Goal Setting as an Entrepreneur

Check out our Entrepreneurship 101 Page!I always ask my clients to state their long and short-term goals for me on our first meeting.  Eighty percent of the time I hear the response, “I want to be an entrepreneur.”  So I begin to peel away at the onion.

• What problem is your business going to solve?

•  Why is it different than a solution that exists today?

• Is there a market for the goods or services you plan to sell?

•  How big is that market?

•  Who is your competition?

•  Can you patent your solution?

•  What will your margins be?

•  How will you finance this business?

•  What is your expected return on investment?

•  What is the exit strategy?

You can’t just say, “I want to be an entrepreneur” and leave it at that.  You also can’t just have an idea or concept.  You need to have the skeleton of an actual business plan if you want to credibly declare yourself an entrepreneur in your MBA application.

Click here to download our free report, 'Why MBA?'.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

MBA Admissions: INSEAD and Marketing

A quick glance at INSEAD: INSEAD currently ranks in second place in Businessweek’s full-time global MBA rankings and in sixth place according to The Financial Times (2013).

Visit the INSEAD B-School Zone page for more info and advice.INSEAD Class of 2014 Profile

Key facts:

• Average age – 29 years old

• Average years work experience – 5 years

• Average GMAT score – 702

• Total number of students – 1024 students

Previous work experience:

• Corporate sectors – 46%

• Consulting – 25%

• Finance – 23%

• Public sector/non-profit – 6%

INSEAD Academics Related to Marketing/Consumer Products

INSEAD’s 10-month program is divided into five 8-week periods. In the first, second, and third periods, students take core courses. In the third, fourth, and fifth periods, students take electives (Note: The third period is a combination of both core and elective courses). Students can begin the program in January or September, but only the January intake offers a break for students to enjoy an internship.

Core Courses in Period 1

• Financial Accounting

• Organisational Behaviour 1

• Financial Markets and Valuation

• Prices and Markets

• Uncertainty, Data and Judgment

• Business Ethics

Core Courses in Period 2

• Corporate Financial Policy

• Marketing Management

• Organisational Behaviour 2

• Managerial Accounting

• Process and Operations management

• Strategy

• Business Ethics

Core Courses in Period 3

• International Political Analysis

• Macroeconomics in the Global Economy

(See core course descriptions here.)

Marketing Elective Course Offerings

• Advertising and Social Media Strategy

• Brand Management

• B2B Marketing

• Customer Insight

• Digital and Social Media Marketing (a week-long field trip to New York City)

• Distribution Channels and Sales Force

• Market Driving Strategies

• Marketing Communication

• Pharmaceutical Marketing Strategy

You can read more about the teaching and learning methods at INSEAD here and about INSEAD’s Marketing Research Seminar Series here.

INSEAD Marketing Research Centers

• INSEAD Social Science Research Centre (ISSRC)

• Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise

• Centre for Decision Making and Risk Analysis (CDMRA)

Clubs for INSEAD Marketing Students

• INSEAD Consumer and Luxury Goods

• INSEAD High Tech & Telecom Club

• INSEAD Media Club

Marketing Hiring Stats at INSEAD

2012 marketing function:

9% of the class secures marketing positions after graduation

18% of those who entered the corporate sector hold marketing/sales roles

Top Marketing-Related Employers in 2012 / # of hires:

• Google / 18

• Amazon / 14

• Samsung / 11

• Shell / 11

• Siemens / 11

• BP Group / 10

• Apple / 8

• L’Oréal / 8

• Microsoft / 5

• Abbott / 4

• Cargill / 4

• Deutsche Post DHL / 4

• Hilti Corporation / 4

• Dong Energy / 3

• GE / 3

• GlaxoSmithKline / 3

• Johnson & Johnson / 3

• Syngenta / 3

2012 Internship Statistics

Industry # of Interns Weekly Salary Range (€)
Consumer/Luxury Goods 11 700 – 4,800
Media/Entertainment 5 600 – 2,200
Travel/Leisure Services 7 400-5,100

Please see our INSEAD B-School Zone for more information on how Accepted.com can help you get accepted.

Applying to INSEAD? Check out our 2014 Application Essay Tips!


