Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:13:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 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 UNC Kenan-Flagler Announces New Online Master of Accounting Program http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/22/unc-kenan-flagler-announces-new-online-master-of-accounting-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/22/unc-kenan-flagler-announces-new-online-master-of-accounting-program/#respond Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:13:34 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24324 ]]> Fore more info about UNC Kenan-Flagler click here!

© UNC MBA

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School just announced its plan to launch Accounting@UNC, an online version of its top-ranked Master of Accounting (MAC) Program. The 15-month online MAC program, which will commence July 2015, will use the same faculty and career placement approach, as well as the same admissions standards and curriculum, as the 12-month residential MAC program. Included in the 15 months is a three-month internship and a number of face-to-face immersion phases, including orientation, recruitment, and leadership development.

“With a long tradition of excellence in accounting education and one of the very best accounting departments in the world, UNC Kenan-Flagler is uniquely positioned to offer the premier online MAC program,” said UNC Kenan-Flagler dean, Douglas A. Shackelford. “Demand for hiring our MAC graduates has never been stronger, with 98 percent having accepted employment offers by graduation. Historically, firms have wanted to hire more of our graduates, but space constraints prevented us from increasing the program’s size. Technology now lets us increase access to a UNC education for even more talented people and meet the demand from companies who want to hire them.”

And according to Jana Raedy, associate dean of the MAC Program, the masters in accounting isn’t just for business majors. “History and English majors, please apply. We value liberal arts education and it benefits our graduates’ long-term career success as they move into positions of leadership,” said Raedy.

UNC Kenan-Flagler already has a successful track record when it comes to online degree programs, in particular with its MBA@UNC program which launched in 2011 with 19 students and currently has 550 enrolled students.

OnlineMBAPodcastCTA

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WHAT Should You Include in Your AMCAS Essay? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/22/what-should-you-include-in-your-amcas-essay/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/22/what-should-you-include-in-your-amcas-essay/#respond Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:34:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24111 ]]> Learn how to creating a winning AMCAS essay! Click here to download your complete copy of Ace the AMCAS!

But what if you haven’t discovered a cure for cancer while a freshman?

“WHAT Should You Include in Your AMCAS Essay?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Ace the AMCAS Essay. To download the entire free special report, click here.

As I discussed in the first post of this series, your AMCAS essay serves as your introduction to the med school admissions board. In this way, your essay much more resembles a human interest story than it resembles a report. As a “science person,” you may be more familiar with factual, data-driven, analytical writing, with reports that are based on facts, figures, and statistics. In your application, all of this data will be included in your score reports and your resume…not in your essay.

Your AMCAS essay, your own personal human interest story, needs to be anecdotal and emotional. This is your opportunity to reveal your passion, your humor, your drive, and, in short, your unique personality. Remember, the admissions members reading your essays are human beings. Their job is to wade through a mountain of boring, trite, monotonous essays in search of that compelling gem of a story – the one that you’re going to write.

For that gem to gel, you will need to choose meaningful experiences that show your strength of character, integrity, individuality, and most importantly, your non-academic qualifications and motivation for pursuing medical school and a career as a physician.

Which would be a more interesting essay – one in which you speak generally about how you volunteered in a volunteer setting, or one in which you talk specifically about your experience working in Uganda with Doctors without Borders? Obviously the latter – an experience shared only by a handful, if any, of your competitors, will stand out more than an essay in which you talk about a vague experience that every other applicant shares.

But what if you haven’t worked in Uganda or climbed Mt. Everest or discovered a cure for cancer while a freshman? What if your most notable achievements are a little more pedestrian? Specifics and stories will still make them stand out. Furthermore if you include in your essays, your distinctive motivations, take-aways, and insights from those critical events that are important enough to you to include in your AMCAS essay, you will have a killer essay.

When you choose your essay topic, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Will this topic authentically introduce me to the reader?

2. Is this topic distinctive, or is it just going to come across as one more essay about how a grandparent’s illness directed the author at the age of 10 to medicine?

3. Does this essay reflect positively on my fitness for a career as a physician?

Download this special report that will help you ace the AMCAS essay.

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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3 Keys to Dominating GMAT Integrated Reasoning http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/22/3-keys-to-dominating-gmat-integrated-reasoning/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/22/3-keys-to-dominating-gmat-integrated-reasoning/#respond Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:05:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24303 ]]> What should you make of the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section? Two years after its introduction, there’s still no great answer to that question. Business school admissions offices still aren’t giving all that much weight to your IR score. And yet, you have to post one. If the first 30 minutes of your GMAT are going to be spent muddling through this challenging section one way or the other, you might as well do as well as possible on it, right? Whether you’re an IR pro or you dread this section like the plague, here are three tips to help you navigate the otherwise murky waters of GMAT Integrated Reasoning:

1. Focus on the Quant and Verbal Sections

I know it may seem a little weird for me to start an article about how to improve your Integrated Reasoning score by telling you to focus most of your study time on the other sections of the test. But hear me out. The reality is that most of core math and verbal concepts you’ll see in Integrated Reasoning questions are the same as what’s tested elsewhere on the GMAT. Granted the questions formats are a bit more convoluted, but the core competencies are the same.

Consider this example from the Veritas Prep website:

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Blog Post - Image 1

What do you notice? Looks like a run-of-the-mill distance/rate/time problem like you’d expect to see on GMAT Problem Solving, doesn’t it? (Here’s an article that shows you a shortcut for solving problems like this). Sure, you have to figure out what all those different answer choices mean with respect to Crew Alpha and Crew Zeta. But solving the actual problem itself isn’t all that hard, and it’s the type of thing you should be studying for the GMAT quant section anyway. Whether a Table Analysis question asks you to calculate a percent increase/decrease or a Two-Part Analysis question asks you to identify an author’s assumption, it’s all stuff you should already know how to do if you’ve adequately prepared for the other sections of the exam.

2. Know When to Cut Your Losses

Let’s be honest: The hardest part about GMAT Integrated Reasoning for most students is time management. You have 30 minutes to answer 12 questions, which only leaves 2.5 minutes per question. But unlike normal GMAT problem solving, each IR question has multiple parts! How can you possibly be expected to finish them all?

Well, the good news is that you don’t have to. When it comes to the Integrated Reasoning section, quality is more important than quantity, meaning that you don’t have to answer every question correctly to get a good score. In fact, you can get quite a few wrong and still get an above-average score. Here’s a short video about the important tradeoff between “time”and “accuracy”that you need to constantly juggle on the GMAT, and it applies just as much to IR as it does to the other sections:

So what does this mean for you? Learn when to cut your losses. Figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and don’t spend much time on questions that give you particular difficulty. If Multi-Source Reasoning questions always take you the longest and you never seem to get them right anyway, for example? Consider skipping one or two of them altogether and save the time for questions you have a better chance of getting right. Learn to speed up when you see questions you can tackle quickly, and slow down when you need extra time to figure something out. And like with GMAT Reading Comprehension, don’t waste time reading every single thing in the prompts. If you truly want to boost your IR score, sometimes less really is more.

3. Reading Comprehension is the Key

GMAT Integrated Reasoning is as much about understanding what the question is asking as it is about actually solving questions. As I mentioned in point #1, the math and verbal concepts tested in IR aren’t all that hard (or, at least, they’re not new). The difficulty is with the way the questions are asked. So take your time. Read the questions for “Big Picture”understanding like you would a Reading Comprehension passage. Don’t get lost in the details, but rather spend some time getting your mind around the interplay among the content in the different tabs and what information each table or chart is presenting. Toward that end, always start by reading titles and captions, because they create the framework within which everything else in the question works. And always, always read the questions closely and look for tricky wording that’s meant to throw you off.

Consider this sample Table Analysis question, also from the Veritas Prep website:

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Blog Post - Image 2 Let’s look specifically at Statement #4. Here it is again in case it’s too small for you to read in the graphic above:

“No orange-scented bathroom cleaner sold more units in 2009 than in 2010.”

Notice that I’ve already taken the liberty of sorting the table by “Fragrance”since the statement is asking about “orange-scented”bathroom cleaner.

So what do you think? Is the statement True or False? At first glance, it would seem to be False. After all, the “Unit Sales”columns for all of the orange fragrance products show positive percent change, meaning they did sell more units. Right? But wait. What do the numbers in the “Unit Sales”columns represent? Upon a closer reading of the caption under the table, it’s clear that the numbers represent 2010 numbers as compared to 2009. And because Statement #4 is expressed in the negative, it’s actually TRUE that “no”orange-scented bathroom cleaners sold more units in 2009 than in 2010 because the positive growth numbers in the table indicate that more were indeed sold across the board in 2010, without exception.

I know it can be tricky, but that’s the point: Pay as much attention to the wording of the questions and prompts as you do to the actual math and verbal being tested, and it will serve you well.

Got GMAT Questions? Visit GMAT 101 for advice.

Brett Ethridge is the founder of Dominate the GMAT, a leading provider of GMAT courses online and topic-specific GMAT video lessons. He has taught the GMAT for 10 years and loves working with students to help them achieve their highest potential. Brett is an entrepreneur, a triathlete, and an avid Duke basketball fan.

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Are You a Med School Applicant with Low Stats? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/21/are-you-a-med-school-applicant-with-low-stats/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/21/are-you-a-med-school-applicant-with-low-stats/#respond Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:03:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24361 ]]> Applying to med school and worried your stats are too low? Not sure if your numbers will make the cut?

In our upcoming webinar, How to Get into Medical School with Low Stats, you’ll learn tips and strategies for putting together an application that focuses on your strength rather than your weakness – one that convinces the selection committee that you’ve got what it takes to excel in medical school and as a physician!

GetMedSchoolLowStats

Join us live on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST (click here to see what time that is in your time zone).

Registration is required (and free). Reserve your spot for How to Get into Medical School with Low Stats now!

Save My Spot!

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Work Hard and Stay Positive: Interview with a 2nd Year Med Student http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/21/med-school-interview-with-ryan-matthews/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/21/med-school-interview-with-ryan-matthews/#respond Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:43:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24301 ]]> Click here for more med school student interviews!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 top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Ryan Matthews

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

Ryan: I was born and raised in Indiana, other than a couple years I spent in Georgia when I was around 7-8 years old. I am happily married and have a 9 month old baby girl. We also have 2 dogs, 1 guinea pig, and 3 aquariums. As you might be able to tell, our family loves animals.

My time as an undergraduate student was somewhat atypical. I started off studying biology and psychology at Indiana University, but during my sophomore year decided to transfer to a smaller school. It wasn’t that I didn’t love IU, but I wanted a smaller, more personal learning environment. As a result, I transferred to University of Indianapolis where most classes were 20 students or less and I even had one class with only 8 people. It was there that I decided to major in biology and chemistry, but I’d already taken so much psychology that I received a completed a minor in it as well.

Accepted: Where do you attend medical school? What year are you in?

Ryan: I attend medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine and am currently entering my 2nd year.

Accepted: How did you choose which the best program was for you? 

Ryan: Since I’ve spent most of my life in Indiana, going to IUSM was always my preferred program. I also got married before even applying to medical school so it was easier for my wife’s career to stay near home as well. Add in the fact that we had my baby girl during my first semester of school, and it’s a real blessing that we are close to home where family is able to help us out.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming first year students, to help make their adjustment to med school easier? What do you wish you would’ve known before you started school?

Ryan: The biggest adjustment in my opinion is time management. You have to be really disciplined about studying, which might seem obvious, but it does take some extra effort. I hear most incoming medical students admit they’re nervous about the workload and although it is challenging, it isn’t overbearing as long as you’re disciplined. I recommend a to-do list and a calendar. Personally, I use apps on my phone to keep track of everything I’m involved in and wouldn’t be able to function without them. That being said, there is still plenty of time in medical school to do things you love and take part in extracurriculars. It’s all about time management!

Accepted: Did you go straight from college to med school? Or did you take time off? If you took time off, how did you spend your time?

Ryan: I took 1 year off between undergrad and medical school, which allowed me to work as a biochemist and store up some money. More importantly, I used the time to take things easy and enjoy being with my wife. We got married 1 month after I graduated, so I was able to spend over a year with her without the stresses of medical school on my shoulders.

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

Ryan: Easily the most challenging aspect of medical school admissions for me was “the waiting game.” It seems like all you do is submit something and then wait a few months for an answer, and unfortunately, I’m a very impatient person. I don’t even like waiting in line at restaurants or the movie theater so some that would determine my future was definitely not ideal. However, time actually went pretty quickly when I focused on enjoying my time away from school.

Thus, my biggest advice for applicants is to try and stay busy doing things you enjoy. All the years of putting in the hard work for your application are over and everyone needs a break once in a while. Use the application processing time (as well as the summer before 1st year) to enjoy life!

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

Ryan: Here are a few tips off the top of my head:

1) Work hard and stay positive! This may seem pretty obvious, but trust me when I say that most people are way more capable than they even realize.

2) Apply as early as possible. I was actually a late applicant, and it doesn’t seem like a big deal until you see other people posting online about their acceptances. Do yourself a favor and apply as early as possible.

3) Like I said before, really cherish the time before you start medical school. Yes, you still have a life in school, but your extra time is substantially limited in comparison.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your podcast?

Ryan: I drive a lot to/from school, so I listen to podcasts all the time. I’d always been on the lookout for audio materials that I could use for studying on the go, but couldn’t ever find anything that fit my needs. This sparked the idea of publishing my own podcast, and as they say, the rest is history.

Since I’d already started my blog, I used it as a platform to start “Medical Minded Podcast.” My goal was to create something that other students could use to further their own education, and in doing so, compiling the podcast material would serve as an additional study method for me. I’ve been a little busier than I expected this summer, so I admit I’ve been slacking on uploading new episodes. However, I encourage everyone to check it out and promise I’ll upload more in the near future.

You can read more about Ryan’s med school journey by checking out his blog, Medical Minded, and his podcast. Thank you Ryan for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured on the 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 your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!
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MIT Sloan 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/21/mit-sloan-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/21/mit-sloan-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:16:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23776 ]]> Check out the rest of our school-specific MBA essay tips!

