September 13, 2009

Chicago Booth’s Rose Martinelli advises on few Application Questions

In her recent blog post, MBA Admissions Director Rose Martinelli advised on how to approach one of the most common questions she received since past two weeks i.e Essay 3 (the slide presentation): In four slides or less please answer the following question: What have you not already shared in your application that you would like your future classmates to know about you?

Rose said, "this question allows you to portray parts of your candidacy that have not already been addressed in other parts of the application. We find this a useful tool in order to understand what you deem important in your personal and professional life. The Admissions Committee does not have any expectations about what we might learn in this section, so you have complete freedom in sharing what you think would be relevant for us to know about you." Rose further emphasized, "Committee is interested in content not your presentation skills. You don't need to be a graphic genius or an experienced consultant to be successful. You can use words, images, graphs, etc. to communicate your messages."

After explaining the philosophy behind the question, Rose recommended on few ways on how to approach this question. She said in case there are some key messages or activities that you want to communicate to the Committee, some information about yourself that you may not have been able to cover in other parts of your application Essay 3 is a perfect place to put them.

"I would start by putting a written description on each page of the presentation and then spend some time thinking about how you might convey these messages. Don't get bogged down by trying to be creative; focus on communicating effectively. " suggested Rose.

She said that this question gives you the freedom to communicate what's important to you beyond the questions we ask, and hope this post gives you one way of approaching it. Rose asked the aspirants to read the question thoroughly and be strategic about what they decide to include. She added make sure that the content you choose is relevant to your candidacy.

In her another recent blog post Rose advised on Questions regarding community service or extracurricular activities. She said that such questions try to get at your interests and passions beyond your work.These activities represent how well rounded you may be as well as how interested you are in the world around you. "At Booth, our focus is much more on your history of involvement rather than just recent activity.This is a chance for you to move beyond a simple list to helping us understand your contributions, leadership, time commitment and motivations for getting involved." stated Rose.

Rose said that while she understood that there are many differences across the world in terms of engagement in community service, she was fairly certain of the fact that each applicant has many interests other than work. Whether one is involved in formal programs or support programs informally, school is interested in learning what you do and why.

"For those of you that have jobs that require you to work long hours or travel extensively, we encourage you to focus on what you have done in the past and what you do now to stay involved (and sane)", advised Rose.

Rose stressed saying, "Remember, this is just ONE component in your application that gives us clues about who you are, what you value, and how you engage.We’re not looking for long lists, so take the time to structure how you wish to address the question, include enough information for us to understand your involvements and prioritize what’s most important."

At last Rose mentioned that if you think this area may be a bit light for you, you don’t need to worry as this is just one of MANY components of the application and the school takes each person’s unique circumstances into consideration while they evaluate their application.

Link: The Rose Report

September 10, 2009

Harvard Business School: Advice on Recommendations and Answers to few FAQs

Dee Leopold, HBS Director of admissions and financial aid answered few FAQ's concerning MBA aspirants:

Q 1. Is there any advantage to submitting my Round 1 application now?
Dee Leopold: Not really. We don't begin to read applications until the day after the deadline. However, it's always nerve-wracking for candidates who wait until the absolute last minute and then the server is backed up. somewhere between very early and just-in-time is probably smart.

Q 2. I can't attend an HBS information session. What am I missing?
Dee Leopold: Here's what happens at information sessions outside of Boston (please view Event Calendar for dates and locations):

An Admissions Board member presents an overview with general information about HBS and some detail about the MBA Program and the admissions process. We have a new video which captures some student perspectives and shows off our campus. We then present a panel of relatively recent alumni from the local area who share their reflections on their experience at HBS. We close with a question-and-answer session.

And here's an on-campus session (please see our Visit HBS page for more information):

An Admissions Board member conducts an informal session in an HBS classroom. A typical session will have anywhere from 10 to 30 attendees. There is plenty of time for questions. Although there are no MBA classes in session during the summer, the Spangler Student Center is open for breakfast and lunch. We offer an iPod tour of the campus which is fun and takes about 30 minutes.

In addition to afternoon sessions, this fall we will be hosting on-campus information sessions on the following evenings:

September 3, 9, 17 and 23
These will be similar in format to our on-campus afternoon sessions.

Q 3. When will class visits begin?
Dee Leopold: Early October...although the exact date hasn't been set yet. In September we will post the date and there will be a link to an on-line scheduler. Lunches with students and campus tours will get underway then, too.

In her recent blogpost Dee provided advice on recommendations.

She said,"the most important thing is to choose people who know you well enough to answer the questions we are asking. Many recommendations are well-written and enthusiastic in their praise but essentially full of adjectives and short on actual examples of how your wonderful qualities play out in real life. What we are hoping for are brief recounts of specific situations and how you performed."

She elaborated,"We ask for three — and we are fine with several different combinations. It's fine to have all three recommendations come from your current firm/organization. It's fine to have one from a former employer. It's also fine to have one come from someone who has supervised or observed you in a non-work situation — community service or campus leadership, for example. Note that we are not looking for a peer recommendation — we find it most helpful if there is some developmental distance between you and the recommender. The exception to this might be when you have worked on an entrepreneurial venture or project and the only person able to help us understand your involvement is a partner or colleague."

