Why Application Essays Matter

April 17th, 2014 2011 Book cover Bigger

Why do business schools use essays to evaluate MBA applicants? Because, though it may sound odd, admissions officers want to let you in. If you doubt that, consider the background of the typical admission committee member. Typically, she is an admissions careerist—that is, a higher education-sector professional with human-resource-oriented degrees who has worked her way up the admissions food chain, often at several schools. In other words, instead of a statistician, demographic analyst, or business theorist, you’ll find a career development and educational administrator. Alternatively, you’ll encounter eclectic multi-careerists, for example, attorneys, former opera singers, romance-language PhDs, …

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Strategies to Get a 99th Percentile GMAT Score

September 16th, 2013

Studying for the GMAT is just as much about preparation, time, and strategy as it is about having the actual ability to solve the test questions. The truth is, even if you are naturally good at standardized test-taking, there is only a slight probability that you will be able to earn a score in the 99th percentile range without some real hard work and dedication. That being said, everyone taking the GMAT is still working toward that score, so let’s talk about some of the strategies that are going to get you there!

1.     Set a target test date.

For those of …

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5 Tips for GMAT Prep

August 1st, 2013 varsity-tutors logo

I’m pleased to post an article by Varsity Tutors Maureen Spain prepping for the all-important GMAT.
Congratulations – you’ve decided to go to business school! One of the first things you must do now is sit for the GMAT, which can be very stressful. Prospective business school students come from a variety of backgrounds, and thus bring a plethora of qualities to the table. The GMAT is one of the few measures that admissions officers can use to objectively compare students. So, it’s no wonder that students feel pressure. But not to fear, following the tips below can help you …

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Wharton Announces 2013-14 Deadlines

May 22nd, 2013 wharton_logo

They are:
• Round 1: October 1, 2013
• Round 2: January 7, 2014
• Round 3: March 27, 2014
Wharton added: “our 2013-2014 application will become available on our website in early August.”
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Some Legends Are True

May 22nd, 2013

“There’s an urban legend that the tenure of the MBA’s job with his or her first employer is short, about 18 months, [and] conversations with corporate recruiters seem to affirm this urban legend. [However,] you are not much wiser after 18 months than you were after your day of graduation. Nor are you much more valuable to the business community…. About two-thirds of all CEOs of the S&P 500 companies were internal appointments; and on average, they spent 12.8 years with their company before being appointed.”
—Dean Robert Bruner, dean of Virginia Darden School of Business, where 17 percent of its …

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Columbia Releases 2013-14 Essay Questions

May 20th, 2013 Columbia-Business-School

Columbia Business School has released its new essay questions for the January 2014 intake:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? Required by all applicants. (100 characters)
Essay 1: Given your individual background, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (500 words)
Essay 2: Columbia Business School is located in the heart of the world’s business capital – Manhattan. How do you anticipate that New York City will impact your experience at Columbia? (250 words)
Please view the videos below:
New York, a city with limitless possibilities
New York City, fast paced and adaptable
Essay 3: What will the people in your Cluster …

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Michigan Ross Signals Essay Topic Changes Ahead

April 15th, 2013 Michigan Ross logo

In announcing that its fall 2014 full-time MBA application will go live July 1, Michigan Ross’s admissions director admitted that “We’ll be reviewing (and revising) the essay questions in the next couple weeks. The two essays that we’ll keep for sure are the first and second essays (introduce yourself in 100 words and share your career goals and why MBA). As predictable and prone-to-stock-answers as the second essay may seem, we still do want to know what you want to do and why you think an MBA makes sense. As we tell students at graduation, we won’t withhold your diploma …

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It’s Not Too Early to Get Started

April 6th, 2013

Harvard and Stanford won’t releases their essay questions until May, and most other schools won’t follow suit until the summer. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit on your hands until then. There’s plenty you can do now to ensure that the MBA applications you submit this fall are the best they can be.
Most obviously, there’s the GMAT. If you haven’t taken it, plan to do so by June or July (ideally earlier, so you’ll have time to retake it without interfering with your near-deadline application process). Because a good score is so critical—successful applicants at top schools …

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US News Previews New Top Ten B-School Ranking

