Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:33:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 How Much Will a Top MBA Earn You? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/26/how-much-will-a-top-mba-earn-you/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/26/how-much-will-a-top-mba-earn-you/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:18:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29739 Poets & Quants released some excellent data last week on the value of an MBA, concluding that b-school grads did very well in 2014 in regards to average salary and bonus. Here are some highlights from the article: • In 2014, Harvard and Stanford grads earned average salaries that exceeded pre-recession levels for the first […]

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Do rankings really make a difference? Poets & Quants released some excellent data last week on the value of an MBA, concluding that b-school grads did very well in 2014 in regards to average salary and bonus. Here are some highlights from the article:

• In 2014, Harvard and Stanford grads earned average salaries that exceeded pre-recession levels for the first time. For Harvard MBAs, the average salary was $144,750, compared to $144,261 in 2008. The average salary for Stanford MBAs was $142,834, compared to 2008’s $140,771.

• There were a total of seven b-schools that reported average pay above $140K. Michigan Ross was one of these schools whose salary and bonus package jumped 20.9% in five years to $140,497.

• Washington Foster experienced a huge increase in average salary and bonuses, from $91,593 in 2010 up 36.9% to $125.367 in 2014. Average salary and bonuses also took huge leaps at Rochester Simon (30.6% – from $78,083 to $101,961) and at Emory Goizueta (28.0% – from $100,300 to $128,347).

• In 2010, only 24 U.S. business schools landed job that paid six-figures; in 2014, that number increased significantly to 44 schools.

• The top five schools with the most highly compensated grads were HBS, MIT Sloan, Stanford, Wharton, and Tuck.

• A few schools saw year-over-year decreases, including USC (from $116,011 to $114,129), Boston Carroll (from $96,915 to $94,963), and Minnesota Carlson (from $117,972 to $112,828).

See the P&Q article for more details.

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

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Related Resources:

MBA in Sight: Focus on Finance
• Does it Pay to Get an MBA?
• PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

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Presenting Yourself to Medical Schools: Your Primary Application http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/26/presenting-yourself-to-medical-schools-your-primary-application-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/26/presenting-yourself-to-medical-schools-your-primary-application-2/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:49:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29385 In Part 1 of our Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success series we talked about taking a step back and reevaluating your desire to go to med school, as well as your qualifications and skill. Today we’ll move on to assessing your application to determine what went wrong. The second part of your assessment […]

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Click here to read the full series.

Did your application portray you the way you intended?

In Part 1 of our Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success series we talked about taking a step back and reevaluating your desire to go to med school, as well as your qualifications and skill. Today we’ll move on to assessing your application to determine what went wrong.

The second part of your assessment will examine how you presented yourself to the admissions committees. Keep in mind that these aspects of your application are necessarily subjective – there are often no right or wrong answers – but they should be subjected to the same rigorous critique as the previous section. Unlike your MCAT scores or grades, however, applicants have a lot of control over the elements in this section. Did you take full advantage of this to show yourself in the best light? This question is especially relevant when we look at the written portion of your application.

I find the accuracy of an assessment improves when it’s distinct from the remedies. This kind of critical review is not for the faint of heart. Chances are, you poured your hopes and dreams into your application the first time around. Figuring out where you went wrong is painful. For this reason, we’re not going to examine how to address your weaknesses just yet. That will come in future sections. For now, let’s focus on how the admissions committee saw you, based on your interactions.

Personal Statement: There’s no doubt that personal statements are highly subjective – what works for one reader might not work for the next. Nonetheless, it’s important to ask whether, in your honest opinion, you’ve presented the strongest possible personal statement.

• Was it enjoyable and interesting to read? If you were reading this about another person, would they come across strong? Would this be someone you might want as your physician?

• Did your essay begin with a strong lead paragraph that inspired the reader to continue?

• Did it tell a compelling story and describe your experiences instead of just listing what you’d done? Did you support claims about your abilities with anecdotal evidence?

• Did the essay focus on you rather than your projects or mentors?

• Did your stories demonstrate the key qualities desired in medical students: commitment, compassion, leadership, curiosity, critical thinking, maturity, etc.?

• Were there any typos or grammatical errors?

• Did you have anyone else review it for content and style before submission?

Whether you’re a first-rate candidate or a borderline student, your personal statement will make an impression on the med school admissions committee. If you can’t answer “yes” to all the above questions, that impression might not be the one you want.

Experiences: The experiences you choose to include in this section must reflect that you are a multi-dimensional person – one with the passion, curiosity, and integrity to excel in medical school. The experiences section is your chance to include any aspects of your background where you made an impact and showed your commitment.

• Did the activities you described reflect a breadth of activities and intellectual pursuits?

• Did you focus on your responsibilities rather than just describing the experience?

• Did you identify what impact you had on each organization/project?

• Did you identify why each experience affected your commitment to enter medicine?

• How did you justify the choice of your most meaningful experiences? Were your longer essays personal and authentic?

• When writing about the experiences in your primary essay, did you provide additional details rather than repeating information?

The AMCAS application only allows 700 characters to describe each activity, while the AACOM allows 750 characters. Cramming relevant, compelling information into these shorter essays can be awfully challenging. In your review, you need to examine whether you made each character count.

Letters of Recommendation: Although not technically how you represent yourself, recommendation letters are an extremely important part of the application process and your challenge is to find faculty members who can write a compelling letter.

• Did you select recommenders who know you well, preferably beyond the classroom?

• Did your chosen recommenders represent different areas of your life to reflect your diverse pursuits?

• Did you supply them with your CV or a list of activities so they have a better idea of your pursuits?

• Did you advise them of any areas that you specifically wanted them to address to balance the rest of your application?

• If you were asked to write your own recommendation, did you do so in a timely manner so they would have time for edits?

• Did you provide each recommender with clear instructions about submitting them to either the AMCAS Letters service or for the AACOM?

You might be feeling a bit fragile after such a critical review. If so, you’re doing it right. This exercise demands that you be ruthless and identify every potential flaw. Your ego might not like it, but you will when you have a clear roadmap to address your weaknesses.

Next post looks at the next hurdles in the admissions process, and how well you cleared them.

If you feel like you need another pair of eyes on your application, take advantage of Accepted.com’s review service to get a tailored assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.

Download Medical School Reapplicant Tips for Succcess

Cydney Foote By , Accepted consultant and author of Write Your Way to Medical School, who has helped future physicians craft winning applications since 2001.

 

Related Resources:

• Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know
Med School Kicks Off: Ten Tips to Get You Through The Season
• Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016, a free webinar

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Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options at NYU Stern http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/exploring-the-part-time-mba-options-at-nyu-stern/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/exploring-the-part-time-mba-options-at-nyu-stern/#respond Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:32:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29767 Not all b-school students are career changers. Not all seeking an MBA want a full-time program that requires them to leave the work force. Enter the part-time MBA, specifically the part-time MBA program at NYU Stern Langone, the option for students who want to keep their jobs while earning a top MBA. Want to learn […]

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Click here for NYU Stern Lagone 2015 MBA Essay Tips & DeadlinesNot all b-school students are career changers. Not all seeking an MBA want a full-time program that requires them to leave the work force.

Enter the part-time MBA, specifically the part-time MBA program at NYU Stern Langone, the option for students who want to keep their jobs while earning a top MBA.

Want to learn more? Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions for NYU Stern for a run-down on the flexible MBA programs at Stern.

00:00:54 – Featured Applicant Question: Is finding a home for two stray dogs community service?

00:03:15 – An overview of the part-time programs at NYU Stern.

00:06:12 – How the new Accelerated Program works.

00:13:26 – Admissions requirements/standards for the part-time MBA programs.

00:18:09 – Stern’s Career Center for Working Professionals.

00:21:51 – The Advanced Professional Certificates in Finance, Marketing, and General Business. A non-degree alternative.

00:29:36 – Time management is essential for part-time MBA students. Is the adcom looking for candidates with this skill?

00:31:46 – Great advice for potential applicants.

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

Related Links:

• NYU Stern Langone
• Accelerated Part-time MBA Program with sample schedule
• Advanced Professional Certificates
• NYU Stern 2015 MBA Essay  Tips
• NYU Stern Langone 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Nik’s Comment

Related Shows:

• From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke
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• The Wharton Executive MBA Program: An Insider’s View

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March Madness and Story Time http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/march-madness-and-story-time/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/march-madness-and-story-time/#respond Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:38:36 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29749 Is your bracket busted yet? (Probably.) One of the things that draws even casual sports fans to March Madness is the storylines—the last-minute excitement, the players’ personal stories, the upsets, the Cinderella runs deep into the tournament. And during the tournament, absolutely everything becomes a story. As I write, one of the top stories on […]

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Can your application tell a story?Is your bracket busted yet? (Probably.)

One of the things that draws even casual sports fans to March Madness is the storylines—the last-minute excitement, the players’ personal stories, the upsets, the Cinderella runs deep into the tournament.

And during the tournament, absolutely everything becomes a story. As I write, one of the top stories on Yahoo Sports is about the chair that GA State coach Ron Hunter fell out of in excitement when his son hit a game winning shot. Yes—the chair, which is now a treasured object of superstitious reverence. Of course! But another great story (and one of the enduring images of this year’s tournament, even after GA State was eliminated in the next round).

Stories make the game more exciting by giving us a personal connection to it. That’s how we tend to relate to the world around us. And I think it’s a useful thing to remember when you’re writing application essays: stories matter.

Your personal experiences add depth and interest to your application essays, helping you stand out and illustrating the qualities and goals you’re explaining. As you prepare to write, think about the stories you want to tell. It can be helpful to do some prewriting—think through some of the experiences you want to write about and what you learned from them, as well as how they relate to what you want to do in the future. This will give you some good material to draw on in your essay(s).

And…Go Bruins! (If they’re eliminated by the time you read this—better luck next year.)

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!

 

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 MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources: 

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application Essays
• Telling Your Story in Your Application Essay
• MBA Application Essays: All You Need is a Story

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It’s about Way More than the Grades at the Ross BBA Program http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/24/its-about-way-more-than-the-grades-at-the-ross-bba-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/24/its-about-way-more-than-the-grades-at-the-ross-bba-program/#respond Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:56:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29701 Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what are you studying? Danny: I am from West Bloomfield. I am a senior at the University of Michigan studying Business. I also have a passion for technology so have taken various computer science and product design classes over the years. […]

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Download: 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in your Grad School Statement of Purpose Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what are you studying?

Danny: I am from West Bloomfield. I am a senior at the University of Michigan studying Business. I also have a passion for technology so have taken various computer science and product design classes over the years.

Accepted: Why did you choose Ross’s BBA program? How is it the best program for you?

Danny: I chose the Ross BBA program because of my interest in business from a young age. Ross was the best program for me because of its flexibility and variety of classes. While I knew I was interested in business, I had no idea what that really meant or what specifically I was interested in. Ross gave me the ability to figure this out.

Accepted: Which other programs had you considered when you were applying to schools a few years ago?

Danny: Computer Science, School of Information

Accepted: Now that you’re about to graduate, can you share some advice with students who are may be starting out their undergraduate careers in the fall? What do you wish you would’ve known before starting the BBA program?

Danny: It’s about way more than the grades. The people you meet and the experiences you share are more important and valuable than any single class or skill you learn.

Accepted: Can you share some job highlights with us? What are some of your most recent jobs?

Danny: Last summer, I worked at Lightbank, an early stage VC firm in Chicago. I did some traditional analyst work but I spent most of my time as a designer-in-residence. 

Accepted: Do you have a post-graduation job lined up yet? What role (if any) did Ross’s career services department help you in this process?

Danny: Yes, I will be working at Trunk Club in Chicago as a Product Designer. Ross Career Services didn’t play any role directly (I recruited only off-campus) but I have done a few mock interviews/career workshops over the years.

Accepted: Do you plan on pursuing additional degrees?

Danny: Not in the near future, but it’s a possibility down the road. In my current field (technology/design), the degree you have is not as important as experience/skills. However, I could see myself going back to school to get an MBA eventually.

Accepted: Do you have any other tips for our applicants?

Danny: Figure out what you really want to do before applying. A genuine and honest application will get you further than anything else.

For one-on-one guidance on your college applications, please see our College Application Packages.

You can read more about Danny’s journey by checking out his website, http://dannyfreed.com/, or by following him on Twitter (@dannyfreed). Thank you Danny for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
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Michigan Ross B-School Zone
• An IE Grad Reflects on Spain, School, and Career Searching

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Yale to Offer New Online Master of Medical Science Degree http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/24/yale-to-offer-new-online-master-of-medical-science-degree/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/24/yale-to-offer-new-online-master-of-medical-science-degree/#respond Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:15:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29663 There’s big news in the Ivy League-online world: Yale University is creating a new online master of medical science degree for physician assistants, reports a recent Wall Street Journal article. Yale’s program for aspiring PAs has been around for decades, but each class only has room for about 40 students a year, with more than […]

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Get Your Game On: Prepping for your Grad School Application.  Download here!

Your classroom at Yale may be the one you are in right now.

There’s big news in the Ivy League-online world: Yale University is creating a new online master of medical science degree for physician assistants, reports a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Yale’s program for aspiring PAs has been around for decades, but each class only has room for about 40 students a year, with more than 1000 applicants vying for those spots. With the introduction of the web-based course, there’s potential to accept up to 360 students (across the on-campus and web versions of the degree program). Next January, for the first online class, there will only be 12 students, but that number is expected to grow over the course of the next five years.

The price of the on-campus and online programs will be the same. Currently the 28-month course costs $83,162. The majority of the course work for online students will be done via live, interactive online classes; students will also visit various clinical field sites, participate in clinical rotations (students will be placed at medical facilities near them), and meet on-campus at Yale three times.

grad 5 Fatal Flaws

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Related Resources:

Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Statement of Purpose
• Is it Worth it for Women to Become Doctors?
The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes

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Interview with Eniola: Medical Resident, Novelist, Child of God http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/23/interview-with-eniola-medical-resident-novelist-child-of-god/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/23/interview-with-eniola-medical-resident-novelist-child-of-god/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:44:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29696 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 Eniola Prentice… Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you […]

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click here for more medical 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 Eniola Prentice…

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

Eniola: I am originally from Nigeria and moved to the States when I was 17. I went to the University of Illinois at Chicago.

I hate answering the question about who I am. The answer usually depends on the time of the day and my mood. I do know a few things about my life. I am sure of the following. I know I am a child of God. I know I want God to use my life as He pleases to help others through my novel. I finished my novel still when I was in the fourth year of medical school. I started writing it in my third year of school. It was definitely one of the most challenging times of my life but I believe God brought out the best in me and connected me with people that are my lifelong friends. It is based on my experiences, friendships and connections in med school. I also used some of my own painful and joyful life experiences. I feel that writing still allowed me to be vulnerable. It’s a lesson I am still learning, allowing myself to be open and let other young women learn from my experiences.

Accepted: Where did you go to med school? What was your favorite thing about that school? And if you could change one thing about the program, what would it be?

Eniola: I went to Howard University in Washington DC. My favorite thing about Howard was the camaraderie and the family atmosphere. I truly had a group of friends that truly supported and loved one another. A lot of my book is based on my true life experiences with my groups of friends. We called ourselves the 210 group because we always studied in room 210. LOL. We still call ourselves that. I would probably change how struggling students were handled.

Accepted: Where are you doing your residency?

Eniola: I am doing my residency in INOVA Fairfax hospital in Virginia.

Accepted: Why did you choose that program?

Eniola: I choose it because of proximity and familiarity. Washington was just 45 minutes away and I had quite a support system nearby. I think that’s one thing that no one really gives you advice on when choosing a residency. Everyone wants to go to the most competitive program or the big name program but fails to realize that residency is demanding. The days can get dark and very lonely. You want to at least enjoy the people you are working with or have a trusted group of friends/family to vent to.

Accepted: Does your family still live in Nigeria? Do you plan on returning home once you’ve completed your studies?

Eniola: Most of my family is here. I don’t think returning to settle down is in my future. However you never know where God leads you.

Accepted: How does religion play into your passion to be a physician?

Eniola: It played a big part in my early years of deciding to study medicine. It took holding on to my faith in God and believing what He said rather than how my situation looked or what I felt or what everyone was telling. Everyone told me no but God told me yes. I listened to God and I am where I am today. Now my Christian religion pushes me to be an excellent resident, and then physician. I always remember the word of God that says “I should do my works to please God and not men.”

Accepted: What are your top 3 tips for residency applicants?

Eniola:

1. Location, location, location. Until you apply you don’t realize how big a factor this is. Then you realize that most of the big city programs have the most applicants and are most competitive. You should research any potential residency interview location keeping in mind that the location will be your home for the next few years and potentially more if you choose fellowship.

