The MBA: 5 Reasons Why You Should Take It Personally

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Top international business schools meet executive talent through One-to-One meetings in Singapore on April 11th, 2018.

Over the past years the Master of Business Administration (MBA) has become a highly valued degree not only in business-related fields, but in areas as diverse as sports management and aviation. And rightfully so – it can be an asset for professionals who wish to give their managerial career a boost as well as for those who are looking to switch to a different field.

Even with increased opportunities for studying in all corners of the world, competition is not to be disregarded. Top MBA programmes are looking for ambitious and well-prepared candidates to build a diverse student body and strong alumni network. Applicants need to be ready to invest time and effort into the application process from start to finish.

Here is why a personal touch can go a long way.

1. The MBA is a personal commitment

Deciding to do an MBA is a matter for the career, lifestyle, and future development. The personality and approach of a school are important factors for MBA candidates to consider. How different MBA programmes match one’s expectations are easily discernible by speaking with their representatives in person.

2. Business meetings with business schools

Determined MBA applicants take the opportunity to talk business with MBA representatives one-on-one. They find out which business schools will enable them to reach their personal and professional goals. MBA meetings also allow applicants to receive feedback on how competitive it is to get admitted to the school.

3.  20 constructive minutes

Access MBA’s One-to-One event enables professionals to meet the representatives of schools that were carefully selected to correspond to their professional background and expectations. Thus, the school and the MBA candidate are already familiar with one another and each 20-minute meeting is spent discussing the topics that matter the most.

4. Gain an admissions advantage

One-to-One MBA event participants get a sneak preview of their chances for admission by asking the right questions and putting forward their best presentation skills. Among the top-ranked, and thus most competitive, business schools participating in the Access MBA event in Singapore on April11th are IE Business School, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, ESCP Europe, INSEAD, Asia Business School, UBC-Sauder, IESE Business School, Fordham University, CEIBS Executive MBA, HEC Paris and many more.

5. Real-time professional guidance

Getting an MBA degree is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and MBA applicants appreciate expert advice. Before, after and in-between the business school meetings, event visitors can receive free MBA consulting on any aspect of MBA selection, GMAT preparation, funding options, and  MBA application strategies to help guarantee a successful business education investment.

Why consider an MBA?

  • Studying for an MBA can help you not only learn valuable business skills but also network with knowledgeable and successful professionals in the industry.
  • A greater percentage of companies in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the United States plan to hire MBA graduates in 2017 compared to those who did so in 2016. US-based companies plan to offer recent MBA graduates a starting median base salary of USD 110,000 in 2017, up from USD 105,000 in 2016. (GMAC, Corporate Recruiters Survey Report, 2017)
  • Eighty-six percent of surveyed corporate recruiters who work directly with participating graduate business schools plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2017. (GMAC, Corporate Recruiters Survey Report, 2017)
  • Despite political uncertainty about the status of immigration and work visa programmes, companies in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the US are staying the course with plans to hire international graduate business candidates. (GMAC, Corporate Recruiters Survey Report, 2017)

Meet top business schools’ admissions directors in person

Date: Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Venue: Orchard Hotel, Singapore

Time: 5.00pm to 10.00pm

Registration: Online registration is free of charge on https://www.accessmba.com/link/9t . By registering at least 10 days before the MBA event, event participants will receive a profile evaluation and a personalized consultation to identify the most suitable business schools at the event.

 

UT McCombs School Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips

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The UT McCombs School of Business is a globally recognized MBA program, located in Austin, Texas, a center of technology and business for the region.

When approaching these essay questions think about the reasons you are pursuing an MBA, particularly at McCombs. Thorough school research will help you come up with specifics, by talking to current or former students, visiting campus, or attending admissions events.

Stacey Kammerdiener, Senior Texas Full-Time MBA Admissions Officer advises, “While it may be tempting, do us (and yourself) a favor and avoid the snooze-fest/shock-factor extremes. Instead, approach your essays genuinely and with reflection.” More advice can be found at the www.topadmit.com

ESSAY ONE

Introduce yourself.
Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.

