25:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21834 ]]> Check out our GMAT 101 Page!

Happy 60th Birthday GMAC!

To celebrate GMAC’s 60th birthday, we’ve compiled the following fun GMAT facts from the GMAC site:

1. In 1953, nine b-schools met with ETS to create what would later become the GMAT. Those schools were Harvard, Rutgers, Columbia, Northwestern, Chicago, Seton Hall, Michigan, Washington University (St. Louis), and University of Pennsylvania.

2. Pre-1976 the GMAT was known as the Admission Test for Graduate Study in Business (ATGSB).

3. The question formats on the 1954 exam were Best Arguments, Quantitative Reading, Verbal Omnibus (Sentence Completion, analogies, Antonyms), and Quantitative Reasoning (Problem Solving, Data Interpretation). On today’s exam we have Integrated Reasoning, Verbal (Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction), and Quantitative (Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency). As you can see, Problem Solving is the only question format present on today’s exam that was also used on the original test.

4. In 1997 the GMAT exam became computerized.

5. The GMAT was the first standardized test to use palm vein readers – this analyzes specific hand vein patterns of users to ensure security and catch proxy test takers. This was introduced in 2008 and 2009.

6. The first five countries to offer the GMAT (which was then the ATGSB) were the U.S., Canada, England, France, and India.

7. The exam was offered in Hawaii five years before Hawaii became a state.

8. The GMAT is currently available in 113 countries – on every continent except Antarctica.

9. The Official Guide for GMAT Review was introduced in 1978. It’s now in its 13th edition.

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Hospitals are Like Airports: Interview with an Admitted Med Student http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/31/hospitals-are-like-airports-interview-with-an-admitted-med-student/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/31/hospitals-are-like-airports-interview-with-an-admitted-med-student/#respond Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:18:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21612 ]]> Check out the rest of our Med School Applicant Blogger Interview Series!

“Some of my greatest risks have led to my greatest rewards”

This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the med school application process. And now, introducing Alex Yu…

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

Alex: I’m originally from Florence, Alabama and currently live in Memphis, Tennessee where I completed my undergraduate studies at Rhodes College. While I mainly studied and received my degree in biological sciences, our strong liberal arts background allowed me to explore many other interests such as fiction writing, poetry, painting, as well as Greek and Roman studies.

As to the question of my favorite non-school book, this is a bit hard to answer seeing that I really enjoyed much of what I read during my time at Rhodes. I do not have one single favorite novel or author, but I can say that I really enjoy southern literature. William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Flannery O’Connor are just a few of my favorite southern authors. I’m currently reading the newest novel by Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch, and look forward to reading George Saunders’ newest collection of short stories, Tenth of December.

Accepted: Where will you be attending medical school? Will you be going straight to med school from college, or did you have time off in-between? If there was time in-between, how did you spend that time?

Alex: After a long application season, I’ve decided that I will be attending ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, located in Johnson City, Tennessee. I will be moving from one corner of the state to the other, and it is definitely going to be a big change, but one that I am excited about!

I graduated last May, so I will not be starting directly out of undergrad. After an unsuccessful first cycle, I spent much of the summer after graduation preparing to reapply while also shadowing physicians and continuing work on a research project, a project that eventually brought me to Boston to present my work at the conjoint meeting of the International Federation of Fertility Societies and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Since then, I’ve been working at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in a biochemistry lab.

I am currently wrapping everything up since I will be moving in the coming weeks! I hope to spend the rest of the time I have before school starts finishing up the books I want to read, spending time with family, and maybe traveling a bit.

Accepted: What are you most and least looking forward to about starting medical school?

Alex: I think I am most looking forward to starting this new chapter in my life. I am essentially leaving behind the life I built for myself here in Memphis, and it’s a huge risk; however, I have often experienced that some of my greatest risks have led to my greatest rewards. Leaving home and choosing a college where none of my friends were going was a big risk for me after high school, but I was able to accomplish so much and meet so many amazing individuals during my time here, that I have never regretted that decision.

Just as with my experience in leaving for college, I feel that I will be really happy with my decision in choosing my medical school. In terms of what I am least looking forward to, I would have to say the workload. It is definitely going to take a while to jump back into the swing of things; however, I always like a challenge, and a challenge I shall receive!

Accepted: How many medical schools did you apply to? Do you have any tips for our readers on how to choose the right schools and the right number of schools to apply to?

Alex: I applied to six schools this year: four allopathic programs and two osteopathic programs. I think the most important thing to consider when applying is your state residency. Applying to out-of-state, state-funded programs can be futile unless you are highly competitive, and most programs will give you a fair warning if/when you receive a secondary application. You will be paying quite a bit of money when you initially submit your AMCAS, and you will need to evaluate whether or not it is worth it to pay the additional secondary fees. If you apply to private programs outside of your state, then you have just as good a chance as anyone else; however, you should keep in mind that some of the most applied to programs in the United States are private, and you will be competing with a much larger applicant pool. For osteopathic programs, most are private and state residency status will not matter, unless that particular program is state-funded.

