May 15, 2013
Still trying to formulate your list of target b-schools? This week we are spotlighting another top-notch program located in sunny California that is bound to make its way into your top ten: UCLA Anderson School of Management. If you are searching for a historically renowned program positioned in the heart of Southern California, Anderson might just be the program for you.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Anderson School of Management at our upcoming Road to Business School fairs. Don’t miss your chance to meet one-on-one with admissions representatives from this highly respected program. Register today!
UCLA Anderson School of Management
Founded in the depth of the Great Depression, UCLA Anderson School of Management now ranks among the top-tier business schools in the world. An award-winning faculty renowned for research and teaching, highly selective admissions, successful alumni and world-class facilities combine to provide an extraordinary learning environment in the heart of Southern California.
UCLA Anderson represents a select group of diverse and talented individuals from more than 50 countries around the world and a network of more than 37,000 accomplished and accessible alumni. The school is strategically located in Los Angeles, the business hub of the West Coast and the gateway to South America and the Pacific Rim. The same entrepreneurial spirit that first drew people to the promise of the “City of Angels” provides the driving force behind the most diverse city in the US in its employment base, number of citizenships represented, languages spoken and cultural opportunities. As part of the Anderson program, students will not just witness the excellence that is there now, but will have a daily stake in building on it.
April 16, 2013
To support my efforts here, I get daily alerts from Google spiders who hunt for news about, or otherwise concerning, MBAs and the GMAT. Every now and then one of these alerts will contain a snippet of information from the interwebs that subsequently does its job and inspires a post. One such link led me to this CNBC article about a new start-up called Hourly Nerd.
Hourly Nerd is a by-product of Harvard Business School’s FIELD curriculum—a fairly recent addition to HBS pedagogy and one I have written about before here and here. Soon-to-be Harvard MBAs started Hourly Nerd with the intention of matching money-starved students with time-and-money-starved businesses. The model actually reminds me of one used by crowdSPRING: a service that matches those in need of graphic design services with those who can provide them, all at a below-market price. For the record, I like the model.
When reading the aforementioned article, I could not help but be reminded of one of the most critical lessons I took away from my time in b-school. I learned this from the incredible people at The Idea Village, an entrepreneurial champion and incubator proudly based in New Orleans, Louisiana. I did a lot of work with The Idea Village; specifically, I worked as a consultant to several of their clients across a range of projects.
When smart, driven people take on short-term, limited-scope projects the expectation is that they will be able to walk in, grab all the information needed via a quick conversation, get the project done independently in only a handful of hours, and present the deliverable to an endlessly-grateful client.
Of course, this is not how things work. It always takes longer and is always more work than initially conceived by either party. Granted, this reality check is not knowledge privileged only to experts nor can it only be derived through extensive experience in the field. What often does go unnoticed or unconsidered by even the most seasoned among us, however, is the toll the outside consultant will exact on the client beyond monetary compensation.
It is easy for the consultant to feel almost as if they are doing the client a favor. What the consultant fails to realize is that every second spent by the client on this project with the consultant costs that client time and money—both resources that would have definitely been expended elsewhere and likely will be anyway.
Similarly, a paying client is often under the illusion that since someone has been hired to complete a project, the client’s major responsibilities begin and end with cutting a check. Not so. Consultants require much, much more. Not only must the scope of the project be articulated, agreed upon, and often changed throughout its course—a very demanding task, to be sure—but also the consultant must be made to understand all the soft stuff that surrounds the project. Examples of the soft include: the company culture; the history of the project to date; why the client is moving on the project now as opposed to before or after now; what can vs. what should vs. what will be done with the deliverable after the consultant finishes; overall and specific expectations of a completed project… the list goes on.
In short, the disruption caused by the consultant must be considered, respected, and taken into account. Yes, a consultant is hired to do a job and the contract is entered into voluntarily by both parties. It is unavoidable that resources must be allocated and expended—money and otherwise—to ensure the job gets done right. However, empathy for the client by the consultant can and will go a long way, both in terms of quality of process and quality of the deliverable.
Any experiences out there on this point? I’d love to hear from you.
April 10, 2013
With spring in the air and summer fast approaching, it means that now is the time to very seriously start preparing for the business school application process by compiling your list of target b-schools. Kaplan plans to do our part to help you get a taste of what is out there. Leading up to our Road to Business School event series in August, we’ll introduce you to a new program each week. This week’s school spotlight features The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. By considering The Merage School, you can become a part of one of the quickest growing MBA programs to consistently rank among the top 5-10% of accredited business schools worldwide, have access to a world-class faculty, strong alumni network and close individual and corporate relationships.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet with representatives from The Paul Merage School at our upcoming Road to Business School fairs. Don’t miss your chance to meet one-on-one with admissions representatives from this highly respected program. Register today!
The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California
The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine is strategically located in the heart of Orange County, California. It is also at the center of Southern California’s Tech Coast, with Irvine being the primary breeding ground for on the- rise businesses and industries—especially biotech, medical devices, fashion, real estate, finance and auto design. The Merage School is committed to preparing you to become the kind of leader that companies demand.