Your MBA Goals Essay: Get Ready, Get Set, THINK!

For a guide to answering the MBA goals question, download our free report.

Spend time with a notebook and pen

You’re applying to b-school and aiming for the January deadlines. You may also be working full-time, juggling a few other responsibilities, and perhaps trying to jack up your GMAT.

You really don’t have time to spare.

So let’s get down to business and start defining your MBA goal – the more introspection you do before you write your MBA goals essay, the faster and smoother the actual writing of the essay will be.

To begin, spend time with a notebook and pen (or a computer) and jot down possible specific roles and industries that you’d be able to discuss in an MBA goals essay.

The challenge here is to think of goals that go beyond the obvious (or at least to think of an original way to express your less-than-original goals). For example, “I want to go into marketing” won’t cut it on its own, but if marketing is a passion and a goal of yours, then there are other ways to frame it without falling into the boring, generic trap, mainly through the use of details.

The details that surround your MBA goals are what will make your goals essay stand out from all the other future marketers in the stack. Details will make your essay interesting, credible, and individualized.

Here are some tips you should keep in mind when preparing for writing a compelling, extraordinary MBA goals essay:

1. Distinguish between short-term, long-term, and intermediate goals. At each of these stages, what would your ideal position be? What type of company? And in what industry? These positions/companies/industries may change as you transition from the short-term to the long-term. Use specific examples of job titles and companies to further illustrate how much you’ve thought about your future.

2. Continue to identify the details of the short- and long-term and the intermediate goals by thinking about what specific goals you’d like to accomplish during each of the phases. Don’t just talk about what you want to get out of an experience, but about the impact you want to have on the people that you encounter and the industry during that time.

3. Do your research so that your goals prove realistic. Look up hiring trends, services, organization, market status, products, competitive concerns, etc. at your desired companies.

4. Become familiar with the challenges of your chosen industry. Are there any current events that have affected your industry?

5. Be prepared to discuss why you’re attracted to your target positions/industry. Most questions won’t specifically ask about your motivations for pursuing your particular goals, but keeping your motivations in mind while you write will help you present a more engaging story with a stronger message—ingredients that will further help your essay stand out.

Following these steps during the pre-writing stage of your goals essay will help you formulate a clear, compelling, and original portrayal of what your goals are. It will also make the actual writing of the essay move more quickly and effortlessly.

Download our free special report,


London Business School & Finance

London Business SchoolA quick glance at London Business School: LBS currently ties for first place as the best international business school in the world (alongside Chicago Booth in the U.S.), according to Bloomberg Businessweek (2012) and fourth place in the world by The Financial Times (2013).

London Business School’s Class of 2013

This year’s graduating class had 403 students. The age range of the students was 24-37, with an average of 5.7 years of work experience. The average GMAT score for the class of 2013 was 700. 45% of entering students come from the Corporate Sector, 31% from Finance backgrounds, and 24% from Consulting.

London Business School tracks the number of career switchers from other industries to finance. Of the 128 graduates in the class of 2012 who entered the finance industry, 23% transitioned from consulting backgrounds, 19% transitioned from the Corporate Sector, and 58% were continuing from previous backgrounds in the finance industry.

London Academics Related to Finance

In London’s flexible 15-21 month MBA program, students receive the opportunity to explore the business world through experiential learning and an international outlook.

In Year 1 students take core courses (descriptions found here) broken up into three terms:

Term 1 courses:

•      Corporate Finance
•      Data, Models and Decisions
•      Financial Accounting
•      Managerial Economics
•      Strategy

Term 2 courses:

•      Operations Management Marketing Managing Organizational Behavior
•      Management Accounting

Term 3 Courses:

•      Business, Government and Society
•      Discovering Entrepreneurial Opportunities
•      Global Business Environment
•      London Business Experiences

The second year of study is spent on Capstone Projects and on Global Business Experiences (GBE).

GBE destinations for finance students may include Boston/New York City (Understanding Incentives in the Asset Management Industry) or Hong Kong (Developing China’s Financial Future).