My best advice is to make sure you do your research before adding schools to your tab. Evaluate yourself and your chances based on published entering class profiles, and make sure you only apply to schools you would be happy to attend.

As for how many to choose, I would say no less than four. There are some students who apply to ten or more and only get into one program or not at all. You will want to maximize your chances and potentially give yourself options should you be accepted to more than one program.

Accepted: Can you share a few more admissions tips with our readers?

Alex:

On the MCAT…

The MCAT was my greatest adversary throughout the entire application process. For some, standardized testing comes naturally and unfortunately I am not one of those people. I took a prep course and racked up over 75 hours of testing, and yet I still was not reaching a score I desired. I began to feel inadequate and hopeless that I would ever see my dreams come to fruition because of a single test. Do not let this test make you doubt yourself or your dreams. Everyone’s preparation is a little different for the MCAT, and you will have to figure out what works for you. The key is to never give up.

On Interviews…

When you are invited for an interview, remember this one thing: relax and be yourself. You have already proven yourself on paper and now they want to meet you in person. The main goal of the interview is to see whether or not you are a good fit for their program, as well as make sure you contain the personal qualities necessary for becoming physician. You will want to be as genuine and sincere as possible; therefore, try not to have everything you want to say rehearsed.

It is important to have a well-formulated answer to the famous “Why Medicine?” question, as this will most likely be a standard in every interview you attend. You will also want to have a general path to follow when asked, “So tell me a little bit about yourself?” This question is tough because you will question how much you should tell, and whether it should be about your accomplishments or you personally. I would suggest having a one to two minute answer that combines everything. My answer generally involved where I was from, a few details about how I grew up in a multicultural household, my favorite food, hobbies, and then I would wrap up with describing my current research projects and recent developments that were not on my application. This allows your interviewer a few areas from which to jump off.

Also, do not be afraid to talk about any personal hardships you may have overcome in the past. This can be a good area to display empathy towards others, which is an incredibly important trait to have as a physician.

On Distinguishing Yourself in Your Application…

The best way to distinguish yourself from other applicants simply comes down to being yourself, both in the interview and in your personal statement. Remember that the committee and the interviewers will have a copy of your application and all of your extra-curricular activities, so do not go on discussing details about those things in your personal statement or in your interview, unless of course you are asked about a particular experience. Take that time and that precious amount of characters to the story of you.

This sounds abstract and a bit difficult, and it is. The key is to leave an impression of uniqueness. Despite the fact that we all have the same general list of experiences, we are all unique in our own personal way, and we all interpret and respond to those experiences differently from anyone else. They will be looking for your voice in the crowd. All you have to do is let them hear it.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? How have you benefited from the blogging experience?

Alex: Of course! My blog is titled This Medical Life: A Journey in Healthcare. I have only had this blog for a few months, and it is a graduation from my previous blog which chronicled my pre-med journey and undergraduate years. I do not have a specific target audience. Obviously I will probably have a larger pre-medical/medical student viewer base, but I want to have content that applies to everyone.

The most attractive thing about healthcare to me is that it is a common part of the human experience. Hospitals are like airports in that you have so many different people from different walks of life in one building with a common goal. Everyone becomes connected and a part of each other’s stories, and I think there’s something uniquely special about that.

With This Medical Life, I want to explore these stories, and not just through my own personal experiences, but through other people’s experiences. I plan to do this in a variety of different mediums be it artwork, photography, poetry, fiction, or journalism. I want to create content that applies to everyone.

I do plan on providing advice and tips to pre-med students, but what I want readers to realize is that I am more than just my student archetype. I am a person outside of my profession and I want my content to reflect this. I feel that my blogging experience has really helped me find my voice and sort through my ideas about how I see healthcare and what type of physician I want to be. I find writing in general to be therapeutic because it allows me to put what I may be feeling at the moment on something tangible, something that can be manipulated, so that I can really grasp and come to terms with what might be bothering me on any given day. I think being able to think in this manner and sort through these ideas was very valuable when it came time to write my personal statement and attend interviews.

You can read more about Alex’s med school journey by checking out his blog, This Medical Life: A Journey in Healthcare. Thank you Alex for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Download our special report: Navigate the Med School Maze

Accepted.com

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

With the new refinancing program, borrowers will receive:

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

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

•  Personalized service from the CommonBond team.

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

CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Accepted.com

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GRE vs GMAT [Infographic!] http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/30/gre-vs-gmat-infographic/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/30/gre-vs-gmat-infographic/#respond Sun, 30 Mar 2014 14:12:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21784 ]]> Magoosh just released an excellent new GRE vs. GMAT Infographic that presents a side-by-side comparison of the GRE and the GMAT. Check it out, share it, and decide which test is right for your b-school applications!