2. Ask the residents currently in the program what life is really like. Email them. Notice everything. Does the residency program allow you to talk to a few select residents or you talked to all. Do the residents look genuinely happy? Observe, observe, observe.

3. Support system. Yes you are going to this big name program but will it be a place everyone puts you down instead of building you up? Do they put a spot light on your weakness. It gets very hard in residency and if you don’t have that support system it makes a difficult situation unbearable. I think in medical school and with the competition of residency, you lose sight of the most important things. Find a residency that will encourage you to grow past your weakness and find a support group there. Pray for one. It’s so important.

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

You can follow Eniola’s residency adventure by checking out her blog, Eniola Prentice: Apprentice of God, Half baked Medical doctor, Aspiring Writer. Thank you Eniola for sharing your story with us!

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

Avoid the 5 fatal flaws to your residency personal statement

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Residency Applications: How to Match
• Your Residency Match Application: Start to Finish
• An Inside Look at the Medical School Journey

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INSEAD Essay 3: Writing About Cultural Diversity http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/23/insead-essay-3-writing-about-cultural-diversity/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/23/insead-essay-3-writing-about-cultural-diversity/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:04:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29707 For those of you struggling with INSEAD’s cultural diversity question [Essay 3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.) and the INSEAD EMBA choice of questions for Essay 5. Have you ever experienced culture shock? What insights did you gain? […]

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Click here for INSEAD Essay Questions and Tips

Ready to answer the diversity essay question?

For those of you struggling with INSEAD’s cultural diversity question [Essay 3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.) and the INSEAD EMBA choice of questions for Essay 5. Have you ever experienced culture shock? What insights did you gain? OR Describe the ways in which a foreigner in your country might experience culture shock. (500 words max.)], Pamela Druckerman has provided an interesting starting point in her New York Times Op Ed piece “Decoding the Rules of Conversation”.

Druckerman is an American expatriate in France and typically writes about the cultural differences she notices in French child rearing. On the other hand, “Decoding” explores not only how her de facto French children speak and interact, but also how French adults do, with added insight into UK culture thanks to her husband’s British background.

While Druckerman’s mention of British self-deprecation is well known, her description of the French emphasis on one-upping and even humiliating others will certainly come as a culture shock to many. Non-French INSEAD applicants exposed to these behaviors could discuss their own experiences navigating the team environment in France where, according to Druckerman, it is de rigueur to emphasize one’s intelligence at the expense of his or her peers’. Conversely, a French professional working in a global environment could share his experience adapting to a culture that places more emphasis on teamwork and gaining support from others – where he could no longer employ the French strategy of putting everyone else down.

Druckerman demonstrates the cultural astuteness that INSEAD is seeking in its students. Sharing an example of your own cultural insight and response to cultural challenges is essential to any applicant to this renowned international business school.

Applying to INSEAD? Check out our application essay tips!

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:

Best MBA Program: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• An Inside Look at INSEAD
• Tips for Applying to European B-Schools

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Residency Admissions: What if I Didn’t Match http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/23/residency-admissions-what-if-i-didnt-match-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/23/residency-admissions-what-if-i-didnt-match-2/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:42:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29677 Participation in the residency match process has risen steadily for the last several years, with record high application rates in each of the last few years [nrmp.org]. But what’s next if you didn’t match? Think about why you may not have matched, so you can strengthen your candidacy. Did you apply to too few programs? […]

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Click here for residency essay tips

You didn’t match. Now what?

Participation in the residency match process has risen steadily for the last several years, with record high application rates in each of the last few years [nrmp.org].

But what’s next if you didn’t match?

Think about why you may not have matched, so you can strengthen your candidacy. Did you apply to too few programs? To the wrong programs? Were there gaps or weaknesses in your application? Do an honest assessment of your candidacy.

Next, think about what you might want to do in the coming year:

• Do you want to do a year of research?

• Is delaying med school graduation an option? (This would allow you to pursue more rotations and reapply during next year’s Match. The viability of this option depends on your school.)

• You could register with the AAMC’s “find a resident” service to search for available positions.

• Are you interested in pursuing a different degree, such as an MPH or MBA, and then reapplying for the Match when you finish?

Whatever you decide, don’t be discouraged—and good luck!

An experienced consultant can help you make your residency application shine.   Find out more about how we can help you. >>

Rebecca Blustein

By 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 MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources:

• Elliptical, Meet Med School: Interview with Andrea Tooley
What Med School Applicants Need to Know About Residency Match
• 4 Must-Haves in Residency Personal Statements

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Reminder: MCAT Prep Webinar on Tues! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/22/reminder-mcat-prep-webinar-on-tues/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/22/reminder-mcat-prep-webinar-on-tues/#respond Sun, 22 Mar 2015 22:15:34 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29558 Attention future MCAT test-takers. Don’t forget to reserve your spot for our upcoming webinar, The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam!   Get tips on how to approach and complete MCAT problems, review actual questions from Next Step Test Prep’s diagnostic exam, and more. Tags: Medical School Admissions

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Attention future MCAT test-takers. Don’t forget to reserve your spot for our upcoming webinar, The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam!

MCAT Diagnostic Exam Webinar: Tuesday, March 24 2015 at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST

 

Get tips on how to approach and complete MCAT problems, review actual questions from Next Step Test Prep’s diagnostic exam, and more.

Click here to reserve your spot for the webinar!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Interview with a Techie at Chicago Booth http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/20/interview-with-a-techie-at-chicago-booth/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/20/interview-with-a-techie-at-chicago-booth/#respond Fri, 20 Mar 2015 15:55:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29643 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 Andrew Edelman, a student at Chicago Booth. Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as […]

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Click here for more b-school 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 Andrew Edelman, a student at Chicago Booth.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What was your most recent pre-MBA job?

Andrew: Thanks for featuring me on Accepted.com! I was born in Paris, France, but grew up here in the U.S. where I spent most of my youth in the Boston area. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the outcome of this year’s Super Bowl!

I attended Davidson College in North Carolina where I received a B.A. in Economics with a Concentration in Applied Mathematics. At Davidson, I was captain of the Men’s Division I Swimming team and met my future wife who was captain of the volleyball team. We now have two amazing sons, the second of whom was born during my first week at Chicago Booth. I always say my wife is my secret weapon during this business school journey.

Immediately before attending business school, I was a Vice President at Corrum Capital Management, a boutique alternative investment management firm headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Upon moving to Chicago and before starting classes, I did a two-month internship with a classmate’s startup that was participating in Chicago Booth’s Polsky Center Accelerator Program. My experience was actually featured in a recent WSJ article about pre-MBA internships and was an exciting opportunity to diversify my skill set before starting summer internship recruiting.

Accepted: Where are you currently in b-school? What year?

Andrew: I’m a second year at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It’s hard to believe I’m already entering my final quarter; graduation is less than 100 days away!

Accepted: Why did you choose Booth? How would you say you’re a good fit for the program? Which other programs had you considered?

Andrew: I choose Booth because I wanted to surround myself with extremely intelligent, high quality people. From the incredible faculty to my impressive classmates to the accessible alumni, I’ve been fortunate to learn from such a diverse and humble group.

I’ve personally benefitted most from Booth’s pay it forward mentality that permeates career preparation and recruiting. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to give back as a member of the Graduate Business Council and co-chair of the Booth Technology Group.

My business school decision came down to Booth and UC Berkeley (Haas), both great programs. It was a difficult decision, but after visiting Booth during the admitted students weekend, now called First Day, I knew it was the right fit for me.

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

Andrew: With evening, weekend, and PhD programs, Booth is unique in the sheer number of working professionals concurrently pursuing their MBAs. Although I’ve taken a couple evening classes at our downtown Gleacher Center, I feel that most of my academic experience has been centered down at the Harper Center in Hyde Park and kept separate from evening/weekend students. With more work experience on average and equally diverse backgrounds, I wish I had more organized opportunities to interact with these students to expand my network and learn from their experiences.

Accepted: Where did you intern last summer? Can you tell us about the role Booth played in helping you secure that position?

Andrew: I did my summer internship at Google in Mountain View. I was an MBA intern with the Global SMB Solutions team, which is responsible for increasing product adoption and driving revenue growth with small and medium businesses. It was an amazing experience!

As a career switcher, from financial services to tech, the preparation and mentorship offered through Career Services and the members of the Booth Technology Group were invaluable to my success securing a coveted spot at Google. I also benefited from the advantages of Booth’s flexible curriculum that permitted me to take courses early in my first year to prepare for the internship, including the experiential Developing New Products & Services course that paired my group with a leading digital media company for a consulting project.

Many people assume that because Booth is in the Midwest there are fewer opportunities in the technology industry, but that’s a common misconception. I had internship interviews with five of the largest technology companies in the world and was one of a dozen Boothies at Google this summer. In fact, Booth placed more students from my class in tech internships than investment banking, second only to consulting. It’s a trend that is developing at business schools across the country and it’s exciting to see Booth leading the way!

Chicago also has a very underrated tech scene that is booming. Booth has been a large contributor with successful startups growing out of our New Venture Challenge like GrubHub, BrainTree, and MuSigma.

Accepted: Likewise, if you have a job lined up for next year, can you talk about how Booth was involved in that process? What’s recruiting like on campus? How early does it start?

Andrew: I’m excited to be returning to Silicon Valley as a Management Associate with Box in their Rotational Leadership Program. I was looking to join a smaller tech firm full-time, so the majority of my recruiting this year was done off-campus. I was able to leverage the Booth network and my experience at Google to gain access to several high-growth tech companies.

Although I didn’t participate in on-campus recruiting for my full-time search, I can tell you that it does begin very quickly, pretty much right when we all return from our summer internships in late August. There tends to be a flurry of on-campus activity the first two weeks back, which this year included tech firms like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung.

Accepted: Looking back at the MBA application process, what would you say was your biggest challenge? How would you advise others who are facing a similar challenge?

Andrew: The biggest challenge for me was managing the surprisingly demanding application process while balancing my career and family responsibilities. Looking back, I wish I had started the process earlier to meet the Round 1 deadlines and not felt obligated to push my applications back to Round 2. In addition, it’s become increasingly difficult to fully showcase your whole self in such a short amount of space and limited word count. Getting to an interview was my biggest objective because I knew I could better convey a sense of self than I could in an essay.

Accepted: How are you enjoying your time in Chicago? How does student life differ there than in North Carolina?

Andrew: My wife and I always joke that if you could remove the harsh winters from Chicago it would easily be the best city in the U.S., if it’s not already. We’ve honestly loved our time here in Chicago. We live downtown where we have several world-class museums, an abundance of amazing restaurants, and even the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan right at our doorstep. Having grown up in the Northeast, the winters have not been too bad for me, but I definitely feel for my classmates from South America who are experiencing true winter for the first time.

It’s hard to compare my undergrad experience in Davidson, NC to my graduate student experience here in Chicago. Overall, studying business at Booth in a big city like Chicago has been a great complement to my liberal arts education at a small school in rural North Carolina. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both experiences!

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

You can read more about Andrew’s journey by checking out his Twitter and LinkedIn pages. Thank you Andrew for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Learn how to get accepted to Chicago Booth!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
Chicago Booth 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
• Chicago Booth: A Social Experience Outside of My Comfort Zone

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Reapplying to Med School: Evaluating Your Medical School Profile http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/19/reapplying-to-med-school-evaluating-your-medical-school-profile/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/19/reapplying-to-med-school-evaluating-your-medical-school-profile/#respond Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:39:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29434 This is the first blog post in our series, Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success.  Hopefully by now, you have your acceptance in hand and are gearing up for Fall. If so, then congratulations and good luck! But what if all you’ve received are rejections? To start with, know you’re not alone. Last year, […]

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Time to reevaluate your commitment to being a doctor.

This is the first blog post in our series, Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success

Hopefully by now, you have your acceptance in hand and are gearing up for Fall. If so, then congratulations and good luck!

But what if all you’ve received are rejections?

To start with, know you’re not alone. Last year, only 20,343 applicants made the cut, out of 49480 applicants – that’s about 41%. And although the number of available allopathic places has increased slightly, it hasn’t matched the pace of applications, which have steadily increased since 2011.

So what’s your next step, now that you won’t be starting med school?

Next Step

Use this time to reevaluate your commitment to being a doctor. The ache of rejection might cloud your immediate judgment, but do your best to project yourself into the future. Do you still envision yourself as a doctor? Have any of your reasons for pursuing medicine changed? If so, then how? Are there other paths that appeal to you – do you think you could find happiness and fulfillment in another profession?

For many people, the process of applying for medical school is the first time they have critically examined their desire to be a doctor. Sometimes the answer is surprising. There’s no shame in deciding that medicine might not be right for you – there is a myriad of other options, either in healthcare or other fields. But it is vital that you know whether getting rejected is merely a setback or a watershed.

Evaluate Your Application

Assuming that your commitment remains strong, it’s time to take a good, hard look at your application. It would be misleading to say this process is an easy one. But what I’d like to do, in this guide, is break it down into manageable parts that will help you identify your weaknesses and strengthen your next application. In future sections, we’ll look at how your profile appeared to the admissions committee and the concrete steps you can take to address your weaknesses. But first, we’ll take a look at your fundamental profile and see how it stacks up against successful applicants.

Academic record and GPA: Is your GPA competitive? Does your transcript reflect a breadth of interests (humanities, social science and foreign language classes as well as sciences)? And if you had difficulties, were they early in your college career – did your grades show an upward trend?

Time and again, medical schools say that students should not be obsessed with perfect grades. This statement is hard to swallow when applicants’ GPAs keep rising. In 2014, the mean GPA for applicants was 3.55; for matriculants, it was 3.69. Of course, not everyone who got in had these grades – there’s always a range above and below. However, it does suggest that the applicant pool is getting more competitive. If your GPA doesn’t fall within .2-.3 points, you should consider ways to improve your grades.

Mistakes linger and it’s hard to fix your GPA after the fact, but there are some concrete steps you can take – more on that in the third chapter.

MCAT: In 2014, the mean MCAT score for all allopathic applicants was 28.6; for matriculants, it was 31.4. Obviously there is a spread of scores on both sides of these numbers, but if you’re more than a couple of points below, this could be a problem in your profile.

If you scored lower than expected, you should also assess what went wrong. Were you unprepared for the questions that were asked? Did any particular areas give you trouble? If so, you should question your study practices and take additional steps to prepare. On the other hand, if you scored significantly higher on practice tests or ran out of time, it could signal test anxiety – a not-uncommon affliction. It’s not unusual to be nervous the first time you sit the exam, it’s an unusual situation after all, but if you feel that your nervousness was extreme and impaired your performance, it’s likely to be something you should address.

Keep in mind that a good MCAT score can help mitigate a lower GPA, and vice versa, but a significant discrepancy between the two can signal a problem. A 33 with a 3.5 is better than a 25 with a 4.0 or a 37 with a 2.8.

Clinical experience: Medical schools look for a working knowledge of the health professions as demonstrated through volunteering or shadowing. Too many applicants present an impressive list of accomplishments, but lack any serious engagement in the healthcare field. You’ve got to demonstrate that you understand the realities of the profession, that you are service-minded, and that you’re committed to practicing medicine.

But all positions are not equal. Commitment and quality, exhibited through substantive, longer term experiences, hold more value than a series of short-term shadowing opportunities. At least two substantive experiences are recommended to demonstrate commitment and interest. If you have less, this is definitely an area that you can improve.

Research experience: Some medical schools value research more than others; clinical volunteer work and community service are enough for others. But as the applicant pool grows more selective, research has gone from being a way to distinguish applicants to a more basic part of a well-rounded application. If you left this section blank on the AMCAS, it’s worth revisiting, perhaps through a master’s degree.

Leadership and public service: As important as grades are, the successful med school candidate needs to balance good grades with leadership and service positions outside the classroom. The range of acceptable activities is endless, so it’s important to seek out something that you enjoy. Together, these experiences demonstrate a commitment to serving others and an appreciation of human connections – one that ultimately reflects the human dimension of medicine.

Medical schools have always been competitive, but as they become ever more selective, it’s critical that you present the strongest application you can. Honestly assessing your application is your first step to improving your chances next year.

Next up: a look at the second part of your application – how you present your experiences to the admissions committee.
MedReapplicantGuide

Cydney Foote By , Accepted consultant and author of Write Your Way to Medical School, who has helped future physicians craft winning applications since 2001.

