The MBA Tide Flows from Banks to Tech

November 27th, 2015

Why are newly minted MBAs still “voting tech” over IB? The cyclical MBA recruitment tidal flow—from Wall Street to tech and back—is the subject of a guest column by Israeli startup veteran Mor Assia in VentureBeat, “Why Wall Street talent is moving to Silicon Valley” (Nov. 21). And the reasons aren’t too mysterious: post-Dodd-Frank investment banks are still cutting headcount and salaries, and Silicon Valley is currently flush and offers other lures: such as a sense of social impact, opportunities for equity, and a more fun and casual work culture.
Assia shows how dramatically MBAs have abandoned the Street: “Last year, …

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Stanford MSx versus Wharton EMBA?

November 23rd, 2015

A poster on Poets and Quants for Execs just asked me a very good question:
“Curious for your thoughts on comparing the value of the the MS in Management degree from Stanford MSx vs the MBA from Wharton EMBA San Francisco?”
Here is my answer:
Short answer: IMO Stanford’s brand trumps Wharton’s brand, so although one would ideally want to say one had earned an EMBA from Stanford, an MSx from Stanford still ‘beats’ an EMBA from Wharton in some Platonic sense, especially if your post-degree career will be West Coast focused (as the wording of your question implies). Stanford’s regional roots are …

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Why Interviews and Campus Visits Don’t Tell You Much

November 21st, 2015

To illustrate the ‘law of large numbers,’ Richard E. Nisbett, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan and author of Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking, has some interestingly contrarian things to say about interviews (including by extension the admissions variety) and choosing schools, in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education:
“Observe the law of large numbers: People are inclined to overgeneralize about other people. They believe they can be confident about how honest or friendly someone is by virtue of observing someone in one situation for a short time. This failure gives rise to the ‘interview illusion.’ People tend to …

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Consulting as a Short-term Career Goal

November 20th, 2015

BloombergBusiness’s Sarah Grant shares an interesting data point on the relative popularity of consulting as a preferred career for MBAs. Yes, it’s traditionally been the most popular career track for new MBAs. But six to eight years after earning their degrees only 37% of MBAs are still consultants. Compare this number to finance, where 73 percent are still in the finance fold six to eight years after their MBA, and technology, where 72 percent are. Thirteen percent have moved into technology, 10 percent are in financial services, and 5 percent in health care.
But consulting firms aren’t complaining about this …

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Small Talk = Fit

October 26th, 2015

Savvy professional school applicants know by now that in admissions, recruiting, and evaluative situations, everything you say or do is being scrutinized. In her seminal book, Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs, Kellogg management professor Lauren A. Rivera underscores this point by analyzing 120 interviews she conducted between 2006 and 2008 with the people who hire undergrads and graduates at top-tier consulting, banking, and law firms (otherwise known elite professional services [EPS] firms–you know who you are). But even the savvy applicant may not be aware how truly important small talk can be in the admissions and recruiting interview. …

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Google and Elitist Hiring

September 25th, 2015

“When Google was small and hiring just a few hundred people year, it was easy and efficient to hire only people with sterling pedigrees: graduates of Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and similar schools who had worked at only the most highly regarded companies. As we grew to need thousands of new employees each year, we learned that many of the best people didn’t go to those schools. Not shocking to you, perhaps, but these were early days at Google and, quite frankly, our approach was more elitist then. … So we started seeking out candidates who had shown resilience and an …

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Six Business Schools Visit San Diego

July 24th, 2015

Representatives from six of the world’s very best business schools—Michigan Ross, Cornell Johnson, Duke Fuqua, Virginia Darden, Yale SOM, and UC Berkeley Haas—visited San Diego on July 23, in the offices of AMN Health Services. The two-hour MBA event, sponsored/organized by the schools themselves, was anchored by a face-to-face networking session among the relatively small number of attendees, the schools’ reps (including no less than Soojin Kwon Koh, Ross’s estimable admissions director) and several alumni. But before that meet-and-greet, the reps sat together, panel discussion style, in AMN’s auditorium to cover general admissions topics and field questions. I dropped by …

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Surviving Medical School

July 16th, 2015

There’s no better source for tips on surviving medical school than those who’ve done it. The following tips come from a resident physician at the University of Chicago’s emergency medicine program:
“There’s a lot of literature out there, and good med school tips are not easy to come by. Here are a few thoughts….
Your Specialty
The toughest part, I think, is figuring out what specialty you want to pursue and what to do next. Most importantly, people will tell you in the first and second years and even the third ‘Oh, you have time to decide, don’t worry.’ That is a …