Students also take 10-12 electives and can choose from different subject areas. Finance students would choose from the following elective courses:

•      Advanced Corporate Finance
•      Behavioural Finance
•      Capital Markets & Financing
•      Credit Risk
•      Derivatives
•      Equity Investment Management
•      Financial Engineering and Risk Management
•      Fixed Income Securities
•      Hedge Funds
•      International Finance
•      Mergers, Management Buyouts and Other Corporate Reorganisations
•      Real Estate Finance
•      Topics in Asset Management

London Finance Clubs and Competitions

•      Finance Club
•      Responsible Business Club
•      Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC)
•      Private Equity & Venture Capital Club
•      European Business School MBA Private Equity Case Competition
•      LBS Stock Pitch Competition
•      Financial Services Essay Competition

Finance Hiring Stats at London Business School

The chart below shows the hiring stats for 2012 MBA careers in finance:

Salary Range (USD)
Base Salary $66,274-$225,000
Sign-On Bonus $7,380-$155,940
Year-End Bonus $9,356-$249,504


33% of LBS students in the class of 2013 had internships in the finance sector:

•      19% – Investment Banking/Brokerage
•      5% – Investment Management/Research
•      4% – Private Equity/Buyouts
•      2% – Venture Capital
•      1% – Retail and Commercial Banking
•      1% – Government and Supranational
•      1% – Other Financial Services

Top full-time hirers in the finance industry and the number of students they recruited include:

Citi 12
Deutsche Bank 11
Goldman Sachs 7
Barclays 5
Bank of America Merrill Lynch 4
Credit Suisse 3
J.P. Morgan 3
Morgan Stanley 3
Santander 3
Actis 2
Canter Equity Partners 2
Coller Capital 2
Fidelity Worldwide Investment 2
First Reserve Corporation 2
GE Capital 2
International Finance 2
Corporation (IFC) Itau Unibanco 2
Moelis & Company 2

Top summer intern hirers and the number of interns they hired include:

Credit Suisse 15
J.P. Morgan 8
Citi 8
Barclays 6
Nomura 6
Deutsche Bank 6
Fidelity Worldwide Investment 4
Goldman Sachs 4
Bank of America Merrill Lynch 3
Standard Chartered Bank 3
BMO Bank of Montreal 2
Atomico 2
Moelis & Company 2
Morgan Stanley 2
Coller Capital 2
Pala Investments 2
ADC African Development 2
Corporation Itau Unibanco 2
International Finance Corporation 2


Are you applying to London Business School’s MBA program? Please see our London Business School Zone  for more information on how Accepted.com can help you get accepted.


MBA Admissions: Duke Fuqua & Marketing

More info about Duke Fuqua

Tulips at Duke

A quick glance at Duke Fuqua: Fuqua currently ranks in 12th place as one of the best business schools, according to US News & World Report (March 2012). It is ranked in third place for marketing.

Duke Fuqua’s Class of 2014 and Marketing

The class of 2014 Daytime MBA class size is 432 students with an average age of 29. Over 99% of students entered with work experience; the average is 5.4 years of work experience. The 80% range of students scored between 640 and 740 on the GMAT and have an undergraduate GPA of 2.9 to 3.9.

Engineering and Natural Sciences is the highest represented major (32% of students). Following close after that is the Business and Accounting major (31%), followed by Liberal Arts (20%), Economics (13%), and Other (3%).

Fuqua Academics Related to Marketing

Since obtaining global knowledge is a foundational element of the Duke Fuqua mission, the two-year program kicks off with a four-week Global Institute featuring three core courses:

1.   Leadership, Ethics, and Organizations
2.   Global Institutions and Environments
3.   Consequential Leadership

To continue their global business training, student will receive opportunities to experience international business and cultural practices head-on in other countries with the Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE)  and various exchange programs.

Mini-Terms with Lots of Classes

To receive as much knowledge as possible, terms at Fuqua are broken up into six-week periods – that means that each “traditional” semester (Fall and Spring) is actually broken down into two sessions for a total of four terms of classes per year.