 

Related Resources:

• A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
7 Reasons Medical School Applicants are Rejected
Preparing to Reapply to Medical School: IV with MedSchoolApplicant

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The MBA Family: A Roundup and Overview http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/18/the-mba-family-a-roundup-and-overview-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/18/the-mba-family-a-roundup-and-overview-2/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2015 15:57:36 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29441 At its core, the MBA is a graduate program in business administration for professionals who seek knowledge, skills, a credential, and/or a network to advance in business and to maximize their business performance.  While “MBA” makes many people automatically think of a two-year, full-time program, in recent years the variations on the MBA theme have […]

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Not Sure which MBA program is right for you?  Download a free guide!At its core, the MBA is a graduate program in business administration for professionals who seek knowledge, skills, a credential, and/or a network to advance in business and to maximize their business performance.  While “MBA” makes many people automatically think of a two-year, full-time program, in recent years the variations on the MBA theme have multiplied, in order to meet changing and diversifying needs and interests of students and organizations.  Here’s a roundup of the main MBA options that are currently available, and their benefits and drawbacks.

Full-Time MBA Programs: This is a two-year, full-time program with an internship in the summer.  It targets business (and sometimes other) professionals with roughly 3-8 years of experience.  Obtaining a new position post-MBA is often a major focus of students, and recruiting by potential employers is a significant benefit of attending a full-time MBA.

Pros: close and sustained interaction with other full-time students, ideal for career changers, internship opportunity, strong recruiting.

Cons: significant opportunity cost, time away from industries that are undergoing rapid change.

Part-Time MBA Programs: Ideal for people who don’t want to leave their company or industry for any significant period or who can’t afford to stop working. Such programs target people who are employed full time, under the premise that students’ ongoing work will inform classroom discussion and projects. Part-time MBA students trend a little older than full-time MBA students.  While these programs have traditionally served local students, increasingly they are offering varied structures and online components to attract distance students.  They do not generally offer access to recruiters.  Often admission is less competitive than for the same school’s full-time program, enabling part-time students to obtain a “brand” they may not qualify for otherwise.

Pros: can continue to work/earn, apply learning in real time, access to top-tier programs.

Cons: take longer, no internship, usually no recruiting, it can be grueling to work and study simultaneously.

One-Year MBA Programs:  Of course, most European full-time MBA programs are one-year.  Some top US MBA programs, e.g., Cornell’s Johnson and Northwestern’s Kellogg, have offered one-year options for a while, and others are joining the fray as demand for such programs grows.  Often these one-year programs have special requirements, such as some prior business education or an advanced degree.  They are ideal for people who don’t need an internship and who have a strong base of experience; not usually the best path for career changers.

Pros: the intensity of a full-time program with less opportunity cost, usually regular recruiting, ability to quickly rejoin a fast-moving industry.

Cons: no conventional internship, less time to network with students and faculty.

Executive MBA Programs:  EMBAs are part-time programs targeting seasoned managers and entrepreneurs, typically people from mid-thirties to late forties (depending on the program) whose rise to senior manager level is imminent or who are already in senior management.  There is range within this category in terms of desired/required length of experience.  While coursework covers the same topics as regular MBA programs, it’s developed and presented with the higher level perspective.  A great benefit of EMBAs is the chance to network and form relationships with peers from a variety of industries and functions at a career phase when a fresh perspective is quite valuable but sometimes hard to obtain.  These programs don’t target career changers, but are increasingly used by and open to them, even though most EMBA programs don’t offer formal recruiting.

Pros: can apply learning immediately at work, breadth of exposure at a pivotal professional moment, valuable credential.

Cons: challenge of school plus demanding career and personal/family responsibilities, usually no formal recruiting for career changers.

Specialized MBA Programs: These programs offer the MBA course with focus on a specific industry or function; there are such options among both regular and executive MBA programs.  They vary in their formats and approaches.  Boston University’s Public & Nonprofit MBA is an example of a two-year specialized MBA; UC Irvine’s Health Care Executive MBA (HCEMBA) is an example of a specialized EMBA.  A relatively new one-year specialized MBA is Cornell Johnson’s Tech MBA.

Pros: intensive focus on area of interest with coursework adapted accordingly, network of colleagues with related experience and goals.

Cons: missing out on the diverse perspectives from other industries/sectors that can refresh and invigorate your thinking.

While you can’t apply to two different types of MBA programs at the same school in the same admissions cycle, you can do so in different cycles.  And you can apply to different types of programs at different schools at the same time.  For example, if someone is between regular and executive MBA in terms of age or length of experience, he could apply to some regular MBAs that trend older and some exec MBAs that trend younger.  Or someone may apply to full-time MBA programs but also apply to a part-time program nearby as an acceptable back-up.

Please do keep in mind, and address in your application, the nuances of the type of MBA as well as the particular program!

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:

MBA Action Plan: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply
Tips for Applying to Part-time MBA Programs
• Ace the EMBA

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Elliptical, Meet Med School: Interview with Andrea Tooley http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/18/elliptical-meet-med-school-interview-with-andrea-tooley/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/18/elliptical-meet-med-school-interview-with-andrea-tooley/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2015 15:42:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29639 It’s not easy being a med school applicant. Or a med student. Or a resident. Meet a woman who manages to pull it off in style. Andrea Tooley is an Ophthalmology resident at the Mayo Clinic, avid blogger and youtuber, and a fitness and nutrition buff. And she sleeps. Want some inspiration? Listen to the […]

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Click here to listen to our talk with Andrea Tooley!It’s not easy being a med school applicant. Or a med student. Or a resident. Meet a woman who manages to pull it off in style.

Andrea Tooley is an Ophthalmology resident at the Mayo Clinic, avid blogger and youtuber, and a fitness and nutrition buff. And she sleeps.

Want some inspiration? Listen to the recording of our great conversation with Andrea and find out the secret of her med school success.

00:02:04 – What motivated a busy med student to start a blog and youtube channel.

00:03:52 – A scientist’s view of the plethora of contradictory health and nutrition trends.

00:05:52 – Andrea’s advice for applicants at the beginning of the application journey. [Music to Linda’s ears!]

00:07:57 – Maintaining perspective and energy during the daunting med admissions process.

00:09:10 – Early Decision: who should apply ED and who should not.

00:11:52 – The best and worst things about med school.

00:14:24 – How was a student so committed to ophthalmology able to be open-minded about the future?

00:17:04 – Take it from a busy person: how to fit it all in (and sleep, too!).

00:21:19 – Handling the very serious challenge med school poses to a relationship.

00:24:40 – 23 residency interview offers! How did she manage that?

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

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Links:

• A Doctor in the House AKA www.andreatooley.com
• Andrea’s YouTube Channel
• Med School Blogger Interview: Andrea’s Journey
• Getting Ready for Residency: IV with a Med Student on the Way to Mayo

Related Shows:

• An Inside Look at the Medical School Journey
• All Things Postbac
• Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective
• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro
• MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and #MCAT2015

Avoid the 5 fatal flaws to your residency personal statement

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Reminder: Actionable Postbac Tips Webinar on Wednesday! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/reminder-actionable-postbac-tips-webinar-tomorrow/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/reminder-actionable-postbac-tips-webinar-tomorrow/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2015 18:17:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29056 If you haven’t yet registered for Wednesday’s webinar, 9 Keys to Postbac Acceptance in 2015, then please take a moment to do so now (it literally will take you a few seconds). The tips that you will learn in this webinar will be instrumental to helping you choose wisely and then apply successfully to the BEST […]

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If you haven’t yet registered for Wednesday’s webinar, 9 Keys to Postbac Acceptance in 2015, then please take a moment to do so now (it literally will take you a few seconds). The tips that you will learn in this webinar will be instrumental to helping you choose wisely and then apply successfully to the BEST postbac program for you.

Postbac CoverRemember, acceptance to a postbac program could make or break your future as a physician. Don’t miss out – this webinar is for you!

Details:
Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Time: 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST

Click Here to Save Your Spot! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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3 Ways to Make Your Own Student Loan Luck http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/3-ways-to-make-your-own-student-loan-luck/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/3-ways-to-make-your-own-student-loan-luck/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:47:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25942 “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”  – Benjamin Franklin If you’re one of the 37 million Americans with student loans, you know it’s going to take a lot more than a few four-leaf clovers to make your debt disappear. You wouldn’t rely on winning the lottery in order to pay your loans, would you?  […]

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Not sure how to fund your MBA? Listen to this podcast for pointers.

Luck can’t pay off student loans, but YOU can!

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”  – Benjamin Franklin

If you’re one of the 37 million Americans with student loans, you know it’s going to take a lot more than a few four-leaf clovers to make your debt disappear. You wouldn’t rely on winning the lottery in order to pay your loans, would you?  Unfortunately, neglecting to understand the various loan repayment options can be just as foolish, because you may be missing out on opportunities to reduce or even eliminate your debt burden. Essentially, leaving your loans to chance could mean leaving money on the table.

Rather than wait around for good fortune to find you, take a proactive approach by seeing if one of these three options apply to you:

1.  Spend money to save money
. All education loans, whether federal or private, allow for penalty-free prepayment, which means that you can pay more than the monthly minimum or make extra payments without incurring a fee. Prepaying may sound painful, but the benefits can be huge. The more you do it, the sooner you’re done with your loans – and the less interest you spend over the life of the loan.

Let’s say you have a $100,000 student loan balance at a 6.8% interest rate and 10-year term. If you increased your monthly payment by just $100, you’d save about $5,600 in total interest and pay off your loans about a year early. Or perhaps you pay down an extra $2,000 per year using your annual bonus, saving yourself about $7,400 in interest and paying off your loans about 1.5 years early. Every borrower’s situation is different, but you can do the math on your own loans with a calculator like this.

One thing to note – prepaying is most effective when the extra cash is applied directly to your principal, rather than being earmarked for future payments.  It’s best to check with your loan servicer to see what their policy is before increasing or adding extra payments.

How to get lucky: Commit to increasing your monthly student loan payment each time you get a raise and/or putting a percentage of every bonus toward your loan balance.

2.  Recalibrate your rate
. One of the fastest ways to slash your student loan burden is to lower the interest rate on your loans, which can only be accomplished through the act of refinancing. In addition to reducing the amount of interest you pay on your loan over time, refinancing can allow you to make lower monthly payments or shorten your payment term (so that you can be done with your loans sooner).

Student loan refinancing is still a relatively new option, so many borrowers who could be eligible to refinance aren’t even aware the opportunity exists. Which is unfortunate, because the savings can be significant.  For example, the average SoFi borrower saves $9,400 when they refinance with us.*  In addition, some private lenders offer additional benefits to borrowers when they refinance, such as complimentary career coaching and entrepreneurial support.

How to get lucky: When shopping around for a refinance lender, be sure to compare interest rates as well as other potential benefits.

3.  Ask for forgiveness. What borrower hasn’t fantasized about winning the lottery and paying off their loans in one fell swoop?  Unfortunately, you’re more likely to get hit by an asteroid than win a seven figure jackpot. So what’s the next best thing? How about making your student loan balance magically disappear.

It sounds too good to be true, but this is the basic idea behind student loan forgiveness. Surprisingly, there are quite a few ways to get your loan slate wiped clean, but the most well-known one (and the one that applies to the most people) is the government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Under the program, borrowers who work full-time for a qualifying public service organization may be eligible to have federal loans forgiven after 10 years of on-time monthly payments.

Before you skim over this section and assume that PSLF won’t apply to you, consider this: The CFPB estimates that about one in four working Americans has a job that meets the definition of “public service”, and yet they believe a “substantial sum” is left on the table by borrowers who don’t take advantage. This may be because the definition is broader than what most people would expect – for example, soldiers, doctors at non-profit hospitals and public defenders are all examples of professions that may qualify a borrower for PSLF.

How to get lucky: Find out if you qualify for PSLF or other forgiveness programs by contacting your student loan servicer.  

*SoFi average borrower savings assumes 10-year student loan refinancing with a weighted average rate of 7.67% and a loan balance of $86,000, compared to SoFi’s median 10-year rates of 5.875% (with AutoPay).

This post is by Anna Wolf and originally appeared on the SoFi Blog. SoFi connects alumni borrowers and investors to refinance private and federal student loans.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!

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Related Resources:

• SoFi: Alumni Funded Student Loans
Tips for Financing Your MBA
• PayScale: How Much You Can Earn, and How to Earn It

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U.S. News 2016 Best Medical Schools – Research & Primary Care http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/16/u-s-news-2016-best-medical-schools-research-primary-care/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/16/u-s-news-2016-best-medical-schools-research-primary-care/#respond Mon, 16 Mar 2015 17:18:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29595 U.S. News released its graduate school rankings Tuesday. 130 med schools and 26 schools of osteopathic medicine (all fully accredited) were surveyed in late 2014 and early 2015. Of these schools, 116 provided adequate data for creating these rankings. Let’s take a look at the top 25 med schools in research and primary care… 2016 […]

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U.S. News released its graduate school rankings Tuesday. 130 med schools and 26 schools of osteopathic medicine (all fully accredited) were surveyed in late 2014 and early 2015. Of these schools, 116 provided adequate data for creating these rankings.

Let’s take a look at the top 25 med schools in research and primary care…

2016 Best Med Schools – Research

Make sure you are using the rankings correctly!1. Harvard University

2. Stanford University

3. Johns Hopkins University (tie)

3.  UC San Francisco (tie)

5. UPenn Perelman

6. Washington University – St. Louis

7. Yale University

8. Columbia University (tie)

8. Duke University (tie)

10. Chicago Pritzker (tie)

10. Michigan – Ann arbor (tie)

10. University of Washington (tie)

13. UCLA Geffen

14. NYU (tie)

14. Vanderbilt University (tie)

16. University of Pittsburgh

17. UC San Diego

18. Cornell Weill

19. Northwestern Feinberg

20. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

21. Baylor College of Medicine

22. UNC Chapel Hill

23. Emory University

24. Case Western Reserve University

25. University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

2016 Best Med Schools – Primary Care

1. University of Washington

2. UNC Chapel Hill

3. UC San Francisco

4. University of Nebraska Medical Center

5. Oregon Health and Science University (tie)

5. Michigan – Ann Arbor (tie)

7. UCLA Geffen

8. University of Colorado

9. University of Wisconsin – Madison

10. University of Minnesota

11. Baylor College of Medicine

12. Harvard University (tie)

12. MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine (tie)

12. UMass Worcester (tie)

12. UPenn Perelman (tie)

16. University of Iowa – Carver

17. University of Alabama – Birmingham (tie)

17. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (tie)

19. UC Davis (tie)

19. UC San Diego (tie)

19. Chicago Pritzker (tie)

19. University of Hawaii – Manoa – Burns (tie)

19. University of Pittsburgh (tie)

19. Washington University – St. Louis (tie)

25. East Carolina University – Brody

You can read about U.S. News’ med school ranking methodology here.

For perspective on the significance of these rankings, please see “Medical School Rankings: What Are They Worth?

Are you misusing the med school rankings? Click here to find out!

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Related Resources:

• Navigating the Med School Maze
• Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective
• 5 Questions to Help You Decide Where To Apply To Medical School

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The Med School Journey of a “Professional Procrastinator” http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/16/the-med-school-journey-of-a-professional-procrastinator/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/16/the-med-school-journey-of-a-professional-procrastinator/#respond Mon, 16 Mar 2015 15:23:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29471 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 Kendra Williams… Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you […]

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Click here for more med student intervierwsThis 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 Kendra Williams…

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 flavor ice cream?

Kendra: I’m from Hamlin, TX. I studied at McMurry University. I majored in BioMedical Science and minored in Biochemistry. My favorite flavor of ice cream is Vanilla Bluebell. I love to make coke floats!

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

Kendra: I am a first year medical student at UT Houston Medical School.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about UT Houston so far? Which other med schools did you consider? Why did you choose UT Houston?

Kendra: I love the sense of community that we have at our school. Even though we are one of the biggest classes in the US, we are able to embody one another as family. Other than UT Houston, I considered UTMB in Galveston. I chose UT Houston because the things that I stated above, set them apart from other schools.

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

Kendra: I don’t think I would change anything! Some people have suggested a curriculum change, as we do use block scheduling, but in my opinion, when you come to medical school, you have to adapt to a certain system of study.

Accepted: In your blog you call yourself a professional procrastinator — how did you deal with this as a med school applicant and now as a busy medical student?

Kendra: Obviously it played out in my favor, but I told myself as an applicant, I would never do that again. Procrastinating so much caused me so much headache that definitely could be avoided. Because I’m so used to procrastinating but still being able to succeed and get tasks done in a concise and efficient manner, I thought that that would translate over into medical school. It didn’t. First semester, I had such a hard time with trying to learn how to manage time, learning what study method worked for me, and all the while trying to keep up with material. It was not fun at all and procrastination finally caught up with me.

Over Christmas break, I had to revamp how to approach studying, test-taking, and time management habits. I literally had to flip my life upside down to finally get it right.

Accepted: Can you talk about your experience with taking an MCAT test prep course?