Stata Center at MIT

For years MIT Sloan asked applicants to create a cover letter as part of its application. MIT dropped that requirement last year, but this year the big news is that MIT is asking you to write your own recommendation. And while many of you write your own reviews at work and some of you may have been asked to write recommendations for your recommender’s signature, which the schools hate, this year it’s from you to MIT Sloan. More on that below.

Resume:

Please prepare a business resume that includes your employment history in reverse chronological order, with titles, dates, and whether you worked part-time or full-time. Your educational record should also be in reverse chronological order and should indicate dates of attendance and degree(s) earned. Other information appropriate to a business resume is welcomed and encouraged. The resume should not be more than one page in length (up to 50 lines). We encourage you to use the résumé template provided in the online application. 

Go beyond mere job description to highlight achievement. If your title is “consultant.” Saying that you “consulted on projects” is redundant and uninformative at best. Writing that you “Led a 6-member team working on a biotech outsourcing project to Singapore with a budget of $X; it came in on time and under budget.” conveys infinitely more. Quantify impact as much as possible. You want the reader to come away with a picture of an above average performer on a steep trajectory.

Essays:

We are interested in learning more about you. In each of the essays, please describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did. Please draw upon experiences which have occurred in the past three years. 

1: The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice.  Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities.  (500 words or fewer)

First identify examples that illustrate you either “developing others into principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and generate ideas that advance management practice” or practicing your own form of principled leadership.  You can choose professional and non-professional examples. Once you’ve jotted down several example , choose between 1-3 that you want to focus on. What should you focus on? The examples that show you transforming an innovative idea into a reality. Remember MIT Sloan’s “commitment to balancing innovative ideas and theories with hands-on, real-world application.”

Show how your leadership and impact in this experience has improved the world in some small way; you don’t need to have cured cancer or ended starvation in Africa. Then tie those examples to future plans. How will you build on that experience at MIT Sloan and beyond? How will you fulfill MIT Sloan’s mission on the job and off?

 2: Write a professional letter of recommendation on behalf of yourself.  Answer the following questions as if you were your most recent supervisor recommending yourself for admission to the MIT Sloan MBA Program: (750 words or fewer) 

• How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
• How does the applicant stand out from others in a similar capacity?
• Please give an example of the applicant’s impact on a person, group, or organization.
• Please give a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.
• Which of the applicant’s personal or professional characteristics would you change?
• Please tell us anything else you think we should know about this applicant.

Quite the curve ball! You can have a little fun with the first bullet, but then get serious. And yes you are supposed to write this as if you are your manager.

First of all think about the questions. Reflect, how do you stand out in a positive way from your peer? If possible focus on leadership and interpersonal skills and give an example of your ability to lead, to diffuse tension, to listen, to be entrusted with responsibility or whatever way you feel you stand out. And of course reveal impact. You need to show that your attributed made a difference and perhaps allowed you to contribute more and progress faster than most.

The bullet that will make many of you squirm is the second to the last one. It is asking for a weakness and before you tie yourself up in nervous knots about dealing with that point, please see “Flaws Make You Real.” You don’t have to make your response to this bullet the longest part of the essay, but do respond honestly and effectively. 

Optional Essay

The Admissions Committee invites you to share anything else you would like us to know about you, in any format. If you choose to use a multimedia format, please host the information on a website and provide us the URL.

I discussed this question with someone in MIT Sloan’s admissions office. First of all realize that you can choose an essay or multi-media presentation. The media option is there so you can express yourself in the way you find easiest and most revealing. MIT does not want a recycled essay from another school. The person I spoke to was explicit about that. If you choose the multi-media format, realize it should be something viewable in about a minute — no 20-minute videos or 100-slide expositions or lengthy orations. Keep it short. It’s also fine to link to something you have created for a club, event, or cause that’s important to you.

What’s behind the option? A deep and sincere desire to meet you as a human being. A genuine, animated, real live human being. So don’t regurgitate your resume or spew stuff found in the required elements of your application. Have the confidence to share a special interest or deep commitment. I’m not suggesting Mommy Dearest or True Confessions; use judgment. I am suggesting that you allow the reader to see a good side of you not revealed elsewhere in the application.  Let them see what makes you smile, motivates you to jump out of bed with joy, and gives you a feeling of satisfaction when you turn out the light at the end of the day.

MIT Sloan has an excellent video with advice on its optional essay. Here it is:

MIT Sloan 2015 Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decision Notification
Round 1 September 23, 2014 December 17, 2014
Round 2 January 8, 2015 April 6, 2015

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

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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3 Personal Statement Tips for Non-Traditional Med School Applicants http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/20/3-personal-statement-tips-for-non-traditional-med-school-applicants/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/20/3-personal-statement-tips-for-non-traditional-med-school-applicants/#respond Sun, 20 Jul 2014 14:52:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24226 ]]> Q&AAre you a non-traditional med school applicant? How should you approach the personal statement?

Use these 3 tips to help you navigate the med school application personal statement – non-trad style!

1. Look at the app holistically. Don’t launch into your life story before thinking about how your application should look as a whole. Yes – where you’ve been is essential to understanding how you’ve gotten to where you are, especially for the non-traditional applicant; but you will have other places (like your secondary essays and your interview) to delve into your personal history. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t talk history, but your personal statement isn’t where you should cram in your entire memoir. In short, offer a glimpse, not a saga. For non-traditional applicants, it is extremely important to capitalize on the experiences that you have had in your life. You don’t need to tell your entire life story but what you need to do is capture their attention so that you will then be invited for the interview later on.

2. Anticipate the selection committee’s questions about weaknesses.
What you should write about will be different for every applicant because the best essays, especially those in the AMCAS application, anticipate the questions the selection committee may have about you (and their questions often will be about your weaknesses). It’s your job to anticipate those questions and to address them directly in your personal statement – this will give you the strongest, most strategic approach in addressing any weaknesses that you may have. It’s also really important to show your potentials for medical school and the transferrable skills that you bring to it.

3. Answer this:
“What would make you a great doctor?” instead of this: “Why do you want to be a doctor?” I spoke with a client earlier this week and his essay was very theoretical. It was about why he thought he wanted to go to medical school. He was very sincere, very honest and you could tell there was a lot there, but the application is asking for the experiences that you’ve had and the things that have really confirmed the decision for you. That’s what’s going to help people see your real potential and how well you’ll succeed in medical school and in the profession.

The advice in this post is based on a conversation we had in our recent webinar, Ask The Experts: Medical School Admissions Q&A with Cydney Foote and Alicia McNease Nimonkar. Check out the full transcript for more tips on applying to med school successfully!

Learn how you can get accepted to med school even with a low MCAT or GPA!

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Get Accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/20/get-accepted-to-stanford-graduate-school-of-business/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/20/get-accepted-to-stanford-graduate-school-of-business/#respond Sun, 20 Jul 2014 14:25:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24335 ]]> If you’re seeking professional advice on how to gain a competitive edge to top b-schools in general, and Stanford GSB in particular then you’ll want to attend Accepted’s webinar, Get Accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business.

During the webinar, Accepted’s CEO and founder, Linda Abraham, will present four key strategies for demonstrating that you belong at Stanford, as well as other important tips that apply specifically to Stanford GSB.

stanford 2014 webinar facebook

Mark your calendars! The webinar will air live on Tuesday July 29th at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST. See what time that is for you by clicking here.

The webinar is free but you must register. Sign up here: Get Accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Click Here to Save Your Spot!

P.S. At the end of the webinar Linda will be giving away a few copies of her book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools – a great bonus for attending the webinar!

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Introducing Johnson at Cornell University’s New LinkedIn-Enhanced MBA Application http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/18/introducing-cornell-johnsons-new-linkedin-enhanced-mba-application/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/18/introducing-cornell-johnsons-new-linkedin-enhanced-mba-application/#respond Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:07:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24310 ]]> Want to learn more about Cornell? Click here to check out

Sage Hall at Johnson at Cornell University

According to an Inside Higher Ed article, “LinkedIn to M.B.A. Admissions,” Cornell Johnson MBA applicants can now fill out parts of their application with information drawn from their LinkedIn profiles. Cornell officials say they are breaking ground with this system of incorporating LI features into their application process.

While using LinkedIn isn’t required for admissions, applicants may find this feature helpful, enabling them to fill out their application faster. When applying with the LI-enhanced feature, students must give Cornell access to their entire LinkedIn profile; they don’t apply directly from LI, but rather from the Cornell-hosted application system.

This application should further encourage applicants to maintain a LinkedIn profile in tip-top condition that’s accurate and consistent with their resumes and the other elements that they’ll be presenting to the admissions committee. Now, Cornell adcom won’t just sometimes glance at LI profiles of applicants as they were accustomed to doing previously, but will make LI profiles a mainstay of the application, at least for those who decide to apply using this method.

The LI-enhanced application was launched on July 1st for Cornell Johnson, after a test run in May for the university’s Cornell Tech program. Officials maintain that the new application offers much more insight into the applicants, enabling adcom to view the students as employers and recruiters view them.

Navigating the MBA Maze

Accepted.com

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Reflections of a Wharton MBA Student and CommonBond Intern http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/18/reflections-of-a-wharton-student-and-commbond-intern/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/18/reflections-of-a-wharton-student-and-commbond-intern/#respond Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:07:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24255 ]]> Applying to Wharton in 2015? Check out our application essay tips!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Tim Hager, a student at Wharton.

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

Tim: I am from a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA called Ivyland. I went to Georgetown University as an undergrad (Class of 2009) where I studied Finance and Management, and played on the golf team. After undergrad, I competed as a professional golfer for 2 years, and then worked in finance for the following 3 years. My favorite ice cream is, hands down, Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Brownie.

Accepted: Where and what year are you in business school? 

Tim: I am in the MBA class of 2015 at The Wharton School (UPenn).

Accepted: In what ways would you say that you’re a good fit with Wharton? 

Tim: The great thing about Wharton is that there is no “normal.” Our class represents such a diverse group of backgrounds, professions, and cultures; so everyone’s fit with Wharton is what they make it! For me, my fit is with the day to day culture: I go to school with over 800 incredibly smart and accomplished people and we all take the curriculum, studying, and recruiting very seriously.

But, equally important is that we are also good about compartmentalizing the stress of recruiting and academics and at not taking ourselves too seriously at times. We make sure we capitalize on the other benefit that b-school offers: growing your social network, traveling the world, building friendships, and just plain old having fun with your classmates.

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

Tim: Have it not be so darn expensive! But no, in all seriousness, Wharton is an incredible place and the friendships, networks, learning, job prospects, and just genuine fun that it provides us is more than I ever imagined. Wharton is a remarkable place of opportunity, and I wouldn’t change that at all.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your internship at CommonBond? In what ways did Wharton help you secure that internship? What’s the internship recruiting process like at Wharton? 

Tim: The internship recruiting process at Wharton means different things for different people. It really starts in early fall for first year students looking to get into mature industries like Investment Banking, Investment Management, and Consulting. In these industries, students are networking and preparing for interviews really starting a few months after they arrive at school in the fall. Recruiting for business roles (Management, Marketing, Operations, Sales, etc) at many of the Corporate, F100 Brands occurs a bit later (Jan-March). Finally, recruiting for early stage companies and startups typically happens last, but can range anytime from February to May. Sometimes startups will recruit on Wharton’s Campus, and other times students identify a startup they are interested in and secure the internship on their own. It really ranges.

Wharton was key in allowing me to get my internship with CommonBond. CommonBond was one of the early stage firms that recruits via Wharton’s internal career website, and that was the first time I was introduced to David Klein and the rest of the awesome team at CommonBond.

My internship at CommonBond has been tremendous thus far. A big reason I came here was to be a part of an innovative firm disrupting the industry in which they compete. CommonBond is doing just that. I had worked in venture (on the financing side) for three years before coming to b-school, and wanted to experience being on the operations and execution side of the equation. I have experienced just that and then some! The challenges facing any early stage firm are more than most people imagine; and when you identify an opportunity or need to get something done, it falls directly on you to do it. That is the coolest part. I’ll give you an example. Although my job role is business development here at CommonBond, I have spent time building website landing pages, running social media marketing campaigns, writing industry content, and analyzing new markets, in addition to my core BD functions.

Accepted: B-school’s not cheap (as you mentioned) — do you have any tips for us on how to finance your business degree? 

Tim: Be smart about it. Do your research. Look, the cost of education is high, we all know it. But the cost of money to buy that education is equally high. There are a lot of places to go for loans. My advice? Look to a lender who is going to provide value above and beyond the check that they write. Look for one that tried to understand who you are, helps grow your personal and professional network for you, and supports your career goals. Commonbond.co is the lender doing it the best.

Accepted: And finally, do you have additional tips you can share on how to get into a top business school like Wharton? What are some things applicants can do to optimize their chances of acceptance?

Tim: I’d love to tell you there were a specific formula (trust me, I really would), but there just isn’t. Being your genuine self is truly the best chance that you have. That said, I do have a few tips:

1. Don’t wait until the last minute to take your GMAT. Use whatever free time you have to study NOW, and take the test. Your scores are good for 5 years, and it takes the pressure off of you the 6 months before applications are due, when you should be focusing on essays, recommendations, and your personal narrative; NOT figuring out how long it will take for a cylindrical barrel to fill up with 4 hoses in it all running at different speeds. Many of the prep courses out there are good- I used Manhattan GMAT – but 80% of the prep is still going to be on your own, outside of the prep class in order for you to really nail the GMAT. Take practice tests; I took 8!

2. Apply in round 1 or round 2….don’t wait for round 3 unless you’ve won an Olympic gold medal, walked on the moon, or are fluent in 10 different languages.

3. Be YOU in your essays, and not who you think the admissions office wants you to be.
Seriously. If you think admissions directors haven’t heard every line in the book, your mistaken. Insincerity is unmistakable. And so is vanity; be proud of who you are but there’s no need to boast…I promise you, your classmates-to-be are equally as cool and accomplished. Finally, do some hard thinking about what is truly unique about you? I’m not talking about how you were the only one of your PE associates to get asked back by your PE firm for a third year (Let your boss say that in his recommendation!). You focus on what truly matters to you in life? Answer that and let it come out in your writing.

