Archives For mbaMission

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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Here are the free GMAT events we’re holding this week. All times are local unless otherwise specified.

11/17/13- Online - Free Trial Class-  7:00AM- 10:00AM (EDT)

11/17/13- Santa Monica, CA- Free Trial Class- 5:30PM- 8:30PM

11/18/13-Boston, MA- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

11/18/13-  Austin, TX- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

11/19/13- Toronto, ON- Free Trial Class - 6:30PM- 9:30PM

11/19/13- Online- MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed presented by mbaMission- 5:00PM- 6:30PM (EDT)

11/19/13- Online - Free Trial Class-  8:00PM- 11:00PM (EDT)

11/20/13- New York, NY- Essay Writing Workshop presented by mbaMission-  7:00PM- 8:30PM

11/21/13- Online- Thursdays with Ron- 7:00PM- 8:30PM (EST)

11/21/13- Boston, MA- Choosing the Right B-School presented by mbaMission- 7:00PM-8:30PM

11/23/13- New York, NY - Free Trial Class- 2:00PM-5:00PM

Looking for more free events? Check out our Free Events Listings Page.

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 Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper).

To us at mbaMission, one of the most notable things about the essay questions Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business is posing this application season is that the program has changed its approach to length guidelines by shifting from “double-spaced page” requirements to specific word counts. Candidates who have surveyed the school’s past questions may notice that Tepper has reframed several of its queries. The short- and long-term goals prompts are separated both from one another and from the “why Tepper” query, and the previous question about an obstacle or ethical dilemma has been replaced by one with a more internal focus, asking candidates to share an instance that fundamentally influenced who they are today. And rather than requesting that applicants pinpoint something surprising about themselves or that makes them proud, the school wants a more general exploration of what the candidate might contribute to the Tepper community in the long and short term alike. We feel these broader prompts may allow you to provide a more rounded and personal picture of yourself to the admissions committee, so let us examine each one a little more closely…CMU

Short Answer 1 (Maximum 250 words):  What is your professional goal immediately following graduation from the Tepper School?

Short Answer 2 (Maximum 250 words):  What are your long term career goals?

These two short answer questions cover the basic short- and long-term goals elements of a traditional personal statement. To help applicants write this style of essay for any school, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which we offer to candidates free of charge, via our online store. Please feel free to download your copy today.

Essay 1 (Maximum 500 words): What transferrable skills have you developed that are related to your professional goals outlined in Short Answer 1?  Additionally, identify the skills that you will need to develop or enhance. Specifically, how will the Tepper MBA help you develop these skills?

With this question, the school takes a slightly unique approach to the usual “why an MBA” and “why our school” questions that most programs pose in one format or another. In addition to asking candidates to outline which skills they believe they will need to succeed after graduation, Tepper wants applicants to specify which ones they already possess. Essentially, to get from Point A to Point B, you will need to obtain/master certain abilities, and the school is interested in learning how far along this trajectory you have already progressed. This will allow the admissions committee to better evaluate how qualified you are (and may eventually be) for your chosen path and how effective the school may be in helping you move forward. By explaining how and why you see Tepper as the right program to provide the training you need, you will demonstrate how well you understand your current level of preparedness and how familiar you are with what Tepper has to offer. As always, framing this information using a narrative approach will make your essay more interesting to read, and likely more memorable as well.

Note that the school is focused specifically on skills. In similar questions from other programs (i.e. “why our school?”), candidates are typically asked to discuss which of the schools’ resources are expected to be valuable, in which case you could note that a particular club could provide you with a lifelong network or a speaker series could give you access to experts in your chosen field. These are not options for this Tepper essay, however. Clubs and speaker series are still valid resources to discuss, but you will need to pinpoint how these offerings will improve or impart skillsrather than provide external assets like a peer network or access to experts. Identify which capabilities you feel you will absolutely need, as well as ones that may just be beneficial and ease your path, and then research the school thoroughly to uncover which resources align directly with what you seek. For example, a certain class could teach you to prepare intricate financial models that will help you better predict certain outcomes, while the school’s Public Speaking Club would allow to you practice and improve your oral presentation skills, and participating in one of Tepper’s exchange programs could help you improve your foreign language capabilities. If you have targeted Tepper because you feel it is the right program for you, you likely already have an idea of what it offers that appeals to you and fits your goals—this essay is where you get specific about what these aspects of the program are.
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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 Indian School of Business.

