Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:03:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog http://blog.accepted.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://blog.accepted.com International GMAT Test Takers Score Higher than Americans http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/20/international-gmat-test-takers-score-higher-than-americans/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/20/international-gmat-test-takers-score-higher-than-americans/#respond Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:09:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26802 ]]> Got low stats? Find out how you can still get into a top b-school!

U.S. GMAT-takers performing poorly compared to test-takers from Asia-Pacific

U.S. GMAT test-takers are performing poorly compared to test-takers from Asia-Pacific reports a recent Wall Street Journal article. In response to this growing performance gap, adcom at U.S. schools are seeking to implement new evaluation metrics to make domestic students appear better.

Here’s an example of how things have changed: For the quant section, in 2004, a raw score of 48 would put the student in the 86th percentile; today, that same score would yield a ranking in the 74th percentile. More students (outside the U.S.) are scoring higher – especially in the quant section – making it a lot harder for U.S. test takers (whose raw scores have remained relatively flat) to hit those higher percentages. That is, their test scores haven’t changed, but their percentile rankings are falling.

Here are some additional stats from the WSJ article:

•  Currently, Asia-Pacific citizens make up 44% of GMAT test-  takers, compared to 22% a decade ago. U.S. students comprise only 36% of all test-takers.

•  Asians averaged a mean raw score of 45 on the quant section, compared to a raw mean for U.S. students of 33.  The global mean was 38.

•  10 years ago, the Asian students’ raw score was at 42; for U.S. students it was still 33.

To address concerns about the shifting global rankings of the test, this past September GMAC introduced a bench-marking tool that “allows admissions officers to compare applicants against their own cohort, filtering scores and percentile rankings by world region, country, gender and college grade-point average.” Adcom explain that they need a way to measure applicants against other test takers in an applicant’s region. They explain that they don’t just want to “become factories for high-scoring test-takers from abroad.”

Others respond by suggesting that American students need to receive a more intense math education, similar to the emphasis put on mathematics in Asia. But is lack of math education the problem or is it the amount of time Americans invest in test prep? GMAC reports that U.S. students only spend an average 64 hours prepping for the GMAT, compared to the 151 hours put in by Asian students.

Students concerned about their GMAT percentile may want to consider taking the GRE which is now accepted at 85% of b-schools.

Watch our free webinar: How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats!

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Related Resources:

•  MBA Admissions Tip: Dealing with a Low GPA
•  Low GMAT Score? Don’t Panic…Yet.
•  Admissions Offers to International Grad Students Increase 9% Since 2013

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Everything You Wanted to Know About MD/MBA Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/20/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-mdmba-programs/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/20/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-mdmba-programs/#respond Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:25:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26912 ]]> Listen to the full conversation about MD/MBA programs with Dr. Maria ChandlerIntrigued by business and medicine? Not sure whether you want to be the next Steve Jobs or Jonas Salk?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

00:17:51 – MD/MBA career paths.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Links:

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

Related Shows:

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

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/20/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-mdmba-programs/feed/ 0 MBA healthcare,MD/MBA,podcast Intrigued by business and medicine? Not sure whether you want to be the next Steve Jobs or Jonas Salk? - AST’s guest this week is the person who can show you how to combine these two complementary, but in some ways disparate interests, with an MD/MBA. Intrigued by business and medicine? Not sure whether you want to be the next Steve Jobs or Jonas Salk? AST’s guest this week is the person who can show you how to combine these two complementary, but in some ways disparate interests, with an MD/MBA. Meet Dr. Maria Chandler, founder of the Association of MD MBA Programs and the UC Irvine MD/MBA program, MD/MBA Faculty advisor at UC Irvine, Assoc Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Assoc Professor at the Paul Merage School of Business, and practicing pediatrician. Tune in to our conversation for fascinating insight about the place where medicine meets management. 00:01:11 – Featured Applicant Question: Should I apply in Round 2 with my good essays, or apply Round 3 with excellent essays? 00:04:10 – Why Dr. Chandler decided to pursue an MBA. 00:06:30 – The story behind the founding of the UC Irvine MD/MBA Program. 00:08:08 – Inviting the east-coasters to Irvine in February: The founding of the Association of MD MBA Programs. 00:10:42 – Curriculum at the typical MD/MBA Program. 00:13:04 – Culture gap alert! What it’s like to go to b-school after med school. 00:17:51 – MD/MBA career paths. 00:20:15 – Do most MD/MBAs leave clinical medicine eventually? 00:22:14 – How and why this new degree became so popular so fast. 00:27:01 – The dual-degree application requirements. 00:31:35 – Maria’s dream for the future of medicine. 00:36:35 – Advice for applicants considering an MD/MBA. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • The Rise of the M.D./M.B.A. Degree • MD/MBAs: Fixing Hearts & Healthcare • UC Irvine M.D./M.B.A. Program • Contact Maria: mchandle@uci.edu Related Shows: • Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro • MCAT Mania: How to Prepare • Healthcare Management at Wharton and at Large • Med School Application Process: From AMCAS to Decisions Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk: Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 39:39
Oxford Said 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/19/oxford-said-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/19/oxford-said-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:41:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26697 ]]> Click here for more MBA application essay tips!This program packs a lot into its one year, including a lot of team and group workTherefore, it needs students who can quickly connect and form working relationships (and hopefully personal relationships).  Also, its short duration means there is not time for creative soul searching and for exploring this and that industry or function – to get the most out of it and to gain desirable employment upon completion, you need to have self-awareness and focused goalsThese essays will elicit those qualities.

Essays:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Plus your preferred essay from the options below:

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

OR

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

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

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

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

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

Deadlines:

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

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

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

Related Resources:

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

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Post-Interview Advice for Med School Applicants http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/19/post-interview-advice-for-med-school-applicants/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/19/post-interview-advice-for-med-school-applicants/#respond Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:01:56 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25928 ]]> Click here to download your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success!

All that’s left for you to do is wait patiently for an acceptance.

“Post-Interview Advice” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success. To download the entire free special report, click here.

As the interview day is nearing its end, you may find yourself in the company of other applicants. Try not to engage in discussion about your interview in detail. These conversations only serve to increase anxiety and often lead to self-doubt. Talking about the school or topics you may have discussed with current students is great, but steer clear of discussing the actual interview content with your fellow applicants.

Also, don’t forget to follow-up with a personal thank you note to your interviewer(s). If you had a special experience with a student, student group, or a non-interviewing faculty member, then include that experience in your note.

When your interview experience is over, spend some time taking stock of all you’ve heard. Think about whether this school felt like home to you. Could you blend in with the current students? Did you connect with the faculty? Did you feel like there was a place waiting for you there – a place where you could grow both personally and professionally? If so, then all that’s left for you to do is wait patiently for an acceptance.

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Insights, Advice and Experiences of a Non-Traditional Med Student
• Med School Application Process: From AMCAS to Decisions
Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success

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Meet Ashley: A Wharton MBA Student Making an Impact http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/19/meet-ashley-a-wharton-mba-student-making-an-impact/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/19/meet-ashley-a-wharton-mba-student-making-an-impact/#respond Wed, 19 Nov 2014 17:43:15 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26868 ]]> Click here to read more MBA student interviews!

Wharton student Ashley Wells

This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Ashley Wells, a first-year student at Wharton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashley:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

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

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Should You Apply to a Postbac Program? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/18/should-you-apply-to-a-postbac-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/18/should-you-apply-to-a-postbac-program/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 22:27:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26737 ]]> Click here to order your copy of The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Postbaccalaureate Programs Not sure if your profile and qualifications are strong enough to get you into med school this year? Maybe it’s time to consider another route to med school: attending a post baccalaureate program first. This is an excellent option for pre-meds who are concerned that their low stats, non-science education, or lack of clinical work experience aren’t quite up to snuff in the race for acceptance to med school

Don’t second guess yourself! You CAN achieve your dream of becoming a physician with the experience and knowledge you gain with a pre-med postbac program.

And to help you…we’d like to unveil the just-released, outstanding new book that will walk you through the postbac admissions maze, The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Post Baccalaureate Programs.

Written by former postbac program director and current Accepted.com consultant, Alicia McNease Nimonkar, this guide will teach you:

• The pros and cons of attending a postbac or specialized master’s degree program.

• Success stories of former postbac students who are now medical students and doctors.

• An index of all the different programs in the U.S.

• Tips on how to study and succeed in a post baccalaureate program

…and more!

Get your hands on the definitive postbac guide on the market today. Buy The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Postbaccalaureate Programs now!

Click here to download your guide!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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MIT Sloan 2015 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/18/mit-sloan-2015-executive-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/18/mit-sloan-2015-executive-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:41:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26690 ]]> Click here to download a free copy of "Ace the EMBA"

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

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

Statement of purpose:

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

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

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

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

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

Essays:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Optional Essay.

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

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

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

Deadlines:

Application Opens: November 14, 2014

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

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

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

Download your free copy of Ace the EMBA!


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

Related Resources:

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

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MBA Interview Must-Know #4: The Interview Type http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/18/mba-interview-must-know-4-the-interview-type/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/18/mba-interview-must-know-4-the-interview-type/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 19:55:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26425 ]]> Click here to download your copy of Ace the MBA!

Be prepared to address your weaknesses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips to help you ace those MBA interviews!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

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

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Get the Scoop on the New MCAT http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/17/get-the-scoop-on-the-new-mcat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/17/get-the-scoop-on-the-new-mcat/#respond Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:10:58 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26640 ]]> Tomorrow is the day! I am truly excited to introduce you to Dr. Anthony Lafond, MCAT Guru from Next Step Test Prep, at our upcoming live webinar, The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today.

Just one question for you – are you ready to take on the new MCAT?

MCAT_Webinar_Nov18

Get the tools you need to get the MCAT score you need tomorrow night (Tuesday, Nov. 18th) promptly at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST at our webinar The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today.

MCATWebinar_RegisterNow

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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What Are My Chances? Energy Sector Veteran With an Entrepreneurial Spark http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/17/what-are-my-chances-energy-sector-veteran-with-an-entrepreneurial-spark/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/17/what-are-my-chances-energy-sector-veteran-with-an-entrepreneurial-spark/#respond Mon, 17 Nov 2014 20:41:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26858 ]]> 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 recommendations 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 #8: Sachin, energy sector veteran with an entrepreneurial spark

Check out more MBA applicant profile evaluations!

Stop right there. Retake your GMAT!

Note: This profile request arrived with very little information.

Give me more details folks!

-BACKGROUND: 30+ Indian male who graduated in 2001 from Nagpur University in India. Chemical engineer with 12 years managerial experience in the natural gas industry.

Sachin, why now? That would be my question for you.

You’re on the older end of the scale when it comes to MBA candidates. You’ve got to explain why you’re ready to interrupt your career for two years, lose income, and perhaps give up your current management position to pursue an MBA.

It’s not enough to be in a mid-career funk.

At first glance, if you want to advance your career within the industry, you might fit better into an EMBA program. Have you considered that?

-GOALS: Progress career within the energy industry, pursue entrepreneurship allied to the energy sector, and contribute towards India’s social development.

These goals definitely make sense with what you’ve shared about your background. When writing your essays, you should share specific, personal examples from your work experience that show past leadership successes. Then state what skills you are missing that an MBA will address.

As an older candidate, you also need to show you have the industry network and connections to move into your next position. Don’t think you can rely only on career services to make this transition.

-GMAT: 580 Verbal-37 Quant-77

Halt. Hit the breaks. Stop right there.

This is not a competitive GMAT score. Other aspects of your profile are really going to have to stand out for you to be accepted to any school. Right now they do not.

Retake your GMAT.

-GPA: 73.5%

Very good GPA from a strong, though relatively lesser known Indian university in terms of international renown. It’s not so important though, as you graduated more than a decade ago. Your GMAT is a better indicator, at this point, of your ability to keep up in an MBA classroom.

-EXTRACURRICULAR: Teamwork in social activities.

This is very vague. What kinds of activities? What did you accomplish?

-SCHOOLS:

Sorry. I’m not going to recommend any schools for you. Believe it or not, I’ve read applications with about this level of information from the candidate. They don’t get past a first read.

Sachin, you’ve got to go on some long walks and think about why you really want an MBA. What do you hope to achieve? What stories from your past indicate your leadership potential?

Don’t approach your MBA from a mental space of feeling stuck or wanting out of your current situation.

Research, have conversations throughout the energy sector, then connect the dots from your past to your future. Make your ability to do something extraordinary within your industry sound plausible.

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

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

 

Related Resources:

What are My Chances?: Rahul, the Indian Male IT Guy 
Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One 

Leadership in Admissions 

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Med Student Interview: Stay Calm. Stay Focused. Submit Quality Apps Early. http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/17/medical-school-student-interview-with-ajibike/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/17/medical-school-student-interview-with-ajibike/#respond Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:51:57 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26829 ]]> Check out the rest of our medical school student interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Ajibike Lapite…

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

Ajibike: Hi all! I was born in New York City but I spent all but a couple of years in Monroe, Louisiana – a relatively small town approximately five hours north of New Orleans. I went to Princeton University (in Princeton, New Jersey) where I studied Molecular Biology and Global Health and Health Policy.

I went to an ice cream shop in Denver and tried Rice Krispie ice cream. Absolutely phenomenal! Definitely my favorite flavor.

Accepted: Congrats on your acceptance to Tulane’s MD/MPH program! Why did you choose that program? How is it the best fit for you?

Ajibike: Thank you! I wrote a blog post about what sparked my interest in the Tulane MD/MPH programs. I’ll share a few of those reasons here! (1) Tulane is close to home but not *too* close, (2) Tulane, like the city, has a very relaxed easy-going culture, (3) the first two years are pass/fail, and (4) the MD/MPH program is a four-year program. I know, awesome!

Accepted: Now that school’s begun…how’s it going so far? What’s your favorite thing about the program so far? Least favorite thing?

Ajibike: Let’s start with my least favorite aspect of Tulane SOM. Here, we take anatomy as sort of an intensive course. From August until early October we took anatomy and embryology. It was super fast! Although I appreciated not having to deal with the smell of formaldehyde for an extensive period of time, I do think there is some benefit to studying anatomy alongside physiology.

I love the flexibility here, and part of that is attributed to the supportive nature of administration as well as the pass/fail grading system. And so, I’ve been able to take two pretty exciting electives: (1) Sexual Health Elective and (2) End of Life Elective.

Accepted: What do you think the advantages are of going straight from college to med school? Do you sometimes wish that you’d taken time off? 

