Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:41:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 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 5-Step Checklist Before Submitting Your Applications http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/5-step-checklist-before-submitting-your-applications/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/5-step-checklist-before-submitting-your-applications/#respond Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:41:03 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27664 ]]> Have a professional give your application a final check before you submit.

Give your application a final check before submitting

Whether you’re applying to b-school, law school, med school, grad school, or college, this checklist will be the same. Don’t hit that “submit” button until you’ve completed the following 5 steps:

1.  You’ve made sure that your application presents a holistic, multi-dimensional picture of you.

Each section of your application should not just present you as a strong candidate on its own, but should complement the other application components as well. When the admissions readers have finished reading your entire application, they should have a clear picture of who you are as a well-rounded and unique individual.

2. You’ve demonstrated fit with the program.

To demonstrate that tight fit that adcoms are seeking, you’ll need to have done some serious thinking about who you are and about how that person is compatible with the school’s mission, ideals, and culture.

3. You have selected the best recommenders.

The best recommenders are those people who really know you well and who will be able to draw from their unique experiences with you in composing their LOR. If your recommender doesn’t know you well, then his or her assessment of you may end up sounding generic and superficial. Plus, it may not be accurate.

4. Proofread, edit, and then proof some more!

Read your essay, as well as all other application components, aloud to make sure that you hear mistakes that your eyes may have glossed over. You may also want to recruit a friend, colleague or family member, or hire an admissions consultant, to help you edit your essays to perfection.

5. You’ve given yourself some time.

Don’t submit your app at the last minute. Rushing your application will create more room for error, the schools’ servers may be overloaded just before the buzzer, and you may lose your chance to apply on time if you wait until the last minute.

Think you’re ready to submit? Why not run your application by the experts for a final stamp of approval? Our admissions consultants and editors are standing by, ready to help you construct an application that shines, one that shows off your greatest achievements and talents, one that you’re truly excited and ready to submit. Contact us now for more details on how we can help.

Give Your MBA Application that Final Check!
Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy
Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Essays!
The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
How To Edit Your Application Essays

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Meet Amanda: A Balanced Brunette Passionate about Hands-On Care http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/meet-amanda-a-balanced-brunette-passionate-about-hands-on-care/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/meet-amanda-a-balanced-brunette-passionate-about-hands-on-care/#respond Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:39:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27659 ]]> Click here to read more med applicant 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 Amanda Miarecki…

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

Amanda: Hello! I am originally from Michigan but currently living in Boulder, Colorado. I studied at Michigan State University and graduated with a degree in Political Science – Pre-Law. I actually moved to Boulder to attend University of Colorado Law School. My dream job was working abroad with an organization like Amnesty International or UNICEF supporting human rights legislation.

After spending some time working wilderness medicine in the Rockies, I fell in love. I immediately scrapped my plans for Law School and started taking pre-med courses. My love for medicine was further solidified after I spent time abroad in Cambodia on a medical mission trip in 2012 (where I got to deliver a baby!). I traveled abroad again to Thailand in 2013 as a medical supervisor for a gap year program. Both of these experiences made me realize my passion was truly hands-on care. I love medicine, I love people, and I love travel. My dream had evolved into working as a Global Health Physician.

My absolute favorite non-school book is Eat, Pray, Love. I think the story is a fantastic combination of travel, personal growth, and following your dreams (certainly something I can relate to).

Accepted: Can you tell us about your website/company? When did you start Toned & Fit Balanced Brunette? What was your motivation behind starting it? What services do you offer?

Amanda: I officially launched Balanced Brunette (formerly Toned & Fit) in 2012. I had been posting my favorite new foods and workouts on my personal Facebook page and my friends kept asking for my recipes and tips. After answering the same questions multiple times I decided to store all that information in one place and Balanced Brunette was born. Shortly after, I had an opportunity to get a Health Coach certification and I took it. I felt like it was the perfect complement to my new healthy lifestyle and would benefit me as a doctor later on. We all know nutritional counseling and education is lacking in a doctor’s training and I want to be as well-rounded as possible.

My blog offers free articles and advice for women. I also offer personalized coaching for women with more specific health goals. I focus on overall health and wellness. I don’t promote macro counting, calorie counting, or any other method of food tracking. Counting can very quickly lead to eating disorders in women and I truly want every woman to be as healthy and happy as possible! It’s all about balance. I focus exclusively on clean eating (80/20 split), portion control, and enjoying treats in moderation. (I have a serious froyo addiction.)

Accepted: How has this experience led you to want to go to med school?

Amanda: All of my experiences over the past 4 years since graduating from MSU have shaped my decision to go to medical school. Health Coaching and providing nutritional advice through Balanced Brunette is how I plan to round out my medical education. Doctors are really great at diagnosing disease but don’t normally get formal training in nutrition. I was lucky enough to acquire that training and I want to put it to use.

Helping women is also something that is consistent across all aspects of my life. My blog is tailored towards women and I find myself drawn towards women’s health professionally. Through my blog, many women approach me with personal health related questions. I want the credentials to be able to answer their questions instead of responding with “Please ask your doctor.”

Accepted: What stage of the application process are you up to so far?

Amanda: In January, I will be starting my Masters in Public Health. That will take me through 2015 and into the 2016 medical school fall admissions. Because the MCAT is changing in January 2015, I must wait until 2016 to enroll (which was a factor in my decision to “fill my time” with my MPH). I am tying up loose ends with a few remaining prerequisites, focusing on rounding out my education with my MPH, studying for the new MCAT, and beginning my medical school applications.

Accepted: What has been the most challenging aspect of med school admissions so far? What steps have you taken to overcome that challenge? What advice can you share with others who are experiencing the same obstacles?

Amanda: The most challenging part of admissions is keeping track of each program, what types of prerequisites each requires, and when their deadlines are. I highly recommend making an Excel spreadsheet in order to track programs and requirements.

Regarding the new MCAT, I really don’t know what to expect! I have been using the brand new Kaplan 2015 MCAT study material which includes the test prep books (all 7!) and the MCAT flashcards + app. I am excited that the MCAT is changing. The new MCAT seems well rounded and applicable to what medical students are actually learning in school.

I am also very invested in my lifestyle. While medical school will certainly keep me busy, I am determined to stay active in my free time. My top choice is the University of Washington. The program is fantastic and the geographic location offers mountains and ocean, which is very important to me. Definitely choose a place that offers a lifestyle you want.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your experience as a medical assistant? How do you think these experiences will help you along the way as you apply to med school and eventually become a physician?

Amanda: I have been working in health care (in multiple capacities) since 2011. I started in Wilderness Medicine as a WFR (wilderness first responder). Rural or emergency medicine is definitely an adrenaline rush. You have to be able to think and act quickly. I moved into a hospital setting to experience another side of health care. I spent about a year in an outpatient lab. Never underestimate the lab! I learned so much about disease, laboratory tests, chemistry, hematology, cytology, and pathology. I am also an expert phlebotomist, which has been extremely useful as I progress through my professional life.

After the lab, I started at a Women’s Clinic (my absolute favorite!) and, after about 7 months there, moved on to Planned Parenthood. These two experiences really shaped who I think I will be as a provider. I have no problem discussing very personal or sensitive issues with patients. I learned how to remove personal bias and really focus on patient care. One of the top complaints I see from medical students is being uncomfortable taking a sexual history on a patient. My experiences will ensure I won’t be uncomfortable when it comes to clinicals in medical school.

I left Planned Parenthood to join two physicians who were starting a private primary care practice. I was able to set up the clinic from scratch. Everything from ordering initial supplies, to stocking rooms, to developing protocol and procedure guidelines, training new medical assistants, and setting the standard for the practice. This was an invaluable experience and I am grateful I was part of the start up. The only downfall was that I was more in a manager/administrative position as opposed to patient care. I recently left the practice to re-join the hospital in the ICU. I could not be more excited for the next chapter of my professional life.

Real-world experience is crucial for medical students. In a world where everyone can get good grades and pass a test, you absolutely must set yourself apart. Volunteer, shadow a physician, go on a medical mission trip, or get yourself certified as a paramedic. These experiences will ensure you have an amazing admissions essay that is guaranteed to draw attention.

Accepted: Can you share your top 3 clean eating tips with us?

Amanda: My top 3 clean eating tips

1.  Eat 5-6 smaller meals per day. Smaller meals are great because you can really focus on proper serving sizes. They also ensure stable glucose levels throughout the day and keep your metabolism fired up!

2.  Drink 2-3 liters of water per day. The average person walks around mildly dehydrated which can cause fatigue, dry skin, sluggish muscles, and food cravings. Not into plain water? Try NUUN tablets, coconut water, fruit infused water, or Mio Liquid Enhancer.

3.  Increase your protein! Many women are falling painfully short of this important macronutrient. Research has proven that high protein diets increase weight loss and lean muscle building. Incorporate lean meats, legumes, beans, quinoa, fish, eggs, and dairy into each meal. I personally snack on turkey jerky, hard-boiled eggs, steamed edamame, and (if I’m super busy) a quick chocolate protein shake. (Try this amazing Coconut Mocha Protein Shake.)

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can read more about Amanda’s journey by checking out her blog, Balanced Brunette. Thank you Amanda for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

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

Learn how you can get accepted to med school even with a low MCAT or GPA!
Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You MUST Know, a free guide
Where Should I Apply to Medical School?
Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More! 

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Cornell 2015 Executive MBA 2015 Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/cornell-2015-executive-mba-2015-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/cornell-2015-executive-mba-2015-essay-tips/#respond Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:14:27 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27043 ]]> Check out some more EMBA application essay tips!The Cornell Executive MBA Program has three required essay questions and one optional question in its application.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is brevity. While no one is going to be counting individual words, the guideline of short word count is a clear indicator to work on clarity of thought with all of your answers. Cornell interviews every applicant to its program, so if you are concerned that your answers are too concise in essay format, rest assured you will have the opportunity to discuss them further in the interview.

1. In a concise statement, indicate why you are seeking admission into an Executive MBA Program. Specifically, what are your short and long-term career goals? And, how will an MBA from Johnson at Cornell University help you achieve your goals? (Please limit your response to 1000 characters.)*

The first part of this question asks “Why EMBA?” By making the choice to go after an EMBA, you are of course signaling you will keep your job while going to school. Therefore, be sure to link your past/current career experience with your short and long term goals in the context of how (and why) this type of format works best for you. When answering the “Why Cornell?” portion of the question, be convincing about the reasons Cornell is the best choice for you, and show you have done your homework – “location” and “reputation” won’t cut it. The admissions committee wants to know what you anticipate the program will be like, what you will get out of it, how the program fits with your career vision, and what the entire experience means to you as a person.

2. A key benefit of being in an Executive MBA Program is having the ability to learn from your classmates, or peers. How will you contribute to this learning environment? Specifically, what unique strengths and experiences will you bring to both the class and your learning team? (Please limit your response to 1000 characters.)*

The admissions committee is looking for students who will enrich the class with their contributions as much as the curriculum taught. Focus on unique experiences you have had either in your professional or personal life, and if possible, link those experiences to how they will contribute to particular courses or topics.

Imagine that the admissions committee is reviewing your application side by side with someone with a similar basic profile to yours (technology consultant, for example) – what will make them choose you?

3. List your participation in civic, business, or professional organizations.

This question is purposely open to interpretation. If you would just like to list what organizations you are affiliated with that is fine, however if you would like to go into some detail about particular activities that are important to you, that is good, too. There is no word limit, however the more succinct, the better.

4. (Optional): Do you believe your academic record is an accurate reflection of your ability? If not, please explain, limiting the response to 1000 characters.

If you are hoping the admissions committee will miss the fact that you flunked algebra three times before passing, or you had to withdraw for a semester, think again. The committee WILL catch whatever that nagging something is that concerns you from your transcript, so here is the opportunity to talk about it. Be as candid as possible! It is much better to be upfront about the situation here than be on the defensive about it in an interview.

Application Timelines:  

Both of Cornell’s Executive MBA Programs operate on a rolling admissions basis. Therefore they do not adhere to strict application deadlines. With that said, they do encourage applicants to move forward at their earliest convenience to avoid potential seat capacity or timing restrictions.

Download your free copy of Ace the EMBA!

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.

Related Resources:

•   EMBA 2015 Essay Tips
•   There is No Place Like Ithaca
•   The GMAT and EMBA Programs

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How the Adcom Views Multiple MCAT Scores http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/21/how-the-adcom-views-multiple-mcat-scores/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/21/how-the-adcom-views-multiple-mcat-scores/#respond Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:17:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27644 ]]> Should you retake the new MCAT?

What really happens with multiple MCAT scores?

In 2007, the MCAT was first offered electronically.  Prior to this technological shift, the MCAT was only offered a limited number of times a year—as a paper and pencil exam.  There was also a restriction placed on the number of times you could take the exam in one year as well as in your lifetime.  Now that the MCAT is offered 37 times, just this year alone, and there is no limit placed on the number of times that you can take the exam in a calendar year or in your lifetime (Oh, joy!), many students take the exam more than once before applying to medical school.

Multiple MCAT Scores! Oh My!

The way that these scores are viewed by adcoms can cause a lot of anxiety, depending on the combination of scores that you have.  Some adcoms prefer to look at your best scores in each section from multiple tests while other schools consider the average of all of your scores.  There are many forums and discussion threads that attempt to identify the schools that rely on each method.  However, adcom members may each have a personal preference for how they rank scores and applicants.  It’s impossible to predict how any one school will view your scores when there are so many different people involved in the review process.  Each committee member will bring his or her unique perspective and opinion to the discussion.

MCAT Average Correlates with Step 1 Score

In an article published in 2010 in Academic Medicine on the “Validity of Four Approaches of Using Repeaters’ MCAT Scores in Medical School Admissions to Predict USMLE Step 1 Total Scores,” the authors encourage adcoms to use the average of the students’ scores because they found that these numbers correspond most closely to the scores students will earn on the USMLE Step 1.

In April 2015, the new MCAT will be introduced. Researchers will need to conduct new studies to examine how students’ scores on the new exam will compare to their performance on Step 1.  If you are applying with scores you’ve received before April 2015, it would be safe, based on the research available, to use the average of your scores to help determine how they will impact your application.

What Really Happens with Multiple MCAT Scores

That being said, based on my experience serving on selection committees, I noted the following trends in our discussion of MCAT scores:

  • The most recent score carried the most weight.
  • As long as there was an increasing trend in the test scores, previous scores—even if they were low—did not hurt an applicant’s chances of acceptance (as long as all other parts of the application were strong).
  • When there was high variability within the scores, the highest score for each section was considered and the average was calculated.

Overall, it demonstrated determination to see that a student had taken the MCAT more than once—this helped applicants especially when they improved their scores each time they took the exam.

Multiple MCATS: Demonstrating Determination

Taking the MCAT more than once will not necessarily hurt your application—unless you receive a lower score than your previous exam(s).  One of my favorite medical students, David, had taken the MCAT six times and completed three or four different postbac programs before he got into medical school.  He was—by far—the most popular mentor for our postbac students because he had the best sense of humor and sense of perspective.  In taking the MCAT multiple times and improving his score, overall, he demonstrated his determination to succeed.  He was able to convince adcoms that there was no other career for him.  While I don’t advocate taking the MCAT six times, I do recommend that you learn from each practice exam and test you take and that you use that knowledge to improve.  Create a strategy that will not only help you get into medical school, but one that will help you in medical school and in your career.

Learn great advice on all things MCAT!

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

Related Resources:

MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep and MCAT2015
Medical School Admissions: Is My Profile Competitive?

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4 Reasons You Got Dinged (And What You Can Do About It) http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/21/4-reasons-you-got-dinged-and-what-you-can-do-about-it-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/21/4-reasons-you-got-dinged-and-what-you-can-do-about-it-2/#respond Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:08:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27602 ]]> Check out our MBA Application Evaluation service. You don’t want to repeat the same mistakes again.

The adcom may ding you because you failed to present your qualifications effectively.

Many top MBA programs released decisions in the past several days, including: Chicago Booth, Cornell Johnson, Duke Fuqua, Michigan Ross, MIT Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, UVA Darden, and Wharton.

Did your app hit the chopping block? Here’s why:

1) You didn’t qualify.

You gotta call a spade a spade sometimes (or always, really). If you had weak test scores, low grades, or inadequate work experience either quantitatively or qualitatively, then you’re just not going to measure up at the top schools. In essence you fail to convince the school that you can handle the work or represent the school well to recruiters…and you’re toast. …and they may be right. (Sorry to be tough here, but not everyone is qualified to attend H/S/W/C.)

TIP: Apply R2/R3 to different, less competitive programs OR reapply next year to the same schools after you’ve strengthened your profile (improved test scores, taken additional coursework, increased work responsibilities, etc.).

2) You didn’t present your qualifications, fit, or goals well.

There are a number of points to be made here. B-schools seek applicants with multiple talents, and you need to demonstrate that you’ve got them. Competitive stats are frequently necessary for admission, but not sufficient. For example, if you have the stats, but didn’t show the soft skills, didn’t show fit, didn’t explain why you need the degree from this particular program, or failed to present your achievements in an authentic, thoughtful, and compelling way, then the answer could easily still be DECLINE. The adcom may ding you for lacking such qualifications, even though you may have them, because you failed to present them effectively.

