Archives For MBA

Five-Steps-Email-croppedAre you ready for the 2014–2015 MBA application season?

Join Manhattan Prep, mbaMission, and Poets & Quants for a free, five-part webinar series to help you prepare!

Three leaders in the MBA admissions space—Poets & QuantsmbaMission and Manhattan Prep—are banding together to ensure that you will be ready for the 2014–2015 MBA admissions season. Together, we are launching a free, five-part webinar series entitled “Five Steps to Business School Acceptance”! In each of the first four sessions, a senior consultant from mbaMission will address and explain a different significant admissions issue, while Poets & Quants’ John Byrne serves as host, moderating any questions and answers. Then, an expert from Manhattan Prep will present a challenging GMAT issue, offering insight, advice and more. The fifth and final session consists of a discussion panel with current admissions officers, sharing their thoughts and answering questions about the upcoming admissions season.

We hope you will join us for this special series. Please sign up for each session separately via the links below—space is limited.

Session 1: March 19, 2014 - Watch the recording of our first session here to see what all of the buzz is about! 

Session 2: April 2, 2014 - Click Here to watch the recording of Choosing the Right B-School and Advanced Quant

Session 3: April 16, 2014 - What Can I Do with My MBA? and Getting the Most Out of Your Practice GMAT Exams

Session 4: April 30, 2014 - Essay Writing Workshop and Advanced Sentence Correction

Session 5: May 14, 2014 - Questions and Answers with MBA Admissions Officers

Do you have questions for our GMAT and MBA admissions experts? Ask them in the comments below, and we will do our best to answer them in the Q&A sessions following each presentation, or reach out to use on social using the hashtag #fivesteps.

round-1-mba-application-deadlines-gmat(This is a guest post from our friends at mbaMission)

Round 1 MBA application deadlines are not until late September or early October, and although that may seem far away, those submission dates actually come around a lot sooner than you think. How can that be? Well, many candidates start working on their applications in May (which, by the way, is only two months from now!), when the schools start releasing their essay questions. However, the well-prepared applicant starts taking steps now (or even started long ago) to make sure that he/she has the strongest application possible when those deadlines arrive. You may not realize it, but you can take advantage of a variety of short-term wins that could help you improve your candidacy for next year. Let’s take a look at just a few of the steps you can take…

1. Visit Schools: Visiting schools is a smart move for you as a potential consumer of a $100K+ education (not including living expenses and lost salary during your two years of study). It is also a smart move for you as an applicant, because traveling to a school serves as a strong indicator that you truly do want to attend that target program. Sure, some schools’ admissions offices state that the class visit is not overly important (notably, Harvard Business School), but most programs appreciate the gesture, because it demonstrates your level of interest and shows that you are not just selecting the school on the basis of rankings—you have “kicked the tires” and decided to proceed.

Many applicants will not think about making a class visit until too late. Class visit programs typically wrap up in April/May and do not open up until after Round 1 applications are due. So, if you have not yet visited your target school, your time is running out, and this might prevent you from learning more about the program and making an important positive impression. Schedule a visit now!

2. Take a Class: Was your GPA an afterthought when you were in college? Did you bomb some tough math classes or management classes? Did you do really well academically but take no classes that indicate your management aptitude? Did the Quant side of the GMAT not go as planned for you? The admissions committee needs to know that you can manage a rigorous analytical curriculum, so you must provide them with evidence that you are capable of doing so. If you do not yet have that evidence, consider taking one—or preferably two—of the following classes: calculus, statistics, economics, finance or accounting. You should do everything you can to earn an A in the class(es) to demonstrate that you have the intellectual horsepower to succeed in your first year. Remember that applications are due in October and that you will need to spend significant time after work perfecting them—and this process starts in May! So, your best move is to find a class that starts soon. Begin looking for options now!  (Note: You do not need to go to Harvard to take these classes. Any accredited university will do!)
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We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2013-2014 application season. Here is their analysis for Yale School of Management. 

As we have seen several top MBA programs do this year, the Yale School of Management (SOM) has reduced its essay requirements for the current round of applicants. During the 2011–2012 application season, the school asked candidates to respond to six questions using 1,600 words; in 2012–2013, this was condensed to four questions and 1,050 words; this season, the SOM poses just two questions, for which it allots only 750 words (300 for Essay 1 and 450 for Essay 2). This reduction should not be taken as an indication that the admissions committee is less interested in what applicants have to say, however. Instead, the school is in the process of incorporating a video component into its application in which candidates will respond orally to typical essay-style questions in a spontaneous manner, without knowing the questions in advance. We therefore encourage you to make the most of your essays, for which you will be able to take your time and carefully plan and craft your responses.