First Year Classes

Fall 1

•     Probability and Statistics
•     Managerial Economics
•     Financial Accounting
•     Management Communication I
•     Business Computer Applications
•     Core course in finance for those with exemptions

Fall 2

•     Global Financial Management
•     Marketing Management
•     Foundations of Strategy
•     Management Communication II
•     Potential elective if core is exempted or taken in Fall 1

Winter Term

•     Optional elective: Workshop in Managerial Improvisation

Spring 1

•     Operations Management
•     Elective
•     Elective

Spring 2

•     Elective
•     Elective
•     Elective

Second Year: Students generally take three elective courses per term.

Choosing a Concentration and Elective Courses

Students will choose to focus on a specialized concentration (see list of concentrations here) and then choose six elective courses in that area. Specializing in a concentration is optional; students may concentrate in up to two areas.

There are two concentrations geared towards marketing students: Product Management and Market Analysis and Strategy. Below are the lists of required courses and electives.

Concentration in Product Management

Required Courses:

MARKETNG 796 – Market Intelligence
MARKETNG 799 – Product Management

Students must select 2 of the following marketing electives for the Product Management Concentration:

HLTHMGMT 715 – Health Care Marketing
MARKETNG 797 – Consumer Behavior
MARKETNG 800 – Marketing Communications Management
MARKETNG 802 – Marketing of Innovations
MARKETNG 803 – Customer Relationship Management
MARKETNG 807 – Marketing Strategy
MARKETNG 808 – Strategy and Tactics of Pricing
MARKETNG 895 – Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum
MARKETNG 896 – Marketing Practicum

And students must select 2 of the following non-marketing electives for the Product Management Concentration:

ACCOUNTG 591 – Managerial Accounting
DECISION 611 – Decision Models
DECISION 614 – Forecasting
FINANCE 646 – Corporate Finance
MANAGEMT 745 – Negotiation
MANAGEMT 746 – Power and Politics
MANAGEMT 747 – Leadership
MANAGEMT 898 – Corporate Social Impact Management
MGRECON 788 – Competitive Analysis
OPERATNS 823 – Operations Strategy
OPERATNS 828 – Distribution/Supply Chain Management

Concentration in Market Analysis and Strategy

Required Courses:

MARKETNG 796 – Market Intelligence
MARKETNG 807 – Marketing Strategy

Students must select 2 of the following marketing electives for the Market Analysis and Strategy Concentration:

HLTHMGMT 715 – Health Care Marketing
MARKETNG 797 – Consumer Behavior
MARKETNG 799 – Product Management
MARKETNG 800 – Marketing Communications Management
MARKETNG 802 – Marketing of Innovations
MARKETNG 803 – Customer Relationship Management
MARKETNG 808 – Strategy and Tactics of Pricing
MARKETNG 895 – Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum
or MARKETNG 896 – Marketing Practicum

Students must select 2 of the following non-marketing electives for the Market Analysis and Strategy Concentration:

ACCOUNTG 591 – Managerial Accounting
ACCOUNTG 598 – Valuation and Fundamental Analysis
DECISION 611 – Decision Models
DECISION 613 – Strategic Modeling and Business Dynamics
DECISION 614 – Forecasting
FINANCE 646 – Corporate Finance
FINANCE 658 – Corporate Restructuring
MANAGEMT 898 – Corporate Social Impact Management
MGRECON 788 – Competitive Analysis
MGRECON 898 – Data Mining
OPERATNS 823 – Operations Strategy
OPERATNS 824 – Service Operations Management
OPERATNS 828 – Supply Chain Management

You can read more about Fuqua’s marketing concentrations here.

Fuqua Marketing-Related Clubs, Competitions, and Conferences

Marketing Club
Fuqua Marketing
Fashion/Luxury Goods Club
• Center for Technology, Entertainment, and Media
Media, Entertainment and Sports Club
Hospitality, Travel, & Leisure Club
Duke MBA Brand Challenge
Duke MBA Marketing Symposium

2012 Marketing Hiring Stats at Duke Fuqua

The chart below shows the class of 2012 full-time employment stats:

Function   Percent of Grads Mean Salary ($)  Median Signing Bonus ($) 
 Marketing  13% 104,942  25,000
 Brand/ Product Management  4%  99,923  20,000
 Sales  1%  110,667  15,000
 Market Research  <1%  N/A  N/A


