Profile Feedback

February 5th, 2016

I’m always happy to give feedback on applicants’ profiles on the GMAT forums. Here are two of my most recent posts on Beat the GMAT and GMAT Club:
“Hi! I would like to get my chances for Harvard, Yale, Booth, Tuck and Stanford going in as a non-traditional applicant.
Stats:
Gender: Female
Age: 25
Ethnicity: African American
Education: BA in Political Science with honors from a top-3 liberal arts college (3.5 GPA)
Scores: Taking the GRE again but currently have a 321 (V:165; M:156) and working to get my math into the 160s
Other:
-Worked for the International Criminal Court for two years in college, awarded a fellowship to …

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Julie Posselt Talks about “Inside Graduate Admissions”

February 1st, 2016

University of Michigan professor Julie R. Posselt’s Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping, just published by Harvard University Press, is an important and all-too-rare analysis of the graduate admissions process. Long story short: in observing how graduate admissions committees work on six selective academic departments at three research universities, Posselt found dysfunction, namely, a tendency for committees to hire folks like themselves (read: non-diverse) and to follow “opaque and unpredictable processes” that shroud their subjective decisions in unnecessary mystery.
I will be reviewing Inside Graduate Admissions soon, but in the meantime, here are the highest-value memes from Posselt’s …

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Nice Work If You Can Get It

January 30th, 2016

Alex Kubo of Wharton’s admissions office has a great job. He gets to call newly admitted Wharton MBA applicants and let them know the good news. There are worse jobs. Wharton shared some of the responses Alex heard—they range from speechless gratitude to stunned disbelief to the crisply professional—on its web site, with video of Alex enjoying the process for all it’s worth. Fortunately for him, Wharton (and most schools) does not call its many more numerous dinged applicants, which would be a depressing experience even for Ryan Bingham (George Clooney’s character in ‘Up in the Air’). Watch the fun …

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The True Equalizer

January 29th, 2016

Horrified at the prospect of foreign college applicants gaining admission on false pretenses, “dozens” of U.S. colleges are relying increasingly on video interviews, according to Associated Press. Plagiarized application essays, academic transcripts for sale, and surrogate SAT test-takers are some the challenges colleges growing in frequency with rising applicant volume from overseas. Over 300,000 Chinese students studied in the U.S. last year, for example, compared to only 60,000 in the mid-2000s.
As application components go, video interviews are much harder to fake. The person on the screen in front of you either does or does not speak good English, even …

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California Public Colleges Set Application Records

January 27th, 2016

California’s public undergrad programs keep setting application volume records. In the California State University tier, San Diego State and Cal State Marcos both set records, with 83,316 (3% higher than last year—the fifth straight new annual high) and 23,785 applicants, respectively. At the University of California tier, UCLA remained the state’s public applicant volume leader, with 119,326 apps received, a 6 percent jump from apps received for the fall 2015 intake. But for the first time, UC San Diego nudged past UC Berkeley into the number two spot in applicant volume, with 102,678 applicants to Berkeley’s 101,655.
An even more …

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Harvard’s R2 Wave 1 Is Tomorrow

January 26th, 2016

As anyone who submitted applications to HBS on January 6 doubtless knows, tomorrow is the Big Day (part 1): when HBS releases the first and largest wave of its interview invitations. For those who have missed Dee Leopold’s two emails on the subject (see them here), here’s the deal:
From Harvard’s Jan. 8 email—
“Here’s our plan for interview invitations:
Interview invitations will go out in two waves: January 27 and February 3
All candidates not being invited to interview will receive notice of their “release” on February 3
All 2+2 candidates will …

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The World Turned Upside Down: INSEAD As No. 1

January 25th, 2016

The big news is the Financial Times‘ decision to rank INSEAD ahead of Harvard and Stanford in its annual Global MBA Ranking. How dare they? A European school, and a one-year MBA at that, outranking the august M7? A scandalous outrage, surely. But as FT would be the first to admit, INSEAD is not “better than” Harvard et al. in most of the criteria that matter most to aspiring MBAs:
• Average starting post MBA salary: Stanford wins here with median average base pay of $130,000 for its Class of 2015; judged in terms of “median salary for alumni with …

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Not Just MBAs

January 20th, 2016

Applicants to business school are our bread-and-butter. We love working with them, but we also enjoy working with applicants to medical school and college. And the best part of working with them is learning of their admissions successes. Here are two just-received admissions results from a college and a medical school applicant that definitely made our day:
• “Hi Paul, Accepted!!!!! I just received the news that I’ve been accepted to Virginia Techs school of medicine!!! Class of 2020! They called with the news and I could barely breathe hearing it! I know that I would not be here without you …