TIP: Apply R2/R3 or reapply next year with a stronger application that clearly highlights your qualifications, fit, and goals.

3) You were a victim of the numbers at intensely competitive programs that reject more qualified applicants than they can accept.

This is true of most top 15 programs especially if someone comes from an over-represented group in the applicant pool.

TIP: Apply R2/R3 to different programs or reapply next year to the same ones and keep your fingers crossed for better luck!

4) Combination of the above.

Most likely you weren’t rejected for one single reason, but due to a combination of various factors.

For more on understanding your rejection (and then doing something about it!), please see http://www.accepted.com/mba/rejection-acceptance-videos.aspx#2.

And let’s face it, it’s hard to be objective about your application. If you’re unsure why you were rejected or what you can do to change the outcome next time around, check out our MBA Application Review. You really don’t want to repeat the same or similar mistakes again.

Don't make the same mistakes again! Get expert help for when you reapply.

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

Related Resources:

The MBA Admissions Directors’ Recipes for Rejection
4 Reasons for Rejection
Tips for Executive MBA Reapplicants

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From Rwandan Advertising to Wharton Entrepreneurship: The Unconventional MBA Path http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/19/from-rwandan-advertising-to-wharton-entrepreneurship-the-unconventional-mba-path/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/19/from-rwandan-advertising-to-wharton-entrepreneurship-the-unconventional-mba-path/#respond Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:58:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27585 ]]> Read more MBA student interviewsThis interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Mary Patton S. Davis, a first-year student at Wharton.

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

Mary Patton: I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, which some may argue is not the South, but I beg to differ. Tampa is culturally Southern in many ways, and most of my family is from Alabama – hence the double name. I moved “up north” to Washington, DC to study French and International Relations at Georgetown University and graduated in 2010. I was always convinced I would work in government and security/intelligence, but life had other plans! That’s how I wound up at Wharton, by way of East Africa, to enter the class of 2016 with a focus on Entrepreneurial Management.

Accepted: Looks like you’ve been doing some really interesting work in Rwanda. Can you tell us about some of your recent jobs and projects there?

Mary Patton: My path to business school has been a very unconventional one. After Georgetown I joined political communications firm GMMB, working on media buying for the 2010 midterm elections and account management for political action committees. In the summer of 2011 I traveled to Rwanda to visit my older sister Elizabeth and the organization she founded in 2009: the Akilah Institute for Women, a three-year college specializing in hospitality, information technology, and entrepreneurship for young women from low-income rural communities. I fell in love with the country and the organization, and Elizabeth asked if I would move there to build their communications and marketing strategy. So I did what any responsible, rational person would do: I quit my job, sold my belongings, and moved to Rwanda in January 2012 for an indefinite period of time. It can take a giant leap of faith outside your comfort zone to discover your true passions, but I believe it’s one worth taking!

I built out Akilah’s marketing and communications throughout that spring and summer. At the same time I had begun teaching horseback riding lessons on the weekends and met the owner of the barn, a well-known expat businessman. One weekend he mentioned he was looking for someone to build a digital marketing department and drive new business development at his advertising agency. My response was, “Interesting, but I can’t think of anyone who fits that description.” He laughed and replied, “No, I want YOU to come in and interview!” You never know where your next job offer will come from…

I began working for the ad agency that summer, and stayed with them for over a year and a half. I became Director of Operations, tackling projects from refining internal processes, to landing new clients, to expanding our digital marketing services. Through this job I realized my passion (and aptitude!) for management, business development, and “intrapreneurship”, which led me to apply for an MBA. Managing a team of twenty-five people at the age of twenty-four impacted me greatly both personally and professionally, and was an opportunity for which I’ll always be grateful.

Accepted: What is your post-MBA career plan? Is it related to your work in Rwanda?

Mary Patton: I came into Wharton with several areas of interest, knowing that my post-MBA career plans would involve some, if not all, of them: Africa, technology, entrepreneurship, and fitness. My passion for fitness and entrepreneurship grew out of a company I co-founded while working at the ad agency: Yego Yoga Rwanda, a chain of yoga studios operating in six locations across Kigali with eleven instructors. I’ve furthered this interest here in the US by continuing to teach yoga and developing several business ideas in that area. For now I’m focused in that direction but who knows, maybe I’ll find a way to pursue all four of these interests!

Accepted: Do you have an internship lined up yet for next summer? If so, what will you be doing and what was the internship application process like at Wharton? If not, what steps are you taking now to plan ahead for the summer? How early does internship recruiting start at Wharton?

Mary Patton: There are many recruiting timelines – it all depends on what industry you’re pursuing. Mature recruiting (mostly for finance and consulting) begins as early as mid-October, while start-up recruiting doesn’t intensify until the spring. I’m personally interested in tech and start-ups so my recruiting hasn’t begun yet, although I’ve had informal offers from tech companies in Africa and start-ups on the West Coast. Right now I’m focused on working on my own business idea, so entrepreneurship is my number one summer internship choice!

Accepted: Can you tell us about your involvement in the Wharton Business Plan Competition?

Mary Patton: I believe it’s important to surround yourself with the type of people and situations that support your long-term goals, so I knew I wanted to immerse myself in the entrepreneurial environment of the WBPC. Given my background, my biggest value-add to the planning committee is in a marketing role. As Director of Marketing my mission is to grow awareness of and engagement with the WBPC both within the Penn community and without. I’m excited to see what this year’s competitors have in store for us, and how the WBPC contributes to future Penn-born businesses! To learn more about the competition, visit us at http://bpc.wharton.upenn.edu/.

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

Mary Patton: My favorite thing about Wharton is how holistic the growth experience has been. Wharton is fully committed to developing students not only academically, but also professionally, personally, emotionally, and socially. All at once, Wharton is exciting and terrifying; rewarding and challenging; social and lonely; invigorating and exhausting; intellectual and obnoxious. Without all of those emotions, you wouldn’t be getting the full experience.

The only thing I would change: I wish there was more interaction between the Penn grad schools. I would love to have more opportunities to meet fellow students from the law, med, engineering, and education schools. I think this would enrich the experience for all of us, and keep us from talking about our econ problem sets and statistics projects all day long!

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips for applicants aiming to go to Wharton?

Mary Patton:

1)  Be unique.

Admissions officers sift through thousands of applications looking for the diamonds in the rough. Imagine them sitting around at the end of the day recalling and discussing hundreds of essays – how will yours be remembered? When I met Wharton’s Director of Admissions at Winter Welcome Weekend, she exclaimed, “Oh, I remember you! You’re the yoga girl from Rwanda who worked in advertising.” How will your application stand out? What interests/projects/talents/experiences make you unique?

2)  Paint a compelling story.

Regardless of whether your career path is streamlined or as unusual as mine, your application should show progress and a desire to grow professionally and personally. Draw a clear thread throughout your jobs and experiences to demonstrate how you’ve arrived at this point where you feel compelled to apply for an MBA. Did you change jobs to follow your newfound passion for that industry? What extracurricular activities support your interests and show your proactive nature to learn more? How have you challenged yourself and stepped outside your comfort zone?

3)  Be clear about your ambitions.

Now that you’ve explained the narrative behind your career path, be clear about what you plan to do post-MBA. Schools want to see direction not only in your actions up to this point, but also in your goals beyond the MBA. Even if you don’t know the exact job you want three years from now, offering examples of what most interests you in a long-term career helps give schools an idea of how you’ll fit into their MBA class. Make sure to also explain WHY – what problem are you most passionate about solving? Which industry are you most intrigued by? What types of jobs most excite you?

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? What role does social media play in your life?

Mary Patton: I started blogging while backpacking through SE Asia and India, but since starting school I’ve pivoted from travel to business-related topics. I naturally identify and write about topics I find interesting; luckily other people find them interesting too! I like to highlight topics that are relevant to my peers – global and industry-agnostic, but with a focus on entrepreneurship and technology.

For me personally, my blog keeps the creative side of my brain alive during the quantitative and analytical MBA experience – my biggest problem is finding time to blog as much as I’d like! Our generation is increasingly social and transparent, so I think it’s important to confront that issue head-on by taking control of your personal brand. My blog is a “stretch experience” for me and connects me to interesting people and opportunities – such as this interview with Accepted.com!

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 Wharton see:

You can read more about Mary Patton’s journey by checking out her blog, MP is for Mary Patton. Thank you MP for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

 

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

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Related Resources:

Meet Ashley: A Wharton MBA Student Making an Impact
Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute
Wharton 2016 Class Profile

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Life as an HBS MBA http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/18/life-as-an-hbs-mba/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/18/life-as-an-hbs-mba/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:23:34 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27557 ]]>  Life as an HBS MBA: An Interview with Philip BlackettMeet Philip Blackett, a proud member of the Harvard Business School Class of 2016, the founder of Magnetic Interviewing, and the host of the podcast Life in the MBA.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Philip. He has a fascinating story!

00:02:35 – Fulfilling an 11 year promise to his mother and grandmother.

00:06:20 – Why HBS?

00:07:23 –  How Philip’s failures in real estate may have helped Philip get accepted to HBS.

00:11:43 – “Whichever school you apply to, make sure you give it your very best so you wont have any room or reason to feel bad about yourself.”

15:10 – The importance of team-work.

17:25 – Becoming a leader. (This is what HBS wants to see!!)

18:34 – What the HBS adcom looks for in your failures.

19:27 – Getting rejected by Harvard Business School. What now?!?!

22:01 – The best parts of life at Harvard Business School.

24:14 – Don’t be intimidated by the size of HBS.

25:23 – The importance of time management and priority management.

29:09 – What Harvard Business School needs to change.

30:15 – The benefits for the case study method.

35:42 – True or false: The competition among HBS students is cut-throat.

39:30 – The feeling of camaraderie among students (and professors.)

41:32 – Case Method – Individually prepare, then share among 5 people, and then share among 90 people.  And after class your perspective will be completely different than it was before.

46:35 – $$$ and social life at HBS.

53:55 – A field project in Mumbai, India.

56:32 – Why start your own podcast?

1:00:41 –  Magnetic Interviewing – The story of Philip’s startup.

1:06:23 – Innovation labs at Harvard Business School.

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

Relevant Links:

Related Shows:

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/18/life-as-an-hbs-mba/feed/ 0 Meet Philip Blackett, a proud member of the Harvard Business School Class of 2016, the founder of Magnetic Interviewing, and the host of the podcast Life in the MBA. - Listen to the recording of our conversation with Philip. He has a fascinating story! Meet Philip Blackett, a proud member of the Harvard Business School Class of 2016, the founder of Magnetic Interviewing, and the host of the podcast Life in the MBA. Listen to the recording of our conversation with Philip. He has a fascinating story! 00:02:35 – Fulfilling an 11 year promise to his mother and grandmother. 00:06:20 – Why HBS? 00:07:23 –  How Philip's failures in real estate may have helped Philip get accepted to HBS. 00:11:43 - "Whichever school you apply to, make sure you give it your very best so you wont have any room or reason to feel bad about yourself." 15:10 - The importance of team-work. 17:25 - Becoming a leader. (This is what HBS wants to see!!) 18:34 - What the HBS adcom looks for in your failures. 19:27 - Getting rejected by Harvard Business School. What now?!?! 22:01 - The best parts of life at Harvard Business School. 24:14 - Don't be intimidated by the size of HBS. 25:23 - The importance of time management and priority management. 29:09 - What Harvard Business School needs to change. 30:15 - The benefits for the case study method. 35:42 - True or false: The competition among HBS students is cut-throat. 39:30 - The feeling of camaraderie among students (and professors.) 41:32 - Case Method - Individually prepare, then share among 5 people, and then share among 90 people.  And after class your perspective will be completely different than it was before. 46:35 - $$$ and social life at HBS. 53:55 - A field project in Mumbai, India. 56:32 - Why start your own podcast? 1:00:41 -  Magnetic Interviewing - The story of Philip's startup. 1:06:23 - Innovation labs at Harvard Business School. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: Life in the MBA Magnetic Interviewing Follow Phillip on Twitter What Does Harvard Business School Want? Harvard Business School 2015 Essay Tips Related Shows: Breaking Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk: Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 1:10:36
5 Tips For Aspiring Pre-Med Researchers http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/18/5-tips-for-aspiring-pre-med-researchers-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/18/5-tips-for-aspiring-pre-med-researchers-2/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:51:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27538 ]]> The importance of research experience according to one med student.

Gaining research experience will make you a more competitive applicant

Gaining research experience won’t just make you a more competitive medical school applicant—it’ll also help you sharpen your critical thinking skills, and give you training you’ll draw on as a medical school student and physician.

How can you find the right research opportunity for you?

1.  Start early. Ideally, it would be great to have 1-2 years of research experience under your belt before you apply—so the earlier in your undergrad career you identify promising opportunities, the better.

2.  Find an area that interests you. For example, if you’re more interested in Psychology or Anthropology than you are in Chemistry, look into the possibility of assisting a professor in one of those fields.

3.  Make contact with professors to see if they need research assistants/laboratory volunteers. If your university has a research office or a central list of undergraduate research opportunities, check there first. If the system is less formal, do some research into professors’ current work (through department websites, professors’ CVs, etc). Then make contact via email and ask if you can speak to them about the possibility of volunteering in their lab. Let them know what background you have in the field (especially any prior research experience).  If they don’t need research assistants at the moment, don’t be discouraged- talk to someone else.

4.Think about doing a thesis. Depending on where you’re studying (and what field), this might allow you to design your own experiment.

5.  Consider summer research opportunities. AAMC provides a good listing here.

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca BlusteinAccepted.com consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of the ebook, Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, assists our clients applying to medical school, residency, graduate school and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your applications.

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!

Related Resources:

How Important is Research for a Pre-Med
Get Accepted to Medical School in 2015
Clinical Information Managers: An Interview with Kathleen Gregg Window

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7 Must-Do’s After You Get Your Med School Interview Invite http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/17/7-must-dos-after-you-get-your-med-school-interview-invite/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/17/7-must-dos-after-you-get-your-med-school-interview-invite/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:04:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27572 ]]> Learn how to use medical school rankings to choose the best med school for YOU.

Exercise has been proven to increase mental acuity—this will help you stay sharp and focused on your goal!

Congratulations! You have been identified as one of the most promising applicants for medical school this application cycle. Follow these seven steps to ensure that you will ace your interview and receive an acceptance:

• Celebrate!

While you may be nervous about embarking on the next step in your journey, don’t forget to celebrate each small victory along the way.  Take some time to fully acknowledge all of the people and effort that have contributed to your success.  Share the good news and express your gratitude!  

•  Stay Active

To ensure that you will be in the most positive frame of mind, work out at least three times a week. Staying physically active will allow you to burn off all that nervous energy and help you to regain your focus while increasing your endorphins.  The closer it gets to the interview, work out more frequently but not to the point of injury.  Exercise has been proven to increase mental acuity—this will help you stay sharp and focused on your goal!

•  Review your AMCAS application

The most important thing you can do to prepare for an interview is to review your AMCAS application every day leading up to the interview as well as the secondary essays you submitted to the school. Reminding yourself of all of your experiences will make it easier for you to answer specific questions about them and to provide an overall timeline of what you have done to prepare for medical school.

•  Update your CV/Resume

Arriving at your interview with copies of your updated CV/Resume and reviewing it on the way will help you appear organized and focused.  If it’s a traditional interview, it may guide the direction of your conversation.  Use it as an opportunity to update the interviewer on what you have been doing since you submitted your application.

•  Research the School

Take some time to read the school’s website.  If you have friends or family attending the school, contact them to ask questions about what they do and don’t like about studying there.  You should prepare at least three questions for your interviewer(s) that demonstrate your knowledge of their curriculum, special programs and volunteer opportunities in the community.

•  Prepare with Mock Interviews

Whether it’s a traditional interview or a MMI (mini multiple interviews), mock interviews are the best way to prepare yourself for the actual interview day.   Running through all possible questions and scenarios can help you formulate the strategies that will earn you the most points!  Take the time to practice. Mocks will not only ease your mind but give you an edge!

•  Test Drive your Interview Outfit

While that suit or outfit may look fabulous on the hanger, you won’t know until you try it on whether the buttons are loose or if it would benefit from a visit to the tailor.  Wear the outfit you’re planning on using for the interview for a few hours and see it is comfortable and professional enough for the interview.  You don’t want to have any wardrobe malfunctions when you’re traveling and unable to find a replacement.  It wouldn’t hurt to bring a couple of back-up outfits, just in case.

Having helped students successfully prepare for medical school interviews for almost a decade, I hope that the tips that I have shared will lead to a wonderful experience and that you will be offered an acceptance.  Most importantly, be yourself.  And answer the questions honestly and thoughtfully.  Good luck!