Kendra: I used Kaplan as an online MCAT test prep course. I really didn’t know that much about it, but it was the only thing that I was ever advised to use. It didn’t work that well for me because I learn by actually sitting in a classroom and having structure to my studies. For others, it works great but for me it was a total waste because I knew before I paid all the money for it that online work didn’t work best for me.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming first year students, to help make their adjustment to med school easier?

Kendra: There is no way that you can 100% prepare for medical school but there are a few things that you can do that will make things a lot easier.

1. Learn what study habits work best for you.

When I came to medical school, I had no idea what worked best for me. I have since learned that pre-reading, as well as attending class, work best for me to reinforce and actually learn the material instead of just regurgitating information that has been thrown at me.

2. Make reading an integral part of your life.

There are some things that just don’t come to you as easy as they do for other people. When a professor decides to move on and you still don’t understand a concept, it is up to you to go back and read resources to make the material a little more familiar. You have to be able to read AND comprehend your material.

3. Learn to not get so down on yourself early.

This was one of my biggest problems in my first semester. I had a lot of trouble early on. Because people understood some information faster than I did, I automatically thought that I was behind. I was so used to doing great on everything in high school and college that it was a big shock that I didn’t make 90s and 100s on every, single thing. I became a little depressed and developed very heavy test anxiety (something that had never happened before). You have to realize when you come to medical school that you are part of a small group of people that are all the best of the best and the material is not always easy or fun. After I started having problems, everything went down from there because it was very hard for me to work at it. When I changed everything during winter break, I had to make an attitude change as well.

4. When you do get stressed out, find ways to de-stress!!

Whether it’s just taking a night off from studying to binge watch Netflix, having a glass of wine with friends, volunteering, or just sleeping in one day, you’ll be thankful for it in the end. I personally like to volunteer every now and again to remind myself of why I got into medicine in the first place. With everything in just Gross Anatomy & Biochemistry, it is very easy to lose sight of why you’re here.

Coming to medical school was a big change for me and it hasn’t always been easy, but these are some of the best years of your life so make the best of it and when you can, make it just a little bit easier.

Accepted: Did you go straight from college to med school? Or did you take time off?

Kendra: I graduated a semester early so I was able to have about 6 months off before the beginning of my entry year. During this time, I just spent time with family and worked to save a little bit of money before I had to completely stop working.

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

Kendra: The most challenging part about the application process is that it takes a long time to get everything together and it’s very easy to give up on that. I realized this early on so I tried to keep accounts of things like volunteer experience, methods in the laboratory I learned, and extracurricular activities. I sort of kept a written account so I wouldn’t have to try to recount years of information to compile on one application. It helped a ton!!

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog and Twitter?

Kendra: Although, these are both my personal accounts, I use them to show the more humorous side of medical school and medicine as well as give some advice. I’m not the conventional med student so I like to show students aspiring to follow this pathway that everyone does not follow it the exact same way. I hope it is inspirational, motivational, and helpful to people and I’m always open to answer questions about the application process, medical school, and medical school life.

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

You can follow Kendra’s med school adventure by checking out her blog, Paging Student Dr. Kendra or by following her on Twitter (@studentdrkendra). Thank you Kendra for sharing your story with us!

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

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

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Related Resources:

Navigate the Med School Maze, a free guide
Your MCAT Score and GPA
Work Hard and Stay Positive: Interview with a 2nd Year Med Student

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The Woman’s Guide To Dress For Med School Interview Success http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/15/womans-guide-dress-med-school-interview-success/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/15/womans-guide-dress-med-school-interview-success/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 15:40:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29419 In a medical school interview, a first impression is often the only impression you get to make.  With just a handshake your aim is to come across as professional, confident, and trustworthy.  After all the hard work you have put in to your pre-med journey, this is your moment to shine as the outstanding applicant […]

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Be fully prepared for your interview

Aim for an outfit that is both professional and comfortable.

In a medical school interview, a first impression is often the only impression you get to make.  With just a handshake your aim is to come across as professional, confident, and trustworthy.  After all the hard work you have put in to your pre-med journey, this is your moment to shine as the outstanding applicant you are.  Follow these simple steps to not only make the best impression, but to feel confident on your interview day.

In an interview situation, it is important that your interviewer get a sense of who you are from you, not from your clothes.  Even if you are not trying to make a statement, your top knot and hoop earrings might be more memorable than your three years of research or volunteer work.  If your attire raises an eyebrow, your interviewer could spend the rest of the short interview distracted by your appearance and not get a sense of the true you.

To dress for success, we have broken down the interview outfit from head to toe. But first, let’s start with the key piece, the suit.

Suits – Business suits come in a myriad of colors and styles.  For a medical school interview, chose a classic cut in black, navy blue, or gray.  Skirt suits and pant suits are both acceptable, so pick whichever makes you feel most comfortable.  Make sure to remove all tags, stickers, and pins before your interview.  Cut the loose stitching inside pockets or along a skirt slit before you leave the house.  If you are wearing an older suit, get it professionally cleaned and steamed.  Don’t forget a quick run of the lint roller before you leave!

Shirts – Nothing low cut.  Go for a simple oxford button up, or a nice blouse that does not wrinkle too easily.  Stay away from loud patterns or colors.  Remember that the men will be wearing shirts and ties with their suits, so you want to look just as professional as they do.

Always, always, always tuck your shirt in.

Belts – For men, belts are a necessity.  But for women, you can take them or leave them.  If you have a nice belt you like to wear with your suit, go for it.  Otherwise, an unbelted look is fine.

Skirts – If you are going to wear a skirt suit, sit down and make sure the skirt does not ride up too high.  Do not wear a skirt that is too tight.  And, always wear panty hose.

Pants – Get your pants hemmed to fit the heels you wear most.  Make sure to iron your pants or have them pressed before you wear them.

Shoes – Closed toe, low heel is the way to go.  Too high a heel and you will be uncomfortable all day.  Open toe and you risk looking unprofessional.

Bag – A medium size purse that will fit your portfolio folder (with extra copies of your resume and application) and any papers or handouts you receive that day.

Makeup – Simple simple simple.  If you wear concealer or powder, go lightly.  A little blush looks nice.  Mascara helps you look awake.  Avoid heavy eyeliner.  If you want to use eye shadow, pick neutral colors and go lightly.  If you chose lipstick or lip-gloss, pick subtle colors.

Jewelry – Small stud earrings, nothing dangling.  Small chain necklaces or a single strand of pearls. It is okay to wear a necklace with a religious symbol like a cross, but make sure it is understated.  Bracelets can be distracting if they make noise when you move.  You will most likely be wearing long sleeves, so you probably don’t need a bracelet.

Hair – Make sure your hair is neat.  You can always stick a brush in your purse and run it through your hair a few times before your interview.   If you chose to wear it up in a pony, bun, or half-up, make sure it is secure and not falling out.  Keep your hair out of your face and try not to touch it during an interview.

If you follow this list of do’s and don’ts, you will surely be dressed for success.  

DON’T:

1. Don’t be trendy- you are not interviewing with Vogue and now is not the time to channel your inner fashionista.

2. Along the trendy lines, don’t try any fancy new hairstyles.  Keep it simply down, half up, or in a low bun or ponytail.  A simple headband can work as well.

3. Don’t wear anything with big logos.  It is distracting and labels you as much as it labels the clothing item.

4. Don’t wear open toe shoes.  You do not want your interviewer gazing down at your hot pink toe nail polish.  Keep it conservative and wear closed toed shoes.

- Another shoe tip: Aim for a 1-2 inch heel.  On some interviews, you will be doing a lot of walking and if you come in with 5 inch Louboutins, you will be left in the dust.

5. Don’t wear anything too short.  Practice sitting down if you opt to wear a skirt.  Aim for it to hit just above the knee when sitting.  If it is higher than that, skip it.

6. Don’t wear anything too low cut or revealing.  Practice bending over and make sure your shirt does not gape open.  What if you drop your pen?

7. Don’t be messy or sloppy (obviously).

DO:

1. Do wear clothes that fit.  Find a tailor you like and have them hem pants and sleeves.

2. Do keep your clothes wrinkle free.  If you are traveling, use the hotel iron or hang your clothes in the bathroom to stream when you take a shower.

3. Do wear pantyhose.  Especially if you wear a skirt.  Black tights are fine too.

4. Do wear makeup.  Studies have shown that a small amount of makeup makes you come across as more professional.  Just keep it neutral and simple.  No sparkles and no red lip.

5. Do wear simple jewelry.  Small stud earrings and small necklaces can compliment a professional look.  A single strand of pearls always looks classy.

After all that, what is the most important thing to wear to a medical school interview?  A smile.  A big smile and eye contact are more memorable than any fancy suit.  

InterviewingWithImpactRecording

Andrea Tooley, MD is a resident physician in Ophthalmology at Mayo Clinic.  She graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2014.  Andrea shares stories from her days in medical school and residency, healthy recipes, and workouts on her blog, AndreaTooley.com.  
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success, a free guide
How to Ace Your Medical School Interview,  a free webinar
• The Men’s Guide to Dress for Medical School Success

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Tips for Applying to European B-Schools http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/15/tips-applying-european-b-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/15/tips-applying-european-b-schools/#respond Sun, 15 Mar 2015 14:35:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29499 Applying to a European MBA program isn’t quite the same as applying to an American program. The programs themselves often have a different focus than U.S. schools, and adcoms therefore look out for different skills and qualifications. I’d like to direct you to the following resources on our website – blog posts that focus specifically […]

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Click here for more European school essays and tips

Do you know what you need to do to get admitted to a European MBA program?

Applying to a European MBA program isn’t quite the same as applying to an American program. The programs themselves often have a different focus than U.S. schools, and adcoms therefore look out for different skills and qualifications. I’d like to direct you to the following resources on our website – blog posts that focus specifically on how to answer specific questions on specific European b-school applications. Please check them out and be in touch if you have any questions!

Tip Posts for European B-Schools:

• ESADE 2015 MBA Essay Tips

HEC Paris 2015 MBA Essay Tips

HKUST 2015 MBA Essay Tips

IMD 2016 Essay Tips

INSEAD 2015 MBA Essay Tips

London Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips

London Business School 2015 MiM Essay Questions and Tips

NUS MBA 2015 Essay Tips

Oxford Said 2015 MBA Essay Tips

For more advice, I recommend you check out these podcasts that feature interviews with adcom members from top European b-schools – it’s always good to get advice from the source itself!

• The Scoop on the London Business School Masters in Management Program

• Interview with Philippe Oster of HEC Paris

• An Inside Look at INSEAD

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

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A Window into Life at Harvard Business School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/13/window-life-harvard-business-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/13/window-life-harvard-business-school/#respond Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:35:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29496 This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a follow up interview with Tim Massey, who is about to complete his first year at Harvard Business School. (We first met Tim last year – you can read […]

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Click here for more mba student interviewsThis interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a follow up interview with Tim Massey, who is about to complete his first year at Harvard Business School. (We first met Tim last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: Since we last spoke you applied to and got accepted to HBS. Congrats! How has your first year been so far? It b-school as you expected it to be? Any surprises? 

Tim: The first year has been an incredible ride. I’ve really enjoyed pretty much every aspect of it so far and I haven’t regretted my decision to study in the US for a second. The students here are an incredible bunch of people, and it’s really evident that the professors love teaching here. We’re fortunate enough to meet many of the protagonists of our cases or leading business leaders who come to visit our campus. The worldwide draw of HBS really enhances the experience. Without particularly seeking these opportunities out I’ve been able to listen to Peter Thiel (founder of Paypal and hugely successful investor), and Alan Mullaly (former CEO of Ford and Boeing).

HBS also is far more friendly and collaborative than I expected. It has a reputation for being a tough dog-eat-dog place, and that’s not really been my experience at all. Yes, it’s competitive but certainly not at any cost.

My biggest surprise is quite how busy I’ve been (despite HBS’ reputation) – it’s very different from my undergraduate studies and I’ve barely had a minute to myself from when I started right up until the Christmas break at the end of the first semester.

Accepted: Which MBA programs did you end up applying to? Was HBS your first choice? 

Tim: I described HBS originally as my joint first choice. As an engineer, I was also keen on MIT, but MIT made it an easy decision for me! I had a few other applications that I withdrew from early as I knew where I was going to be, and HBS is pretty much one of the first decisions you get in Round 1.

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

Tim: My least favorite aspect of the whole MBA experience has undoubtedly been recruiting season. In contrast to many other parts of the experience, which tend to focus on self-growth and really achieving something meaningful, this seems very much stuck in the past.

I am sure this is borne out of necessity to compete with other schools and maintain league placing high up the recruitment league tables that applicants look at. But depth of support is really variable between traditional MBA industries (finance/consulting) and other more creative directions. It is very much at odds with the rest of the course and HBS’s mission to ‘educate leaders who make a difference in the world.’

I have a strong suspicion this is not unique to HBS and I think the competitive stats-based ranking system for admissions to the top business school really influences behavior here. Any school that deviates from promoting the top highly paid starting salaries and internships will suffer from a disadvantage in these metrics, and this promotes a ‘groupthink’ approach.

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

Tim: There is a pretty huge array of clubs on campus to join, HBS definitely benefits from its size in this respect with members forming based on range of different interests. The majority are based around either professional/career interests (e.g. VCPE club (venture capital/private equity), Tech club), geographical locations (e.g. Euro club/LatAm club) or sports, with some special interests thrown in.

I’m been involved in helping to organize several of these, which is a bit of a throwback to my undergrad days when I was also heavily involved in the student body.

The main difference is a slightly more ‘professional’ edge than undergraduate clubs, with most designed to help navigate and network amongst the diverse student body, and attract specific career opportunities to campus.

Accepted: Can you tell us about  your experience with HBS’ FIELD program?

Tim: So far, I’ve travelled to Chengdu in China on FIELD 2, working with a social enterprise focused on promoting recycling electronics (I wrote about this in a little more detail on my blog here). It was a great project and really allowed me to get a unique perspective on awareness of environmental issues in China. As a whole experience, it really challenged some perspectives I had before I went.

At the moment I’m in the thick of FIELD 3, in the early stages of starting my own business with a group of other students. I’ll be sure to write more about it as we make progress!

Accepted: Have you been keeping up your blogging? Can you direct us to one or two posts that will further help us get up to date with your b-school adventure?

Tim: In addition to my post about FIELD above, I wrote down some of my perspectives on the first semester here.

I’m trying to keep up the blogging, but the strain on my time commitments makes it a bit more difficult to find time than it used to be! I try to write once a month or so – I’m in an incredibly fortunate position to write about what’s it like on the inside – I try to answer the questions I had as an applicant, and if anyone has any suggestions of things they’d like to know more detail about, I’m happy to take requests!

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages.  To read more about Tim’s b-school journey, please check out his blog, The Adventures of a MBA Student. Thank you Tim for sharing your story with us! 

Check out our free webinar: Get Accepted to Harvard Business School!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• What Does Harvard Business School Want?, a video
• Life as an HBS MBA Student

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The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/the-gmac-the-gmat-and-the-mba-degree/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/the-gmac-the-gmat-and-the-mba-degree/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2015 22:30:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29590 Admit it. You just can’t stop thinking about the GMAT. If you are a b-school student (present or future), then Rich D’Amato, Vice President of Global Communications at GMAC, has some important info to share with you. Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Rich for the scoop on new GMAT features, the […]

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IV with Rich D'AmatoAdmit it. You just can’t stop thinking about the GMAT.

If you are a b-school student (present or future), then Rich D’Amato, Vice President of Global Communications at GMAC, has some important info to share with you.

Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Rich for the scoop on new GMAT features, the MBA Alumni survey, the relevance of the MBA degree, and more.

00:02:44 – The low-down on GMAC’s Enhanced Score Reports and how they can help you prepare effectively and score higher on the GMAT.

00:08:17 – The new Score Preview feature: how it works and how it can help you.

00:11:22 – Featured Applicant Question: Can I retake the GMAT, and then cancel the score and reinstate the original score?

00:12:08 – The case for the GMAT in the GMAT vs GRE battle.

00:15:24 – The role of “entrepreneurial traits” (and an MBA education) in career success.

00:19:16 – Is the end of the MBA degree in sight?

00:21:54 – The growth of specialized business degrees.

00:26:36 – Rich’s awesome advice for future test-takers.

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

Related Links:

• The Official GMAT Website 
GMAT NEWSFLASH: GMAT to Feature Score Preview
• GMAT’s New Enhanced Score Report
GMAT Unofficial Enhanced Score Report FAQs
Control Your GMAT Experience with These Three Features

Related Shows:

• The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well
• The GMAT Score Preview and Application Boxes
• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep
• Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT on What MBA Applicants Need to Know

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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7 Reasons Medical School Applicants are Rejected http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/7-reasons-medical-school-applicants-are-rejected/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/7-reasons-medical-school-applicants-are-rejected/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2015 16:07:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29537 Each medical school receives thousands of applications every year and most schools have less than a hundred spots available. With ten years of experience in medical school admissions, I have seen several patterns emerge in rejected applications. In learning from these applicants’ mistakes—what not to do—you can put together a stronger application. The most common […]

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Click here for the five fatal flaws to avoid

Before you reapply, analyze where you went wrong

Each medical school receives thousands of applications every year and most schools have less than a hundred spots available. With ten years of experience in medical school admissions, I have seen several patterns emerge in rejected applications. In learning from these applicants’ mistakes—what not to do—you can put together a stronger application.