Ajibike: A lot of people are unsure of whether or not a gap year is the right choice. For me, it wasn’t. I spent my senior year of college in a laboratory and knew that I did not want to spend an additional year in a laboratory and I was unsure of what I would want to do in a year (or two) after college. If you have an interest that you want to pursue before medical school begins, take the gap year and go for it! You’ll be glad that you did.

Accepted: Had you ever lived in New Orleans before now? How do you like the city? Can you recommend a cozy coffee shop, or some other favorite place, where you like to study or hang out with friends?

Ajibike: No I haven’t! Although my home town is not terribly far from New Orleans, I had only visited the city three times before I was an official Tulanian. The city is very musical and vibrant. There is *always* a festival in town and a reason to celebrate — I love this! It can definitely be a distraction but you totally learn to adjust.

I study in an assortment of places. Sometimes at school (in the main library or group study rooms), sometimes at the School of Public Health, and quite often in coffee shops. I am a pretty big fan of Avenue Cafe but I have just started to explore additional coffee shops as well.

Accepted: What do you plan on doing with your join MD/MPH degree?

Ajibike: I’d like to be involved in global health infrastructure reform to some extent. To an extent, I am really interested in being hands on in global health infrastructure via organizations such as Doctors without Borders. At some point, I think involvement with the World Health Organization would be amazing.

Accepted: Looking back at the application process, what would you say was the most challenging step? What did you do to overcome that challenge?

Ajibike: I found it incredibly hard to click ‘submit’ on my applications. I would finish my essays, upload them to the portal, and spend far too much time worrying that the essays were not perfect (they never are). I don’t know if I ‘overcame’ it necessarily. My parents told me that I was ridiculous and convinced me to hit ‘submit.’

Accepted: What are your top three admissions tips with our readers?

Ajibike:

(1) Stay calm.

(2) Stay focused.

(3) Submit quality applications as early as possible.

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

Ajibike: I started my blog as a way to stay sane during the application process. It transformed into a way to keep up with my family and now I’ve made quite a few friends in the online #almostdoctor community. I hope to (1) encourage applicants by sharing my journey, (2) give an insight into life as a medical student, and (3) continue to make dear friends who are on similar journeys.

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

Ajibike: The sooner you realize that it is impossible to know everything, the less overwhelmed you will be. Study hard but don’t forget to take care of yourself! Take days off if you feel overwhelmed! Don’t feel guilty when you work out, it’s important! Sleep is a beautiful thing — don’t deprive yourself!

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

Ajibike: The application process is a nerve-wracking journey. It is definitely okay to feel overwhelmed! Make sure that you have a solid support system.

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

You can follow Ajibike’s adventure by checking out her blog, Stilettos + Stethoscopes. Thank you Ajibike 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.

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Med School Secondary Essay Handbook: School Specific Tips
• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays
• Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You Must Know

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Can You Get Into B-School with Low Stats? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/16/can-you-get-into-b-school-with-low-stats/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/16/can-you-get-into-b-school-with-low-stats/#respond Sun, 16 Nov 2014 18:38:06 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25701 ]]> Yes! Not everyone who goes to Harvard scores a perfect 800 and has a GPA of 4.0 (in fact, very few actually hit those perfect scores).

If you’re stats are less than ideal, that doesn’t (always) mean that you need to cross your top schools off your list!

Yes you CAN get accepted to a top b-school with low stats!

Now’s your chance to catch up on valuable information you may have missed during our webinar, How to Get Accepted to B-School with Low Stats. B-school applicants with low GPA and/or GMAT scores – you don’t want to miss this!

View How to Get Accepted to B-School with Low Stats for free now!

Watch the webinar

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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Tips for Answering the University of California Essay Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/16/tips-for-answering-the-university-of-california-essay-questions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/16/tips-for-answering-the-university-of-california-essay-questions/#respond Sun, 16 Nov 2014 18:09:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26798 ]]> Need more college application essay tips?

The UC system is waiting to find out more about you!

The University of California undergraduate system is comprised of nine different campuses located throughout California– Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. These schools pride themselves on attracting the best and the brightest students and are consistently ranked among the best in the world. All the UC campuses use the same undergraduate application that requires two essay responses. These required essays help the admissions committee to gain a deeper understanding of each applicant. They are your chance to demonstrate to the admissions committee how you might fit into and contribute to the UC system. How will a UC education support your lifelong aspirations?

Although you will use a single application for all the UC schools, each campus is distinctive. Make sure to research each school to get a better idea of what each has to offer. Each campus has a particular character and provides different opportunities. Many have smaller college systems within the larger university structure. Consider general education requirements, majors, extracurricular activities, locations and overall fit of each campus.

Applications for admission to the UC system are accepted from November 1st to November 30th.

As you prepare your response to each essay prompt, think about your unique experiences and their relationship to your personal objectives and how attending a UC school will help you to achieve your objectives or support your interests. As you decide how to approach your essays, you should survey your entire application and consider what the admissions committee might want more information about. What can you tell them that will help provide a more comprehensive picture of you? Your responses to both essay prompts must be no more than 1,000 words in total. You can allocate the word distribution to meet your needs but the shorter response should be no less than 250 words.

Freshman applicant prompt:

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

This response allows you to tell your individual story. Think about significant factors in your life that influenced your identity (sense of who you are) and in turn what you hope to achieve in the future (who you hope to be). You can discuss your particular family history and how that collective experience impacted you. You can reflect on a specific community that is meaningful to you, then go on to discuss how your role in that group inspired your dreams for the future. The subjects of family, community and school are cited as examples but you can discuss anything that is meaningful about your life experience, including your culture. The key is to describe your world from your perspective and talk about how those experiences helped to shape your goals. Consider how you reacted in different situations. What might that reflect about you? How might what you learned from your world support your future success? These are general suggestions for reflection; you must present specific examples and discuss them clearly in terms of their impact on your ideas about the world and your hopes for the future.

Prompt for all applicants:

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

This is a great opportunity to highlight a particularly outstanding or unique talent or accomplishment and to discuss why it is important to you. Keep in mind what makes your example significant to you and what that might say about the sort of person you are. You might elaborate on an extracurricular activity that illustrates some of your personal characteristics. Or you may consider a quality that you value and what that suggests about the way you interact with the world around you. Think about something you did that reveals positive qualities about yourself. Is there a particular challenge you overcame? Did you push yourself outside of your comfort zone? What did you learn about yourself in the process?

It is no surprise that the applicant pool for admission to the UC system is competitive. This is especially true if you are not from California since only about 13% of undergraduates expected to enroll for 2014-2015 are from out-of-state. The overall admission rate and freshman profile for individual schools varies. The overall admission rate ranges from 17.3% at UC Berkeley to 64% at UC Merced. The percentage of students admitted from California range from 57.9% at UC Los Angeles to 92% at UC Merced. High school grade point averages range from 3.61 at Merced to above 4.0 at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Barbara. The average ACT scores range from 24/25 at UC Merced and UC Riverside to 30/31 at UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, and UC San Diego. Your essays responses help to make you more than just a number.

Do not be overwhelmed by the statistics. Remember your essays are your personal statement, meaning they should reveal more about the person behind the numbers. Dig deep and put your efforts into communicating what makes you the individual you are. Share your personal examples, stories and life experiences. Pay close attention to deadlines and designated word limits. Allow enough time to write to the best of your abilities and to present an application that reflects your finest self. The UC system is waiting to find out more about you!

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

Marie Todd By , Accepted’s college admissions specialist. Marie has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology. She is available to assist you (or your child) with your applications.

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Team-Based Discussion Interviews http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/16/understanding-the-mba-team-based-interview/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/16/understanding-the-mba-team-based-interview/#respond Sun, 16 Nov 2014 17:26:56 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26570 ]]> Check out our Wharton Zone for info, tips, stats and more.

Make your goal the team’s success, not its adoption of your idea.

Wharton and Ross initiated a new MBA interview format, the team-based discussion (TBD). This type of interview brings a group of applicants together in person to work through a problem together as an organizational team does. This team activity is followed by a short one-to-one talk with an adcom representative (either a second-year student or an adcom member). It is now part of Wharton’s regular mode for interviews. At Ross, it’s not required, and they use traditional methods for their evaluative interviews.

Why adcoms use this method:

• Some adcoms have found traditional interview modes increasingly ineffective as they feel that candidates over-prepare and over-strategize for interviews, thus undercutting authenticity.

• The adcoms want to see the candidates in team action, since students’ success in the program (and in their future career) will rest in part on their teamwork and interpersonal skills.

• This approach gives the adcom insight into the applicants that no other application component provides – how they actually respond to people and situations in real time.

• The post-activity discussion shows your ability to self-reflect and analyze your own role and performance – qualities the adcom values.

Process:

Wharton – When you receive an invitation to interview, you’ll go online and select a time and date to attend a 5- or 6-member, approximately 45-minute TBD. Wharton will send you a prompt, which is the topic for the team activity; Wharton advises spending about an hour preparing with this prompt. In the TBD, each person will have a minute to articulate his own idea on the topic, and then the team will work together toward a group decision. After the TBD, you will meet individually with one of the two evaluators for 10-15 minutes to discuss your thoughts on how it went. You and the evaluator may discuss other topics as well.

Ross – Ross sends no prompt. Rather, it’s more like a team-building activity. You’ll receive the invitation to participate when you receive your regular interview invite, and can accept or decline. If you accept, you’ll meet in a group of 4-6. The team is given 2 words, and they first prepare individual presentations connecting these words (10 minutes for this portion). Then the group receives additional random words, and they have 20 minutes to prepare a team presentation that uses the words to address a problem and articulate a solution. The individuals in the team, not the team as a whole, are evaluated either by second-year students or adcom members, who also interview them separately afterward.

Benefits and pitfalls for applicants:

• Benefit: You can showcase your interpersonal, team, and leadership skills more vividly than any essay or individual interview could portray.

• Benefit: You can get a real flavor of the programs’ teamwork dynamic.

• Benefit: You can enjoy meeting peers and potential classmates.

• Drawback: You have less control, as you have to assess and respond to the group dynamics instantly; there is no margin for error.

• Drawback: Logistically it’s complex – always harder to get a group together.

• Drawback: While the adcoms think it gives them a lens on you as a team player, in “real life” you usually have some time to adapt to a new team, and your true teamwork abilities will come out over time as you respond, whereas here there’s no time to grow and adapt with the team, so it’s a somewhat artificial setup.

How to make this type of interview work for you (this is in addition to all the common sense advice for good MBA interviews):

• Review Accepted.com’s tips for this interview format.

• For Wharton, prepare and practice your one-minute presentation.

• For Ross, do the word activity with yourself or a friend, to get used to it.

• Think about your inclinations, behaviors, feelings, and approaches when working in a team or group setting, and also ask a colleague or two for some objective feedback. You shouldn’t change your natural approach, but you can certainly play to your strengths and minimize negative tendencies.

• Read online about other applicants’ experiences with the group interview.

•Make your goal the team’s success and ability to complete the assigned task, not its adoption of your idea.

[NOTE: This post is part of a series about MBA interview formats, click here to check out the rest of the posts]

Have a TBD Coming Up? Practice with the pros before your big day! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR A MOCK WHARTON TBD!

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 Interview Formats Series
• Seven Tips for MBA Interview Prep
• How to Prep for Your MBA Interviews

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3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Worry about Your Med School Interview Invite http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/14/3-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-worry-about-your-med-school-interview-invite-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/14/3-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-worry-about-your-med-school-interview-invite-2/#respond Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:26:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26688 ]]> Need med school admissions advice? Check out our Medical School Admissions 101 pages!

Keep in touch with the adcom.

Yes, it’s November and some of your fellow applicants may have already been invited to their medical school interviews. But that doesn’t give you due cause to throw a fit and assume you’re as good as dinged.

Don’t worry. There’s still hope for you.

Consider the following:

1. When did you submit your application? Did you send it in early August, or just a few weeks ago? The later you send it in, the later the admissions committee will review it and get back to you with an interview decision. In fact, the adcoms are only NOW reviewing and interviewing for those applications submitted in July and August.

2. Keep in touch! Unlike most other admissions categories (like college admissions or MBA admissions), med school adcom sometimes allow applicants to keep in touch after they’ve submitted their applications but before any decisions have been made. If you submitted your application 8 or more weeks ago, then you may want to drop the admissions office a note (or call, depending on their preference) and ask if/when you might expect an interview invite. If you know you’ll be in the vicinity of the school over the holidays, you may want to mention that and ask if you can schedule an interview during that time. (This is a particularly good idea if you’ve applied to more than one school in a given city.)

3. Send new info. If your target program allows you to send new/updated information, you should definitely do so, but please make sure that it is really new and that it will enhance your application. This would include any recent achievements (either at school, in the workplace, or in a volunteer position), improved test scores, a new med school recommendation, or something else of that sort. You should send this med school admissions updated information in the form of a brief – not more than one page – letter with important documents attached.

Did you already score that coveted interview invite? Prep with the best when you purchase Accepted.com’s med school interview services.

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• How to Write Waitlist Update Letters
• Not So Secret Secrets to Nailing the Med School InterviewThe Medical School 
• Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Medical School Interviews

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What is a Good GRE Score? [Infographic] http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/14/what-is-a-good-gre-score-infographic/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/14/what-is-a-good-gre-score-infographic/#respond Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:07:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26778 ]]> Heading to grad school in the near future? Then you’ll need to take the GRE! But that leads to the million dollar question: What is a good GRE score?

The short answer: it depends.

Check out this wonderful infographic from our friends at Magoosh to find out what the answer to that question is for YOU!

Magoosh GRE Scores Infographic

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Interview with MBA On My Mind: An Applicant Aiming for Kellogg http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/14/interview-with-mba-on-my-mind-an-applicant-aiming-for-kellogg/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/14/interview-with-mba-on-my-mind-an-applicant-aiming-for-kellogg/#respond Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:39:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26586 ]]> Click here for more MBA applicant interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing our anonymous blogger, “MBA On My Mind”…

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

MBA On My Mind: I am a 24 year old female from India. I was born in a quaint little town in Kerala and moved around a lot for most of my childhood (Delhi, Goa, Bangalore, some nondescript town in Karnataka, etc.). I’ve had an unconventional childhood but an immensely fun one. I went to a reputed, 100 year old school in Chennai and graduated with a B.A in Economics. I also have a Post Graduate diploma in Marketing Management, that I pursued part time to feed my burgeoning passion for marketing.