The Merage School of Business at UC Irvine offers four dynamic MBA programs– that graduates business leaders with the exceptional ability to help grow their organizations through strategic innovation, analytical decision-making, information technology and collaborative execution. The program successfully combines the academic strengths and best traditions of the University of California with the cutting-edge, entrepreneurial spirit of Orange County in the heart of southern California’s Tech Coast.
During the past decade, the Merage School has earned Top Tier rankings both nationally and internationally for its Executive MBA program, faculty, curriculum components such as IT and marketing, recruitment services and overall value by such publications as the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and US News & World Report.
Choosing the schools that will hit your short list of b-school targets is a tough task. Kaplan plans to do our part to help you get a taste of what is out there. Leading up to our Road to Business School event series in August, we’ll introduce you to a new program each week. This week’s school spotlight features Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, located in the heart of Baltimore, MD. By considering JHCBS, not only will you get a world class education, but you’ll be able to satisfy your craving for amazing crab cakes in one of the East Coast’s largest cities.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Johns Hopkins at our upcoming Road to Business School fairs. Don’t miss your chance to meet one-on-one with admissions representatives from an incredibly innovative and highly regarded program. Register today!
Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School is dedicated to producing innovative leaders with broad, interdisciplinary knowledge and continuing the Johns Hopkins tradition of bringing innovative business management programs to the ever-changing workplace. The program is committed to educating humanistic business leaders and entrepreneurs who can transform business and in the process help society thrive.
The Carey Business School’s offerings include a full-time Global MBA, Executive and Flexible MBAs and Masters Degrees in Enterprise Risk Management, Marketing, Financial Business, Real Estate and Infrastructure, and Health Care Management.
March 28, 2013
My last retrospective was when I hit fifty. Number one hundred was overshadowed by the test change so there was not an opportunity for much fanfare. However, Elite GMAT Instructor, Justin Doff, asked me what some of my favorite posts were just after I told him that #149 was up on the blogroll. “Geez, that’s a tough one… but it’s a great idea for #150!” I replied.
Nineteen months and one hundred fifty posts later… Here is a list of some of my favorites, or at least these are posts GMAT blog readers might find interesting.
|GMAT Prep- Clean as You Go
|About the GMAT- GMAT Validity|
| Taking the GMAT- Never Cancel Your GMAT Score
|Higher Education/Academia- Business Students are as Lax as the Education They are Supposedly Receiving
| MBA- The MBA and Woody Allen
| Miscellaneous- Sustainability?
As a part of the Road to Business School event series that will take place in August, we’ll be featuring a different business school every week to help you explore your options. Keep in mind that the schools featured will be participating in our upcoming business school fairs, so you’ll have the chance to meet them in person or virtually during the Road series.
Finding the right school for you is always a challenge. Take the time to dig in and get to know each program as you do your research. Get started with this week’s spotlight on WPI.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) School of Business
WPI is the third oldest technological university in the US and ranked among the top universities in the country. They are located in the heart of New England’s technology corridor, home to many of the world’s leading companies.
Their mission is to develop innovative and entrepreneurial leaders for a global technological world. Their approach delivers theory combined with hands-on practice solving real world problems for real companies. The Graduate Qualifying Project is an essential component of the Innovator’s MBA program. You’ll form the ability to bring together sound management & technological insight and anticipate & capitalize on technological change. In short, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Key facts about the WPI MBA:
If you’re an experienced professional looking to advance your career, take a look at The Innovator’s MBA. With remarkable flexibility and expected rigor, WPI’s program develops innovative and entrepreneurial leaders for a global technological world. WPI offers three tracks to pursue an MBA degree in a part-time program that has been ranked #1 in the Northeast for five years running and is currently ranked # 8 in the U.S.
Aspiring MBA candidates will find the graduate qualifying project (GQP) to be the ultimate challenge. The GQP requires the ability to apply the skills, methods, and knowledge gained through study while solving a significant problem for a real client organization. The GQP can also deliver a great return for the students as well; many later receive job offers from the companies that sponsored their projects. It’s the applied learning that gets results for the client and the student.
At WPI-like so many modern businesses-technology is the foundation of what they do and how they do it. Innovation, entrepreneurship, globalization and leadership are intertwined into virtually every course in the program.
WPI School of Business offers a wide array of Master of Science degrees (MS) for those interested in applying their experience in a path different from that of the MBA student but just as rigorous and relevant to today’s global and technological environments.
February 22, 2013
Just read an article titled ‘Is the MBA Relevant for Entrepreneurs?’ This is an interesting topic for me for a couple of reasons. First, I completed my MBA with dual concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Finance. The latter was a result of happenstance more than an actual interest in finance. I inadvertently satisfied the requirements for the concentration and find it almost comedic that I ended up with one. The former, however, was a target from the start.
Pursuing entrepreneurship as an academic discipline is an interesting undertaking and there are many out there who believe the mettle entrepreneurship requires cannot be learned, or, at the very least, it cannot be taught. It is this notion that strikes another chord with me. Coming from an undergraduate background in fine arts, I’ve run across the you-are-either-born-with-it-or-you-aren’t idea many times before.