• Write an essay (250 words), OR
• Share a video introduction (one minute)

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For an open-ended essay with a creative option (the video), it can be daunting to think of a topic. Rather than focusing on how you are going to communicate, start thinking about what you want to communicate to the Texas MBA admissions committee by introducing yourself to your new study group.

The best essays will dive deep into your motivations and aspirations, perhaps getting into your cultural background, formative moments in your life and friends, family and colleagues who have influenced you. To identify one or two key stories you may want to tell, think about those pivotal moments of change in your life.

For many people, the transition from high school to college and from college to work led to personal change. Others had formative childhood experiences or experiences that led to shifts in perspective like travel or living outside your home country. Anyone of these moments could be a good way to illustrate who you are and what motivates you.

Once you have identified the content of your essay you can decide how to present it. A video could give you the opportunity to add elements of emotion, such as humor, that are harder to convey in writing. A video also allows you to include graphics, photos or other visual elements. If your story fits better into a written narrative you may choose the written essay instead.

If you choose a video essay you will still want to write a script for your video. Think about the bullet points you want to cover and any important points you need to convey. If you decide to talk into the camera, rehearsing will be especially important, and consider having a friend or family member there so you can talk to a person instead of the camera. If you are able to edit the video after you record footage it will be easier to keep it smooth and on topic. Either way, make sure you take the time to record several takes of the video content so you can choose the best one to submit to McCombs.

ESSAY TWO

Picture yourself at graduation. Describe how you spent your two years as a Texas MBA student, and how that experience helped to prepare you for the post-MBA world. (500 words)

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This essay is your opportunity to demonstrate strong fit with the Texas MBA program. As part of your homework before starting this set of essays you have hopefully learned as much as possible about the school, now you can bring in your own aspirations and goals. Use your imagination to think about how you might describe your MBA experience at graduation. You’ll likely have experienced both professional and personal growth, and met interesting people who will be part of your lifelong network.

To help you get started, research some of the unique opportunities at McCombs like the Venture Labs, if you have entrepreneurial dreams, and The MBA+ Program, with opportunities to work with influential companies through a variety of touch points. Being part of the city of Austin is another unique benefit to the program that you may want to consider in the context of your background and goals.

For example, perhaps you were interested in working for a major technology firm to learn product management skills to use in starting your own business. While at McCombs you might have tested ideas with the Venture Labs, and also consulted for major companies like Adobe or HP to learn how large companies worked. These experiences were likely formative as you made career plans.

Don’t forget the personal – McCombs has an active and engaged student culture with many student organizations you likely joined. And your classmates and friends you made in the program were definitely an influence as well.

It is always useful to read other people’s work to get a sense of what good essays are. To assist you, TopAdmit provides you some MBA essay samples written by counselors and editors hailing from prestigious schools including Harvard. This page contains personal statement samples, statement of purpose samples, and application essay samples for college. But please remember, these are for your reference only; it is not to your benefit to copy their style or concepts. It not only violates academic ethics and could lead to an automatic rejection by the admissions committee — the point of our service is to help you construct a unique essay — not one similar to other essays.

Wharton To Ask Rec Writers For ‘Essays’

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Wharton School operations and innovation management professor Christian Terwiesch teaching class

After a major review, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has decided to ask recommenders of its MBA applicants to effectively write two short essays on the candidates they are recommending.

The changes, effective with the upcoming 2017-2018 admissions cycle, occurred after the school surveyed more than 1,200 writers of recommendation letters and asked about their experience with the process. Vice Dean Maryellen Reilly, who deemed the overall “significant,” said they were being made “in an effort to get a deeper understanding of a candidate’s personal characteristics and their impact on others throughout their career.”

It’s a major changeup, in part, because business schools have been reducing the number and the length of essays for MBA applicants for several years now. At least on the surface, it seems ironic that a school would now decide to essentially ask recommendation writers for a pair of 300-word essays. The move also comes not long after several schools have moved to a common rec letter format to make it easier for recommenders to provide support for their candidates to several schools.

IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK FROM ADMISSION CONSULTANTS MIXED

But Wharton ostensibly thought it could improve on the current system after asking rec writers for their perspectives. “Utilizing their valuable feedback, in conjunction with conversations with writers at a variety of companies and Wharton stakeholders, we have revised and improved how recommenders provide information on who a candidate is both personally and within an organization,” wrote Deputy Vice Dean Maryellen Reilly in a blog post about the change.

Several MBA admission consultants, however, weren’t nearly as enthusiastic about the change, largely because they saw it as an additional burden on recommenders. That could encourage more recommenders to ask applicants to write the essays for their approval. “For the personality traits, the good news is that Wharton is trying to get authentic and thoughtful responses from recommenders, rather than literally ‘check-the-box,’” says Betsy Massar, founder of Master Admissions. “Because there are truly no right or wrong answers, hopefully, students won’t be as anxious about not being top at everything. For the qualitative questions, It’s great that the essay question specifically says up front, “give examples.” Maybe that will bring more substance into some of the high-praise-but-fluffy recommendations that don’t differentiate candidates in the least.

“On the downside,” she adds, “moving away from the common application questions that have been asked by other top schools really does put more of a burden on the recommender. That has all sorts of repercussions that increases anxiety for the student and might even mean that Wharton loses some applicants. Not sure that’s an optimal outcome for anyone.”

APPLICANTS MORE LIKELY TO SUCCUMB TO ‘YOU-WRITE-IT-I’LL SIGN-IT’

Linda Abraham, founder and CEO of Accepted.com, agreed. “Even those inclined to write their own recs are more likely to succumb to the time-saving temptation of you-write-it-I’ll-sign-it if they have to write two additional, distinctive responses to the open questions posed in the Wharton rec,” she says. “This would be especially true for applicants applying to more schools.”

Jeremy Shinewald, founder and CEO of mbaMission, sees an upside and downside to the change. “Unquestionably, relative to other schools, Wharton will get more thoughtful and colorful letters from those who take the recommendation process seriously – the questions almost force that outcome,” he says. “Unfortunately, they may also serve as a catalyst for those recommenders who may not want to put the time in and who may not put the time in and decide to shirk their responsibilities altogether. Because a truly excellent letter of recommendation can be a very powerful differentiator for any applicant, we strongly advise our clients to meet with their recommenders and discuss the process and more so what it means to write a standout letter.

“In doing so, we always advise our clients to be ready to diplomatically push back against a boss who says “write it yourself.” There is a reason why the schools want recommendation letters – they want insight that an applicant just can’t objectively and compellingly state about themselves. So, we may emphasize an extra level of preparedness for pushback to our Wharton applicants, because it will serve them well. They will have a better chance of getting in if they can persuade their recommenders to embrace the process.”

Credit: Poetsandquants

Tuck’s Own Insider Guide To Its MBA Essays

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Tuck School of Business

These days just about every business school has a blog or two that regularly dispenses advice to MBA applicants. And, of course, there is no shortage of places you can go on the web to get perspectives on exactly how to respond to a specific essay question at a given school, whether it’s the blog of an admissions consultant or even Poets&Quants.

But it’s rare when that advice is as clear and concise as the insider’s guide published recently by Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business which has long had a reputation as one of a handful of schools that really get to know the candidates who apply there.

As the admission folks at Tuck put it, “Within days of publishing these essays, there will inevitably be sources willing to help you analyze Tuck’s questions, as well as our thought process behind them. Instead of relying on second-hand advice, here’s all the guidance you need to write an excellent essay—straight from the admissions committee.”

Here’s how Tuck is helping applicants do their best MBA application:

1) (Required) What are your short and long-term goals? Why is an MBA a critical next step toward achieving those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically? (500 words)

This question is as straightforward as it seems. Pursuing your MBA is a big commitment. There has got to be a good reason for this, right? We want to know that reason. What do you hope to be doing after graduating from an MBA program? How does your path thus far play into that? If the logical path isn’t clear, make sure you tell us why you’re making this transition.

