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Categories : MBA, Too old

MBA Too OldF1GMAT: Stacy, you have written about this topic in 2005 but to refresh our memory, what advice would you give an MBA candidate who is much older than the average class? What are some of the points that the candidate should keep in mind while writing an essay? Which age group has the least probability of getting into a premier Business School?
Stacy Blackman:  Bottom line, it can be challenging for an “older” applicant to be admitted into a top business school.  In the MBA world, older means over 30.  Is this some sort of arbitrary age discrimination?  Not really.  Business schools want to admit people who will legitimately benefit from the experience, who will do well in recruiting and who show potential to succeed.  It can be difficult to meet these criteria when you are older than the average student.

Let’s examine all of these issues more closely.


Categories : MBA, MBA Application

Now that you have come with a shorter version of achievements, write stories on your achievements. You have to realize that people in the admission committee might be bored with 'Type A' applicants bragging about their GMAT score, their GPA and on how brilliant they are. That is one reason why many candidates with 750+ GMAT and 3.5 GPA miss top B-schools. Write about the events around your achievements. You don’t have to write a novel, just give an interesting background about it. Think like this - " the committee members just had a big lunch and are on the verge of dozing off ". What will you write to capture their attention?  Make your stories interesting and follow a structure.

Things to remember while writing an interesting story :

1) Do not indulge in irrelevant details

2) Introduce your managers/superiors

3) Mention the location of your work/project and your travel needs
(B-Schools love candidates who have traveled a lot and have exposure to multi-ethnic environments)

4) If you have traveled for your work,...

Categories : MBA, MBA Application

Before writing your essays, have a look at your life with an unbiased perspective.
We are our biggest cheerleaders, so all the events that have happened in our life would appear more heroic to us than to the admission committee. So do the following exercise:

1) List your 10 achievements from grade 1 to grade 12

2) List your 10 achievements in college ( and Post graduate course if applicable)

3) List your 10 achievements in workplace (job experience)

Just list it (no details required) . You can also include achievements that are related to not for profit organizations. Like - I raised 50k for the Old Age Home in my neighborhood, which was a record for that year. I know that 10 achievements are a big pain for most of the average Joes. Take your time.

This is the most important step in the whole MBA application process.

Now that you have listed the achievements, strike off the ones that are irrelevant to a B-school admission committee, like I was part of the soccer team in grade 2 (To show my competitiveness
at a very young age). This argument might sound good but on second thoughts, without a strong argument to support this achievement, listing these kinds of...

Categories : MBA, Recommendation Letter

MBA recommendation letter tips to keep in mind.

1) Project List

Send details of the projects (that you have worked with the recommender), including your role, client information, team size, duration of the project etc to your recommender. This information would give the recommenders the right context to start with.

2) Managing your recommender

Writing your recommendation letter is not the most important thing for a recommender. Therefore, you have to manage your recommenders by guiding them through the writing process and by reminding them of the deadlines that your are facing. Be aware of your recommender's travel plans as they might be traveling for work or for vacation.

3) Critical Success factors

Each business school has a number of critical success factors (CSF) on which your admission will depend on. Research on the CSF and send them to your recommenders (Business School alumni are the best sources for figuring out the CSF). This will guide the recommenders in aligning their letter with the CSF...

Categories : MBA

EMBA programs are targeted for experienced managers or for professionals in senior leadership position while Part-time MBA program is targeted for professionals, who want to continue working while completing their MBA program. Apart from that, there are a few distinct differences between the two programs.

Average Age: of the EMBA program is much higher than that of part-time MBA. For example, the average age of Wharton EMBA class of 2013 is 34 compared to 30 years for Michigan Ross part-time Evening MBA program (class entering Jan 2012). The age of most EMBA class ranges between 34-38 while that of part-time program are between 29 and 33.