4. Apply everything in point #3 to your in-person interview as well.


5. Have a cocktail [or 3] after your last in-person interview, and celebrate!
You just went through a grueling process. The work is done at that point and stressing more will only take hair off of your head and years off of your life – it won’t change your admissions decision. :)

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

• What’s Right with Wharton (and How to Get In), a free webinar.
• Wharton 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
• Wharton Executive MBA 2015 Essay Tips

Thank you Tim for sharing your stories with us!

Wharton Tips CTA

Accepted.com

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Top MBA Programs Using Shared Letter of Recommendation Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/17/top-mba-programs-using-shared-letter-of-recommendation-questions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/17/top-mba-programs-using-shared-letter-of-recommendation-questions/#respond Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:49:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24228 ]]> Looking for application essay tips? Click here!

A Shared LOR = Good News for Applicants, Recommenders, and B-Schools

The number of top-ranked MBA programs now asking the exact same questions for the letters of recommendation is growing, which is good news both for recommenders and for candidates. LORs are very important to an applicant’s case, providing an objective assessment from a supervisor, former manager, or other professional that helps affirm (or not) what the applicant has stated about her own skills, traits and abilities. But different questions with different word limits were onerous for both applicants, who had to ask the same people to write varying assessments for their multiple applications, as well as the recommenders.

This year, Harvard, Darden, Yale, Stanford, Columbia and Wharton are asking these questions:

 • How do the candidate’s performance, potential, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. 

 • Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Harvard, Wharton, and Yale have word limits for both questions, though the other programs do not. Not all schools had released their LOR questions for the 2015 application season as of this writing, so this list is not comprehensive, and other schools may be added to the list. Stanford has a helpful link to a transcript of a podcast on what elements make for successful and effective LORs. This advice is certainly applicable to LORs for any other MBA program as well.

Some schools also ask recommenders to fill out a personal qualities and skills grid form, evaluating applicants in a variety of areas. Currently, there is no unity among the schools on the use of a grid, so carefully check each school’s requirements.

Graduate school admissions consultants have lobbied to streamline this LOR process for years, and this convergence around shared questions is a direct outgrowth of those efforts. Last year, at the annual conference of the Association of International Graduate School Consultants (AIGAC), the topic of LORs became unexpectedly lively, with school admissions directors expressing concern over the integrity of what they were reading in LORs, and AIGAC members arguing that using shared questions would enhance the integrity of the process because it would take pressure off both applicant and recommender.

Anna Ivey, president of AIGAC, is pleased with the development of more schools converging around shared LOR questions. “Applicants have for years found themselves in quite a pickle because they have had to dump so much work on their recommenders. In some cases, their recommenders have had to write more words than the applicants do in their essays. That has created all kinds of distortions, despite good intentions.

“As AIGAC’s MBA Applicant Survey has shown since its inception, a sizable minority of recommenders ask applicants to write their own letters, and we suspect that’s because there’s only so much bandwidth they can dedicate to someone else’s application, let alone for multiple people for whom they might be writing letters. That multiplier effect makes for a daunting amount of work. Any convergence around common recommendation questions not only makes the application process easier for applicants and their recommenders, but also helps preserve the integrity of those recommendations and the application process. Cutting down on the duplication and extra work for recommenders will make it more likely that recommenders write their letters themselves, and that’s a great outcome.”

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

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

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The Consortium: Diversifying B-School and Corporate Management http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/17/the-consortium-diversifying-b-school-and-corporate-management/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/17/the-consortium-diversifying-b-school-and-corporate-management/#respond Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:14:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24286 ]]> Click here to listen to the interview!At the forefront of increasing diversity in business school and the business world, stands The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Corey Webb, Director of Recruiting for the CGSM to learn about what the wonderful work of the Consortium and how you can join the team.

00:04:31 – How the Consortium started.

00:05:38 – The Consortium Common Application: What it is and who is eligible to use it.

00:13:00 – Why the deadline changed?

00:14:51 – The Fellowships: criteria and responsibilities.

00:18:37 – About the Orientation Program.

00:25:52 – It doesn’t end after graduation: a lifelong relationship.

00:29:02 – Why the Consortium asks applicants to rank schools by preference.

00:33:32 – Advice for current and future Consortium applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• The Consortium 
• Accepted Services
• 
The Consortium Zone Page

Related Shows:

• Forte Helps Women in Business Thrive: Interview with Elissa Sangster 
• From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke
• The Facts about Financial Services
• How to Become a Management Consultant

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/17/the-consortium-diversifying-b-school-and-corporate-management/feed/ 0 Consortium,podcast At the forefront of increasing diversity in business school and the business world, stands The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. - Listen to the recording of our conversation with Corey Webb, Director of Recruiting for the CGSM to learn abo... At the forefront of increasing diversity in business school and the business world, stands The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. Listen to the recording of our conversation with Corey Webb, Director of Recruiting for the CGSM to learn about what the wonderful work of the Consortium and how you can join the team. 00:04:31 – How the Consortium started. 00:05:38 – The Consortium Common Application: What it is and who is eligible to use it. 00:13:00 – Why the deadline changed? 00:14:51 – The Fellowships: criteria and responsibilities. 00:18:37 – About the Orientation Program. 00:25:52 – It doesn’t end after graduation: a lifelong relationship. 00:29:02 – Why the Consortium asks applicants to rank schools by preference. 00:33:32 – Advice for current and future Consortium applicants. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • The Consortium  • Accepted Services • The Consortium Zone Page Related Shows: • Forte Helps Women in Business Thrive: Interview with Elissa Sangster  • From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke • The Facts about Financial Services • How to Become a Management Consultant Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:       Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 38:28
NYU Stern 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/16/nyu-stern-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/16/nyu-stern-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:59:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24140 ]]> NYU Stern

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

My tips are in blue below.

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

Please note the following details when completing your essays.

•   All written essays must be typed and submitted using the standard U.S. 8 1/2” x 11” format, double-spaced, in 12-point font.
•   Word limits apply to the total question. For example, your response to Essay 1 should answer all parts of the question with a total maximum of 750 words.
•   Label the top of each essay with the following: Name, Date of Birth (month, day, year), Essay Number and Page Number (e.g.: Joe Applicant, January 1, 1983, Essay 1, Page 1).
•   Your essays should be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be revoked if you did not write your essays.

Essays:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Choose Option A or Option B (500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

Answer the question that will best complement your answer to #1 and the rest of your application.

Option A: Your Two Paths

The mission of the Stern School of Business is to develop people and ideas that transform the challenges of the 21st century into opportunities to create value for business and society. Given today’s ever-changing global landscape, Stern seeks and develops leaders who thrive in ambiguity, embrace a broad perspective and think creatively about the range of ways they can have impact.

• Describe two different and distinct paths you could see your career taking long term. How do you see your two paths unfolding?
• What factors will most determine which path you will take?
• How do your paths tie to the mission of NYU Stern?

This is  a relatively difficult question. It forces you to embrace that broad perspective, ambiguity, and creativity, or you can’t answer the question. Let’s assume you get that first job out of Stern that you describe in Essay 1. What are the two most desirable paths you would take from there? Alternatively, chart two alternatives starting with that first job. In each path, how will you create value for others? for society? Why would you choose one path over the other?

You may have a clearly preferred plan A and a less desirable Plan B that ultimately ties to Plan A. You can have two parallel or divergent paths. I think the feasibility of your path given your past experience and an NYU MBA plus your enthusiasm, dare I say passion, for you goals are going to determine the success of this essay.

If I urged concision for essay 1, it is even more important for essay 2, which has a 500-word maximum.

Option B: Personal Expression

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

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

Please note the following guidelines and restrictions:

•   Your submission becomes the property of NYU Stern and cannot be returned for any reason.
•   If you submit a written essay, it should be 500 words maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font. If you submit a video or audio file, it should be five minutes maximum.
•   If you prepare a multimedia submission, you may mail a CD, DVD or USB flash drive to the Admissions Office. These are the only acceptable methods of submission. Please do not submit an internet link to any websites or to a video hosting service such as YouTube.
•   The Admissions Committee reserves the right to request an alternate essay if we are unable to view your submission.
•   Do not submit anything perishable (e.g. food), or any item that has been worn (e.g. clothing).
•   Mailed materials must be postmarked by the application deadline date. Please follow our mail and labeling instructions.

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

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

Bribes won’t work. Candidates can get very creative with this essay and use different media (other than edibles and worn attire), but many of you will convey your ideas in words. Think of how you describe yourself in a social setting when meeting people for the first time.

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

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

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

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

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

3. Additional Information (optional)

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

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

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

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

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

Application Deadlines

Deadline Initial Notification
1st Deadline          October 15, 2014 December 15, 2014
2nd Deadline November 15, 2014 February 15, 2015
3rd Deadline January 15, 2015 April 1, 2015
4th Deadline March 15, 2015 June 1, 2015

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

Create a 5 Star Multi-Media Admissions Presentation: Download our Free report, "Audio & Video in Admissions!"

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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University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/16/university-of-toledo-college-of-medicine-and-life-sciences-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/16/university-of-toledo-college-of-medicine-and-life-sciences-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:36:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24189 ]]> Click here for more school-specific secondary essay tips!UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences offers an education that emphasizes the importance of treating patients as individuals and incorporating the latest research available in their training.  After the first year, students have the opportunity to participate in paid summer research positions.  Students complete clerkships during their third and fourth years with the option of serving patients abroad in the fourth year.  For more details about their program and campus, you can see the College of Medicine Viewbook, here.

Toledo 2015 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

 • Two essays are requested, no limit required.
 • Applicants should use single line spacing and 10 or 12 point size font.
 • Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight all of an applicant’s strengths.

The following essays are requested in the Secondary Application:

1. Briefly discuss any extenuating circumstances which you feel are pertinent to your application (poor grades, course withdrawals, etc). (No Limit)

To respond effectively to this essay prompt, examine your AMCAS application from an outsider’s perspective.  In reviewing your grades and activities, is there anything that needs to be explained?  Is there anything confusing?  Or is there something that might not be obvious to the reader without providing some emphasis, for example, on the number of hours that you worked per week while attending school full time?  You can explain any reasons for why your application may be less competitive.  State the facts to create the right tone.  

2. The University of Toledo College of Medicine is committed to excellence in education which prepares graduates to deliver quality health care. Developing cultural competence is an important goal in our curriculum. Cultural competence is defined as an awareness, understanding and ability to use specific methods to deal effectively with cultural issues and its role in health and health care. Please discuss a life experience in which you feel you demonstrated cultural competence. (No limit)

I recommend selecting an example in which you played an active role in alleviating language or cultural barriers.  In this essay, you can highlight the interpersonal communication skills that you have and any additional languages that you speak.  Effective examples would include translating for people who don’t speak the same language or communicating religious or cultural differences that could cause confusion for others.  For example, a student from a Hmong or Laotian background who understands this community’s lack of trust for Western Medicine could describe how to s/he successfully helped organize and host free health clinics through a church in the community to provide health check-ups.  There are many different examples that would fit well for this essay question.  The key will be selecting one that demonstrates your level of awareness and sensitivity to others.         

UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences Application Timeline:

AMCAS Application Due                November 1, 2014

Secondary Application                   December 31, 2014

(*Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.)

Interviews Conducted                     September 2014 to April 2015

School Begins                                  August 2015

If you would like professional guidance with your University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the UTCMLS application materials.

Learn how you can get accepted to med school even with a low MCAT or GPA!
Alicia McNease Nimonkaris 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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Goals on Steroids http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/16/goals-on-steroids-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/16/goals-on-steroids-2/#respond Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:07:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23961 ]]> Click here to download your complete copy of Why MBA!

Make your reader your cheerleader!

“Goals on Steroids” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Why MBA? To download the entire free special report, click here.

First, I must thank Linda Abraham for this wonderful phrase.  I had previously used the blander designation, “goals plus.”

By following the advice in the previous post you can create goals that are clear, credible, and convincing, but they won’t necessarily be exciting.  They won’t make the adcom reader think as she reads, “Wow, it would be great if he could do that!”  And this latter reaction is really what the goals essay should aim for. As all my clients have probably heard me say, you want to make your reader your cheerleader.

To generate such a response, deliver goals plus – show how goals developed from experience, and describe motivation and vision for goals.

  • Experience means when, where, and how your goals developed.
  • Motivation is the pivot point when something gained traction with you; when you became engaged and captivated in some way so that you want to pursue a given path.
  • Vision is the broader impact of achieving the goal, beyond your own immediate efforts.

These three elements are separate words but in actuality will likely be intertwined.  Here is a brief example, slightly modified from an HBS goals essay I wrote for a hypothetical applicant in Consultants’ Guide:

Last year, when I was in Taiwan advising a global financial services company on consolidating its Asia strategy, I found myself thinking what a shame it was that my relationship with the client proved responsive rather than proactive.  With my knowledge of the region’s changing demographic and logistical realities, I could have recommended strategic opportunities a year ago to prevent the client from getting bogged down in redundant acquisitions and incompatible markets.  Following that experience, I envisioned a new consulting paradigm resembling primary care medicine, based on a long-term, prevention focused relationship between the consultant and client.

Adding experience, motivation and vision turns the goals from static to dynamic.  There are three other advantages of “goals plus”:

  1. The experiential basis enhances credibility.
  2. They create a story, which is more engaging and memorable than pure exposition.
  3. Your goals inherently differentiate you, because it’s your story, it’s naturally unique.

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

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

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The Biggest Application Essay Mistake [Video] http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/15/the-biggest-application-essay-mistake-video/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/15/the-biggest-application-essay-mistake-video/#respond Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:54:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24261 ]]> What is the very worst thing you could possibly do in your application essays? Watch Linda’s answer and add your own comments below:

Accepted.com

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Why Do We Have Personal Statements? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/15/why-do-we-have-personal-statements-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/15/why-do-we-have-personal-statements-2/#respond Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:52:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24108 ]]> Learn how to creating a winning AMCAS essay! Click here to download your complete copy of Ace the AMCAS!