Also, we want details! You want to lead a company, make decisions, problem solve, help people? Great, but does that mean consulting or product management? Healthcare or technology? What companies interest you? What roles do MBAs play in those fields? Pulling out these details will not only make you a more competitive applicant, but will also give you a great foundation when presented with all your career possibilities. Business school is great for exploring different industries, roles, and companies, but without a plan it can be overwhelming.

As for the final part of the question, every MBA program is different. What about Tuck specifically will help you get from where you are now to where you want to be in 3, 5, or 15 years? As an admissions committee, we have only 285 seats to fill every year. We want to make sure we’re offering this incredible opportunity to those who 1) understand why they’re in an MBA program to begin with, and 2) are excited about spending two transformative years at Tuck.

What programs, classes, clubs, treks, or activities does Tuck offer that will help you achieve your personal and professional goals? It’s true that we like people who are enthusiastic about Tuck—we want students who will dive in, not blend in! However, that doesn’t mean that you should try to flatter your way in. There are many, many opportunities at Tuck—you owe it to yourself to do some research and figure out those that are truly most appealing to you.

Other tips:

If you can take Tuck’s name out of this essay and replace it with another school’s name and it still makes sense, then you need to go back and show you know what makes Tuck (and the other MBA programs you’re considering) unique. We don’t want a laundry list of classes, clubs, or qualities at Tuck. We know what Tuck has. We want to know that you understand why those things are meaningful to you. Be authentic, be straightforward, be specific, and tell a story that makes sense.

2) (Required) Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. Wisdom encompasses the essential aptitudes of confident humility, about what one does and does not know; empathy, towards the diverse ideas and experiences of others; and judgment, about when and how to take risks for the better.

With Tuck’s mission in mind, and with a focus on confident humility, tell us about a time you:
received tough feedback, experienced failure, or disappointed yourself or others. How did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result? (500 words)

Life isn’t all successes; there are plenty of failures in there too. We are not trying to bring in a class of perfect people. We’re looking for people who are self-aware, growth minded, and humble, people who recognize those less-than-perfect moments or traits in themselves and then figure out where to go from there. That’s why we focus on confident humility.

Tuck is small in size and big in collaboration. It’s not about being right, being the best, or winning. We don’t seek success at the expense of others. You won’t blend in or be anonymous. You will work with diverse people, with different ideas, perspectives, and experiences that shape them. In business school (and life!), you will be one smart and talented person among many smart and talented people.

We love that our students listen and learn from each other in class and over dinner, that they lean on their study group mates in areas where they’re less strong, and that recruiters highlight how Tuckies stand out as being able to work well with just about everyone.

We’re looking for honesty in this essay. This is not a trick question. We’ve all received tough feedback, failed, or disappointed someone. Show us personal accountability and action. And like the first essay, details are important. Be specific enough that we get a clear picture of the situation, the result, and your role in it. Finally, don’t get to the end and forget the last part of our question: How did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result?

Other thoughts: Stick to one particular example instead of a string of several instances, and avoid being too vague. Consider both your immediate reaction and your reaction once given time to think and reflect.

3) (Optional) Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

Optional is optional! We are NOT docking you for an empty optional essay. Actually, quite the opposite; if you give us an extra five paragraphs to read and it’s not necessary, we will question your judgment or your ability to express yourself succinctly elsewhere. For example, you do not need to further declare your love for Tuck here when you can articulate that in the first essay and the interview.

Reasons you should use this space:

Explaining an unusual recommender, or why you didn’t include your current direct supervisor.
Explaining a particularly incongruent semester/class from undergrad, or a poor record overall.
Anything else that may need additional explanation—as in, without it we will not understand the true context behind something.
A good rule here is to keep it to a reasonable length. If you’re unsure if you should explain something, err on the side of including it—just do so as succinctly as possible.