Multiple Mini Interview Webinar

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

Related Resources:

The Ultimate Guide To Medical School Interview Success
Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression In Your Medical School Interviews
Common Myths About Medical School Interviews

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Is Columbia Business School Calling Your Name? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/17/is-columbia-business-school-calling-your-name/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/17/is-columbia-business-school-calling-your-name/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:22:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27413 ]]> Learn how to get Columbia’s attention by following the tips in Get Accepted to Columbia Business School, an on-demand webinar that we just posted to our site for anytime viewing. The webinar aired live last month and was a huge success, so if you missed it or if you attended and would like to review, then you’ll want to tune in to the online recording for not-to-be-missed advice on how to snag that Columbia acceptance.

Free on-demand webinar: Get Accepted to Columbia Business School!

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

Watch the Webinar!

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5 Things Law Schools Want To See In Applicants http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/17/5-things-law-schools-want-to-see-in-applicants/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/17/5-things-law-schools-want-to-see-in-applicants/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:51:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27372 ]]> Download our special report on what to avoid while writing a personal statement!

Law schools will look to your personal statement to see how clearly you can express yourself

1. Law schools want people who are likable. Contrary to any bad lawyer jokes, law schools are looking for people who like people. They are looking for people who will contribute to classroom discussions and engage with other students in a positive way. This attribute can be shown through the personal statement as well as thoughtful letters of recommendation from people who know you and your work well.

2.  Law schools are looking for people who are interesting. Grades and LSAT scores are important, but law schools also want people with interests outside of school. Anything that you’ve engaged in for a significant length of time can qualify.

3.  Law schools want a diversity of backgrounds. Sometimes people think they should enter the law because they are good at debate. But, in fact, law schools look for people of all backgrounds – people who’ve studied the liberal arts, people who’ve studied economics, people who’ve studied political science, people who’ve studied the physical sciences.

4.  Law schools want people who are eager to learn. Most law schools do not anticipate that you know exactly what type of law you’d like to practice when you apply. While many applicants have some experience in a legal setting, it’s not essential to emphasize that you understand the law. Instead, you should focus on what about the study of law interests you. Is it working with people? Is it analytic thinking? Is it writing and research? As many schools move to an emphasis on advocacy and hands-on experiences during the third year, it can also help to think about what sort of clinical experience you’d like to gain.

5.  Law schools wants people who can write well. While law is changing as a field, the cornerstone of law school is reading and writing. Law schools will look to your personal statement to see how clearly you can express yourself.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statement

 

 

 

 

Learn how Jessica can help you get accepted!Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels. 

Related Resources:

The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success
Your Law School Personal Statement…It Needs To Be, Well, Personal!
6 Item Checklist Before Hitting ‘Submit’

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USC Marshall 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/16/usc-marshall-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/16/usc-marshall-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:09:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27527 ]]> All you need to know about USC Marshall

USC Marshall School of Business

On one hand, the new USC Marshall MBA essay question is very focused: goals, why Marshall.  There is a little twist, however, which gives the question an intriguing complexity: personal and/or professional goals…  What does this twist say about Marshall?  That the adcom trusts you to frame your goals in the most meaningful way, and to reveal or not reveal personal considerations and plans as you see fit. Knowing yourself – what you want and need and why, and knowing how to present and share what’s important about you will be keys to contributing to Marshall’s collaborative community and making productive use of Marshall’s flexible program. In this one essay, convey that knowledge.

Required Essay: What are your short-term and long-term personal and/or professional goals following graduation from USC Marshall? How will USC Marshall enable you to develop or improve your skills in order to reach your goals? (500-700 words)

Most people will want to address professional goals in this essay, and I suggest doing so.  As far as personal goals, there is no one formula that works for everyone; some may address this point extensively, and some not at all – and both approaches may be exactly right for those particular applicants.  That said, there is not necessarily a solid line between personal and professional goals, and so if you address (a) how you intend your career to develop and (b) how you want to grow through the MBA experience, that will likely be just fine, and you needn’t worry about personal versus professional.  

The key is to be specific about whatever goals you do discuss.  Clarify why the goal is important to you, and give some concrete and practical expression of what achieving it will look like.  Don’t forget to discuss both short- and long-term goals, and for the former, for professional goals be specific about industry, function, type of company, perhaps geography.

In explaining how USC Marshall will facilitate these goals, cite particular qualities and aspects of the program that address your learning and growth needs, and/or your academic or professional interests.  Rather than citing 10 things you like about the program, focus on the top 2-4 in some depth, with thoughtful insight about their applicability to you.

Optional essay: Please provide any additional information that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (250 words)

This question invites you to both discuss points that will enhance your application and explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender, etc.). For the former, if you ask the adcom to read additional material, make sure that it truly illuminates and is germane to your candidacy.  It should not be something that is just nice for the adcom to know.  

Re-application Essay: Please describe any significant professional, personal, or academic growth since your last application to the USC Marshall School of Business. Discuss your specific professional goals and how the USC Marshall Full-Time Program will help you achieve these goals. (500 words)

The key to a successful reapplication is to show growth and that’s the job of this essay. At least one of the growth points you present should be professional – there are the obvious things like a promotion or a new project to lead, and less obvious things like new industry or functional exposure, informal leadership, a challenge or problem that “stretched” your skills and perspective. In describing goals, if they’ve changed from the previous application, note why.

Deadlines:
USC Marshall Deadine

 

 

 

 

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

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

Related Resources:

How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats
4 Goals of an MBA Application
Why Do YOU Need an MBA?

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So Your MCAT Score Is Not Perfect… http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/16/so-your-mcat-scores-not-perfect/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/16/so-your-mcat-scores-not-perfect/#respond Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:08:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27399 ]]> You can get accepted to med school low stats!…that doesn’t mean that you can’t get into med school! Medical school admissions boards are looking for well-rounded students, and while high stats are certainly important, it IS possible to highlight some of your other super strengths and still get accepted. There are also other routes you can take (DO programs, international programs, taking additional courses, etc.) that will do wonders to your profile if you find yourself in a situation with less-than-perfect stats.

What can you do NOW to increase your chances of getting in? Read up on essential tips and information in our new admissions guide, Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know. This 16-page report will become your trusted companion as you make the journey towards med school acceptance.

Don’t let your low MCAT or GPA get you down! Download Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know to get started on your admissions adventure today!

Download your free copy!

 

 

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Increase Your Chances of a Chicago Acceptance… http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/16/increase-your-chances-of-a-chicago-acceptance/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/16/increase-your-chances-of-a-chicago-acceptance/#respond Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:13:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27534 ]]> …by attending our Get Accepted to Chicago Booth webinar TOMORROW!

Chicago Booth DEC Webinar

There’s no better way to optimize your Chicago Booth application than by gathering as much information and arming yourself with as many expert tips as possible! NOW is your chance to obtain that information and sharpen your Chicago Booth edge!

Register now to reserve your spot and we’ll see you tomorrow (December 17th) promptly at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST.

ChicagoBooth ReserveYourSpot

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Meet Toni: An Optimistic, Realistic Pre-Med with a Solid Plan B http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/15/meet-toni-an-optimistic-realistic-pre-med-with-a-solid-plan-b/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/15/meet-toni-an-optimistic-realistic-pre-med-with-a-solid-plan-b/#respond Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:02:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27504 ]]> Read more interviews with med applicant bloggers!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 Toni J.…

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? If you’re not currently in school, how are you spending your time?

Toni: I am a first-generation American. My parents migrated from Jamaica, West Indies. I am from Queens, NY. I attended CUNY Brooklyn College, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. My journey is a bit untraditional. I’ve worked in allied healthcare since I was seventeen years old (pediatric, geriatric and rehabilitation). I wasn’t born wanting to become a physician. It was my patient interactions that motivated and inspired me. Having just graduated and in a gap year, I decided to seek meaningful employment that would allow me to learn and grow professionally. Having no prior experience with dermatology and blessed with the opportunity of working with some of the top cosmetic dermatologist in the world, I knew that this would be a great introduction to the dermatological specialty.

Accepted: What stage of the med school application process are you up to? What has been the most challenging step and how did you work to overcome it?

Toni: I have filled out/sent in my primary AMCAS application and received/sent in my secondary applications. I received two rejections, a hold and I am currently in review at five other medical schools. The most challenging part is being patient. It takes so much, for me not to check my e-mail repeatedly throughout the day, in hopes it’s an interview invitation from the remaining schools. I haven’t been able to rid myself completely of the anxiety associated with waiting, but I have calmed myself by devising a plan B. A post bacc program that would allow me to be more competitive and strengthen my chances of medical school acceptance.

Accepted: You describe yourself as a “nontraditional” med school applicant. Can you elaborate? Can you tell us more about your postbac plan? What sort of advantage do you think this will give you long-term?

Toni: I am a “nontraditional” med school applicant in the sense that I wasn’t prepared to hit the ground running after graduating high school. I was a late bloomer in many respects, emotionally and academically. This in conjunction with a physically demanding job was a recipe for disaster. I divulge quite a bit, about this, in my verified post on my blog.

I applied and was accepted to one college my senior year of HS, CUNY College of Staten Island. The distance proved to be the biggest hindrance, spending four hours commuting (two hours to and from work, home and school) left little time for studying and sleeping (FYI: the reason I transferred to Brooklyn College).

Having gone through that experience, I encourage those, who are in similar shoes, to take some time to evaluate their situation. With honest self-introspection, I believe anyone can prevent making the same mistakes in the future.

After seeking guidance from my mentors (professors, premed advisors, club mates and medical school faculty) and after careful thought, I made the decision to attend a post-baccalaureate program, if I am not able to get into medical school on my first attempt. Post-baccalaureate programs will not only strengthen me academically, it will strengthen me professionally thus make me a competitive applicant.

Accepted: It looks like you offer some good advice for underrepresented minority applicants. Can you share some of your advice here with our readers?

Toni: Being an underrepresented minority, I found getting accurate information, tailored to my specific needs somewhat challenging. My college premed department had limited information regarding the opportunities available to underrepresented minorities. Most of the information I know and provide on my blog, I learned through my own research and through the Minority association of pre-health students (MAPS), my college club (affiliated with the Student National Medical Association – SNMA).

I advise students to join a pre-heath club, devoted to the mission of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine, because I believe that this will make all the difference in the strategy used to construct a competitive medical school application.

Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience? What do you hope others will learn?

Toni: Helping people, whether it be assisting patients, tutoring underclassmen or even by providing useful information I learned along the way (will hopefully prevent others from making the mistakes I’ve made) is quite emotionally rewarding. Blogging allows for a cathartic release, a form of therapy in many respects, that gives my past mistakes purpose.

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can read more about Toni’s journey by checking out her blog, KeepCalmGoToMedicalSchool. Thank you for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

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

Download your free copy of 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Application Essays!

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Related Resources:

The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Post Baccalaureate Programs
Medical School Admissions Tips for Non-Traditional Applicants
How To Write the Statement of Disadvantage

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MBA Interview Questions: What Questions Do You Have? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/15/mba-interview-questions-what-questions-do-you-have/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/15/mba-interview-questions-what-questions-do-you-have/#respond Mon, 15 Dec 2014 15:41:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27496 ]]> Watch our webinar on The 10 Commandments of MBA InterviewsReason for asking the question: To make sure the candidate has all pertinent information necessary about the school, as well as to confirm that he or she has thoroughly researched the program and consequently has thoughtful questions.

How to prepare: This will most likely be your last opportunity to ask questions of the program before you find out the admission decision, so make sure the questions count. Take enough time to consider this prior to your interview, since this is perhaps the only question you can be positive will be asked in the interview. Write your questions down if need be.

You do not want the questions to be procedural in nature, such as, “When will I find out about your decision?” Those types of questions can be asked at the very conclusion of the interview (if necessary), but well after your primary questions. Questions should be well thought out and perhaps give the interviewer pause before answering. After all, the interviewer has had YOU in the hot seat for the last thirty minutes with challenging questions, so you should have some in return!

The best questions are the ones that make the interviewer have to dig deep into his/her knowledge to answer, or better yet, might be ones the interviewer can’t answer then and there. In this case the interviewer will need to check into a question and get back in touch with you. YES! One final opportunity to have a connection with someone critical to your admission decision. Thoughtful questions could focus on “big picture” things like school strategy, trends or specifics related to particular coursework.

Important things to remember: Even if you have memorized all the content on the school’s website, visited campus and already asked (and had answered) all the questions you think you could possibly ever have, you better not have a blank stare, or a simple, “None,” answer.

Additional things to consider: As a general rule of thumb, plan on two-three questions (not of the procedural type).

Do you know the 10 commandments of MBA interviews?


Learn how Jen Weld can help you get accepted!
Jen Weld, has guided clients to acceptances as an Accepted admissions consultant since 2010. Prior to joining Accepted, she served as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program for four years. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing. Let her help you market yourself to top MBA and Executive MBA programs.

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Purdue Krannert 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/14/purdue-krannert-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/14/purdue-krannert-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Sun, 14 Dec 2014 18:10:58 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27401 ]]> More advice for writing about your MBA goals.

Purdue Krannert

First, the statement of purpose will introduce you to Krannert –it is in essence a classic goals essay. Then you must address an issue clearly of high interest to Krannert in the required essay: integrity.  That essay will illuminate not only what you think about integrity, but also your thought process itself.  The key to making these very different essays work together is to create a synergy between them – i.e., the experiences and plans you portray in the statement of purpose will form a vivid foundation for the thoughts, examples, and ideas you discuss in the required essay.  

Essays:

Statement of Purpose – Please submit a statement introducing yourself to the admissions committee.  (500 words max)

Some topics you may wish to discuss include:

a.  Brief academic and professional background

b.  Reason for seeking an MBA or Master’s degree at Purdue

c.  Desired career path after graduation

d.  Your thoughts on giving back as a student and as an alumnus

This question doesn’t technically require you to discuss the a-b-c-d points.  But if the adcom mentions them, you can be sure the adcom is interested in them.  So you can’t go wrong in addressing these points, even if you weave in something else as well. 

A natural and effective approach is to portray aspects of your experience (educational and/or professional) that animate your goals, and then elaborate on your goals.  Use your response to point “b” to demonstrate understanding of the program.  Point “d” gives you an opportunity to present distinctive experiences, including ones that may not necessarily relate to your goals, but that will enable you to enhance and invigorate your MBA class.

Required essay: Integrity – What does integrity mean to you? How does integrity relate to building communities of trust in academic, personal and professional settings? What expectations should Purdue have towards its students with regards to academic integrity? What consequences should students who do not uphold these standards face? (500 words max)

This is really four questions (each one of which could use more than 500 words!).  Your answer to the first question, what integrity means to you, will shape the essay and guide your responses to the subsequent questions.  Answer this initial question with a succinct definition and illustrate it with a concrete example showing what integrity means to you and why.  Address the subsequent questions in a way consistent with  your initial definition, adding further brief examples as warranted.  In the part about Purdue’s expectations, weave in specific details of Purdue’s program structure or approach.

Optional essay  – If you feel there are any parts of your application that require additional explanation, or if there is any additional information you wish to share with the admissions committee, please use this optional essay as an opportunity to do so. (250 words max)

This question invites you to explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender if not direct supervisor, a bad grade, etc.) – and also to present new material that will enhance your application.  If you choose to do the latter, make sure it’s a point that is essential for a clear and full picture of your candidacy.

Remaining Deadlines:

If you would like professional guidance with your Purdue Krannert 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 Purdue application.

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

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Should You Retake the GMAT Exam? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/14/should-you-retake-the-gmat-exam/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/14/should-you-retake-the-gmat-exam/#respond Sun, 14 Dec 2014 16:12:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26056 ]]> You can train in order to achieve a higher GMAT score

You have the time to prepare & study to achieve a higher GMAT score

There’s no yes or no answer here, but I will give you some points to consider that will help you make your decision.

You probably should retake the GMAT if…

• You have other weaknesses in your profile and you feel a high GMAT score will help you compensate for them.

• You have the time to prepare, study hard, and change the outcome.

• You are a reapplicant who has received feedback that suggests you need to boost your GMAT score.

• You blame you’re not-so-brilliant score on a bad day and know that if you retook the GMAT you’d have a meaningfully higher score.

You probably shouldn’t retake the GMAT if…

 • You proudly overshot the 80-80 hurdle. (Note: If you scored above the 80th percentile in both the verbal and quant sections of the GMAT, then you generally don’t need to retake the GMAT, even if you apply to a school at the tippy top of the tier.)

• You’ve already taken the GMAT 3+ times. (Think about the law of diminishing returns.)

• You are aiming too high and know deep down that you should probably just apply to b-schools with lower average GMAT scores at matriculation. If your GMAT is high enough for schools that you would be happy to attend, then you don’t need to retake it.

Join our upcoming webinar: How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

GMAT & MBA Admissions: True or False?
MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Terrific Tips
Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

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MIT Sloan Fellows 2015 Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/12/mit-sloan-fellows-2015-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/12/mit-sloan-fellows-2015-essay-tips/#respond Fri, 12 Dec 2014 19:02:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27471 ]]>

MIT Campus

Your three MIT Sloan Fellows essays must collectively convey the unmistakable message that you surpass your peers through consistently outstanding impact, and that you are destined to become a leader in your company and even industry.  Simultaneously, the essays must convey fit with MIT Sloan’s enduring emphasis on being an innovative leader and agent of change.  Use the three essays to present different aspects of your accomplishments and your character, to show that you envision and drive change, and to portray your rightful place in the “global leadership community.”

