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Admissions

Deciding to reapply to a MBA Program from a school from which has previously rejected your application should never be undertaken lightly. There is usually a good reason (or a few) why you were not accepted to a particular business school program.

  • Fact: Applying in different years or semesters to the same school will NOT significantly alter your chances of acceptance. While there are slight variations in the acceptance rates from year to year, overall competition to graduate programs is increasing exponentially.

It is also important to keep in mind that merely having been rejected once before immediately puts you at a disadvantage in comparison with other applicants in your pool. Reapplying without making significant changes and improvements to your application and profile, as a student is a waste of time and money.

Admissions boards will often scrutinize a student who has previously applied more harshly than others simply on the basis of precedent. They will want to see exactly how you have improved your candidacy, spelled out clearly, with detailed anecdotes and progress from your last application.

Above all, be sure that you are objectively evaluating your reasons for reapplication. Applications are expensive and time consuming and you ARE at a distinct disadvantage, having previously been rejected.

In order to ensure that you are accomplishing this effectively, stick to these three main rules if you do decide to reapply to an MBA program:

  1. Make significant changes to your previous application- in form and content
  2. Use only specific examples and anecdotes when detailing your achievements or skills.
  3. Attempt to identify the parts of your application that were the weakest (the reasons for your rejection) and address how you have overcome or improved on them.

For more information, please read our MBA Admissions Rejection Analysis.

Posted on November 28, 2011 by Manhattan Review

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“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.

Essays

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.

Recommendations

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.

Posted on November 7, 2011 by Manhattan Review

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General Information

  • The LSAT is the standardized achievement examination for law school admissions in the United States and is produced by LSAC, Inc.
  • It was first administered in 1948 and has remained one of the most consistent and standardized of all entrance exams.
  • The LSAT has historically consisted of 3 multiple-choice types and an essay; the multiple choice section types are Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and Logic Games.
  • The LSAT is required for admission to LSAC-member law schools, most Canadian law schools, and many non–ABA–approved law schools.

Scoring

  •  It is a 3.5 to 4 hour test and can be taken at any one of many test centers in the United States and around the world 4 times a year.
  •  The LSAT composite score ranges from 120 to 180 and is drawn from the four scored multiple choice sections.
  • There is no penalty for incorrect answers on the LSAT.
  • The writing section does not get factored into the composite score.
  • A 35-minute writing sample is administered at the end of the test. LSAC does not score the writing sample, but copies of the writing sample are sent to all law schools to which you apply.
  • The writing sample is the cover sheet for your application when it is submitted by LSAC and is seriously evaluated.

Standards and Norms to Know

  •  It can be taken as many times as desired, but law schools prefer applicants to have tested fewer than three times.
  • Applicants with multiple scores are assessed by law schools by varying standards, with some schools taking an average, others taking highest score, and others taking newest score.
  • The average and most popular LSAT score for nearly all administrations is 151.
  • Only individuals with serious intention of applying for law school admission may take the LSAT.
  • The test measures a student’s aptitude in those disciplines required in the legal profession: understanding and creating solid arguments, logical thinking, and document analysis.
  • It costs $127 to register for a single LSAT administration.  An additional fee of $12.00 per law school is charged for score reports. The LSAT is held only 4 times a year (June, September/October, December, and February)

Administration

  • It costs $127 to register for a single LSAT administration.
  • An additional fee of $12.00 per law school is charged for score reports.
  • The LSAT is held only 4 times a year (June, September/October, December, and February)

Posted on October 21, 2011 by Manhattan Review

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Colleges want students that have excellent grades and SAT scores, but these criteria are frequently not the make-or-break factors that influence acceptance, particularly at highly selective schools.  Colleges have to work hard to keep or make their good reputations, just like students, and therefore need to choose the right students.  Unfortunately, sometimes that means that qualified students don’t get accepted to particular schools – but that does not mean that these students are any less qualified than before they got their thin envelope!

Colleges want specific and unique individuals to attend their schools, not walking transcripts!  But since colleges probably won’t come looking for you (you’re probably not worried about being accepted to college if they are!), you need to find your special niche yourself.

