Description for Career
Now more than ever, students are opting to pursue a specialized MS degree as opposed to a traditional MBA. Many universities are responding to this demand by offering programs in finance, supply chain management, management, accounting, marketing analytics and others. Why the rise?
A Bloomberg Businessweek (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-21/the-booming-market-for-specialized-masters-degrees) article cites the boom in these specialized degrees as a direct result of the high cost, time, and work experience needed to complete a tradition MBA program.
Schools such as Maryland’s Smith and Michigan’s Broad are working on their fifth and seventh MS program, respectively.
Which program would you choose? And why?
Doing the appropriate research prior to your MBA Admissions Interview is of utmost importance.Here are three solid keys to ace your face-to-face!
- Know how you fit the program
Chances are you have already demonstrated your interest in the particular program in your application and essay – so go over those again. Refresh your memory on why your professional and educational background matches the school’s methodology, strengths and career opportunities. Dig out your old essays and re-read them from beginning to end. This solid written document will remind you of why you were interested in the school in the first place. Remember that there will be some hard questions about why this program is the right fit for you – ex: If you were accepted to this school as well as your other top choices, why would THIS MBA Program suit your professional needs best? Be prepared with an answer.
It is important to remember that you might not have much time with the interviewer and the interview might be cut short and asked more specific questions about how you will contribute meaningfully to the program. Dig deep for this research by talking to current and former students who are involved in a club or extracurricular that you are interested in. A little contact can go a long way and shows that you have done your homework.
- Know yourself
This is hugely important. You can talk about the school for hours, but how your personality would add to the patchwork of students for a particular admission cycle. Once a Harvard applicant who had listed singing as her passion was asked to singe DURING the interview. This unique skill can be just enough to push the needle for admission, so have a strategy about how much you want to share and when. Be prepared with a list of your top five skills, experiences, accomplishments and have examples ready to back up your point. In addition, don’t forget to drill on the common questions like: what are your weaknesses, what are your plans for right after graduation, your personal contributions to a team environment and explaining a career change.
- Know the school
Much like you prep for the particular program, you need to know the school. What is their history of admitted students? Do they value innovation, leadership, teamwork and challenging conventional thinking? Many school claim they do this, but find articles and information about how they are practicing what they preach. Knowing how they define their core values and how your admission will contribute to that shows that you have done your appropriate homework and are ready for a well-rounded MBA Admissions Interview.
Now go do the research, hone your talking points and nail that interview! Email us for a free MBA candidacy evaluation.
Applying for a business school is quite daunting and it is hard to know what the admissions committee of a prospective business program wants from you as an applicant. This is an obvious statement but one that has been tackled by Melissa Korn of The Wall Street Journal. Last year, she interviewed Derrick Bolton, Assistant Dean and M.B.A. Admissions Director at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and asked a lot of questions about what he and his colleagues look for in an applicant. We included parts of the interview below as well as highlight some important points to keep in mind.
(The original WSJ interview can be found here.)
WSJ: Do you check out the GMAT score and if it’s below a certain number, put that application aside?
Mr. Bolton: That would rob us of a lot of talent. The GMAT is helpful in terms of understanding how someone can perform in the first year, but that’s one small piece of the overall M.B.A. We [look at candidates] holistically [academic, professional, personal]. That depends on the candidate being authentic with us, which I recognize is hard because it takes a degree of self-confidence to be able to tell your story to total strangers.
- Notice while the GMAT is important, it is not the end-all, be-all; admissions looks at all the things you have demonstrated and see if you are fit for the program.
WSJ: What do applicants worry about too much?
Mr. Bolton: They worry most about scores, they worry about essays. I think they should spend more time thinking about references. They often think about it from the perspective of, ‘I need to pick three references who show different aspects of my personality,’ not from the perspective of, ‘I need to pick three people who are going to be my strongest advocates.’
- Mr. Bolton stresses the importance of your references and what they say. They can support you 110% and are able articulate that well on paper, but if they all say the same thing then it will not count for much. Each reference should be able to tell the admissions committee different reasons why they are rooting for you.
For more expert opinions and advice, contact Manhattan Review today.