Essays:

Statement of Objectives: What are your immediate (1 – 5 years) and ultimate (>15 years) professional objectives for attending the program? Specifically, please indicate your objectives and how they fit with the purposes of the MIT Sloan Fellows Program. How would your unique background contribute to the diversity of the Sloan Fellows community? (500 words or less, limited to one page)

Let’s break this question into its three parts:  

First, your professional objectives.  Be specific about position, company/industry, expected scope of responsibilities, and vision for what you want to accomplish. Give more detail for the 1-5 year segment.  For the longer term goals, show direction – but not as detailed.

Second, your objectives’ fit with the program.  Identify and describe specific aspects of your objectives that align with the values and purposes of the program.  Focus on the 2-3 key elements of this fit – fewer, with thoughtful discussion, is far better than a “laundry list” of fit points.

Third, your potential contributions to the community.  Again, focus on the 2-3 key aspects.  “Unique background” certainly could refer to professional background, and it can also include other relevant, interesting experiences if they represent a potential contribution, such as intimate knowledge of a poorly represented geographic region.  This section can be tricky – interesting facts alone don’t show potential contribution; you need to add your insight to make it meaningful.

Essay 1: Discuss an event in your life that has defined who you are today. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

This question essentially asks for a story.  Also, note “event” – it can cover a big range, from personal or family events, to large, geopolitical events (unfortunately, war comes to mind). Balance the “interest factor” with the actual influence on you – while it’s great to have an inherently intriguing topic, the point of the essay is not the drama or rarity of the event; rather it is (a) the influence of the event on you and (b) your perception of that influence, and of how you responded and grew.  MIT has always had an interest in your self-understanding and your responsiveness, and this essay continues that trend.

With only 500 words, don’t waste any on a “conventional” intro that gives the ending away. First tell the story, then add a paragraph reflecting on why and how the event was formative.

Essay 2: Tell us about a personal or professional decision in which you took a minority perspective in a group and what did you learn about yourself from this experience. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

Another story; follow the above suggested format and structure.

Since the first essay will likely involve a somewhat older event, I suggest using a recent story for this essay, to make the essay do “double duty” strategically by also showing you performing in a high-stakes, challenging situation. Whether or not you win over the group to your view is not important for this essay.  Rather, the quality of your evaluation of your effort – how insightful, frank, and nuanced it is – will matter a lot.  It won’t hurt to briefly mention how you’ve since then applied the learning as well.  

Second deadline: January 5, 2015

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

Related Resources:

A Transformational Year: The MIT Sloan Fellows Program
MIT EMBA 2015 Essay Tips
Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right

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Not So Secret Secrets to Nailing the Medical School Interview http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/12/not-so-secret-secrets-to-nailing-the-medical-school-interview/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/12/not-so-secret-secrets-to-nailing-the-medical-school-interview/#respond Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:08:00 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25930 ]]> More med school interview advice.

Sorry, there are no magic tricks to interviewing and getting accepted to med school.

Journeys with Joshua: Joshua Wienczkowski walks us through med school at East Tennessee’s College of Medicine with his monthly blog updates. Get an inside look into med school down South and life as a student adcom member through the eyes of a former professional songwriter with a whole lot of clinical experience — thanks Joshua for sharing this journey with us! 

Right now, every week, there are a slew of fresh faces coming to interview for a coveted spot at our medical school. They come mostly from Tennessee; many have done undergraduate work all over the country, had previous careers, and are very impressive on paper, but they all share one thing in common: a feeling expressed on their faces that hints at sheer excitement and terror mixed evenly. Interviewing for medical school is one of the most exciting things someone can do; the hours have been poured into taking classes, studying for the MCAT, writing the lengthy application, shadowing in hospitals, researching in labs, and often times neglecting personal life to become one of the few to don the white coat as a student doctor.

There are a few things that I feel should be said to students getting ready to interview for medical school. Just a year ago, I was in those nervous, excited shoes and suit, and I’m incredibly thankful for the mentors that guided me in the following ways:

1. Practice. Hours are spent practicing for the MCAT, why not practice for the one thing that could make or break an acceptance into one of the extremely competitive seats of a med school? Each undergraduate school has a career development center that is well versed in preparing students for professional interviews, both academically and industry-oriented. I always recommend setting up a practice interview with a career counselor, and gaining invaluable feedback on some personal quirks that aren’t always apparent to ourselves. A fault of mine is that I have unfaltering eye contact with a big, forward personality to match, and this is sometimes mistaken as aggressive and commanding to people. This was pointed out to me in a practice interview I scheduled, and I was guided on how to lighten up my intensity to let the more communicative, and expressive parts of me come across more clearly. A good way to practice answering interview questions and getting solid feedback is to work through Dr. Jessica Freedman’s, “The Medical School Interview” with friends and family. It’s a quick read and I found it helpful to hear my parents’ perspective with tidbits they thought would be important in telling my story while answering interview questions.

2. Read up! I’m baffled sometimes when I give a tour to interviewees, and some have very basic questions that are easily accessibly on our website. The ones I know have invested time into reading about our school already understand the mission of the school, and want to know more in-depth things like what the student life is like, what things there are to do in the area, how accessible and helpful faculty are, and they essentially are interviewing me to see if my little corner of the world is somewhere they can see themselves fitting well in. It’s absolutely ok, and I encourage interviewees to treat the interview day like a two-way interview. When I was in the hot seat, I asked so many questions about why my interviewers chose that school, why they like the area, and the pros and cons of that school. You’re the one that has to spend the next four years with your hands at the grindstone, so you should absolutely be invested in choosing a school that YOU see yourself at, not just one that offers you a seat. This is YOUR education, and I am a firm believer that you should take control and command of it, starting with the school you want!

3. Don’t try and impress anyone. What I mean by this is that everyone already knows about everything you’ve ever done, because those things should have been well articulated in your application and secondaries. When we invite students for an interview, we’ve already thoroughly screened them, scrutinized their credentials, and know they are qualified to succeed in the rigorous medical education. The interview isn’t to test academic prowess, but it’s so we can meet the person we’ve been reading about, are excited about, and see if we like each other. Come to your medical school interview prepared to show everyone the person you’ve written about in your application! We already know about your awards and what everyone else to say about you in your recommendation letters, and now we just want to spend some time and see if we’re a fit for you, and you for us. Be yourself. Be yourself. BE YOURSELF! Interview day is a lot of pressure, but it’s the most enjoyable and exciting part of this whole process, in my opinion.

Having just gone through the rigors of applying and getting accepted to medical school a year ago, all I can say is that you should be extremely proud of the obstacles you’ve overcome to reach this momentous achievement. There are no magic tricks or secrets to interviewing and getting accepted to medical school; however, being an honest person with the integrity that I hope you wrote about in your application, and showing that person to us as a medical school and student body is a fast-track to an instant acceptance. The people we end up accepting are the people that I want to spend the next four years with, through the good and the bad, and they with us. The person I’m willing to go out of the way for and write an email to the admissions committee is the person that would do the same for me, and is also someone I’d want to have a beer with next year. So, in your interview, show them that person.

Good luck!

Click here to download your complete copy of The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Medical School Interviews
Multiple Mini Interviews: Method or Madness?
Common Myths About Medical School Interviews

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MBA/MMM Interview with Kellogg Student: Using Empathy to Succeed http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/12/mbammm-interview-with-kellogg-student-using-empathy-to-succeed/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/12/mbammm-interview-with-kellogg-student-using-empathy-to-succeed/#respond Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:16:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27385 ]]> Click here for more MBA student interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Michael Nguyễn, a student at Northwestern Kellogg’s joint MBA/Masters in Design Innovation program.

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

Michael: I was born and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was unfortunately a mediocre student at Cal (UC Berkeley) because I spent a lot of my time playing video games. Thus, even though I started in Computer Science and really enjoyed it, I eventually changed to Comparative Literature (which is actually really difficult – I did not know this when I switched) after a couple of years. However, the time spent in both majors has helped me immensely throughout my career.

I am currently at Kellogg (Northwestern) in its newly revamped MMM program, which is a dual-degree MBA and Masters of Science in Design Innovation program run in conjunction with the McCormick School of Engineering and Segal Design Institute.

Accepted: Can you tell us more about your joint degree? What does “Design Innovation” mean? What do you plan on doing with your degrees?

Michael: The MMM program ends at the same time as the normal Kellogg two year MBA program but now starts one quarter early, in the summer. Though this does come with additional cost, this also means you get to enjoy the summer in Chicago! Another great benefit is that you will become very close with your MMM program mates, the other 59 students (the program is limited to 60 per year).

I personally define Design Innovation as an end-user empathy lens for looking at the world, but one that is not just relevant to developing products. If you manage a team, you need to be able to put yourself in team members’ shoes before you can create a rally point. If you are trying to sell a product, you need to know what your target customer is thinking – who they are, why they do what they do. It’s not that someone is just “stupid” or one of “those people” you can generalize. Everyone is unique and design thinking helps you use those lessons in your career.

From my time working in Southeast Asia, I used empathy in order to succeed at creating compelling products for different types of people as well as to win trust and motivate teams despite cultural and language barriers.

After the program, I am looking to return to smaller tech startups or perhaps start my own. However, the range of careers that others in the MMM program are seeking is very broad. Many are looking to enter into consulting, with more top firms now embracing design innovation, but there are also students looking to go into finance, consumer packaged goods (CPG), and technology.

Like the MBA, I think the Design Innovation degree is a toolset you can adapt for any career trajectory. Simply, the Innovation is the change you make in an existing product, process, or organization; the Design is the user-driven approach.

Accepted: It looks like you’ve got an interesting work history! Can you talk about a few of your most recent projects?

Michael: Previous to Kellogg, my professional background for the last decade has been in Business Operations at multiple startups. My first work experience was helping RedOctane become acquired for the Guitar Hero game franchise by Activision. I ran its e-commerce operations, including shipping logistics and customer service.

I then spent 7 years in Vietnam, becoming COO of the first social networking service there, Cyworld Vietnam, a 70 person startup funded by SK Telecom and IDG Ventures Vietnam. During my time in Vietnam, I worked closely with partners such as Nokia, LG, and Yamaha as well as local mobile carrier giants such as Viettel within the restrictions of one of the rare capitalist-socialist governments in the world.

During this time, I co-founded the most popular Vietnamese microblogging service, Mimo.vn, in 2010, helping it grow to 2 million users. Before I left Vietnam, I also worked on another side project which became a dating app called FriendsPlus. It was sold pre-launch to the largest dating service in Vietnam, Noi.vn, and the technology and service concept was integrated into Noi.vn as a whole.

In general, I have a deep interest in how different types of people connect with and add meaning to each other’s lives.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Kellogg so far? 

Michael: When you are in a good class (happens more often than not thankfully), you can compare it to seeing a brilliant performer, whether that be musical, athletic, or theatrical. In many ways, that’s exactly what it is – a professor with a tremendous academic and real work pedigree who is educating you about different aspects of business. Because of this, I actually like to sit in the front to get the best view. After all, I am paying over $60,000 a year for this show!

What most surprised is me how every class links to each other. In a business setting, that wouldn’t be surprising because well, that’s business. If you run a company, you cannot just be a product guy with no understanding of finance and vice versa. But in this class format, you will see each class bring in aspects of the entire MBA education. Thus, if you are taking Finance, you are not asked to just do math. You are asked to think about what firm and market strategies change the math in the real world and how you sell that story to someone else (your boss, management, investors, etc.).

I feel that in every class, you are not challenged to solve the problem but to create and then sell the story so it can be implemented in a company.

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

Michael: In the busy lives of the MBA students here (classes, groupwork, recruiting, competitions), it’s not easy to make deep connections with others in the student body. I think this problem likely exists at many schools, so despite Kellogg’s reputation as a great school to make friends and be around team-focused individuals, no school can create the perfect social setting for everyone.

Thus, if you are an international student or more of an introvert, Kellogg’s emphasis on big social group events may be uncomfortable at times. CIM week can feel like a rehash of your undergrad years where the majority of students solidify their social groups within the first few weeks and do not go outside their comfort zones to befriend people that may be unlike them.

It is something that Kellogg is aware of and looking for initiatives to help address the issue. In fact, a friend and I are working on a mobile product that we hope will help with this and we are looking to get the Kellogg administration’s support for it as well.

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

Michael: I actually decided to apply to MBA programs two months before Round 1’s began, and I also wanted to make sure I applied for Round 1. This meant I needed to prepare for the GMAT and every other part of the application in a very short amount of time – an MBA was something I had not seriously considered for the previous five years. Fortunately, things worked out, and I got into a great school.

However, others should not follow this route. An MBA program is a very serious time and financial commitment, one that is essentially your last chance to use an academic setting to create a long term impact on how people view you professionally. Do spend the time (at least 1 year in advance) to prepare your applications properly to maximize your chance into getting the program that’s best for you. Beyond that, also use that time to get a proper understanding of which schools you can actually get into.

I am not a big believer in backup schools. If you there is a school you absolutely want to go to, and your background is a good fit for that school, spend the most time on that school. Even if that means working an extra year to improve your professional accomplishments, I say do it!

Accepted: Do you have any other admissions tips for our readers?

Michael: Although we are asked to pretend we know what we want to do after our MBA, few people really do. Because of this, don’t be worried if you really will follow-up on everything you talk about in the application. What’s most important is to think about what you would want to do right now and think through how going to a particular school is well suited to help with those specific goals. I think schools like Kellogg are not judging your ambitions but your ability to construct plans and build towards them.

For Kellogg MMM specifically, it’s a great program that is not getting a lot of publicity right now, likely due to the recent curriculum change. However, I recommend (to everyone) to look at it more closely and talk to people in the program (like myself). Many people I’ve met at Kellogg regret not applying for it because they had misconceptions about the program or thought it wouldn’t be relevant to their career. Once they better understood how the program works, however, they realized its applications were much more broad than the words “Design Innovation” may initially suggest.

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

Kellogg 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, & Tips
2015 Kellogg Executive MBA Admissions Tips

You can read more about Michael’s journey by checking out his LinkedIn profile and his blog, I Spit Hot Fire. Thank you Michael for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best
Related Resources:

Are You Growth Minded? Mastering Kellogg’s Changing Brand
Insights of Tennis Player Turned Kellogg MBA
5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You

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Application Timing: When Should You Submit? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/application-timing-when-should-you-submit/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/application-timing-when-should-you-submit/#respond Thu, 11 Dec 2014 19:51:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27444 ]]>

Timing. Timing. Who’s got the best timing? Applicants frequently stress over when to submit,  wondering if when they apply will affect the outcome. They lose sleep with questions like: When is the best time to apply? When do I have the greatest chance of getting accepted? The answer is surprisingly simple.

Listen to this episode for Linda Abraham’s important advice on timing your application to enhance your chances of acceptance.

00:01:56 – The simple answer to when you should apply.

00:03:45 – When should an MBA applicant apply Round 3?

00:06:09 – The best time for 2016 MBA applicants to take the GMAT.

00:06:52 – MBA applicant with a military background, high GPA but low quant score. When should he apply?

00:09:21 – Medical school applicants – the importance of being early!

00:09:50 – Thinking of applying late? Think of the game of musical chairs.

00:10:25 – Rushing to take the MCAT? Submitting your application before it’s ready? Think again!

00:11:13 – The ideal time table for submitting your AMCAS application.

00:12:40 – The advantages of starting your AMCAS personal statement this winter break.

00:14:18 – Linda’s rule of timing when applying to grad school.

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

Related Links:

•  MBA Application Timing
•  MBA Round 1 Timeline
•  Medical School Admissions: Why Applying in June is Critical
•  Can You Submit Your AMCAS Application BEFORE Retaking the MCAT?
Applying to Medical School Late in the Application Cycle

Related Shows:

Waitlisted! What Now?
How to Edit Your Application Essays
MBA Admissions According to an Expert
Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/application-timing-when-should-you-submit/feed/ 0 Timing. Timing. Who’s got the best timing? Applicants frequently stress over when to submit,  wondering if when they apply will affect the outcome. They lose sleep with questions like: When is the best time to apply? Timing. Timing. Who’s got the best timing? Applicants frequently stress over when to submit,  wondering if when they apply will affect the outcome. They lose sleep with questions like: When is the best time to apply? When do I have the greatest chance of getting accepted? The answer is surprisingly simple. Listen to this episode for Linda Abraham's important advice on timing your application to enhance your chances of acceptance. 00:01:56 - The simple answer to when you should apply. 00:03:45 - When should an MBA applicant apply Round 3? 00:06:09 - The best time for 2016 MBA applicants to take the GMAT. 00:06:52 - MBA applicant with a military background, high GPA but low quant score. When should he apply? 00:09:21 - Medical school applicants - the importance of being early! 00:09:50 - Thinking of applying late? Think of the game of musical chairs. 00:10:25 - Rushing to take the MCAT? Submitting your application before it's ready? Think again! 00:11:13 - The ideal time table for submitting your AMCAS application. 00:12:40 - The advantages of starting your AMCAS personal statement this winter break. 00:14:18 - Linda's rule of timing when applying to grad school. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: •  MBA Application Timing •  MBA Round 1 Timeline •  Medical School Admissions: Why Applying in June is Critical •  Can You Submit Your AMCAS Application BEFORE Retaking the MCAT? • Applying to Medical School Late in the Application Cycle Related Shows: • Waitlisted! What Now? • How to Edit Your Application Essays • MBA Admissions According to an Expert • Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More! Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:   Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 16:59
NUS MBA 2015 Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/nus-mba-2015-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/nus-mba-2015-essay-tips/#respond Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:32:56 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27433 ]]> See other school specific b-school essay tips! National University of Singapore (NUS) hosts approximately 100 students each year in its full-time MBA program – 91% of those students come from outside of Singapore, representing 18 countries. The curriculum concentrates on global business with a focus on Asia in particular, and the program successfully places graduates in a variety of functions: 22% of the class enters consulting, 24% finance/accounting, 14% general management, 22% sales/marketing (with the remainder entering HR, Operations, and other functions).