Magoosh GRE vs GMAT Infographic

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PhD Waitlist — Is There Anything You Can Do? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/28/phd-waitlist-is-there-anything-you-can-do/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/28/phd-waitlist-is-there-anything-you-can-do/#respond Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:38:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21854 ]]> 6 tips for waitlisted applicants

A frustrating place to be!

@JoifulJoi posted the question on Twitter that inspired this post. Thanks for the great question and congrats on the interview invitation.

Anyone who’s been on one can tell you that the waitlist can be a frustrating place to be! On the other hand, the fact that the committee has waitlisted you shows that you’re very close to the top of their rankings. If you’ve been waitlisted by a PhD program, what should you know, and what can you do?

The short answer is: not very much, other than be patient. But there are some important things to consider and be aware of.

Do you want to stay on a PhD waitlist?

First, consider whether you want to stay on the waitlist. Do you have other offers? Is this your top choice school? Is it the only school you were waitlisted at (with rejections everywhere else)? If you definitely want to stay on the waitlist, look carefully at the correspondence you received from the program and see whether there’s anything you need to do or to let them know: do you need to confirm you want to remain on the waitlist? If so, you can take that as an opportunity to briefly affirm your interest in their program. Most PhD programs aren’t interested in having a lot of contact from you, and you don’t want to turn them off—so don’t send them unsolicited materials. (Conversely, if they ask for updates, by all means supply them!)

The PhD Notification Timeline

Second, understand the timeline you’re dealing with. For most US PhD programs, April 15 is their notification/enrollment date. Schools require a commitment from admitted students by the April 15 deadline, in order to fill their classes by that date. If there’s movement off the waitlist, you can expect to hear something as April 15 approaches (and even slightly afterward).

If you’ve received notification that you’re on a waitlist, you’re dealing with a program that is at least being transparent about its waitlisting procedures. You could be on a waitlist and not even know it. Most programs start letting admitted (and rejected) students know their status in late February or early March—but as I said, the process lasts until mid-April. Many schools will rank candidates below their “admit” list, but not send a notification unless a space opens up—in other words, you might not hear anything at all from the school until they determine, in April, whether they have space for you. (Talk about frustrating!) Schools that do this will send their final rejection notifications in April, too.

If you’re on the waitlist and you haven’t heard anything as April 15 approaches, you can consider contacting the admissions chair to ask what your rank is on the waitlist—that will give you a clearer picture of whether you have a realistic chance.

Financial Implications of the PhD waitlist

Third, consider whether there would be any financial aid/funding implications to being admitted to a program late (if you do decide to remain on the waitlist and are admitted). Some programs may have distributed all of their fellowship funds early, to students at the top of their list.

Unfortunately, the waitlist does involve some patience—but the fact that you’re waitlisted at a very competitive program does mean that your application is strong. Good luck!

Download free: Plotting Your Way to a PhD

Rebecca Blustein By , Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Rebecca will be happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

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Show Me The Money http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/28/show-me-the-money/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/28/show-me-the-money/#respond Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:41:11 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21839 ]]> You may get accepted. You may get rejected. Either way, you need to answer one question: "Now what?"

I’ll give you a little advice…everything is negotiable.

On a day like today, I’m doing my happy dance.  My MBA clients have been contacting me with good news from the schools to which they applied.  Several of them have multiple offers with scholarships attached, which immediately present the question:  Can they negotiate their scholarship offers?

Since most of you have yet to take your MBA negotiations class, I’ll give you a little advice…everything is negotiable.  You have an offer of admission and unless you did something egregious that the schools discover in their background research, the school will not take that offer away from you.  In fact, the schools want you to come to their programs so much that they’ve offered you scholarships, tuition discounts, or graduate assistantships to entice you away from other schools.  You are in the power position, but you have limited time to act.

If you have multiple scholarship offers, you have even more power.  So play the schools off each other.  You will need to provide proof of funding and develop a clear statement of what it would take to have you deposit and attend that school.  If school A matches school B’s offer, go back to school B and ask for more.  Many schools have some wiggle room with scholarship offers.  And the worst-case scenario is that school A will say “no” to your request and then there is no harm and no foul.

Caution: While you may be in the power position, remain likeable, respectful and courteous. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by coming off as arrogant.  And if you have deposited at a school, you have diminished your position of power.

If you need additional consultation on this matter, we are available to help you construct the communication that in the words of one of my former clients made his “investment in Accepted.com a very positive ROI.”

You may get accepted. You may get rejected. Either way, you need to answer one question: "Now what?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accepted: What is your favorite class so far?

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Wharton 2014 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips

• Wharton Executive MBA 2014 Essay Tips

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

• CommonBond: How Two Wharton Grads Revolutionized Student Loans

Thank you Craig for sharing your story with us!

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

Accepted.com

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Linda Abraham on Overcoming Weaknesses http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/27/linda-abraham-on-overcoming-weaknesses/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/27/linda-abraham-on-overcoming-weaknesses/#respond Thu, 27 Mar 2014 19:10:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21857 ]]> Weakness_PodcastSo… your MBA applicant profile has a weakness. What now?