Yale School of ManagementEssay 1: What motivates your decision to pursue an MBA? (300 words maximum)

Yale’s first essay question for this season is very similar to the one it posed last year, but the school has doubled the word count and removed the query “When did you realize that this was a step you wanted—or needed—to take?” The focus and tone have also changed, in that the SOM had previously asked candidates what “prompted [their] decision to get an MBA,” which essentially emphasized a past event—in other words, what happened in the past to make you realize your need for this degree. This year, however, the school’s use of the word “motivates” carries with it a sense of positive, forward momentum and progression toward a goal—people are motivated to accomplish or attain things. You should therefore keep your focus forward as well and center your response on what you hope to gain from the MBA experience/education and what you plan to pursue after graduation. Identify the skills, guidance, experience and/or other factors that are key to enabling you to achieve your goals and that business school can provide. Then explain how gaining these will prepare you to succeed in your desired post-MBA position and industry.
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Here are the free GMAT events we’re holding this week. All times are local unless otherwise specified.

8/19/13- Santa Monica, CA - Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

8/19/13- New York, NY- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

8/19/13- San Francisco, CA- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

8/19/13-  Toronto, ON- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

8/19/13- New York, NY – The Last Minute MBA Application presented by mbaMission- 7:00PM-8:30PM

8/19/13- Online- Live Online GMAT Preview- 9:00PM- 10:30PM

8/20/13-  Atlanta, GA- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

8/20/13- Boston, MA- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

8/21/13- Online- MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed presented by mbaMission- 9:30AM- 10:30PM (EDT)

8/21/13- San Diego, CA - Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

8/21/13- Santa Clara, CA - Essay Writing Workshop Presented by mbaMission- 7:00PM- 8:30PM

8/21/13- Irvine, CA- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

8/21/13- Online - Essay Writing Workshop Presented by mbaMission- 4:00PM- 5:30PM (EDT)

8/22/13- Chicago, IL- Free Trial Class – 6:30PM- 9:30PM
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iStock_000012655127XSmallCatch up on some business school news and tips with a few of this week’s top stories:

Best GMAT Books (Test Study Guides)

Test Study Guides shares their hand-picked list of the best GMAT prep books and explains why these are the most effective study guides for the test.

Maximizing the Minimalist MBA App (Poets & Quants)

You should view your MBA application as the admissions committees do: as a holistic package of documents that work together to provide a comprehensive and cohesive introduction to you.

Students Offer Inside Look at Harvard Business School Admissions Process (Business Administration Information)

The student news organization at HBS has produced an unofficial admissions and interview guide, offering potential b-school candidates an advanced look at what types of questions they will get in their admissions interview.

Target MBA Jobs That Pay Well, Require Fewer Hours (U.S. News Education)

Find out which jobs offer a competitive salary and also have more flexibility in their work hours.

Do You Need a Résumé in the LinkedIn Era? (Harvard Business Review)

Your LinkedIn profile should be the most-viewed and most current version of your professional life. That has many people asking: Do I even need an old-fashioned résumé anymore?

Bain May Use GMAT Integrated Reasoning Test to Help Screen MBA Hires (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Bain & Co., one of the most coveted MBA employers, may soon use scores on GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning section to screen applicants for consulting jobs.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments below or tweet @ManhattanGMAT

iStock_000012655127XSmallCatch up on some business school news and tips with a few of this week’s top stories:

5 Essential Tips for Surviving Awkward Networking Events (Brazen Careerist)

Networking events are awkward. And when you don’t go to them often, you might have no idea what to do or how to act.

MBA students take their skills on the road (Graduate Guide)

Four Harvard Business School students are making a difference and learning in the process through a project known as MBAs Across America

Inflated GPAs Good For MBA Applicants (Poets & Quants)

To get into a highly selective business school, is it better to have a higher grade point average from a school where grade inflation is the norm?

Stress Management at B-School (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Case studies, class projects, recruiting, clubs, travel… the life of an MBA student is enough to make otherwise levelheaded adults crack under the pressure.

If You Don’t Define Your Personal Brand the Market Will (Both Sides of the Table)

Don’t forget about personal branding, the most important way to proactively control your career development and how the market perceives you.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments below or tweet @ManhattanGMAT


We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2013-2014 application season. Here is their analysis for UC-Berkeley Haas. 

