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Don’t Believe Everything You Read on Message Boards

March 19, 2013 by

Every once in a while, a concerned business school candidate calls us and says something like “BSchoolHope1 wrote that Wharton won’t read past the 500-word limit, but PennLove08 wrote that 10% over the limit is fine. Meanwhile, WannabeTuckie says…” Some of you may be guffawing as you read this, but the truth is that many people have difficulty not reading the various message boards, and some have even more difficulty not believing everything they read there. So, at the risk of stating the obvious, message boards are completely unregulated, and the opinions expressed by the anonymous posters should be viewed skeptically. For every individual who claims to know something authoritatively, there is always another individual who claims to know that the opposite is true. Round and round we go…

So, our message here is to ignore anonymous posters. Although this should be valuable advice for you now, as you complete … Read full post

Mastering the MBA Resume, Part 1

October 22, 2012 by

When putting together your business school resume, you need to make sure that you are showcasing your accomplishments, not merely stating responsibilities. When only your responsibilities are presented—with no accompanying results—the reader has no understanding of whether you were effective in the role you are highlighting.  For example, consider the following entry, in which only responsibilities are offered:

2005–Present Household Products Group, Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio

Brand Manager

  • Responsible for managing a $10M media campaign, supervising a staff of five junior brand managers, monitoring daily sales volumes and ensuring the consistent supply of product from five production facilities in three countries.

The reader is left wondering, “Was the media campaign successful? Did the staff of five progress? Did sales volumes increase? Did the supply of products reach its destination?” When this one large bullet point is instead broken down into individual bulleted entries that elaborate on each task … Read full post

B-School Application Essays: Try an Anecdotal Approach

October 15, 2012 by

Many candidates choose to take a straightforward, historical approach to their business school personal statements. This can be an easy way to organize an essay, but this approach may also lead candidates to ignore possibilities for a more focused and gripping introduction. Although nothing is fundamentally wrong with taking a historical approach, under certain circumstances, an anecdotal approach can better maintain the reader’s interest. (This all comes down to execution, of course—a strong writer could effectively execute either approach.)

Example 1: Historical

“When I graduated from NYU with a finance degree, I eschewed Wall Street and pursued my own distinct path; I opened a flower shop in midtown New York, never imagining the challenges I would face as I strived to bring in new customers and locate products around the world. With time, I learned to advertise selectively (on billboards in local office buildings) and developed relationships with suppliers, … Read full post

Resume Building for your MBA Application Part 1: Aesthetics

January 30, 2012 by

By: MonaAbdel-Halim

Curriculum Vitaes and resumes are often referred to interchangeably, but to the professional world, these documents are very different. Resumes are the accepted norm in the United States, while CVs are the accepted norm in European and Asian countries — different in title, but very similar in content.

Conversely, CVs in the United States are expanded documents focusing on research, teaching, coursework, and publications. These are typically only used in the academic environment, while some components are the same as resumes you’ll need to apply to business school, the format is noticeably different.

If you already have a CV, you are halfway there…just follow these simple guidelines to help you turn it into a winning resume.


Length: U.S. resumes are typically no longer than one or two pages long. Resumes are not intended to be laundry lists or detail everything you have ever … Read full post

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