The most common mistakes I have seen include:

Low GPA with a decreasing trend: In some cases, it would be better to complete postbaccalaureate coursework before submitting the application. Having a decreasing trend with a borderline GPA is an easy way to earn a rejection. It is essential to apply with an increasing trend in your GPA.

• Low MCAT: If you do not have a high GPA to compensate for a low MCAT score, it may be best to retake the MCAT before applying. I don’t recommend applying before you receive your score because it can help you decide which schools to apply to. A MCAT score below a 24 can be considered dangerously low.

Weak Letters of Recommendation: Submitting old letters of recommendation (letters that are a year or older) or not submitting strong letters can substantially hurt your application. These letters are quoted and discussed at great length during selection committee meetings. They matter. Take the time to attend office hours and to form strong bonds with your mentors so that you can rest confident that you will have strong letters to support your application.

ON THE APPLICATION:

• Incorrect information: By accidentally listing the wrong country of your birth or wrong state for permanent residence, you can cause your application to be red flagged or to be automatically rejected by schools that only interview or accept residents. Double check all of the contact information, personal details and family information to make sure that it is correct. A simple but easy place to make a major mistake!

• Not Using Every Space Available: Many applicants do not list everything that they have done or do not use all 15 activity descriptions. Use every character allowed and complete each description requested, even if it is optional. Demonstrating that you have put the time and effort into the application to help them gain a stronger idea of who you are as an individual will make all the difference.

• Misrepresenting Your Activities: Don’t lie about what you haven’t done. If you do not have significant clinical, volunteer, leadership or research experience, sign up for some immediately! The strongest applications have a balance of activities that represent all three or four of these categories. (Research is optional for many medical schools.) Using an app, like MDTracker, can be helpful in keeping a big picture perspective of the distribution of your activities.

• Sloppy Primary and Secondary Essays: The essays that raise more questions than they provide answers often confuse and frustrate their readers. If your essay is challenging to read, most application reviewers will not read it all the way through. Take the time to create outlines and thoughtfully approach your writing. You can use these essays as a rare opportunity in your life for deep assessment and reflection. The more you know about yourself and how you approach life, the more gracefully you will be able to transition into medical school to take on the responsibilities of a healer.

• Weak Interview: Taking the time to submit an excellent application that earns you an interview, but neglecting to prepare for the interview with mocks can seriously jeopardize your spot in the entering class! Mock interviews can help you develop the skills required to give a strong interview. Most people struggle with public speaking and interviewing. The difference between those who interview well and those who do not is practice.

While it may be impossible to avoid all of these issues, you can navigate them more gracefully by adapting a strategy that will highlight your strengths so that your weakness will not be viewed so harshly. Working with a professional consultant or editor can make a dramatic difference. I wish you all success!

Med Reapplicant Guide

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:

• A Second Chance to Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success
• Boost your GPA for Med School Acceptance

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Three Topics to Discuss in Waitlist Letters http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/three-topics-discuss-waitlist-letters/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/three-topics-discuss-waitlist-letters/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:44:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29324 If you are on a waitlist, Linda Abraham has something to tell you: Related Resources: • College Applicants: Waitlisted or Rejected? • Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted! • How to Write Waitlist Update Letters Tags: College Admissions, College Video Tips, Grad School Admissions, Grad Video Tips, Law School Admissions, Law Video Tips, MBA Admissions, MBA Video Tips, […]

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If you are on a waitlist, Linda Abraham has something to tell you:

Get off that waitlist! Listen how Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• College Applicants: Waitlisted or Rejected?
Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted!
How to Write Waitlist Update Letters

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AIGAC’s 2015 MBA Applicant Survey [You Can Win $500!] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/aigacs-2015-mba-applicant-survey-can-win-500-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/aigacs-2015-mba-applicant-survey-can-win-500-2/#respond Wed, 11 Mar 2015 19:51:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29532 As Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) members, we are conducting a survey to help us better understand our readers’ goals and needs. We’d like to invite all of our MBA readers to share their school selection priorities and views on the MBA application process. Take the MBA Search Survey, and win $500 and […]

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Click here to take the survey!As Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) members, we are conducting a survey to help us better understand our readers’ goals and needs.

We’d like to invite all of our MBA readers to share their school selection priorities and views on the MBA application process.

Take the MBA Search Survey, and win $500 and our sincere gratitude! The anonymous data will be shared with admissions officers from top programs. Make your voice heard!

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Everyone completing the survey will be entered to win $500 cash (contact email will be used for prize purposes only). We’ll also be sharing the results of the survey this spring to help candidates better understand the nature of today’s applicant pool.

Click here to take our MBA prospect survey.

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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U.S. News Law School Rankings 2016 http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/u-s-news-law-school-rankings-2016/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/u-s-news-law-school-rankings-2016/#respond Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:02:00 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29505 U.S. News and World Report just released its 2016 law school rankings. The top 15 schools won’t surprise anyone and provide little change from previous years. Stanford and Harvard tied for the number 2 spot behind Yale. Below are the top 15 schools with their previous year ranking from Above The Law: 1. Yale (no […]

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U.S. News and World Report just released its 2016 law school rankings. The top 15 schools won’t surprise anyone and provide little change from previous years. Stanford and Harvard tied for the number 2 spot behind Yale.

Click here to download The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 tips for SuccessBelow are the top 15 schools with their previous year ranking from Above The Law:

1. Yale (no change)

2. Harvard (no change)

2. Stanford (+1; ranked #3 last year)

4. Columbia (no change)

4. Chicago (no change)

6. NYU (no change)

7. Penn (no change)

8. Duke (+2; tied at #10 last year with Michigan)

8. UC Berkeley (+1; ranked #9 last year)

8. UVA (no change)

11. Michigan (-1; tied at #10 last year with Duke)

12. Northwestern (no change)

13. Cornell (no change)

14. Georgetown (-1; tied at #13 last year with Cornell)

The biggest drops this year included Lewis & Clark, Seattle, and Louisiana State, which all dropped more than 20 spots. Who went up? Howard, Syracuse and St. Johns.

The biggest change anyone will notice about the rankings are the number of ties (there are even 6-way ties!). US News changed its methodology in calculating post-law school employment – it gave fewer points for schools that employed their own graduates, as opposed to law graduates who went on to the public and private sector.  (Note: these jobs are still factored in but count less than jobs where students stayed at least a year or more.) As you look at the rankings, it’s worth taking particular note of post-graduation employment.
Click here for a free report on 8 Tips for Law School Admissions Succcess
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• 5 Ways To Increase Your Chance of Getting Into Law School as a College Junior
• 5 Things Law Schools Want To See in Applicants
• Getting a High-Value Law Degree

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U.S. News 2016 Best Graduate Business Schools http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/u-s-news-2016-best-graduate-business-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/11/u-s-news-2016-best-graduate-business-schools/#respond Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:35:57 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29502 U.S. News released its graduate school rankings today. Let’s see how our top b-schools fared… Top 20 U.S. B-Schools – 2016 1. Stanford GSB (1) 2. Harvard Business School (1) 3. UPenn Wharton (1) 4. Chicago Booth (4) 5. MIT Sloan (5) 6. Northwestern Kellogg (6) 7. UC Berkeley Haas (7) 8. Columbia Business School […]

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U.S. News released its graduate school rankings today. Let’s see how our top b-schools fared…

Top 20 U.S. B-Schools – 2016

Visit our b-school zone page for info on the top business schools.1. Stanford GSB (1)
2. Harvard Business School (1)
3. UPenn Wharton (1)
4. Chicago Booth (4)
5. MIT Sloan (5)
6. Northwestern Kellogg (6)
7. UC Berkeley Haas (7)
8. Columbia Business School (8)
9. Dartmouth Tuck (9)
10. UVA Darden (11)
11. NYU Stern (10)
11. Michigan Ross (11)
13. Duke Fuqua (14)
13. Yale SOM (13)
15. UCLA Anderson (16)
16. Cornell Johnson (17)
17. Texas McCombs (15)
18. UNC Kenan-Flagler (19)
19. Washington Olin (22)
20. CMU Tepper (18)

25% of US News rankings is made up of survey responses from business school deans and directors; 15% is based on recruiters’ survey responses. The remaining 60% is based on statistical data reflecting program selectivity and placement success. (For details, read up on U.S. News methodology.)

Here are some highlights from the Poets & Quants article on the rankings:

• Last year’s three-way Stanford/Harvard/Wharton tie was broken this year with each school taking one of the first three spots (Stanford in first, HBS in second, and Wharton in third).

• The P&Q article states that Wharton’s slip to third is due to lower peer assessment and corporate recruiter survey scores.

• Wharton also reported an acceptance rate of 20.7%, up from last year’s 18.7% — this is another metric used by U.S. News in their methodology.

• Another factor contributing to Wharton’s position this year is its position regarding salary and bonus. Last year it took top slot at $141,243, while this year it slipped to fourth place at $142,574 – yes, higher than last year, but this year, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford reported even higher salaries/bonuses (HBS took the cake at $144,936 this year).

• Stanford’s top stats this year: average GMAT – 732; average GPA – 3.74; acceptance rate – 7.1%.

• In the top 20, there weren’t significant changes beyond a given school moving up or down a couple places. But further down in the rankings there were some big shifts. Texas A&M jumped 10 places to 27th place (tied with Carlson); Wake Forest jumped 13 places to 45th place; and Louisville moved up at least 31 places to 71st place – it was previously unranked.

• Big drops include Missouri Trulsake which fell 21 places from 58th to 79th place; Pepperdine Graziadio which fell at least 25 places, from last year’s 76th place to its unranked position this year.

Wondering how much rankings should play a roll in determining where you apply? Watch the video below for Linda Abraham’s answer:

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2015
• What’s an MBA Really Worth?
• PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

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Researching Postbac Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/10/researching-postbac-programs/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/10/researching-postbac-programs/#respond Tue, 10 Mar 2015 16:35:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29364 Some postbac programs have their own websites and application systems.  Other programs may be harder to find since they are small programs connected to a medical school, or they may be conditional acceptance programs that operate by invitation only. There are several ways to approach the task of finding programs that may interest you: • The […]

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Learn more about Postbac programs

The perfect postbac program may be hard to find.

Some postbac programs have their own websites and application systems.  Other programs may be harder to find since they are small programs connected to a medical school, or they may be conditional acceptance programs that operate by invitation only.

There are several ways to approach the task of finding programs that may interest you:

• The Definitive Guide to Premedical Postbaccalaureate Programs – Start with the published literature on the topic!  For this book, I researched all of the premedical programs available in the U.S.  The index of the book includes a comprehensive list of all of the programs that exist.  Inside the book, there are interviews with programs directors and students who have successfully matriculated into medical school after completing a postbac program.  The book is now available on accepted.com and amazon.com.

• AAMC Postbac Database: – On the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) website they actually have a search database dedicated solely to listing the website and contact information for the postbac programs that register with them.  The benefit of this database is that it has the contact information for program directors and coordinators.  The only problem with using this site is that sometimes the information is no longer current or active.

• AACOM Information Book - The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) Information Book includes information each year on the postbac programs available to pursue this field.  Most of the programs listed are SMP’s (special master degree programs).  If you know that you want to become a DO, I recommend focusing on applying to these programs to become a more competitive applicant. *Note: If you need to improve your undergraduate GPA a SMP will not improve your undergraduate GPA since it calculates into your graduate GPA.*

• Student Doctor Network Forums - Since users create anonymous screen names, using this site is similar to attending a Halloween party in that things can get out of hand when there is no accountability.  However, at times, you can glean useful information about postbac programs and the application process here.  If you have specific questions, you can create a conversation and hope that you receive some serious and useful responses.

• Individual school websites - If you live near a particular school and want to find out if they have a postbac program, check out the school’s website and/or contact their pre-health advisors.  They should be able to help you locate the nearest postbac programs.  Or if you’d like to take informal postbac coursework, you can enroll as a second bacc student on their campus and take classes on your own.  If possible, work with an advisor or consultant to make sure that you’re taking the right classes and course combinations!

• Premed Clubs and Conferences - Get connected to the premed club in your area, even if you have already graduated.  Attend all conferences at the local medical schools.  Networking with faculty, medical students and other premed students will help you locate more resources and programs. Many students matriculating into medical school have completed some form of postbaccalaureate coursework these days. Talking to them about their academic backgrounds can guide you in the right direction.

Hopefully, these strategies will help you find the program you are looking for.  Often, it’s a matter of leaving no stone unturned and considering every possible resource.  It’s difficult to ask for help, but doing so may lead you directly to what you are seeking – and save you tons of time.

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

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:

A Second Chance to Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
Admissions Straight Talk: All Things Postbac
Who Needs a Postbac Program and Who Doesn’t

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What Are My Chances? Young Veteran Looking for Investment Banking “In” http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/10/chances-vet-u-s-college-grad-looking-investment-banking/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/10/chances-vet-u-s-college-grad-looking-investment-banking/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 16:02:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29428 This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?”  by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendation as well as an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. If […]

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This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?”  by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendation as well as an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.

If you would like Michelle to evaluate your profile at no charge and as part of this series, please provide the information requested at http://reports.accepted.com/what_are_my_chances.

PROFILE #9: Eli, Army veteran and U.S. college student looking for investment banking “in”

Watch this video on how to show leadership in your application

Where is the evidence that you take charge?

-BACKGROUND: American male who will graduate in 2016 from Baruch College. Completed eight month finance internship at VR, Inc. “a corporation engaged in the innovation, development and monetization of intellectual property.” Served two years in the Israeli Defence Force. Worked for a summer at a home for developmentally disabled adults.

Going through your profile, I feel like I’m looking at a tidy construction site with a newly laid foundation. The structure looks like it will be solid. But gaping holes have yet to be filled, raw materials yet to arrive.

So let’s talk about that foundation. It looks good. You’ve accrued a strong mix of technical and business skills at university. An internship at VR shows off your IT skills. The philosophy minor and military experience sets you up, potentially, as an insightful leader.

But where is the evidence that shows you taking charge, making an idea into a reality, or convincing a reluctant group to take on a challenge? As you have relatively little work experience, I’d have to base that judgment off your military service. By what you’ve provided on your resume, I have little to go on.

-GOALS: Sales & Trading at a bulge bracket or high end boutique firm.

This goal makes sense with your past, although an internship at a bank would be stronger than at the intellectual property firm. That’s likely why you want an MBA–to get that “in” at an investment bank.

So what do investment banks want in their new recruits?  In his how-to-book, Andrew Gutman says IB recruiters ask themselves two questions. First, would I want this person working for me? She’ll want someone who has the intellectual capacity to handle complex, fast-moving transactions, plus the physical stamina and good attitude required to put in long hours. Your grades and internship demonstrate a keen intellect. To show you’ve got the guts, bring out stories from your military experience about making tough decisions under pressure, and keeping up morale during long stretches on duty.  

The second question is: would I mind being stuck at the airport with this guy? Can you handle hours of chatting about interesting subjects, or are you a bore? Your extracurriculars on campus show that you’re social. You put down snowboarding, classical music, fitness, and paintball as interests on your resume. Make these activities come to life in your essays. Show how you’re a leader, how you challenge yourself in perfecting your skills, and how you’ve developed your interior life.

-GMAT: ??

A unique choice. You’ve decided to take the GRE, but you have yet to take the test. That’s the big gaping hole.

Ad comms decided to accept the GRE to attract non-traditional candidates from liberal arts or hard science backgrounds. You, sir, fall into the traditional pool. It’s not against the rules for you to take the GRE, but you would raise fewer eyebrows if you took the GMAT.

Seek to score 720 or above.

-GPA: 3.8 with a major in finance and two minors, CIS and Philosophy.

This is a great GPA. It puts you right near the top of the competition at elite business schools. No worries here.

-EXTRACURRICULAR: Served on the executive board of the Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society. Active Member at Baruch Hillel.

It’s difficult to decipher, from your brief descriptions, how you impacted these organizations.

Will you go down in history for the epic activities you organized, the vast network you created for yourself, or the new avenues you forged to have a real social impact on the surrounding community? In your resume you need to be much more descriptive of what you actually did. Titles are not enough.

-SCHOOLS:

I really can’t recommend any schools for you without your GMAT score. All the programs on your target list are reach choices with your profile, even if you score a 720 or above on the GMAT.