The Haas School of Business at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, offers you more opportunity to tell your story than most business schools do these days—its three short essays favor those whose candidacies include a variety of dimensions and accomplishments. Your job is to ensure that the reader is constantly learning about you as he/she reads on. Ask yourself, “Am I offering a new skill or a new experience in each essay?” If your answer is not “yes!” then you must go back to brainstorming to ensure you are providing a broad and compelling picture of yourself. If you want the admissions committee to stay interested, you must keep providing new information throughout your essays.

UC Berkeley Haas1. If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 word maximum)

As absurd as this prompt may seem, you of course want to take it seriously. Rather than trying to identify what might be an impressive or interesting song in and of itself, stop, think about the various facets of your character and then back into your choice. Ask yourself what defines who you are and then work to find an appropriate song that reflects and reveals these elements—preferably one that you are sincerely connected to or that triggers a strong response in you. To add another level of creativity, consider different versions of the same song and the different singers who have performed or recorded it. (For example, the famed song “New York, New York” has been recorded by a number of artists over the years and in different languages—not that we are suggesting this song!) If the lyrics of a particular song seem to match well with your personality, you may also be able to identify a version of that song with a certain style, tempo or featured instrument, and these elements can further illustrate your personality. There is no “right” song in the eyes of the admissions committee. Your task is to find one that serves as an avenue for discussing your character and to clearly explain how and why it does so, using examples.

2. What is your most significant accomplishment? (250 word maximum)

Your most significant accomplishment can be from any sphere—professional, community, academic, personal. As mentioned in our introduction, be sure to represent different dimensions of your candidacy as you respond to these short-essay prompts. In other words, whichever aspect of your profile you choose to highlight here, it should be one that is not represented elsewhere in your application. (Note: you can tell two stories from the same “venue,” but they need to represent your skills/talents in different ways. Mentorship is a different skill than business development, for example, but both can occur in the workplace.) The key to this essay is choosing an experience that is simple but powerful—one that speaks for itself and draws the reader in, allowing him/her to draw a clear conclusion about your capabilities. Even with just 250 words, you can sufficiently recount a story that accomplishes this goal.
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We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2013-2014 application season. Here is their analysis for Dartmouth College (Tuck). 

As MBA programs move toward PowerPoint presentations, creative essays and essays without word limits, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College sticks to its tried and true approach: three 500-word essays, one of which is a classic career statement, while the others ask candidates to reflect on individual experiences. Given the more straightforward nature of these prompts, Tuck applicants will likely take comfort in knowing for certain that they have provided what the school wants—they have not missed the point of the questions or veered too far afield. Tuck in some ways allows candidates to more easily showcase their stories in a direct manner, and this means the school will be better able to compare candidates one-to-one—though applicants are hardly “apples to apples” in nature.

Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to 500 words for each essay. Please double-space your responses.

Dartmouth Tuck School of Business1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck?

Because personal statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

For a thorough exploration of Dartmouth Tuck’s academic program, merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment and more, please check out thembaMission Insider’s Guide to the Tuck School of Business.

2. Tell us about your most meaningful collaborative leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?

By specifying “collaborative” leadership, Tuck takes an interesting spin on a classic leadership question. The school does not want to hear about a time when you aggressively took control of a situation, nor about a time when you were just a cog in a wheel. The admissions committee wants to learn about a situation in which you shared power with someone else (or various people) and achieved an objective. Keep in mind that leadership is not a matter of title—you can be the associate to someone else’s vice president or vice versa and still be a collaborative leader if you are helping to drive something forward. In other words, think about your actions, not about the org chart.

As you write this essay, incorporate the dynamics of the experience into your narrative. Do not spend a lot of time explaining the leadership arrangement, and instead simply let the story of the situation unfold, then show your actions and the subsequent reactions (complementary or otherwise) from your co-leader(s).

To effectively reveal your “strengths and weaknesses,” you will need to demonstrate that you encountered challenges along the way and show how you overcame them. You cannot tell the story of your experience and then just tack on a mention of some unrelated—and thus “unproven”—lesson at the end. This is a common mistake, so be extra careful to avoid it. You must also reflect on the experience, because the question asks you to, but make sure the reflection you share is derived directly from the experience you describe in your essay. If you write 350–400 words of narrative and 100–150 words of related reflection, you should be on the right track.
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