Your AMCAS essay will provide a window into who you are…

“Why Do We Have Personal Statements?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Ace the AMCAS Essay. To download the entire free special report, click here.

Do the essays in your med school applications serve as mere padding for the rest of your application? Or do they have some higher purpose?

I’d like to propose three important reasons WHY the med schools request essays in addition to the all the stats and data that you provide in other sections of your application.

The purpose of the AMCAS essay is to…

 1. Provide a window into who you are. Not just into your grades and scores and impressive awards and experiences, but into the real you. Your AMCAS essay gives you an opportunity for the admissions community to meet you beyond the hard facts. This is your chance to introduce yourself.

2. Add insight and value to your application. Your AMCAS essay will allow you to delve deeper into specific experiences and to discuss your motivation and the lessons you learned. Be careful not to merely repeat info found on other parts of your application; instead, build and add to it with an insightful essay.

3. Demonstrate writing ability. Strong writing skills are indicative of strong communication skills, which are critical in the medical world. Let the adcom readers see that you know how to get your point across.

To sum up, your essays shouldn’t pad your application with meaningless filler material, but should serve as a different kind of PAD – Provide a window, Add value, and Demonstrate writing skills. Include these elements in your AMCAS essay, and you’ll be one step closer to creating a captivating piece of writing and capturing a spot in your dream med school!

Download this special report that will help you ace the AMCAS essay.

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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Columbia 2015 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/14/columbia-2015-executive-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/14/columbia-2015-executive-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:55:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24239 ]]> Columbia Business School

Don’t expect to richly portray your personal and/or professional development.

These essay questions focus mostly on the present and future. There’s a little room to discuss relevant past experiences, but not much, so don’t expect to richly portray your personal and/or professional development. Moreover, if the Columbia EMBA adcom wanted this information, they would ask for it. Rather, go with the flow, and give them what they do ask for, in aggregate: a vivid sense of engagement

•  with your career

• with the resources of Manhattan

• with the program itself.

Short Answer Question:

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (100 characters maximum)

Give the basic facts – position, company, or a specific industry, and a word about responsibilities and desired impacts. Don’t repeat the question (it wastes space). 

Essays:

1: Given your individual background, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time?  (Maximum 500 words)

The initial phrase invites you to present your goals and your MBA plans in the context of your past experience.  Yet, with only 500 words overall, you can’t give a comprehensive, detailed delineation of your life or career to date.  I suggest a simple basic structure, which you can adapt:

1. Start with the key point or two from your past that really animates your goals. Make it straightforward and vivid; ideally including an anecdote.

2. Your career vision fleshed out – some practical discussion of how you’ll achieve it and what “success” will look like in terms of desired impact.

3. Why these factors make now the right time to pursue the EMBA. Also include the main reasons Columbia is the right program for you.    

2: Columbia Business School is located in the heart of the world’s business capital- Manhattan. How do you anticipate that New York City will impact your experience at Columbia? (Maximum 250 words)

Please view the videos below:

New York City – limitless possibilities

New York City – fast paced and adaptable

Your experience at Columbia will have numerous dimensions: academic, professional, social, cultural.  Try to address each of these dimensions in the proportion relevant to you.  Do not just do a travelogue of Manhattan (I’ve already seen this in a draft or two). Rather discuss how the resources of Manhattan relevant to you will inform your time at Columbia – say you have a passion for jazz.  Of course you can hear great jazz all over town, but will you also look to share this passion with classmates?  Start an informal jazz appreciation group?  Audit music courses at Columbia or nearby Manhattan School of Music?

3: What will the people in your cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

The key to answering this short essay effectively is to understand the phrase “pleasantly surprised.”  Let’s break it down:

• First, don’t repeat a resume point – “surprised” means something not obvious from the available information.

• “Pleasantly” means something that will generate positive interest.  It doesn’t have to be directly applicable or “useful” to your cluster mates.

It can be something from work or outside work.  If it’s far in the past, it should be something of continuing relevance.  DON’T present a boring explanation.  DO root your response in actual experience.

Most important: DO select a topic that will add something to your profile, something that lets the adcom know you better as a person.

If your answer puts a smile on the reader’s face, or even better elicits a happy, surprised laugh, high five!

Optional Essay

An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

This question invites you to present new material that will enhance your application, as well as to explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender if not using a direct supervisor, etc.). As far as non-necessary points, since you are making the adcom read more than is required, there should be a clear value to the information you’re sharing. Finally, keep it short.

Columbia EMBA 2015 Application Deadlines:

EMBA-Americas: January 2015 Entry

Regular Decision: October 29, 2014

EMBA-NY Saturday: May 2015 Entry

Early Decision: January 15, 2015

Regular Decision: March 2, 2015

EMBA-NY Friday/Saturday: August 2015 Entry

Early Decision: March 18, 2015

Regular Decision: June 3, 2015

Download your free copy of Ace the EMBA!

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

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How to Pay for Your MBA: Free Webinar on Wednesday! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/14/how-to-pay-for-your-mba-free-webinar-on-wednesday/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/14/how-to-pay-for-your-mba-free-webinar-on-wednesday/#respond Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:23:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24217 ]]> B-school applicants stressed by future tuition bills…listen up: We’ll be hosting a webinar loaded with tips on how to pay for business school on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET (see what time that is for you here).

During the webinar, guest Matt Levin, Head of Business Development at CommonBond, will discuss:

 • Getting started – budgeting and understanding your true cost of attendance.
 • Funding options – sources you should use and sources you shouldn’t use.
 • The mechanics of lending – the terms and calculations you need to know.
 • Timelines – understanding all the different deadlines and stages of applying for funding.
 • Picking a lender – questions you need to ask.

Join Our Free Webinar to Learn How to Pay for Your MBA!

The webinar is free to the public, but registration is required – click here to register: How to Pay for Your MBA.

Reserve Your Spot to Learn How to Pay for Your MBA!

Accepted.com

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USC Lets Students Fast Track to Law School http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/14/usc-lets-students-fast-track-to-law-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/14/usc-lets-students-fast-track-to-law-school/#respond Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:07:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24196 ]]> Need law school admissions advice?

The country’s second-largest legal market.

Last week USC announced the launch of its new 3+3 program which will allow select USC students to begin law school (at USC’s Gould School of Law) during their senior year. The program lasts a total of six years – three years of undergraduate studies and three years of law school. Students apply to the program during their junior year; if accepted they’ll enroll in law school the following year and then receive their bachelor’s degree upon completion of that year. Then, two years later, they’ll receive their law degree.

To apply to the program, students must have:

 • A minimum GPA of 3.8.
 • Completed the coursework for their majors by junior year.
 • Strong faculty recommendations, writing samples, and a personal statement.
 • An interview.

The LSAT is not required for admission to the program.

“The 3+3 program will enable the best USC undergraduates to stay at USC for law school and take advantage of being in Los Angeles, the country’s second-largest legal market,” says USC Gould’s associate dean for admissions and financial aid, Chloe Reid. “It is a highly selective program for those students who can tackle the rigors of academic life at one of the country’s leading law schools. Students who are set on the legal profession will find these aspects very appealing.”

See the USC press release for more details.

View our catalog of law school admissions consulting and editing services for more information on how we can help YOU get accepted!

8_Tips_for_Law_School_Admissions_CTA
Accepted.com

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3 Days Left to Save 10% on Law, Grad, and MBA Services! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/13/3-days-left-to-save-10-of-law-grad-and-mba-services/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/13/3-days-left-to-save-10-of-law-grad-and-mba-services/#respond Sun, 13 Jul 2014 18:51:57 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23745 ]]> Three Days Left to Save! Click here to check out our services!

Only three days left to enjoy big summer savings!

Use coupon code SUMMER at checkout in the NEXT THREE DAYS ONLY (through Tuesday, July 15th) to save 10% on non-rush law, grad, and MBA services! (Offer may not be combined with other discounts.)

The following services will be most helpful to you at this stage of the admissions process:

Top Law School Admissions Services:

Top Graduate School Admissions Services:

Top MBA Admissions Services:

Still have questions? No problem. Contact us and we’ll help you choose the service that’s best for you.

Click here to check out our admissions services!
Accepted.com

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6 Ways to Save More Money Once School Starts http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/11/6-ways-to-save-more-money-once-school-starts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/11/6-ways-to-save-more-money-once-school-starts/#respond Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:34:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24165 ]]> Check out our College 101 Tips!

If you don’t have a university debit card, don’t sign up for one.

If you’ve opted to attend an in-state school or get your core courses knocked out at a community college, you’re well on your way to cutting the cost of your education. Once the semester begins, however, expenses can really add up, and it’s easy to stray from a frugal mindset. Thankfully, there are plenty of money-saving opportunities at your disposal and taking advantage of all of them is in your best short- and long-term interest. To learn how to cut your costs after you crack open that first textbook, read on.

1. Resell Textbooks
If you bought your textbooks online from eBay or Amazon to save money, congrats. Once the semester is done, or even a few days before, be sure to list those textbooks for sale to get some of your money back. Check out eBay and Amazon for details on pricing, and if you don’t like what you see check a local storefront in your area where you may be able to get a better deal. Competition is high, so the sooner you get your textbooks listed the better off you’re going to be.

2. Make Full Use of Your Student ID Card
Your student ID card is good for free sporting events, lectures, and even concerts and discounts at local eateries and shops – so be sure to make full use of it. If you take in a hockey game for free one Friday night instead of bar-hopping with your friends, you could save yourself $50 or more. Anytime you reach for your wallet off-campus, be sure to ask if there’s a student discount for the purchase you’re about to make. Often, there is.

3. Get a Job
Most students don’t consider working during school because of the time commitment required for studies. If you manage your schedule well, though, you can certainly find the room to take on a part-time job. For all those hours you’re working, you won’t be out spending money. Check in with your campus employment office or do a targeted search on a career website like SimplyHired. Search using the keyword “part-time,” and include your location. There should be plenty of positions available either on or near campus, and you might be able to walk to work.

4. Get Stuff for Free
Did you know that there are plenty of computer software titles available for free download at the website CNET? You also don’t need to pay for antivirus software because the programs Avast and AVG give you all the protection you need. If you’re looking for a couch to round out your dorm room, skip the local furniture outlet and check out Freecycle or Craigslist. You can get countless items for free – you just have to know where to look.

5. Find Low-Cost Entertainment
Instead of heading to the movie theater where you might drop $30 or more, invite some friends over for Trivial Pursuit, Cranium, or another classic board game like Pictionary. You can find them at a local retailer like Target for about $15, or at thrift stores for just $1 or $2 – just make sure all the game cards and pieces are still in the box. Also, think about joining an intramural sports league where your out-of-pocket costs are low and you can improve your health at the same time.

6. Cut Up the University Debit Card
If you don’t have a university debit card, don’t sign up for one. If you do, cut it up. The pros are far outweighed by the cons. It typically comes with hefty withdrawal and transfer fees. Also, since these cards are often linked to your financial aid, it can be far too easy to blow that money on unimportant purchases. Avoid temptation entirely and rely on cash for your time in school.

Final Thoughts
College is typically a four-year stretch, and the money decisions you make during that time go a long way toward shaping your finances post-graduation. If you enter the workforce with a boatload of student loan debt, it becomes that much harder to start setting aside for other important financial considerations, like retirement savings, a down payment for a home, and an emergency fund. Do your best to shave costs during school and you’re going to thank yourself once that first paycheck comes in.

What are your plans for saving money during school?

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

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 Tom Bailey writes about money saving strategies, including ways to cut college expenses and survive as a student.

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The GMAT and EMBA Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/11/the-gmat-and-emba-programs/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/11/the-gmat-and-emba-programs/#respond Fri, 11 Jul 2014 14:28:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24010 ]]> Need GMAT Advice?

There is no substitute for real world experience.

With fulltime MBA programs, it is fairly obvious why the GMAT is such an important component to one’s application – with less work experience, admissions committees need to find other measurements to gauge potential success in a program. Academic preparedness can clearly be evidenced with a strong undergraduate GPA coupled with a strong GMAT score. With Executive MBA programs, a GMAT score’s relation to the rest of one’s application is less obvious, since other factors seem to be of more importance.

Criteria for admission to an Executive MBA program (often in this order) include work experience and the type of insight an applicant can bring to the classroom, future potential, and academic preparedness. During my time at Cornell, I would often say we were looking for students who could teach just as much to their fellow classmates as the faculty who taught in the program. There is no substitute for real world experience to ingrain concepts presented in the classroom.

Once the box is checked for work experience, it is necessary to ensure an applicant can handle the rigorous work in a program. Admissions committees evaluate this in a variety of ways, primarily through undergraduate performance. Not all Executive MBA programs require the GMAT, but for those that do, the GMAT score also is an indicator of potential academic success while in a program. There is less emphasis placed on it than in full-time MBA admissions, however, since an applicant is typically much further removed from standardized testing than a full-time applicant.

If an applicant has strong work experience and a strong undergraduate record, but a weak GMAT score, the undergraduate record usually “trumps” the GMAT score. If an applicant has strong work experience and a strong GMAT score, but a weak undergraduate record, there will probably be further investigation on the part of an admissions committee to see if there were any mitigating circumstances leading to a low GPA. If not, it’s possible an admissions committee might ask for some additional evidence to indicate academic preparedness – for example, suggesting an additional quant course either online or from a local college. Bottom line, an EMBA admissions committee wants to admit individuals who are fully prepared to hit the ground running when a program starts, and the GMAT is one indication of an applicant’s ability to do just that.

Got GMAT Questions? Visit GMAT 101 for advice.

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

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Masters in Finance: What You Need to Know http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/10/masters-in-finance-what-you-need-to-know/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/10/masters-in-finance-what-you-need-to-know/#respond Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:20:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24175 ]]> Listen to the interview!The Masters in Finance degree is one of the most up and coming specialized masters programs in the business world.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Anthony DeAngelis, owner and founder of Masters in Finance HQ, for the low-down on his company, the MSF degree, and the world of finance.

00:03:35 – The bored (but not boring!) beginnings of MSFHQ .

00:06:03 – What do financial analysts really do?

