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.
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.
This week we’d like to share some emails we’ve received from students in the UK!
I did a weekend crash course with Manhattan Review in London, and found the rigorous practice we did in class very helpful in exposing each of our weaker points. Our tutor gave us lots of useful advice about techniques for tackling specific question types and noting common cognitive errors which would have been much more difficult to gather from studying alone. I also took some private tuition with the crash course tutor, who helped me with areas that I particularly needed to focus on. The tutor gave frank feedback about my weak areas whilst at the same time offering encouragement and showing a good sense of humour. The Manhattan team were also willing to accommodate my availability and quick to respond to requests. I got 720 in the GMAT – many thanks to Manhattan for all their support!
All the best,
Hello Henry, or as people say around these parts, ‘Howdy’!,
I am e-mailing you in between marketing and accounting classes at the McCombs Business School (University of Texas at Austin), so you could definitely say that I have progressed in terms of my MBA plans!
I took the MR crash course with David Chambers as my instructor. I found David’s tuition to be first-class; and this definitely helped me get a good score first time (710, 5.5AWA) in the GMAT exam that I took about a month after the course.
I was accepted into the University of Texas on a Nippon Foundation Scholarship. I resigned from my job and I haven’t looked back since!
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.”
Obtaining Student Visas
Students are required by the US government to obtain a student visa prior to their arrival in the US. The waiting period for a visa interview at US embassies varies greatly according to country, but generally will take between 2 and 8 weeks. This requires advanced preparation on the part of the student. It is also important to keep in mind that students obtain a visa to attend a particular program at a particular school. Consequently, when you do go to the embassy to apply for a visa you should have already made your study decision. Changing your decision later, for example, switching from Wharton to Harvard, requires another visa.
After attaining your visa, the US government permits international students to move to the country a month before their program begins. This is advantageous for international students because they are likely to need more time to get their bearings, make housing arrangements, and also take care of additional bureaucratic formalities.
Inquiring About H-1B Work Visas
Working in the US after completing an MBA requires attaining a work visa. The most common of these for skilled workers is the H-1B visa. A limited number of these visas are awarded each year, and most international students find the process easiest with large corporations accustomed to bringing in non-Americans. This basically means that for those seeking to work in the US post-graduation, they need to begin their job search prior to graduating, keeping in mind that they should target companies that are willing to sponsor international students. Business school career centers will assist in this process by helping students determine which corporations are willing to take on responsibility to hire them.
- Consider your fit with the school in terms of teaching and learning style, the school’s location within the US, and whether you’ll be happy there.
- Be aware of your post MBA goals, including the industry you prefer and the role you envision for yourself.
- Research the costs and economic feasibility of your plans.
For non-native English speakers, prepare for education in English.
Thank You for an outstanding GMAT prep course (I took the course in Frankfurt in November). Last Saturday I had my GMAT appointment and scored an unbelievable (at least for me) 760! Although it was a lot of work after the course (as you said) I’m pretty sure I could not have done this without your recommendations and hints.
I was in your GMAT prep course in Frankfurt on 08./09.11. and I wanted to thank you very much for your help in the preparation to the GMAT! I had my test this Monday and scored 740 / 97 perc. (Quant 47 / 79, Verbal 44 / 97). I definately learned a lot from the course and especially from your personal advices and tips.
Dear Manhattan Review,
I attended your GMAT weekend crash course in Frankfurt (2nd/3rd june). I am happy to report that I aced the GMAT with a scaled score of 760. The methodology you provided me with was essential to achieving my GMAT aim.
As you can easily imagine, I am now trying to figure out which business school I should apply to and how to write a good application for a top school. Maybe you could also give me some advice on application strategy, essay-writing and letters of recommendation.
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Older and more experienced candidates have different needs and desires from an MBA. Deciding whether or not to pursue an MBA involves conscious self-evaluation for all candidates and especially for experienced or older ones.
· You should take account of your personal goals. Do you want a family? What kind of life will satisfy you? Who is dependent on you and how can you best help them?
· You will want to analyze your professional goals. Where do you want to be in five years? Would you like to manage people or do you prefer fewer managerial responsibilities?
· It is important to evaluate your financial goals. What kind of salary do you desire? How will an MBA help you achieve it? How will you finance your education? Are you comfortable with educational loans? Can you sacrifice two years of salary in the present? When is your educational investment likely to begin to pay off? Can you wait that long?
The preceding questions may assist you in your evaluation of whether it’s too late for you or necessary for you to begin an MBA. However, it is possible to delve even further into whether an MBA will take you where you want to go. In terms of professional change, determine more precisely where you like to be. What sector, position and even corporation would you like to be working for? Also, in economic terms, where would you like to be? An MBA generally increases earning potential, but consider also where you are now and whether the degree will improve your earnings potential and worth. Recognize, in your evaluation, that an MBA may initially be an economic setback and the salary will start to pay off later down the line. Evaluate statistics on earning averages after completing an MBA at particular institutions.