4) (To be completed by all reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (500 words)

This question is very straightforward, but similarly to the optional essay, try not to repeat a bunch of stuff from elsewhere in the application. Naturally, it might happen here and there, but use your best judgment. If you received reapplicant feedback, you should specifically address that feedback—all of it.

Word Counts: All noted word counts are meant as a guideline. While we’re not going to count every word, if your essay is exceptionally short, you either haven’t explained something fully, or simply did not put in much effort; if your essay is exceptionally long, you should consider revising it to be more succinct.

Credit: Poetandquants

30 Tips For Your MBA Admissions Success

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Fortune may favor the brave, but when applying to business school it is careful planning and meaningful self-reflection that win the day.

With round-one deadlines for the world’s top MBA programs less than six months away, this is the time to put together a plan for admissions success. You’ve got a lot of ground to cover:

• Introspection about your personal and professional goals

• Research to identify the schools that match your objectives

• Study for the GMAT or GRE, and any courses that boost your academic record

• Outstanding professional performance to strengthen letters of recommendation

• Purposeful community engagement and genuine leadership opportunities

• Outreach to b-school students and alumni combined with campus visits

That’s quite a to-do list, but MBA admissions success doesn’t just happen — you create it. And that means accepting all the challenges that are involved, and not just pursuing the ones you like.

(Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

You don’t have to go to business to make a success of your life, but this is your chance to shape your own path, and not rely on somebody else’s. To more accurately quote business philosopher Jim Rohn, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”

So where do you get started? Pursuing the theme of insightful quotes, I asked my colleagues at Fortuna Admissions for their advice, based on years of insider experience working in the admissions offices of the world’s top business schools.

Here are their 30 tips for MBA admissions success.

Self-Awareness And Defining Your Personal And Professional Goals

1. “Be your authentic self in your application. The most engaging candidates strip away the pretence, and don’t try to fit into a mould.” – Judith Silverman Hodara, Wharton

2. “Start with good questions — they are the best way to find great answers. Business schools want to know more about you than just your resume. They want to get a sense of what makes you tick. What do you want from your career? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What have you learned about yourself from times you have excelled and times you have failed? Don’t skimp on introspection—or waste the gift of choice.” – Caroline Diarte Edwards, INSEAD

3. “Spend time talking to many people in careers that seem interesting to you so that by the time you apply, you have a much better sense of your post-MBA plans. If you’re looking to make a career transition, consider speaking to people at your current company in positions that you’d like to go into after your MBA since they could be great resources that are highly accessible.” – Dina Glasofer, NYU Stern

4. “When talking about your long-term goals, think big. You will inspire the reader with your plans to change the world, not with your goal of retiring at 50. Find the thread that links your past decisions with your future goals. Make sure your story makes sense with a clear vision of where you want to go.” – Heidi Hillis, Stanford GSB

Selecting And Researching Your Target Schools

5. “Don’t settle for the ordinary — by definition a stretch school is within reach and by stretching yourself you will improve your reach. Believe in yourself, so that the admissions office can believe in you.” – Julie Ferguson, Chicago Booth

6. “Look beyond MBA rankings. List the factors most important to you and talk to students and alumni to help assess the fit.” – Dina Glasofer, NYU Stern

7. “Don’t settle for general statements about the school. Repeating well-known facts proves nothing. Identify and be able to explain your personal passion for the school.” – Karen Ponte, London Business School

Mastering The GMAT

8. “If you’re going through hell on data sufficiency or critical reasoning, keep going. You may have to fight the GMAT battle more than once to win it.” – Judith Silverman Hodara, Wharton

9. “Improving your GMAT score by 100 points is achieved in 10 point increments. Test success is the sum of small efforts practiced day in and day out.” – Cassandra Pittman, Columbia Business School

Personal Branding

10. “Think like a marketer — define and design your brand. What’s your unique expertise and contribution to the MBA program? Leverage that in each part of the application.” – Katherine Johnson, Harvard Business School