00:13:37 – Different types of MSF/MiF programs and what kind of candidates they are looking for.

00:16:40 – Can liberal arts grads go the finance route?

00:19:30 – A word about the schools that require work experience.

00:21:28 – Plenty of work to go around in the finance industry.

00:23:47 – Guidelines for the MSF vs. MBA vs. Financial Engineering Degree decision.

00:27:58 –Financial services are rebounding. What does the future hold?

00:34:56 – What’s changed the most at MSFHQ.

00:36:45 – Advice for people considering the MSF.

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

Related Links:

MSFHQ
Accepted.com Services Section (SUMMER Sale ends on July 15!)
• What is a Masters in Finance?

Related Shows:

The Facts About Financial Services
Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship 
Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman
• Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher! Focus on Finance

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/10/masters-in-finance-what-you-need-to-know/feed/ 0 finance,podcast The Masters in Finance degree is one of the most up and coming specialized masters programs in the business world. - Listen to the recording of our conversation with Anthony DeAngelis, owner and founder of Masters in Finance HQ, The Masters in Finance degree is one of the most up and coming specialized masters programs in the business world. Listen to the recording of our conversation with Anthony DeAngelis, owner and founder of Masters in Finance HQ, for the low-down on his company, the MSF degree, and the world of finance. 00:03:35 – The bored (but not boring!) beginnings of MSFHQ . 00:06:03 – What do financial analysts really do? 00:13:37 – Different types of MSF/MiF programs and what kind of candidates they are looking for. 00:16:40 – Can liberal arts grads go the finance route? 00:19:30 – A word about the schools that require work experience. 00:21:28 – Plenty of work to go around in the finance industry. 00:23:47 – Guidelines for the MSF vs. MBA vs. Financial Engineering Degree decision. 00:27:58 –Financial services are rebounding. What does the future hold? 00:34:56 – What’s changed the most at MSFHQ. 00:36:45 – Advice for people considering the MSF. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • MSFHQ • Accepted.com Services Section (SUMMER Sale ends on July 15!) • What is a Masters in Finance? Related Shows: • The Facts About Financial Services • Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship  • Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman • Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk: Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 41:35
3 Mistakes Successful College Applicants Don’t Make http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/10/3-mistakes-successful-college-applicants-dont-make/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/10/3-mistakes-successful-college-applicants-dont-make/#respond Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:42:49 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24019 ]]> Successful college applicants don't blow off senior year!

Successful college applicants don’t blow off senior year!

The preparation for successful college application does not happen overnight. In fact, it is the culmination of years of work throughout high school. The most successful college applicants take a number of components into consideration as they approach the application process. Here are three mistakes they don’t make:

1. Blow off essay responses. They know a strong GPA and test scores are not enough. They invest time and thought in their essay responses and they don’t wait until the last minute to submit their applications. They keep deadlines in mind. They request letters of recommendation in a timely manner to allow a teacher/counselor time to reflect before writing a recommendation. They use their essays as an opportunity to demonstrate their specific interests, life experience, and aspirations not just to repeat information found elsewhere in their application. They share something that helps fill in the overall picture of who they are and how they can contribute to the overall college environment.

2. Neglect to consider appropriate college fit. Their initial list might begin with colleges that family members or friends recommend but it doesn’t stop there. They apply to a range of schools that are a good fit for them- they include fallback and dream school options. They invest time to research which schools are the best fits for them on many levels (consider: size of student population, distance from home, financial obligations, academic interests, special programs, alumni ties). They use on-line resources to provide information and insight into the sorts of programs and activities available at a college. They schedule campus tours and reach out to college counselors whenever possible. They speak with current students and recent graduates. They ask their tour guides/hosts questions about how they selected a specific college and about experiences at the college that matched their expectations, as well as, what they might do anything differently in hindsight. Successful applicants can articulate why each school they apply to is a good fit for them.

3. Take it easy in senior year. They take a rigorous curriculum throughout high school, demonstrate an upward trend in academic demands, and maintain extracurricular involvement with increasing leadership responsibility. They don’t blow off senior year. Yes, of course they have fun but they keep future goals in mind as well. They make sure to stay on top of assignments and prepare well for exams.

Although this discussion seems logical, nonetheless, these are common oversights. Successful college applicants don’t make these mistakes.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.
Marie Todd By Accepted college admissions consultant who has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology; School of Nursing; and Taubman College of Architecture. She is available to assist your child with his or her applications.

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MBA Scholarships: How Do I Apply and What Should I Emphasize? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/10/mba-scholarships-how-do-i-apply-and-what-should-i-emphasize/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/10/mba-scholarships-how-do-i-apply-and-what-should-i-emphasize/#respond Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:17:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24094 ]]> Which b-schools offer the most scholarships?

Scholarship dollars are designated by a donor for specific reasons.

While each school has its own unique scholarship offerings (merit only, merit and need, need only), they do so for a variety of reasons.  Similar to admissions, a director will consider your academic indicators, your work experience, your extra-curricular activities, your goals and your community service.  They also consider socio-economic factors for need-based and outstanding accomplishments for merit-need-based scholarships.

Merit-based general scholarships give the schools an opportunity to attract a candidate that they may not have the opportunity to enroll without the scholarship.  For schools with deep pockets, it helps the admissions office attract and maintain individuals that without the scholarship, the school could easily lose to other schools.  It also helps some schools fill their enrollment requirements.  Regardless, scholarships enable the admissions director to create his or her mosaic.

In addition to general scholarships, each school may also have specialized scholarships.   Those scholarships often will be given to students that diversify the population through their goals or their backgrounds.  In addition to school scholarships, outside organizations may partner with the school to offer scholarships or offer scholarships autonomously. Many organizations offer scholarships for students with disabilities (National MS Society, Setoma, SBA), women (Forte, AAUW) under-represented minorities (Consortium, Tiogo, American Association of Indian Affairs, The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, NSHMBA, NBMBA, Pfizer, Hispanic College Fund, and international students (Fulbright).  Specialized scholarships can be found on a national level (GFAO, Peace Corps, GI Bill, Fisher House), state level (New York State Scholarship Fund) and local level (Shanghai municipal scholarship) as well as through charitable and religious organizations.

Each school also has scholarship dollars that are designated by a corporate donor, alumnus or friend of the school for specific reasons.  Ernst and Young gave one school for whom I worked an endowment to distribute to candidates with accounting backgrounds, and another school for whom I worked had an alumnus who offered the school a fund designated for incoming Brazilian student scholarships.

I had the most difficulty distributing scholarships to local students with very specific backgrounds.  For example at one school, an alumnus gave us a generous fund to offer scholarships to students with accounting backgrounds from a specific county in the state in which the alumnus grew up.  The county was quite small and we rarely had applicants that applied to our school from that county with accounting backgrounds.  We couldn’t distribute that scholarship for several years in a row and when we did find a candidate that matched the criteria, that candidate received the scholarship regardless of need or merit.

Your best sources for scholarships are Fastweb.org, Scholarships.com, and the school you plan to attend.  However, check with each school’s scholarship policy before applying for admission.  Some schools may have you write an essay or check a box to show interest in scholarships.  Others distribute scholarships based on your admissions application and you don’t need to indicate an interest in scholarship at all.

Regardless of how you piece together your school funding, don’t pay for a scholarship search.  The information is free on the Internet or through your school’s admissions and/or financial aid office. Also, keep in mind that you must complete the FAFSA for U.S. scholarships and loans or the international equivalent through your country’s ministry of education.  And if you have multiple offers with scholarships, you have some negotiating power. If you need additional information, please contact me.

Join our upcoming webinar: How to Pay for Your MBA!
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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Secondaries Webinar is Back Due to Popular Demand! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/09/secondaries-webinar-is-back-due-to-popular-demand/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/09/secondaries-webinar-is-back-due-to-popular-demand/#respond Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:36:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24156 ]]> Did you miss our Secondary Essay Strategies that Score Interviews webinar? Fear not! We will be hosting the webinar once again on Monday, July 14.

Click here to find out more & register for the webinar!

You need to know how to craft secondary essays that will make you stand out from the crowd – and we want to tell you how to do just that. Join us live on Monday to learn the secrets of successful secondaries!

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Introducing Consultant Lisa Gruenbaum http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/09/introducing-consultant-lisa-gruenbaum/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/09/introducing-consultant-lisa-gruenbaum/#respond Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:39:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24004 ]]> Lisa GruenbaumWe warmly welcome Lisa Gruenbaum to the Accepted.com consulting family! Lisa brings with her vast experiences as an admissions reader at UPenn’s undergraduate schools and at Wharton’s MBA Program. She has reviewed literally thousands of essays, transcripts, resumes, and recommendations, along the way learning what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to getting accepted to a top school.

Additionally, her experience as a journalist has helped her develop her skills as a master-storyteller.

She looks forward to advising you as you weave your triumphs and dreams into the amazing story that will help YOU get accepted.

Check out Lisa’s full profile here.

Check out Lisa's Profile!

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Exactly What Are Goals? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/09/exactly-what-are-goals-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/09/exactly-what-are-goals-2/#respond Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:12:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23957 ]]> Click here to download your complete copy of Why MBA!

A third key component for many people is geography, if it is integral to the goal.

“Exactly What Are Goals?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Why MBA? To download the entire free special report, click here.

“I want to move from the buy side to the sell side.”

“I want to shift from technology consulting to investment banking.”

Not goals.

An engineer once really said to me, “I want to go into either finance or consulting.”  Not goals.

A goal isn’t something you want, it’s something you do, something you want to achieve, an impact you want to have, and the process of getting there.  Therefore, it needs to be specific.  Start with two key components:

1. Industry

2. Function

A third key component for many people is geography, if it is integral to the goal (e.g., developing solar energy in northern Africa).

Then add the “do” part – what the work will actually consist of, and what you hope to accomplish.

Here are some examples that incorporate the above elements:

•  I plan to return to operations but work at a higher, decision making level, such as Senior Operations Manager in an East Asian semiconductor firm or a related industry.  In this role I would, for example, oversee $XXX operations, a global high-tech supply chain, and manage a diverse range of technical and business professionals.

•  Currently I’m a BPR consultant; I plan to shift to strategy consulting at a top global firm such as Bain or McKinsey, ideally focusing on clients in the pharma/biomedical space, and help them setup operations in Eastern Europe.

To wrap up this section, I’ll add a couple of cautions about this phase of the process, developing core goals:

1.   Your short-term goals are naturally a stepping stone, and hence people often focus solely on what they will learn, understand; experience they will gain; people they will meet.  Short-term goals should also include the elements noted above – what you want to do and accomplish, contribute.

2.   Ensure that your goals really require the MBA education.  Of course any learning is helpful for almost any endeavor; but the adcoms want to see that you really need the resources they offer, which they view as precious and not to be squandered.  (And they’re right!)

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

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

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Who Should Write Your AMCAS Essays? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/08/who-should-write-your-amcas-essays/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/08/who-should-write-your-amcas-essays/#respond Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:38:00 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24104 ]]> Learn how to creating a winning AMCAS essay! Click here to download your complete copy of Ace the AMCAS!

Don’t needlessly air your dirty laundry.

“Who Should Write Your AMCAS Essays?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Ace the AMCAS Essay. To download the entire free special report, click here.

The obvious answer here is that YOU should (and if anyone else does for you, then you can expect to be found out and rejected). But there’s a bigger question here – Which YOU will be writing your essay?

I’d like to present two important principles here:

Principle #1: To Thine Own Self Be True

One of the purposes of the AMCAS essay is to provide a snapshot – a quick and accurate introduction – of yourself to the med school admissions board. If the application were to ask you to attach a photo, you wouldn’t include a picture of someone else, and I hope that you wouldn’t Photoshop or alter your photo to create an image of who you WISH you were, rather than of who you actually ARE.

Your essays should serve that same purpose. The stories that you tell in your AMCAS essay should be authentic and honest so that the YOU in your essay would be recognizable to anyone who actually knows you.

Principle #2: Put Your Best Foot Forward

While you want to be as authentic as possible, you also want to be sure that you’re not a) offering too much personal or private information and b) dwelling on your weaknesses. Yes, you want to portray your true self (Principle #1), but you don’t want to needlessly air your dirty laundry. Nobody wants to read about your most recent breakup or how devastated you were when you woke up with a huge zit on the day of your high school prom. Furthermore, if you have difficulty juggling tasks or following directions, don’t be “too honest” and rant and complain about how you have so much trouble getting things done. Of course you should never ever EVER lie, but you also don’t need to volunteer irrelevant or inappropriate information or details that will make you look unqualified.

Download this special report that will help you ace the AMCAS essay.

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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Wharton 2015 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/08/wharton-2015-executive-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/08/wharton-2015-executive-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:05:23 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24062 ]]> Click here for more school-specific EMBA essay tips!

Wharton

The Wharton EMBA adcom, through its three required questions, expresses its values and its interest in a relationship with students who share those values. Each of the questions highlights a different facet of this relationship. Respecting, recognizing, and responding to that vision through your essays will be the key to a successful application.

 • Essay question 1 focuses on your goals and Wharton’s role in helping you achieve them.

 • Essay question 2 invites you to share your understanding of qualities that Wharton values.

 • Essay question 3 seeks confirmation that you understand in practical terms what a commitment to attending the program involves.

My tips for answering Wharton’s EMBA essay questions are in blue below.

Essays:

1. What is your career objective and how will the Wharton MBA Program for Executives contribute to your attainment of these objectives? (750 word limit)

You may want to start by discussing your current career situation to set the context, and clarify how the MBA education will enable you to achieve your immediate goals in your current role.  You can then naturally move on to your future goals.  In describing your goals at any given point, indicate why you are taking that step or pursuing that role. Put more detail on the roles you plan immediately post-MBA and the several years following; longer-term goals need less detail, but they still should present a clear direction.

In discussing how the program will benefit you, be specific: describe what skills and knowledge you need, and how the program meets those needs.  Also refer to the structure and special features of the program, detailing how they will support you and your goals.

