Description for MBA
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.
Time to explore the emerging popularity of the specialized MBA! This may come as a surprise to those you wanting to pursue a more general MBA, but it appears for some people something more specialized is preferable.
In an article a while ago, the author gives us the example of Adam Krueckenberg, 37, who had a great job as a vice president at Fidelity, but who wanted to return to school for his MBA. Boston College was the school that sparked his interest and not for any other reason than it offered exactly what he was looking for: a dual MBA/MS in church management and pastoral ministry. This program has been offered at Boston College since 2005.
Krueckenberg goes onto say: “I wanted a career that was more spiritually fulfilling. I wouldn’t have been able to train for that in a more traditional setting.”
This recent trend, indicated by the Journal, “has crept into most field over the past few decades, but few have embraced it more enthusiastically than the graduate business schools.” Since 1990, there has been a shift in MBAs becoming more and more specialized, ranging from subjects such as aerospace, wine management, luxury goods, real estate, and energy management.
The percentage of business school students enrolled in specialized programs has risen by about 4% each year since 2001. All in all, more than 1/5 of business schools students are seeking a specialized degree.
How does a specialized business degree work? Evidently, such programs don’t focus on the big picture of their focus, rather they zero in on practical and commercial applications. There are schools such as the University of Chicago and Columbia, which have rather broad business degrees with concentrations like finance and marketing, but then there are schools like the University of Wisconsin in Madison that has made a niche for itself as being a specialized MBA Mecca.
The University of Wisconsin eradicated its general MBA in 2004, focusing, instead, on 13 specializations – some of which include market research and real estate. Students who know exactly what they want to do are often attracted to specialized MBAs, in addition to older applicants with business experience who wants to change fields altogether.
Other specialized programs, such as the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business, are at an advantage because of their location. The University of Oklahoma is right in the midst of pure oil country and many graduates pursue a career in the oil field as executives. Rutgers University, on the other hand, within such proximity to Johnson & Johnson as Mereck, has a pharmaceutical focus, which often attracts students to work in New Jersey after graduation.
On an international level, such specialized schools were adopted early, especially in France. The Essec Business School near Paris focuses entirely on international luxury and brand management, accepting only 40 students a year and conducting classes in English. The Bordeaux Management School attracts students interested in the wine and spirits field with the location enriching their studies dramatically.
Does this seem contradictory in an economic environment where a general MBA might be smarter than a specialized one? Hess concludes: “…going deep instead of wide seems to fit right in with an increasingly segmented world.”
According to a recent article by John Lauerman in Bloomberg Businessweek, Harvard University has named Nitin Nohria to be its new Dean of its business school. Nohira himself is currently a professor of management at Harvard and was chosen by the university’s President Drew Faust to help transform the school by placing a focus on business ethics, emphasizing responsibility as well as the positive role companies can have within a society.
Nohira earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and received his Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988. Part of his appeal is his global perspective and experience, which he will certainly bring to the table as the school’s new Dean.
At a time where business schools are emphasizing a stricter ethics curriculum, Nohira was one of the first to recommend students take a professional oath of conduct in 1996 when he was teaching at the London Business School.
John Lauerman quotes Nohira as stating: “Throughout history, there has been this notion of the honorable business person. Business people have taken pride that they can do business on a handshake. I don’t know where we lost that, and I don’t see why it isn’t recoverable. I still think business can be done with honor.”
In terms of the changes on the school’s curriculum, Nohira is looking to experiment with immersion programs and small learning teams, in addition to adding more instruction initiatives.
Yale University has also chosen a new dean for its School of Management. According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, Edward Snyder will be coming on as Dean of the school next July.
Snyder was the former Dean at two notable schools – University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He is known for his fundraising capabilities, with soliciting $60 million from a single donor at Virginia and an astounding $300 million for the Booth School from financier David Booth.
At Yale, his challenges will be trying to attract higher caliber recruiters, in addition to raising money for an ambitious $150-million building project. Synder will also focus on catering to the nonprofit sector, as well as soft skills.
In regards to raising money, The Wall Street Journal quotes Synder with: “There are not many alumni with deep pockets; I’d say there are very few. But, on the other hand, a lot of Yale alums outside of the business school are very successful. “
MBA curriculums nationwide are making some changes, many say due to the recent ’08 economic crisis in an attempt to focus more on business ethics and areas that MBA programs have previously neglected.
According to a recent article from Bloomberg Businessweek, written by Francesca Di Meglio, Haas School of Business at UC-Berkeley is among these schools to make such notable changes, which Dean Richard Lyons hopes will ultimately cause a “revolution” by producing what he terms as “path-bending leaders.”
The biggest change to Haas’ program is the new emphasis in analytical thinking, flexibility and creativity. Additionally, two primary courses have been restructured: “Leadership & Communication” and “Leading People.” Also, a new one-unit course has been added called “Problem Finding and Problem Solving.” Workshops and coaching sessions on leadership skills are also now included in the new Haas curriculum.
Why the new changes? Lyons and the Haas community created these changes from a very personal standpoint. Lyons is quoted with saying: “Society faces a host of [issues] – be it in health care, energy, materials use, demographic implications, safe water, etc. If paths continue in a straight line, they will hit a wall in our kids’ lifetime, if not our own.”
Other schools have also been seeing somewhat of a dramatic course overhaul – some of which include Yale School of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Ross School of Business.