Listen to the full recording of the latest episode of Admissions Straight Talk for Linda Abraham’s time-tested advice on ameliorating weaknesses.

00:01:46 – The 4 pillars of a successful MBA application.

00:04:07 – What should I do if I’m not competitive at my top-choice schools?

00:06:15 – How to handle a low GMAT score.

00:07:40 – The sweet spot for work experience and what to do if you’ve got too little (or too much!).

00:10:40 – Demonstrating leadership if you are part of a flat organization.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

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

Relevant Links:

•  Should You Retake the GMAT?
•  Overcoming Weaknesses in Your MBA Profile
•  MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA
•  3 Steps for Handling a Low Undergraduate GPA

Related Shows:

•  Waitlisted! What Now?
•  MBA Admissions According to an Expert
•  How to Edit Your Application Essays

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/27/linda-abraham-on-overcoming-weaknesses/feed/ 0 weakness So… your MBA applicant profile has a weakness. What now? - Listen to the full recording of the latest episode of Admissions Straight Talk for Linda Abraham's time-tested advice on ameliorating weaknesses. So… your MBA applicant profile has a weakness. What now? Listen to the full recording of the latest episode of Admissions Straight Talk for Linda Abraham's time-tested advice on ameliorating weaknesses. 00:01:46 – The 4 pillars of a successful MBA application. 00:04:07 – What should I do if I’m not competitive at my top-choice schools? 00:06:15 – How to handle a low GMAT score. 00:07:40 – The sweet spot for work experience and what to do if you’ve got too little (or too much!). 00:10:40 – Demonstrating leadership if you are part of a flat organization.  Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  Should You Retake the GMAT? •  Overcoming Weaknesses in Your MBA Profile •  MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA •  3 Steps for Handling a Low Undergraduate GPA Related Shows: •  Waitlisted! What Now? •  MBA Admissions According to an Expert •  How to Edit Your Application Essays Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 13:17
What Do B-School Alumni Think? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/26/what-do-b-school-alumni-think/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/26/what-do-b-school-alumni-think/#respond Wed, 26 Mar 2014 18:33:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21795 ]]> Check out our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!

95% of alumni said they would recommend their MBA program. Not bad.

GMAC released its 2014 Alumni Perspectives Survey this week – below are the highlights from the report:

•  21,000 b-school alumni from the classes of 1959-2013 responded to the survey.

•  83% of alumni from the classes of 1959-2013 reported that their graduate management degrees played an essential role in finding a job.

•  91% of 2010-2013 alumni rated their management education value from good to outstanding when compared to the cost of the degree. This compares to 95% of graduates from the classes of 2000-2009, and to 98% of alumni from the 1950s-1990s.

•  95% of alumni said they would recommend their MBA program, another sign of very high satisfaction.

•  45% of self-employed alumni who graduated in 2010-2013 started their businesses at graduation. Before 1990, that number was at just 7%.

•  66% of 2010-2013 grads say that their management education was financially rewarding. In the 1990s, the percentage was at 84%, and prior to 1990, it was at 87%.

• 77% of alumni give financially to their alma mater.

•  83% of alumni reported that they are satisfied with their jobs.

•  20% of alumni work in finance and accounting and 20% in products and services.

See the 2014 Alumni Perspectives Survey for more details.

Take-aways from the 2014 GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey.

•  The main conclusion to draw from this alumni survey, as with previous ones, is that alumni are overwhelmingly satisfied with their graduate education in business. Other graduate educational categories would love to be able to report the kinds of numbers that GMAC routinely presents.

In short, reports of the MBA’s demise are greatly exaggerated. (While the survey includes responses from non-MBA graduate management alumni, approximately 75% are from MBA alumni and more than half of the MBAs were enrolled in two-year, full-time MBA programs.)

•  Cloud hidden in all the glitter. GMAC attributes increased satisfaction with the degree and specifically with the value of graduate management education among more senior alumni to the passage of time. The more senior the grads, the happier they are that they invested in an MBA.

However there could be a much more concrete contributing factor: Perhaps those changing numbers over time are also due to the increased cost of the degree over the last thirty years. In other words, more recent alumni see a lower ROI and are consequently slightly less ecstatic simply because the cost has increased.

This development doesn’t mean that the degree lacks value for you applying now or in the next couple of years. It means you need to do your homework and look at expected return on your MBA investment, just as you would analyze expected return on any other investment.

If schools don’t get tuition under control and MBA salaries stay relatively flat, those satisfaction stats will decline over time.

•  MBAs are increasingly, although still in fairly small numbers, starting their own businesses upon graduation. In the past the overwhelming majority of MBAs worked as employees for at least three years before starting their ventures. However, since 2010, 45% of self-employed alumni started their own business immediately upon finishing their MBA.

•  “Soft skills” taught in business school are among the top five skills business school alumni use on the job regardless of the alum’s job function. Perhaps critics who say you can learn what business schools teach from books or by taking a few business functional courses are missing key benefits of the education.