2. In his book, Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times, Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. (W’59), writes: “A crisis creates the opportunity to dip deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength, and resolve that otherwise we didn’t think we possessed.” Describe a time when you were faced with a challenge and how you responded. (500 word limit)

This question clearly expresses certain qualities that Wharton seeks: ethics, resolve, fortitude, courage, self-awareness, clear-sightedness, ability to grow.  Showing through an appropriate experience that you possess some of these qualities (one to three will suffice; trying to address all of them would just create a blur) will convey fit with the program.  Given the gravity of the words in the quote, discuss a true crisis, not a mere problem or disappointment.  Since you cover work in essay 1, you can select a topic for this essay either from or outside work.

I suggest a relatively recent experience if possible – if it’s beyond a few years in the past, it must be a truly life-changing experience to work for this essay.  Hopefully you haven’t had so many recent crises that you have a hard time choosing among them, but if there are some different options, choose one that strategically works to your advantage by showcasing something desirable and/or interesting and/or impressive about your background or work life.

In writing the essay, keep it simple.  Tell the story, then briefly reflect on it considering the factors mentioned in the question.

3. Given your already demanding job and the desire to remain committed to important family and personal obligations, how do you plan to handle this additional demand on your time once you enroll? (500 word limit)

This straightforward question deserves a straightforward answer. Discuss the accommodations you will make at work, such as delegating more, adjusting travel schedules, etc.  You don’t have to tell them every single thing you can think of – focus on the most significant two or three adjustments.

Also address your personal responsibilities and how you will meet them with this additional significant demand on your time and energy; even acknowledging that you’ll have less time at the playground with your toddler or mentioning the support of your significant other will show that you’re facing this issue squarely.  If you’ve already successfully balanced school and working full time, by all means mention it.

Optional Essay:

Please explain any extenuating circumstances you feel the Admissions Committee should be aware of (e.g., unexplained gaps in your work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent academic performance).  You may also take this opportunity to share other aspects of your life that you feel have shaped you that the Admissions Committee would not otherwise have learned from your application or resume. (500 word limit)

You can use the optional essay not just to explain a problem (low GMAT, employment gap) but also to present new material that you think will enhance your application.  However, if you are making the adcom read more than is required, there had better be a darn good reason — not just that something is nice to know. First, succinctly explain any points that need explaining.  Then, if there is something you feel is important that you haven’t had a chance to discuss elsewhere, write about it, noting why it’s important for the adcom to know.

Wharton 2015 Application Deadlines:

Round 1: December 2, 2014; decision release date if application is complete by December 2 – January 16, 2015

Round 2: February 10, 2015; decision release date if application is complete by March 31 – March 31, 2015

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

Download our free special report

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

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Solutions to the MBA Money Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/07/solutions-to-the-mba-money-questions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/07/solutions-to-the-mba-money-questions/#respond Mon, 07 Jul 2014 15:21:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24097 ]]> How_to_Pay_for_Your_MBA_TMPB-school’s not cheap. Okay, now that you’ve said it aloud, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to collect the funds needed to pay for the degree that’ll fast track your career?

Join us next week on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET for How to Pay for Your MBA – a webinar that will walk you through the process of budgeting, searching, securing, and fully understanding the funds you need to pay for business school.

The webinar will be presented by Matt Levin, Head of Business Development at CommonBond and an expert on helping b-school students budget and pay for their MBAs.

Isn’t it time you get rid of your money-induced headache with some solid facts and tips about b-school funding? Cheaper than ibuprofen, and longer lasting – register for How to Pay for Your MBA now!

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What if I Need to Retake the SAT? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/07/what-if-i-need-to-retake-the-sat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/07/what-if-i-need-to-retake-the-sat/#respond Mon, 07 Jul 2014 15:02:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24032 ]]> Need College Admissions Tips?

SAT: Take 2 (or 3 or 4)

Some treat taking the SAT over again as though it were the same thing as walking down the aisle to take one’s marriage vows for the second time. If stigma should be attached anywhere, it should be on not re-taking the SAT—a second time, third time, and a fourth time. I’m not saying become an SAT test-taking junkie. Rather, you should feel utterly at ease with retaking the SAT. Here’s why!

1. Colleges only see the scores you decide to send them

The colleges aren’t like Big Brother (the all-knowing presence from Orwell’s 1984). That is, they won’t know your scores unless you submit them. You have the option of doing so, for free, during the test. However, you can also send them any time after the test (for a small fee). Unless, you send a specific college your score report, it will never know what you got.

2. You can send your best score in any one section

You can pick and choose your best performance, section-wise, from any test. So your total score can come from as many as three different tests.

Let’s say you scored 750 in math and were surprised at how well you did. However, you bombed the verbal because you didn’t study vocab. For the next test, you go into agro vocab mode and you end up with an amazing 680 on verbal (but you end up doing not so well on math and writing). On a third take you could just focus on the writing section and essay so as to get your best score. If you don’t do so well on the third test, take it again.

3. Knowing that you can retake the SAT multiple times should make it less stressful

All of this is good news because it makes taking the SAT much less stressful. So even if you think taking the test four times is ludicrous, because, hey, you have better things to do with your Saturday, that’s fine. Knowing that you can retake the test will, if nothing else, make the experience a little less stressful.

4. Just because you take the SAT again doesn’t mean you’ll do better

It’s important to note that taking the SAT again doesn’t mean you’re going to score better. Only retake the test if you feel you’ve prepped more than before and are going into the test with more knowledge and better strategies. You might also want to use different prep materials than you did the first time around. For suggestions, check out the Magoosh book reviews in our SAT eBook.

5. There is more to life than taking the SAT

For those of you at the very other end of the spectrum—those who know you can and should retake the test—don’t keep doing so just for those extra few points. There are other things that colleges look at—things you could be doing instead of learning more esoteric SAT vocabulary (do you really need to know the difference between the words “venal” and “venial”?). Volunteering at a hospital, working on that special talent, or studying for one of the SAT subject tests (I know—it’s hard to truly get away from the SAT) might make you seem a little more well-rounded.

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

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

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How to Interpret the Med School Rankings http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/07/how-to-interpret-the-med-school-rankings/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/07/how-to-interpret-the-med-school-rankings/#respond Mon, 07 Jul 2014 14:14:34 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24024 ]]> For many, the first step towards choosing which med schools to apply to begins with an investigation into the published med school rankings. But do you really know what all those numbers and data mean? Do you really understand how you should be utilizing this information best? How much value should you place on the rankings? How can they really help YOU?

Answers to these questions (plus more) can be found in our new special report, Med School Rankings and Numbers: What You MUST Know, in which we’ll walk you through a detailed and down-to-earth analysis of the med school rankings.

Med Ranking Report Cover

Download your FREE copy of Med School Rankings and Numbers: What You MUST Know now!

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Are You an Older Pre-med? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/06/are-you-an-older-pre-med/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/06/are-you-an-older-pre-med/#respond Sun, 06 Jul 2014 15:02:01 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24076 ]]> In this short video, Linda Abraham shares the key to med school admissions for older applicants:

For more advice on applying as an older applicant, check out this article.

Have any questions about your medical school admissions profile? Just drop us a note in the comments section.

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25 Top MBA Employers According to MBA Students http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/06/25-top-mba-employers-according-to-mba-students/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/06/25-top-mba-employers-according-to-mba-students/#respond Sun, 06 Jul 2014 14:09:53 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24013 ]]> B-school students were surveyed on where they want to work most by the Universum USA research firm. Let’s see how this year’s results varied from last year’s and the year before:

Looking for MBA Admissions Advice? Check out Our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!

Much as with school rankings the rankings of top employers change slowly. #1 and #2 are unchanged for the last three years with Google claiming the top spot and McKinsey #2. For most of the top fifteen, these rankings mostly move around the deck chairs, but the players stay on the same deck.

Still there were a few winners and losers in the Universum ranking. The winners include Price Waterhouse, which jumped a whopping 13 spots from 2013 to 2014 (27 to 14) and that was on top of a two-spot jump from 2012 to 2013. Ernst & Young soared from 33 in 2013 to 23 in 2014, also following up a two-point gain the preceding year; Accenture climbed from 29 to 22; and Deloitte skipped up from 9 to 7 after moving up from 11 in 2012. Apparently the consulting and accounting firms are becoming more popular among MBAs. In fact the only consulting firm that dropped was BCG which went down an insignificant one notch from 5 to 6. Another noticeable gainer is Morgan Stanley which flew from 31 to 19, but that change was really just a reversal of its equal drop the preceding year.

The losers? Starbucks sank from 15 to 24. IBM dropped from 19 to 25. BMW declined a whopping 13 spots from 23 in 2013 to 36 in 2014.

Join our upcoming webinar: How to Pay for Your MBA!

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Happy July 4th! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/04/happy-july-4th/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/04/happy-july-4th/#respond Fri, 04 Jul 2014 15:34:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24047 ]]> Happy July 4th from Linda Abraham and the Accetped Team!

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Insights, Advice and Experiences of a Non-Traditional Med Student http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/03/insights-advice-and-experiences-of-a-non-traditional-med-student/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/03/insights-advice-and-experiences-of-a-non-traditional-med-student/#respond Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:43:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24052 ]]> Click here to listen to the interview!Former songwriter, future doctor, Joshua Wienczkowski has a thing or two to say about the med school admissions process and the med school experience.

Listen to the recording of our entertaining and informative conversation for excellent advice and insights from a medical school insider.

00:02:56 – Joshua’s journey to Tennessee and medical school.

00:06:23 – Parallels between medicine & music (this is great).

00:08:38 – Benefits of being a non-traditional applicant.

00:14:16 – Why East Tennessee?

00:18:39 – Enjoying life in the process of getting into med school.

00:22:16 – ‘Its not as bad as everybody made it out to be’ and other surprises about medical school.

00:25:49 – Is gross anatomy gross?

00:29:56 – Interacting with patients as an M1.

00:41:08 – Advice for admitted med students.

00:43:25 – Tips for med school applicants.

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

Relevant Links:

• Journeys with Joshua
• Med School Blogger Interview: Joshua’s Journey 
 “I’m Pre-Med, and I’m Going to be a Surgeon” – How to Not be THAT Guy. 
Create a Compelling AMCAS Application, a webinar
• A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
• Ace Your AMCAS Essay
• Secondary Essay Strategies that Score Interviews, a webinar
• @mtnmedstudent on Twitter

Related Shows:

MCAT Mania: How to Prepare
• MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and MCAT2015
• What You Need to Know About Post-bac Programs
• A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes
• Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More!
• All About AMSA and the Premed Journey

Subscribe:

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/03/insights-advice-and-experiences-of-a-non-traditional-med-student/feed/ 0 Journeys with Joshua,podcast Former songwriter, future doctor, Joshua Wienczkowski has a thing or two to say about the med school admissions process and the med school experience. - Listen to the recording of our entertaining and informative conversation for excellent advice and ... Former songwriter, future doctor, Joshua Wienczkowski has a thing or two to say about the med school admissions process and the med school experience. Listen to the recording of our entertaining and informative conversation for excellent advice and insights from a medical school insider. 00:02:56 – Joshua’s journey to Tennessee and medical school. 00:06:23 – Parallels between medicine & music (this is great). 00:08:38 – Benefits of being a non-traditional applicant. 00:14:16 – Why East Tennessee? 00:18:39 – Enjoying life in the process of getting into med school. 00:22:16 – 'Its not as bad as everybody made it out to be' and other surprises about medical school. 00:25:49 – Is gross anatomy gross? 00:29:56 – Interacting with patients as an M1. 00:41:08 – Advice for admitted med students. 00:43:25 – Tips for med school applicants. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: • Journeys with Joshua • Med School Blogger Interview: Joshua’s Journey  • “I’m Pre-Med, and I’m Going to be a Surgeon” – How to Not be THAT Guy.  • Create a Compelling AMCAS Application, a webinar • A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs • Ace Your AMCAS Essay • Secondary Essay Strategies that Score Interviews, a webinar • @mtnmedstudent on Twitter Related Shows: • MCAT Mania: How to Prepare • MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and MCAT2015 • What You Need to Know About Post-bac Programs • A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes • Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More! • All About AMSA and the Premed Journey Subscribe: Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 49:00
UC Berkeley Haas 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/03/uc-berkeley-haas-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/03/uc-berkeley-haas-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:07:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23754 ]]> UC Berkeley Haas

UC Berkeley Haas

Haas’ application this year has relatively minor changes.  It replaced last year’s #1, which was a somewhat artsy question about a song that expresses who you are, with a straightforward question about a transformational experience. 

The other significant change is that Haas provides word length guidelines that provide range, for instance 400-500 word maximum, instead of one number, for example 500 words max.

Supplemental Information:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Please explain all gaps in your employment since earning your university degree.

Provide the circumstances, but as always, be succinct. If your position was eliminated during a restructuring and it took you three months to find a job, say so. No harm, no foul. If the layoff was much longer, also indicate how you used your time, other than job-searching. Learning new skills or serving your community, if true, would be great to mention here.

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

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

Essays:

At Berkeley-Haas, our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles —Question the Status QuoConfidence Without AttitudeStudents Always; and Beyond yourself. We seek candidates from a broad range of cultures, backgrounds, and industries who demonstrate a strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles. Please use the following essays as an opportunity to reflect on and share with us the values, experiences, and accomplishments that have helped shape who you are.(Learn more about Berkeley-Haas’ Defining Principles).

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

1. Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world. How did this transform you? (400 – 500 word maximum)

This is a new and very different questions form the one that occupied this slot last year.

The question is fairly straightforward and clear. Plus it leaves you room to start with the experience. Paint a picture for the reader of the scene that had such tremendous impact, or tell the story of that experience. How has your life changes as a result? How did your perspective change? What do you do differently? While discussing  perspective or outlook is fine, don’t leave your essay with theory alone. Transformation isn’t merely theoretical; it has to influence practice. 

2. What is your most significant professional accomplishment? (200 – 300 word maximum)

What are you most proud of? When did you make a real contribution and go “beyond yourself”? Tell the story of your accomplishment, but also reflect on it. Why do you consider it the “most significant”? Was it the impact you had on others, or the impact the experience had on you, or what the experience says about you?

For a brief article on accomplishments, please see “What is an Accomplishment?