Industry Percent of Grads Mean Salary ($) Median Signing Bonus ($)
Consumer Products            . 6%                     . 99,071               . 25,000                               .
Retail 3% 111,200 17,500

The class of 2013 pursued the following marketing related internships during the summer of 2012:

Function Percent of Interns Mean Monthly Salary ($) Mean Signing Bonus ($)
Marketing 14% 5,870 4,500
Brand/Product Management 5% 5,967 N/A
Market Research 1% 7,040 N/A
Sales <1% N/A N/A
Marketing- Social Impact <1% N/A N/A


Industry Percent of Interns Mean Monthly Salary ($) Median Signing Bonus ($)
Consumer Products 9% 6,374 5,000
Retail 7% 6,596 N/A


Top consumer product hirers at Fuqua include:

Company Name Class of 2012 (full time) Class of 2013 (interns)
Apple, Inc. 18 9
Johnson & Johnson 12 5
John Deere 5 7
Microsoft Corporation 8 3
Google, Inc. 6 5
Medtronic 7 3
Samsung 10 0
Amazon.com 4 4
Procter & Gamble 3 4
Kraft Foods 1 6
Pepsico 3 3
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 3 3
Nike 1 4
Bayer 3 2
Eli Lilly and Company 1 4
AT&T Company 1 3
Target Corporation 1 3
eBay Inc. 0 4
Coca-Cola Company 1 3

(See the complete list here.)

Are you applying to Duke’s Fuqua School of Business? Please see our Duke Fuqua B-School Zone and Fuqua Application Packages for more information on how Accepted.com can help you get accepted.


What’s New in MBA Admissions? A Report from the 6th Annual AIGAC Conference [Part 2]


At Columbia, career orientation begins just four weeks into the first year

Five Accepted.com editors, including company president and founder Linda Abraham, attended  the 6th annual conference of Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants in Philadelphia in mid-June. We were graciously hosted by Wharton on day two, and on day one, we met with admissions directors from a dozen top MBA programs who told us about the latest changes in their own programs, from the applications process to career services. We were treated to these updates by admissions directors from Yale, Columbia, UNC, NYU, UT-Austin, Georgetown University, Tuck, Cornell, Rotman, and CEIBS (China Europe International Business School.) A subsequent post will cover our day at Wharton.

This is the second post containing highlights from the first day.  Check out the first post for more about innovations in the MBA curriculum and the growth of part-time and virtual MBA programs.

Career Services – More Involved than Ever

• Many adcom directors emphasized the involvement of their Career Services staff, often beginning at the application stage. At NYU Stern, career counselors meet with applicants to assess how plausible their post-MBA career goals are and whether they feel the school can help them achieve those goals. When students matriculate, career services staff meet with them again to help them plan their academics for maximum success in achieving their goals.

• At UT Austin, adcoms also look for past evidence in applications of entrepreneurship.

• At Columbia, career orientation begins just four weeks into the first year, and the school is focusing more on case-based interviews and group projects, where people learn to solve a problem together. They also offer some “pre-MBA” days before matriculation during which students are offered self assessment workshops.

• Columbia’s popular Business Plan Competition also helps students earn seed funding and team up for entrepreneurship options. Associate Dean for Admissions Amanda Carlson said there is now a more bifurcated and less structured recruitment process, with an emphasis on early recruiting in the spring of the first year. This helps determine how well people are keeping up with industry intelligence, and students can adapt their spring courses accordingly.

• Similarly, at Georgetown, the school’s Career Ignition Series offers webinars and self- assessment intakes by mid-summer before matriculation. This emphasis on self-assessment and other preparation helps students present themselves to recruiters in the strongest possible light. Georgetown also has a career fair in conjunction with their sister school in Barcelona, held each year at Georgetown, with 150 recruiters.

The Admissions Process: Still Evolving

 Top MBA programs continually reassess their admissions process, trying to look for ways to get key information from applicants. At Cornell, video clips are the latest addition to the application process. Schools who are adding video clips hope to get a good feel for the students’ personalities and how well they communicate. Tuck has an optional video, knowing that many candidates are camera shy.

