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MBA News: Top Headlines and Recaps for September 2014

September 19, 2014 by

mba-newsLooking to unlock the good life by going to business school? Best to stay on top of the current MBA news. Check out some of the latest headlines, recaps, and studies about the MBA admissions process from media outlets across the country.

From parents of prospective MBAs having to foot more of their kids’ tuition bills, to a proliferation of GRE applications being submitted instead of GMAT applications, it’s been a busy few weeks. Here are some highlights in this month’s MBA news:

A new study finds that aspiring MBA applicants are increasingly planning to turn to their parents to help finance their education. Note the small gender gap. Women, who generally enter the MBA admissions process at a younger age and with less financial means, are more likely to have their parents involved in the financial aid equation than men are. (The Wall Street Journal)

Mentors can … Read full post

Veterans Returning from Military Service Get Down to Business

September 15, 2014 by

Since 2001, more than one million military veterans have been returning from Afghanistan and Iraq only to face high unemployment rates and a poor job outlook, so it’s no surprise that veterans are turning to higher education—including business school—when they return from military service.

Veteran applicants are highly sought in business schools, because the qualities that carry you through the military also make you successful in your business school education and career.

So follow our tips for getting into business school by presenting your military service application the right way.

Why business schools love veterans

1. Leadership … and more. Whatever your rank in the military, you’ve been a leader—and sometimes more importantly—a follower.

Military candidates are already leaders, and they have had significant experiences in team building, leading under pressure, and performing in stressful situations…. These are invaluable skills in the MBA classroom and Read full post

How to Make Your MBA Application Checklist

September 8, 2014 by

Time to start checking things off your MBA application checklist.Everybody’s business school application timeline is different and dependent upon his or her own schedule, but the application checklist is pretty consistent across the board.

It’s never too early to start putting together your MBA application. While you’re gathering your materials, it’s a good time to take stock of your progress and determine your next steps. Where are you in the process now? Where would you like to be next week, next month? We’ve put together some tips to get you going!

Before you apply to business school

Start at the beginning with the bigger questions before focusing on specifics like taking the GMAT and writing your personal essay.

Have you…

MBA Application Rounds—Which is Right for You?

September 4, 2014 by

mba application roundsDid you know that most business schools process MBA applications in rounds? What does that mean for you? Well, for most schools, it means that there are three separate application deadlines—or rounds—of processing. How does this play into your business school admissions strategy?

Round one: application deadlines in September—October

Round one sees some of the best MBA applications. Those who apply in the fall are often candidates with good grades, solid work experience, and high levels of organization in their activities. If you are a strong MBA candidate, it is probably a good idea to apply in round one. Submit in the earliest round possible provided you don’t compromise the quality of your application.

Not to suggest you should postpone the process unnecessarily, even if you are not the most well-rounded candidate. If your GMAT scores are above 600, the early deadline is the one for you. In … Read full post

Why Get an MBA? To Get Hired!

August 19, 2014 by

why get an MBAIf you’re looking for an answer to the question you’ve probably asked yourself a million times— why get an MBA? —you can add this to the list of responses: Because you’re likely to get hired!

The continued upward momentum of MBA holders in the global labor market is especially encouraging in light of the overall grim employment trends for bachelor’s degree holders and experienced direct-industry hires.

A new article posted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)—the makers of the notorious b-school admissions test, the GMAT—outlines key findings in two complementary surveys posted in late May 2014: the 2014 Corporate Recruiters Survey and the 2014 Global Management Education Survey.

The former study uncovered a 7% jump in anticipated MBA hires as well as projected hiring increases for masters of management, accounting, finance, and other specialized graduate degrees.

“More companies in all sectors and across the world plan to Read full post

Getting Into the MBA Program: mbaMission’s University of Virginia (Darden) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

August 4, 2014 by

MBA programThe Darden School at the University of Virginia claims to have released its MBA program application essay question for the year, but last year, it released a single essay question on its blog and then added more when the complete application was later released. Let us hope that Darden makes things simple for applicants this year and takes a “what you see is what you get” approach—keeping the required application essays to just one. We will stay on top of this and update our essay analysis as needed, if Darden happens to be up to its old tricks again!

Essay 1

Describe the most courageous professional decision you have made or action you have taken. What did you learn from that experience? (500 words maximum)

Darden’s use of the word “courageous” here may fluster some applicants, leading them to wonder, “At this point in my career, can I really say … Read full post

Getting Into the MBA Program: mbaMission’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

July 28, 2014 by

MBA programThe MIT Sloan School of Management bucks conventionality this admissions season and has added to the word count for its application essays—moving from a maximum of 1,000 words to 1,250. The school’s first MBA admission essay question remains the same as last year’s, but its second essay prompt presents an interesting challenge in that the admissions committee asks you to do exactly what it does not want you to do in reality: write your own recommendation letter. At least in this case, the school is allowing you to do so in the light of day. Thankfully, perhaps, Sloan has dropped its befuddling optional essay, which had invited applicants to share any additional information in any format. Candidates will be content to see clearer directives in the program’s essay questions. As always, our analysis follows…

Essay 1

The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative Read full post

Getting Into the MBA Program: mbaMission’s Duke University Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

July 21, 2014 by

mba programThese days, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is a veritable maverick in that it offers applicants vast opportunities to tell their stories. In its first three very short “essays,” applicants reveal their goals. In its second “essay,” applicants create a list of what should be far more than 25 diverse accomplishments and experiences. Then, applicants choose from two essay options in order to reveal fit with the Fuqua program. As admissions committees seemingly limit more and more applicants’ flexibility, Fuqua ensures that applicants can offer all of themselves. So, Fuqua may be a little more work for some applicants, but the payoff should be there in the form of creative control!

Required Short Answer Questions Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).

  1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
  2. What are your long-term
  3. Read full post

Getting Into the MBA Program: mbaMission’s 2014-2015 UPenn Wharton Essay Analysis

July 7, 2014 by

beating the gmatThe Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has decreased its number of application essays to just two this year and is giving candidates a whopping 900 words with which to distinguish themselves. We surmise that the influx of application essays can be overwhelming for the school’s overworked admissions officers, who find them somewhat deadening over time. So, by cutting back the program’s application requirements, they are able to stay sharp and still get what they need from you as an applicant. While this change may be helpful on the school’s end, the limitations make your job much harder. Wharton gives you a mostly boilerplate personal statement and a rather Harvard Business School–esque “discuss what you want” style prompt—seemingly not a lot of latitude with which to make an impression, but the key word here is “seemingly.” The smart applicant will make use of Essay 2 in particular to stand … Read full post

Getting Into the MBA Program: mbaMission’s 2014-2015 Michigan Ross Essay Analysis

June 30, 2014 by

mba programThe Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan has refashioned its essay questions, going “smaller” with its requirements, as have several other schools this application season. Ross’s broadly worded essay prompts give you ample breadth—if not an overabundance of words—in which to tell your story. As always, think carefully about what you want to say and the impression you want to make before you start writing, because more opportunity lurks here than you might realize at first.

Essay 1: What are you most proud of professionally and why? What did you learn from that experience? (400 words)

Many applicants who read this essay prompt will conclude that they have an opportunity here to share just one anecdote. However, you actually have another option. You could, of course, take a “task-oriented” approach, showing how you did one thing remarkably well, or you might consider taking a thematic approach, presenting … Read full post

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