The Indian School of Business (ISB) appears to have somewhat narrowed the focus of its essay questions since last season. It again asks candidates to explain what differentiates them from others, but this year, it specifically requests two examples and characterizes what kinds of qualities it seeks, rather than leaving the query more open-ended. The ISB has also shifted its question about applicants’ post-MBA goals to focus less on the goals themselves and more on why its program is the right one to prepare candidates to achieve their ambitions. Applicants are no longer required to submit a video essay about what they believe “life” to be (we imagine a large number of candidates were relieved to see that prompt dropped), and a request for additional information that was mandatory last year is now optional. Overall, the ISB seems to want to get at the heart of who its applicants are—not just what they know and have accomplished—and to be able to evaluate “fit” with what it has to offer.ISB

Essay 1: Attitude, skills and knowledge differentiate people. Elaborate with two examples on how you would differentiate yourself from other applicants to the PGP. (300 words max)

This straightforward prompt is really rather self-explanatory. The ISB is basically asking what attitude, skill or knowledge (experience) you possess that makes you stand out. If you can readily claim some unquestionably unique qualities—a rare skill, an unusual upbringing, an uncommon perspective—deciding on your content will be easy. From there, just focus on presenting your differentiating factors in a narrative format (avoid direct declarations like “What makes me different is X and Y…”) and providing brief but sufficient context as to how you gained or developed these traits.

If you view yourself as a more “typical” applicant, however, you may have difficulty deciding what to spotlight in this essay. Just remember that, as the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” You do not need to reveal that you have experienced something totally unique, but you do need to show that you truly understand and “own” your experiences. For example, if you are a consultant, you are like many other candidates out there—you cannot differentiate yourself by saying, “I am a consultant.” But if you think carefully about each consulting project you were staffed on, you will perhaps recall a unique client interaction, moment with your team, situation with your senior manager, dynamic with a trainee, etc. that reveals your attitude, skill or knowledge in an interesting manner.

Hypothetically, if you, as a consultant, found a way to implement a new training module, this is not earth-shatteringly different, but it gives you the granular experience upon which to build a discussion of initiative, commitment and developing others around you. You may not be the only individual who can lay claim to possessing these traits, but the details of your experience creating and implementing that module will ensure that you are able to differentiate yourself sufficiently.

The school asks for two examples, which means you could offer one from your personal life and one from your professional life to present a balanced view of yourself. However, we would encourage you to honestly evaluate what you believe are the two characteristics that truly distinguish you most, and if they are both personal in scope—or both professional—use them. The ISB wants to know what makes you you and who you will be as a student in its program, so being honest and enthusiastic in your essay will serve you best. Forcing the issue and choosing one quality to highlight from each realm just to be safe, rather than offering what genuinely is the most special about you, would unnecessarily weaken your submission.

Essay 2: How does the ISB PGP tie-in with your career goals? (300 words max)
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Here are the free GMAT events we’re holding this week. All times are local unless otherwise specified.

10/7/13- Online - Free Trial Class- 8:00PM- 11:00PM (EDT)

10/7/13- Los Angeles, CA- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

10/7/13- Irvine, CA- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM

10/7/13-  Online - Writing a Standout HBS Application Essay presented by mbaMission- 5:00PM- 6:30PM (EDT)

10/7/13- Seattle, WA -Free Trial Class- 6:30PM- 9:30PM (EDT)

10/8/13- West Hollywood, CA- Free Trial Class-  6:30PM- 9:30PM

10/8/13- New York, NY- MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed presented by mbaMission- 7:00PM- 8:30PM

10/8/13- San Francisco, CA - Free Trial Class-  6:30PM- 9:30PM

10/9/13- Chicago, IL-Free Trial Class - 6:30PM- 9:30PM

10/9/13- Palo Alto, CA - Free Trial Class-  6:30PM- 9:30PM

10/9/13- London - Free Trial Class-  6:30PM- 9:30PM

10/10/13- Online -Choosing the Right B-School presented by mbaMission- 9:00AM-10:30AM

10/12/13- Santa Monica, CA - Free Trial Class-  10:00AM- 1:00PM

10/12/13- New York, NY - Free Trial Class-  10:00AM- 1:00PM

10/13/13- Atlanta, GA - Free Trial Class-  5:30PM- 8:30PM

10/13/13- San Francisco, CA - Free Trial Class-  5:30PM- 8:30PM

Looking for more free events? Check out our Free Events Listings Page.