• Almost all schools are cutting the number of essays in their applications, as well as cutting the number of words and characters per essay. Columbia has sliced one of their essays from 200 characters to 100, because they felt people were not getting to the point fast enough. UT-Austin is adding a “getting to know you section” that allows applicants to answer in a Facebook style, with photos and short captions. While this was optional last year, 40% chose to answer it. One of Georgetown’s “essays” is a tweet, but candidates are invited to embed a link to a video if they choose.

• Cornell’s quirky “Write the Table of Contents to the story of your life question” remains a keeper this year: the adcom loves the creativity and variety they see, and makes the applications more exciting and interesting to read. Tuck, which offers an open interview, is keeping their three essays, because “it allows candidates to convey what they want to convey.”

• Not surprisingly, all the admissions directors agreed that campus visits, whenever possible, are one of the best ways applicants can assess their suitability for a particular program. The knowledge gained will also help them write their applications in a way that demonstrates familiarity and enthusiasm for the program. Reaching out to current students or alumni, and developing those relationships is also a great way to get information: ask alumni about their experiences, and if they had it to do over again, would they have made the same choice?

Letters of Recommendation – Surprisingly Controversial

The last panel of the day turned out to be surprisingly lively. Admissions consultants and admissions directors all agreed that the highly individualized nature of letter of recommendation (LOR) forms make this aspect of the application arduous and duplicative. Recommenders often find this a daunting task and often, punt the job to the applicant, which presents a dilemma for the candidate.

This form of LOR is also foreign – culturally speaking – to many of the recommenders being asked to write them. This lack of familiarity, in addition to language barriers, pushes many applicants into a situation where they hear from their recommender, “You write it, I’ll sign it.” Admissions directors feel this is ethically wrong, and also claim they can tell when applicants have written their own LORs. Worse: the suspicion that the LOR is written by the applicant damages an MBA candidacy. Accepted.com editor R. Todd King, who attended this year’s conference, observed, “It was a surprise to see just how much self-written recommendations count against a candidate – the schools do not take a neutral stance on this. Applicants truly need to find recommenders willing to write on their behalf.”

The admissions directors agreed that a simpler, perhaps even universal LOR form would help resolve this situation. But the takeaway for MBA applicants is that even if they are asked to write their own LORs, they do so at their peril. For information on how to handle this sticky situation, see our ebook, “MBA Letters of Recommendation that Rock.”

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

MBA Admissions: Columbia Business School & Management



A quick glance at Columbia Business School: Columbia currently ranks in eighth place as one of the best business schools, according to US News & World Report (March 2012). It is ranked in ninth place for management.

Columbia’s Class of 2014 and Management

5409 people applied to Columbia Business School; 741 applicants were accepted. The middle 80% of accepted students had GMAT scores in the 680-760 range. The Columbia Business School class of 2014 has an average of five years of work experience and the average age of incoming students is 28 years old.

Undergraduate majors:

• Social Sciences – 31%
• Business – 30%
• Engineering – 12%
• Sciences – 8%
• Humanities – 8%
• Other – 7%
• Technology – 2%
• Arts – 2%

Industry experience:

• Financial Services – 29%
• Consulting – 20%
• Marketing/Media – 8%
• Other – 7%
• Nonprofit – 6%
• Military/Government – 5%
• Private Equity – 5%
• Real Estate – 5%
• Technology – 5%
• Healthcare – 4%
• Energy – 3%
• Manufacturing – 2%

CBS Academics Related to Management

Students are required to take two full core courses and 12 half-term core courses, three of which are chosen from the “flex-core” menu.

First Term Core Courses

• 2 Full courses: Corporate Finance and Financial Accounting
• 6 Half-term courses: Managerial Statistics, Managerial Economics, Strategy Formulation, Marketing Strategy, Operations ManagementLeadership Development

Second Term Core Courses

• 2 Electives
• 3 Half-term courses: Global Economic Environment, Decision Models, Managing Marketing Programs
• 3 Flex-core classes, one from each category (see below)

“Flex-Core” Menu

Organization: Organizational Change, Power and Influence, Social Networks and Social Capital
Performance: Operations Strategy, Financial Planning and Analysis
Markets: Game Theory and Business, Global Economic Environment II: Business Cycles and Financial Markets, Incentives and Performance

Students who wish to pursue careers in management would take their first year electives and second year courses from the school’s management division.