My question for you is: what will you do if you don’t get into business school right away? You’re a unique case because you’ve had military experience and you’re a fresh grad. But you’ve done little actual work in finance. You could apply right now, but you’ve got to convince me of why now is the time for you to get an MBA, instead of a couple more years out on the job.

In conclusion, the big missing piece for me is: your military experience. From my understanding, the Israeli military is much less hierarchical than the U.S. military. So you have a chance to show not only leadership, but also how you asserted your ideas, perhaps when you weren’t in the top spot and had an impact.

The pieces of your profile make sense with your ultimate goal, but start filling in those gaps.

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

Michelle Stockman Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.

 

Related Resources:

Your 3-Part Plan to Dominate the GMAT, a free webinar
• An NYU Stern Grad and Strat Consultant Helping Vets Get Into School
Two Ways to Reveal Leadership in Your Applications

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Complimentary MBA 2016 Webinar on Wednesday! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/09/complimentary-mba-2016-webinar-wednesday/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/09/complimentary-mba-2016-webinar-wednesday/#respond Mon, 09 Mar 2015 16:08:03 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29046 We’d like to remind you about Wednesday’s webinar, Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA Application, which will take place at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET (that’s on March 11th). It is essential that you attend if you are planning on applying to b-school next year. Applicants who get an early start […]

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We’d like to remind you about Wednesday’s webinar, Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA Application, which will take place at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET (that’s on March 11th). It is essential that you attend if you are planning on applying to b-school next year.

Register for the webinar!

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

Get Accepted in 2016_Register

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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So You Got Waitlisted…7 Tips to Get Off the Law School Waitlist http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/09/got-waitlisted7-tips-get-off-law-school-waitlist/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/09/got-waitlisted7-tips-get-off-law-school-waitlist/#respond Mon, 09 Mar 2015 15:25:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29394 It’s the time of year for acceptances and waitlists. What should you do if you got waitlisted at the law school of your dreams? Below are five tips that you can follow to improve your chance of getting accepted off of a law school waitlist. 1. Keep your expectations realistic. Sometimes, getting waitlisted is harder […]

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Listen to the podcast: Waitlisted! What Now?

What not to do when waitlisted: Wait!

It’s the time of year for acceptances and waitlists. What should you do if you got waitlisted at the law school of your dreams? Below are five tips that you can follow to improve your chance of getting accepted off of a law school waitlist.

1. Keep your expectations realistic. Sometimes, getting waitlisted is harder than getting rejected – you don’t know what to expect. While I believe that everyone can maximize her chances at getting accepted to a top law school, it is by no means a sure thing.

2. Carefully consider what to include in your letter. Everything you do at this point should either specifically address a weakness in your application, highlight a recent achievement not mentioned in your app, or reiterate your interest in the law school.

3. Take stock of your weaknesses. Think about what you believe the weaknesses of your application are before you take any further steps. What have you done that mitigates them?

4. Write to express your interest in the law school. You don’t want to flood the admissions office with letters or essays, but a well-written letter (sent via email) can both address your weaknesses, shine a spotlight on accomplishments, and reiterate your interest in the school. A school will likely take a second look at people who have concrete reasons to be there.

5. Be sure to only point out new information. Don’t write to the admissions office to discuss awards or honors that you left out of your original application. When you write, be sure to mention anything new that has come up since you filed your LSAC application – a new honor, a new internship, a job, a promotion, etc. All correspondence with admissions should be a timely update.

6. Also – proofread! Don’t send correspondence that’s sloppy, rambling, or filled with errors.

7. Consider transferring or taking a year off. If you didn’t get accepted to your dream school, you may want to consider starting at another school or working for a year. Sometimes, people are successful on reapplication or as a transfer application, especially if the problem is a low LSAT score.

While being waitlisted at the school of your dreams can be frustrating, remember that it is also an opportunity!

Get off that waitlist! Listen how
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:

The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success
How to Write Waitlist Letters Update
Weakness, What Weakness?

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What is a Goal? (And What is Not) http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/08/goal-not/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/08/goal-not/#respond Sun, 08 Mar 2015 15:50:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29339 Let’s start by talking about what ISN’T a goal. When an applicant says something along the lines of: “I’m interested in investment banking or consulting or marketing,” then I know there’s significant work to be done, because THIS is NOT a goal. A strong, clear MBA goal should guide your admissions research and your choice […]

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Learn more tips on how to clarify your goals.

Let’s start by talking about what ISN’T a goal. When an applicant says something along the lines of: “I’m interested in investment banking or consulting or marketing,” then I know there’s significant work to be done, because THIS is NOT a goal.

A strong, clear MBA goal should guide your admissions research and your choice of target schools. A goal is something you want to do (not just study), and for MBA admissions purposes it should relate to a specific function and ideally to an industry. For some applicants, geography is also an important element in their goal. Your goal should be based on your experience, not on television, not on what your parents/significant other or friends think you should do, and not simply on what will make you a lot of money.

I am not saying that you can’t change careers. After all, roughly 50% of MBA students are career changers. But you need to have a realistic vision of your future based on skills and character traits you have developed and based on experiences that you have had.

Let’s return to our initial point of what ISN’T an MBA goal. What’s the problem with stating that you want to go into marketing, for example? There are numerous dimensions and opportunities subsumed under the heading of “marketing,” including business development, market research, brand management, and channel management.

Do you see how general and unfocused you seem if you say your post-MBA goal is “marketing,” not to mention a goal of “marketing, investment banking, or consulting”?

On the other hand if you are a software consultant who has worked on software marketing projects or a software designer who has worked in product development and you now want to go into brand management in the software industry, your goal makes sense. It is focused. It is clear. It is an asset to you in the application process.

There is a Proverb that goes, “Without a vision, the people will perish.” The adcom readers will note the red flags when they see your lack of vision. Know where you’re going before you start packing your bags. And certainly before you start applying.

Get clear, practical guidelines for answering the MBA goals essay question. Click here to download our free report.
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Why MBA?
MBA 2016 – Ready, Set, Go!
MBA Goals 101

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4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/06/4-ways-show-youll-contribute-future/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/06/4-ways-show-youll-contribute-future/#respond Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:33:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29350 Schools want to see that the applicants will actively participate in and contribute to their student bodies and alumni communities, not to mention the greater community and society. Yet grandiose, declarative statements and promises to be a superlative do-gooder are unpersuasive. So how is an applicant to show what he or she will do in […]

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Click here to learn how to demonstrate leadership in your application

Will your past allow the adcom a peak into your future?

Schools want to see that the applicants will actively participate in and contribute to their student bodies and alumni communities, not to mention the greater community and society. Yet grandiose, declarative statements and promises to be a superlative do-gooder are unpersuasive.

So how is an applicant to show what he or she will do in the future? Point to the past. Most admission committees are firm believers that past behavior reveals abilities and interests and is a good predictor of the future.

Here are four tips to help you relay the message that you plan on achieving greatness by contributing to your school/community/world-at-large, by highlighting your impressive past.

1. Share the story of past achievements and quantify if possible the impact you had. – By showing how you’ve already contributed, you demonstrate that you have the initiative, people skills, and organizational talent to make an impact in the future.

2. Discuss skills you’ve developed that will aid to future contributions. – You can show the adcoms that you’re prepared to give back by proving that you’ve got the skills and the tools needed. Use evidence to support your skill development by talking about how you’ve worked to build your skill set, i.e. by taking a course or through work experience, etc. Analyze your success and failures (when asked for the latter) to reveal that you are a thinking, growing, dynamic individual. And when asked about failures or setbacks, discuss what you learned from the tough times. Demonstrate a growth mindset.

3. Show how your skills are transferable. – To contribute to your classmates or school, you’ll need to show how your unique talents or experiences can be shared with your classmates, professors, or work colleagues. Talk about how your skills, understanding, and ethics can impact those around you.

4. Mention how your target school will help. – Now the adcom readers know that you’ve got skills and that you’re ready to share them. Next, you need to reinforce the idea that their school is THE PLACE to accelerate your upward trajectory.

A good essay on your contributions will cover each of the above topics – what you’ve done in the past, how you’ve developed your skills, how you plan on sharing that knowledge, and how your target school will help you effect change. Remember, the past reveals much about the future, so share the story of what you’ve done and how you’ve reached this point and you’ll be well on your way to proving that you’ve got what it takes to contribute in the future.

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes: Get your free copy!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions
How to Prove Character Traits in Essays
Does Extracurricular Equal Extra Credit?

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Are You Ready to Nail the MCAT Test? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/05/ready-nail-mcat-test-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/05/ready-nail-mcat-test-2/#respond Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:21:49 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29336 Register for our second presentation of The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam for actionable, confidence-boosting MCAT strategies that will provide you with an outstanding MCAT game plan! (We’ll provide instructions for registering for the test after you register for the webinar so you can sign up for both right away.) There will be new […]

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Register for our second presentation of The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam for actionable, confidence-boosting MCAT strategies that will provide you with an outstanding MCAT game plan! (We’ll provide instructions for registering for the test after you register for the webinar so you can sign up for both right away.)

Click here to register for the webinar!

There will be new MCAT problems discussed, so even if you attended the last webinar, it will be worthwhile to drop by for this one as well.

Click here to reserve your spot for the webinar!

Details:

Date: March 24, 2015

Time: 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST

Extras: During the webinar, two more lucky attendees will win a set of Next Step strategy and practice MCAT books or a three-practice test bundle for the 2015 MCAT. Don’t miss out!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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An Inside Look at the Medical School Journey http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/04/inside-look-medical-school-journey/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/04/inside-look-medical-school-journey/#respond Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:16:10 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29316 If you are in med school now, or will be one day, there is someone we’d like you to meet. Listen to the full recording of our talk with Dr. Andrew Colucci – BU’s School of Medicine grad, radiology resident, teaching fellow at Harvard Medical School, and an Accepted medical school admissions consultant – for […]

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Listen to the podcast!If you are in med school now, or will be one day, there is someone we’d like you to meet.

Listen to the full recording of our talk with Dr. Andrew Colucci – BU’s School of Medicine grad, radiology resident, teaching fellow at Harvard Medical School, and an Accepted medical school admissions consultant – for an inside look at med school and the med school admissions process.

00:01:19 – Featured Applicant Question: What should I do while waiting to hear answers from the medical schools I applied to?

00:04:09 – Introducing Dr. Colucci.

00:04:43 – The most difficult aspect of the med school admissions process. (And some solutions.)

00:09:46 – How many medical schools it makes sense to apply to.

00:11:47 – Personal statement, experiences section, personal comments section…  Which experiences should go where?

00:13:22 – The biggest surprise in store for M1s.

00:15:05 – A word about the Boston University School of Medicine and what makes it unique.

00:16:42 – The view of med school education from Google Earth.

00:19:22 – A transitional year between medical school and residency: what and why.

00:21:27 – Interview advice for preparing and day-of.

00:24:32 – Advice for M3s thinking about next year’s Residency Match.

00:26:51 – Drew’s med school experience and accidental stumble into radiation.

00:29:25 – How does a med student drinking from the fire-hose have time to seek out the clinical opportunities?

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

Related Resources:

Drew’s Bio
9 Keys to Postbac Acceptance in 2015
Navigating the Med School Maze
Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success
A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of  Applying to Postbac Programs
The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Postbaccalaureate Programs

 Related Shows:

• All Things Postbac
Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective
Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro
• MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and #MCAT2015

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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

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Hone Your MBA Goals [Video] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/04/hone-mba-goals-video/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/04/hone-mba-goals-video/#respond Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:27:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29157 A solid MBA goal should drive many of the decisions surrounding your business school application and education. In this video, Linda Abraham explores the essential components of a compelling MBA goal and shares a few tips on how to develop it. By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for […]

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solid MBA goal should drive many of the decisions surrounding your business school application and education.

In this video, Linda Abraham explores the essential components of a compelling MBA goal and shares a few tips on how to develop it.

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

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

Related Resources:

Why MBA? 
• Your MBA Goals Essay: Get Ready, Get Set, THINK!
Getting Your MBA Goals in Shape

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Why Extracurriculars Activities Make a Difference http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/03/extracurriculars-activities-make-difference/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/03/extracurriculars-activities-make-difference/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:02:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28957 Don’t underestimate the value of extracurricular activities in your b-school application! Use the following Q&A to help you prioritize and then write about your extracurricular activities. What are extracurricular activities? An extracurricular activity is a non-academic, non-professional activity that you participate in. These activities include hobbies, sports, the arts, and volunteering or community service. Why […]

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Click here for MBA Admissions 101

Your hobby may be your ticket to acceptance

Don’t underestimate the value of extracurricular activities in your b-school application! Use the following Q&A to help you prioritize and then write about your extracurricular activities.

What are extracurricular activities?

An extracurricular activity is a non-academic, non-professional activity that you participate in. These activities include hobbies, sports, the arts, and volunteering or community service.

Why are extracurriculars important?

Extracurricular activities play a critical role in your MBA application. Here are five reasons why:

1. Extracurricular activities add color and texture to an otherwise one-dimensional application. They help the adcom get to know YOU – not just the you that works nine to five (or six to ten) crunching numbers at the desk, but the YOU that also has ten state-wide blue ribbons in figure skating or that has quilted the largest quilt east of the Mississippi with the help of your town’s local special ed school.

2. Extracurricular activities prove your commitment. You’ve taught piano (pro bono) to the same kid for eight years straight? You must be a committed, reliable, and dependable person. Admissions committees like that.

3. Extracurriculars demonstrate creativity and passion. Extracurricular or volunteer commitments don’t need to be typical soup kitchen or Big Brother/Big Sister experiences, although those are valuable too. Think beyond run-of-the-mill examples to other things you’ve done – like all those winter breaks you spent running a camp for your autistic baby brother and two other kids from the neighborhood, or that summer you traveled to India to help run a vaccination clinic. These examples don’t specifically relate to business, but creativity and passion can easily be seen in each experience. If you share your passions, you’ll inspire your readers!

4. Extracurricular activities allow you to demonstrate initiative, as well as leadership and organizational skills. Let’s look back at our examples from above and ask a few questions: What steps did you take to set up your backyard camp? Whose idea was it? What sorts of activities did you plan and execute with the kids? And about the clinic in India: What role did you play in running the vaccination clinic? Did you just sit around and do what you were told to do? Or did you take initiative to present your own organizational ideas? Did you fund raise? Get others to commit too? In both of these cases, it shouldn’t be hard to demonstrate that you are the type of thoughtful, inspirational leader who transforms an idea into reality.

5. Extracurricular activities can tip the scale in your favor when you’re up against an otherwise equally competitive candidate. Extracurricular activities and community service can make the difference between acceptance and rejection when adcoms are sizing up two applicants with similar competitiveness. A fundamental assumption of admission is that past behavior predicts future behavior. Admissions committees are proud of their schools and know that to thrive, these communities constantly need new, active, involved members. Furthermore, they want people who will also be involved as alumni and community leaders after business school. If two applicants have the same scores, equally persuasive essays, impressive letters of rec, and similar professional experience, AND if there’s only one more seat to be filled, then the adcom members will choose the applicant who has served her community or shown commitment, leadership, and all those other good things we’ve discussed above, through an extracurricular activity, over the guy who’s focused only on furthering his career.

What should you do if you don’t have long-term extracurricular or volunteer commitments?

This is a common question I’m asked, and a good one. If you don’t have much (or any) extracurriculars to write about, then it is better to start an activity, pick up a new hobby, or resume participation in a past activity or hobby just before applying to b-school so that you have something to write? Will the adcom view this as a shallow or phony move? Is it better to not mention any extracurriculars and hope that the adcoms just don’t notice, rather than highlight the fact that you just a few, or none at all, worth mentioning?

My Answer: You should start now! Here are four reasons why:

1. A little volunteering or a new extracurricular activity is better than no volunteering/extracurriculars at all. The impact you can make in even a short period of time can be great. Involvement in an extracurricular activity or in community service can dramatically affect you as a person, and therefore can significantly affect your MBA candidacy as well.

2. A little commitment is better than no commitment at all. Obviously a commitment that’s lasted only a couple of months will not be as effective as one that’s lasted years, but it’s still better than no commitment at all. Think of it this way: If you don’t show that you’ve been committed to a non-academic, non-professional activity, then the adcom may think that you’re incapable of doing so.

3. Even a little extracurricular activity will liven up a flat application. See #1 in the first list. You don’t want to come off as a workaholic who has no time or interest in anything non-work related. Demonstrate your humanity and liven up your application – a little could go a long way.