Contrary to the global trend, NUS has not reduced the number of essay questions it asks of applicants this year. My tips are below in blue.

NUS has some short answer questions that you need to address, including:

Why is it important for you to embark on your MBA now?  [500 characters]

This is a very brief (500 characters is about 5 lines of typical text) opportunity for you to explain what is happening in your professional and personal life that make now the right time to pursue this education and what business skills and knowledge you need to reach the goals you have set before you.

Essays

1.  We would like you to tell us about your post-MBA immediate career goals and how your professional experiences have prepared you to achieve these goals. You may do so by a 300 words written essay or a two-minute video.

If you feel comfortable in front of a camera or know how to create fun graphic videos, the two-minute video offers you an opportunity to say a lot more than the 300-word essay can (in a practice session, I was able to read 430+ words with a calm, storytelling demeanor in the 2 minutes).  Once you’ve decided on the delivery medium, the content of this essay will be straightforward: NUS wants to hear what job you will aiming for when you graduate and what skills and network you have already gained that have prepared you for that path.

2.  The mission of NUS Business School is to advance knowledge and develop leaders so as to serve business and society. Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities.  [300 words]

The phrasing of this question can be confusing, but what they are really asking for here are examples from your past when you advanced the mission of a business, organization, or society at large. Ideally, your examples of advancing a business will also have some benefit to society – minimizing waste, improving relationships with the surrounding community, for example – but that isn’t a requirement.  

Given the word limit, you probably could provide 2-3 examples.

3.   (Only applicable to re-applicants) Please provide an update on any new aspects of your professional, international, academic or personal profile that would not have been included in your previous application. Please do also explain your motivation for re-applying to NUS. [300 words]

This is a gift to re-applicants: you’re being granted 300 extra words to make the case that you are ready for the NUS education. Briefly comment on any improvement in your GMAT score and/or GPA, then shine the spotlight on the ways in which you have developed your leadership skills and made a greater impact on your company or community since you last applied. How has this year helped you see ever more clearly how the NUS MBA will help you reach your goals more quickly and effectively?

4.  Tell us something interesting or unique about yourself which you think would be helpful for the Admission Committee to better evaluate your candidacy. [300 words]

I have a love-hate relationship with open-ended questions like this: on the one hand they are great for people with something truly unique in their background that doesn’t fit into any of the traditional MBA application essays; on the other hand, they strike intense fear in the hearts of most applicants in need of a more direct question!

As you analyze your profile, identify the one aspect that best distinguishes you from your peers: are you a great leader, community activist, analyst, athlete, or team builder? You may wish to ask your boss, peers, and friends what they think is really special about you, but you should only write the essay about a quality that is beneficial to the NUS program. Talking about something superfluous like your cooking skills or antique collection isn’t useful unless you use that skill to build community or make an impact in some way.

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

Full-Time NUS MBA Application Dates

NUS deadlines

 
MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!

Jennifer Bloom By Jennifer Bloom who has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 15 years. She is happy to serve as your personal coach and hand-holder throughout the entire process. There’s no time like the present to begin!

Related Resources:

Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right
NUS: A Small But Mighty Academic Powerhouse in Asia
An NUS MBA Shares Her Story

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Is a Chicago Booth MBA In Your Future? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/is-a-chicago-booth-mba-in-your-future-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/is-a-chicago-booth-mba-in-your-future-2/#respond Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:08:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27389 ]]> If you want to answer that question with a resounding “yes,” then tune in to Get Accepted to Chicago Booth, a webinar that airs in just a few days, on Wednesday, December 17th at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST.

Register for our Chicago Booth Webinar, today!

Reserve your spot for Get Accepted to Chicago Booth and learn how to successfully take on that Chicago challenge!

See you soon!

ChicagoBooth ReserveYourSpot

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ESADE MBA 2015 Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/10/esade-mba-2015-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/10/esade-mba-2015-essay-tips/#respond Wed, 10 Dec 2014 21:05:56 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27431 ]]> Esade PicThe ESADE (pronounced eh-SAH-day) MBA program in Barcelona, Spain, is a great option for applicants looking for a program that requires fewer than 2 years out of the job market but also provides an internship and even an international exchange option. ESADE offers a 12-month MBA, a 15-month option that includes an internship or exchange program, and an 18-month option that includes both an internship and an international exchange opportunity. Graduates do well: 91% secure a position within 3 months of graduating, increasing their salaries by an average of 67% over their pre-MBA earnings. This really is an international student body: the 170 students in the class of 2013 hailed from 43 countries, and 60% of them choose to work outside of Spain upon graduation.

Attach your CV or Resume: The ESADE application form does not prompt the applicant to describe his/her accomplishments in each position, but allows space for a job description for each role. Savvy applicants will make sure that their resume/CV highlights the initiatives they led and the impact they made in each role.

Personal essays (Each question is limited to 2000 characters including spaces, 30 lines approximately.) Frankly, in my experience, 2000 characters is only approximately 20 lines, around 300 words for each essay. My tips are below in blue.

1.  Which aspects have you improved on during your academic and professional career so far? Which tools or values have helped you achieve this?
ESADE provides a “transformative” experience, but to benefit from it fully, students must be open to transforming. This essay provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you recognize areas in which you can improve, and then take action to do so. Among the most important aspects to ESADE are leadership, teamwork, and organizational skills. The second part of the question is asking for applicants to analyze what enabled them to make these improvements: personality traits, introspection, trusted mentors, and even a comprehensive professional evaluation system may be among the tools that applicants have found most useful. Sharing a story or two in this essay that show both the improvement and the tools/values at work will engage the reader and set a tone of interest for your entire application.

2.  How will your background, values and non work-related activities enhance the experience of other ESADE MBA students and add to the diverse culture we strive for at ESADE? (Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have accomplished)
ESADE has only 170 students in each class, so each of them must be active to create a lively campus. This essay offers applicants an opportunity to demonstrate how they have helped create community in the past – on campus, in professional and social organizations, in their neighborhood, even in their family life. If an example from a professional environment is the one that best illustrates a personal quality, then, yes, feel free to use it.

3.  What are your motivations in pursuing a full-time MBA at this point in your life? Describe your mid-term and long-term visions for your post-MBA career path. What is it about ESADE you think will help you reach your goals?
This is a standard goals question. Applicants need to demonstrate that their goals are ambitious but fully realizable. Anyone whose goals are not seen as reasonable cannot be accepted because they will graduate unhappy at the discovery of that reality – after losing 12-18 months of their lives and €60,000 of their hard-earned (or borrowed!) money.

4.  Complete two of the following four questions or statements (1000 characters per response)

a.  I am most proud of…
b.  People may be surprised to learn that I…
c.  What has your biggest challenge been and what did it help you learn about yourself?
d.  Which historical figure do you most identify with and why?
All of these essay prompts aim to discover any interesting aspects of your background, both professional and personal. These provide applicants a chance to round out the admissions committee’s understanding of who they are, what obstacles they have faced in their lives, and what they’ve accomplished. These are very brief essays of approximately 150 words each.

5.  Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include gaps in employment, your undergraduate record, plans to retake the GMAT or any other relevant information.
If you need to explain any of the standard issues – your direct manager doesn’t know you’re applying so you couldn’t ask him to write a recommendation, you completed your coursework in December but did not receive your diploma until the following May, etc. – then this is the place to make those clarifications. If you do not need to use this space for any of those mundane topics, then feel free to fill it with an example of your leadership, maturity, or innovation to provide further evidence of your fit with ESADE.

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

THE MBA ADMISSIONS TIMELINE

In order to secure a place on the Full Time MBA and an ESADE Scholarship, we strongly recommend applying early. Taking the visa application process into consideration, we recommend that non-EU citizens submit their completed application no later than (15 June 2015).
Have our MBA admissions experts critique your ESADE application!

Applications should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CET (Central European Time) on the date in question. Applications are considered complete once the Online Application and all supporting documents have been received.

Jennifer Bloom By Jennifer Bloom has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs with their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 16 years. She is happy to serve as your personal coach and hand-holder throughout the entire process. There’s no time like the present to begin!

Related Resources:

Why ESADE: An Interview with An Admitted Student
Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right
Leadership in Admissions

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Medical School Admissions: Why Applying in June is Critical http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/10/medical-school-admissions-why-applying-in-june-is-critical/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/10/medical-school-admissions-why-applying-in-june-is-critical/#respond Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:11:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27391 ]]> Click here to learn how to get accepted to medical school in 2016.

If you apply late, you may never receive a review if there are no spots left available.

When you have spent years preparing to apply to medical school, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your chance of acceptance by applying late.  Since selection committees operate on a rolling admissions basis, if you submit your application in August or September, they may not have enough spots left to offer you an acceptance, even though your application may be strong.

 Here are the reasons why applying late can hurt you:

• Rolling admissions is based on the concept of first come, first served

If you apply late, you may never receive a review if there are no spots left available.  Medical schools receive thousands of applications and this requires hours and hours of time spent on reviewing applications and interviewing candidates.  Once a medical school has met its enrollment capacity and filled its waiting list, there is very little time spent on reviewing applications—especially given the time and energy it takes to conduct interviews and MMI interviews, in particular.

•  If you are rushing to submit your application late, chances are there will be mistakes

In the mad dash to get your application submitted, it’s easy to leave out critical details or write sloppy essays that do not represent you well.  If you have put off applying, there may be a reason behind it.  It’s important to examine the reasons that have forced you to consider applying late. It  would probably be in your best interest to take your time and apply early rather than do a rush job that will only force you to face the possibility of reapplying the next year.  Since it is so expensive and time consuming to apply, doing it right the first time is in your best interest.

•  Applying late and without an MCAT score is like double daring the Fates

Since most schools will not review your application until they receive your MCAT score, applying late and then forcing the schools to hold off on reviewing your application may put you even further behind.  Generally, I don’t recommend applying without an MCAT score.  You don’t want any hidden surprises especially when it comes to determining the direction of your career.  If necessary, apply early the next cycle after you have received competitive scores.

From nearly a decade of experience in medical school admissions, I recommend getting your application submitted anywhere from mid-June to late July.  I have seen students receive acceptances when they have applied in August and September but it’s a wild ride and one I recommend avoiding, if at all possible.  To avoid unnecessary stress, plan on applying early.

Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016!

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

Related Resources:

9 Must-Know Tips to Steer You through the Med School Admissions Process
Is My Profile Competitive?
Applying to Medical School Late in the Application Cycle

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To R3 Or Not to R3, That Is The WSJ Question http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/10/to-r3-or-not-to-r3-that-is-the-wsj-question/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/10/to-r3-or-not-to-r3-that-is-the-wsj-question/#respond Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:43:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27416 ]]> Should you apply Round 3?Round 3 applicants used to be viewed as disorganized, but now, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, they may be viewed as “appealing but unconventional prospects” or as “an offbeat catch” who “liven the mix of an incoming MBA class.”

I was quoted in the article when I explain how the first two rounds are generally dominated by more traditional applicants, but that “in later rounds, schools are looking beyond banking and consulting candidates to fill out their classes with applicants whose backgrounds, experience and goals run the gamut.” Some of these applicants are R1 rejects now applying more realistically at lower ranked schools, but others, I explain in the article, “are more highly qualified nontraditional candidates.” Often, its applicants with military experience, those who have been involved in startups, and those who come from underrepresented backgrounds who get accepted Round 3 – these are not applicants that the admission boards want to overlook.

Note that I’m not suggesting that applicants put off applying until Round 3 (especially if they’re ready to submit earlier), but my main point is this: Hope is not lost if you don’t apply R1 provided that you have some sparkles on your standard issue cookie.

Dee Leopold, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School, agrees, adding, “We actually enjoy round three. It takes a certain amount of confidence to apply then. Those applicants march to their own drum, and we would never want to miss them.”

Drawbacks of applying late in the game include fewer available seats in the class, the scarcity of merit-based aid, the inability to attend admit weekends, and the occasional difficulty for foreign students in securing their visas in time for the school year.

 

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!
Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.;

Related Resources:

Round 3 vs. Next Year: The MBA Admissions Debate
Your 4 Step Guide to Beating Those MBA Round 2 Deadlines
Maximize Your MBA Applications

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3 Reasons to Start Your Med School Applications NOW http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/3-reasons-to-start-your-med-school-applications-now/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/3-reasons-to-start-your-med-school-applications-now/#respond Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:40:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27197 ]]> You want a seat in the med school class of 2020. What could you possibly have to do now? LOADS! If you think applying to medical school is a task that can be left until the last minute, then you’re terribly mistaken!

Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016

Here are three reasons why you should get started now if you want to enter med school in 2016:

1.  Your recommenders will thank you!

No one likes to write a letter under pressure, and if you want a favorable letter of recommendation, then you’ll give your recommenders ample time to write it!

2.  Slow and steady wins the race.

An application that’s slapped together last minute is bound to have errors – not something you want when trying to make a good impression! Start early to avoid careless mistakes!

3.  You’ll understand your strengths and weaknesses early on.

The sooner you begin to evaluate your profile, the better position you’ll be in if you need to retake a chem class or step up your MCAT studying.

To encourage you to jumpstart your medical school admissions journey early, we invite you to join us TOMORROW (Wed. Dec. 10th) at 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET for a webinar that will prepare you for next year’s med school application process. When those 2016 applications are released, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running!

Register for Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016 now! Remember – the early bird gets the worm!

Reserve your spot

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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Wharton 2016 Class Profile http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/wharton-2016-class-profile/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/wharton-2016-class-profile/#respond Tue, 09 Dec 2014 16:07:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25953 ]]> Get insights into the Wharton applicationLet’s take a look at the 2016 class at Wharton. Last year’s stats are in parentheses.

•Total applicants: 6,111 (6,036)

•Enrolled class: 859 (837)

•Women: 40% (42%)

•International students: 31% (35%)

•U.S. minorities: (30%) 30%

•Range of years of work experience: 0-16 (0-13)

•Mean years of work experience: 5 (5)

•GMAT range: 620-780

•Mean overall GMAT: 728 (725)

•Middle 80% GMAT range: 710-750 (690-760)

•Undergraduate majors:

- STEM: 23% (25%)

- Business: 27% (28%)

- Humanities/social sciences/economics: 45% (44%)

- Other: 5% (3%)

Industry experience:

Consulting 20% (20%)
Private Equity/Venture Capital 12% (12%)
Investment Banking 9% (12%)
Government/Military/Non-Profit 13% (11%)
Consumer Products/Retail/Health Care/Energy 12% (10%)
Other Financial Services 7% (8%)
Technology/Internet/E-Commerce 6% (6%)
Investment Management 6% (4%)
Real Estate 2% (3%)
Other Industries 9% (14%)

 Are you looking to join the next Wharton class? Check out the recording of our recent webinar, Get Accepted to the Wharton School, to learn key strategies to help you get accepted to Wharton and other top business schools!

Get Accepted to The Wharton School!

The class profile information is from Wharton’s website.

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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Top 10 Gifts for Pre-Med Students http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/top-10-gifts-for-pre-med-students/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/top-10-gifts-for-pre-med-students/#respond Tue, 09 Dec 2014 15:21:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27376 ]]> When it comes time to buy gifts, pre-meds can be even more challenging than any MCAT question or biochemistry final. Here is a list of ideas that any pre-med is sure to enjoy. If you have any additions, add them below in the comments!

1.  Coffee shop gift cards: Every pre-med student will appreciate this gift. Even if your student isn’t a big coffee drinker, they can pick up a tea or pastry pick-me-up. Try to find their favorite local shop, or go with Starbucks. The Starbucks smartphone app will let you reload their card when funds go dry. Either way you can’t lose.

2.  Evernote Premium: Evernote is a revolutionary digital notebook that keeps notes organized  and synced across devices and the cloud. The subscription service provides your student with more space, powerful search tools, and the ability to annotate directly on PDF files. Premium service is $5/month or $45/year

3.  Light reading: Break up your student’s study day with some fun reading. Books by Atul Gawande, Abraham Verghese, and Fitzhugh Mullan all provide a unique perspective on the author’s own career, personal life, and what it means to become a physician. Bonus; these books will give your student something to talk about during their medical school interviews. My favorites are Atul Gawande’s Complications and Better.