After school, I had a two year stint as Marketing Manager at a start-up that marketed teas (it was at this point that my fascination with tea blossomed and I enrolled to become a professional tea taster). Tea tasting to this day remains an elixir guaranteed to bust stress! In 2013, I co-founded a social enterprise business, in the Skill Development arena and have been absorbed in it ever since!

Accepted: What stage of the application process are you? 

MBA On My Mind: I am wedged somewhere in between insanity and a frenzied need to get stuff done… It’s been a harried 6 months, but I am loving every moment. At this point, I am prepping for my GMAT exam, while working on second drafts of essays for round 2. My days are full!

Accepted: Where are you applying to b-school? Do you have a top choice? Safety school?

MBA On My Mind: I plan to apply to 6-7 schools in round 2. (Yes, I am crazy.) My school list looks something like this 1. Kellogg  2. Ross  3. Stanford  4. Yale  5. Haas.

(I will be adding 2 or 3 schools to this mix provided they fit into my tally board.) Kellogg is my top school! I really really want to go there. The school just sings to me. I don’t have any safe schools so to speak, I understand that ‘safety schools’ are categorized based on higher acceptance levels (ergo, these schools are more open to candidates whose GMAT scores that aren’t particularly in the 99th percentile, <4.0 GPAs and folks who aren’t ridiculous overachievers), so although it makes sense to cover all your bases, for me the paramount deciding factor is fit and whether the school can offer what I want. There is not a single school on my tally board that I would not love to go to. I love all of them equally….okay, I lie. I love Kellogg a smidgen more than the rest. :)

Accepted: Can you tell us about your Business School Tally Board? 

MBA On My Mind: I am someone who likes to do things in a systematic and cogent fashion. So, when the application season rolled around and the time came for me to stop being vague about the schools I wanted to go to. I sat down and listed out my short term and long term goals.

A word of advice for anyone who is on the brink of plunging into the MBA applicant pool, you will be doing yourself a HUGE favor if you introspect and freeze in on your long term and short term goals. Your school selection will be so much easier, you just have to figure out which school will provide the best and most enriching route to achieving your goals.

The Business School Tally Board is more of a qualitative take on the entire school selection process, and it is inspired by this blog post I read and fell in love with, on the Kellogg MBA Students Blog. It still isn’t complete, though. I am still researching schools, there are 2 more schools I want to add to the tally!

Accepted: What has been the most challenging aspect of the admissions process so far? What steps have you taken to overcome that challenge? How would you advise others in a similar situation?

MBA On My Mind: Start early! Stay positive! Get the GMAT out of the way!

THE biggest challenge is time, initially I wanted to get two apps in by round 1, but I was unable to because I was not satisfied with my GMAT score. So I will be working overtime to get 6-7 applications ready for round 2. Luckily for me, I produce my best work under pressure.

Accepted: Do you plan on staying in your current industry post-MBA, or changing to a new field/career?

MBA On My Mind: My immediate post MBA goal is to work with a for-profit social enterprise, particularly in marketing, while my mid-long term goal is to come back to India and expand my social enterprise’s operations.

Expansion requires aggressive/out of the box marketing, market research, liaising with government officials and seamless dissemination of our vision to the end customer. I hope to pick up these skills up at my immediate post-MBA job. So, to answer your question, yes I intend to stay in my current industry.

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

MBA On My Mind: I remember stumbling upon a few MBA applicant bloggers in 2013, and reading their posts, more importantly the comment sections, there seemed to be a genuine camaraderie between fellow MBA applicant bloggers and the support that went around was amazing.

I knew I had to start a blog of my own to be a part of that world, besides I do love to write. Today, I can say with absolute certainty that I’ve forged close friendships with some wonderful people, through my blogging. (You know who you are!)

I can only hope that my readers find my posts helpful.

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

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

Learn how to create a compelling MBA goals essay.

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

MBA Applicant Blogger Interviews
Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
School Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

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Analyzing Your GMAT Score: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/analyzing-your-gmat-score-4-questions-to-ask-yourself/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/analyzing-your-gmat-score-4-questions-to-ask-yourself/#respond Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:28:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26054 ]]> Click here for more GMAT info & advice!

Will your GMAT score destroy your admissions chances?

Do you need a perfect score on your GMAT to gain acceptance to a top-tier business school? No. But you definitely need your score to be high enough so that your application is seriously considered, so that the rest of your application isn’t fighting an uphill battle to overcome a sub-par GMAT score.

So, is your GMAT score good enough? To figure this out, you’ll need to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who am I?

Who you are matters because admissions decisions don’t follow a strict formula or algorithm based entirely on numbers. You need to evaluate your score in the context of your demographic profile.

For example, if you’re a guy from India in the IT field who just spent the last five years sitting at a desk coding and crunching numbers, then you’re going to need a more competitive GMAT score than if you’re a gal from Chile who spent the last five years working for a energy-related non-profit that shuttled back and forth between Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica.

Again, even our Chilean social enterprising world explorer will need a score high enough to get her application looked at, but once she makes it past that point, she’ll have no trouble keeping their attention.

2. What does the rest of my application look like?

It is possible to recover from a not-so-ideal GMAT score, but that is if and only if the rest of your application is flawless (or nearly so).

If you have an almost perfect GPA, stunning application essays, amazing letters of recommendation, and a resume that shows that you’ve worked hard and succeeded, then you’ll be in a position to prove to the adcom that you’re a fantastic candidate and that the GMAT is just not your thing (again, it still needs to be good enough to get your app looked at).

3. Which b-schools am I applying to?

It goes without saying that some GMAT scores will be highly competitive at some programs and not even close to competitive at others. To see if your score is “good enough,” you need to visit your target schools’ websites and see what their GMAT range is. Don’t just look at the average; the range will give you a better idea of how low they’ll go before weeding out an application based on GMAT score alone.

4. What is my score?

If you scored above the 80th percentile on both the verbal and quant sections of the GMAT then you should consider yourself in the clear and good to go to apply to highly ranked MBA programs (assuming that the rest of your application is top-notch as well). If you received lower than that, that doesn’t mean that you need to retake the GMAT (necessarily), but does mean that you need to look at your GMAT in the larger scheme of things and consider retaking the GMAT if you feel your profile needs it and you are aiming for those top programs.

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions and done some serious soul-searching, you’ll have a much better idea of what your next steps should be – going ahead and applying to your target b-schools this year, waiting and applying to your top choices next year (or even the following year) while you work on improving your profile, applying this year, but to lower ranked programs, etc.

Last but not least, please be in touch if you need help analyzing your stats and determining where and when you should apply to b-school. We’re here to help!

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application
• Low GMAT Score? Don’t Panic…Yet.
• GRE vs. GMAT: Trends

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New Guide: School Specific Tips for Your Secondary Application Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/new-guide-school-specific-tips-for-your-secondary-application-questions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/new-guide-school-specific-tips-for-your-secondary-application-questions/#respond Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:12:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26760 ]]> Filling out your secondary apps for med school? I have one piece of advice here – MAKE SURE YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION.

Oftentimes when applicants are writing their secondary essays, they’ll write what they really want to share with the adcom, even at the expense of not answering the question. This is a mistake! It may be a fascinating essay, but if it doesn’t answer the question posed by the admissions board, then you haven’t done your job.

Click here to download your copy of the Secondary Essay Handbook!

In Medical School Secondary Essay Handbook: Specific Tips for Top Programs, you’ll get expert advice on how to answer the essay questions on secondary applications from top medical schools. Each chapter of this guide contains an intro to the school, followed by the secondary application questions plus advice for each question, and ends with additional information on the application deadlines.

And the best part? It’s FREE! So what are you waiting for? Download your copy of Medical School Secondary Essay Handbook: Specific Tips for Top Programs today!

GetTheTips

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An NYU Stern Grad and Strat Consultant Helping Vets Get Into School http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/an-nyu-stern-grad-and-strat-consultant-helping-vets-get-into-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/an-nyu-stern-grad-and-strat-consultant-helping-vets-get-into-school/#respond Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:58:19 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26757 ]]> GusGiacomanWest Point grad. Iraq war vet. NYU Stern MBA. Engagement Manager and Senior Associate at Strategy&. Co-founder of Service to School.

Gus Giacoman, our guest this week, is a fascinating individual, dedicated to helping vets get into school of all kinds – everything from community colleges to law school, business school and diverse graduate programs.

Tune in to our conversation with the highly accomplished and tireless Gus for the low-down on how he helps vets get into school, advice for vets and other MBA applicants, as well as tips for future management consultants. Oh, and he tells some great stories.

00:02:38 – Service to School: Networking and guidance for veterans headed to college and grad school.

00:05:55 – The revenue model (you can’t charge family, right?).

00:06:55 – A breakdown of where Service to School applicants are applying.

00:10:28 – What success looks like (How about 3 Wharton/HBS admits!).

00:12:29 – Business school as the path returning vets to civilian life.

00:17:33 – The advantages and challenges of being a veteran in b-school and consulting.

00:21:41 – Why NYU Stern? And why consulting?

00:25:49 – The best skills for a future consultant to cultivate.

00:27:30 – 3 things Gus looks for in choosing a consultant for his team.

00:28:57 – What a college grad should do pre-MBA to prepare for a career in consulting.

00:33:01 – A great piece of advice for b-school applicants.

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

Related Links:

• Service to School 
Service to School on Twitter 
Service To School: Helping Veterans Get Into Top Schools

Related Shows:

• Breaking Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw
• How to Become a Management Consultant
• Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng

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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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/an-nyu-stern-grad-and-strat-consultant-helping-vets-get-into-school/feed/ 0 Management Consulting,military applicants,NYU Stern,podcast West Point grad. Iraq war vet. NYU Stern MBA. Engagement Manager and Senior Associate at Strategy&. Co-founder of Service to School. - Gus Giacoman, our guest this week, is a fascinating individual, dedicated to helping vets get into school of all kin... West Point grad. Iraq war vet. NYU Stern MBA. Engagement Manager and Senior Associate at Strategy&. Co-founder of Service to School. Gus Giacoman, our guest this week, is a fascinating individual, dedicated to helping vets get into school of all kinds – everything from community colleges to law school, business school and diverse graduate programs. Tune in to our conversation with the highly accomplished and tireless Gus for the low-down on how he helps vets get into school, advice for vets and other MBA applicants, as well as tips for future management consultants. Oh, and he tells some great stories. 00:02:38 – Service to School: Networking and guidance for veterans headed to college and grad school. 00:05:55 – The revenue model (you can’t charge family, right?). 00:06:55 – A breakdown of where Service to School applicants are applying. 00:10:28 – What success looks like (How about 3 Wharton/HBS admits!). 00:12:29 – Business school as the path returning vets to civilian life. 00:17:33 – The advantages and challenges of being a veteran in b-school and consulting. 00:21:41 – Why NYU Stern? And why consulting? 00:25:49 – The best skills for a future consultant to cultivate. 00:27:30 – 3 things Gus looks for in choosing a consultant for his team. 00:28:57 – What a college grad should do pre-MBA to prepare for a career in consulting. 00:33:01 – A great piece of advice for b-school applicants. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • Service to School  • Service to School on Twitter  • Service To School: Helping Veterans Get Into Top Schools Related Shows: • Breaking Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw • How to Become a Management Consultant • Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk: Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 36:55
Businessweek Rankings 2014 http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/12/businessweek-rankings-2014/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/12/businessweek-rankings-2014/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:24:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26730 ]]> Let’s see how full-time MBA programs in the U.S. fared this year on the BW rankings…

Check out our Zone Pages for more info about the top MBA programs!

There were some huge changes this year! Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

• Newcomers to the top 20 this year are Yale SOM, which made a huge jump from 21st place to 10th place; Maryland Smith which went from 24th to 17th place; and Emory Goizueta which jumped from 22nd place to 18th place this year.

• There are three new schools in the top 10 this year – Yale SOM, as mentioned above; Columbia Business School (13th in 2012 and 5th this year); and CMU Tepper (which moved just one place from 11th place to 10th place).

• Beyond that, there was some major shifting in the rankings. The top 3 schools were all different this year (Wharton and Booth still there, but rearranged), with Harvard Business School falling from 2nd place to 8th place.

UVA Darden also fell significantly this year, from 10th place to 20th.

• Big jumpers further down the rankings include Rice University Jones (from 34th to 25th); UC Irvine Merage (43rd to 31st); and Rochester Simon (50th to 38th).

• The schools that fell the most in the rankings include Texas A&M Mays (26th to 42nd); University of Wisconsin-Madison (33rd to 44th); Boston University (39th to 57th); Babson Olin (from 42nd to 58th); Thunderbird (45th to 62nd); and Arizona Carey (49th to 67th).

And here’s the scoop on the best U.S. undergraduate business schools in 2014…

Do MBA rankings really matter? Click here for the 2-min answer.

Some highlights include:

• Newcomers to the top 20 are Northeastern (from 25th last year to 19th this year) and CMU Tepper (from 24th last year to 17th this year).

• The only new school in the top 10 this year is Indiana Kelley, which jumped from 13th place last year to 8th place this year.

Michigan Ross fell from the top 10, from 8th place to 12th place.

• Big jumpers include Southern Methodist Cox, which jumped from 30th to 21st place; Babson, which jumped from 36th place to 26th place; UM Amherst Isenberg, which jumped from 45th to 36th; Bryant, which jumped from 63rd to 49th; and Case Western Reserve Weatherhead which jumped from 69th to 50th.

• Big falls include Villanova, which fell from 15th place to 24th; U of Illinois Urbana-Champaign which fell from 21st to 34th; and James Madison University which fell from 29th to 40th place.

For details on how ranking methodology see:

Best Business Schools 2014: How They Were Ranked

Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2014: How We Ranked Them

Analysis of the 2014 Businessweek Rankings

Businessweek made changes to its methodology (presented here and analyzed here by John Byrne, the founder of the BW rankings) this year.

The Basics of BW’s Rankings Remain Unchanged

This year, as in the past, BW surveyed recruiters and students. The recruiter satisfaction results comprise 45% of the ranking. The student satisfaction survey results comprise another 45% and the remaining 10% is determined by “expertise of each school’s faculty” as evidenced by faculty research published in prominent academic journals AKA intellectual capital.

What’s New in BW’s Rankings Methodology?

• The employer ranking reflects this year’s data only. Previous rankings used data from the last three surveys or six years of biannual rankings data while weighting the most recent year most heavily.