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Stanford Prof Alvin Roth Provides Admissions Tips

June 11th, 2015

Alvin Roth, economics professor at Stanford University, has an interesting new book out about matching markets, Who Gets What and Why, and Quartz asked him about one of those markets — university admissions.
Quartz: One of the power tips I found in this book was a little tip that might help you get into the college of your dreams: Sign the guest book.
Prof. Roth: “So college admissions is a matching market. You can’t just go to Stanford. You have to be admitted. Stanford is a pretty fancy university. So my guess is our admissions office doesn’t worry a whole lot …

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Earn an EMBA or Certificate Like Harvard’s PLD or GMP?

June 9th, 2015

This excellent question was recently posed to me on Poets and Quants for Execs, the most comprehensive executive MBA site in the multiverse:
I am considering an eMBA or Certificate program, like the Harvard PLD [Program for Leadership Development] or GMP [General Management Program] and wanted to get your thoughts on pros and cons. As some background, I am approximately 40 years old and a senior executive/manager at a smallish publicly traded financial firm. My primary goal is to move into a senior leadership position at my current firm and hopefully the C-Suite area… Having said that, I Have a solid …

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What Tuck Wants to Know…

June 2nd, 2015

… from applicants who decided not to apply. Dartmouth Tuck’s admissions office has sent a Why Didn’t Apply? survey to applicants who started but didn’t submit an MBA application this past admissions cycle. Many of the questions are exactly what you would expect to find in such an ‘lost customer’ survey: Did you take a standardized test? Did you visit Tuck or attend a Tuck event?
But other questions shed light on how concerned top-ranked admissions offices are these days with their competition. In one question, Tuck asks you where you applied and lists the schools you would expect Tuck …

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Pharmacy School = Law School = Business School?

June 1st, 2015

From Martin Ford’s must-read Rise of the Robots:
“In the first decade of the new millennium, nearly fifty new pharmacy graduate schools opened their doors (a 60 percent increase), and existing programs also dramatically increased enrollments. The number of newly graduated pharmacists could hit 15,000 per year by 2016; that’s over twice the number of degrees granted in 2000. Something very similar (and perhaps even more extreme) happened with law schools, and the law school enrollment bubble is now famously bursting. Law school has always been a well-traveled path toward monetizing a liberal arts degree. Pharmacy offers similar potential for an …

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Michigan Ross Releases 2015-16 Deadlines & Essay Questions

May 21st, 2015

From Michigan Ross’s web site; posted May 20, 2015:
Round 1 October 5, 2015 ………. December 18, 2015
Round 2 January 4, 2016 ………. March 18, 2016
Round 3 March 21, 2016 ………. May 13, 2016
“We just finalized our Fall 2016 essay questions. Here they are:
What are you most proud of and why? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)
What is your desired career path and why? (up to 400 words)
The first question is intentionally broad. We want to give you the option to pick something from either your personal or professional life. The context (personal or professional) is less …

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Stanford GSB Releases Class of 2018 Deadlines & Essay Questions

May 6th, 2015

Stanford GSB has released its deadlines and essay questions for the 2015-16 admissions cycle. They remain basically the same as last year, with a modest 50-word uptick in allowed total word count, from 1,100 to 1,150 (yep, you read that right: a business school is increasing its length limit).
Deadlines for MBA Class of 2018
Submit your application by1 22 Sept 2015 12 Jan 2016 05 Apr 2016
We will notify you on2 09 Dec 2015 30 Mar 2016 11 May 2016
Your reply and deposit are due by TBD TBD TBD
15:00pm Pacific Time, including your letters of reference. We cannot guarantee that we will review information you send to …

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Columbia Business School Releases 2015-16 Essay Questions

April 22nd, 2015

The 2015-16 MBA admissions season is officially underway with the release by Columbia Business School of its essay questions and deadlines for Early Decision and the January Term (both October 7, 2015). The essay questions have been slightly changed but not shortened:
Instructions: In addition to learning about your professional aspirations, the Admissions Committee hopes to gain an understanding of your interests, values and motivations through these essays. There are no right or wrong answers and we encourage you to answer each question thoughtfully. The “What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal?” question, Essay 1, Essay 2 and Essay 3 …

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