11. “As you look to set yourself apart, consider the lens that has influenced your worldview—and then find ways to project that understanding of yourself into your application.” – Brittany Maschal, Wharton

12. “Every school wants diversity – think how could your professional background, upbringing, nationality, age, future ambitions or interests add a unique dimension to your MBA class.” – Melissa Jones, INSEAD

 Resume

13. “Be specific – demonstrate your value with objective evidence, don’t just ask the reader to take your word for it.”  – Jodi Keating, Wharton

14. “Tone back the technical language and take it back to basics, highlighting the skills relevant to the role and ones the school will be looking for.” – Nicola Sandford, INSEAD

15. “There is probably someone applying to your target school with the exact same job title as you. Your resume needs to show exactly why you are better at that job.” – Jodi Keating, Wharton

Application Essays

16. “Telling a story that illustrates the type of person you are has far more impact than telling the reader what kind of person you are.  Show, don’t tell.” – Heather Lamb Friedman, Harvard Business School

17. “In your essays, go for the why, not the what. The resume tells what you did, it is up to the essays to explain what motivated you.” – Heidi Hillis, Stanford GSB

18. “Don’t just cut and paste essays from one school to another. Each application should feel like it was written specifically for that school, including concrete examples and specific school offerings rather than generalized statements.” – Dina Glasofer, NYU Stern

19. “Focus on depth over breadth! Talk in a non-technical manner when explaining your career — your file reader may come from a different background to you.” - Nonie Mackie, INSEAD

20. “Show self awareness. When talking about your weaknesses, be honest. A strength disguised as a weakness could very well backfire. Remember that you need to show that you still have something to learn.” – Michel Belden, Wharton

Extra-curriculars

21. “Go for quality not quantity. It’s better to get deeply involved in one thing you’re really passionate about, than to start four new activities simultaneously.” – Emma Bond, London Business School

22. “Devote your time and energy to something that supports your personal purpose in life. Don’t just get involved because it’s an admissions criterion. Do it because it genuinely resonates with who you are, your values, and your sense of purpose.” – Catherine Tuttle, Duke Fuqua

23. “Don’t underestimate the importance of your passions outside of work. The 10 years spent training as a ballerina shows dedication and drive, and can help you dance your way to the top of the applicant pile.” – Melissa Jones, INSEAD

Letters Of Recommendation

24. “Work on developing a relationship with your recommenders now so that when you ask them for a recommendation they are inclined to do so.” – Michel Belden, Wharton

25. “Don’t assume that your recommenders know what they are doing. Details, depth and insight add value; generalisations and do not. Help them to help you.” – Caroline Diarte Edwards, INSEAD

Interviews

26. “There is a misconception that schools are looking for perfect candidates, when in fact schools are looking for candidates with the right fit.” – Malvina Miller Complainville, Harvard Business School

27. “Practice, practice, practice! Have great examples to hand and a clear story, ensuring you tell the interviewer what you did do, not what you would do.” – Nicola Sandford, INSEAD

28. “Prepare your key selling points and stories ahead of time, and go into the room feeling confident that they wanted you there, and enthusiastic about the prospect of joining the school’s community.” – Malvina Miller Complainville, Harvard Business School

Staying On track

29. “Focus on what you can do, rather than what you cannot undo. A brand-new start is not an option, so put your energy into a brand-new ending.” – Brittany Maschal, Wharton

30. “When tackling the most challenging areas of your MBA application, get up early in the morning and be sure to complete these first!” – Nonie Mackie, INSEAD

It is clear from the insider experience of my colleagues, and decisions they made to admit certain candidates and reject others, that successful and unsuccessful applicants do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to achieve their goals. So what is to stop you?

Source: www.forbes.com

Writing tips for the new MBA admissions essays

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With MBA admissions essay requirements rapidly changing as schools and universities overhaul their MBA applications, one thing has become incredibly clear: the essay just isn’t what it used to be.