March 5th, 2013

U.S. News gave a sneak preview of its 2013 ranking of business schools, officially due out on March 12, 2013. Note that the following list is in alphabetical order, with no internal rank implied. No surprises here.
• Columbia University (NY)
• Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)
• Harvard University (MA)
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
• New York University (Stern)
• Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)
• Stanford University (CA)
• University of California—Berkeley (Haas)
• University of Chicago (Booth)
• University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
Source: USNews.com
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The Classroom of the Future

February 27th, 2013 Classroom of the future

A joint production of the Wharton School and Cisco Systems, tomorrow’s classroom will feature a life-size, high-definition professor teaching to you in San Francisco from Philly via a Cisco-powered ‘telepresence’ (made possible by a floor-to-ceiling screen, 80-inch LED monitors on the side walls, and large projection screens in the rear). The professor will see his Bay Area pupils projected onto a screen behind the flesh-and-blood students actually sitting in front of him in Philadelphia. How many years off is this pedagogical trompe l’oeil? Well, actually Cisco and Wharton’s bi-coastal Connected Classroom is coming this spring. Here’s a glimpse (for more …

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Michigan Ross on Its New Group Interview

February 26th, 2013

Michigan Ross’s admissions director, Soojin Kwon Koh, reported in her blog today that Ross’s new group interview, which bears a passing resemblance to the one Wharton rolled out last year, is evolving swimmingly. Pilot ‘exercises’ conducted last month in Beijing, Shanghai, and Ann Arbor were apparently well received by applicants and the Ross alumni and students who led them.
Koh confirmed that a significant motivation behind the new format is frustration with the increasingly well-rehearsed performance of applicants in traditional one-on-one interviews. In contrast, “The group exercise enabled us to get a valuable glimpse into candidates’ interpersonal and communication styles.” Her …

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Dominate the GMAT Adcom Interview

February 24th, 2013 Dominate the GMAT

Dominate the GMAT has started a new feature in which it interviews admissions directors. Here’s its interview with Jen Smith, Director of Admissions for the MBA and Evening MBA Programs at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado – Boulder:  http://www.dominatethegmat.com/2012/03/interview-with-an-mba-admissions-director/
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Executive MBA Programs Requiring GMAT

February 14th, 2013

Most do not, of course. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some that do:

•  U. Penn Wharton School of Business (US)
•  U. of Chicago Booth School of Business (US)
•  IMD (Switzerland)
• Berkeley Haas School of Business (US)
•  Stern School of Business (US)
•  Oxford U. Said School of Business (UK)
• HEC Paris (France)
•  UCLA Anderson School of Business (US)
•  U. of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business (US)
•  Emory U. Goizueta Business School (US)
•  Cranfield School of Management (UK)
• TRIUM (NYU, LSE, HEC) 
• Fordham Graduate School of Business (US)
• IAE Business School (Argentina)
• Peking U., Guanghua School of Management (China)
• ESMT European School of Management & Technology (Germany)
• EGADE – …

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The HBS Elevator Pitch Builder

February 13th, 2013

David Wolinsky, a marketing columnist for NBC Chicago’s “INC.WELL” blog, today introduced his readers to the “Harvard Business School Elevator Pitch Builder,” a fun and user-friendly template for creating one-minute HBS-caliber elevator pitches. Among its nifty features:
—a four-part structure that compels you to: Describe Who You Are, Describe What You Do, Describe Why You Are Unique, and Describe Your Goal—four subjects that successful B-school applicants know well (or should)
—a scrolling thesaurus of appropriate Suggested Words, and
—analytics that tell you how many words you’ve used, how long it will take to deliver your pitch, and the number of words you’ve …

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Best Business Schools for “Value for Money”

February 8th, 2013

The Financial Times’ annual business school ranking ranks the top 100 business schools worldwide by several metrics, including salary growth, placement success, alumni recommendations etc. One of these, “Value for Money,” is calculated based on MBA grads’ salary today, the length of the school’s MBA program, the school’s tuition fees and other costs, and the opportunity cost of pursuing the MBA for the typical student at that school. According to this total cost or value measure, the list of ‘best’ MBA programs looks like this:
1. Coppead (Brazil)
2. U. of Cape Town GSB (South Africa)
3. Warwick Business School …

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