Manhattan Review provides its students with topnotch prep courses that will allow students to tackle the challenges found in the GMAT. For young and aspiring entrepreneurs, entry into a top business school is vital to their future success. You have us on your side and quite frankly, our courses are more than capable of pushing you over the top. Assistance like that is valuable and necessary if you want to enter one of the ten toughest business schools in the country:
|School name (state)||Full-time applicants||Full-time acceptances||Full-time acceptance rate||U.S. News rank|
|Stanford University (CA)||6,618||466||7.0%||1|
|Harvard University (MA)||9,134||1,013||11.1%||1|
|University of California—Berkeley (Haas)||3,444||420||12.2%||7|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)||4,490||599||13.3%||4|
|New York University (Stern)||4,416||601||13.6%||11|
|Columbia University (NY)||6,669||1,062||15.9%||8|
|Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)||2,744||492||17.9%||9|
|University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||6,442||1,209||18.8%||3|
|Yale University (CT)||2,823||539||19.1%||10|
|Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)||5,305||1,119||21.1%||4|
If the school you were seeking a nod from was not on this list, you can expect a 50-50 chance of getting accepted. While that may seem low to you, it does not beat the extremely low acceptance rates that Stanford University, Harvard University, and UC-Berkley are known for. Manhattan Review’s founder, Prof Dr. Joern Meissner, received his Ph.D in Management Science from Columbia University, which currently boasts an acceptance rate of 15.9%. With this in mind, you can use years of knowledge and prep expertise collected by him and his staff to assist you in preparing for the business world.
Much of the information above can be found in the original U.S. News article here.
For more information on a Free admissions consultation and GMAT preparation, contact Manhattan Review today.
With the economy in stasis, an increasing number of professionals looking to return to school to get advanced business degrees are unwilling to give up their current positions when finding a new job after their graduation is no longer assured.
Executive MBA programs, offer an excellent alternative to traditional full time MBA educations- where they would be expected to leave their current roles, and then hope that they will be able to find better positions after completing their post graduate education.
Part time programs take about 1-2 additional years to complete versus full-time two year MBA’s. Many believe that the job security they are afforded and ability continue earning an income during the degree, is well worth it.
The diversity of programs offered for EMBA students is growing as well, since an increasing number of applicants for EMBA programs are no longer having their education paid for by their employers. Now they are free to make the decision of where to attend themselves. This means finding new and innovative ways to attract students, like increased offerings of electives in growth areas like entrepreneurship and leadership workshops.
|Business Week ranked the best EMBA programs of 2011|
|IE Business School||4|
|Ohio State (Fisher)||14|
EMBA programs will no doubt continue to gain in popularity as more and more working professionals will be expected to have advanced post graduate degrees to remain competitive in their chosen career fields.
Applying to MBA programs takes time and money – and it may seem like getting a result of “waitlisted” is just about as bad as receiving a death sentence. That’s not always the case, and knowing the right strategy to undertake in this case may tremendously improve your chances of getting off the waitlist and into your dream school.
Tom Kania, one of our top admissions consultants and a former admissions board member for the Wharton Business School, points out some key tactics to improve your chances of successfully getting off the waitlist and accepted into your school of choice:
- Have an experienced second opinion to help advise and refine your application materials. This will greatly increase your chances of acceptance, and make the most of the additional time spent on your application.
- Maintain communication with your school of choice and make it immediately clear, following the notification of your waitlist assignment, that you are serious about your attendance in the program if accepted. IMPORTANT: You may be asked to make a deposit to hold your place in the program that is nonrefundable if you are accepted and decide not to attend. Therefore, be sure that you will absolutely ready to attend should you get accepted off the waitlist. Also, be aware, that because you are in a holding position, if another previously accepted student declines admission, even only 1 day before commencement and you are selected off the waitlist to fill that slot, you must attend or forfeit the deposit.
- Decide what supporting materials you will submit to the board in hopes of getting them to select you. Tom warns that, “Applicants should be careful to censor what materials they send to their desired school. Flooding them with additional letters and notifications of small achievements can ultimately work against you, as the admissions board is already attempting to sift through application materials from thousands of students”.
- Make sure that you are prepared for the additional time and emotional energy that will go into the uncertainty of acceptance for the next few months. Are you willing to put yourself through this? Or, might it be better to move on and make a decision amongst the schools you were accepted to. This is a highly personal decision, but the stress and uncertainty of choosing to pursue a waitlist assignation are not to be undertaken lightly.