She asked aspirants to realize that the school considers these recommendations in the context of the entire application — school isn't creating a detailed map of the titles and resumes of one's recommenders and setting up an elaborate hierarchy.

Lee further clarified that asking current HBS students to write to admissions committee on one's behalf outside of the formal recommendation process will not help in the application process. Hence professional or personal associations with HBS students willnot prove to be advantageous in the above context

She added,"If you are worried about how we will interpret your choice or recommenders, simply write a (brief) explanation in the "additional information" section of the application."

Lee finally advised,"in these unusual times, please don't jeopardize your employment in order to secure a recommendation from a current employer. While we might wish that all bosses were enthusiastic and encouraging about business school for their emerging leaders, this is not a universal sentiment. Make your best judgment call about whom to ask, make sure they understand what we're asking, explain your choices to us if you think you should... and that's it!"

Hope this helps all future aspirants...all the best to all aspirants!


September 7, 2009

Harvard Business School: 2+2 Class of 2014

Harvard Business School admissions director shared the Class Profile of its 2+2 Program , recently on her blog

HBS Profile of 2+2 Class of 2014 (to start its full time MBA in the fall of 2012)


Total Applicants: 844
Admits: 115
% Admitted: 14%
Female: 39%
International: 27%
Countries Represented: 17

Testing Information

Complete Range of GMAT Scores: 510-790
Average GMAT: 727
Range of GRE Q: 690-800
Range of GRE V: 560-800
Average GRE Q: 767
Average GRE V: 679
Average GPA: 3.75

Educational Background

Engineering & Natural Sciences: 50%
Humanities & Social Sciences: 44%
Business Administration: 6%
Undergraduate Institutions Represented: 51

According to the admissions director, "All admitted students have leadership talent and they bring an infectious level of curiosity, initiative and energy"

Links: HBS 2+2 MBA Program

Rochester/ Simon Application Deadlines 2009-2010

The Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester application deadlines for 2009-2010 are as below:

Early Action

Application deadline: October 15, 2009
Notification by: January 15, 2009

Round 1
Application deadline: November 20, 2009
Notification by: February 15, 2009

Round 2
Application deadline: January 5, 2009
Notification by: May 15, 2009

Round 3*
Application deadline: March 15, 2009
Notification by: February 15, 2009

Round 4

Application deadline: May 14, 2009
Notification by: July 15, 2009

January entry (for 18-month accelerated MBA Program)

Round 1
Application deadline: August 1, 2009
Notification by: October 1, 2009

Round 2
Application deadline: October 15, 2009
Notification by: November 20, 2009

*Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must apply no later than March 15, 2010 to be considered for July or September Admission

Link: 2010 Application Deadlines

UCLA Anderson Admission Director's perspective on The Role of the GMAT in the MBA Application Process

In her recent blogpost Mae Jennifer Shores, Admissions Director Anderson School of Business provided her perspective on the Role of the GMAT in the MBA Application Process.

According to Mae aspirants either love or hate standardized tests such as GMAT. She stated,"If you perform well on them, you tend to love them; if you perform less well on them, you tend to hate them. Those who are fond of the GMAT are prone to accept score results as evidence of their ability to perform well in an MBA program, either reinforcing a track record of strong performance or making up for a not-so-illustrious academic record. (It is these kinds of applicants you sometimes see on the b-school forums, where they use their laser-like focus to compare and fret over 10 point differences in GMAT scores."

She added,"Individuals who dislike the GMAT test often view it as an arbitrary and inaccurate measure of their ability to perform in grad school. A common refrain is: ‘I just don’t test well on standardized tests – my brain does not function that way;” or “Performance on standardized tests measures one’s ability to perform well on tests and not much more.”

Mae said that the GMAT test, when considered along with one’s prior academic experience at the baccalaureate level and beyond, is an accurate predictor (at UCLA Anderson, at least) of how one performs in his or her first year in the MBA program. Fortunately for most applicants, there is no exact cutoff or minimum at UCLA Anderson of either of these measures. The distribution of GMATs and GPAs that reflect an ability to perform well, as reflected in each year’s incoming class, is fairly broad.

She further added that beyond these numeric measures of preparedness for an MBA lie such qualitative measures as leadership and teamwork skills, managerial experience, initiative, ability to learn and growth from mistakes, introspection, ability to articulate clear reasons for an MBA and career goals going forward, contributions (to school, work, and/or community), etc. It is here that the bulk of time of applicant evaluation is spent. Although less quantifiable dimensions, they are equally important.

She finally said that whether or not one loves or hates the GMAT, one may want to temper his/ her view. "At the same time that the GMAT is not the quintessential measure of an applicant’s merits, it is a useful evaluative tool in the admissions process. A healthy dose of ambivalence just might be in order...", concluded Mae

Link: The Role of GMAT in MBA Application Process

UCLA Anderson lists Top 10 UCLA Anderson MBA Applicant Myths

UCLA Anderson full-time program’s Admissions Committee Director Mae Jennifer Shores, in her recent blog post listed top 10 Myths with respect to UCLA Anderson MBA Applicant stated as below:

1. It is better to apply in Round 1 than 2. The chances of admission are comparable in both rounds. Round 3 is more selective and allows less time for international students to process visas.