Remember, even when you get accepted to the school of your dreams, no college acceptance letter guarantees a good education, a good job, or a happy life.  Even if you make it to Harvard, there’s no guarantee that your life will be perfect.

Who Gets Accepted?

Today, more students than ever are applying for highly selective colleges; more students overall are planning on attending college after high school, and more successful students are seeking diplomas from big-name schools.  This means that many highly-qualified candidates are rejected from the most selective schools.  Can you believe…

-       Students with perfect SAT scores

-       Valedictorians

-       Winners of famous, private scholarships

… all can get rejected from the most selective (and even less selective!) schools?

The Game Plan:

How can you increase your odds of acceptance into a school that is not only prestigious, but that will give you the best shot at an exemplary education?  Research colleges thoroughly; sometimes colleges are just looking for someone very specific – an oboe player for the orchestra, a star quarterback for the football team, a speaker of Korean to help improve the language department, or a student council star to take over campus government.

Use your Interview to find out whether your specific skill set is particularly desired by a specific school.  Your interview is not only a great way to make a good impression on the admissions officers, but also the easiest way to find out about the kind of students that each college needs.  Come prepared, and don’t be afraid to ask very frank questions about the student body.  It will not harm your chances; in fact, your serious interest in finding the best match for you can only reflect positively on your application.

A new trend among MBA students (one which might surprise you) has emerged in recent years. Many future business leaders are voluntarily pledging to act responsibly and ethically, to uphold truth and integrity, and to view businesses as more than just money-making organizations.

Interest in ethics courses and student activities concerned with corporate responsibility has significantly grown. Students at Columbia formed a Leadership and Ethics Board that holds lectures about business and ethics. Ten years ago, Wharton had one ethics class that was required. Now, there are seven professors teaching several ethics course offerings that are popular among students. Wharton has also had the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research since 1997.

Recent graduates are growing more concerned with corporate social responsibility. This is not to say that graduates will not be interested in high-paying jobs at big companies, but they’ll think about how they earn their income and how corporations impact the environment, the community, and their employees’ quality of life.

So who’s taking the pledge, and how? Here are examples of how students at two of the top business schools are promising to be ethical in business.

  • Around 20 percent of Harvard Business School’s graduating class have signed “The MBA Oath,” a voluntary pledge to act responsibly and ethically in business practices.
  • Students at Columbia Business School must pledge to an honor code that states: “As a lifelong member of the Columbia Business School community, I adhere to the principles of truth, integrity, and respect. I will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

Posted on June 29, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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Many schools do recruit and encourage younger applicants to apply. Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford Business School and Harvard Business School are among those with a reputation for accepting younger applicants, but many schools admit almost no young applicants (even though they claim to be interested in them). Even those schools that do accept large numbers of young applicants are quite selective in their choices. In both the application process and the experience of business school itself the younger applicant faces special hardships, which are important to be aware of.

Application Process

Young applicants face several challenges in the MBA application process. They have to compensate for a lack of work experience with leadership roles, higher than average GMAT scores, higher than average GPA, even more focused career goals, recommendations showing maturity and preparedness, and uniqueness (in some manner).

Leadership experience is especially important. In essays as well as during the interview process, it is important that younger applicants show admissions officers or interviewers what leadership roles they have taken on, what they have learned in those roles, and explain with concrete examples. Younger applicants will especially want to highlight larger roles, which help to display their unique knack for leadership. Successful younger candidates can show that their uncommon leadership abilities exceed the average college student, through experiences such as being elected College President, internships in fields that recruit few undergraduates, or entrepreneurial experiences.

Business School Experience

At school, younger students sometimes experience difficulties relating to fellow students. Other business school students, who tend to be older and more experienced, come to school with different interests and home lives, as they sometimes have families and different backgrounds. These differences can cause mutual misunderstanding and ultimately limit the forming of lasting relationships and networks that many people go to business school to create.

In the classroom, younger applicants need to continue to show that they do have legitimate and interesting experiences to share and make this clear to professors. Overall, it is important that younger students keep their self-confidence in the face of older students. Younger students must respect older students for the greater breadth of experience that comes from spending time in the “real world,” but remember too that they were accepted because of exceptional ability (however young) and do indeed have things to offer the class and the professional world.