For more information, please read our MBA Waitlist Strategy
Harvard Business School has been implementing many new changes that all focus on collaboration. Every admitted student is given a face-to-face interview with the admission committee to get a better idea who they are as people, and how they work with others. Collaboration is ultimately the tool to making a difference in the world.
HBS MBA classes are always diverse. There is no ideal HBS student. The admissions committee is looking for students from a variety of backgrounds to present a host of perspectives and get students thinking creatively. Sure they will share common traits such as strong analytical skills,and good leadership qualities. But the important thing is that the students can work well with each other and bring their own unique perspective to the table, ultimately creating a more comprehensive and beneficial program.
New Initiatives at HBS
Harvard is encouraging undergraduate seniors to apply to HBS throughout the year instead of the usual just during the summer now that Harvard 2+2 Program is up and running. In keeping with these new changes, Harvard has added new course requirements for first year students emphasizing small group collaboration and hands-on application of the material. The new course series, called The Field Immersion Experience for Leadership Development (FIELD) is detailed in the 3 Modules below.
1) Leadership Module
The Leadership Module emphasizes small group work and close collaboration with the faculty to provide insight into the best leadership qualities.
2) Module 2
Module 2 will place new student in 14 different cities in 11 emerging economy countries to receive hands on experience in product development exercises. THe 11 countries will include China, South Africa, and Vietnam, among others.
3) Integrative Exercise in Entrepreneurship
In this module, the student start their own companies, focusing on marketing and customer service.
HBS Financial Aid Information
Harvard Business School encourages all undergraduate students to apply no matter their financial standing. Financial Aid is not applied for until after the acceptance of the student. Further, the Harvard Alumni have been very receptive to supporting new HArvard students and their education.
Some Quick HBS Admissions Facts
- Harvard looks at their prospective student holistically, never using a point system or structured formula to judge the quality of the student
- Harvard Business School class is about 39 percent women
- About one-third of the class members are non-U.S. citizens
For more details, please also read our Harvard Business School Admissions Tips.
Obtaining an Masters of Business Administration can provide you with a world of possibilities in you career. As Dave Wilson, president and chief executive officeer of the Graduate Mangement Admissions Council and a 1965 MBA grad from University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, says, ”An MBA opens the door,” ”When you get in there, it gives you a sense of perspective, a balance, a world view that is often different from what you would have had before you took the degree.”
Most student will give credit to the success they have had in the working world, to the material and lesson they learned in business school. Further, business school gives students the opportunity to really find themselves and learn what they are truly passionate about, ultimately translating this passion into a career. Under this pretense, Bloomberg Businessweek has tracked the growth of the top MBA grad of 1991 and examined what an MBA and 20 years of work has done for them. We have copied the five examples that they include below. Their stories show what an MBA can really give and what doors this degree can open.
Then: MIT Sloan School of Management Class of 1991, Seley Scholar, the most distinguished of Sloan’s achievement awards honoring outstanding leadership, professional promise, high academic achievement, and contributions to the school
Now: CEO, Education Dynamics
Tom Anderson graduated from Dartmouth in 1984 with a math degree and a plan to go into medicine. But after speaking to some doctors who expressed regret with their career choices due to the HMO mess that characterized the 1980s, Anderson changed his mind. He took a job teaching high school math for a few years and then joined Paine Webber as a stockbroker. He spent three years at the firm, and in that time he found himself drawn to asset management. But to make the job switch, he was going to need an MBA.
Anderson went out on a limb and applied to only one school: Sloan. “Fortunately I got in,” he says. “I went there expecting to go into asset management, but one of the great things about the top business schools is that you get incredible exposure to a bunch of different companies and different fields in different professions.”
After earning his MBA, Anderson signed on at McKinsey & Co. He worked there for the next decade, moving up the corporate ladder and eventually becoming a partner. He left McKinsey and joined Capital One, where he successfully ran, then sold, one of its medical lending businesses. Then, after taking on a similar role at three other businesses, Anderson gained a reputation as a star CEO in the private equity world.
Anderson now fuels a passion for education as the CEO of Education Dynamics, which aims to help adult learners find the right schools and the right degree. “Sloan was a life-changing experience for me on many dimensions,” he says. “If I could have figured out how to get paid and do that my whole life, I would have been a permanent student.”