4. What if you’re waitlisted or you need to reapply? Obviously we hope for the best, but it doesn’t hurt to think ahead and make room for Plan B, which is: You may be waitlisted. You may need to reapply. If yes, then won’t you be glad that you started your extracurricular/volunteer experience as early as you did? What looked like a brief volunteer encounter during your first application effort now looks like an impressive long-term experience. By now your endeavor is more impressive and has had a greater impact – on you and on others. The same goes for people who plan on applying this year, start volunteering, and then change their minds to apply next year.

So, to sum up: If you’re not already involved in an extracurricular activity, take the time NOW to find an activity that you feel passionate about. Then, follow your passions and DO something.

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions
How to Prove Character Traits in Your Application Essays
4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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Who Needs a Postbac Program and Who Doesn’t http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/03/needs-postbac-program-doesnt/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/03/needs-postbac-program-doesnt/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:17:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29142 There are several critical areas of the application that you as an applicant have the power to improve.  If you want to become a more competitive applicant to medical school, there are many different types of postbac programs that can help you.  It’s simply a matter of determining where you need support and identifying the […]

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Want more postbac info? Listen to this podcast!

Which Postbac route will lead you to your med school acceptance?

There are several critical areas of the application that you as an applicant have the power to improve.  If you want to become a more competitive applicant to medical school, there are many different types of postbac programs that can help you.  It’s simply a matter of determining where you need support and identifying the types of programs that will enable you to move forward in your education.

1. Low GPA – If you have a GPA that is below a 3.0, you may consider single focus postbac programs that will allow you to take a full course load of upper division science courses.  These programs often have an academic advisor who will help you select classes and determine the strongest course combinations.  Some programs even have test banks.  The main focus of these programs is improving your GPA.

2. Low GPA and Weak Activities – When reviewing your CV/resume, how many activities do you have listed?  Have you covered the critical areas of:

• Clinical experience

• Community Service

Leadership

• Research (optional for most medical schools)

If you do not have any long term activities or have not covered the critical areas mentioned above, then dual focus programs may be a way for you to improve your GPA while strengthening the activities section of your application.  Some of these programs have established volunteer or research programs.  You will not have to waste any time submitting applications or looking for experience in these areas once you are accepted into their program.  They will help you get impressive experience, often while providing academic support in your coursework.  Multi-tasking in a program like this can prove to selection committees that you are indeed ready to take on the responsibilities of medical school.

3. Low GPA and Low MCAT (below a 25) – If you need to improve these areas, a multi-focus program could be your best option.  They often offer a summer program or support in preparing for the MCAT.  Many of these programs encourage students to focus only on academics during the school year but encourage participation in volunteer work or research during the breaks and may even offer direct connections to opportunities on their undergraduate and/or medical school campus.  They provide the most comprehensive support in all areas of the application—before and during the process of applying.

If you are having issues in the area of the MCAT, activities or application essays, there is no need to apply to postbac programs.

Most people have difficulty taking the MCAT when they are working full time, involved in other activities and/or taking classes.  Use a test prep program and clear your schedule.  If you need to bolster your activities, look for meaningful activities that you can put a lot of time into to demonstrate your interest and improve your total number of hours.  For assistance with application materials or essays, consider working with professional editors and consultants like those of us at accepted.com to submit exceptional applications.

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

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:

• A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
• Admissions Straight Talk: All Things Postbac
• Five Tips to Help You Get Accepted into a Postbac Program

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Can You Keep a Secret? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/02/can-keep-secret/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/02/can-keep-secret/#respond Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:28:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29051 Tune in for our upcoming webinar to get the keys that will unlock the secrets to postbac admissions success. During the webinar, 9 Keys to Postbac Acceptance in 2015, Accepted consultant Alicia McNease Nimonkar will discuss… • How a postbaccalaureate program can launch your medical career. • Tips for identifying and selecting the best postbac […]

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Postbac CoverTune in for our upcoming webinar to get the keys that will unlock the secrets to postbac admissions success.

During the webinar, 9 Keys to Postbac Acceptance in 2015, Accepted consultant Alicia McNease Nimonkar will discuss…

• How a postbaccalaureate program can launch your medical career.

• Tips for identifying and selecting the best postbac program for you.

• Advice on how to strengthen your candidacy and submit a solid postbac application.

Alicia will also leave time at the end of the webinar to answer your questions.

The webinar will air live on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST. Register now to reserve your spot!

Click Here to Save Your Spot!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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MBA 2016 – READY, SET, GO! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/02/mba-2016-ready-set-go/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/02/mba-2016-ready-set-go/#respond Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:48:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29173 It’s not even spring yet. So why am I nagging you to get moving on your MBA application prep? Not just because those Round 1 deadlines creep up with wicked stealth and speed. But also because there is so much you can still do between now and then to improve your candidacy (sometimes a lot, […]

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Download: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply

Deadlines are sooner than you think. Are you prepared?

It’s not even spring yet. So why am I nagging you to get moving on your MBA application prep?

Not just because those Round 1 deadlines creep up with wicked stealth and speed. But also because there is so much you can still do between now and then to improve your candidacy (sometimes a lot, sometimes on the margins, but margins matter). Also, preparing now will enable you to apply to more programs earlier, and therefore to adjust strategy in Round 2 if necessary.

So, what should you be doing NOW?

First, two obvious things.

GMAT: I’ve seen too many people leave the GMAT till late summer or early fall, get a lower score than they expect, and have to recalculate their plans. If you don’t have a GMAT score yet, NOW is the time to prepare and take the GMAT, ideally by end of spring. Then, if your score isn’t realistic for your schools of choice, you have time to retake the test, reconsider your target schools, or both. And you will have it behind you when you focus on the applications.

SCHOOL RESEARCH: It’s best to visit schools when classes are in session. So NOW is the ideal time to research schools for a preliminary list. I developed an easy-to-use resource, Best MBA Programs, A Guide to Selecting the Right One, to walk you through this process. This effort will also get you thinking about your profile strategically.

Then there are the less obvious things.

ACADEMIC RECORD: Is your academic record a potential weakness? There is time (not much), NOW, to take a relevant course or two, complete it, and have an A or two to report to the adcom as evidence of your ability to excel academically.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Not sure whom to ask for recommendations? Sort it out NOW, while there’s time to weigh the pros and cons of various options, to possibly broach the issue (directly or indirectly) with people, and adapt as needed. You do know whom you’ll ask? NOW is time to enhance your positive visibility to them, so they can’t help but write a scintillating letter.

LEADERSHIP: You can improve – deepen, broaden, refine – your leadership NOW and every day before your application. Whether or not you have a formal leadership role, you can always find ways to exercise informal leadership. And you can’t have too much leadership in an MBA application. If there isn’t space to write about it in essays, portray it in your resume.

GOALS: Naturally, since you’re planning to apply for an MBA, you know what your goals are. But what are you going to say about them of interest? About your planned industry, company, function? Read. Books, journals, company reports, not just the WSJ. And do informational interviews (use your undergrad alumni network). An interview needn’t be longer than 10 minutes with two good questions to be illuminating! Interesting, informed perspective on your goals will make your essay jump out from the sea of merely competent essays. But do this research NOW, to digest and integrate it well.

RESUME: NOW is also the perfect time to prepare or adapt your resume for business school. You can get it at least 95% done, and adjust as needed for any new developments later. This way, if you have a chance to visit or school or meet with an adcom member earlier than you planned, you’re ready.

Six months and counting to round 1 deadlines…

Download your free copy of Navigating the MBA Maze!

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:

MBA Action Plan: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply
Best MBA Programs, A Guide to Selecting the Right One
5 Tips to Assess Your MBA Profile

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3 Tips for Parents of Grad School Applicants http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/3-tips-parents-grad-school-applicants/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/3-tips-parents-grad-school-applicants/#respond Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:22:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28344 I’ve been working in graduate admissions for almost 20 years so I have witnessed this trend firsthand: Parents are playing a much larger role in the application process these days than they used to. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – parents can provide a lot of much-needed support (financial, practical, emotional) for their kids […]

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Download Get Your Game on Special Report

Make sure your child’s in the driver’s seat

I’ve been working in graduate admissions for almost 20 years so I have witnessed this trend firsthand: Parents are playing a much larger role in the application process these days than they used to.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – parents can provide a lot of much-needed support (financial, practical, emotional) for their kids during the admissions process; but I cringe when I see parents overstepping their bounds, attempting to control their children’s actions and outcomes.

How much involvement is TOO MUCH involvement for parents of applicants? Check out these 3 tips:

• Make Sure Your Child’s in the Driver’s Seat. – When you take the lead in the admissions process, you’re essentially telling your child: “I don’t think you have what it takes to manage this process yourself.” And what you’re telling the school is: “My kid isn’t competent or ambitious enough to apply to school himself.” You can help your child apply, surely, but make sure that’s what you’re doing – helping them, and not the other way around.

• Your Child’s Voice Should be the Sole Voice of this Operation. – All communication with the school should be between your child – not you, the parent – and the school. Likewise, the voice your child uses to write her application essays should be her voice – and not yours. And it should go without saying that this advice relates to interviews as well. Help, guide, coach, and edit, but please never speak for your child.

• Help Your Child Deal with Disappointment. – Be it a rejection or a poor score, a parent needs to understand the role they play here. First, your child is the one experiencing this distress, not you. By showing your disappointment, you will only make your child feel worse, not to mention potentially preventing your child from continuing to move forward. Instead, allow your child time to express disappointment, provide the appropriate amount of comfort (you know your child best), and then encourage your child to persevere.  Suggest that your applicant explore alternatives and examine the factors he or she can change to improve the outcome in the future. Play the role of the motivational coach; don’t play the blame game.

Not sure you can effectively guide your child through the grad school admissions process (in a balanced, non-pushy way of course)? Browse our catalog of services to access professional guidance today!

Get Your Game On: Free Special Report

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

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on Your Grad School Statement of Purpose
• The Biggest Application Essay Mistake
•  Admissions Tip: BE YOURSELF!

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IV With an Overrepresented Minority MIT Sloan Admit! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/iv-overrepresented-minority-mit-sloan-admit/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/iv-overrepresented-minority-mit-sloan-admit/#respond Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:02:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29082 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, “John Thunder”… Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your […]

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Click here to download "MBA Admissions: A-Z"

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, “John Thunder”…

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

John: I’m from the midwest and went to an Ivy League to study economics and mathematics. I was a former investment banker and currently work in investment management.

Accepted: Congrats on your recent acceptance! Can you tell us where you applied and where you got accepted/rejected/waitlisted?

John: I got accepted at Sloan. Waitlisted at Wharton and Booth. Rejected at Kellogg/HBS/Stanford GSB.

Accepted: And if you get more acceptances from the waitlists, how will you decide where to go?

John: I’m fortunate to receive an acceptance to one of my preferred schools. If I get off the waitlist at other schools, maybe I will reconsider.

Accepted: Can you share some admissions tips as an “overrepresented minority”? How would you advise others who are trying to stand out from the crowd?

John: This is the tough question. If I had to re-do my 2-3 year plan for MBA, I would do 1 year of international development in the “motherland” and/or get involved with organizations in those countries. I did not do anything different to standout, except I demonstrated that sure I have similar stats and background to others but coworkers ranked me as the top analyst each year out of the whole class. Instead of thinking about other “Asians,” I saw my application holistically with the applicant group.

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

John: This is a stressful process. I took my GMAT in Fall 2013 to apply for Class of 2017. Get started early and have set goals. If you are targeting HBS/Stanford only, I recommend applying to only one of those round 1 and the other round 2 and go all-out to visit and hustle. I’ve seen success from those who did that.

Accepted: What is your post-MBA plan? 

John: Finance has lost its luster. Please hire me Google.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When and why did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience? 

John: Kudos to the community created at GMATClub. I used it religiously to study for my GMATs. I just wanted to give back to that community. I was stressed out throughout the whole application process and it was helpful to see other applicants’ experiences. It’s important to pay-it-forward, and that’s what it’s about in business school.

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

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

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Navigate the MBA Maze
GMAT 101
Waitlisted! What Now

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How to Get Accepted in 2016: FREE WEBINAR! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/27/get-accepted-2016-free-webinar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/27/get-accepted-2016-free-webinar/#respond Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:25:10 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29044 That’s right – we’re already talking about 2016 MBA applications! You may feel like you’ve got loads of time, but believe me…you’ve got loads to do!  We’d like to help you start out on the right foot by inviting you to our upcoming live webinar, Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA […]

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That’s right – we’re already talking about 2016 MBA applications! You may feel like you’ve got loads of time, but believe me…you’ve got loads to do! 

Get_Accepted_FEB2015

We’d like to help you start out on the right foot by inviting you to our upcoming live webinar, Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA Application, in which Linda Abraham, Accepetd.com CEO & Founder, will outline the steps you can take NOW to increase your chances of a successful application next year.

Let me repeat this point: It’s NOT TOO EARLY to get started!

Remember, the early bird gets the worm – those who are prepared to hit the ground running once those apps are released are the ones who will stand a better shot at getting accepted.

Get Accepted in 2016_Register

WEBINAR DETAILS:

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET

(Spaces tend to fill up quickly, so grab your spot now!)

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Moving Forward After Medical School Rejection http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/26/move-forward-receiving-rejections-med-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/26/move-forward-receiving-rejections-med-schools/#respond Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:45:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29037 It is devastating to receive a rejection.  We actually experience physical pain.  The same parts of the brain that are activated when we are kicked or punched light up when we experience rejection.  Given the very real physical and emotional pain of rejection, as anyone who has been through it before can attest, there are […]

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Click here to download the 6 Tips For Success for the Medical School Reapplicant!

Don’t let that rejection letter crumple your dreams of becoming a doctor!

It is devastating to receive a rejection.  We actually experience physical pain.  The same parts of the brain that are activated when we are kicked or punched light up when we experience rejection.  Given the very real physical and emotional pain of rejection, as anyone who has been through it before can attest, there are some steps that you can take to come out of the experience with greater insight and a stronger strategy:

1. Recognize that everyone experiences rejection in the same way. You are not alone. Thousands of people are rejected from medical school every year. We all experience rejection the same way. What differentiates us is how each person reacts to it. Repressing your feelings or avoiding addressing the impact can have the most negative consequences. Using the experience to observe your emotions and learn from them can be powerful and constructive. You can gain valuable insight on what you need to do to process the feelings in actively deciding to move forward, when you are ready.

2. Take some time to grieve. Be gentle with yourself. Take some personal time by taking a break or participating in the activities that will allow you to engage in some self reflection.  By learning what works for you, in the future, you can more quickly recover from similar set-backs because they are inevitable in life. For some people, a meditation retreat will allow them to recharge and for others a mission trip to another country will help them refocus. For some, maybe all you’ll need is a good walk followed by a cup of tea.

Consider all the options and the level of introspection that will suit your preferences. Try one and then another, until you find what works best for you. Essentially, you are grieving the loss of an opportunity. You may experience the full spectrum of emotions that are associated with the grieving process. It can be useful to ask for help or even consider professional counseling if you are getting stuck in any one particular stage.

3. Decide what is important to you. After you’ve had time to grieve—the amount of time required will vary from person to person—you can sit down and journal or make a list of your goals.  After reassessing what is important to you, you can let go of any of the negative emotions attached to the experience of rejection and actively decide to move on—taking with you any useful information that you learned about yourself and the process of applying. Enormous wisdom can be gained from these kinds of destabilizing events. You get the chance to consciously rebuild by integrating the experience into your identity and deciding the best way to move forward.

4. Select a strategy in moving forward. You have lots and lots of options, if you allow yourself to be open to the myriad of possibilities that exist. Be strategic and thorough in your examination of the pathways open to you. Talk to other people about your experience and ask about theirs. Do not leave any stone unturned. If the experience only makes you more determined to go into medicine, get feedback on your application. Talk to pre-health advisors. Contact professional admissions consultants; we here at Accepted are available to help you. Critically evaluate your application and how to improve as much as you can before reapplying. Or if you are not ready to reapply, begin exploring the multitude of careers in healthcare that do not require a medical degree or take a gap year or two. You have the power to mediate your experience and to make it as exciting as you want it to be!

Download Medical School Reapplicant Tips for Succcess

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:

• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success
Help, I Was Rejected by All the Medical Schools I Applied To!
• The Dreaded Med School Rejection: What now?

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4 Qualities Top MBA Programs Seek http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/26/4-qualities-top-mba-programs-seek/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/26/4-qualities-top-mba-programs-seek/#respond Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:08:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28050 There are four main qualities that top b-schools look for when reviewing MBA applications. If you’re aiming for the top 10, then you’ll want to make sure not only that you possess these qualities, but that you’ve highlighted them in your application. • Problem Solving Skills – This is probably the most important quality, at least initially. Schools […]

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Don't think your application is good enough?  We can help!

Does your application highlight the qualities that top b-schools are looking for?