4.  Ipad: More medical schools are making iPads mandatory for incoming students, so get ahead of the game and make it an awesome gift. Besides studying and MCAT question blocks, an iPad is great for keeping up with the news and the rapidly changing world of modern medicine.  Checkout the refurbished and education store for discounts.

iPad_3_New_iPad200312_11_copy

5.  Clothing subscriptions: Grueling class schedules are no excuse to look beat down. Subscription clothing services can provide fresh styles and professional looks at a decent price without having to spend time shopping. For men, check out Bombfell,  Manpacks, and TrunkClub. For women, Stitch Fix and Cypress &  5th offer clothing and accessories, while Birchbox  provides beauty and grooming products.

6.  Shadowing time: If you’re short on cash, or have a good connection, consider asking a physician-friend to let your student shadow for a day. Giving a shadowing date may sound odd, but can provide educational and networking opportunities, even letters of recommendation further down the line. Before offering, be sure the physician would be open to the student shadowing and has agreed to it, as some offices may have policies against shadowing.

7.  Noise canceling headphones: Give the gift of peaceful study time. You can’t always shut up the noisy library users, but you can block them out. There are a ton of options, from the affordable Sony MDR-NC7-CBB’s  for $35 to the opulent Bose QuietComfort  at $299. A good compromise may be the Monoprice headphones, modeled after the Bose QuietComfort at a more affordable price.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

8.  Leather portfolio: Part of acing an interview is looking the part. Keeping an extra resume and paperwork tucked in a nice portfolio keeps your student looking professional and prepared. There are numerous options and many can be personalized, some are even able to fit an iPad. I recommend keeping it simple and understated.

9.  Backpack/messenger bag: Keep your student organized and stylish while running across campus with a new messenger bag or backpack. Bags like the J Crew Abingdon Messenger bag are popular and will withstand the beating of campus life. Inside, the Cocoon Grid-I-T  will keep all their cables and chargers organized.

10.  Accepted.com services: For the pre-med who has everything, consider giving the peace of mind that comes with a perfectly written resume and personal statement, reviewed by the experts at Accepted.com. No portfolio or clothing thing service will make them standout better than having a polished application. You’ll be the first person they call when their acceptance letter arrives.

Any other good gift ideas? Leave a comment below with what you would like to receive!

By Evan Kuhl, a fourth-year medical student wanting to match in emergency medicine. Evan is interested in the intersection of sports and medicine, and is an avid cyclist. His website, www.evankuhl.com, includes helpful tips for pre-med and current medical students.

Get Accepted to Med School in 2016!

Related Resources:

Tips for Pre-Meds Applying for Scholarships or Financial Aid
Where Should I Apply to Medical School?
How to Shadow a Doctor

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Med School Interview with Eleasa: Enjoying the Newlywed Medical School Rollercoaster http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/08/med-school-interview-with-eleasa-enjoying-the-newlywed-medical-school-rollercoaster/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/08/med-school-interview-with-eleasa-enjoying-the-newlywed-medical-school-rollercoaster/#respond Mon, 08 Dec 2014 17:42:18 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27333 ]]> 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 Eleasa…

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

Eleasa: I was born and raised in South Carolina and decided to attend the University of South Carolina (go gamecocks!) for undergrad because they had the #1 international business program in the country. That’s right, I started off as an international business major and had no intentions of going into the medical field. Then, one day I realized that a career in business did not sound very fulfilling to me and that I wanted to work in a job where I could directly see how I was benefitting people. This led me to change my major to public health my sophomore year and shadow people from just about every health profession (nurses, OTs, PTs, researchers, PAs, NPs, physicians, etc.). After I shadowed a family physician, I knew I had found a career that would provide the intellectual stimulation and interpersonal interaction that I was looking for.

I read a ton of physician autobiographies after I decided to go into medicine (just to make sure I knew what I was getting into) and still enjoy reading about those that have conquered medical school and residency before me. One of my favorites is Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs by Michael J. Collins. Dr. Collins chronicles his journey, going from a construction worker in Chicago all the way to an orthopedic surgery resident at the Mayo Clinic. This is definitely inspiring and shows you that med school and a career as a physician are achievable with persistence and hard work.

Accepted: Where do you go to med school and what year are you?

Eleasa: I attend the University of South Carolina School of Medicine – Greenville and am currently a first year student.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about med school so far? And if you could change one thing, what would it be?

Eleasa: I have really enjoyed my hands-on patient care experience so far. At my school we become certified Emergency Medical Technicians and ride on an ambulance with Greenville County EMS once a month. In addition to this I have gotten to take histories from real patients in the Emergency Department for my Clinical Diagnosis and Reasoning class. Being around patients really motivates me and reminds me what I’m working towards.

My school opened just three years ago, so with such a new school that means that there are occasionally hiccups or kinks to work out regarding our schedules and how they do things. However, they really listen to student feedback, and I feel that we have a great amount of input regarding our education.

Accepted: Congrats on your recent marriage! Looks like you have a lot to get used to all at once — how are you managing during this adjustment period? 

Eleasa: A lot of people thought I was crazy for getting married 9 days before starting medical school. It definitely was a rollercoaster having my wedding, going on a honeymoon, and getting back and immediately jumping into schoolwork. However, I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I didn’t want to plan a wedding during medical school, and I am so glad I got married during the summer when I didn’t have anything else on my plate to worry about.

It has been wonderful having my husband by my side throughout this transition. He is constantly encouraging me and supports all my hard work. I also think that being married has motivated me to study more efficiently. I know the less time I have to spend studying at home, the more time I get to spend with him!

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?

Eleasa: I took a year off before staring medical school and worked as a dialysis technician during that time. This was by far the most difficult job I have ever had, but I’m so glad that I did it. It taught me to respect those in every position on the healthcare team and gave me great hands-on patient care experience. I know that this clinical experience really set me apart from other applicants because I got asked about it at every single one of my interviews.

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

Eleasa: The MCAT was definitely my nemesis when I was applying for medical school. I barely studied before I took it for the first time, and no surprise, this resulted in a really low score. I realized that I needed to make a detailed study schedule and change up my study methods. This resulted in 10 weeks of intensive studying (4-6 hours a day, even while I was on vacation), making lots of notecards, and doing practice problems and sample tests. Those 10 weeks weren’t always the most fun, but it was so worth it when I got my score back.

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

Eleasa: I say to get lots of clinical experience before you apply (this will give you lots of great stories to tell and examples to give on your interview day), and keep a running list of all of your volunteer/research/extracurricular activities as you are going throughout school. This will make it so much easier to pull your application together and get it in early.

Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience? What do you hope others will learn?

Eleasa: I decided to blog as a way to keep a “diary” about my medical school experience. You hear so much about the constant studying and burn out, but I want use this blog as a way to reflect on the positive things that are going on both inside and outside of school. I hope others can look at it and see that it is possible to balance medical school, relationships, and a social life, and that medical school can be a really fun 4 years of your life!

You can read more about Eleasa’s med school journey by checking out her blog, Marriage & Med School. Thank you for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

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

Get ready to submit an early medical school application

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best
Related Resources:

Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You MUST Know!
How to Spend Your Gap Year Between College and Med School
“I’m Pre-Med, and I’m Going to be a Surgeon” – How to Not be THAT Guy

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MBA Interview Questions: Why This MBA Program? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/08/mba-interview-questions-why-this-mba-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/08/mba-interview-questions-why-this-mba-program/#respond Mon, 08 Dec 2014 16:12:03 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27339 ]]> Tips on answering the popular "Why MBA?" questionReason for asking the question: To gauge the sincerity with which the candidate is approaching the school.

How to prepare: You need to make sure you show that your reasons for applying to the program go well beyond the obvious reputation, location, or network. Your job in answering this question is to convey your sincere enthusiasm for the school. You need to be as specific as possible. Appropriate topics for a convincing response:

1.  Unique curriculum necessary to reach your goals

2.  Faculty you are excited to learn from

3.  School clubs or organizations you are particularly passionate about joining

4.  Components of the program that intrigue you – study abroad, entrepreneurship project, etc.

5.  Aspects of your visit to the school (provided you have had the chance to visit) that really got you excited about being a part of the community – classroom environment, conversations with students, admissions officers, or other prospective students.

Important things to remember: When preparing your answer, select aspects that are unique to the program, and make sure your answer isn’t one that could be valid for other schools you are looking at. Hopefully this is an easy question for you to answer since you are legitimately excited at the prospect of attending the school.

Additional things to consider: If the school is not a top choice, you still need to do the job of convincing your interviewer that it makes sense to offer you admission, and if admitted there would be a decent chance you would attend. Even if this is a “safety school,” you need to be respectful of the school and interviewer.

Tips to help you ace those MBA interviews!

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.

Related Resources:

Why MBA?
MBA Interview Questions: Walk Me Through Your Resume
The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews

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5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statement http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/07/5-mistakes-to-avoid-in-your-law-school-personal-statement/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/07/5-mistakes-to-avoid-in-your-law-school-personal-statement/#respond Sun, 07 Dec 2014 17:22:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27087 ]]> Editing your essays is a critical step when applying

You have your rough draft and you’re revising. What should you watch out for?

You have your rough draft and you’re revising. What should you watch out for?

1.  Don’t repeat your resume. Your personal statement shouldn’t be a resume-in-prose. It shouldn’t list awards or various types of praise you’ve received. That information is in your resume and letters.

2. Don’t complain about the legal profession. People tell lawyer jokes, but the admissions committee isn’t interested in what you think is wrong with the legal profession. Remember, you want to join them.

3.  Don’t be cute. A touch of light-heartedness can work, but don’t put yourself down, be sarcastic, or write a fake legal memo in lieu of an essay. It just doesn’t work in personal statements.

4.   Don’t be vague. This goes back to “show don’t tell.” Don’t make vague statements that sound like they would be found in an advertisement for law school. Show the admissions committee exactly what you mean.

5.  Don’t have errors. Your essay should be error-free and easy to read. Avoid too-long sentences and make sure you have someone else proofread it. Law is a writing profession and mistakes are generally inexcusable.

8 Tips for Law School Admissions

JessicaPishkoJessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels. 

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on Your Law School Application
The Biggest Application Essay Mistake
5 Tips for Your Law School Personal Statement

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NYU Stern Langone 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/07/nyu-stern-langone-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/07/nyu-stern-langone-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Sun, 07 Dec 2014 16:18:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26985 ]]> Click here to learn more about NYU Stern!The Stern Langone part-time MBA essays, together, require you truly to “know thyself” — i.e., know yourself so well that you can zero right in on the essence of who you are and where you’re going without background explanation or elaborate contextualization. All the essays require one common quality, albeit in different ways: confidence. It takes confidence to assert your goals without a lot of backstory; to assert crisply your reason for a key decision – why you’re doing a part-time MBA; and to assert a core dimension of who you are as a unique and distinctive human being.

My tips are in blue below.

Basic Instructions: Please adhere to the essay word limits provided for each question. Word limits apply to the total question. For example, your response to Essay 2 should answer both part (a) and part (b) with a maximum of 250 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, 1982, Essay 1, Page 1)

Essays:

1. Professional Aspirations (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
What are your short and long-term career goals?

First, don’t even think about how to get everything you want into this MBA essay.  You can’t. Rather, ask yourself, “What are the few, key points I must have in this essay to both answer the question effectively and stand out?”  First, you need the details of your short- and long-term goals: positions and titles, company, industry, a sample of likely responsibilities you’ll hold.  Beyond that, to make the essay compelling, in one or two sentences convey your vision for your goals (the broader impact you’ll have) and your motivation for your goals – these elements are often intertwined.

One way you can fit in pertinent career information is to start the essay with your current position and weave it into your short-term goals.  After all, you will have goals within your current position while you’re earning your MBA – it doesn’t require a promotion or change of position to have a goal.

A simple structure works best: the first paragraph covering your short-term goals (possibly starting with where you are now); second paragraph long-term goals.  With this short essay you don’t need intro and concluding paragraphs, intro and concluding sentences will do.

2. Fit with Stern (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

(a) Why have you chosen to pursue your MBA on a part-time basis?
(b) Earlier in your application, you indicated your Langone program preferences in rank order from among the choices below. Please explain your preferences.

• Manhattan – Weeknights

• Manhattan – Weekends

• Westchester – Weeknights

I suggest more depth and content for part A, and a straightforward, factual explanation for part B.

Part A probes your decision-making regarding the part-time option. The adcom wants to know that the reasons are affirmative and that the part-time program is your program of choice. This section also gives you a chance to further elaborate on your current work and its distinguishing aspects – presumably one reason you are pursuing the part-time program is because you are engaged in your work. In this section, focus on the key 2-3 reasons for a part-time MBA and discuss each briefly but thoughtfully. Don’t worry about having “unique” reasons – it’s your specific work and the insights you’ll bring from it that are unique. Caution: state positive, affirmative reasons; avoid reasons like can’t afford a full-time MBA, afraid to leave job, can’t get into a top-tier full-time program, etc. Positive reasons include wanting to stay in fascinating job/industry, excitement about applying learning in real-time, valuing studying alongside peers who are immersed in diverse industries and functions, etc.

Part B should be short and sweet; a couple of sentences will suffice, simply explaining in concrete, practical terms why you are choosing the particular program.

3. 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 will submit Essay 3 via mail, please provide a brief description of your submission and its relevance to your MBA application.

Please note the following guidelines and restrictions: 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 submit a non-written piece (i.e., artwork or multimedia), please provide a brief written description of your submission and its relevance to your MBA application.

If you prepare a multimedia submission, you may mail a CD, DVD or USB flash drive to the Admissions Office. Please do not submit a link to a webpage.

Please note that mailed Essay 3 packages are subject to size restrictions [see website]. Submissions that exceed the stated size restrictions will not be accepted for review by the Admissions Committee.

First, a comment about “feel free to be creative”: don’t strain to do something you think represents “creative” if it doesn’t flow naturally. Plenty, perhaps most, of admitted applicants write an essay. If you are inspired and have a great idea, fine, go with it. If not, write the absolute best essay you can. The key here is to help the adcom get to know you in ways that are relevant to Langone, that distinguish you, and that reflect your life beyond your job in some way. Langone, and more broadly NYU, relish involvement with the community, intellectual and/or artistic engagement, a sharp ability to self-reflect on one’s life and circumstances, a willingness to assert and/or question one’s values, a willingness and ability to ask questions that you don’t have answers to… There are many inviting avenues to consider in selecting a topic for this essay – and that selection is the key to hitting a home run with it. There really isn’t a formula. I have seen successful essays that focus solely on the applicant’s passionate hobby, that discuss some aspect of one’s family life, one’s regional culture, one’s religious or political evolution… And I’ve also seen successful essays that discuss a couple of things. With the 500-word limit, you can’t really do justice to more than two points though.

Don’t worry about discussing things that are “impressive” or about finding things that are unusual – this essay’s effectiveness rests on how vividly you present your topic(s), how you personalize it with anecdote and detail. A discussion about something as common as cooking or learning a language or playing basketball can become a memorable statement if done vividly with stories and experiences.

4. 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, your undergraduate record, plans to retake the GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL or any other relevant information. If you are unable to submit a recommendation from a current supervisor, you must explain your reason in this essay, 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.

This doesn’t explicitly limit the essay to extenuating circumstances or application-specific issues, but the topics it suggests are such issues. Moreover the phrase “bring to the attention of” doesn’t really invite you to continue marketing yourself with any new material that you think might enhance your application. I therefore suggest addressing the types of issues the question presents, or other information that has a direct bearing on the adcom’s ability to understand your candidacy. There is no word limit, but given the other word limits, keeping it short will align with the other essays.

Application Deadlines for the Part-time MBA Program:

To receive an initial notification by the date below, your application must be submitted online by 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Time on the day of the deadline, and any mailed materials must be postmarked by the deadline date.

Fall  Spring 
Application Due: May 15* September 15*
Initial Notification By: August 1 December 1
Initial notifications: offer of admission, interview invitation, waitlist offer or denial of admission

 

 

 

*After the deadlines, applications are accepted on a rolling basis until August 1 for Fall and December 1 for Spring.

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

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

Related Resources:

• An Artist at B-School: Interview with an NYU Stern Langone Student
Tips for Applying to Part-Time MBA Programs
• MBA Admissions Decisions: Should You Go Full-Time or Part-Time?

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QS Global TopMBA Rankings 2014 http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/06/qs-global-topmba-rankings-2014/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/06/qs-global-topmba-rankings-2014/#respond Sun, 07 Dec 2014 03:14:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27019 ]]> TopMBA’s new 2014/2015 global report ranks business programs according to geographic location based on surveys completed by 5,669 actively-hiring MBA employers and 7,187 academics in the field of business and management. (See more about the methodology here.)

Top 20 B-Schools in North America

Learn how to make the business school rankings work for you, not against you!