This Special Report will help you navigate the MBA Maze.

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

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Do You Know the 7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/26/complimentary-mba-2015-webinar-tomorrow/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/26/complimentary-mba-2015-webinar-tomorrow/#respond Wed, 26 Mar 2014 14:51:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21725 ]]> We’d like to remind you about tomorrow’s webinar, Get Accepted in 2015: 7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application, which will take place at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET (that’s on Thursday the 27th). The webinar is a must for anyone planning on applying to b-school next year!

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

This webinar will help you get accepted

Reserve your spot for tomorrow’s webinar now!

Save My Spot!

See you on the 27th.

Accepted.com

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MBAs Flood Tech Scene http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/25/mbas-flood-tech-scene/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/25/mbas-flood-tech-scene/#respond Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:48:11 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21749 ]]> Listen to our excellent interview with Dean Doug Stayman

Industries luring MBAs away from Wall Street include healthcare, retail, and energy and utilities.

Instead of flocking to Wall Street like business school graduates of the past, recent MBAs are taking jobs in the tech sector – at startups and e-commerce sites.

Even as traditionally high-profile and sought-after employers like JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs recover from the recession, MBAs are still looking for work – and landing jobs – in the tech scene.

According to Doug Stayman, associate dean for MBA programs for the Cornell Johnson, there’s a “large need for MBAs who can understand business problems, consumer needs, internal business issues and technological solutions.” This is why Cornell will be launching Cornell Tech this May, a one-year program that focuses on our digital economy.

Those who aren’t using their marketing, data-mining, and digital-media skills to land jobs at top tech companies are using their skills to launch their own startups.

Other industries luring MBAs away from Wall Street include healthcare, retail, and energy and utilities.

(Source: Crain’s New York, “M.B.A.s flock to tech scene”)

Check out our interview with Dr. Douglas Stayman

Accepted.com

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Interview with Arun Prasad: An Accepted EMBA Applicant http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/25/mba-applicant-interview-with-arun-prasad/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/25/mba-applicant-interview-with-arun-prasad/#respond Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:04:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21693 ]]> Download free: Against the Odds: MBA Admissions for Indian ApplicantsThis interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing Arun Prasad who will be starting at IIM-Calcutta’s PGPEX-VLM Executive Program in the fall.

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

Arun: My name is Arun Prasad. I’m from Bangalore, India. I did my Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from MVJ College of Engineering, Bangalore. I presently work for Cessna Aircraft Company in Bangalore. I have about 6 years of work experience in Design, Analysis and Manufacturing.

Accepted: Congrats on your acceptance to IIM-Calcutta’s PGPEX-VLM Executive Program! Why did you choose that program? How is it the best program for you?

Arun: Thank you. I’ve always wanted to do a program that has a right balance between technical and management side of business. Something like a dual degree program. My initial Google search pointed me towards the MIT’s LGO (Leaders for Global Operations) and this happened to be my dream school. There were a couple of other schools like the Michigan Ross Tauber Institute and Kellogg’s MMM program and of course the PGPEX-VLM program.

I made a decision to choose PGPEX-VLM on various factors such as “Program Fit,” post MBA career goals, Batch size, Cost and Duration of the Program, Return on Investment, etc.

PGPEX-VLM (Visionary Leadership in Manufacturing) happens to be the perfect blend of technical competence along with right management and business skills. PGPEX-VLM is jointly conducted by IIM-Calcutta, IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Madras along with few industry consortiums like the CII, JICA and the governments of India and Japan.

IIM-Calcutta, which is one of the country’s best and oldest B-school imparts the Business and Management skills whereas the IIT’s, which is the country’s best technical institution (IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Madras) imparts the technical skills. So, PGPEX-VLM just happened to be the right program for me and I did not apply anywhere else.

Accepted: What is your current job? Why are you pursuing an MBA at this stage of your career? What do you plan on doing post-MBA — will you stay in your current industry and move to another field?

Arun: I work as a Manufacturing Engineer for Cessna. I do the Process Planning for Aircraft Sheet metal components and assemblies. It’s a purely technical role that I am in. Somewhere within me there is an itching that I want to do something more than planning how to manufacture Aircraft parts. I felt I must be associated with an operations role or on the strategy side of business. Though I work as a part of the Integrated Supply Chain in Cessna, I’m not involved in making Supply Chain decisions. This is when I gave a thought of doing a MBA and PGPEX-VLM happened to be the right program for me.

Post MBA, I would wish to venture into the Supply Chain side of business and I’m looking at few consulting positions as well. One of the reasons I chose Supply Chain is that, irrespective of industry, there are always challenges. I am highly interested in Defense Procurement as well.

Accepted: Can you talk about your experience with online courses? How has taken MOOCs influenced your Executive MBA goals?