At the end of the day, after evaluating all the statistics of earnings and worth, your interests in terms of professional growth and flexibility, and your personal desires, success comes down to individuals and what they make happen. It is up to you to determine whether the MBA is the right means to assist you in achieving your desired ends. Companies often claim that they do not privilege an MBA over someone with experience in the field. In both arenas, individuals learn, grow, and improve. Companies hire individuals who have been successful in the past.
An MBA, especially one later in one’s career, is most useful to individuals who would like to change sectors or positions. For example, individuals who seek to move from banking to consulting, or into management positions (in fact, these people often find their MBA most satisfying). The MBA is also useful to individuals who want to rapidly learn and attain skills needed for different positions.
In addition to the two-year MBA program, the other options to consider for individuals later in their careers are the more flexible means of attaining an MBA including online, part-time, and executive MBA programs.
Recommendations for College Students Eager to Enroll in Business School
If you are in college and interested in entering an MBA program immediately after graduation, getting accepted is not likely to be easy. Since the weak economy has put many young professionals with work experience out of jobs and many of those more mature students are applying to MBA programs, schools are less likely to be filling their classes with the less experienced. Yet, hope is not lost. This may be precisely the time to consider some alternative ways to achieve your MBA goals and bide time in school while the markets recover.
For current undergraduates as well as business school bound high school juniors and seniors, looking into various MBA options early may pay off. Universities as diverse as Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Rochester and Indiana University offer ways for students to complement their undergraduate degrees with an early MBA.
Harvard Business School allows juniors to apply to a program in which they are guaranteed a spot at HBS after they complete 2 years of work. During their junior year, applicants take the GMAT and complete an application. Applicants are notified of acceptance in the fall of their senior year. After completion of their undergraduate degree, accepted 2+2 students enter the work force. The jobs they take need to be approved by the business school. Though the HBS program does not shorten the length of time a student spends in school, both students and HBS are ultimately well served by the 2+2 program. It allows students to be able to focus on gaining work experience and enjoy the comfort of already being admitted to a top-MBA program, and the school is guaranteed a committed and experienced student.
The Kelley School of Business offers an Accounting program in which undergraduates can earn both an undergraduate degree and an MBA in just five years. This opportunity, open to juniors majoring in Accounting or Finance at Indiana, gives students the possibility of earning an MBA with an Accounting concentration in just one extra year and also relieves them of the GMAT requirement. Indiana has excellent job placement statistics and consistently pumps out solid MBAs with the high level Accounting skills valued by businesses.
UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
The William E. Simon School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester offers another 5 year option for undergraduates of the University of Rochester. Interested students apply early in the spring semester of the junior year and begin MBA level coursework as seniors. Students will still need to take the GMAT in order to apply. This program is a great option for Rochester students as the University currently does not offer an undergraduate business degree. The University also offers several fellowships geared toward the more youthful aspiring MBAs, those with less than 3 years work experience interested in an MBA at Rochester.
Tepper School of Business also has opened its doors to Carnegie Mellon Computer Science majors that are interested in applying to business school and gaining an MBA and Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science in just 5 years. Applicants still will need to gain admission by submitting an application, resume, GMAT, essays, interview and recommendations, but they are offered the bonus of gaining an MBA from a top school with just one additional year of schooling. Though ultimately the Department of Computer Science determines eligibility, good grades, high scores, internships and maturity go a long way toward gaining acceptance.
Other schools too offer similar 5 year or early acceptance programs for undergraduates. So young applicants, take a closer look at alternative programs that are out there!
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.
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.
Getting an MBA online is an increasingly popular method. The proliferation of internet access and computers has made learning outside the classroom an increasingly attractive concept, providing convenience and efficiency.
However, the most important thing to be wary of when considering an online degree is the legitimacy of the institution you are attending. Online relationships have great potential, but also present a larger possibility for falsehood and deceit. Therefore, it is especially important that those interested in attending an online program do detailed research, make direct phone calls, get answers to crucial questions, and find out what really happens to graduates.
First, do not attend a non-accredited school. Other institutions and employers will not recognize the degree and in many states it is in fact illegal. If the school’s website asserts it is accredited do a bit more research to determine if the school is accredited by a legitimate accrediting association. To determine this, check on the website of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It lists all recognized accrediting associations. Also Diploma Mill Police will do the research for you into the legitimacy of a program.
There are several types of schedules and timetables for online degrees, depending on the program. Some do include person-to-person classroom learning, and some are exclusively online. Determine which best suits your learning style and fits into your schedule.
Value of the Degree
Online education is a very new phenomenon, making it more risky. On paper there is no distinction between a traditional MBA and an online MBA, so in this way there is little difference. In general, it seems employers do value online degrees, recognizing that completing them is not easy, requiring discipline and commitment. Online degree completion may be especially welcomed by current employers and may promote upward advancement within a company. However, the Online MBA tends not to make it easy to move to different careers.
· Switching careers is difficult
· Networking and professional connections are generally harder to form. However, this is not true for all students. Some find little difficulty in developing long-term, even life-long online relationships.
Overall it is highly recommended that you devote a lot of time to selecting an online MBA degree program. The key to getting your money’s worth from an online program is evaluating your goals and needs, the legitimacy of the institution, and the likelihood that a particular online program will help you achieve your educational and professional goals.
- 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?