2. UCLA Anderson is a media & entertainment school. UCLA Anderson is widely recognized for its breadth and depth of curriculum across disciplines, including finance, marketing, accounting, general management, etc.

3. UCLA Anderson looks for a set profile of candidate. We seek a diversity of academic, professional, geographic, and personal backgrounds. Our program accepts many students who have neither studied business nor worked in consulting or investment banking.

4. There are minimums or cut-off scores for the GPA and GMAT. Both measures are evaluated jointly, along with measures of ability to handle quantitative coursework. The distribution of GPA and GMAT scores among admitted students is broad.

5. Work experience is a pre-requisite for admission. Candidates are evaluated on both demonstrated and potential leadership and management skills.

6. Candidates are assessed on their number and/or type of extra-curricular activities and community service. We seek well-balanced students who possess a broad perspective on life. Candidates may have less formal commitments that exhibit this balance.

7. Applications are pre-screened. All applications are read in their entirety. Admissions decisions are made across multiple criteria; it is the rare candidate who is denied based on one are of an application.

8. Applicants are evaluated relative to others with the same professional or geographic background. Applicants are evaluated relative to the entire pool. There are simply too many ways to disaggregate and assess candidate profiles.

9. I have a better chance of being admitted if I visit or interview on-campus. We are committed to fairness and equity and recognize that there are applicants who are unable to visit us for monetary and/or personal reasons.

10. Foreign students are not eligible for fellowships. International and domestic students, alike, are considered for merit-based fellowships...

The above myths clarifies lot of admission queries with respect to admission process at UCLA Anderson school of Business...hope this helps all future aspirants

Link: Top 10 Application Myths

Cambridge / Judge Application deadlines and Essay topics 2009-2010

The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School Applications for entry in September 2010 will be opened on 7 September 2009. Deadlines, corresponding decision dates and proposed interview days are as below:

Round 1
Application Deadline: October 5, 2009
Interview Day: November 23 or 30, 2009
Outcome: November 27 or December 4, 2009

Round 2
Application Deadline: November 23, 2009
Interview Day: January 18 or 25, 2010
Outcome: January 22 or 29, 2010

Round 3
Application Deadline: January 11, 2010
Interview Day: February 26 or March 1 or 8, 2010
Outcome: March 5 or 12, 2010

Round 4
Application Deadline: March 8, 2010
Interview Day: April 23 or 26, 2010
Outcome: April 30, 2010

Round 5
Application Deadline: April 26, 2010
Interview Day: May 24, 2010
Outcome: May 28, 2010

Essay Topics

The following are the main essay questions on the Cambridge MBA application:

1. Describe yourself. What are your strengths and how do you utilise them? What attributes would you like to improve upon and why? (up to 400 words)
2. Describe the worst team experience you have ever had. What did you do? (up to 400 words)
3. Either: In which place have you felt most inspired and why?
Or: If you only had twenty-four hours to live, how would you spend them? (up to 300 words)

Link: Apply for MBA 2010/ 11

September 1, 2009

London Business School Application deadlines/ Essay topics 2009-2010

The London Business School deadlines for the 2009-2010 are as below:

Round 1
Application deadline: October 7, 2009
Interview decision sent on: November 6, 2009
Admission decision sent on: December 16, 2009

Round 2
Application deadline: January 6, 2010
Interview decision sent on: February 9, 2010
Admission decision sent on: March 25, 2010

Round 3

Application deadline: March 3, 2010
Interview decision sent on: April 9, 2010
Admission decision sent on: May 20, 2010

Round 4

Application deadline: April 21, 2010
Interview decision sent on: May 28, 2010
Admission decision sent on: July 2, 2010

Essay Topics

Question 1 (600 words):

In what role do you see yourself working immediately after graduation? Why? How will your past and present experiences help you achieve this? How will the London Business School MBA Programme contribute to this goal? Why is this the right time for you to pursue an MBA?

Question 2 (200 words):

Where do you see your career progressing five years after graduation and what is your longer term career vision?

Question 3 (500 words):

Please describe your experience of working in and leading teams, either in your professional or personal life. Include any specific challenges you have faced. Given this experience, what role do you think you will play in your first year study group?

Question 4 (400 words):

Student involvement is an extremely important part of the London MBA experience and this is reflected in the character of students on campus. What type of student club or campus community event s will you be involved with and why? How will you contribute?

Question 5 (150 words):

Describe any significant experiences outside of your home country. What did you gain from these?

Question 6 (300 words) (This question is optional)

Is there any other information that you believe would help the MBA Admissions Committee when considering your application?

Question 7 (300 words) (This question is for re-applicants only)

How has your candidacy for the London Business School MBA improved since your last application?

LBS Applying