Then: University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School Class of 1991, Valedictorian
Now: Co-founder, Real Change Strategies
Martha Blue’s career began in fixed income sales and trading at Goldman Sachs after she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in December 1986 with an accounting degree from the Wharton School. She stayed at Goldman for two years before deciding it wasn’t for her.
Blue took a six-month break in Florence, Italy, then returned stateside with a plan to earn her MBA. After spending a weekend in Chapel Hill, N.C., she knew that UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business was her MBA destination. “The school had so much energy and so many people dedicated to making it a world-class program,” Blue says. “It was the most realistic preparation for a work environment you could get at a business school.”
Upon graduating from Kenan-Flagler, Blue spent four years at McKinsey & Co., while trying to decide which industry she could bear spending the next 20 years of her life in. She ultimately settled on the nonprofit sector. After working for a conservation group for a year, she founded Blue Consulting in 1996, which served a mix of for-profit and nonprofit clients. Then, in 2007, she co-founded Real Change Strategies, which only serves nonprofit organizations.
Two decades later, Blue says her MBA was “crucial” to her career development. “It gave me a broad view that I would not otherwise have gotten,” she says.
Then: Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business Class of 1991, Valedictorian
Now: Founder, Bellwood Capital
South African by birth, Peter Ebell earned an engineering degree in 1986 from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He served in the navy for two years after graduation and then found a job at Johannesburg Consolidated Investments, focused on the gold and platinum mining industry.
After a year and a half, Ebell began to wonder what it would take to move up the corporate ladder into a “top job.” It was quickly evident he needed a strong background in finance to get those kinds of positions, so he decided to enroll in a one-year full-time MBA program at Southern Methodist. While there, he became especially impressed with the finance program, specifically the training in derivatives.
Once he obtained his MBA, Ebell returned to South Africa and became an equity analyst, eventually convincing the higher-ups at his firm that derivatives were something important to get involved in. Four years ago he moved back to the U.S. and is now in the process of seeding his own hedge fund, Bellwood Capital, in Massachusetts. “I’m very happy with my career path as it’s turned out,” Ebell says. “I wouldn’t say I learned a lot at Cox. It indicated to me where my interests lay, effectively, and because of that I was able to develop those interests.”
Then: UCLA Anderson School of Management Class of 1991, Edward W. Carter Fellow, awarded to the top 2 percent of each full-time graduating class at Anderson
Now: CEO, Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals
Andrew Grengos graduated from MIT in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering only to find that he didn’t think it would make for an interesting career. He worked for Morgan Stanley for two years before deciding he needed to be more well-rounded, having never taken a business or economics class in his undergraduate studies.
The Australia native looked at graduate schools on the West Coast and settled on Anderson after hearing about its strong finance program. “I truly had these big functional expertise blank spots,” Grengos says. “Knowing those blank spots and filling them, I absolutely think it was very helpful to me.”
After paying for his MBA completely out of pocket, Grengos spent more than six years working for McKinsey & Co., before moving into the biotech industry. He served as the chief business officer and head of corporate strategy for companies such as Chiron, Dynavax Technologies (DVAX), and Amgen (AMGN), before he decided he was ready to try his hand at running a company. He chose Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals based on its work in the neurodegenerative disease space, an area of interest to him because of his father’s bout with Alzheimer’s. “I thought there’d be some good karma spending a chunk of my career working in a place that was trying to help people like my father,” he says.
Then: Georgia Institute of Technology MBA Class of 1991, Student of the Year
Scott Moyer graduated from University of California, Riverside in 1987 with a degree in administrative studies, a “fairly generic degree,” he says, that lacked specificity.
After working for an engineer for a short while, Moyer followed his fiancée to Atlanta and enrolled in Georgia Tech’s full-time MBA program in 1989. He tested out of three of his core MBA courses and was able to take electives with the second-year MBAs. “Many of the (second-year students) were seriously trying to get into a full-time job,” Moyer says. “I figured out early on that if I could get straight A’s my first quarter, that would get me an internship.” And he did, with former Big Five accounting firm Arthur Andersen.
Moyer graduated with his MBA and CPA in 1991 and was hired full-time at Arthur Andersen. He worked there for four years before deciding he wanted to do more consulting work. He later worked with Coca-Cola (KO) and Siemens One (SI), where he became chief financial officer in 2001.
A recovering serial CFO, Moyer now works as a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers overseeing consulting projects. “I wouldn’t be anywhere if I hadn’t gone back to get an MBA,” Moyer says. “I was drifting in the wind trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and going to Tech made it very easy for me to focus on an area of expertise.”