BW surveyed fifteen times the recruiters this year than it did in previous years. Previously, BW surveyed major recruiters who tended to recruit at multiple business schools. This year, BW attempted to survey as many MBA recruiters as possible, including “recruiters” who recruit primarily if not exclusively at their alma mater. The increased survey size is a major methodology change. The alumni recruiters may have a certain bias towards the school they attended. BW attempted statistically to reduce the impact of that bias, but it probably helped smaller schools like Duke, Tepper, and Yale, and hurt the traditional leaders, like Harvard, Wharton, and Chicago.

Impact of the Methodology Changes

• Surprise! The results will shock many applicants. Seven programs, including Duke and Yale, rank above HBS and MIT. Indiana Kelley and Maryland Smith rank above Haas, NYU Stern, and Darden. These are unexpected results.

• Reemphasizes the importance of understanding methodology. The changes highlight the need for anyone using the rankings as indications of “quality” or even reputation and brand value (a bad idea in my book) to look at the underlying data. Smith is ranked overall at 17. It was ranked #1 for student satisfaction and #51 in the employer survey ranking. Applicants to Smith should inquire about what is changing in its career management center. Clearly there is a satisfaction gap that has to be addressed.

• Increased volatility. Since BW has removed older rankings data from the ranking and has dramatically widened the survey pool while incorporating alumni recruiters, you are guaranteed to see more changes and more radical changes than with the previous methodology.

• Cognitive Dissonance. Either BW rankings will lose credibility because they don’t conform to expectations and will be more volatile, or people’s perception of the programs will change because of the BW rankings.

My money is on the former: loss of credibility. If BW’s results become less stable and predictable (like The Economist’s), they are more likely to lose credibility than to contribute to changes in school reputation.

As always my best advice to applicants reviewing the rankings is to:

• Use specialty rankings to get a sense of what schools excel in your areas of interest.

• Use the data that the ranking databases provide.

• If you have any thought of actually using the overall rankings, understand what they measure, and ask yourself if those qualities are of paramount importance to you. BW has been wonderfully transparent and even shared the questions actually asked in the survey.

• Layer in reputation and brand, i.e. ranking, after determining what schools best support your goals and are most likely to accept you.

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

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

 

Related Resources:

• 2014 Economist MBA Rankings
• MBA Rankings: Why Should I Care?
• U.S. News 2015 Best Colleges

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LIVE TOMORROW: 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews Webinar http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/12/live-tomorrow-10-commandments-of-mba-interviews-webinar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/12/live-tomorrow-10-commandments-of-mba-interviews-webinar/#respond Wed, 12 Nov 2014 18:48:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26743 ]]> Last call! Our newest webinar, The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews, will be airing live tomorrow, at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET.

MBA Interview Commandments

Thou shalt not be late to this important engagement! Reserve thy spot for The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews now!

10MBACommandments_ReserveYourSpotSee you tomorrow!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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MBA Interview Must-Know #3: The School http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/12/mba-interview-must-know-3-the-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/12/mba-interview-must-know-3-the-school/#respond Wed, 12 Nov 2014 17:09:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26421 ]]>
Click here to download your copy of How to Ace Your MBA Interviews!

“Convince your interviewer that that school is a good bridge between your past & your future plans.”

“MBA Interview Must-Know #3: The School” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, How to Ace Your MBA Interviews To download the entire free special report, click here

The School. What does the school value and emphasize? Innovation? Leadership? Teamwork? Yes, I know all schools value all these qualities, but some emphasize one more than another. You need to understand those differences. How do they define the qualities they value?

Note the effort that Haas devotes to clarifying what it values when it says “Leading through Innovation” or when it discusses its defining principles. At its presentations and on its web site, Leading through Innovation and these principles have become a major focus. First understand what the school values and then prepare to explain why and how you share those values.

How does the program work? Cohorts? Learning teams? Projects, lectures, cases? Plan to answer questions in a way that demonstrates your knowledge of the program and prepare a few questions that show you have done your homework. Let your questions and answers reveal that you have thought deeply about the program and how it meets your educational needs and will help you achieve your professional goals, while also recognizing opportunities for you to contribute and pursue your nonprofessional interests.

Again, drawing on BW’s interview with Dawna Clarke, Tuck’s Admissions Director, who advises:

“Another piece of advice is to do research on the school. A lot of schools will talk about the fact that they’re looking for fit, and basically what that means is that they’re looking for people who’ve done their research and are going about this decision using some insight and good judgment about what it is that they’re looking for and what that school has to offer. There are so many good schools out there, and what you want to do is convince your interviewer or your admissions committee that that school is a good bridge between your past and your future plans.

“The best way to make a compelling case is to really show that you’ve done your research and that you know what the school has to offer and what you have to offer the school.”

MBA Interview Tip #3:
Know what the school values and be ready to show that you share those values.

Do you know the 10 commandments of MBA interviews?

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions
• B-School Zones for Top MBA Programs
Tips for Researching MBA Programs

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Premeds: Have You Registered? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/11/premeds-have-you-registered/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/11/premeds-have-you-registered/#respond Tue, 11 Nov 2014 20:08:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26711 ]]> Have you registered for next week’s webinar, The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today?

Spaces are running out, and if you’d like detailed info on what the new MCAT will look like and strategies on how to beat it, then you won’t want to miss this! (Plus, you could win a set of Next Step test prep books…scroll down for more information.)

Register for The New MCAT Webinar: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET

Want a sneak peak at what we’ll be discussing? You can expect info on the following points:

• Understanding the new Psychology, Sociology, and Biochemistry sections.
• Discovering new techniques for the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) section.
• An overall explanation of MCAT concepts and categories.
• Tips on time management.
• Additional study resources you can use.

Now that we’ve convinced you how important this webinar is, don’t forget to reserve your spot.

And there’s more…

Two lucky people will win a set of Next Step prep books for the 2015 MCAT. The books focus on the Critical Analysis and Reasoning section and the new Psychology and Sociology sections of the exam. These books will be a great resource for any student preparing for the 2015 MCAT and are valued at over $60. One set will be given to someone who registers for the event, and the other will go to someone who attends the event, so be sure to register AND attend in order to maximize your chances of winning!

MCATWebinar_RegisterNow

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Seven Tips for MBA Interview Prep http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/11/seven-tips-for-mba-interview-prep/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/11/seven-tips-for-mba-interview-prep/#respond Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:18:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26667 ]]> Click here to download your free copy of How to Ace Your MBA Interviews!

Prepare teamwork-based stories.

1. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

While you may not have control over the questions you’re asked, you can prepare a set of flexible responses. You should be able to discuss the following:

1.  A walk through your resume (Focus on what you accomplished and learned at each job, and then why you transitioned to the next position)

2.  Why you chose your undergraduate college

3.  A story when you accomplished something extraordinary in the context of your job

4.  A story when you influenced stakeholders to help you make an idea become a reality

5.  A story when you led a team to produce quantifiable results

6.  A story when you failed

7.  Your career goals

8.  Why you want an MBA (make it school specific)

2. How to tell your stories

I suggest loosely following the S-O-A-R framework: Situation-Objective-Action-Result. (I also suggest adding one more letter to the acronym: L for “Learned”.)

Situation: Give background and context to the situation such as where you were working, what your role was, and who were the stakeholders involved. Be succinct, yet specific.
Objective: Describe what your goal was, and any obstacles that complicated the situation.
Action: Discuss how you proceeded toward your goal, and how you overcame your obstacles.
Result: Quantify the impact that you had on the situation.
Learned: Tell the interviewer what you learned about yourself from the experience.

Your response should take no more than about 2-3 minutes. You don’t want to bore the interviewer with a lot of theory and tangents. Once you’ve got your top stories down, you have a reservoir from which to pull when you’re on the spot that will be easily adaptable to the interviewer’s questions.

3. Practice with someone who is not your significant other/family member. Then practice with a significant other.

A friend may notice something that a family member, who is closest to you, may not. A family member might be more willing to be frank with you than a friend. A family member might be willing to put in the time with you. An objective party can give you feedback about your first impression and body language. In any case, you want to practice, a lot. Use 2-4 people. (Of course, you are also welcome to do a mock interview or get interview coaching from an Accepted professional, including me.)

4. What’s your latest?

Let’s say they ask you what accomplishment you are most proud of. In your heart of hearts, it might have been working two jobs to put yourself through university. Now that is quite an accomplishment. But if it was more than say, 3 years ago, you need to pull from something more recent. The interviewer might think, ‘Why is he or she not talking about something that you’re doing right now?’

If it truly was a significant achievement from your past, you can use it. But bring that accomplishment into the present, say, by how it influences your values or interests right now.

5. Watch your tone. Focus on teamwork accomplishments, rather than academic results.

Business schools are looking to weed out arrogant, insecure and emotionally immature candidates. During your conversation, don’t pepper your responses with achievements such as high test scores, a high GPA, or a plethora of individual publications. The ad comm can look at your transcript to find out your grades. Alumni really don’t care. Also, don’t argue with them over a question they might have asked you. These types of responses are culturally off putting to US-based interviewers. You want to come across as friendly, at ease, communicative. Again, by preparing teamwork-based stories, you’re going to add to this perception.

6. Non-blind interviews

Schools like MIT and Harvard grant non-blind interviews. That means they’ve taken the time to review your resume and your essays. Most other schools rely on alumni and current students who generally serve as marketing tools for the school, comment on your English speaking skills, and indicate whether or not they would have liked you as a classmate.

In non-blind school interviews, they want to know the details behind the accomplishments you’ve mentioned. They also want to get a sense of the sort of person you are. They may throw some oddball questions your way, just to see how you handle pressure.

They are particularly interested in decision and turning points in your life. Take the time to have an objective person look over your resume to see if they can identify any holes or questions, or lack of link between your past and your future goals. Work on explaining these connections and transitions. Write down SOAR-L’s for all the pertinent bullet points on your resume so that you’re ready to discuss them. Don’t fudge over holes or “bad periods” from your past. Be honest! Say ‘Yes, that was a tough period, but this is what I learned from it. This is what it motivated me to do.’

7. Group interviews

Wharton and Ross now require group interviews. If you can, sign up for a group interview prep service. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the time flies, and how you react in a group setting. This experience can prepare you to provide the group with a session framework, without sounding arrogant or pushy. Business schools want to see how you interact with others under pressure. You don’t want to steamroll the other applicants or turn into a shrinking violet. Strive to have your voice heard, but also to be inclusive.

Have a TBD Coming Up? Practice with the pros before your big day! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR A MOCK WHARTON TBD!

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

 

Related Resources:

How to Ace Your MBA Interviews
MBA Interview Format Series
• The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews

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8 Tips for the Actual Medical School Interview http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/11/8-tips-for-the-actual-medical-school-interview/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/11/8-tips-for-the-actual-medical-school-interview/#respond Tue, 11 Nov 2014 17:59:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25926 ]]> Click here for your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success!

Definitely don’t bring a cup of coffee with you!

“8 Tips for the Actual Interview” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success. To download the entire free special report, click here.

You know what to say. You know what to wear. You are prepared. You’ve got this! Now, all you need to do is keep your composure – stay calm, breathe, and keep the following eight points in mind as you enter that interview room and wow your way into med school:

1. Make sure you smile when you shake hands. Give a firm handshake, but don’t break the interviewer’s hand. (Yes that really happened.) And if you have sweaty palms, wash and dry your hands with cold water before you go in. Keep a handkerchief in your pocket or purse for drying your hands right before you walk into the interview.

2. Maintain eye contact throughout the interview.

3. Relax as best as you can. A good interviewer will work to help you relax during those initial questions. Ideally you and your interviewer will have a conversation that flows rather than a disjointed and strained grilling session.

4. Definitely don’t bring a cup of coffee with you.

5. Try not to fidget.

6. Take notes if it seems relevant – this shows that you are truly interested.

7. Be yourself. You can’t reinvent yourself, but rather try to shine during the interview with your best qualities. That means:

• If you are animated and outgoing go right ahead and show it.

• If you are describing an experience that was particularly important to you, do show your passion.

• If you are shy that’s fine, but still try to find a connection with your interviewer.

8. Present yourself honestly. Specifically:

• Own up to your mistakes and then stress your improvements. Don’t minimize your past, but try to move on to more recent positives.

• Be sincere, especially when talking about strengths and weaknesses. Confidence is fine but make sure you include a touch of humility.

• When answering questions about yourself think about what you really want the interviewer to know about you. What defines you? Make sure you share those traits. Show some level of self-reflection demonstrating a clear understanding of how you’ve gotten to this point.

• If you have had to come back from adversity share the experience. If you are one of the lucky ones who has not had many struggles in your life, then still think about how to answer an adversity question. Adversity comes in many shades – physical, financial, personal, and/or emotional. Each of us has had some degree of struggle.

Most importantly go into the interview with a clear vision of what you want the interviewer to know about you and do your very best to get those particular key points across.

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Weakness, What Weakness?
• How to Ace Your Medical School Interview
• Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

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Thou Shalt Not Forget Thursday’s Webinar! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/10/thou-shalt-not-forget-thursdays-webinar-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/10/thou-shalt-not-forget-thursdays-webinar-2/#respond Mon, 10 Nov 2014 21:39:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26675 ]]> Spaces for our upcoming webinar, The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews, are filling up!

MBA Interview Commandments

The webinar will take place on Thursday Nov. 13th at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET.

Learn how to ace your MBA webinar – sign up for The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews now!

10MBACommandments_ReserveYourSpot

GIVEAWAY ALERT: One lucky webinar participant will win a mini mock interview with Natalie Grinblatt Epstein. Make sure you’re there for a chance to win!

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Boost Your Interview Endurance and Train for Your MMI! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/10/boost-your-interview-endurance-and-train-for-your-mmi/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/10/boost-your-interview-endurance-and-train-for-your-mmi/#respond Mon, 10 Nov 2014 18:01:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26339 ]]> The med school Multiple Mini Interview tests your ability to think quickly on your feet about important ethical and medical issues.

Are you ready to tackle this interview head on? Have you trained adequately? Is your endurance up?

Check out our free webinar - Multiple Mini Interview: Method or Madness?

We’ll gladly help you get to that point of confidence and readiness – just check out the recording of our popular webinar, Multiple Mini Interview: Method or Madness?

Just one hour of professional advice and you’ll be revved up to make your way through the interview circuit and wow each and every one of the interview station leads.

View Multiple Mini Interview: Method or Madness? for free now!

View the Webinar Now or Download for Later!

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Are You Ready for Your Team-Based Interview/Discussion? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/10/are-you-ready-for-your-team-based-interviewdiscussion/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/10/are-you-ready-for-your-team-based-interviewdiscussion/#respond Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:31:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26665 ]]> WhartonTBDCominUpRound 1 team-based interviews will be taking place SOON and we’d love to help you prep!