Some highlights:

•  The top 10 remained virtually the same this year as last, with two rather large exceptions: Ross and Stern entered the top 10 scene from 12th place to 8th place for Ross and 12th place to 10th place for Stern. Losing top 10 stature this year were Duke Fuqua which fell from 10th to 13th place and Toronto Rotman which fell from 8th to 14th.

•  There were three newcomers to the top 10 this year – NYU Stern (see above), Texas McCombs (29th last year to 19th this year), and BU School of Management (24th to 20th). HEC Montreal fell from the top 20 (16th place last year to 22nd this year), as did York Schulich (13th to 28th) and Queen’s School of Business (18th to 31st).

•  Big jumpers further down in the rankings include USC Marshall (42nd to 23rd), UC Irvine Merage (51st to 33rd), UC Davis (54th to 36th), Michigan State Broad (71st to 38th), UC San Diego Rady (61st to 40th), Ohio State Fisher (60th to 42nd), UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management (83rd to 45th), Washington Olin (83rd to 47th), and Minnesota Carlson (87th to 49th).

•  Big droppers include UVA Darden (28th to 37th), University of Miami School of Business Administration (32nd to 77th), Rutgers Business School (67th to 82nd), and Vanderbilt Owen (37th to 86th).

Top 20 B-Schools in Europe

Learn how to make the rankings work for you and not against you!Some highlights:

•  HEC Paris jumped from 10th place last year to 4th place this year and Cambridge Judge jumped from 13th to 10th place; otherwise, the top 10 in Europe remain pretty much the same. Copenhagen fell from the top 10, from 9th place last year to 12th place this year.

•  New to the top 20 this year are ESSEC (29th place to 16th place), Manchester Bossiness School (27th to 14th place), and European Business School (21st to 19th). Trinity MBA in Dublin fell from the top 20, from 12th place to 21st

•  UK programs dominate the 65 schools on the European list with 26 programs represented. This is followed by France (9), Spain (5), Switzerland (4), Germany (4), the Netherlands (4), Italy (3), Denmark (2), Ireland (2), Greece (2), Finland (1), Portugal (1), Turkey (1), and Belgium (1).

You can download the full report here.

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Businessweek Rankings 2014
• 2014 Economist MBA Rankings
• MBA Rankings: Why Should I Care?

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Medical School Application Strategy: MD vs. DO Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/05/medical-school-application-strategy-md-vs-do-programs/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/05/medical-school-application-strategy-md-vs-do-programs/#respond Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:03:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27320 ]]> Click here for help on how to navigate the medical school process from start to finish.

Both DO’s and MD’s provide valuable perspectives and approaches to patient care.

Before you decide whether you want to apply to allopathic (MD) and/or osteopathic (DO) medical schools, I recommend that you shadow both types of doctors.  They each represent dramatically different approaches to health and healing.  Gaining exposure to both forms of medicine will help you make an informed decision about what types of treatment options you would like to be able to offer your patients.

There are 141 allopathic schools and 30 osteopathic schools in the U.S.  Only two schools offer both programs, Michigan State and Rowan University.  Statistically, there is a much larger number of MD’s practicing than DO’s.  In researching the differences between these two courses of study, some students claim on premed forums that the DO schools are considered “less competitive” and therefore easier to matriculate into.  The average MCAT and GPA for students accepted into MD programs in 2013 were 28.4 and 3.54 (3.44 science), while they were 26.87 and 3.5 (3.38 science) for DO programs for the same application year, as reported by the AAMC and ACCOMAS.  While the osteopathic scores are lower,  the numbers are not so dramatically different.  Given the increasing number of students applying to medical school in recent years, the gaps between these numbers are closing quickly.  The difference in scores for students accepted into either program are projected to shrink.

Essentially, the decision to apply allopathic or osteopathic should be based on the different educational advantages each approach can give you.  The MD educational pathway includes more opportunities in research and speciality training, since allopathic medical schools have more funding and resources available in these areas. They are also more likely to have a hospital connected to their medical school campus.  DO’s are best known for their hand’s- on and holistic approach to patient care. The DO route provides training in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM), also referred to as Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), depending on the program.  One attending physician who participated in a discussion forum claimed: “If it came down to choosing MD over DO, I would’ve picked DO again.  The curriculum suited my personal interests at the time of applying and [I am] glad I did.  Being an osteopathic physician has never really limited my options nor any of my colleagues in all fields.  The manual skills if you are interested in musculoskeletal medicine are invaluable!”

This quote leads us directly into the second most common issue in the MD vs. DO dilemma: the issue of obtaining a residency after completing your medical education.  One doctor argued that it’s “a statistical fact [that] a higher percentage of MD’s than DO’s match to highly competitive residencies.”  In the past, there have been fewer residency spots available for DO residents than MD residents.  However, in July 2014, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education announced that both DO and MD medical school graduates would be applying for residencies through a single match process in 2020.  This merger will simplify the residency application process since currently there are two separate systems with two separate deadlines. Both of the licensing exams for MD’s and DO’s will be accepted, USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1 (at most schools).

The last point to take into consideration when considering which path to take is whether you are interested in practicing primary care or specializing.  Most students are not able to make this decision until after they have completed their rotations and have gained exposure to all the possibilities.  Some doctors argue that DO programs are excellent in training students for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and primary care.  Capitalizing on this strength, there are DO schools that offer three-year accelerated programs in primary care.  However, if you are interested in specializing you may have more opportunities in research and exposure to certain fields through an allopathic education.

To learn more about both programs:

•  Shadow allopathic as well as osteopathic doctors

•  Read books written by doctors from both backgrounds

•  Attend premed conferences to meet representatives at all levels from both disciplines

•  Visit medical school campuses and events

•  Sign up for a mentoring program to work with a medical student mentor

•  Join discussion forums and network to ask medical students, residents and doctors for their advice and opinions

Actively begin collecting more information about the options available to you.  The more thought you put into your decision, the happier you will be with the end result.  Both DO’s and MD’s provide valuable perspectives and approaches to patient care.


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

 

Related Resources:

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Chicago Booth Profile: Class of 2016 http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/05/chicago-booth-profile-class-of-2016/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/05/chicago-booth-profile-class-of-2016/#respond Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:17:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27269 ]]> Want to learn the secret to getting into Chicago Booth? Let’s see who makes up Chicago Booth’s most recent incoming class, the class of 2016…

•  Average class size – 581

•  Average student age – 27.7 years

•  Average years work experience – 4.6

•  Average GMAT score – 724

•  Average GPA – 3.59

•  GPA range (mid-80%) – 3.2-3.9

•  Female students – 36%

•  Male students – 64%

•  S. minority students – 22%

•  International students – 36%

•  Countries represented – 55

Geographic representation:
First chart for class of 2016

Undergraduate majors:
2nd chart for school

Industries represented:
3rd chart for school

(Source: Chicago Booth’s Quick Snapshot: Class of 2016)

Click here to distinguish yourself from the thousands of other super-qualified applicants!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

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Admissions Straight Talk: All Things Postbac http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/04/admissions-straight-talk-all-things-postbac/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/04/admissions-straight-talk-all-things-postbac/#respond Thu, 04 Dec 2014 20:46:27 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27283 ]]> Click here to listen to the full recording of our post-bac conversation!

Who better to offer postbac admissions advice than an actual former postbac program director?

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is the former director of the postbac program at UC Davis and the proud new author of, The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Postbaccalaureate Programs: The handbook for career changers and academic record enhancers who want a chance at medical school. She is also currently a highly sought admissions consultant at Accepted.

Check out the full recording as we dive into the world of postbac programs.

03:20 –  What is the motivation behind the book? (Non-traditional applicants, this book is for you!)

04:35 – Undergrads, ask for help now. Ending your bachelors with an increasing trend in your GPA is essential!

06:00 – Grads – The formal postbac course may be the right choice for you.

08:18 – A review of the different kinds of postbac programs.

11:45 – Students: the admissions professionals want to help you with the postbac process.  (Alicia’s interviews with former postbac students and with program directors are inspirational.)

16:23 – What’s a postbac specialized masters programs?

18:40 – Didn’t get an interview call yet?  Don’t hit the panic button, but do start researching postbac programs.

22:00 – Qualities you need to reveal when applying to postbac programs.

23:57 – Final pearls of wisdom.

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

Related Links:

• The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Postbaccalaureate Programs
• A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
Alicia McNease Nimonkar’s Complete Bio
• Postbac Admissions 101

Related Shows:

What You Need to Know About Postbac Programs
• Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More!
• A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/04/admissions-straight-talk-all-things-postbac/feed/ 0 Who better to offer postbac admissions advice than an actual former postbac program director? - Alicia McNease Nimonkar is the former director of the postbac program at UC Davis and the proud new author of, Who better to offer postbac admissions advice than an actual former postbac program director? Alicia McNease Nimonkar is the former director of the postbac program at UC Davis and the proud new author of, The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Postbaccalaureate Programs: The handbook for career changers and academic record enhancers who want a chance at medical school. She is also currently a highly sought admissions consultant at Accepted. Check out the full recording as we dive into the world of postbac programs. 03:20 -  What is the motivation behind the book? (Non-traditional applicants, this book is for you!) 04:35 - Undergrads, ask for help now. Ending your bachelors with an increasing trend in your GPA is essential! 06:00 - Grads – The formal postbac course may be the right choice for you. 08:18 - A review of the different kinds of postbac programs. 11:45 - Students: the admissions professionals want to help you with the postbac process.  (Alicia's interviews with former postbac students and with program directors are inspirational.) 16:23 - What's a postbac specialized masters programs? 18:40 - Didn't get an interview call yet?  Don’t hit the panic button, but do start researching postbac programs. 22:00 - Qualities you need to reveal when applying to postbac programs. 23:57 - Final pearls of wisdom. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Postbaccalaureate Programs • A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs • Alicia McNease Nimonkar's Complete Bio • Postbac Admissions 101 Related Shows: • What You Need to Know About Postbac Programs • Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More! • A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk: Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 28:26
UVA Darden Executive MBA Essay Tip 2015 http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/04/uva-darden-executive-mba-essay-tip-2015/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/04/uva-darden-executive-mba-essay-tip-2015/#respond Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:44:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27249 ]]> Click here to learn more about what Darden has to offer!Given that the Darden EMBA application presents only one essay question to answer, the balance of your application – the online form, the resume, the recommendations, the interview – all carry more weight than they do in most EMBA applications that contain several questions (usually including one pertaining to your goals).  The Darden EMBA application as a whole must show that you are at the appropriate level organizationally and have sufficient quantity and quality of experience to both benefit from the Darden EMBA and contribute substantially as a student and classmate.  Moreover, to be competitive you should also show that you are a high performer relative to peers.  This essay is a precious opportunity to give the adcom insight into you as an individual that will complement, enhance, and illuminate the other factual information in the application.

Question:

Describe the most courageous professional decision you have made or most courageous action you have taken at work. What did you learn from that experience? (500 words maximum)

“The most.”  This superlative requires that the decision or action you choose to describe be truly significant – to you to others, to the organization.  Big stakes.  “Courageous” – why this specific value out of all the possible ones?  Because the adcom is interested not just in what you did or decided, but in your perception of what is important and your values.  A recent story would be preferable, but if you need to go with an older story, in the reflection section show how it influences you to this day and give an example.  If you have several potential stories to possibly use, since there is only one essay, select the topic strategically, to best showcase elements of your experience that are not elaborated elsewhere and are impressive and/or distinctive. 

Devote most of the essay to telling the story.  Conclude with the reflection about what you learned.  This learning should be meaningful and insightful – an effective discussion of the learning will show your ability to grow and to synthesize experience.

Deadlines:
Have our MBA admissions experts critique your Darden application!

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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The New MCAT: Hype vs. Reality http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/04/the-new-mcat-hype-vs-reality/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/04/the-new-mcat-hype-vs-reality/#respond Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:14:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26642 ]]> Watch the recording of The New MCAT: What's Hype, What's Real, and What You Can do Today!Are you ready to nail the new MCAT test? Are you prepared for a longer exam that covers new subjects? Not confident? Well we say – not confident YET. Because once you’re done watching the recording of our recent webinar, The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today, you’ll be one step closer to MCAT success, and most certainly a more confident test-taker.

Just one hour of professional advice – that’s all you need to discover the myths and facts and to distinguish between the hype and reality that surrounds the new MCAT test. A well informed test-taker is a more successful one!

View The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today for free to learn what you can do now to improve your chances of acing the MCAT!

MCATWEbinar_Viewthewebinar

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10 Commandments of MBA Interviews Webinar Recording Available http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/03/10-commandments-of-mba-interviews-webinar-recording-available/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/03/10-commandments-of-mba-interviews-webinar-recording-available/#respond Wed, 03 Dec 2014 18:08:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26748 ]]> The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews webinar aired live recently – were you lucky enough to catch it?

If you missed it, then you certainly missed a good one; but no worries – the webinar is now available on our site for instant viewing or download (for a limited time only).

MBA Interview Commandments

Learn 10 indispensably tips that will help you ace your interviews when you view The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews for FREE today!

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MCAT 2015: What You Actually Need to Study [Infographic] http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/03/mcat-2015-what-you-actually-need-to-study-infographic/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/03/mcat-2015-what-you-actually-need-to-study-infographic/#respond Wed, 03 Dec 2014 17:47:01 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27244 ]]> Getting ready for the new MCAT?

Our friends at NextStepTestPrep have a great infographic on what you actually need to study!

Get ready for the new MCAT exam!Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016

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MBA Applicant Interview with ProGMAT http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/03/mba-applicant-interview-with-progmat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/03/mba-applicant-interview-with-progmat/#respond Wed, 03 Dec 2014 15:12:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26965 ]]> Click here to read 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 our anonymous blogger, ProGMAT…

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

ProGMAT: I am 26 years old, and was born in a small town in North India. Being a son of a Sr. Bank Manager, I moved to different cities with my family and completed my schooling. I’ve completed my under-graduation (B.Tech) in Computer Science Engineering from a city away from my home in Northern India.

As I grew watching my father, how he managed a great number of staff under him, I always wanted to be like him and always tried to get the things done with better management. My interests are more of design, creativity, innovation, management and music. At my work, I always try to get the maximum amount of management work I can get other than my duties (coding, testing, etc.).

I have not read many books but the recent one was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I really liked it. It is great classic fiction with nice vocabulary to learn.

Accepted: What stage of the application process are you up to so far? 

ProGMAT: Currently I am studying for the GMAT and writing my story side by side. I am not rushing through the application process as I have less time to study for GMAT, and my target score is 720+.

Accepted: Where and when are you planning on applying to b-school? Are you applying to any safety schools?

ProGMAT: The sooner I complete my GMAT, the better my chances are to apply this year in Round 2 process. That is why for now my complete focus is on GMAT, but I am comfortable in applying next year. After my research on schools and course types, I have a list of schools to which I would be applying including Tuck and ISB. I will also apply to 3-4 additional schools within my range for safe side.

Tuck is the best school I have known so far according to my priorities and eligibility. I dream about being a Tuckie. So in my application process, my major focus would be on the Tuck application. And for ISB, it gives me various advantages above all in terms of investment and environment (a plus point for my career and future).

Accepted: What is your current job? Do you plan on staying in the same industry post-MBA or moving to something new? Where do you hope to be in 5-10 years from now? 

ProGMAT: Currently I’m working in a Fortune 500 Company as a software developer in India. I have a total of 3+ years of experience in coding as well as management. Post MBA I would change my industry. Basically I am looking for a Consultant badge under my profile. So my short term goal is to be at a Consultant position in Big 4 firms. And my long term goal is to open my own firm. It will be related to technology for sure, but depends on the position of the market.

Accepted: In your blog you talk about your GMAT game plan — can you share a few tips with our readers about how to prep for the GMAT?

ProGMAT: GMAT is not an exam to pass and score higher. It’s all about your time management and stress management. The best thing to do while attempting a question is to get into the situation and find the best solution as fast as possible. As it is a game of time and stress,  huge dedication is needed to get through it. The best thing you can do while preparing is practice, practice and practice.

A few tips:

1.  Study the basics by going deep and learning the concepts.

2.  Study the type of questions which come frequently on GMAT.

3.  Always time your practice questions. And always try to use the official material for practice.

4.  For SC, there is limited number of rules. Learn them and apply.

5.  For CR and RC, try to read the quality material and increase your reading speed with understanding.

6.  The more you focus on the current question, the less time you take to solve it. This makes better chances of your high score.

Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience? What do you hope others will learn?

ProGMAT: When I started my GMAT circus, I thought it was just like another exam, but a few days later I realized that it’s not an exam but a game like marathon. I studied different blogs and found that most of the people were suffering with similar problems. So I decided to keep track of this important event of my life that would help me to be in line and would help others who are facing similar problems as I do.

What I gained is the timeline of my preparation as well as more focus on the mistakes that I made earlier. Additionally, I am a non-native English speaker, so writing a blog will help me gain knowledge on the writing side as well. And meeting the fellow blog writers who are going through the same situation always gives you confidence to move forward.