Arun: Online courses are really cool. It all started when I saw a TED talk show of Daphne Koller (Founder of Coursera). Being a working professional, I’ve always felt the need to learn and keep learning. These MOOCs are a boon for working professionals. It is such a great platform to take the world’s best course, right at your home, at your convenience, and for free!! I signed up for a couple of courses from Wharton, University of Michigan and Stanford and I was awed. The same course is taught by the same professors for regular full time MBA students at top b-schools though a little variations do exists considering class size.

I’m the kind of a person who first likes to try and then decide. I took these MOOCs to have a firsthand experience of what to expect in a b-school and whether the subjects/concepts resonate with my thinking. It did. So, taking these MOOC has had an influence in my decision to pursue an MBA program.

Accepted: What would you say was your greatest challenge in the application process? What steps did you take to overcome that challenge?

Arun: PGPEX-VLM is one unique program and so is the application. Apart from regular MBA application elements like test scores, essays, and interviews, PGPEX-VLM has a aptitude test that tests the candidates on the fundamentals of Engineering (after all, it’s a techno-managerial program). The aptitude test had a wide range of topics from higher mathematics, to differentiation and integration to matrices and statistics to mechanical engineering to electronics to electrical engineering to even computer science concepts. Pretty much everything that falls under engineering. This was my greatest challenge. So, I started reviewing my engineering fundamentals and my GRE preparation helped me the verbal and quant section. I also took help from my fiancé, Gayathri, who is pursuing her Masters in Electronics engineering to review electronics and electrical engineering fundamentals :). So, I had taken lot of time to review engineering fundamentals.

Another challenging area for me was essays. There were 2 essays and this was a challenging part for me. Firstly because I was very new to this and then there were tons of consultants who supposedly offer services for reviewing and editing essays for top b-schools. Going through the testimonials of these essay editing admission consultants was quite intimating. The only investment I did was I bought MBA Admission for Smarties by Linda Abraham. I think instructions in that are pretty clear and straightforward. I read that book a hundred times before I drafted my essays and kept fine-tuning it for a month. I showed it to my family and got their feedback. My father-in-law’s feedback proved to be highly useful and many changes were incorporated based on his suggestions. So, to review essays, one need not really take help of essay editing services. Family and friends could offer the best critique and sometimes bring in a fresh look that sometimes others easily miss out.

Accepted: Can you share some EMBA application tips with our readers? What are some tools or resources that you used to help guide you through the process?

Arun: 1. Self Introspection: Before choosing to do a MBA/EMBA program, a lot of introspection is to be done. There is a significant amount of cost and time involved in a MBA program. So, it’s worth to do introspection till we find clear answers. Just keep asking yourself if an MBA is something that you really want to do. Why MBA? Why not something else? Why now? What would happen if I didn’t do an MBA? This type of introspection and self-interrogation could lead to some clear answers.

2. B-School Selection Matrix: We all know that top b-schools follow a holistic approach in selecting candidates for their programs. Like, no admission decision is made solely on GPA or GMAT score or essays. Similarly, while choosing a program, as candidates, we need to have a holistic and a realistic approach, not just ranking of the b-school. Various factors to consider for a b-school before joining is whether it’s a one-year MBA or a two-year MBA, location (India or abroad), class size, class diversity, post MBA goals, “Program Fit”, cost of the program, return on investment. I had written a blog post titled “B-School Selection Matrix” in which I evaluate various b-schools of my choice and make a qualitative decision. It’s like, I design my own personalized b-school rankings.

3. Profile Building: The decision to pursue an MBA most likely shouldn’t be an overnight decision and it’s not possible to build an MBA profile overnight. I think profile building should be the first step in preparing your b-school application even ahead of taking the GMAT. You just need to get into the league of MBA applications, be aware of various schools, follow admission officers’ blogs and even applicant and student blogs, sign up for newsletters, etc. I had written a blog post titled “MBA profile Building” on this. Those who have weak communication can sign up for few courses to improve communication. Those having problems with GMAT should change their browser home page to www.gmatclub.com. Those who haven’t had a chance to display leadership skills at their workplace, may choose to organize a few events or show leadership skills in other events, like even sports. So, profile building is a long evolving process and one must start early and invest time on this.

When it comes to resources, I had purchased MBA Admission for Smarties by Linda Abraham. This book is great. I had also purchased Beyond MBA Hype by Sameer Kamat. There are some great resources out there on the net. I religiously followed Accepted.com blogs and used to attend several webinars. So, following these blogs, network of current students, following the newsletters of your target schools, following admission officer’s blog – these are some priceless resources and one must make use of these as much as possible.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? How have you benefited from the blogging experience?

Arun: The idea and thought that I must write a blog can be attributed to Accepted.com. I have seen several hundred applicant bloggers and student bloggers who have been sharing their experience. So, I decided to have my own blog.

I don’t have a target audience as such, but I write about GRE, higher education, MBA, MOOC, etc. So, if anyone is thinking about writing their own blog and needs some source of inspiration – they are my target audience!!