In the job application process, younger students may have difficulties with certain career paths. Venture capital firms, for example, often seek MBAs with greater professional experience. However, consulting firms and banks are happy to recruit younger, more energetic MBAs, though they may hesitate at first to put younger MBAs in management positions.

Overall Pros and Cons

Overall the MBA experience for younger students is not an easy one. Yet despite the difficulties experienced in the application process and in study, the young applicant does have the advantage of completing the degree early—especially important to women, who later, for personal reasons, may want to take time out from the professional world. Also, it is a good path for the over achiever who is used to being among older people. Young applicants who are not so used to it should carefully select the schools they apply to according to their percentages of younger admits. Younger applicants will find themselves jump starting their careers early and may possibly be spending more of their professional lives in unique, exciting roles where they can make a greater impact.

Recently Manhattan Review has had a number of raffle drawings and scholarship giveaways with partnering organizations. We are pleased to announce two of our recent raffle winners: Tim Brackrock and Ricardo Moraes!

Tim Brackrock entered our raffle at the QS World MBA tour in Frankfurt and won a free in-person GMAT course. Included in his prize are the following benefits included in our course tuition:

  • Better Score Guarantee – Unlimited Classes, Online Library & Advice
  • Turbocharge Your GMAT Math/Verbal Study and Solutions Guides
  • Extensive Quant and Vocabulary Glossaries
  • Three on-line challenging Computer Adaptive Tests
  • After-class Home Study Guideline provided
  • Discount for Private Tutoring & MBA Admissions Services
  • Discounted Access to Online Recording Library for tailored study
  • US$200 Student Referral; US$1000 Corporate Account Referral (applicable only for paying students)
  • Double Your In-Person Class Hours with an Online Course at No Additional Cost (up to 56 Hours of Total Real-time Instruction Hours)

Ricardo Moraes in Brazil entered a photo contest sponsored by the MBA tour . He won a free online GMAT course (a $1,025 value), a set of Manhattan Review Turbocharge Your GMAT course books, and an Elite School Dedicated Package for 5 schools (a $5,500 value), worth a total value of $6,525. The Elite School Dedicated Packs are part of our MBA Application Review and Advisory Services and give you the end-to-end, comprehensive guidance for your entire admissions process.

Thanks to everyone who entered our drawings!

Posted on March 29, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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There are several excellent MBA programs outside North America. European Business schools such as London Business School in the UK, IMD in Switzerland, INSEAD in France, ESADE in Spain, and RSM Erasmus in the Netherlands immediately come to mind as some of the top ranked MBA programs in the world. Although the US remains by far the primary center for MBA study (about 83% of all the GMAT score reports worldwide are sent to US-based business schools based on the GMAC’s 07 data), Europeans are increasingly choosing to study in Europe outside of their home country while Americans also start to take a serious look at schools across the Atlantic. This tendency, however, has been balanced by Asians who overwhelmingly choose to study in the US.

Why then are more students now choosing to pursue their management education abroad in a different country in Europe? Many factors contribute to this trend, such as an interest in working internationally, an interest in a particular country, the desire to learn another language or to experience a different academic atmosphere. We also listed out some crucial benefits below.

Yet, studying abroad does entail certain challenges, and some candidates are more prepared to succeed in a different cultural context as a result of their personality and professional or academic background.

Factors to Consider – Pros

· Shorter Program: European programs move at a faster pace. They are generally 1-year long, so you need to be prepared to jump right into academic work. IMD, generally ranked as the #1 program in Europe, is a rigorous 11-month program in which students do not have the opportunity to pursue an internship. So you need to be a bit more focused in terms of post-MBA goals and career pursuits.

· More Experienced Classmates: Another important consideration in terms of matching your background with European programs is that the average student age and years of professional experience is higher at European schools than in US schools. Older candidates tend to find this attractive, while younger ones may feel slightly out of place or experience increased difficulty gaining admission.