According to an article by Greg Bordonaro from HartfordBusiness.com, the University of Connecticut School of Business is trying to create a more student-centric curriculum that gives students a larger say in their overall academic plan. In the long run, the school eventually plans to cut its traditional concentrations, such as finance, marketing, information technology and real estate to allow students to make for themselves a more individual plan of study within those majors or disciplines.
UConn hopes its business school will climb into the top 20 rankings of MBA programs in Forbes Magazine, as it currently remains 27th.
John Fernandes, president and CEO of The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, insists that allowing students more ability to choose their curriculum is a must. According to HartfordBusiness.com, Fernandes also claims B-Schools are attempting to churn out more well-rounded students, who have an ethical compass to guide them in future business decisions. He says, “It’s not enough to just make money anymore. You must also be a good citizen. Many MBA programs are focusing their curriculum on building individuals with enhanced ethical capacity and a stronger commitment to society.”
Many students at Hass felt like the changes in the program were a long time coming. Other business schools, such as Yale, implemented a change in curriculum as early as 2006 with interdisciplinary courses around particular organizations or customers and investors. Stanford began a new curriculum that was focused around customization and flexibility, allowing students to tailor their coursework to their previous education, work experience and future ambitions.
While some critics may question the usefulness of an MBA in today’s society, these curriculum changes seem to be the answer to that question. Businessweek quotes David Garvin, a professor at Harvard by saying, “We talked to many deans and executives and they all say that there’s a greater need for self-awareness on the part of MBAs.”
Looks like these changes are here to stay.
If you ever wonder whether you fit the typical profile of an EMBA applicant or want to know more about the latest trends of EMBA programs, take a look at these important facts!
- The U.S.-based EMBA Council lists about 250 EMBA programs from 180 leading institutions around the world on its web site.
- Because of rapid globalization, most EMBA classes comprise students from a wide range of industry sectors and countries.
- An EMBA program can cost up to $100,000. Customized courses start at a few hundred dollars. An increasing number of executive education organizations offer online courses.
- Customized executive education programs are on the rise. Duke University’s corporate education division reports growth of 25 percent a year for custom-made courses.
- A typical EMBA student is likely to be in his/her early 30s and will have six to ten years of working experience.
- Employees taking Executive Master’s of Business Administration Programs in the U.S., Europe & Asia have average salaries of $130,000 to $200,000.
- Executives enrolled in the highest-ranking EMBA programs in the U.S. have salaries of $180,000 to $200,000. Europe is slightly lower at $130,000 to $160,000.
Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management has offered a prestigious EMBA degree for working professionals for 32 years. While the program has a cap of 50 students, enrollment has gone up dramatically since the recession in late 2008. Many of the EMBA students have corporate sponsorship from the corporations who employ them, making the possibility of paying for their EMBA much greater. Tami Fassinger, associate dean for executive programs at the Owen school notices a change in this, claiming, “Compared to 34 percent who had complete corporate sponsorship a year ago, only 12 percent had full scholarship in 2009.”
Due to the concern of finding time to complete an MBA, the school changed their schedule from an alternating Friday-Saturday to one on Saturday only. Fassinger explains:
“We watched the economic stress all businesses were under starting in October 2008. We thought changing the schedule was the right thing to do: Help people do better work, but don’t make them miss work. After interviewing students and prospective students, the school discovered 90 percent of interested students wanted a Saturday-only option. “
While the economy isn’t what most people would like it to be at this present time, there is one thing to be certain of: people are going back to school with a hunger to be more qualified for the workforce than ever before. To address such a trend, business schools around the world are adapting their curriculum, schedule and career services.
The GMAT ToolKit, a leading mobile GMAT Prep application developed by GMAT Club, has just been featured by Apple® on its “What’s Hot” list. The iPhone® app is part of an ongoing project by GMAT Club to bring high-quality design and execution into the mobile test prep space. The ToolKit was originally released several months ago and has since undergone 3 updates to include additional features requested by users.
Today, the app is no longer a simple GMAT Timer, but a leading GMAT prep tool that includes:
- QUESTION SETS – application comes preinstalled with 111 Hard Quant questions and also includes an option to download free additional SC questions from the GMAT Club forum.
- FORUM – direct access to GMAT Club’s forum using enhanced navigation features.
- BOOKS – a must-have grader/error/time log for Official GMAC books
- TIMER – the most sophisticated GMAT Timer specifically designed for GMAT preparation.
- IDIOMS – an adaptive system to test your knowledge of 240 idioms.
- VOICES – save prep time by getting recommendations from over 78,000 GMAT Club members.
- MATH – detailed review of Absolute Value, Triangles, Circles, Coordinate Geometry, Standard Deviation and Probability.
- RESOURCES – links to the most important topics in the GMAT and MBA community.
- NEWS – receive 2 GMAT questions daily with our “Question of the Day” tool, use the embedded RSS Reader to manage your own feeds and stay current on the latest GMAT and MBA news.
- Just in case this is not impressive enough, new features and improvements are already on the roadmap for another update in 2-4 weeks, which owners of the app will receive for free.
The latest version of the GMAT ToolKit will enable users to easily add custom content and questions to their iPhone or iPod Touch, significantly expanding test preparation options and moving beyond traditional learning styles. For additional screenshots, to learn more about this iPhone App, or to leave a comment, please visit: GMAT ToolKit for Apple iPhone dedicated page.
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