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 University of London (London Business School).

London Business School follows in the steps of a number of top MBA programs this year in streamlining and downscaling its application essay requirements, going from six questions and 1,750 allotted words to three questions and 1,200 words. Two of the current prompts are reminiscent of several questions from last year—asking about applicants’ future plans and potential contributions to the school—but LBS throws candidates a curve with its unique third query, which takes a new angle on the relationship between MBA students and their school. Overall, LBS’s questions are much broader than ever before (and than most other schools’ prompts), which may be daunting to some applicants, but we encourage you to see this wide canvas as an opportunity rather than something intimidating. One of the school’s admissions officers explains on the department’s blog that the change in the scope and style of the questions was meant “to allow you more freedom in the way you go about constructing your essays.” We hope our analysis of LBS’s essay prompts will help you use this leeway to your advantage.

London Business SchoolThe essays form a major part of your application so we recommend that you spend a significant amount of time reflecting on the questions below and preparing your replies.

The essay questions for the class of MBA 2016 are:

What will your future look like after completing your MBA? (500 words)
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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 INSEAD. 

INSEAD apparently has not felt the pressure to alter its essay questions or requirements this season, as many U.S. business schools have done. Except for reversing the order of some questions, no changes have really been made to the school’s queries or allotted word counts. The program’s six “motivational essay” prompts are the primary ones, and we will examine those in depth in this analysis, but applicants must also provide two to three shorter “job description essays” that generally require (or allow, depending on your perspective) candidates to provide a fuller picture of their current positions and career progression to date than a resume or CV might provide. We will briefly address these essays first.

Job Description Essays

Essay 1: Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (250 words maximum)

Essay 2: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. If you were to remain with your present employer, what would be your next step in terms of position? (250 words maximum)

Essay 3 (If applicable): If you are currently not working, what are you doing and what do you plan to do until you start the MBA programme? (250 words)

For these essays, we would encourage you to very carefully parse what data the school is requesting in each and then provide all of the relevant facts. For example, the first job essay prompt requires that you outline as many as seven different aspects of your current/most recent position. Make sure not to leave any out just because you would rather write more about others. In addition, take care for all the job description essays to avoid using acronyms or abbreviations that would not be easily recognizable to most, and consider providing some description of your company or industry, if the nature of either might not be readily clear. Using shortcuts (in the form of abbreviations) and skipping this kind of information could make your descriptions less understandable and therefore less compelling and useful to an admissions reader, so you are in fact doing yourself a favor by more completely depicting your situation—while adhering to the maximum word counts, of course. To make your responses to these rather straightforward queries more interesting to the admissions reader, consider framing them in a narrative format rather than simply outlining the basic information. Strive to incorporate a sense of your personality and individuality into your submissions.

Motivation Essays
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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 University of Texas, Austin (McCombs). 

By asking candidates to submit three essays of 250 words each, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, has drastically streamlined its essay questions this year compared with last year—and in concert with what many other MBA programs are doing this season. Then, the length requirement for Essay 1 alone was 800 words, and applicants had roughly 600 words for the school’s three-part Essay 2.  Overall, McCombs’s questions appear to have taken a more personal tone, asking candidates to introduce themselves to the student community, explain what they can contribute to the program other than professional qualities and describe how they expect to develop during their two years in the MBA program. Gone are any explicit references to short- or long-term goals and one’s career history, so the applicant’s more internal aspects and soft skills are highlighted instead.

 UTAustin_business1. Imagine that you are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2016. Please introduce yourself to your new classmates, and include any personal and/or professional aspects that you believe to be significant. Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.
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