With MBA admissions essay requirements rapidly changing as schools and universities overhaul their MBA applications, one thing has become incredibly clear: the essay just isn’t what it used to be.

So how are MBA applications changing?

Some schools have added new components to their MBA application – like the Kellogg School of Management’s new mandatory video essay – or removed, reduced, or made optional portions of the essay segment. Why the new formats and new lengths? Soojin Kwon, director of admissions at Michigan’s Ross School of Business, told US News & World Report: “So many people were spending a lot of time on the essays and probably not as much time thinking about the other things…the whole purpose of the essay and the interview is to just get a better understanding of where they’re coming from and where they want to go to. And I don’t need to read 1,000 words, 2,000 words, to understand that.”

So how does an applicant get these new changes to work to his or her advantage? The prospect of a shorter essay – or one in a completely different format – can be daunting. But with the right attitude and approach, these new MBA admissions essays can actually provide a significant advantage.

In her blog, Kwon wrote that “our total maximum word count has been reduced by 450 words, and hopefully you’ll be able to use that found time to craft the most compelling essays possible.”

How does the MBA applicant adapt?

Avi Gordon, is the author of MBA Admissions Strategy: from Profile Building to Essay Writing. In his opinion, the most important things for an MBA applicant to remember while writing an essay or MBA cover letter–especially in one that is short, and therefore in which every word must be made to have the maximum impact – are as follows:

The Dos

•    DO remember to check spelling and grammar
•    DO actually respond to the question
•    DO write several drafts of each essay
•    DO tell stories from actual work experience
•    DO make sure that you accurately express your motivations and overall fit for the program

The Don’ts

•    DON’T praise the school (they know they’re good)
•    DON’T repeat items on your résumé
•    DON’T denigrate anyone or any organization
•    DON’T whine about life’s obstacles or blame others
•    DON’T state the obvious — if you are talking about water you needn’t add that it is also wet

Remember: keep your MBA cover letter and admissions essays unique

Jia Ma is IMBA marketing and admissions director at Beijing’s School of Economics and Management. He reflects that, “candidates always impress me most by [delivering] quick and genuine answers with great wisdom or humor.” The essay is one of the best opportunities for an MBA applicant to truly showcase character and distinguish him or herself as a valuable candidate.

That’s why it’s important to avoid uniform MBA cover letters and MBA admissions essays, despite the temptation to re-use them – particularly when other aspects of the MBA application process, such as GMAT preparation, appear to demand more time and attention.

“Standardized letters sent out to different schools are really obvious,” says Dirk Buyens, academic dean at Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School. “They show a lack of dedication.” Essay space is not for reiterating information easily gleaned elsewhere in your MBA application; it is for highlighting the fit between the MBA applicant and the school. Be sure to craft each MBA cover letter and essay with the school and program you are applying to in mind.

Most importantly, says Lynn Thornber, marketing and development coordinator at Durham Business School, “A failure to properly address the question asked is probably one of the most common mistakes, along with too much embellishment.” Since space is at a premium, now more than ever it is necessary to practice succinct and thoughtful expression.

Source: www.topmba.com

A dean of MBA admissions who has been reading applications for 15 years says the biggest mistake you can make is easily avoidable

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A business school application has a number of components that you must nail in order to earn a school’s acceptance. But with so many different places to potentially screw up, the whole process can be nerve-racking.

Luckily, the worst thing you can do is easy to avoid.

“I think the worst thing you can do on an application is simply not have done your homework and not be prepared,” Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA Admissions New York University’s Stern School of Business, told Business Insider.

An important part of that homework is ensuring you’re absolutely sure you want to get an MBA.

“Business school is an endeavor not to take lightly … Some people apply when they know they don’t really enjoy what they’re doing,” Gallogly, who has 15 years of experience in MBA admissions at Stern, said.

“Generally, if you take some time for self-reflection — looking at your core characteristics, your skills, where you’d like to head professionally, doing research on future industries, research on the school, and a lot of self-reflection — it tends creates a much stronger application,” Gallogly said. “You know who you are, you know where you want to go, and you know how this fits into your plan.”