Cost of MBA: The cost of an EMBA program is much higher than part-time MBA programs. For example, the tuition fee of Wharton EMBA program (class entering May 2012) ranges between $171,360 and $175,678 while that of Michigan Ross part-time MBA program ranges between $95,000 and $105,00. That is a sizable difference. Majority of the tuition fee are often sponsored by companies (provided the participants work with them for 3-5 years after the program). Why the cost difference? EMBA fees typically include lodging and meal charges. Part-time MBA fee does not cover that.

Specialized vs. General: Part-time MBA...

Categories : MBA

Post-MBA Job TrendsAccording to the annual international surveys released on May 10th by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), job opportunities for MBA graduates have improved in 2011. This increase in post-MBA job employment is expected to continue for this year. The survey shows that more Business School graduates were able to find jobs before finishing their studies this year, compared to 2010.

Post-MBA Job Opportunities

This trend is attributed to the increased optimism shown by companies with regards to their growth plan. More and more companies are focusing on growing their Business and bringing on new employees after three years of poor economic conditions. The GMAC Survey showed that more than 54 percent of MBA graduates, responding to the survey, has at least one job in their hands. This was 22 percent up compared to previous year's trends.

Increase in Salary

Graduates from two-year Full-time MBA Program reported a 73 percent increase in their salary compared to their Pre-MBA remuneration. This is a 9 Percent increase when compared to previous year's Average Salary increase. New...

Categories : Entrepreneurship, MBA

MBA EntrepreneurshipRecently I conducted an admission mock interview for MBA applicant who targeted one of the top business schools. At the end of the interview the applicant had an opportunity to ask me questions. One of the questions was if entrepreneurship can be learned in business school.

I believe that entrepreneurial classes taken during an MBA at a premier school will definitely add value to someone who has entrepreneurial spirit but lacks more formal analytical skills. In entrepreneurship classes students learn useful business concepts, create business plans, and acquire finance and marketing tools. It is just as important that they also learn how to analyze the viability of ideas.

Empirical research supports this conclusion as well. Researcher Donald Kurato (2004) argues that it is now definitively evident that entrepreneurship can be taught. Gorman, Hanlon, and King’s study (1997) states that “…most of the empirical studies surveyed indicated that entrepreneurship can be taught, or at least encouraged, by entrepreneurship education.”

The recent research...

Location is a factor: A university may have top-notch facilities and highly renowned academic staff and still be the wrong choice for you. Research shows that location is a prime factor when it comes down to picking a business school. Make sure that you are comfortable with the geographic area in which the university is located. For example, if you are bound by family or otherwise you may opt for a school that is closer to home. If, on the other hand, you are looking for an international and diverse milieu as well as new cultural experiences, an overseas MBA may be a good option.

The industry you want to work for may also determine your choice of university location. If finance and investments are your prime interests, then you’ll be advised to choose a university in one of the cities where the markets are based – New York, London, Frankfurt, Paris and Tokyo. It is important that you pick the geographic area that best fits your needs as you are likely to spend longer than two years there – a large number of MBA graduates decide to stay and pursue their career within the area of their alma mater.

Format: If you have decided to cross ‘the point of no return’ and change your career completely or...

Your reasons for pursuing an MBA may differ – a change of professional venue, gaining an advantage in a rather tough market, a bigger salary or a better job placement. Yet, before you get down to filling out those applications, there is one important question that you should ask yourself. What qualifications do you want to acquire? Making a realistic and a clear-sighted assessment of the professional skills that you want to develop or improve will help you gain a clearer vision of your future career track.

The majority of MBA candidates have 5 to 10 years of professional experience on their CV and career plans do come foremost when they get down to choosing a business school. Some, for example, are happy with their job but still want to add value to their services by moving up the career chain and a part-time MBA often proves to be the best route for them. Others have already reached a managerial level and are good at what they do, yet the fact that they can juggle tasks blindfolded has turned into a demotivating factor. They have lost interest in their job and they see a change of career functions as a way out of the impasse. For them, a local full time MBA with their company endorsement may be the best option. Finally, there are...