I have largely benefited from reading these blogs. Reading these blogs and the experiences have kept me going at difficult times and they serve as a source of motivation. Learning from others experience is one of the best learning ever. I follow a lot of applicant bloggers and benefit from their blog. So, this has been my biggest benefit from blogging.

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

You can read more about Arun’s b-school journey by checking out his blog, Aroundynamics.  Thank you Arun for sharing your story with us!

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Sam Scott: A Third Year Med Student with a Mission http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/24/med-school-student-interview-with-sam-scott/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/24/med-school-student-interview-with-sam-scott/#respond Mon, 24 Mar 2014 14:32:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21475 ]]> Check out our Med School Admissions 101 Pages!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current med school students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at med school life and admissions. And now, introducing…Sam.

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

Sam: I’m originally from Atlanta, GA. We moved to Ohio when I was five, and have been trying to escape ever since. It’s the snow. I can’t handle the snow, or the cold. I went to Kent State University in Ohio, and studied biological chemistry. I regret not going for the straight chemistry degree. Biochemistry in undergrad is completely overrated.

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

Sam: I’m a third year student at an allopathic medical school in Northern Ohio. Only a year and half left!

Accepted: When applying to med school, what were some of your top criteria for choosing the best program for you? Can you walk us through that process?

Sam: As far as choosing the right program, I think the most important part in choosing is having a program choose you. Things don’t always work out the way you plan them or envision them. They didn’t for me, even though my application was very strong. Beyond that, it’s just about your preferences and what’s important to you. I’m at a school with a high level of camaraderie, supportive administration, and terrific teachers. Those are things I heard from students during tours, and I repeat them now as a member of the student body.

Accepted: Now that you’re well into your medical school studies, would you say that you chose the right program? What’s your favorite thing about your program? Least favorite?

Sam: I didn’t have much choice in choosing the program. I came to the one that chose me. I was living in Africa when I got the email and had to high tail it back at the end of my internship to get my white coat. Fortunately for me though, I am at a program that fits me very well. At this level of education the idea of having a student body that didn’t root for each other or was cliquey didn’t really appeal to me, which is why I love my school so much. I feel comfortable having a casual conversation with my peers, even the ones I rarely see and I’m an intense introvert.

My least favorite part, our pseudo pass/fail grading system. What the heck does “high pass” even mean? It’s just an annoyance.

Accepted: Did you go straight from college to med school or did you take off time in between? Going back even further, what about between high school and college? If you took of time, how did you spend that time? In either case, what would you say are the pros and cons of either path?

Sam: I had some unplanned time off between med school and college. What I did between the two was enough to write a book about, so I did. In Over My Head is in the editing stages now and will be published in the next couple months, to stay in the loop and subscribe to my email list on my website!

The short answer is that I looked for work, couldn’t find much and ended up having a series of fortunate events that landed me roles as a missions leader, youth pastor, chemist, and moving to Africa. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Unlike many of my peers, I had the chance to be sure that medicine was what I wanted to do. I had a chance to do other things and I am positive that there is no place I’d rather be. I had an extra year to decide what was important to me, which is paying massive dividends in medical school because I don’t have to wonder the questions “Do I really want to do this?” or “What if I did this instead?” Sure, I could be a year further in my medical education, and it was incredibly stressful to have to sit and wait, but I gained much more than I lost by waiting a year.

I went straight to college after high school. It was never really an option in our family. It was more of a where, than if question if you know what I mean. I didn’t escape undergrad debt free, but I did come out with very little compared to many of my peers because my parents were able to help with a lot of it. I realize that isn’t the situation for a lot of people and an education costs a lot of money, but there seems to be a pervasive notion out there that if you just do what you love the cost is always worth it. It’s a bit short sighted. Not many people get to do what they love for a career, and many people who look for the perfect job spend a fortune paying for the degree they think will bring their dreams true. Don’t lose track of your future chasing a pipe dream. Be realistic.

Accepted: Can you talk about what “life on a mission” is like and how studying medicine plays into it?

Sam: I’m also a blogger, and a soon-to-be-author. My first book, In Over My Head is set to publish here in a few months. Over the last eight years, I’ve stumbled my way through a number of mission trips and experiences and have become captivated by what it means to live with that sort of intentionality and purpose in my day-to-day life. Most people who have been on mission trips can relate to the feelings of satisfaction and reward of feeling like you’ve helped someone, but to live ‘on mission’ in everyday life is pretty different from a mission trip. It’s a lot less about cramming as much experience and work into a day as possible, and a lot more about showing up day after day after day working with people towards goals and being persistent when things aren’t easy. It requires a selfless attitude, a long term vision, a persistence to not give up, and being present in the situation around you. To borrow a phrase from Gary Haugen of the International Justice Mission, “The victims of injustice in our world do not need our spasms of passion; they need our long obedience in the same direction – our legs and lungs of endurance; and we need sturdy stores of joy.”

Accepted: What would you say are your top three tips for med school applicants?