Prep with the best by joining one of two of our upcoming Mock Wharton Team-Based Discussions, on either Tuesday, November 11th at 4:00 PM PT/7:00 PM ET or on Tuesday, November 18th 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET.

You can purchase this service by clicking here now. This is your last reminder before the event – time is ticking and spots are running out. Grab one of the remaining seats today!

PrepWithTheBest

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HKUST 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/09/hkust-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/09/hkust-2015-mba-essay-tips-deadlines/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 01:30:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26661 ]]> HKUST aims to educate global leaders with cultural insight and strong Chinese business understanding. HKUST prides itself on the large percentage of career function and industry changes that its graduates are able to make: 77% of grads switch job functions and 67% change industries from their pre-MBA role after HKUST. Its essay questions aim to understand your goals and what you can contribute to the class. My tips are in blue below:

Essay Questions: 

1. Tell us about your short-term and long-term career goals after the MBA, and why you think HKUST MBA would be a good fit for you. (max 7500 characters, ~500 words)

To answer this question well, you need to know what direction you want to take your career in after the MBA. While a career change is likely, applicants need to convey how their career and experiences until now have prepared them for these ambitions. They must also explain how the HKUST MBA will complement those experiences to enable them to succeed in reaching and performing well in their target roles. To explain why HKUST’s curriculum is a good fit for you will require an understanding of HKUST’s three-tiered core curriculum and insight into some of the areas you will want to explore in the 40+% of the HKUST MBA that are electives. And it will almost certainly require some discussion of why the Chinese context, global perspectives, and management insight that HKUST offers will be critical to your advancement.

2. Our mission is to inspire and transform individuals to be future business leaders for Asia and the world. We embrace diversity, and are looking for ambitious and open-minded candidates with a passion to contribute. With your background and professional experience, what unique values can you bring in to enrich the learning experience at HKUST MBA? (max 7500 characters, ~500 words)

With just 100-120 students each year, HKUST aims to include a diverse range of backgrounds and industries in the class. You don’t want to be pigeon-holed as a generic consultant or financier: you need to demonstrate in this essay that you are a worldly candidate with experiences that your classmates will be eager to hear about and learn from – and that you have the personal qualities that will allow you to share those experiences. The best essays will include two or three examples of values adhered to, experiences gained, and/or achievements accomplished that demonstrate that you are ambitious, possess a wealth of experience, and are personable.

Application form:

Keep in mind that HKUST does not have a place to upload your current CV/resume. The only area of the application where you may describe your work experience is in the Work Experience section of the application, which requests data about dates of employment and salary and allows 1000 characters to describe each position (that’s approximately 150 words to describe each role). This is actually a fine amount of space; just be sure to use it to describe your work and impact. Don’t make the mistake of simply filling in some general responsibilities and losing the opportunity to share details about your initiatives and impacts.

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

The HKUST MBA program intake 2015 will start in August 2015.

Below is the admissions timetable:

Application Deadline Decision Notification
 Round 1  November 13, 2014  January 9, 2015
 Round 2  January 13, 2015  March 13, 2015
 Round 3  March 13, 2015  May 8, 2015

*International students requiring student visa to study in Hong Kong are strongly recommended to apply for the first or second round to allow sufficient time for visa application once they are admitted.

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

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:

• Why MBA?
• 2015 MBA Application Essay Tips
• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your MBA Application Essays

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5 Key IMD Officials Resign http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/09/5-key-imd-officials-resign/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/09/5-key-imd-officials-resign/#respond Sun, 09 Nov 2014 18:17:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26657 ]]> Click here to check out our IMD B-School Zone!In a letter last week, Ralf Boscheck, the Program Director of the IMD MBA Program, announced that the school has “decided to realign the MBA Office with our new MBA program starting in January 2015.” He goes on to bid farewell to five long-time officials of the program, Claire Lecoq, Lisa Piguet, Janet Shaner, Marine Frey, and Simone Kuhn.

Their resignations follows a controversial move by IMD to begin reporting career stats every three years, rather than annually. After the new approach was announced, there was an uproar among alumni and applicants, especially when it became clear that this change covered up deteriorating salary and placement results for MBA graduates. The school explains, as noted in a September Poets & Quants article, that the declining salary stats are due to other changes made by the program, in particular a smaller class size, and currency fluctuations.

In a second Poets & Quants article chronicling the IMD saga, Boscheck says, “I would like to sidestep the commoditization of this industry and have a program that prepares 90 selected students not having to worry about being compared to other MBA programs that are less differentiated. These are not typical MBAs. They are junior executives and you can learn with them. It’s a senior, more experienced group. This school is an executive development network. We have 8,000 executives every year on campus and the trick is to bring the MBA program back into the core of the school and leverage what we have best which is our executive development.”

I was interviewed for the most recent Poets & Quants article on the IMD shake-up. My take on the turmoil:

“I don’t know who was behind that decision, but I do know there is a new program director and he probably wants ‘his people’ in positions that affect recruiting both of new students and potential employers. Either the old staff wasn’t comfortable with his approach and resigned, or they saw handwriting on the wall about their futures and resigned.

“I think IMD is going to struggle until the changes the new program director wants to make are implemented and prove popular with recruiters and students. If the changes are successful and the results are realized quickly, IMD will bounce back stronger than ever.

“If the changes prove unpopular or the results take a long time to be seen, IMD will decline until the new program director is replaced. In the latter case, its reputation and brand will be weakened.”

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

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

 

Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right Ones
• 2014 Virtual Panel: Exploring European B-Schools
• Business and Science Meet: Insights of an IMD Grad and Former Medical Doctor

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3 Tips to Reducing Your Fear of the New MCAT http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/09/3-tips-to-reducing-your-fear-of-the-new-mcat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/09/3-tips-to-reducing-your-fear-of-the-new-mcat/#respond Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:22:51 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26638 ]]> Sometimes you just need to get to know something (or someone) before you learn to love it (or at least learn to appreciate it).

Register for The New MCAT Webinar: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET
You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? If you put some effort into getting to know and understand the changes made to the new MCAT test, then it’s possible that even you will find it in your heart to love (okay, not despise) the new changes made to the exam.

Follow these 3 tips to better acquaint yourself with the new MCAT test:

1. Read up. There is loads of material out there that clearly spells out the specific changes made to the new MCAT. Knowledge is power – get to know the changes and own them! So the test is longer – but why is it longer? What’s been added? How many questions are there really? How much additional time is given on the new exam? Read up, soak up the details, and prepare accordingly.

2. Study. Now that you know what changes have been made, it’s time to make a game plan. How are you going to tackle the longer test? What additional material do you need to study? You can read tips about the test until you’re blue in the face, but if you don’t study the actual material, it’s all just theoretical.

3. Register for our new webinar! Sign up for The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today to learn additional secrets to how to beat the new MCAT! See details below.

Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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

Guest speaker: Dr. Anthony Lafond, MCAT Guru at Next Step Test Prep

Registration link: The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today

MCATWebinar_RegisterNow

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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Tips for Answering the University of Pennsylvania Supplemental Essay Prompts http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/07/tips-for-answering-the-university-of-pennsylvania-supplemental-essay-prompts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/07/tips-for-answering-the-university-of-pennsylvania-supplemental-essay-prompts/#respond Fri, 07 Nov 2014 18:32:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26440 ]]> Want more school-specific common application supplemental essay tips?

“Ideal candidates are inspired to emulate our founder Benjamin Franklin”

This post about the Penn supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools. 

The prestigious University of Pennsylvania, or Penn, is among the elite Ivy League schools. Established in 1740, Penn is one of the oldest universities in America. It is know for its top-notch research as well as its undergraduate programs that focus on practical applications grounded in a strong liberal arts foundation. It accepts the Common Application and requires an additional Penn writing supplemental. Penn wants to know more about you in order to gain a more holistic view of you as a potential student. It states: “ideal candidates are inspired to emulate our founder Benjamin Franklin by applying their knowledge in ‘service to society.’” Through your Common Application, the admissions committee is aware of your grades and test scores, and understands the level of rigor in your curriculum within the context of your high school environment. Use the supplemental essay as an opportunity to demonstrate how you are an ideal match for Penn and how Penn will help you to accomplish your life goals. Illustrate how you engage with and think about the world around you. Tell them more about what is important to you.

Penn offers a binding early decision option with a November 1st deadline. Consider this option if Penn is your first choice because there is a higher rate of admission during early decision. In addition, if you have family alumni ties to Penn early decision may be the best approach. Alumni affiliation receives the most consideration during the early decision program. You are allowed to apply early decision to Penn and early action to other non-binding or non-restrictive early action programs. Always check with the specific schools for guidelines.

Before you sit down to begin your essay, get to know as much as possible about Penn’s approach to education. Familiarize yourself with the unique character of the school, go through the website, get a sense of the campus and academic atmosphere, if possible visit the campus, speak with current students, and imagine yourself as a student at Penn.

Located in the city of Philadelphia, Penn offers an exceptional education in a diverse urban setting on a primarily residential campus. Penn provides many opportunities for students to investigate assorted areas of interest. The numerous learning hubs are an example of how it fosters an active and dynamic exploration of ideas. Think about how you fit with this approach and the overall academic climate at Penn.

Penn is steeped in tradition. Although the curriculum at Penn is flexible, it is grounded in a high quality liberal arts and science foundation. The four undergraduate schools (College of Arts and Science, Penn Engineering, School of Nursing, and the Wharton school) pride themselves on providing an integrated and functional education. “Penn students combine theoretical and practical thinking while developing the tools they need to innovate and lead in a world that demands an increasingly broad perspective.”

Penn Writing Supplement on the Common Application: “The Admissions Committee would like to learn why you are a good fit for your undergraduate school choice (College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, The Wharton School, or Penn Engineering). Please tell us about specific academic, service, and/or research opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania that resonate with your background, interests, and goals.”  400-650 words

This prompt allows you to discuss how much you actually understand about how the undergraduate school of your choice and how it will help you to flourish. Include examples of how your experiences make the programs at Penn a good fit for you. How will the opportunities at Penn expand, nurture, and support your interests and aspirations? How do you hope to contribute to the collegiate environment at Penn? Consider how you might positively impact the overall Penn campus community. You need to address why you are driven to attend Penn and how a Penn education will help you to affect change in the world.

Note that additional essays are required if you are applying to one of the Coordinated Dual Degree and Specialized Programs offered at Penn (Huntsman: The Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, LSM: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management, M&T: The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, NHCM: Nursing and Healthcare Management, VIPER:  The Roy and Diana Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research, NETS:  The Rajendra and Neera Singh Program in Networked and Social Systems Engineering, and The Seven-Year Bio-Dental Program). These responses have limits that range from 400 to 650 words. Although these individual prompts are not addressed in detail here, keep in mind that each one asks you to share specific examples and experiences that demonstrate your potential for success along with your enthusiasm for and attraction to the particular program. These programs are a significant commitment and you need to convey your genuine dedication. The admissions committee uses your essays to determine whether you will be a good fit for the particular dual degree or specialized program to which you seek admission.

You are up against an extremely competitive group of applicants. Penn received 35,866 undergraduate applications for the class of 2018. Only 3,718, or 10%, were offered admission and over 90% of the students admitted were in the top 10% of their high school class with average SAT scores of 720 in critical reading, 735 in math, 735 in writing and an average ACT score of 32. The best way to differentiate yourself from the crowd is by communicating the intangibles through your essays. Use your essay responses to discuss what is meaningful to you and how Penn is the ideal place for you to achieve your dreams for the future!

Try not to be intimidated by this process. Start early to allow yourself enough time to thoroughly research, prepare, and complete all aspects of your application. All these factors must come together in a compelling way to present you as a highly competitive applicant. Penn is interested in your personal stories, life experiences, hopes and dreams. It seeks to attract and foster great thinkers and future leaders who will play a constructive role in society. Take the time and invest the energy to put your best self forward!

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

Marie Todd By , Accepted’s college admissions specialist. Marie has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology. She is available to assist you (or your child) with your applications.

Related Resources:

• New LinkedIn University Rankings
• School-Specific Common Application Supplemental Essay Tips
• 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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From CPA to MBA: An Applicant Shares His Journey (And GMAT Tips) http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/07/mba-applicant-interview-with-jon-taves/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/07/mba-applicant-interview-with-jon-taves/#respond Fri, 07 Nov 2014 18:08:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26250 ]]> Click here for more interviews with MBA applicants!

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 Jon Taves…

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

Jon: I grew up in a tiny town in Northern Minnesota and went to undergrad at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN – a private liberal arts college near Fargo, ND. There I double-majored in economics and accounting.

Above all else, I’m a huge economics nerd. To me, nothing’s better than using economic theory to analyze and explain markets. In my freshman year at Concordia I read Moneyball by Michael Lewis and was fascinated by his subject: Billy Beane. Not so much from a baseball standpoint, but by how he exploited market inefficiencies. That led me to take Economics 201 my sophomore year, and the rest is history.

For its long-lasting influence on my life, I’d have to say Moneyball is my favorite book. (Not to mention the fact that Michael Lewis is a fantastic writer. His story-driven approach to explaining complex topics is a style I try to mirror in my own writing.)

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

Jon: I plan to apply in Round 2, so I’ve got a few more months to put the finishing touches on my essays and press “submit.” I probably could’ve done so in Round 1, but I want more time to coach my references and get involved in the community again – I’ve missed it while I was studying for the GMAT all spring and summer.

Accepted: What’s been your greatest admissions challenge? What steps did you take (or are you taking) to overcome that challenge?

Jon: To date, my greatest admissions challenge has been the GMAT. Prior to the GMAT, the last test I’d taken was the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. To pass one of the four parts of that exam it’s a simple equation: spend 150 hours reviewing topics and answering practice problems. Get something wrong? Study that topic. Lather, rinse, repeat.

That’s not a formula for success on the GMAT. More than I’ve ever experienced before, the GMAT is truly a test of how you think. I’d read about that in guides and various sources online, but it took me awhile to actually believe it. After taking the GMAT, I can honestly say that that’s the most important takeaway. (I’ll elaborate further in the next question.)

Accepted: It looks like you’ve got lots of GMAT advice on your blog. What are the three categories one should allocate their time to when studying for the GMAT?