3. What is your desired post-MBA role and at what company or organization? In your response, please specifically address sub-questions a., b., and c. (500 – 600 word maximum for 3a, 3b, and 3c combined)

a. How is your background compelling to this company?
b. What is something you would do better for this company than any other employee?
c. Why is an MBA necessary and how will Haas specifically help you succeed at this company? (250 word maximum)

This is a probing question. Generalities won’t do here.

It’s unusual that Haas is asking you to be so specific as to name a company you would like to work for. They’re not asking for a type of company or industry. Regardless, do the homework necessary so that you can specify a company as well as the roll you would like to play in that organization.

First, what role would you like to have after you earn your MBA and what would be your first choice in terms of employer. Now do your homework about the company. Read its employment site. If you can, speak to current employees. If you can’t interact with real live people, go on Vault or LinkedIn and network with current employees who are alumni of your college or somehow connected to you in some other way. What is a typical career path at this company? What does the organization seek in people it hires for your desired role? Why would this company want to hire you given your background and education?  Why would you be (after you get your Haas MBA) a compelling candidate?

And finally, how will Haas help you snag your dream position at your dream company. What gaps will your MBA fill? What skills will it hone? 

Think about a common thread between what you’ve done, your Haas MBA, and that dream position. That core idea can really unify your essay.

Optional Essays:

1. (Optional) Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you haven’t addressed elsewhere. (500 word maximum)

A bonus! If there is an element in your background, be it personal, academic or professional, that you have not revealed elsewhere and would like the adcom to know about, this is the spot. Give them another reason to admit you, but don’t submit the grand summary, appeal, or closing statement. Keep it succinct and focused. Obviously, you could use this essay to explain a weakness, but that would leave your application ending on a weakness, which is less than optimal. Try to fit the explanation in somewhere else in the app or if necessary tuck the weakness into this essay, but have the main focus of this essay be something positive. For example: Your pride in working your way through undergrad, the challenges, and the ultimate satisfaction of learning to manage your time. An essay with this core idea explains a less than stellar GPA; it won’t justify a 2.0.

2. (Optional) If not clearly evident, please discuss ways in which you have demonstrated strong quantitative abilities, or plan to strengthen quantitative abilities. You do not need to list courses that appear on your transcript. (250 word maximum)

If you are a liberal arts graduate or the proverbial poet applying to business school or if you simply don’t have a lot of math on your transcript or on your resume, you need to respond to this question. You could show that your work may be more quantitative than initially assumed or you could discuss quantitative courses you are taking now that do not yet appear on your transcript.

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

UC Berkeley Haas 2015 MBA Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline  Decisions Released
Round 1  October 1, 2014 January 15, 2015
Round 2 January 7, 2015 March 26, 2015
Round 3 March 11, 2015 May 14, 2015

Click here for advice on how to create a compelling MBA goals essay!
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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New Consultant Spotlight: Marie Todd http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/02/new-consultant-spotlight-marie-todd/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/02/new-consultant-spotlight-marie-todd/#respond Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:09:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=24008 ]]> Marie ToddClick here to check out Marie's bio or to get in touch!, one of Accepted’s new admissions consultants, has worn many hats in her career in higher education: She’s worked as an instructor, an academic advisor, and an undergraduate admissions specialist. She has evaluated over 5000 applications as an application reader for various undergraduate programs at the University of Michigan. She has a deep understanding of the way admissions readers make their decisions, along with the mentoring skills to help your high school student present him or herself through the college application.

Marie can help your child choose the most appropriate schools to apply to and then mentor your child through the application process. With Marie’s exceptional higher ed experience, she is well equipped to guide your son or daughter on the journey to higher education.

BONUS: Marie brings her unique training in communications and technology to the Accepted.com table. She’s done extensive research on the use of digital portfolios to showcase the work of students and applicants.

Want to get to know Marie better? Check out her full profile here.

CheckOutMarie'sProfile

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How To Ruin Your Child’s Med School Personal Statement in 5 Easy Steps http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/02/how-to-ruin-your-childs-med-school-personal-statement-in-5-easy-steps/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/02/how-to-ruin-your-childs-med-school-personal-statement-in-5-easy-steps/#respond Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:44:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23977 ]]> Need some help creating a compelling med school application? Check out our med admissions services!

Don’t…compare your child’s essays to award-winning examples.

Considering how much time and energy is focused on the personal statement for medical school, it can be difficult to know how to support your pre-med in the writing stages of the application.  Since I’ve been speaking with lots of parents recently about personal statements, I would like to share what I’ve learned.

If you want to be a supportive pre-med parent, here are five things to make sure that you don’t do:

1. Be overly critical of early ideas or drafts

It takes time to brainstorm and outline this type of essay.  If you encourage your son or daughter to be overly critical of their own work at this early stage, you will basically arrest progress by making it very difficult for your child to trust the writing process. Essentially you will be obstructing the self-reflection and iterative drafting process that creates a good personal statement.

Writing is a process.  There are stages that, if used, allow for the writing to develop and improve with time.

2. Rush the process

By making your premed frantic about an upcoming deadline, she may skip steps and end up with a sloppy draft that she feels the need to submit because of the pressure you are placing on her – and despite her own dissatisfaction with the result.  By identifying and managing your own anxiety for your child, you will be helping her to make better decisions.  You will also be setting a good example of controlling your own emotions without taking them out on other people.

Writing is really just one little decision after another.  If you are feeling rushed, you are less likely to use good judgment.

3. Second guess your child’s motivations or explanations

By making your son feel like you know him better than he knows himself, you will place him in the uncomfortable position of having to defend his views. That position will distract him from what he should be doing: expending energy on self-exploration and self-reflection or effectively presenting his views via his personal statement and experiences.

The writing required in the AMCAS application can provide a wonderful opportunity to learn more about oneself as a person. Give your son the space to explore and reflect his identity. He will not be able to show a confident face to the world if you destabilize his sense of identity.

4. Encourage your child to experiment

It can be disadvantageous to take a creative approach to writing personal statements.  I recently read a personal statement in which the student described a photo, but never revealed who the people in the picture were; needless to say, it was confusing and frustrating to read the essay.  It may become a great short story one day, but it took too much of the focus away from her as an applicant.  With writing personal statements, it is essential that your pre-med be the focus—not an experimental writing style.

5. Compare your child’s essays to award-winning examples

Lately, I have spoken to many parents about why their premed’s personal statement doesn’t look like all the examples they’ve been reading online and in books.  The reason for the difference is simple:  Everyone has a unique story to tell, and your child’s is (and should be) different from the samples.  It can be discouraging to read award-winning essays to your premed, especially when he is in the early stages of writing his own.  Give him the space to explore what he wants to say and how he wants to say it.

With true support, your premeds can create a compelling personal statement that provides insight into who they are and what kind of doctor they want to become.  Working with a consultant, like my colleagues and me at Accepted.com, can help your son or daughter find the right writing strategy.

With all my clients my goal is to help them create a statement that they will be proud to submit because it will be an authentic reflection of their character and personality.

And that’s exactly what the medical schools are looking for.

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!
Alicia McNease Nimonkaris 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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Why Write A Blog Post Series on MBA Goals? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/02/why-write-a-blog-post-series-on-goals/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/02/why-write-a-blog-post-series-on-goals/#respond Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:07:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23951 ]]> Click here to download your complete copy of Why MBA!

Inappropriate goals, ineffectively presented goals, and impractical goals can get otherwise well qualified applicants dinged from top MBA programs.

“Why Write A Blog Post Series on Goals?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Why MBA? To download the entire free special report, click here.

A few years ago, in the good old days when Wharton still offered feedback to rejected applicants, I talked with a potential client who happened to be reapplying to Wharton.  I asked him whether he’d obtained feedback on his application, and he said yes.   Well? “Actually they said they really liked my application.  They said I was well qualified, and I would be a good fit for the school.”  Pause.  “The problem was my goals.  Venture capital.  They said it wasn’t a feasible goal for me.”

Like many people, this person dreamed of going into VC – he surely could do it, given the chance, and it would be wonderful for him – just that his chances of getting a VC job post-MBA were about zero.  The adcom knew that, and he should have known it too.

Inappropriate goals, ineffectively presented goals, and impractical goals can get otherwise well qualified applicants dinged from top MBA programs.  This story is not an isolated case.  I have heard similar ones every year for thirteen-plus years.

How do you avoid this scenario?  Effort.  Thought. Research.  Many people start their MBA application process with their goals sort of sketched out in their head.  But sketched out won’t cut it, and if you focus only on what you’d like personally without figuring out how you’re going to make it happen, you might not realize that there are a few obstacles, as the person in the above story belatedly discovered.  It’s not that you should never present complex or difficult goals in an MBA essay, but rather that if you do you should acknowledge that fact and have some concrete sense of how to achieve them.  If the above applicant had said in his original essay that he knew how hard it would be for him to land a VC job and here’s how he was planning to go about it, and if it still didn’t work out, here’s what he’d do instead that would also take him to his long-term goals, he might have been admitted, considering how positively the adcom viewed the rest of his application.

So what exactly are well-articulated, credible, engaging – and ideally exciting – goals, and how do you craft them in the goals essay?  The next four posts in this blog series will walk you through that process step by step.

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

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

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Summer Savings Continue – Only 2 More Weeks to Save 10% http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/01/summer-savings-continue-only-2-more-weeks-to-save-10/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/01/summer-savings-continue-only-2-more-weeks-to-save-10/#respond Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:18:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23741 ]]> Just two weeks left to take advantage of our sizzling summer sale!

Just two weeks left to take advantage of our sizzling summer sale!

Our super summer 10% off sale continues for two more weeks through Tuesday, July 15, 2014. If you’d like to work one-on-one with an experienced admissions consultant, then NOW is the time to purchase services. 10% off can save you hundreds of dollars!*

Please review our consulting and editing catalogs below and contact us with any questions you may have!

Aren’t you ready to get the help you need to whip those applications into tip-top shape? Our expert admissions consultants and editors are at your service!

Click here to check out our admissions services!

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

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Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: Senior Year http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/01/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-senior-year/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/01/getting-ready-to-apply-to-top-tier-colleges-and-universities-senior-year/#respond Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:57:06 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23590 ]]> Check out the rest of the Getting Ready to Apply to College Series!

Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your application.

In this final segment of our new series Getting Ready to Apply to Top Tier Colleges and Universities: A Four Part Series for Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors, I offer tips to high school seniors.

Accepted.com can help bring out your best in your applications and my colleagues and I are here to help.

Tips for High School Seniors

1. Create a spreadsheet that includes all of your school choices and your “to do” list like writing essays, supplements, gathering transcripts (many schools use a service like parchment.com and I have found this service to provide an easy and high quality solution needed to expedite transcripts).  Note all the deadlines and to which schools you are applying for Early Decision, Early Action or Regular Decision.

2. Use the summer to complete the more tedious parts of the Common Application. It will reopen the summer before you begin your senior year.   Narrow down your school choices if you haven’t done so already.

3. Calendar time to apply to the UC system schools, if those schools are on your short-list. The University of California Application will open on October 1 and they give you a very small window to apply to the schools (November 1-November 30) but you can apply to many schools with the one application.  Each school also has its own supplements, so build the time you need to complete the applications.

4. Prepare and schedule time to apply to schools outside the UC system and schools that do not use the Common App. Note the schools that don’t subscribe to the common app and make certain that you are prepared to apply to these schools directly.

5. Build in 3-4 hours a week to work on your applications.  Most of my clients begin with their common application essay.  Remember that this essay will be read by all the common app schools to which you apply, and you won’t be able to reuse its contents in your supplemental essays.

6. Brainstorm essay concepts with someone whose judgment you trust: a parent, a teacher, a counselor, a consultant, or a family friend whose writing you admire.  I don’t suggest using your peers for this exercise.  If you pushed your boundaries in prior years, you will have good material to write about.  You need to believe that you are an interesting person and that the admissions director would want to have a 5-course meal with you, not just a 5-minute conversation.

7. Outline your essays and begin to write.  Ask for feedback.  Have someone look at your application and essays for editing, typos, grammar, and sentence structure.  When you are satisfied with the outcome, make sure you upload clean copies of your essays into the application.  Continue this process until you have completed all your applications.  Early applications are due in September or October and Regular Decisions are due in January.  Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your application.

8. Make certain everything on the application is complete before you submit.

9. Check and recheck with your recommenders to make certain they have submitted their reference.
Retake the SAT or ACT, if necessary, before you submit your application.

10. Continue your good study habits and your leadership at school.  Universities will ask for a mid-term report before rendering a final decision.

Your decisions will begin to roll in and you will be on your way to a new journey that will likely be the best four years of your life.

Good luck!

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

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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How Do You Deal With Criticism? MBA Admissions Committees Want to Know http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/01/how-do-you-deal-with-criticism-mba-admissions-committees-want-to-know/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/07/01/how-do-you-deal-with-criticism-mba-admissions-committees-want-to-know/#respond Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:21:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23970 ]]> Need b-school admissions advice? Check out our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!

Most important, show how you responded to the criticism.

Many MBA essays ask you to write about a time you faced criticism. This may not be the kind of question you wished they had asked, but it is one that provides an excellent opportunity to show the highly prized quality of emotional intelligence, or EQ, as it is known. Additionally, the people writing your letters of recommendation are almost sure to be asked to assess you in this same sensitive area: Did you respond with maturity and self-reflection, or did you struggle to suppress your anger at the perceived insult?

Adcom members remain acutely interested in candidates’ EQ. This may be due, in part, to the fact that today’s millennial applicants (especially Americans) have been raised without much constructive criticism, and in fact, have been taught to expect lavish praise for things previous generations did with no expectation of awards or perks. It’s not the millennials’ fault that they got this message, but adcoms need reassurance that millennial applicants can accept criticism with grace, self-reflection, and maturity. This ability to turn a negative experience into an opportunity for growth is key to demonstrating your EQ– and your management potential.

Here are several tips that my clients have used very successfully when dealing with the question of responding to criticism:

1. Choose an experience that took place within the last two years. It will be a more accurate gauge of your current maturity.