Sam: 1. Be yourself. 2. Make sure you not only want to be a doctor, but that you also want to learn how to be a doctor. There’s a lot to learn, and it doesn’t come easy, or cheap. 3. Don’t be discouraged.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? How have you benefited from the blogging experience?

Sam: My blog is where I go to share experiences, thoughts and encouragement. Its target audience…I don’t know. I’m told I’m supposed to have one of those, but I don’t like that rule. I’ve been told by many different types of people that my writing resonates with them. I’ve definitely benefited from blogging though. It’s been challenging, and encouraging, like most memorable things.

You can read more about Sam’s med school journey by checking out his blog, i am sam scott: exploring what it means to live life On MissionThank you Sam for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

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Don’t Forget to Register for Tomorrow’s AMCAS Workshop! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/24/dont-forget-to-register-for-tomorrows-amcas-workshop/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/24/dont-forget-to-register-for-tomorrows-amcas-workshop/#respond Mon, 24 Mar 2014 09:17:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21757 ]]> Grab your seat for an event that will make a huge impact on your AMCAS application’s success!

Register now!

Create a Compelling AMCAS Application will air live tomorrow (Tuesday, March 25) at 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET.

Register now to get one step closer to a stronger, more impressive, and more timely AMCAS application!

Reserve your spot for the "Create a Compelling AMCAS Application" webinar!

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6 Top Tips for Visiting Schools http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/23/6-top-tips-for-visiting-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/23/6-top-tips-for-visiting-schools/#respond Sun, 23 Mar 2014 14:58:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21720 ]]> Check out our Researching MBA Programs 101 page.

School visit tip #1: Do it!

Our #1 tip for visiting schools is that you should definitely visit your target b-school if it makes logistical and financial sense. Programs understand that geography and financial resources can prevent a visit, but if it is possible to visit the schools on your list, then you certainly should – not because of imaginary “brownie points” that the school may or may not award you, but because you will be a better informed applicant after you visit than before. You will know more about the school and its culture. You will know more about why it appeals to you, what about its style matches yours, and how it supports your goals. You will also, most likely, prepare a better application for admission after you’ve learned more about the school.

Once you’ve made the decision to visit, we recommend that you follow this advice:

1. Visit when class is in session.

You want to get a feel for what life on campus is like. You won’t get much of an idea of student life if everyone’s on break. Likewise, if classes are done for the term and everyone is cramming for exams and taking tests, you won’t get the full day-to-day campus experience (though you will get to see what b-school students are like under pressure!).

Another good reason to go while class is in session is so that you can sit in on classes – definitely take advantage of this if your target program offers this option.

2. Take the tour and attend the info sessions.

Again, your goal is to learn as much as possible about the program. Don’t brush off the official tours because you’d rather explore on your own; instead, take the tour, sit through the info sessions, and explore on your own.

3. Talk to everyone!

B-school students and adcom are generally more than happy to talk with prospective students, so don’t miss out on the valuable opportunity to chat anyone and everyone about their b-school experience.

4. Prepare your questions in advance.

You’ll have the most productive conversations if you go in with some direction. Obviously questions will differ depending on what’s important to you and where you’re visiting, but here are some basic questions: What is a typical day like for a first or second year student? How do professors view their teaching – as an integrated approach to business, as part of the interconnection of business functions (and if interconnected, how do they collaborate with other professors), or simply as a job? How do they balance teaching and research? How are interview slots assigned? Is there a bidding process? What is it?

5. Review the school’s website before you go.

Asking questions is good; asking questions that are answered on the homepage of your target school’s website…not so good. Do your research ahead of time that you can ask specific, unique questions that show that you’ve done your homework as well as done some good quality thinking.

6. If you can’t visit a school, visit info sessions closer to home.

While this won’t facilitate experiencing life on campus, you will still get to make an appearance before the adcom and speak with students/alumni/faculty – whoever is leading the event. You can also do quite a bit of research by emailing current students and reading student blogs.

In short – visiting a school is highly recommended and if you go, you should take advantage of all of the school’s people and resources so you can learn as much as possible about whether you’re the right fit for the program. If, however, you’re unable to visit, then you should still do all you can to learn firsthand about your target schools so you can see how you’d fit in and optimize your applications to reflect that!

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips
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Don’t Miss the Chance to Register for Important AMCAS Webinar! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/23/dont-miss-the-chance-to-register-for-important-amcas-webinar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/03/23/dont-miss-the-chance-to-register-for-important-amcas-webinar/#respond Sun, 23 Mar 2014 14:38:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=21754 ]]> Register now!

Just a few days to go until our newest med school admissions webinar, Create a Compelling AMCAS Application.

Please remember to register or you will not be able to access important advice that will guide you through AMCAS application process! The AMCAS application can be confusing and difficult – the tips presented in this webinar are guaranteed to help you approach the application more effectively and efficiently.

The webinar will air on Tuesday, March 25th at 8:00 PM PST / 5:00 PM EST.

Reserve your spot for the "Create a Compelling AMCAS Application" webinar!

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