Jon: In short, one should allocate their time between the following three categories:

1. Topical areas

2. Timing of answers

3. Identifying question patterns

To expand on what I said in question #3, the GMAT is a test of how you think. The best advice I can give is that having an above-average understanding of the topics covered is important, but having an above-average understanding of test strategy is even more important. In total, I studied about five months for the GMAT. At first glance, one might assume that 5% of their time studying should be spent on test strategy and 95% on topical areas. After all, that ratio was successful in high school and college, right? That couldn’t be farther from the truth: I would estimate that I spent 60% of my time on test strategy and 40% on topical areas. (If it focused only on topical areas, an eighth grader would be able to ace the GMAT.)

How long it takes for you to achieve that 60/40 ratio will vary. If it takes you a month to get comfortable with grammar rules and geometry, then plan for two months spent on test strategy. Test strategy is broken up into two parts: timing and patterns. The pace in which you answer questions matters. If the goal of the GMAT is to test how well you think, then it’s relevant to incorporate not only how long it takes you to answer a question, but also in what order you answer correctly/incorrectly. Think of the GMAT as a water park. You want your timing to be like a “lazy river.” Simply put, getting five questions wrong with consistent timing will equate to a higher score than answering the same amount correctly while riding the Verruckt.

With its proclivity for patterns, the GMAT is like Taco Bell. Have you ever noticed how they introduce a new product every few months – although it isn’t really “new,” it’s just some derivative of a taco or burrito? Similarly, all GMAT questions are testing the same thing: “What’s the best way to solve this problem?” Keep that in mind while you’re studying. When doing practice problems, your work isn’t done once you answer it. Make sure to ask yourself what other questions it relates to. This will make those thirty-seven quant questions look less like thirty-seven individual feats of mathematics and more like a bunch of tacos and burritos.

To close, I’d like to comment on the importance of the GMAT. Do your best, but don’t let the pressure to perform well consume you. A great GMAT score and nothing else doesn’t amount to much. Perhaps when schools preach about their “holistic” approach to admissions they’re underselling the GMAT’s importance, but that doesn’t mean it’s everything. It’s a lot easier to dominate one test than to be a well-rounded applicant that’s not only intelligent, but also a leader, collaborator, and problem solver.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Mark Cuban. He says that “there are three types of entrepreneurs: innovators, imitators, and idiots.” To stand out to an admissions committee, you need to distinguish yourself. Everyone applying to the top schools will have fantastic GMAT scores. What’s different about you? Whether it’s an interesting initiative you led at work, an extracurricular activity, or a unique perspective on the world, remember that you’re more than a score from 200-800 in ten point increments.

Accepted: What is your current job? Do you plan on staying in that same industry post-MBA? Or moving into something new?

Jon: My first job out of college was for a public accounting firm in Minneapolis. I worked there for a little over two years until I left for Travelers last November. At both companies I’ve worked on federal tax projects for C-corporations. Accounting is a solid field and I’ve met some amazing people while working in it. Post-MBA, however, I’d like to switch careers.

In the short run, I hope to use my MBA to start working in management consulting. After that I hope to start a social enterprise. I was on the board of directors for a non-profit in Minneapolis for two years; I’ve seen firsthand how difficult it is to be financially sustainable. I hope to put together a business whose profits will be able to support the communities I love indefinitely – not just until the last grant dries up. I believe the credibility and connections that I’ll gain through an MBA program will allow me to make that dream a reality.

Accepted: Where and when do you plan on applying to b-school?

Jon: I’ve narrowed down my list to the University of Michigan (Ross) and the University of Minnesota (Carlson). Both schools have the characteristics I’m looking for, most notably: strong entrepreneurship programs and a plethora of experiential learning opportunities. Ross and Carlson are pioneers in the hands-on method of teaching; students are able to go out into the marketplace to solve problems, not only study cases about them in the classroom.

Where they separate from each other is with Ross’ prestige and its relationship with Detroit, MI. There’s no more fertile ground than there to do the kind of work I’m interested in. Carlson, however, can give me something Ross can’t: a built-in network. Particularly for my post-MBA plans, I understand the importance of relationships. (And my mother would be much happier if I stayed in the state of Minnesota.)

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

Jon: A professor told me my junior year at Concordia that the best way for him to retain information – and truly understand it – was to write it down. I recalled this advice a few years ago when I wanted to find a way to remember the information I was reading in economics and finance-related books and articles. It’s been one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. Not only do I feel like I know more about the topics that interest me than ever before, but I’ve rediscovered my love of writing. (I was the guy in your college writing class that asked all of the questions and revised his essays a dozen times.)

To be honest, my audience is myself. I don’t publicize my posts on social media, but thanks to the wonder of WordPress, I’ve gained a small following of fellow GMAT takers and MBA applicants. It makes me extremely happy that I’ve been able to help others along their journey. In general, I write about whatever interests me in the economics/finance sphere. At the time, it’s business school. If my musings on those topics interest others, as well, that’s terrific. I suppose in that sense I have a Field of Dreams-esque approach to my blog: “If you build it, they will come.”

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

You can read more about Jon’s b-school journey by checking out his blog, EF ESSAYS: Essays on Economics & Finance. Thank you Jon for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Download your free copy of Navigating the MBA Maze!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep
• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One 
School-Specific MBA Application Essays

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Medical School Enrollment Volume Reaches New High http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/07/med-school-enrollment-volume-reaches-new-high/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/07/med-school-enrollment-volume-reaches-new-high/#respond Fri, 07 Nov 2014 17:48:57 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26522 ]]> Looking for med school admissions advice? Check out our Medical School Admissions 101 Pages!According to an AAMC press release, 20,343 students enrolled in U.S. medical schools for the first time in 2014, an all time high for med school enrollment. There was a record 49,480 total applicants to med school (a 3.1% increase over last year), with first time applicants totaling 36,697 (an increase of 2.7%). Since 2002, U.S. medical schools have seen an application increase of 23.4%, and 17 new med schools have been established.

On these growing numbers, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. calls for increased federal support for residency training “to ensure an adequate number of residency training positions for these aspiring doctors so they will be able to care for our growing and aging population.” He continues to explain that only “by lifting the 17-year-old cap on residency training positions imposed under the Balanced Budget Act” will we be able to address the “worsening shortage of both primary and specialty physicians over the next two decades.”

Here are some additional highlights from the AAMC press release:

• Hispanic applications increased 9.7% to 4,386 in 2014; enrollment rose 1.8% to 1,859.

• African American applicants rose 3.2% to 3,990; enrollment increased 1.1% to 1,412.

• American Indian and Alaska Native application volume increased 5.6% to 449 applicants in 2014; enrollment jumped nearly 17% to 202 enrollees in 2014.

• 52% of enrollees this year were males, compared to 48% females, similar to last year.

• Among first time applicants, female applicant volume rose 3.3% compared to an increased first time male applicant volume of 2.1%.

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Med School Secondary Essay Handbook: School Specific Tips
• Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You Must Know
• The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success

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Get Ready, Get Set, and ACE that Team Interview Challenge! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/06/get-ready-get-set-and-ace-that-team-interview-challenge/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/06/get-ready-get-set-and-ace-that-team-interview-challenge/#respond Thu, 06 Nov 2014 21:15:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26629 ]]> Have a TBD interview coming up? Practice with the pros before your big day!

Participate, don’t dominate!

The team-based interview/discussion. Not as straightforward as the traditional one-on-one interview, many applicants feel tripped up and nervous just thinking about it. Well now you can WORRY NO MORE. We’d like to help you prep for your upcoming team-based interview/discussion by offering you the following tips (with a special emphasis on #4):

1. Participate, don’t dominate. Balance is key here. If you chime in infrequently, then you won’t give the group (not to mention the interview leader) an opportunity to hear your voice and get to know you; run your mouth non-stop, however, and they may get to know you more than they’d like. Take the middle ground here and participate as though you would in a regular polite conversation.

2. Politeness matters! Thought-provoking, interesting comments are always welcome, but don’t cross the line into overly controversial, and certainly not offensive.

3. Dress the part. The idea of a discussion is meant to induce a feeling of casual conversation, but not too casual! Your board shorts and Hawaiian shirt? Save that for your next luau. Instead, stick with business attire only.

4. Attend our upcoming Mock Wharton Team-Based Discussion. The best way to prep for your team exercise is by experiencing one first-hand before interview day. Join us on Tuesday, November 11th at 4:00 PM PT/7:00 PM ET or on Monday, November 18th 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET for a simulated group interview that will provide you with the ins and outs, not to mention a huge boost of confidence, when it comes to your Wharton Team-Based Discussion or any other group interview or activities you may have coming up. You must purchase this service in advance to reserve your spot.

We wish you lots of luck! Please be in touch with any questions!

Have a TBD Coming Up? Practice with the pros before your big day! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR A MOCK WHARTON TBD!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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The Men’s Guide to Dress for Medical School Success http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/06/the-mens-guide-to-dress-for-medical-school-success/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/06/the-mens-guide-to-dress-for-medical-school-success/#respond Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:57:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26567 ]]> Want more medical school interview advice?

Picking your shirt and tie can be a tricky balance between standing out from the crowd and being the obnoxious peacock.

After the tests are scored, resumes printed, and applications submitted, interview day is the last—and potentially most—stressful part of getting to your school of choice. This is your chance to make a great first impression with the interview committee, and your appearance should mirror the image of a medical student; clean, professional, and detailed. Follow this simple guide to make sure you’re dressed for medical school success on interview day.

First, you need a black or dark colored suit that fits well. Keep in mind that your audience will most likely be older professionals with more conservative styles. This doesn’t mean you need to run to a tailor for a custom fitting, but you need something that’s going to fit better than raiding your dad’s closet. The shoulder of the suit should end at your shoulder. If your suit looks like it has Grandma’s shoulder pads it’s too big. Second, make sure the top button of a two-button suit (middle button of a three-button suit) is higher than your belly-button. Finally, drop your arms to your sides; the sleeves should stop around the base of your thumb, and the body of the jacket should end around your knuckles or palms. Leave the suit pockets stitched closed to prevent sagging. Slacks are easier; they should be hemmed so that the back of the pant reaches somewhere around the heel of the shoe. Although pant length is a matter of personal preference, always make sure your pants never drag the ground or expose the tops of your shoes. If you need a suit, be sure to check your local consignment shops before spending a ton of money for a brand new suit.

No matter what you wear, make sure it’s clean, pressed, and lint free. Having your suit pressed by a professional makes you look sharp and keeps your suit in good condition. If you’re staying at a hotel, they may even offer this service in-house. When wearing a brand new shirt, iron out the folds, and make sure all the pins and stickers are removed. On interview morning, run a lint brush over your clothes, especially if you have hairy pets!

Picking your shirt and tie can be a tricky balance between standing out from the crowd and being the obnoxious peacock. Remember that your main goal is to convey a professional and confident image, so save your flashy shirts for a night out. Your shirt and tie need to match your suit, so always keep your suit color and pattern in mind. A white, light blue, or checkered pattern in a complementary color is usually a safe bet, but be sure to stick to more traditional patterns. Finally, pick out a tie that complements your suit and shirt. Leave your solar system and other novelty ties at home, and use a professional knot (not an Eldredge or Ellie knot). If you’re still wanting to express your personality, the best place to go wild is socks. Wearing a pair of fun socks that complement your suit is a great way to show a little bit of a fun side, while still looking professional.

To bring your look together, shoes should be well polished and your belt should match. Causal loafers or boat shoes are not appropriate, and you should never wear a brown shoe with a black suit, or vice-versa. A simple watch, pair of cufflinks, or lapel pin can refine the look, but stay away from anything gaudy or large. Be sure to schedule a haircut prior to your interview, and make sure your nails are well trimmed. Keep in mind your audience is probably conservative about dress, so be sure to remove any piercings and cover any tattoos prior to your interview.

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

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

Related Resources:

• Common Myths about Medical School Interviews
• What Should You Wear to Your Med School Interview?
• How to Ace Your Medical School Interview

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PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/06/payscale-how-much-you-can-earn-and-how-to-earn-it/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/06/payscale-how-much-you-can-earn-and-how-to-earn-it/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:15:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26604 ]]> lydia-frank-payscaleTrying to figure out if grad school will pay off? How much you’ll earn with your career of choice? Which graduate program will position you to for the best payoff?

If so, tune in to our conversation with Lydia Frank of PayScale to find out how to get the stats and info that you need to make an informed financial decision.

00:03:11 – PayScale: who they are and what they do.

00:04:35 – The College Salary Report (and the recent inclusion of grad school data).

00:05:53 – How PayScale collects data (and why you should complete their survey, too!).

00:09:13 – Helpful resources for folks in the research stage.

00:12:47 – What surprises people about the PayScale survey results.

00:16:46 – Different uses for the (many!) resources at PayScale.

00:24:28 – New data we’ll be seeing in the future reports.

00:29:03 – Accounting for the opportunity cost of education in the salary report. (Yes, they do.)

00:30:28 – Advice from Lydia for balancing what you love with what pays.

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

Related Links:

• Which Grad Schools Produce the Highest Earners?
• Lifetime Earnings by Degree & Major
Social Mobility Index

Related Shows:

• Career Direction: It’s Ok to Love Your Job!
• How to Become a Management Consultant
• The Facts About Financial Services
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?
• Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
• Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/06/payscale-how-much-you-can-earn-and-how-to-earn-it/feed/ 1 career goals,MBA ROI,podcast,Rankings Trying to figure out if grad school will pay off? How much you’ll earn with your career of choice? Which graduate program will position you to for the best payoff? - If so, tune in to our conversation with Lydia Frank of PayScale to find out how to ... Trying to figure out if grad school will pay off? How much you’ll earn with your career of choice? Which graduate program will position you to for the best payoff? If so, tune in to our conversation with Lydia Frank of PayScale to find out how to get the stats and info that you need to make an informed financial decision. 00:03:11 – PayScale: who they are and what they do. 00:04:35 – The College Salary Report (and the recent inclusion of grad school data). 00:05:53 - How PayScale collects data (and why you should complete their survey, too!). 00:09:13 - Helpful resources for folks in the research stage. 00:12:47 – What surprises people about the PayScale survey results. 00:16:46 – Different uses for the (many!) resources at PayScale. 00:24:28 – New data we’ll be seeing in the future reports. 00:29:03 – Accounting for the opportunity cost of education in the salary report. (Yes, they do.) 00:30:28 – Advice from Lydia for balancing what you love with what pays. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • Which Grad Schools Produce the Highest Earners? • Lifetime Earnings by Degree & Major • Social Mobility Index Related Shows: • Career Direction: It’s Ok to Love Your Job! • How to Become a Management Consultant • The Facts About Financial Services • Is a PhD a Good Idea? • Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship • Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk: Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 40:27
Team-Based Interview Invites Sent Out to Wharton and Ross Applicants! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/05/team-based-interview-invites-sent-out-to-wharton-and-ross-applicants/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/05/team-based-interview-invites-sent-out-to-wharton-and-ross-applicants/#respond Wed, 05 Nov 2014 21:41:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26565 ]]> Click here to register for a mock Wharton TBD! The admissions teams at Wharton and Ross have sent out interview invitations over the last few weeks. If you received one, congrats! Here are some tidbits about the Ross interview invites:

• Invitations were sent out on Monday, October 20th.