2. State the circumstances leading up to the criticism briefly and forthrightly. Did you discover the new software product still had bugs during the testing just three weeks before launch, but were afraid to report the bad news to your supervisor? Had you become angry with a colleague who was difficult to work with? Were you asked to mentor a new-hire, but found the job thankless and managed to evade some of those mentoring responsibilities? Whatever the situation, just tell it like it was.

3. Show your response honestly: Did you expect what was coming, or were you blindsided?

4. Most important, show how you responded to the criticism. The adcoms will be alert to answers that seem shallow or lacking in sufficient detail. Did you respond instantly to the critic, or let him know you thank him for the feedback and would like a day to get back to him? Show a bit of the conversation you had with your critic and what you learned from that conversation.

5. Reveal what you did to improve or mitigate the situation that led to the feedback. For example, if you could still take some corrective action on the situation, show how you did so.

6. Show growth: what have you done to avoid future episodes like this? Don’t gloss over this with a one sentence answer, such as “From this situation I learned to be more sensitive to how my colleagues were feeling.” Go deeper. For example, did you begin to spend more time talking to those colleagues on a regular basis, evaluating their view of events? Did you read any books on successful communication skills, or workplace dynamics? Did you set up regular times to meet with your supervisor to make sure you were on the same page with projects? Your changes have to be believable as a result of honest self-reflection and action.

7. What if you felt the criticism was unfair or unwarranted? If this is the case, it will still be important to show that you dealt with it in a mature way. Show how you tried to put yourself in your critic’s shoes: How was it possible he or she viewed the situation that way? The ability to consider another person’s point of view, even if it is erroneous, and then respond with tact, is an important element of EQ.

Everyone makes mistakes in life, and everyone is on the receiving end of criticism from time to time. One thing that can distinguish you from other applicants is your ability to embrace such uncomfortable situations, and to turn them to your advantage through greater self-awareness and commitment to personal and professional growth.

MBA 5 Fatal Flaws

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

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4 Tips for Demonstrating Professional Growth in a Flat Organization http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/30/how-to-show-growth-in-your-mba-application/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/30/how-to-show-growth-in-your-mba-application/#respond Mon, 30 Jun 2014 14:13:49 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23667 ]]> Need b-school admissions advice? Check out our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!If you work in a flat organization, how do you demonstrate advancement and growth?  After all, your progress will be compared to that of other candidates who have regular promotions with clearly delineated expanded responsibilities.  In a flat organization, you may hold the same title for five years.

It is a point that your MBA application must make clear. Here are some ways to do so:

In your MBA resume bullet points, when you summarize accomplishments/experiences, order them consecutively and put dates in parentheses before or after the point.  This way, if you have four years with a particular title, you can show progress within that time.  Also use details to highlight growth.  If the dollar scope of your projects increases over time, quantify those points.  Similarly, if you led three-member teams initially and now lead ten-member cross-functional teams, specify that growth.  If you started doing something new, describe it in a bullet point with the date, e.g., “In 2008, became responsible for managing relationships with clients up to $500K.”  The key is to look at your experiences and accomplishments and ask, “How can I portray them to reveal my professional growth?”

• There will be even more opportunities in your essays to show your growth within a flat organization.  The most obvious is when you are asked (typically in a goals essay) to summarize your career progress.  Whether or not you have this particular question, look for a place early on in the set of essays to add a sentence explicitly describing the situation, along the lines of, “My employer, ABC Corp., is a flat organization, with no management ladder between associate and senior management.  Nevertheless, in my three years as TITLE, I have gone from ABC to XYZ.”  Provide examples, ideally one that demonstrates your progress relative to accomplished colleagues, e.g.,   “I am the only one among my 10 peers to work directly on-site with our overseas clients and to accompany senior managers on sales visits to China.”

• Ask your recommenders to address this issue directly, and explain why to them (don’t just assume they’ll understand why it matters).

In the application form you will have to fill in information about your roles and positions.  Apply the same principles noted above to these sections, to the extent possible.

I have one final suggestion.  Don’t assume a subtle read.  Make the point more than once, but in different ways, to make sure it gets across.

Maximize your chances of b-school acceptance with the valuable tips found in Maximize Your MBA Application! Click here to download your free copy!

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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Are MBA Rankings REALLY Important? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/29/are-mba-rankings-really-important/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/29/are-mba-rankings-really-important/#respond Sun, 29 Jun 2014 14:21:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23721 ]]> What do the MBA rankings mean to you? What will they teach you? Should you trust them? Are MBA rankings REALLY important?

In our special report, MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know, newly updated and expanded for 2014, Linda Abraham will walk you through the process of locating the rankings, sifting through them for the important information, analyzing the relevant data, and then finally, USING that information to help you choose the best MBA program for YOU.

MBARankings

The rankings ARE an important tool, but they’re also a tool that can easily be abused. Learn how to use the rankings properly when you download MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know today!

MBA_Rankings_Click

Accepted.com

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The Money will Sort Itself Out: IV with a Future INSEAD Student http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/27/the-money-will-sort-itself-out-iv-with-a-future-insead-student/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/27/the-money-will-sort-itself-out-iv-with-a-future-insead-student/#respond Fri, 27 Jun 2014 14:18:15 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23911 ]]> Click here for more MBA applicant interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing Hasmita Nair.

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite non-school book?

Hasmita: I’m a South African and was born in a small coastal town called Port Elizabeth. I later moved to a bigger city, Johannesburg, and studied Actuarial Science at the University of Witwatersrand. After that, I worked at Procter and Gamble as a financial analyst, then moved to Nedbank Capital where I worked in Market Risk, and for the past 4 years I’ve been at Anglo American in Treasury.

I love reading; my favourite book is probably A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Accepted: Congratulations on your acceptance to INSEAD! Why do you think this is the best program for you? What are you most looking forward to?

Hasmita: There were a few things that attracted me to INSEAD. First, the global appeal of the school. I loved that I could study in both Singapore and France. I also liked the fact that it is a relatively short MBA. Because I am self funded, the U.S. MBAs of 2 years+ were not really an option for me.

Accepted: Can you talk about how you raised your tuition money? 

Hasmita: I got a partial scholarship from INSEAD, and also got a loan from Prodigy for a portion. For the rest, I used money generated from the sale of my apartment and my car. As a last resort, I was going to cash out my pension but I’m glad I didn’t have to.

Accepted: Can you share a few tips for our applicants who may also be struggling with how to finance their MBAs?

Hasmita: I think that if you can get into a world class MBA, the money will sort itself out. Money is really not a reason not to apply if you believe you have the potential. There are so many scholarships out there, and student loans are always an option too. I like to think that my salary post MBA will make it worth being in all this debt now.

Accepted: Do you plan on returning to that industry after you graduate, or entering a new field? 

Hasmita: My hobby is freelance journalism, I write for a few magazines and a national newspaper, focusing on food and travel. I would love to merge my passion for writing with finance somehow. Perhaps strategy for a large travel company? I’m keeping my options open right now.

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

Hasmita: Because the deadlines were all at similar times, and I applied to 8 schools, the application process was all consuming for a period of time. The application essays were grueling, and it took a lot of time and energy. Applying was also expensive; I just paced myself and took it one step at a time. I also project managed my referees, because asking them to complete 8x referrals was an equally grueling request. I made them aware of what needed to be done long in advance and all went smoothly.

Accepted: Can you tell us more about your blog? When did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience? Do you plan on continuing to blog over the course of your studies?

Hasmita: My blog, Jozilicious, started as a way for me to express myself creatively. I’ve always been passionate about food and travel, and found myself giving recommendations to people a lot, so I thought that I’d be better off posting all my favourite spots online. About a year and a half ago, I was offered my own page in a national newspaper, and after that my freelance journalism career took off. It’s been great to have such a fulfilling hobby, but it does get difficult managing my time. I am definitely planning to blog while I’m in Singapore and France. I think my readers will be interested to see what I’ve been up to.

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 INSEAD, check out our INSEAD 2014 MBA Essay Tips

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

Navigating the MBA Maze

Accepted.com

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GMAT NEWSFLASH: GMAT to Feature Score Preview http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/27/gmat-newsflash-gmat-to-feature-score-preview/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/27/gmat-newsflash-gmat-to-feature-score-preview/#respond Fri, 27 Jun 2014 14:02:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23921 ]]> Big GMAT News!

Big GMAT News!

There’s big news going on at GMAC this week: they’ve announced a new and exciting GMAT feature – test takers will now be able to view their GMAT scores before either reporting or canceling them. This update will take effect this Friday, June 27, 2014, and will be available to all test takers at all 600 testing centers around the world.

“We are pleased to offer this feature as part of our efforts to make preparing for and taking the GMAT exam easier,” said GMAC VP Product Management, Ashok Sarathy. “The new score reporting feature gives test takers more certainty and control in the testing process and in how their scores are reported to schools.”

Here’s how it will work: After completing the exam, test takers will get to see their unofficial scores, broken down separately for IR, Quantitative, and Verbal, and then as a total. They will then get two minutes to decide either to accept the scores or cancel them. If their decision timeframe times out, then their scores will be canceled. All of this is done before they even get up to leave the testing center. (Analytic Writing Assessment scores are not included in this new feature and may not be canceled.)

If testers decide to cancel, they’ll receive a 60-day grace period during which they may change their minds and reinstate their scores for a $100 fee. After that, there will be no way to retrieve the canceled scores.

Sarathy, who says that this feature is meant to make the testing experience easier, offers test takers two tips: “If there were two things I would recommend to test takers to get the most out of this new feature, they would be:

• Know what score you’re willing to accept so that when asked whether your wish to send your scores or cancel them, you have already considered your answer.

• Understand that you have 60 days to reinstate a score you might have canceled but decide later that you want to send.”

Thoughts about What This Change Means for Applicants

GMAC is reacting to competition from the GRE in a positive way. ETS, the entity behind the GRE, allows test-takers to see their score and cancel. It also gives you 60 days to reinstate a score, but only charges $30 for the reinstatement. GMAC is offering this new feature to slow or arrest GRE’s increasing role in the MBA application process. It will be interesting to see if GMAC ultimately reduces the price of cancellation to match or at least be more competitive with ETS. I completely agree with Ashok Sarathy’s advice that you should have a clear number in your head and know that you will accept any score at or above that number and cancel any score below that number.

Let’s call that Score-It-or-Bust-Number the “Cancel Score.” Realize that the Cancel Score is going to have components. There is an overall score and the quant, verbal, and IR scores. You should have Cancel Scores for each segment as well as the overall score. You should also decide ahead of time if you bomb one section and do well on other sections, if you will cancel or not.

How can you decide? Let’s explore that question, focusing for now on the overall score.

To date GMAT test-takers fall into two broad categories:

1. Those taking the test to see what they get. Once they receive their score, they select programs to apply to based on their goals and their qualifications.

2. Those aiming for a particular score because they want to be competitive at specific MBA programs.

To determine your Cancel Score if you are in group #1, use your practice exam scores. They should give you a reasonable idea of your capabilities on test day. But be realistic. Don’t use your best practice exam score as the Cancel Score. Cut yourself a little slack.

Here’s an example of how to set a Cancel Score for the overall score if you are in the first group: If most of your practice test scores are in the high 600’s and you hit 720 once, don’t expect a 720 on test day (but it sure would be nice, wouldn’t it?). Maybe make 680 or 690 your Cancel Score.

In setting that number also consider how willing you are to prepare again for the GMAT and how you would change or improve your prep. If you feel you could make major improvement to your studying and you don’t find the possibility of taking the GMAT again overwhelming, then you can aim higher. Maybe go for a 690 or 700 as your Cancel Score.

If the idea of preparing again is devastating and you don’t see what you could do better, then lower your cancel number. If nothing in your preparation will change, you have little reason to expect an improvement – and little reason to retake. If this scenario describes you, then your cancel score might be a 660 or 670.

Group #2, in particular, is going to love this new GMAT feature. If you are a card-carrying member of Group 2, how will you determine your Cancel Score?

Let’s say that you know you want to apply to programs with an average GMAT of 680-710. You obviously want as high a GMAT as possible, but considering the other elements in your profile, you will be satisfied with a balanced 690. You believe that 690 is a competitive GMAT score for you, and if you drop below it, you will be hurting your chances at the target programs with higher average GMATs. While GMAT prep is not your favorite way to spend your “free” time, it’s not the worst thing in the world either. A retake would not be soul shattering. You can set your overall Cancel Number at 690.

However if your willingness to retake is barely positive and the likelihood of improvement based on your practice exams is low, then set that Cancel Score lower – perhaps a 680, 670, or even lower depending on how ready you are to consider schools with lower average GMAT scores.

One thing that isn’t changing: Almost all MBA programs take the highest GMAT score. So if you don’t cancel and then decide to retake, you can still do so.

Obviously I just touched the surface in pointing out factors to consider. If you have individual questions about your situation, please post in a comment below. If you prefer private guidance, please consider an MBA Admissions Consultation.

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips

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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Top 10 Colleges with the Highest Paid Grads http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/26/top-10-colleges-with-the-highest-paid-grads/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/26/top-10-colleges-with-the-highest-paid-grads/#respond Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:32:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=23840 ]]> Think you need a grad degree to rake in the big bucks? Not if you’re lucky enough to land a job after graduating from one of the schools on the list below! A recent Forbes article pooled data from a survey released by NerdScholar.

Looking for college admissions advice? Check out our College Admissions 101 Pages!

Note: The list here only includes schools that released their salary data to NerdScholar. This is why schools like Yale, Harvard, and Brown are missing from the list. Also, to put things in perspective, there are more than 4,500 degree-granting colleges in the U.S., and NerdScholar only received data for 184 schools within 57 different institutions.

For those schools that didn’t provide salary info, NerdScholar still tracks their graduates using other data – for example, what percent of the class is employed, what percent goes on to grad school, and what sorts of careers students are choosing.

You can use this tool (here) to compare these sorts of stats at different programs. It’s a lot of fun to sift and compare results, and NerdScholar argues that this school-provided data is more reliable than the self-reported data presented by the students to salary sites like PayScale.

See the Forbes article for the full list of 50 schools, as well as an explanation on the methodology used in this 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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