I am among the group that holds entrepreneurship (and artistic endeavor for that matter) can be both taught and learned. I have been on both sides of this coin—i.e., the learning and the teaching—although I must admit that my hands-on foray into the world of entrepreneurship did result in, well, figuring out a way not to do it. Nonetheless, I maintain that success as an entrepreneur is much more a product of skills than personality traits. I will accept that certain folks have characteristics that lend themselves well to pursuing entrepreneurial ventures, but anyone with the desire to push forward a viable idea can do so. Entrepreneurial education just helps to make sure the execution is more likely to result in a sustainable business that is as strong as it can be.
Interestingly, entrepreneurship as an MBA concentration has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several decades. Many MBA aspirants have targeted business school as an opportunity to shore up knowledge, skill, and a network in order to pursue the dream of starting, sustaining, and perhaps even ultimately exiting one or more businesses. Academia has responded in kind. Not only will you find e-ship as a concentration at countless b-schools, but you will also find professors at universities who have dedicated their research lives to the activity, entrepreneurship centers housed within the walls of these universities that aim to support and nurture entrepreneurs and their ventures, and several annual b-school rankings, both graduate and undergraduate, centered around e’neurship that are highly competitive.
Whether an MBA is relevant for you and your entrepreneurial goals is something each individual must answer for themselves. In fact, honest introspection is precisely what admissions committees want most from applicants (read this recent Forbes article on that very idea). However, it is going to be very difficult to construct an argument about anything inherently irrelevant about utilizing an MBA education in order to help advance your career goals, whatever they may be.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance of drawback, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and endless plans: The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
February 19, 2013
How many self-assessment tools for personal development are out there? Let me Google that for you … Well, I don’t know about you, but the ocean certainly seems red with more than 4.7 million search query results.
If you are looking for such a tool or wondering about any that are particularly relevant to meeting your academic and career goals, let me focus your search by directing you to GMAC’s ReflectTM. Developed by GMAC in partnership with Hogan Assessments, Reflect offers clients a unique report and subsequent action plan, including resources, that are presented from a business perspective using business language.
After purchasing the tool for $99.99, customers take approximately 45 minutes to answer more than 500 dichotomous questions (i.e., true/false, yes/no) and immediately receive quantified ranking across ten different competencies. From operational thinking to strategic vision, from resilience to interpersonal intuition, each of the competencies are presented alongside details, actions, and benchmarks. For the next three years, participants can work to complete prescribed actions, utilize embedded resources to do so, and track their personal developmental progress.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Reflect is the action-oriented focus coupled with resources with which individuals can complete those actions. After all, there is little value in reading a descriptive assessment report without any prescriptive information that allows you to strive toward betterment. This notion is precisely what underpins Kaplan’s Smart ReportsTM technology.
Interestingly, the Reflect project was originally began under the auspices of creating a soft-skills assessment for admissions committees at business schools to use when making admissions decisions. It was thought that such an assessment would be a useful complement to the hard skills assessment of competencies the GMAT quantifies. As the product development team moved forward, it became apparent that “soft-skills are coachable and not appropriate for high-stakes testing,” said Andy Martelli, VP of GMAC product development, as paraphrased here. During a product preview event in held last year in Chicago, Mr. Martelli went onto explain that the target customers of Reflect were business school students interested in identifying strengths and weaknesses in order to zero-in on specific behaviors they can work to modify during the time spent pursuing and professionally implementing an advanced degree in management.
If you have used Reflect, please give us your feedback below!
February 7, 2013
In recent years, the job market has faltered due to the lagging world economy, and MBA grads were hit just like everyone else. However, a recent survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), who administers the GMAT, reveals that employment is up for 2012 MBA grads. Of the 4,444 MBA and other graduate-level alumni surveyed, 92% were employed three months after graduation–6 percentage points higher than reported by graduates in last year’s survey. Additionally, 77% of those surveyed this year reported that their starting salary met or exceeded their expectations, and 76% stated that they could not have gotten their jobs without their graduate management education.
Dave Wilson, GMAC president and CEO, attributes this year’s higher employment percentages to the improving world economy, stating, “As the economy improves in many parts of the world, employers who are hiring look for skilled managers to lead the way. MBAs and other graduate degrees provide the skills people need to manage tough problems in today’s complex marketplace.”
Compensation for 2012 MBA graduates differed most significantly by work location, with Europe featuring the highest median salary ($105,120) and Central Asia the lowest ($27,818). The median salary in the U.S. was $83,000, with Canada just slightly behind at $81,443 (all salaries are expressed in USD). Also, compensation varied between full-time two-year and one-year MBA programs: graduates of two-year programs reported a median salary of $85,000, while graduates of one-year programs reported a median salary of $59,000.
These promising survey results demonstrate that now is a great time to move forward with your plans to get your MBA. Check out other Kaplan GMAT blog posts for tips on getting started with the process, and look for upcoming free Kaplan GMAT prep and admissions events at kaplangmat.com.
The summary report of the 13th annual GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey can be found at gmac.com/alumniperspectives.