Managerial negotiations
High performance leadership
Top management process
Turnaround management
Managerial decision making
Power and influence in organizations
Napoleon’s glance: the art of strategic intuition
Corporate governance
Entrepreneurs and private equity in emerging markets
Multidisciplinary approaches to human decision making

Columbia CaseWorks Cases in past years that will be of interest to students pursuing careers in management include:

Operation Tomodachi
The Client Who Fell Through the Cracks (A and B)
Scoring a Deal: Valuing Outcomes in Multi-Issue Negotiations
The Synergy Limitation Paradox
Diversification and Corporate Scope

(See full list here.)

Management Research Centers & Conferences at Columbia Business School

The Center for Decision Sciences
The Columbia Family Business Management Program
The Center for Pricing and Revenue Management
Columbia University-Harlem Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program
Columbia University Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)

CBS Management-Related Clubs

General Management Association
Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization
The Family Business Club
Management Consulting Association
Media Management Association

Management Hiring Stats at Columbia Business School

Here are the 2012 stats for CBS grads who accepted full-time jobs with a management function.

Function Percent Base Yearly Salary Range ($)
Management Consulting 37.2% $30,000-$194,000
Strategic Planning 1.7% $95,000-$125,000
General Management 2.3% $90,000-$132,000
Operations <1% $110,000-$140,000
Project Management <1% $106,000-$200,000
Rotational/Development Program 1.2% $110,000-$115,000
Other 1% $40,000-$100,000


For 2012 summer internships (for the class of 2013), the hiring stats are as follows:

Function Percent Base Monthly Salary Range ($)
Strategic Planning 4.3% $1,600-$9,000
General Management <1% $7,700-$9,900
Other 1.7% $2,465-$9,250
Brand/Project Management 7.1% $3,000-$8,333.

See a list of CBS recruiters here.

Are you applying to Columbia Business School? Please see our Columbia B-School Zone and Columbia Business School Application Packages for more information on how Accepted.com can help you get accepted.


Getting Your MBA Goals in Shape

MBAGoalsKnowing they’ll have to write essays about their goals, most b-school applicants have identified their goals prior to starting the application process. But I’ve found that “identified” often has a very narrow scope, too narrow to effectively serve the purpose of the essays.

With some moderate effort now, you can flesh out your goals message so that you can spring into action when the essays come out in the summer. You’ll need details to make the essays credible, interesting, and individualized, and clarifying your motivation also furthers those ends.

Here are some steps to take to fully prepare for writing outstanding goals essays.

• Identify short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals. For each, fill in the details: what would be your likely or desired positions(s) (note titles), what types of companies (with specific examples), what industries.
• Develop a vision for each of these phases. In other words, what do you want to accomplish, what impact do you want to have? Too often people focus on what they want to get out of it for themselves. That’s secondary. What external impact will you aim to have?
• Research the desired companies: what kinds of post-MBA positions they offer, their hiring trends, products and/or services, structure/organization, market status, competitive concerns, etc.
Research your industry: what are its challenges, how is it adapting to globalization, etc.
Reflect on your motivations for pursuing your particular goals and be prepared to present them succinctly as part of your goals essays. While most questions won’t ask about it, your motivation is an essential part of creating a message and story that will engage the adcoms.
• If you are a career changer or even if you are just shifting career emphasis, have informational interviews with people in your chosen field or function. Utilize your college alumni network and perhaps other professional and/or social networks to identify possible people to ask. Not only will you glean valuable insight, but you also can discuss taking this proactive step in your essays.

Taking these efforts now will enable you to write goals essays that are informed, thoughtful, distinctive. And you can hit the ground running when you start writing!

Cindy Tokumitsu By , co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.

MBA 2014 – READY, SET, GO!

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

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

So, what should you be doing NOW?

First, two obvious things.

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

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

Then there are the less obvious things.

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

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

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

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

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

Six months and counting to round 1 deadlines…

Cindy Tokumitsu  By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.