 • If you didn’t receive an interview invitation, that doesn’t necessarily equal a ding – you could still be waitlisted or asked to interview during Round 2.

• If you’re wondering about the percentage of interviewed applicants that get admitted, Soojin Kwon, Michigan Ross’s Director of Admissions, explains: “[T]hat depends on the number of interview invitations we make – which varies from year to year depending on the approach we want to take (e.g., cast a wide net, which could mean more interviewees are placed on the waitlist), and the number of admission offers we make, which depends on projected yield (i.e., our estimate of how many admits will decide to enroll).” So don’t necessarily create predictions based on previous years’ numbers!

• The Ross blog provides links to helpful videos on interviewing at Ross. See here and here.

And for Wharton:

• Round 1 team-based discussions will be held on campus (in Philadelphia), as well as at off-campus locations in San Francisco, London, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, and Singapore.

• Interviews will take place in November. Invites were only sent out on Friday, October 31st, so yours could still be in the mail….

• Wharton provides more info about their team-based discussion here.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post with tips on how to ace the TBD! Have a TBD Coming Up? Practice with the pros before your big day! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR A MOCK WHARTON TBD! Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best Related Resources:

• Tips For Tackling Team Interviews • MBA Interview Tips Post 4: Team-Based Discussion Interviews • Handling Wharton’s Team-Based Discussion

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Last-Minute Pointers for Your Med School Interview Day http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/05/last-minute-pointers-for-interview-day/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/05/last-minute-pointers-for-interview-day/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 18:13:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25924 ]]> Click here to download the complete Medical School Interview Guide!

Make sure to eat a reasonable breakfast.

“Last-Minute Pointers for Interview Day” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success. To download the entire free special report, click here

Most interviews are a day event that includes a welcome session, a school walking tour, a financial aid session, a lunch, and of course the formal interview.

1. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early for the start of the day. You definitely DO NOT WANT TO BE LATE.

2. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the big day.

3. Eat a reasonable breakfast so that your stomach isn’t empty but not too much. You don’t want to have the stress of the day affect you physically.

4. Minimize your coffee consumption to keep anxiety low.

5. If you arrive to campus early, pick up a school paper (or other reading material) to keep you occupied while you are waiting and to get a more personal feel of the school.

You’re almost there! You’ve prepped for this day and checked off all your to-do’s for the day of. Now it’s time to sit down and ace that interview!

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Help, I Was Rejected by All the Med Schools I Applied To!
• Common Myths about Medical School Interviews
• Introducing the MMI (Multiple Mini Interview)

*Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek.

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Have an Open Mind, Learn Skills, Build Relationships: Darden MBA Interview http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/05/have-an-open-mind-learn-skills-build-relationships-darden-mba-interview/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/05/have-an-open-mind-learn-skills-build-relationships-darden-mba-interview/#respond Wed, 05 Nov 2014 17:40:01 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26182 ]]> Click here for more MBA student interviews!

Archana

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 Archana Rao, second-year student at UVA Darden.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?

Archana: Originally from India and being an Army Officer’s daughter I studied in 8 different schools and lived in more than 16 different states. Studied Electronics and Telecomm Engineering and pursued a course in Advertising and Public Relations to strike a balance between my quantitative and qualitative skills sets.

Accepted: What year are you at UVA Darden? 

Archana: Second Year Darden

Accepted: Why did you choose Darden? Why did you think it was the best fit for you? Has it lived up to its expectations? 

Archana: I chose Darden because I wanted to study in a college town with a rich history, wanted a small class size, and the case study method. Darden fit this exact criteria and it lives up to its expectations every single day.

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

Archana: I wish there was a larger focus on Technology careers. Measures are being taken to build better relations with the Bay Area.

Accepted: Which other MBA programs had you considered? Did you only consider programs in the U.S.? Why or why not?

Archana: I looked at Yale, Kellogg and Haas for particular concentrations that they specialize in. I got accepted at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, but chose to study in the US given the global exposure offered and the extensive diversity here.

Accepted: What was your pre-MBA job? Do you plan on returning to that industry after you receive your MBA?

Archana: I worked at the HSBC Bank as a project management consultant where I was also a global sustainability champion doing pro-bono consulting for non-profit partners in Education. This drove me to join the Teach for India movement where I taught English and Math in a public school.

I realized that there was lack of mentorship beyond school hours and decided to co-found a non-profit called Mentor Me India in Mumbai.

Most recently I spent the summer with the Boston Consulting Group in Houston working in Global Education strategy for the World Economic Forum and industry benchmarking for unconventional shale gas. I will continue to be in consulting full-time given the steep learning curve and opportunity to work across different industries and functional areas.

Accepted: Can you talk about the internship process at Darden? What role did they play in helping you secure your internship at BCG?

Archana: The internship process at Darden is competitive and begins almost immediately as you step on grounds in first year. Being focused, organized, and confident is the key in being successful in the process.

There are numerous support structures like the career development center and your second year coach to guide you all along the way. Your second years are the most valuable resource given that they just came back from a summer internship and have been through the whole process only a few months ago. I utilized all of the above to be well prepared to secure the internship at BCG.

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

Archana:

1. Have an open mind coming in, with a vague idea of what you might like doing for a career. Recruiting begins sooner than you think!

2. Focus on learning skills rather than just grades.

3. Build meaningful relationships with your classmates and professors. They are world-class at a top-business school.

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

Archana: Having had a variety of experiences in my career before b-school I was not sure how to communicate my short term and long term goals. But talking to people who had inspiring careers and understanding how they got there gave me a roadmap to how I could communicate those questions. It’s a very reflective process. It was very valuable for me to invest time in thinking about what I really wanted out of life and how I wanted to spend my time.

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

Archana:

1. My first blog (Life is My Classroom) shares my learnings from experiences I have had at Teach for India and at Darden. It gives everyone a window into thoughts and observations that others in these institutions also experience but don’t necessarily share. I love writing and it’s a great way to de-stress when things get extremely busy at Darden as well!

2. Life on a Post-it In today’s world where people’s attention spans are shrinking, I believe that cartooning is a strong medium in communicating my thoughts, observations, and musings about life, career, education, relationships etc. on a post-it! I enjoy cartooning and post-its and this blog lets me combine the both.

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

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

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• UVA Darden 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
Against the Odds: MBA Admissions for Indian Applicants
• How to Become a Management Consultant

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Take Command of Your MBA Interview! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/04/take-command-of-your-mba-interview-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/04/take-command-of-your-mba-interview-2/#respond Tue, 04 Nov 2014 21:16:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26556 ]]> MBA Interview Commandments

Acing an MBA interview is no easy feat! You need to simultaneously:

• Exude confidence without boasting;

• Find the balance between being too terse and talking your interviewer’s ear off;

• Stay positive even when a curveball is thrown at you; and

• Be honest and quick thinking at ALL times.

Worried you may not be able to keep it together on the big day? Stop worrying (because that really won’t help) and instead take a step in the direction of interview success by signing up for our upcoming webinar, The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews.

The webinar will be presented by Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, current Accepted.com consultant and former admissions director, who will walk you through 10 interview musts AND giveaway a free mock interview session to one lucky webinar attendee!

The webinar will take place next Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM GMT.

10MBACommandments_ReserveYourSpot

Reserve your spot for The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews now!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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Georgetown University School of Medicine 2015 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/04/georgetown-university-school-of-medicine-2015-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/04/georgetown-university-school-of-medicine-2015-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Tue, 04 Nov 2014 18:07:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26524 ]]> Get more school-specific secondary essay tips!Given the Jesuit influence at Georgetown and its adoption of the Cura Personalis philosophy, I recommend covering your clinical, research and community service experience Georgetown’s secondary application essay. The school places special emphasis on training physicians to treat medically underserved communities.  Highlight your personal connections, volunteer work and leadership roles in medically underserved communities.

Georgetown University School of Medicine 2014 Essay Questions:

• Two short essays, with character limits of 1,000, and one long essay, with a character limit of 5,000.

• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

The following essay is required in the Secondary Application:

Short essay #1: Georgetown University School of Medicine strives to ensure that its students become respectful physicians who embrace all dimensions of caring for the whole person. Please describe how your personal characteristics or life experiences will contribute to the Georgetown School of Medicine community and bring educational benefits to our student body. (1,000 characters)

Using an updated draft of your resume or CV as well as a copy of the activities section of your AMCAS application, select those experiences that you feel will be most helpful in sharing with your classmates. Did you learn to speak another language? Have you traveled to other countries to assist medically underserved communities? Do you have experience working with a particular patient population? More personally, what characteristics stand out most about you? How will your particular perspective of the world, based on this individuality, allow you to assist your classmates in becoming better doctors?

Essay: Why have you chosen to apply to Georgetown University School of Medicine, and how do you think your education at Georgetown will prepare you to become a physician for the future? * (c. 5,000 characters).

Since this is such a long essay, it will be helpful to draw upon your previous experiences to demonstrate why your values align with those of Georgetown. Use concrete, specific examples to explain how and why you will integrate easily into their study body. The second part of this essay prompt requires that you focus on the future. After researching their curriculum and special programs, you can explain how each of these will enhance your medical education. Make a list and use this as an outline to guide your response. Focus on the most important points last; they may be forgotten if you include them at the beginning of such a long essay. For that reason, it will be important to provide a concise summary of what you’ve covered in the conclusion.

Short essay #2: Is there any further information that you would like the Committee on Admissions to be aware of when reviewing your file that you were not able to notate in another section of this or the AMCAS Application? (1,000 characters)

This would be the best place to cover any academic difficulties that you have overcome whether you’ve retaken courses, created an increasing trend in your GPA or retaken the MCAT for a higher score. Focusing on those areas of the application that you have successfully improved can provide compelling evidence of your academic potential and how you will perform in medical school. If this approach is not relevant to your application, you can use this section to update the committee on new publications, activities or awards that may not be on the AMCAS application. Discuss what you have been doing since you started the application process.

Application Timeline:

AMCAS Application Due                November 3, 2014

Secondary Application                   *Submit within two weeks after receipt.

Interviews Conducted                     September 2014 to March 2015

Notification of Acceptance             *8 to 10 weeks after the Interview Date

School Begins                                  July 2014

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

Check out the rest of our school-specific secondary essay tips!

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:

• Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Medical School Interviews
• Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You Must Know
Leadership in Admissions

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MBA Interview Must-Know #2: You http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/04/mba-interview-must-know-2-you-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/04/mba-interview-must-know-2-you-2/#respond Tue, 04 Nov 2014 17:32:51 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26419 ]]>

Download your copy of MBA Interview Prep: How to Ace Your MBA Interviews!

“MBA Interview Must-Know #2: You” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, How to Ace Your MBA Interviews To download the entire free special report, click here.

You. You are the first topic you need to know. After all, the interview will be about you. What do you want to do after your MBA? Why do you want to attend this program? When have you demonstrated the qualities this school appreciates, the qualities that will show you belong here? Much of this information appears in your essays or was uncovered in the preparation and introspection that took place before you drafted your essays. (Did you jot down notes? Keep a journal? Use them.)

In a BW interview, Dawna Clark, Director of Admissions at Tuck, gave the following very concrete advice to applicants facing a “blind” interview, which at many programs means the interviewer only sees your resume.

“I would recommend that people approach their interview with a strategy. When candidates are applying to Tuck, so many of them are so bright and so impressive, and there are probably 50 things that they would love to talk to us about in their interview. But there’s limited time, and I would recommend that they spend some time thinking about five of the top skills, experiences, or accomplishments that they most want to emphasize.

“I would literally write a list of everything that you’re proud of before your interview and then cut it in half, and cut it in half again and cut it in half again, until you say, ‘You know what? If I have limited time, here are the five points I’m really hoping to get across in this interview.’ With each of those five bullet points come up with some examples and substantiate them.”

Dawna provides excellent suggestions for an interview strategy where you will truly be prepared to present yourself.

MBA Interview Tip #2: Know the few most important things you are proud of and be prepared to discuss them.

Do you know the 10 commandments of MBA interviews?

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Tips for Your In-Person Interview with MBA Student or Alumnus
• Preparing for Behavioral and General Interview Questions, a short video
• 6 Steps to Follow After You Receive Your MBA Interview Invite

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Successful GRE Score = Successful MBA Students http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/03/successful-gre-score-successful-mba-students/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/03/successful-gre-score-successful-mba-students/#respond Mon, 03 Nov 2014 22:13:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26481 ]]> Want to know what HBS has to say about accepting the GRE?An Educational Testing Service (ETS) press releases reports on a study conducted by ETS that examines the performance of part-time and full-time MBA students who had taken the GRE revised General Test. Results show that high GRE scores predict solid student performance in MBA programs.

According to David Payne, Vice President and COO of Global Education at ETS, “The GRE® Program has a long history of predictive validity for graduate-level programs such as social sciences, including business, which is why more than 1,100 business schools worldwide are accepting GRE scores for their MBA Programs. This new study provides even more evidence regarding the specific population of MBA students.”

The ETS press release also shares the following points:

• Currently, almost all top b-schools (90% of U.S. News’ top 100 schools) accept the GRE.

• GRE test takers report positively about the GRE’s ScoreSelect which allows test takers to submit only their best sets of scores to schools for up to five years from the test day.

• Test takers also provide positive feedback regarding their ability to skip questions and return to them later on.

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well
• GMAT vs. GRE: Harvard Business School Weighs In
Should You take the GMAT or the GRE?

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Tips for Answering Yale University Supplemental Essay Prompts http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/03/tips-for-answering-yale-university-supplemental-essay-prompts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/03/tips-for-answering-yale-university-supplemental-essay-prompts/#respond Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:38:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26442 ]]> Click here for more school-specific supplemental essay tips!

Get excited about the prospect of attending Yale!

This post about the Yale supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools. 