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More Good News Today for MBAs

January 19th, 2016

From GMAC:
• “The findings from GMAC’s annual Year-End Poll of Employers reveal that a majority of responding companies (57%) are planning to expand in the coming year, and more than 2 in 3 (69%) agree that hiring MBA and specialized business master’s graduates is a priority in their companies’ 2016 hiring plans.”
• 75% of employers expect to hire MBA graduates in 2016, compared with 71% in 2015.
• “Among companies planning to hire MBAs in 2016, 85% plan to hire as many or more of them than they did in 2015.”
Source: GMAC – Graduate Management Admission Council®
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IB Recruiting of MBAs — Now

January 18th, 2016

Excellent article on efinancialcareers.com on which positions investment banks are hiring MBAs for today by Derek Walker, former director of careers at Saïd Business School, a former director of campus recruitment at Barclays, and a former director of staffing for Merrill Lynch:
“Banks generally hire MBAs into a far narrower range of roles than previously. Ten years ago, banks often hired MBA associates into IBD (M&A and corporate finance) sales and trading, equity research, private banking and wealth management. Now, most MBAs are hired into IBD. A few are hired into wealth management and commercial banking roles, but not many. …

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Columbia Rolls Out 18 New Executive Programs

January 13th, 2016

Columbia Business School means not a degree, of course (as in “EMBA program”), but an intensive several-day affair intended for Columbia’s executive education audience, defined as either Senior- or Upper-level Execs (10-15 years experience) or Mid-level Execs (5-10 years). Columbia has 73 executive programs altogether, grouped into broad subject areas such as Comprehensive Management, Finance, Leadership, Marketing, Social Enterprise, Strategy, Talent Management, and Online.

Columbia’s eight new programs are distributed within these subject areas, to wit:
Leadership
• Digital Literacy for Decision Makers
• Women in Leadership: Expanding Influence and Leading Change
• Effective Risk Communication: Stakeholder Management in Times of Crisis

Strategy
• Digital Business Strategy: …

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Professional ‘Diversity’ Admits

January 12th, 2016

“Let’s face it, the HR profession is not held in the highest regard. In 2012, I co-taught a brief course at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business with Professor Frank Flynn, and met an MBA student who aspired to go into HR after business school because she ‘liked people’. As she and I spoke, we realized that she was the only MBA student out of hundreds in her year with that goal. I have joked that she was probably admitted just to make the class more diverse.”
—Laszlo Bock, Google’s SVP People Operations, Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google.
No joke …

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Generous Praise from Client Admitted to Tuck & Kellogg

January 4th, 2016

A recent client (2015-16) recently posted the following generous praise for Paul Bodine Consulting on Beat The GMAT. Recognizing a good marketing opportunity when I see one, I thought I’d share it with you all here:
“Longtime lurker here. I’ve enjoyed reading the forums for the past year during my study process and recently my application process. I just successfully finished my application to business school with an acceptance to Tuck and an acceptance to Kellogg with scholarship (almost full tuition).
A big part of my success is due to the insights I got from working with Paul Bodine. …

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And U.S. Doctors Thought They Had It Bad…

December 7th, 2015

Medical doctors are deservedly among the most respected and well-remunerated professionals in the U.S. There’s no doubt they face challenges, however, from malpractice insurance costs and unending medical school debt to egregious paperwork requirements and the threat that the Affordable Care Act poses to private practices. Perhaps it’s no wonder then that 400 U.S. physicians commit suicide each year, and that depression is more common among medical school students and residents than among the general population.
But—things could be worse. Today’s Financial Times reports that according to the China Medical Doctors’ Association fully 13 percent of doctors in China report …

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Advising a Senior Bay Area Techie on EMBA

December 3rd, 2015

A reader at PoetsandQuantsforExecs.com recently asked me whether it made sense for him to earn and MBA and, if so, where he should earn it:
“Hi Paul, I am 45 yrs old and have 20+ years of experience in IT as a Principal Architect and also held many leadership positions primarily as a Practice manger. I have a strong resume in terms of having rich IT experience and also rich leadership experience which includes building and growing practices and also leading large portfolios and bringing profit to the portfolio. I have all the experience in various IT consulting companies. Pls advise …

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