“Standing Out” in a Business School Application
The desire to “stand out” (while inherent in all applicants), is not what the admissions committee wants you to be thinking about during your application process. The most important aspect is to answer the questions clearly, making sure you are doing the best job you can to tell YOUR story; instead of constantly trying to put yourself in a context outside of where you think the other applicants are.
I have heard admissions committee members say numerous times that over-thinking and over-crafting your application can ultimately hurt your overall chances of acceptance. Often times, students attempt to say exactly what they think the admission committee wants to hear, when what the admission committee REALLY wants to hear is the student’s story told truthfully and thoughtfully.
The Role the GMAT in your MBA application
The GMAT Exam is a chance for the student to prepare for an exam and take on a challenge. Of course, no student walks into an exam without preparing first. Use your GMAT efforts and scores to highlight the areas that you think may be missing from you undergraduate and work experience. If you do not have much quantitative experience, focus on that area of the GMAT to portray to admissions committee that you can do great work in that area as well. Remember it is still just one piece of the mosaic that is your application.
Many students get very anxious about the essay portion of an MBA application because they believe that this is the section that they have the most control over (unlike the recommendations, undergraduate records, and your job). However, it is important to remember that the essay is just another portion of the holistic presentation of your application. It is not a writing contest, but more so, another tool to present YOU as a prospective business school student. So personalize it. Focus on the areas of your life that you are most proud and passionate about. These items will ultimately be your strongest point in conveying your growth over time and your ability to succeed.
Try to pick a person to recommend you that you have known for a long time. Admissions Committees look for recommendations that are personalized and give somewhat of an inside look into how the student works and presents themselves.
Diversity on an Application
Diversity is an important factor to consider when applying to business school. However, it must be done so in the right way. Many times, students think they must emphasize the diversity that they have been exposed to in the workplace or at school. However, there are many different types of diversity to consider and a very important one is the way in which you lead. From the student leader who wants to be president of the United States, to the entrepreneur who likes to work in small teams and getting a new business up and running, business schools look for Diversity of Character and want to find student who can lead in effective and creative ways.
Hope these tips help! For more tips, please visit our MBA Admissions Advice.
- It’s a 4-hour Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) that can be taken at any one of many test centers around the world 5 or 6 days a week.
- You may take the GMAT only once every 31 days and no more than five times within any 12-month period.
- This policy applies even if you cancel your score within that time period, and all of your scores and cancellations within the last five years will be reported to the institutions you designate as score recipients.
- It’s made up of three sections, the first being the Analytical Writing Assessment, or AWA.
- The good news is that there are only two questions in this section, the bad news is that they’re both essays.
- One question asks you to analyze an issue, the other asks that you analyze an argument.
- You are given thirty minutes to answer each question.
- Your score on this question will range anywhere from a 0 to 6 (in increments of .5), and this section won’t have any affect on any other GMAT score.
- After finishing the AWA, the next section you’ll encounter will be the Math section.
- There are 37 questions in this section, and about four of them will be trial questions which won’t count towards your actual score.
- You’ll have seventy-five minutes to answer an assortment of Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions.
- Your score will range anywhere from 0-60, with a mean score of 35/45th percentile.
- When you’re done with the Math section, you’re going to move into the last section: Verbal.
- There are 41 questions in this section, and just like with the Math section, you’ll be given 75 minutes to answer all of them and four questions will be trial questions that won’t be counted towards your actual score.
- There are three different kinds of question in this section: Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction, and Reading Comprehension.
- Your possible score will range anywhere from 0-60, with a mean score of about 27.3/46%.
- In total, you’ll be given four hours to complete the GMAT and your overall score will range anywhere from 200-800.
- Pace It to Ace It – Test Taking Tips for the SAT
- Specialized Business MS Degrees on the Rise
- Three ways to ace your MBA Admission interview through proper prep
- Applying for an M.B.A.: Reading Between the Lines
- The Ten Toughest Business Schools to Enter
- Basic Strategies to Conquer the GMAT
- The Profile of the 2011 GMAT Test Taker Demonstrates Growing Diversity.
- Business School Scholarship Application Advice
- The Changing Face of Executive MBA programs
- Business School Reapplication: To do, or not to do?