MBA Admissions: NYU Stern & Media/Entertainment

NYU Stern

NYU Stern

NYU Stern currently ranks in 11th place as one of the best business schools, according to US News & World Report (March 2012). It is known for having a particularly strong media and entertainment track.

Stern’s Class of 2014 and Media/Entertainment

3907 people applied to NYU Stern in 2012; the entering class size was 389. The average GMAT score was 720 and the class has an average undergraduate GPA of 3.51. The average number of years of work experience for the class of 2014 is 4.8 years.

26% of class of 2014 students have undergraduate degrees in business and commerce; 22% in economics; 21% in engineering, math, and science; 17% in social sciences; and 14% in humanities, arts, or other areas.

In terms of pre-MBA work experience, 10% of students came from the entertainment, media, and technology sector, while 8% have industry backgrounds in nonprofit, arts, and education.

NYU Academics Related to Entertainment & Media

There are four phases to the Stern curriculum:

Phase 1: A 2-week orientation program called LAUNCH that introduces students to New York City and to b-school with tours, panel discussions, speakers, and other activities.

Phase 2: First year core classes. All students must take 2 required courses (Financial Accounting & Reporting and Statistics & Data Analysis) and choose 5 courses from the Menu Core (Firms & Markets, Foundations of Finance, The Global Economy, Leadership in Organizations, Marketing, Operations Management, and Strategy). Students can take electives in their first year. Students can obtain waivers for core classes if they have proficiency in the subject matter.

Phase 3: Summer Internship.

Phase 4: Second year core and elective courses. The only core course for second year students is Professional Responsibility. Other than that, students take elective courses.

Students graduate with an MBA in General Management and between 0 and 3 specializations. It is within these specializations that students will choose their elective courses. Students interested in the entertainment industry would specialize in the Entertainment, Media and Technology (EMT) Specialization.
Students with the EMT Specialization must take Entertainment and Media Industries (1.5 credits) and then choose additional electives totaling 7.5 credits.
They may also want to specialize in a related field like Management of Technology and Operations, Marketing, Digital Marketing, or Law and Business.

Sample courses in the Entertainment, Media and Technology (EMT) Specialization include:

• Business of Independent Film
• Business of Music and Film
• Business of Sports Marketing
• Business Strategy for the Digital Economy
• Craft and Commerce of Cinema: The Cannes Film Festival (a global course)
• Corporate Finance and Strategy in Entertainment and Media
• Entertainment Law
• Operations in Entertainment: Las Vegas
• Television Management
• Film Production
• News & Entertainment Media
• Talent Management
• Special Topics: Financial Analysis in EMT
• Corporate Strategy and Finance in EMT

You can view the complete list of NYU Stern courses here.

Students also have the option of taking elective courses at NYU’S Tisch School of the Arts and Steinhardt School of Education’s Professional Music Business program.

There is also an option of obtaining a dual MBA/MFA through Stern and at the Kanbar Institute of Film &Television at Tisch. (See MBA/MFA program details here.)

Between semesters, students may study abroad by participating in the Doing Business in…(DBi) Program. There are also semester abroad programs, global courses (that include trips overseas), and International Club Treks. (More details on these global programs and others can be found here.)

NYU Stern Entertainment-Related Clubs

Entertainment, Media and Technology Association
Graduate Marketing Association
Media, Entertainment, and Sports Association (MESA)

Entertainment & Media Hiring Stats at NYU Stern

The chart below indicates the hiring stats for 2011 entertainment/media careers:

Industry Percent       Base Salary Range ($)  
Full-time positions: Media/Entertainment/Technology 11% $50,000-$140,000
(per year)
Summer internships: Media/Entertainment/Technology 12% $0 – $2,500 (per month)

Top entertainment/media hirers include (an asterisk indicates that the company hired 3 or more students in 2011):

Major League Baseball
MTV Networks
NBC Universal
The New York TimesSamsung*
Time Inc.
Univision Communications*

You can read more about Stern and the EMT industries here.

Are you applying to NYU’s Stern School of Business? Please see our NYU Stern B-School Zone and Stern School of Business Application Packages for more information on how Accepted.com can help you get accepted.


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