An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Links:

Mom Corps

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• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart
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MBA Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses

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Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

An HBS Reapplicant’s Success Story

Read more MBA student interviews here!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 Prerit Jain, a future MBA student at Harvard Business School.

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

Prerit: My parents moved to New Delhi when I was less than a year old. This is where I grew up, went to school, college and have worked. In fact, it’s the only city I have ever lived in. (Well, you have to discount living out of a suitcase as a management consultant; more on that later.)

I went to the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi to study mechanical engineering, and did quite well academically, graduating at the top of my class.

Hoping to get diverse experiences, early in my career, I chose to start my career in consulting. Booz & Company had just opened its office in India, and seemed like an exciting opportunity. I worked there for more than three and a half years, before moving to my current role in early-stage venture capital with the First Light Accelerator Fund. I have been in my new role for only about a year now.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your application/reapplication experience? Where did you apply the first time around? What was the outcome? Where did you apply the second time?

Prerit: I submitted my first set of applications in Sept.-Oct. ’13 (R1 for the class matriculating in fall ‘14). I had worked at Booz for about three years, had been promoted twice, had a clear idea about my long-term goals and how an MBA would help. I was sure that I needed the MBA and the time was right. I applied to four schools: HBS, Wharton, Booth and Kellogg. I was interviewed by all four schools and in my view they all went well. I felt confident of getting admitted to more than one school. However, when the decisions came out, HBS put me on a waitlist and the other three said “thanks but no thanks.” I thought the world had come to an end and spent the next 2 weeks sulking!

Thankfully, I came out of that feeling in a couple of weeks, and began looking ahead. I decided to reapply. However, I realized that my learning curve at Booz had plateaued, and I needed to pursue something else. I was lucky to quickly find an exciting new opportunity (in venture capital), and by February, I had kick-started my new role.

Six months later, I reapplied in Sep ‘14 (R1 for the class matriculating in fall ‘15) to three schools: HBS, Booth, and Columbia. I was interviewed at all three schools, and finally received admits from HBS and Booth. I will be heading to Boston in the fall!

Accepted: What do you think went wrong the first time and what did you do when you reapplied to improve your candidacy?

Prerit: We can only speculate here! When I applied for the first time, I had only worked in one over-represented industry – consulting. Moreover, in hindsight, I perhaps did not practice my interviewing as much.

When I reapplied, I had gained some diverse work experience, and had some more interesting stories to tell. Also, I put in hours of practice before the interviews. I got several of my friends to interview me and I video recorded myself to observe softer elements such as body language and posture.

Accepted: Can you share some tips about applying to b-school as an over-represented minority? 

Prerit: Being an Indian-male-engineer-consultant, I knew I was indeed in a fiercely competitive pool. I knew I needed to show that I am both competent and interesting. I looked through the different parts of the application – the resume, application, essays etc. – and made choices about how I would use each of them.

Hard facts and stats went into the CV and the application form. The more differentiated and interesting personal qualities and experiences went into the essays.

Accepted: I see you got a 760 on your GMAT – amazing! What are your top 3 GMAT tips?

Prerit:

• A few weeks of dedicated preparation go farther than months of insincere efforts

• Practice those 4-hour full-tests. The GMAT is also a test of stamina.

• Right from day 1 of your preparation, get used to working under time constraint. Never attempt a GMAT question without having a timer in front of you.

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

You can read more about Prerit’s journey by following him on Twitter at @preritjain1988. Thank you Prerit for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

MBA admissions tips for Indian applicants! Download Free.
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• Get Accepted to Harvard Business School, a free webinar
• Harvard Business School 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips

Life as an HBS MBA Student

 Life as an HBS MBA: An Interview with Philip BlackettMeet Philip Blackett, a proud member of the Harvard Business School Class of 2016, the founder of Magnetic Interviewing, and the host of the podcast Life in the MBA.

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

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

00:06:20 – Why HBS?

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

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

00:15:10 – The importance of team-work.

00:17:25 – Becoming a leader. (This is what HBS wants to see!!)

00:18:34 – What the HBS adcom looks for in your failures.

00:19:27 – Getting rejected by Harvard Business School. What now?!?!

00:22:01 – The best parts of life at Harvard Business School.

00:24:14 – Don’t be intimidated by the size of HBS.

00:25:23 – The importance of time management and priority management.

00:29:09 – What Harvard Business School needs to change.

00:30:15 – The benefits for the case study method.

00:35:42 – True or false: The competition among HBS students is cut-throat.

00:39:30 – The feeling of camaraderie among students (and professors.)

00:41:32 – Case Method – Individually prepare, then share among 5 people, and then share among 90 people.  And after class your perspective will be completely different than it was before.

00:46:35 – $$$ and social life at HBS.

00:53:55 – A field project in Mumbai, India.

00:56:32 – Why start your own podcast?

01:00:41 –  Magnetic Interviewing – The story of Philip’s startup.

01:06:23 – Innovation labs at Harvard Business School.

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

Relevant Links:

Related Shows:

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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

QS Global TopMBA Rankings 2014

TopMBA’s new 2014/2015 global report ranks business programs according to geographic location based on surveys completed by 5,669 actively-hiring MBA employers and 7,187 academics in the field of business and management. (See more about the methodology here.)

Top 20 B-Schools in North America

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

Some highlights:

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

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

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

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

Top 20 B-Schools in Europe

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

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

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

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

You can download the full report here.

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

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

Businessweek Rankings 2014

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.

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

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

 

Related Resources:

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