Isser Gallogly

Credit: BI

Webinar: How to prepare for MBA interview – RSVP now!

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Webinar: How to prepare for MBA interview - RSVP now!

Webinar: How to prepare for MBA interview – RSVP now!

RSVP > http://bit.ly/2i0GQXK

First, the good news: your MBA admissions office has invited you for an interview. Now the bad news: You’ve got to interview! But don’t fret – TopAdmit knows how to help. Our GM Jason Skinner is a McCombs (Texas) MBA grad and will give you an overview of what to expect in a FREE WEBINAR on 18th Jan, 20:00 PM GMT+8

Limited spaces are available: sign up here today and submit any questions you’d like our GM to address: global@topadmit.com

Can’t make it live? Register anyway! (All registrants will receive a recorded version of the webinar once complete)

The “STAR” Approach to Writing Admissions Essays

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star

Confounded by that admissions essay? Don’t know where to start? Just remember that you have a story to tell, and this is your chance to shine: be a “STAR!”

 

S – Situation

T – Task

A – Action

R – Result

 

It’s all about telling a story. Remember the last dramatic movie you watched? Very likely there was an opening shot to establish what the story was going to be about–the situation. Soon after that, the hero or heroine made an appearance and it became clear exactly what kind of challenge might be confronting him or her in the course of this film–they had a task before them. And then–Action! The heroine made her moves, did her thing, and moved the story forward, until finally the original situation was resolved and there was some sort of closure. In the end, the audience knew the result.

SOP

The Situation

This is the set-up of the story, giving TIME, PLACE and CONTEXT. It could be a general setting, but it might also include the broader challenge or conflict that you or your organization faced.

 For example an applicant might write: “Last year, I volunteered to chair a fundraising committee for cancer research at my company, where we were challenged to meet a fundraising goal of $10,000.”

 This answers the question: What was the situation that I (or my team) faced *before* I started taking action? 

The Task 

This is your role in the story. It often takes the form of a GOAL, an OBJECTIVE STATEMENT, or an IMPORTANT DECISION to be resolved. It’s important to highlight your collaboration with others, but remember that for purposes of the essay, you are the star of your own story.

For example: “My main functions were to assign specific jobs to committee members, check on their progress, and help establish and meet deadlines for obtaining donations.”

This answers the question: What specific challenge did I face, given the aforementioned situation? 

The Action 

Here’s the heart of the story: admissions officers want to know how you work in action. Offer the highlights and don’t get bogged down in too much detail. This could be in a team context, but remember to show how your actions made a contribution.

For example: “I motivated the team by having them meet recovering cancer patients. I assigned tasks and checked in regularly, and successfully mediated team disputes. I led the team to visit 20 local businesses and ensured that deadlines were met.” 

This answers the question: What actions did I take to resolve the situation and advance toward my (our) goal? 

The Result

It’s very important to show that there were indeed concrete results and that your actions made a difference. Specific details count here, and you should quantify your results.

For example: “My team convinced 25 businesses and 18 individuals to make donations, directly helping to raise $15,000 for the organization and exceeding our fundraising goal by 50%.”

This answers the question: What was the impact of my actions, and what was the final resolution of the dilemma outlined at the beginning of the story?

If this is ambiguous, muddled or uncertain, then you may want to go back and re-frame the situation or pick another story to tell altogether. On the other hand, a positive outcome and happy ending will make your story more powerful and establish you as its star.

It is always useful to read other people’s work to get a sense of what good essays are. To assist you, TopAdmit provides you some college admissions essay samples written by counselors and editors hailing from prestigious schools including Harvard. This page contains personal statement samples, statement of purpose samples, and application essay samples for college. But please remember, these are for your reference only; it is not to your benefit to copy their style or concepts. It not only violates academic ethics and could lead to an automatic rejection by the admissions committee — the point of our service is to help you construct a unique essay — not one similar to other essays.