There are four main qualities that top b-schools look for when reviewing MBA applications. If you’re aiming for the top 10, then you’ll want to make sure not only that you possess these qualities, but that you’ve highlighted them in your application.

 Problem Solving Skills – This is probably the most important quality, at least initially. Schools want the types of students that exclusive consulting firms like McKinsey would take interest in, and that type of student is an expert problem solver. Everyone working in firms like McKinsey needs to be adept at solving a range of “problems” – top schools recognize this and seek out students who would eventually be an excellent fit at these top firms.

• Drive/Ambition – Applicants must show evidence of longstanding drive for success in their applications, resumes, and interviews. Did you push yourself to succeed inside and outside the classroom in college? Do you have an ambitious vision for your career path? B-schools want students who will succeed in the business world once they graduate – if you prove that you have drive/ambition, then you’ll stand out as someone who they want in their classrooms, and beyond.

• Interpersonal Impact – “Brains on a stick” just won’t cut it at business school and then later on in the business world. You also need to be dynamic and likable. You need to be able to work well on a team and gain the respect of your teammates, not to mention later on, your employers and employees. You can show the adcoms your interpersonal impact by highlighting your involvement in teams at work as well as in clubs, sports, or other socially driven activities. Additionally, choose recommenders who know you well and who will attest to this attribute. 

• Leadership/Management Capabilities – Demonstrating general interpersonal impact isn’t enough: top candidates need to show strong evidence of leadership experience and potential. Did you take on leadership positions in clubs, sports teams, and service organizations? You need to express that you are the type of person who will earn the respect of those around you so that they’ll be eager to follow your lead. In your application, resume, and interview, come up with concrete examples that show how you wielded authority with skill and integrity.

Do you need help highlighting these essential qualities in your MBA application? We’re here to help! Contact us so we can provide the one-on-one counseling you need to put together the highest-impact b-school application.
The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes: Get your free copy!Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

5 Ways to Make B-Schools love you – free webinar
• Leadership in Admissions
How to Prove Character Traits in Essays

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An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/25/hbs-entrepreneur-promoting-career-flexibility/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/25/hbs-entrepreneur-promoting-career-flexibility/#respond Wed, 25 Feb 2015 17:31:10 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29115 Check out our interview with HBS alum and entrepreneur Allison O'Kelly exploring the Flex Movement, the value of b-school for entrepreneurs, HBS, and more.

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Click here to listen to our conversation with Allison O'KellyPeople looking for traditional 9 to 5 desk jobs almost seem to be the exception in 2015. HBS grad and entrepreneur Allison O’Kelly is all for the change.

Want to know more? Listen to the full recording of our talk with Allison, Founder/CEO of Mom Corps and champion of the Flexibility Movement.

00:01:31 – Introducing Allison O’Kelly and Mom Corps.

00:04:13 – The value of the “traditional route” of spending a few years in the workforce before launching a startup.

00:05:41 – How an I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-life moment shaped Allison’s future.

00:07:27 – Pros and cons of “staffing up” your small business.

00:10:37 – How helpful is b-school for an entrepreneur?

00:16:10 – What people simply get wrong about Harvard Business School.

00:17:46 –The “flexibility movement” – beneficial for employers and employees.

00:20:52 – Want to join the flex movement? Here’s what you need to do.

00:24:23 – Thoughts on enhancing your profile for HBS admissions.

00:26:56 – Advice for future entrepreneurs. (And a word to those who “don’t have it in their blood.”)

00:29:14 – What the future holds for Mom Corps.

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

Related Links:

Mom Corps

Related Shows:

• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup Street
• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
Valentine’s Day, Economics, and Stanford GSB
• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart
• Life as an HBS MBA Student
MBA Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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Check out our free webinar: Get Accepted to Harvard Business School!

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4 Things Your Medical School Application Needs to Reveal http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/24/4-things-medical-school-application-needs-reveal/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/24/4-things-medical-school-application-needs-reveal/#respond Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:15:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28769 Your med school application is your sales pitch. If after reading your app, the adcom isn’t interested in hearing more from you, then you haven’t done an adequate job selling yourself. There are FOUR things you need to reveal in your application if you want to convince the admissions committee that you’re worth investing in. […]

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Click here for more med school tips

Will your application grab the adcom’s attention?

Your med school application is your sales pitch. If after reading your app, the adcom isn’t interested in hearing more from you, then you haven’t done an adequate job selling yourself.

There are FOUR things you need to reveal in your application if you want to convince the admissions committee that you’re worth investing in.

Your medical school application MUST:

1. Show you can do the work: High test scores, a solid transcript, and a good sampling of clinical work/research will prove to the adcom that you’ve got the brains and the know-how to succeed.

2. Share mission of the school: You must show your commitment to diversity, to working in undeserved communities, to holistic healing, to osteopathy, etc. – if your target school focuses on any of the above (or other areas), then it would do your application good to indicate that those factors are important to you as well.

3. Will make a good physician: Your letters of recommendation will come into play here. You need strong voices to vouch for your abilities and passion to become a physician. The more experience you have in the field here, the better.

4. Will contribute to your school community and medical profession: A foundation of admissions is the belief that “Past behavior predicts future behavior.” Schools want to admit students who will be active participants in their community, and alumni who will make them proud. Show that you have been active in the past and that you have revealed the qualities medical schools value to persuade them you have what they seek.

If you’ve been involved in extracurriculars, contributed to your school or local community, and/or volunteered, then you’ll want to include this information in your application. Similarly, if you’ve participated in important medical research and can show that you’re passionate about continuing to contribute to medical advancements, then this should be explained in your app as well.

If your pitch is weak in even ONE of the above four areas, then it’s likely that the adcom readers will turn you down and move on to the next applicant on their list.

Do you need help strengthening your pitch? Check out our medical school admissions services here.
Download your free copy of 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Application Essays!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You Must Know
5 Reasons Why Med Applicants Should Volunteer
Med School Student Interviews

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Putting Your GMAT Game Plan in Action http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/24/putting-gmat-game-plan-action/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/24/putting-gmat-game-plan-action/#respond Tue, 24 Feb 2015 16:50:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28718 Are you ready to nail the GMAT? You will be once you finish watching the recording of last week’s webinar, Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GMAT. Then you can put your prep plan into action. View Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GMAT for actionable, confidence-boosting GMAT strategies that will provide you […]

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Are you ready to nail the GMAT?

You will be once you finish watching the recording of last week’s webinar, Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GMAT. Then you can put your prep plan into action.

Click here to view the webinar!

View Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GMAT for actionable, confidence-boosting GMAT strategies that will provide you with an outstanding GMAT game plan!

Click here to watch the recording!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Narrative Medicine, Medical Humanities & Spiritual Care [Admitted Student IV] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/23/narrative-medicine-medical-humanities-spiritual-care-admitted-student-iv/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/23/narrative-medicine-medical-humanities-spiritual-care-admitted-student-iv/#respond Mon, 23 Feb 2015 17:16:56 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29007 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 Vaidehi Mujumdar… Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you […]

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Click here for more med school applicant interviews

Vaidehi Mujumdar (Photo credit: Hebah Khan – hebankhan.com)

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 Vaidehi Mujumdar…

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?

Vaidehi: I’m currently living in New York City, but I was born in India, moved to Southern California at age three and then moved to Northern Virginia, where I spent most of my childhood. I graduated from Dartmouth College in 2013 with a double major in Biology and Anthropology modified with Ethics.

I love/hate this question because I have a long list of books and quotes I keep in a notebook to share with people. Just to list some titles I really love: Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things; The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver; The Red Tent by Anita Diamant; Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC by husband and wife virus hunters Joseph B. McCormick and Susan Fisher-Hoch; The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman; and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Recently, I have loved reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah and Atul Gawande’s newest book, Being Mortal.

Accepted: Congratulations on your multiple acceptances to med school! Where will you be attending this Fall?

Vaidehi: I am actually still deciding between a few schools and it’s actually a lot harder than I thought it would be to make a decision. I think going to re-visit weekends and getting a better sense of the community, location, and fit will be really important for me. I am grateful that I have until April to figure it out and some part of me knows that it will end up being one of those decisions that starts with a large pro/con list but then ends up being made based on “feeling” – where I feel I can be successful and happy to pursue interdisciplinary interests in medicine.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your experience at the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN)? What do you do there? How will this experience play into your future as a physician?

Vaidehi: Dartmouth has a Post-Graduate Fellowship Program for students interested in working in the non-profit sector. My fellowship was at an organization called HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, an organization that provides compassionate spiritual care to healthcare organizations and individuals through research, education, and clinical services. Spiritual care is interesting in that it is not religion or specific to a denomination. We all need spiritual care as patients and as healthcare providers to make meaning of lived experiences.

One of my main responsibilities at HCCN was to co-managing two hospital pilot programs based in Harlem and Queens. These programs utilized chaplains in providing spiritual care interventions to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions for Medicare patients 65+. There was a lot of great quantitative and ethnographic data gathered from this study and I know the model we used can be built upon in the future. I really believe that integrating chaplains in the healthcare team can help improve patient outcomes. Having seen the difference chaplain and spiritual care has on patient satisfaction and health outcomes, I know I will be mindful as a physician in utilizing spiritual care as a possible tool a health care organization can provide for a patient.

Accepted: Why did you decide to take this time off after graduating college? Do you think you made the right decision?

Vaidehi: I grappled a lot in college if I was going to take time off and actually decided to do it so that I could double major, go abroad to do my anthropology thesis research, and actually also devote time to write a thesis. I absolutely believe I made the right decision. Initially, my plans to take a gap year(s) was very practical and had to do with timing in my undergraduate studies, taking the MCAT, and wanting to do all of those things well.

However, at the end of my first gap year, I realized how important it was for personal growth and just being able to have the time to explore myself, my passion for writing and journalism, and working full-time in one of the craziest city’s I have ever lived in. I really believe having this time will make me a better student in medical school.

I found on the interview trail that the people who were a couple years out of undergraduate were usually the ones who had a story to tell and an enthusiasm for getting back into school. I also feel like managing work-life balance and priorities is extremely important and it’s not something that I really considered so much in undergrad. If I could back and tell my younger self circa my sophomore year of college when I was struggling with how I could fit in everything I wanted to do academically and personally, I would definitely say, “Stop stressing about fitting it all in a set number of years just because that’s what you expected the plan to be.” Plans change. Flexibility and adaptability are important, and taking the time during gap years to enrich yourself is invaluable.

Through my 2 gap years, I have had the opportunity to pursue journalism and writing in New York City as well as health advocacy work and I feel like I have a better grasp of what I want to do in the medical field as a physician.

What MCAT Score Will Get You Into Med School?Accepted: Can you talk about your interest in medical humanities and spiritual care research? 

Vaidehi: My interest in the medical humanities I believe really started my junior/senior year of college when I wrote a thesis in socio-cultural anthropology and ramped up a lot during my gaps years when I started freelance writing for several platforms focused on self-care, trauma, women’s health in minority communities, and exploring narrative medicine.

I believe the medical humanities and spiritual care provide us with a holistic look at both individual and population levels that can help in creating effective solutions. For example, I am interested in conducting research on chronic endocrine and reproductive diseases in women. Narrative medicine as a subset of the medical humanities allows me to gather illness stories told by women about their lived experiences with these chronic problems. To me, medicine is about stories and through my experiences working in this realm, I have also realized how powerful stories are to healing.

On the other hand, spiritual care research, through the use of mindfulness based stress reduction, can help me provide data on if these techniques are useful in improving overall well-being and health. Along with allopathic medical training and an interest and understanding of medical humanities and spiritual care, I believe I am better equipped to be a physician who practices patient-centered care.

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

Vaidehi: The most challenging part of this process is keeping a positive attitude through what is a long process. At first, the process seems like a bunch of steps that if you do correctly, you’ll be fine. So you do the pre-reqs, the MCAT prep, the application writing, filling out secondaries, the interviewing, and then you wait. And for someone who works on patience everyday, waiting was my biggest challenge and you can drive yourself bonkers if you keep focusing on dates, interviews, and who’s doing what.

At some point you just have to let go and say you put everything you could out there in the best way you could and now the rest is not in your hands. Giving up that control will surprise you and it will definitely help with the waiting process.

The other challenging aspect of the process for me was coming up with a school list. Now almost done with the process, I have to say it is really important to come up with a list that is thoughtful and broad. I picked a range of schools based on statistics, but also focused on fit depending on their strengths/weakness. I believe it made a big difference in when and how many interviews I received.

Accepted: Do you have any additional tips for our med school applicants?

Vaidehi: Apply early. Everyone says this, but you have no idea how much of difference it makes when you’ve interviewed early in the cycle and have acceptances in the Fall. It sets you up for a less stressful cycle and the ability to relax as much as you can while waiting to hear back from other places.

Have multiple people read your personal statement and even some of the secondary essays that you may reuse for schools. It’s really important to get different viewpoints, while also remembering that at the end of the day it’s your story. I went through many drafts of my statement and through the revising process I was able to see how others reading my ideas were understanding and reacting to them. That’s important because admissions committees are made up of different people and therefore you want to create a personal narrative, while making it accessible and clear for anyone to read. Anyone reading your essay(s) without reading anything else in your application should know who you are, what experiences have brought you to choosing medicine, and why you are a good fit for this profession. I can’t stress how important I feel the personal narrative and the writing you do for your AMCAS and secondaries is in setting you apart from all the other qualified applicants.

I know people say this a lot, but be yourself at interviews. Be professional, but don’t try to fit yourself into what you think the interviewer wants or what you think the school is looking for. Wield your differences, because we all have them, as positives and use them to connect with your interviewer. The school has already read your AMCAS and believes that you have portrayed yourself effectively in your written communication to them. The interview is all about making an authentic human connection, which is not only important for medical school but in that long journey of pursuing medicine.

Early on in the cycle, I went to an interview where I took what I later thought was a pretty controversial stance on a topic I had experience with through work and research. After the interview, I mentally kicked myself, thinking I had ruined my chances. I was later not only accepted to that school, but my interviewer wrote me a note saying, “We need more people like you in medicine to talk about the issues we shy away from.” That was one of the biggest affirmation I got from a physician and in a process that often fills you with doubt. I know that particular interview experience helped me act more confidently and stay as true to myself as I could for future interviews

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

You can follow Vaidehi’s adventure by checking out her blog, http://vaidehimujumdar.weebly.com/ and/or following her on Twitter (@VeeMuj). Thank you Vaidehi for sharing your story with us!

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

Download a free Med School Secondary Essay Handbook for the tips you need to write successful secondariness!

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Related Resources:

The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success
Choosing the Perfect Medical School: Multiple Acceptances a Reality
Who Should Take a Gap Year

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5 Ways To Increase Your Chance of Getting Into Law School as a College Junior http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/23/5-ways-increase-chance-getting-law-school-college-junior/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/23/5-ways-increase-chance-getting-law-school-college-junior/#respond Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:53:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28789 Let’s say you’re a college junior considering applying for law school in the fall. What can you do now to prepare? 1. Study, study, study for the LSAT. A high LSAT score is important, especially if you went to a lesser-known college or have a lower GPA. Consider taking a course to prepare. There’s no […]

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Download the 5 fatal flaws to avoid in your Law School personal statement

Spend time around lawyers – It’s helpful to get an idea of what lawyers do and the types of options available

Let’s say you’re a college junior considering applying for law school in the fall. What can you do now to prepare?

1. Study, study, study for the LSAT. A high LSAT score is important, especially if you went to a lesser-known college or have a lower GPA. Consider taking a course to prepare. There’s no real advantage to taking the summer LSAT except to get it out of the way. Plan three months to study.

2. Forge relationships with professors. Come fall, you will need to ask for letters of recommendation from professors and/ or people who have overseen your work. Start going to office hours for the professors whose classes you enjoyed or excelled in. Excellent letters of recommendation come from people who know you well. Don’t discount professors in classes where you didn’t get an “A” if you really connected with the instructor or the material. Some professors grade harder than others and will write an excellent letter.

3. Spend time around lawyers. If you don’t intern with a lawyer or law office, consider asking people if you can observe them for a day. Maybe you can tag along with a public defender or accompany a solo practitioner to court. It’s helpful to get an idea of what lawyers do and the types of options available.

4. Start brainstorming for the personal statement. Applications season is busy between the LSAT and your classwork. Start jotting down ideas for the personal statement so that you aren’t panicked in the fall. Giving yourself time to think makes the final product much stronger.

5. Start researching schools and programs now. Take time to evaluate and decide what types of programs best fit your career goals.

What conclusions can you draw? The summer is the time to gather your resources and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in preparation for application season. The fall moves quickly, so it’s best to be as prepared as you can in advance.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statement
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 PostBac Program and teaches writing at all levels. 
Related Resources:

• The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success
5 Things Law Schools Want To See in Applicants
LSAT Scores Drop Among Students at Top Law Schools

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