Boosting your Career with an MBA: The MBA is a gateway even during a gritty recession when the bursting of the mortgage bubble and the bank collapse in the US, for example, tipped the scale of the work/life balance. In the business world, obtaining an MBA degree still gives you a chance to move to a higher job position as you acquire a different level of management skills.

Prospective MBA students have indeed been knocking on the doors of international business schools, continuing a trend that started in 2008. The pay-off has been quite tangible.“Recent MBA participants have gone on to work for over 300 companies in more than 60 countries,” says Jake Cohen, Dean of the MBA programme at INSEAD, while 10% of the students at IE Business School (ranked 3rd in Europe and 8th worldwide by the Financial Times) start a new venture after graduation.

“I personally decided to go to IE Business School because it was always a dream of mine to found my own company, and as IE has a very strong focus on entrepreneurship, it was the ideal choice for me,” says 2007 MBA graduate Bernard Niener.

Having a clear idea about how you are going to use...

Categories : MBA

"According to a Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) study, enhanced skills is a top reason applicants pursue the business degree"

Chioma Isiadinso(EXPARTUS):Last year Jennifer, a public servant, applied to business school with a desire to change careers into sustainability consulting and advocacy. Philip, a successful consultant, wanted a general management foundation before going into industry to lead a division, so he applied to business school. Carlos, an entrepreneur, applied for an MBA due to his interest in broadening his network and a desire to test out new business ideas in a "safe context". Kathy, a doctor with big dreams to transform health care services in her home country, decided to pursue an MBA to deepen her leadership training and expand her skill set.

The reason to pursue the MBA varies for each applicant. For some of you it will be to change your career. For others, it is a result of your desire to scale your entrepreneurial vision. According to a Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) study...

Categories : MBA

First Semester in a Business School can be overwhelming. During this time, the focus is on building the foundation and therefore will include technical subjects like accounting, quantitative tools, operations, marketing  and organizational behaviour. The first semester in B-Schools will also include Leadership and Ethics classes.

Jose Ferreira, CEO of Knewton, breaks down the various subjects covered in each of these classes.

Watch the video to learn more.

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MBA Outside USMany students are opting to pursue their MBA abroad, sometimes traveling halfway around the world. Though programs outside of the United States may not prove the best option for each and every student, there are many reasons to consider this opportunity.


Going abroad for your MBA education does not require a sacrifice in quality. There are many top-ranked and highly selective business schools outside the United States.

London Business School in England, for example, focuses on international business. For this reason, they require that each applicant achieve fluency in English and at least one other language.
Acceptance to the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland involves quite an arduous process. After 10 essays and submission of test scores, applicants are interviewed, asked to participate in a case study discussion, and then give a presentation. In the end, about 30 percent of applicants are offered admission.

The Canadian Queen's School of Business places...

lee MilliganF1GMAT: How do you go about finding the right MBA Program?  

Lee Milligan: The answer can be found in one word “research”.  You will be investing a huge amount in an MBA program; financially, time-wise and career-wise.  It is therefore vital for you to do as much personal research as possible to make the right choice for you.  In the MBA industry this is often know as the correct “fit”. 

1. Read all you can.  This includes brochures, websites,...

Categories : MBA

MBA or Masters in ManagementKavita Singh: Thanks for the question! Recently more top universities have started to offer a Masters in Management program, and so this question is now becoming a more popular question amongst potential applicants.

As most of you know, if you are looking to get an MBA abroad from a leading institution then you need, on average, about 4-5 years of work experience. Of course, you can still go ahead and apply if you have 2-3 years of work experience – and if you are a strong applicant you will be successful. Some Business Schools, such as Harvard, are also encouraging younger applicants. However, few MBA programs accept applicants with no work experience

In 2009 London Business School launched a new program – an MSc in Management for graduates with little or no work experience. It is a 11-month full-time programme and is designed for people without work experience who want to lay the foundations for a successful career in business and beyond. It would be taught by the same faculty on a dedicated campus (Regent’s Park) adjacent to the London Business School...