June 5, 2013
Now is the time to very seriously start preparing for the business school application process. Our Road to Business School event series in August is fast approaching and every week leading up to it we are highlighting a new MBA program. This week’s school spotlight features the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. If you are interested in a high caliber dynamic MBA program, McCombs should be at the top of your list.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet with representatives from McCombs 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!
McCombs School of Business at University of Texas at Austin
One of the largest and most distinguished business schools in the country, the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin is dedicated to educating the business leaders of tomorrow while creating knowledge for industry and society. The McCombs Texas MBA programs include easy access to industry leaders, myriad opportunities for real-world experience, and the chance to work with a world-renowned faculty known for its groundbreaking research.
McCombs is dedicated to developing influential business leaders and is committed to providing students with a well-rounded knowledge base relevant to the current business atmosphere. With a world-renowned faculty that boasts groundbreaking research, easy access to industry leaders, a myriad of opportunities for real-world experience, and the prime location of Austin, Texas, the Texas MBA creates knowledge that has critical significance for industry and society. McCombs offers an engaged and purposeful community of faculty, staff, students and alumni, where great minds come together to inspire change and make a difference in the world.
March 1, 2013
Although many business school candidates who are competing for places at the top U.S. business schools are well aware of the strengths of the MBA programs at INSEAD and the London Business School, even more options are available beyond these two, including IESE, ESADE, Oxford (Said) and Cambridge (Judge). These four schools in particular have been aggressively playing “catch up” with their better-known brethren by raising funds and dedicating them to scholarships and to enhancing their global brands. Those who know their business schools also know that IMD offers a boutique MBA program with remarkable international diversity, very highly regarded academics and a stellar reputation with international employers.
So, numerous options are available, and each can be explored on its own academic merit, but is earning your MBA in Europe, in itself, a good choice for you? For many, the key issue in determining this centers on where they would like to be after completing their education. If you are seeking to work in Europe, then clearly, these schools offer an advantage over all but the top five or six schools in the United States. (Harvard Business School, for example, can probably open as many doors in Europe as INSEAD can.) However, if you are seeking to work in the States, then the European schools will not provide the pipeline of opportunities that a top-15 American school will provide, particularly for those who hope to work in niche industries or with companies that are not well-known international brands.
Still, beyond the employment picture, studying abroad offers intrinsic value. Two years in London, Fountainbleu or Lausanne can certainly be its own reward…
Considering applying to a European b-school? Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation with an mbaMission consultant to get your questions answered!
February 12, 2013
Many business school candidates struggle to define their long-term goals in their application essays. Although short-term goals should be relatively specific, long-term goals can be broad and ambitious. Regardless of what your short- and long-term goals actually are, what is most important is presenting a clear “cause and effect” relationship between them. The MBA admissions committee will be confused by a long-term goal that lacks grounding. Still, you should not interpret this to mean that you need to choose one industry and state that you will stay in it for your entire career. You can present any career path that excites you—again, as long as you also demonstrate a logical path to achieving your goals.
For example, many MBA candidates discuss having ambitions in management consulting. Could an individual with such aspirations justify any of the following long-term goals?
A) Climbing the ladder and becoming a partner in a consulting firm
B) Launching a boutique consulting firm
C) Leaving consulting to manage a nonprofit
D) Leaving consulting to buy a failing manufacturing firm and forge a “turnaround”
E) Entering the management ranks of a major corporation
The answer is yes! This candidate could justify any of these long-term goals (and many others), as long as he/she connects them to experiences gained via his/her career as a consultant. With regard to your goals, you need not feel constrained—you just need to emphasize and illustrate that your goals are logical, achievable and ambitious.
January 8, 2013
When discussing MBA admissions, we often mention how challenging it can be to compete against a faceless mass and how one can feel disadvantaged if he/she does not seize each and every opportunity before them. And, of course, we want you to seize each and every opportunity, but not attempt to seize opportunities that do not exist and thus turn them into negatives. So, once and for all…
The optional essay does not need to be written by everyone and, by neglecting to write the optional essay, you are not at a disadvantage.
Many candidates feel compelled to write the optional essay, concerned that neglecting it means that they are sending the message: “I am out of additional fascinating stories.” The truth is that the optional essay is an opportunity for business school applicants to discuss problems that the admissions committee would notice anyway and thus “get ahead of the scandal.” So, if you have an F in a class, one particularly bad semester, a low GMAT score or have been dismissed from a position, you should write the optional essay to simply explain why, and not to make excuses. We suggest that you be as brief and direct as possible, while still conveying all the necessary information.