Posted on March 17, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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Rejection letters are common. Top business schools are competitive and as increasing numbers of applications roll in, increasing numbers of rejection letters also flow out. But if you are among those who are rejected, the opportunity to reapply remains.

It is not uncommon that following rejection from a top business school many candidates consider reapplying. Reapplication is not for everyone, nor does every school particularly encourage it, but if you have been rejected, especially on your first application, you should consider it. This consideration involves self-evaluation, contacting the school’s admission committee, inquiring into their general philosophy on reapplication and/or their particular recommendations or evaluation of your application. Reapplication should make you more knowledgeable about your experience in relation to your chosen school’s expectations and concretely improve your application.

Our Recommendations

Initial rejection may also give you the opportunity to reevaluate why and where you would like to be and what fits best for you. Once you have reached your decision to reapply, the following guidelines will assist you in improving your success rate:

· Make your application stronger. Whether this means improving your GMAT score, your international experience, professional experience, essays, recommendations or other application component, it is of little use to apply simply with the same previous application.

· Cater to the particular school. Find out what the particular admissions committee looks for out of reapplications and follow their recommendations. This should save you both time and money.

· Seek out an evaluation of your first application. You must gain a better understanding of what was missing in your application in order to improve your chances for admission. Some schools offer advice in the form of a letter and other schools by an in-person meeting. USC’s Marshall School offers deny counseling every September. The school emphasizes the need to look at their class profile in order to better understand what they are looking for in order to improve your chances.

· Pay attention to each school’s reapplication procedure. Know what each school wants when reapplying. For example, Kellogg requires an additional essay with the same application. They specifically want to know how you feel you have qualitatively improved your candidacy, and will refer to your first application (kept for two years) when judging the merits of your reapplication. Marshall, which does not discourage reapplication, requires a shorter updated version of the application, but is still looking for the same fit for incoming students.

· Reapplication should not be a makeover. Avoid completely changing your argument for admission. Rather, you should present yourself in light of the new knowledge and experience you have gained as a concrete reason for reconsideration. Also, by now you should have a good idea of what particular aspects of your application needed improvement and can make your case from that.

You are more likely to be successful in your attempt at getting into school if you follow a few simple rules in the process. Through honesty, self-knowledge of goals, desires, and abilities, a readiness for the school itself, and a realistic understanding of those reading your application you will be more likely to succeed in gaining acceptance to the school of your desire.

1: Honesty

In your application you will be asked intimate questions about personal motivation and what draws you in a particular direction. Try to answer these with as much truthfulness as possible. Admissions officers can often detect falsehood, so show your genuine reasons and motivations without disguise. Being yourself makes all the difference.

2: Matching Yourself

Admissions officers don’t just look at whether or not you have a great academic and professional background, your recommendations, and your interviews. They are also keen on finding candidates that would fit in well with their school. So look into not only ranking and GMAT medians, but also what kinds of students attend a particular program, what their backgrounds and goals are and how those match up with yours. Finding a school with likeminded people will contribute to both the success of your application and your future career path.

3: Determining Goals and Motivations

Defining your goals and motivations needs to happen well before you step onto campus for classes. You need to know where you want your MBA to take you. The process of figuring out your own goals and motivations will enable you to create focused, thoughtful, and clear applications that will make sense to admissions officers. Admissions consultants are often helpful in assisting candidates in the process of self-evaluation. Meeting with people who are further along in career paths that interest you may also prove helpful in determining your own path.

4: Don’t apply before you’re prepared to

It is better that you submit a clear, concise, well-thought out application rather than submitting a rushed application in the early rounds. Sending in an application that shows you at your best (the best GMAT you can achieve, the best recommendations you can have, the best essay statements you can compose) is most likely to be successful one, regardless of the round in which it is submitted.

5: Realistic Understanding of the Admissions Officials

Many people think admissions staff are extremely scrutinizing and perfectionists; in other words, machines with little understanding of the possibility for human error or mistakes. In fact, admissions officers are more likely to pay attention to interesting applications from a human perspective. So do not hesitate to show your true self to the readers of your application.

Posted on March 3, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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