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

You can read more about ProGMAT’s b-school journey by checking out his blog, Pro GMAT. Thank you for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

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Boost Your Booth Acceptance Chances! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/02/boost-your-booth-acceptance-chances/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/02/boost-your-booth-acceptance-chances/#respond Tue, 02 Dec 2014 19:36:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27173 ]]> If you’re aiming for a Chicago Booth acceptance, then you won’t want to miss Get Accepted to Chicago Booth, a webinar that will walk you through the Booth application process.

Register to learn how to get accepted to Chicago Booth!

The webinar will air live on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST and will be presented by Accepted’s CEO and founder, Linda Abraham, who will teach you the key steps you MUST complete to gain acceptance to Booth.

The webinar is free but you must reserve your spot in advance! Register now for Get Accepted to Chicago Booth!

Learn how to get accepted to Chicago Booth!

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Medical School Applicants: Follow the Road… http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/02/medical-school-applicants-follow-the-road/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/02/medical-school-applicants-follow-the-road/#respond Tue, 02 Dec 2014 19:18:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27191 ]]> …to acceptance at your top choice medical school by applying the tips that you’ll learn in our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016.

You think it’s easy to navigate the road to med school admissions success? Think again!

Without a map and some handy tools, it’s easy to get lost!

Learn how to get accepted to medical school in 2016!Webinar details:

DATE: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

TIME: 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET 

Get the tools you need to get organized early and stay on top of your game! Register for Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016 now!

Click here to join our webinar on how to get accepted to med school in 2016!

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INSEAD 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/02/insead-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/02/insead-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Tue, 02 Dec 2014 19:11:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27219 ]]> Need some more INSEAD tips?INSEAD is bucking a trend – whereas many b-school applications have recently leaned toward “minimalist” essays, for INSEAD you still have to write several thought-provoking and challenging essays.  In the program with perhaps the most intensive global focus, verbal acuity matters, because the ability to reflect on, synthesize, actualize, and communicate complex ideas across cultures is central to global leadership. 

The INSEAD essays are divided into two categories: Job Description Essays and Motivation Essays.  The use of the word “motivation” should be forefront in your mind as you draft those essays; the concept should appear directly or indirectly in each.  It means that the adcom wants to know what drives you, what propels your choices, decisions, and actions.

Job Description Essays:

Essay 1.  Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (350 words max)

The key to strong job descriptions is “results achieved.” Definitely provide the other requested elements, but the distinguishing factor will be those results. Quantifying outcomes usually shines a spotlight on your impact and contribution.

The second most important element is “major responsibilities.” Don’t list the mundane or the aspects of your job that everyone with your title will share. Where did you shoulder “major responsibility”? Focus on responsibility above and beyond what is typically expected of someone at your level. Be specific in these descriptions to differentiate yourself, especially if you come from a common professional group in the applicant pool.  Address the hypothetical next step question succinctly; a sentence or two will usually suffice.

Essay 2. Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. It should be written as if you were talking to someone at a social gathering detailing your career path with the rationale behind your choices. Discuss your short and long term career aspirations.  (350 words max)

Yup – this is a goals essay question, hidden within the “career summary” question hidden within the “job description” section!  The implication is that INSEAD sees your career goals as part of a continuum, and so present them that way – even if changing careers.  The emphasis on the decision points of your career trajectory underscores this implication.  The adcom wants to see how you conceive and conceptualize a career path as much as what happened in it.

Also, don’t confuse “full description” with “complete history.” Choose the most important elements — those elements that show contribution, leadership, and, since this is INSEAD, a multi-cultural and global perspective.  

Essay 3 (optional). If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the program starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the program.

State the facts straightforwardly  — not just what you’re doing but why you’re doing it.  If you have room and if it’s relevant, consider addressing why you are unemployed at the moment.

Motivation Essays:

Essay 1. Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (600 words max)

For a question like this I recommend two strengths and one weakness. If you can choose one anecdote that reveals both the strengths and the weakness, it’s efficient with space and can strengthen the essay. Don’t forget to discuss how these qualities influenced your personal development. For more on INSEAD 1 and writing about weaknesses, please see this video:

A word on weaknesses. Be honest without going overboard. Don’t make up a phony weakness. I attended an HBS info session a few years ago. One of the alumni said that he discussed a “phony weakness” in his essays (required for HBS that year), and his interviewer focused right on it, and basically said, “Come on. What’s a real weakness?” The applicant had to get real in a hurry. Take advantage of the essay: Give it some thought and respond with the benefit of that reflection. For more information, please see “Flaws Make Your Real.”

At a recent AIGAC conference one of the adcom members remembered that an applicant in response to a similar question had listed his weakness as “pitching new ideas in a meeting.” The adcom member felt that the applicant was specific, real, and showed self-awareness by revealing this flaw. In fact, by demonstrating these qualities in addition to the requested weakness that he was working on, the applicant actually enhanced his chances of acceptance with his response.

Don’t write about “weakness in pitching new ideas in meetings” as your flaw just because you saw it here. It will become the lame, stale example everyone uses. However, you all have weakness. Just be thoughtful enough and honest enough to reveal yours.

(NOTE: There is potential for some overlap in this essay with Essay 2, so look at both questions together and organize content before writing them.)

Essay 2. Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (400 words max)

With only 400 words to describe 2 significant experiences, and the specified discussion points, you need to use stories that can be told without a lot of background information.  And keep in mind Essay 1 – don’t use stories that reflect exactly the same messages.  “Achievement of which you are most proud” is a high bar, and it can be from either work or outside of work. It also should be something that reveals qualities or attributes about you that are positive and relevant. I suggest using something from the last two to three years.  Luckily you don’t have to write about the failure about which you are most ashamed… ;-)   Discuss a failure that is specific, fairly recent, and meaty enough to have rattled you a bit.  Again, work or non-work topic is fine.

In discussing what you learned from the experiences and how they impacted your relationships, identify one specific thing for each point for each story – there isn’t room for more.  And there isn’t need for more, because one can be very powerful if it’s insightful.

Essay 3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way.  (300 words max)

In choosing your topic story, think about “impact” – often people describe being surprised or emotionally challenged by encountering new or different cultures, but that’s not enough to make this a good essay.  Impact is what happens after the initial response: how did the experience change your behavior, or change your perception, or inspire you to learn something, or cause you to reconsider beliefs/ideas – these are impacts.

Narrate the story succinctly, vividly portraying the impact on you.  The adcom wants to see that you are thoughtful, resourceful, and responsive in encountering cultural diversity, because it is a key attribute of their program.

Essay 4. Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (300 words max)

Simply discuss the range of activities you participate (or have participated) in – those that are major passions, and those that are “just fun” – clarifying their relative role and importance in your life.  Be straightforward in how they enriched you – no need to strive for something “different” that no one has ever felt or experienced before….  Imagine you are meeting with clients or superiors – between the business dealings (and perhaps over a drink); you and they might chat about non-work interests – approach this essay like such a conversation.  Not quite as casual as with a peer, but still conversational, straightforward, and intended to connect on a person-to-person level.

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the admissions committee?  (300 words max)

Use the optional essay to explain anything that needs explaining and/or to give them one more reason to accept you. DON’T use it for a superficial summary, a restatement of your other essays, or anything similarly boring and trite. If you choose to write it, produce a tight, focused essay revealing something you haven’t yet discussed.

INSEAD Application Deadlines:

Deadlines for September 2015 Intake (Class of July 2016)*
Insead chart 1

Deadlines for January 2016 Intake (Class of December 2016)*insead chart 2

 

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

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

 

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5 Tips for Your Law School Personal Statement http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/01/5-tips-for-your-law-school-personal-statement/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/01/5-tips-for-your-law-school-personal-statement/#respond Mon, 01 Dec 2014 19:31:06 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27082 ]]> Writing about overcoming an obstacle can be a powerful narrative.

Writing about overcoming an obstacle can be a powerful narrative.

Writing a law school personal statement can be daunting task. Below are a few tips to help you craft a unique and eye-catching personal statement.

•  Choice of topic matters less than how you write about it. Don’t feel that your essay needs to be about a particular kind of experience. There’s no one thing admissions officers are looking for. Instead, write about something that will capture your personality and show off your unique qualities.

•  It’s okay not to be perfect. Law schools aren’t looking for “perfect” people. They want people who have learned from their experiences and thought carefully about who they are and what they want. Writing about overcoming an obstacle can be a powerful narrative.

•   Be yourself. Your essay should give the admissions officers an idea of what you will be like in the classroom as well as what kind of lawyer you might be. They are looking for people who are likable as well as interesting. Law is essentially a people profession, after all.

•   Show, don’t tell. This is a mantra you’ve heard, but it’s true. Are you analytical? Good with people? Give an example or share a detail that shows you illustrating those traits.

•   Just start writing and leave time to revise. Are you having trouble getting started? Set a timer for fifteen minutes and just write. If you get stuck on a word, write X. Write gibberish. A polished personal statement doesn’t fall from the sky; it comes from spending time writing and rewriting.

The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success

Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels. 

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statements
How I Wrote a Personal Statement that Got Me Into Harvard Law School
3 Tips for Showing Strengths in Your Application Essays

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5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/01/5-ways-to-make-top-b-schools-love-you/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/01/5-ways-to-make-top-b-schools-love-you/#respond Mon, 01 Dec 2014 18:10:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27116 ]]> Your admissions goal: to convince the adcom at your top choice b-school that love at first sight DOES exist.

Click here to register for the Top 5 Make Top B-Schools Love You webinar!

You CAN get them to fall in love with you instantly with the tips you’ll learn in Wednesday’s webinar, 5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You.

You already know what a great catch you are. Now it’s time to learn how to convince the adcom that you’re made for each other. Register for 5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You now!  Spaces are running out!

The webinar will air live on Wednesday, December 3rd at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET.

Click here to reserve your spot for the webinar!

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MBA Interview with Stanford MSx Student Erik Moon http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/28/mba-interview-with-stanford-msx-student-erik-moon/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/28/mba-interview-with-stanford-msx-student-erik-moon/#respond Fri, 28 Nov 2014 18:18:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26358 ]]> Get the scoop on the Stanford MSx Program! 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 Erik Moon, a recent graduate from Stanford MSx.

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

Erik: First of all, I’m a bit older than the typical MBA student. I’m in my early 40s and have nearly 20 years of experience in product management, project management and operations in telecom, data centers and corporate IT. I’ve spent about half my career in Silicon Valley and the other half in Northern Virginia – so the two primary schools I was interested in were UVA / Darden and Stanford GSB.

I did my undergrad (BS Economics) as well as a masters degree (MS Information Systems) at George Washington University in Washington DC. I just graduated (2014) from the Stanford MSx program (previously known as the Sloan Fellows program). It is a full-time one-year program for experienced professionals. The summer / fall quarters are spent taking mostly core classes (like an MBA 1st year) and the winter / spring quarters are mostly electives (like an MBA 2nd year).

Accepted: What’s the difference between Stanford Sloan and Stanford’s MSx degree? 

Erik: Same thing… The Sloan program has almost 60 years of history as a degree program for experienced professionals. The program has changed significantly in the last few years to make the curriculum more flexible and incorporate the opportunity for many more electives than in years past. It is a 4-quarter full-time degree program, so Stanford doesn’t like to call it an EMBA – so students are not able to continue work while taking classes, but many students (approx 30%) are sponsored by their employers.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Stanford? And if you could change one thing about the program, what would it be?

Erik: That is a huge question! My favorite thing about Stanford has to be the optimism – the students all expect to be doing great things some day. People don’t come to Stanford just to slowly climb into middle management. The GSB motto – Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world. – is not an exaggeration…

If I could change one thing, I would want to increase awareness of the MSx program. It is a hidden gem that many people have simply never heard of in their b-school search. I think the branding (not wanting to call the program an EMBA) makes it very confusing. When mid-career applicants ask if Stanford GSB has an EMBA, the first answer is “NO” – then these applicants simply look elsewhere. But if they ask the right question – “Does Stanford GSB have a mid-career graduate business degree program?” – they would find the best “executive-level” business degree at the best b-school in the world.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming students, to help make their adjustment to b-school easier? What do you wish you would’ve known when you started the program?

Erik: Since it is only a 1-year program, it is important to understand exactly what you want to get out of your short time on campus and quickly figure out how to get it. It requires a lot of initiative and focus when there are lots of life changes and distractions all around. You can’t sit back and expect all the good things to come to you – students need to actively seek opportunities and grab it.

That said, Stanford GSB has an acronym – FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out – there are so many events, clubs, guest speakers, presentations, brown-bag-lunches and other things happening that it is really easy to get frustrated or swamped. You have to come to the realization that you will never be able to attend everything. Again, important to quickly determined what you will get the best value for your time and prioritize!

Accepted: Can you tell us about Stanford’s unusual six-point grading system?

Erik: I blogged about this here: http://sloanlife.com/2014/08/02/gsb-grades-the-elusive-h/

Bottom line: Get your highest possible marks as early as possible and anchor your GPA nice and high while you’re taking relatively straightforward core classes. This affords you the freedom to later take classes you WANT to take and not worry at all about the grades.

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

Erik: Not at all central, but the clubs are great ways to find other students with similar interests (and usually get a lot of free food / beer). I mostly spent my time with Entrepreneurship Club and High Tech Club. Participation is completely optional and you could certainly get by with never attending a club event…

Accepted: Now that you’ve graduated, what are you up to?

Erik: I’m currently working on a startup – Hinted.com – we’re building a platform for personal and professional feedback.

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

Erik: I should have gotten off my ass and applied sooner… I could easily have done this 3-4 years ago… The GMATs were a perfect excuse for me to procrastinate. In retrospect, should have just bitten the bullet a long time ago when the quant material was a lot more fresh in my mind.

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

Erik: Apply to the best school you know you will get into first (and that you would be willing to go to) – and apply early! This will take off all the pressure. Once you have this acceptance, you can go pursue the dream schools top down, instead of inching upwards. This is the approach I took – I first applied to UVA Darden GEMBA and was accepted. I was completely willing to take that program – but then I started realizing that maybe I should try getting into more exclusive programs. I applied to Stanford MSx and intended to apply to Wharton San Francisco. I was accepted into Stanford and didn’t even have to fill out another application.

Also, if you want to go to a top school, don’t even bother applying until you can post a 700 GMAT or better. The application process is simply too competitive.

You also need to distinguish yourself in some way. You can have a 750 GMAT, a 3.9 GPA and great work experience and not look like an interesting candidate. Find something interesting about yourself where you can truly say that you have world-class talent / skills / experience to differentiate yourself.

Don’t hold back – you are your own best advocate – your b-school application is not the time for modesty (but don’t lie either). Demonstrate how you will take what Stanford (or other school) will give you and leverage that to give back to the community.

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

You can read more about Erik’s b-school journey by checking out his blog, Sloan Life. Thank you Erik for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

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Related Resources:

• The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders
• What Stanford is Looking for: Personal Qualities and Contributions
• Stanford GSB 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips

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London Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/28/london-business-school-2015-mba-essay-tips-and-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/28/london-business-school-2015-mba-essay-tips-and-deadlines/#respond Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:31:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26831 ]]> Click here for more school-specific MBA application essay tips!The LBS essay questions get right to the point, covering the core factors and that’s it – no nonsense, no meandering, no excess verbiage in the questions – therefore, ensure there’s none in your essays. Although succinct, these two questions, together, create a well-rounded picture of your candidacy: who you are as a professional (including past experience and future goals) and who you are as a person more broadly (in ways that are relevant to and will enhance LBS). In answering each question, keep in mind the picture that they create together. Note that the London Business School has historically been very concerned about your contribution and fit, and these essays continue that emphasis.

Essays:

1. What are your post-MBA plans and how will your past experience and the London Business School programme contribute? (500 words)

A solid, user-friendly, and effective structure for this essay starts with an intriguing fact, anecdote, or quote. This opening should relate to your goals and engage the reader. Then detail your post-MBA plans, focusing more on the practical aspects and the short-term phase.

For the second part of the question, either (a) weave in salient points from your career as you delineate your goals or (b) discuss the relevant past experience in a separate paragraph, whichever works best for you. Then add a paragraph addressing specific aspects of the LBS program that support your plans.

2. How will you add value to the London Business School community? (300 words)

Identify and describe two to three distinctive points (can be professional or non-work, but at least one should be professional) that show the adcom what you’ll contribute to the program. Show how they’ll add value by specific anecdote and/or detail. In doing so, consider the LBS culture. This short essay is a way to demonstrate your appreciation of the program’s culture, values, and personality, so address those factors in discussing how you will add value.   

3. (Optional).  Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (300 words)

You can use the optional essay not just to explain a problem (e.g. low GMAT, employment gap, choice of recommender) 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 should be a good reason. 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 your application.

London Business School 2015 Application Deadlines:

Stage Application deadline Interview decision sent on Admission decision sent on
 2 05 January 2015  05 February 2015  26 March 2015
 3 27 February 2015  02 April 2015  14 May 2015
 4 17 April 2015  21 May 2015  25 June 2015

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

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

Related Resources:

School Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
• More BW Rankings: Best International B-Schools 2014
4 Ways to Show the Adcom How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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