Yale University is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world. It requires the Common Application essay plus additional Yale-specific short answers and a Yale writing supplement. For applicants interested in engineering, there is a third optional essay. This prestigious Ivy League school prides itself on providing undergraduates with an exceptional foundation in liberal arts education that focuses on cultivating knowledge and leadership skills. “Yale’s commitment to each student – to challenge, expand, and ultimately better understand the life of one’s own mind through undergraduate study.” The supplemental writing response is a chance for you to convey how the Yale experience augments your passions and perspectives in terms of learning, living, and your future.

If Yale is your first choice, it offers a single-choice early action program for freshman applicants (November 1st deadline). If you choose to use this option, you may not apply to early decision or early action programs at other schools. There are a few exceptions to this rule, check the Yale admissions website for details. Under this program, Yale will notify you of its admission decision by December 15th. The deadline for submission of applications for regular action is December 1st.

Before you begin writing your essay(s), thoroughly research all that Yale has to offer and consider how those opportunities bolster your objectives. This is a time to get excited about the prospect of attending Yale! Visit the website, speak with current students and alumni; envision yourself as a part of its exceptional learning community. The curriculum at Yale is designed to provide both breadth and depth of study as the foundation for students to pursue inspired lives and careers. It strives to foster independent critical thinking. Yale is one of the only universities that allow you to try-out your classes before you finalize your schedule. The first ten days of each semester are an opportunity to visit a number of classes to determine which are most interesting to you!

Located in the small town of New Haven, in an urban setting that is primarily a residential campus, Yale offers a supportive community-feel through its system of twelve residential colleges. This configuration, complete with its own residential deans and masters, creates a sense of intimacy within the larger university. Residential deans serve as primary personal and academic advisors. Masters work with students to shape the residential community. This is a powerfully dynamic way of bringing together students and faculty. Think about how this structure can support your intellectual growth.

Yale’s essay question are required for all freshman applicants:

In this second essay, please reflect on something you would like us to know about you that we might not learn from the rest of your application, or on something about which you would like to say more. You may write about anything—from personal experiences or interests to intellectual pursuits (500 word limit).

This is a completely open-ended prompt! Consider your overall application, what sort of picture does it paint? Do you feel there is something significant missing? This is an invitation to present a more complete image. Is there something essential that you feel compelled to discuss further? Are there elements of your culture or life experience that are meaningful to your identity? What really matters to you? Your response to this question reveals your character and values. It also touches upon how you make sense of the world around you and how you see yourself within that world. Think about your goals for the future. How do your personal experiences, interests, or intellectual pursuits relate to your potential as a student at Yale?

Optional essay for prospective engineering majors:

If you selected one of the engineering majors, please write a brief third essay telling us what has led you to an interest in this field of study, what experiences (if any) you have had in engineering, and what it is about Yale’s engineering program that appeals to you.

This is your chance to share your excitement about engineering and Yale. What sparked your interest in the field? How did you nurture that drive to expand your exposure to engineering? Elaborate on extracurricular activities that support your intellectual curiosity. Can you demonstrate leadership in your pursuits? How did you invest yourself in engineering-related experiences? How will an education in Yale’s engineering program support your aspirations? Think about this question in both broad and specific terms. Connect your discussion to specific aspects of the engineering program at Yale. What sort of Yale engineering student might you be?

The tone of your essays should reflect your drive and enthusiasm for learning in general and at Yale in particular. Convey your perspectives in your own voice. Be thoughtful and reflective.

In addition to the supplemental essay(s), Yale also requires five short answer responses with limits ranging from 40 to 100 words. These are another a way to help the admissions committee to get a better idea of who you are as an individual. These responses reveal aspects of your personality, interests, character, and ways of thinking about the world around you.

What in particular about Yale has influenced your decision to apply? (100 words or less)

This is a direct question, so answer it directly. Why do you want to attend Yale? Write clearly and honestly. Articulate your motivation for applying to Yale with gusto. How will an education at Yale make your life more meaningful?

Please respond in 250 characters (roughly 40 words) or fewer to each of the questions below:

 • What excites you intellectually, really?

• Think about a disappointment you have experienced. What was your response?

• Suite-style living – four to six students sharing a set of rooms – may be an integral part of your Yale College experience. What would you contribute to the dynamic of your suite?

• What do you wish you were better at being or doing?

Yale is looking for the best and brightest students with diverse interests and life experiences. The admissions committee wants to evaluate “qualities such as motivation, curiosity, energy, leadership ability, and distinctive talents.” Consider how your responses to the above questions express your personality, resilience, and disposition. What do your answers indicate about how you engage with your others?

Applicants to Yale have an exceedingly competitive profile. Yale received 30,932 undergraduate applications (single choice early action: 4,750; regular decision: 26,182) for the class of 2018. Only 7% of applicants were offered admission, the freshman class was comprised of 1,361students and 95% of them ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. In addition, consider average SAT scores of 755 in critical reading, 750 in math, 760 in writing and an average ACT score of 33 and you get a sense of your cohort.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the numbers. At this point, it is heartening to bear in mind that Yale is dedicated to a holistic application evaluation process for admission. Your short responses and supplemental essay(s) facilitate a more comprehensive review of you as a prospective student at Yale. The admissions committee takes the time to read your responses carefully. Make sure you allow yourself appropriate time for thoughtful reflection and effective writing. Use your writing supplement to set you apart from your peers. The best approach is to be true to you and communicate your thoughts, experiences, hopes, and dreams in a way that highlights your genuine enthusiasm for the extraordinary educational journey at Yale!

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

Marie Todd By , Accepted’s college admissions specialist. Marie has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology. She is available to assist you (or your child) with your applications.

Related Resources:

School-Specific Common Application Supplemental Essay Tips
Leadership in Admissions
• U.S. News 2015 Best Colleges

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Indian School of Business MBA Admissions Q&A http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/03/indian-school-of-business-mba-admissions-qa/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/03/indian-school-of-business-mba-admissions-qa/#respond Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:12:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26513 ]]> Discover the benefits of attending India’s top-ranked business school, the Indian School of Business (ISB), when you attend our upcoming admissions Q&A with Mr. Rupesh Bisht, Associate Director – Admissions & Financial Aid at ISB.

Join our live Indian School of Business (ISB) Admissions Q&A!

In addition to answering your questions, Mr. Bisht will discuss various topics including:

  • The admissions process and application requirements.
  • ISB’s advanced curriculum and goals.
  • Financing and scholarship options.
  • Career opportunities for ISB students.

Register now to reserve your spot for the live ISB MBA Admissions Q&A [Wednesday, November 5, 2014, at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 5 PM GMT / 10:30 PM IST].

Save my spot!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

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What’s an MBA Really Worth? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/02/whats-an-mba-really-worth/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/02/whats-an-mba-really-worth/#respond Sun, 02 Nov 2014 18:17:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26383 ]]> Applying to top MBA programs? Download your free copy of Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

How much do MBAs really earn?

This is the question tackled in a recent Poets & Quants article in which John Byrne presents PayScale data provided exclusively for P&Q. In the analysis, PayScale calculates the estimated median pay and bonuses (not including stock-based compensation, retirement benefits, or non-cash benefits like healthcare) of graduates from the top 50 U.S. MBA programs from 2004 to 2014. Here are some of the highlights from the article:

Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton earn the most over a 20-year period (at $3,233,000, $3,011,000 and $2,989,000 respectively), with average income at the former nearly doubling the average income of graduates from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School (at $1,781,820.)

• Some schools “punched above their weight class” like Boston University, whose graduates earned an average of $2,329,000, making the school rank in 19th place on this list, while ranked overall (in the regular MBA full-time rankings) by P&Q in 40th.

• Another high roller from lower down on the list is UC-Irvine Merage, where MBAs earn $2,319,932 over 20 years, putting them in 21st place, though generally ranked in 47th.

• More food for thought: At HBS, the average age of graduation is 29 years old. Our 20-year payout here brings these MBAs up to 49 years old, giving them another 16 years until retirement at 65. Based on their 20-year earnings, they may earn another $3.2 million, which combined with their 20-year earnings, brings their total up to $6.5 million. (Remember, this is a conservative estimate as it doesn’t include stock and non-cash compensation.)

• Compare the above HBS figures to the $2.5 million estimated lifetime earnings (age 24 to 64) of people with a master’s degree (non-MBA). (Data from the U.S. Census Bureau.) Someone with an MBA from Harvard will earn nearly three times as much as someone with a master’s degree. And someone with an MBA from Texas A&M will still earn about $1 million more than the average MA/MS holder.

• More comparisons (based on U.S. Census Bureau data): The average high school graduate can expect to earn $1.2 million in a lifetime, compared to the $2.1 million of someone with a bachelor’s degree. PhDs earn $3.4 million on average during their working lifetime. Doctors and lawyers can expect lifetime earnings of about $4.4 million – still less than the lifetime earnings of MBAs from at least 28 business schools.

• According to PayScale data, graduates from BA programs earn a median $1,301,000 20 years post-graduation. All MBAs, on average, earned $1,771,000, with those in the top 50 earning a median $2,266,000. An MBA in general will earn you about half a million more than a BA; an MBA from a top 50 school will get you yet another half a million more.

Looking for admissions advice?
Source: PayScale for Poets&Quants

For MBA admissions tips, check out our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!
Source: Payscale Inc. for 20-year estimate, business schools reporting to U.S. News for 2013 starting pay and bonus.

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• B-Schools with the Highest ROIs
• Which Graduate Schools Should You Apply To?

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How to Ace the GRE Quant Section Without (Too Much) Math http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/02/how-to-ace-the-gre-quant-section-without-too-much-math/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/02/how-to-ace-the-gre-quant-section-without-too-much-math/#respond Sun, 02 Nov 2014 17:40:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26363 ]]> Need more GRE advice?

Don’t try to “Math” your way through the GRE!

Many people think that the GRE is designed to test your math and verbal skills. While this is true to some degree, the tests are really designed to test your critical thinking skills. Trying to “math” your way through every problem on the quantitative section is possible, but it will likely take a lot of time. Let’s take a look at a sample GRE question and see how we can solve it in different ways.

On Monday, 2/5 of a full tank of water is emptied. On Tuesday, 1/5 of what’s left is emptied out of the tank. How full is the tank on Wednesday?

A] 2/25

B] 3/25

C] 2/5

D] 12/25

E] 3/5

First, we’ll go through the math. Then we’ll talk about how to do this problem without math.

The tank is originally completed full, or 5/5 full. Then 2/5 of the tank is emptied, so 5/5 – 2/5 = 3/5. At the end of Monday, the tank is 3/5 full.

Then 1/5 of the remaining water is emptied. 1/5 of 3/5 means 1/5 x 3/5 = 3/25. So on Tuesday, 3/25 of the overall volume of the tank is drained. So 3/5 is left, then 3/25 is taken out, so we’ll need to convert the numbers into common denominators and we end up with 15/25 – 3/25 = 12/25. The tank remains 12/25 full.

There’s the math based way to solve this question. But because the GRE is actually a critical thinking test, is there another way to solve this problem what will get you to the answer more quickly?

Let’s take a look at how to do this without so much math

Take a look at the answer choices. On the first day, 2/5 of the tank is drained, leaving 3/5. No matter what, more water will be drained, so E cannot be the answer. Further, this problem is more complicated than simply doing this math: 1 – 2/5 – 1/5 = 2/5. Eliminate C.

If you simply multiply 1/5 and 2/5, you get 2/25, and we can eliminate A, as that is too easy. This leaves us with B] and D], and if you simply consider that the tank should still be around half full, after 1/5 of 3/5 is removed, only D] remains in the ballpark.

Approaching the problem in this way will save you time, if you know how to apply these methods. This is what preparing for the GRE is all about. Not just hammering at questions with direct math and being fast at it. It is about recognizing what the test is actually testing. The second method will take far less time on test day, and time management is a huge part of attaining a high score on the GRE.

Next Step Test Preparation, specializes in 1-on-1 tutoring for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT and MCAT. Contact them today to discuss your goals and to learn how they can help you achieve them.

Download our free report: GET YOUR GAME ON: Preparing for Your Grad School Application

Related Resources:

• GRE vs. GMAT: Trends
Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application
Graduate School Admissions 101

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RoadToMyMBA: 26-Yr Old Consultant from Brazil Applying to Top US B-Schools http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/31/mba-applicant-interview-with-roadtomymba/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/31/mba-applicant-interview-with-roadtomymba/#respond Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:19:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26180 ]]> Click here for more MBA applicant interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing our anonymous blogger, RoadToMyMBA…

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

RoadToMyMBA: Hi, I’m a 26 year old financial consultant from Brazil. I have a BA degree in international relations from a private university here in my city and I’ve also studied economics for 3 years in another university but did not obtain this second bachelor’s degree since I’ve put my registration as “on-hold.”

I currently work for a Big 4 consulting firm in the corporate finance area. I work with valuation, M&A and long-term fundraising projects with companies of various sizes throughout Brazil. I’ve been working here for about 4 years and right now I’m a Senior Consultant.

Accepted: Where do you plan on applying to b-school? 

RoadToMyMBA: I’m planning to apply exclusively to US MBA programs and right now I’m narrowing my choices, but they are between Tuck, Stern, Darden, Fuqua, McCombs, Kenan-Flagler and Kelley. I know it’s a lot of options but it’s a hard decision, especially for me that can’t travel to the campus and to the best MBA events in USA. I’m doing my best to make the right choice.

Accepted: What attracts you to the U.S. programs, as opposed to other top schools in Europe or Asia? 

RoadToMyMBA: When I was younger (15 years old to be precise) I had the opportunity to live in the USA for one year as a high school exchange student. Since then, I’ve thought to come back and live in the USA for a longer period.

Another important aspect is how well renowned the American universities are in business education. I’m looking forward to studying with some bright students and world-class faculty.

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

RoadToMyMBA: I’m pretty much in the beginning of my application. I truly believe that I will only be able to apply in the second round for all MBA programs I’ve chosen so far.

The most challenging step so far is the GMAT. I did my first GMAT test two weeks ago and scored a low 560. Right now I’m back to studies since I’m planning to retake the GMAT in mid-November.

Accepted: Do you plan on staying in your current industry post-MBA, or changing to a new field/career? 

RoadToMyMBA: I would like to change my career to work in the financial sector, such as investment banking or private equity more precisely. Since I work as a corporate finance consultant, the change will not be very hard. At least that is what I think…

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

RoadToMyMBA: The main reason is to help others in the same situation as me (professionals coming from emerging countries that want to do a top notch MBA abroad and needing some help in the process).

The other reasons are to help improve my communication abilities in English and to make me relax a little bit during the whole process.

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

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

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

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
MBA Applicant Blogger Interviews
• Financial Aid & Health Insurance for International Students

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