F1GMAT: 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.
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,...
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...
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...
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...
According 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...
Recently 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...