There are many other reasons to write the optional essay (if you are applying with a partner, for example, or if you have achieved something extraordinary that could not fit as an answer to any of the school’s essay questions), but you should absolutely not feel that you need to write it. Unless you have something vital in your candidacy that MUST be discussed, you should approach the idea of submitting an additional essay with caution. If you have nothing to explain and have generally performed well, you should not submit an essay from a different school just to fill the space or write a new essay repackaging your strengths. If you have nothing to write, you are in an advantageous position and should take a step back and appreciate it, not fret.
January 3, 2013
US News & World Report issues perhaps the most revered b-school ranking list. Unfortunately, Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business is the most recent addition to an unfortunate list of peer institutions. The following is from a recent Huffington Post article:
“Tulane informed U.S. News in December that officials had discovered its A.B. Freeman School of Business misreported “average GMAT scores for full-time MBA students entering in fall 2011 and the total number of applicants.” Tulane said the school had misreported a batch of data from the fall of 2010 and possibly in earlier years as well.”
2012 was apparently a popular year for such grievous ethical violations. George Washington University, Emory University, and Claremont McKenna College all disclosed the misreporting of admissions data “in hopes of improving their standings in the highly influential college rankings.” Investigations of the details of each institution’s breeches led to the two latter schools retaining their rankings, but George Washington’s was grievous enough to result in it being removed entirely from the list (it was 51st at the time). What will ultimately come of Tulane is as yet unknown.
If I have said once, I’ve said it a thousand times: GMAT scores are an extremely important element of an application package. While I would very much prefer this bit of information to be underscored in other more reputable ways, what Tulane has done nonetheless reveals the weight of this quantitative measure of an applicant’s strength.
December 11, 2012
Bloomberg Businessweek posted an article that reaches beyond the superficial issues tangentially relevant to the aspirant MBA.
The article gets straight to the most timely and crucial concern at the forefront of any prospective b-schooler’s mind as well as their closest friends and family: holiday gifts. Whether you need ideas for giving or receiving, Bloomberg’s survey of students, professors, and administrators at our nation’s top schools is sure to provide sage advice that will bring ear-to-ear smiles of gratitude this season.
Conveniently, the write-up is broken down into categories: technology, travel, fashion, rest & relaxation, and stocking stuffers and more. Here, we highlight a few of the best ideas then offer up some more of our own. At the end, let us know what missed the list!!
From the article:
- PowerPoint remote. This simple device future students can use in their upcoming and at times seemingly endless number of business school presentations makes all the difference in the world. The presenter is not tethered to the keyboard or mouse and can focus more on conveying information that catches the attention of the audience, professors included. Clickers take a presentation to the next level and students who use them will be the envy of their peers.
- Plane tickets or vouchers. Students are poor or at least poorer than they would be if they were working instead of going to school, and travel costs are always high. Ask for or give money toward airfare even if a trip is not currently on the radar.
- 3-hour Four Seasons spa package. Because… why not?
From Kaplan GMAT:
- Test-prep help. This gift can come in a couple of different forms. One of the most effective and least expensive ways to help a future MBA beat the GMAT is a simple promise of support. The GMAT demandstime. Write it down (or ask for a card): vow to make sacrifices that will help a test-prepper eek out solid study time.Financial help toward GMAT test prep classes is a gift that can yield huge impact. A lot of us want to make others’ dreams come true during the holidays, and help getting admitted to a top choice program is a way to wield some real holiday magic.
- A new suit. Even for those that already have several, a new suit makes everyone feel great. Feeling great helps ease interview and presentation nerves—two things MBAs will know all too much about.
- IOU textbooks. It may have been awhile since you bought a textbook from a university bookstore and even though you might remember they were expensive, trust that prices have only risen. When staring down the barrel of a $195 accounting tome, a shot of some cellared holiday cheer will be most welcome.
- Interest. Let’s finish out with another free gift that keeps on giving. The road to business school can be lonely and daunting. A reliable soundboard that truly cares about navigating the twist and turns as a co-pilot can be a tremendous gift to individuals seeking an MBA. It may sound corny, but sincere interest can be the best gift ever. Pledge to be there as a shoulder to lean on during the ups and downs of preparation road.