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MBA Admission Trends

Recently I read a Wall Street Journal article titled “Women MBAs Continue to Lag in Pay, Promotions”.

The article is based on the “Pipeline’s broken promise” research by Christine Silva published in Catalyst, a New York City-based nonprofit focused on women in the workplace,  and argues that despite having similar educational backgrounds and experience, female MBA holders are still not getting the same pay, positions, or promotions as their male colleagues.

The study, which had more than 9,000 respondents who graduated from 26 MBA programs between 1996 and 2007, found that starting from the first job post-MBA women lagged behind male respondents. For example, 60% of women respondents reported that their first job was at an entry-level position, as opposed to 46% of male respondents.

First Salary:Women also earned an average $4,600 less than men in their first job, even if they had the same amount of previous work experience, the study found.

According to the article, Ilene Lang, president and chief executive officer of Catalyst, attributes the disparity to something she calls “bad first boss syndrome.” The experience sours...

Young MBA CandidatesTen years ago, the question on everyone’s mind was, “Am I too young?” Back then, the more experience the better…the older the better…

More recently, top schools such as Stanford and Harvard have stated that they are taking a closer look at younger candidates, and are even willing to admit candidates with no work experience. One reason behind this was that some candidates may be so successful two to three years out of school that they would not consider going back at that point. Thus, the schools would be missing an opportunity to admit some exceptional talent. Some applicants are just plain ready right out of college. A few have started and/or run a business in school, participated significantly in a family business, or gained applicable experiences via other avenues. They have focused goals, are personally mature, and are truly ready to take the plunge. Yes, some of these schools are opening their eyes more to less experienced candidates, but this does not mean that younger candidates overall have a better chance of success.


MBA Teamwork EssayWhen business school admissions officers evaluate a candidate, they primarily look for four dimensions that round out a strong applicant: leadership, teamwork, innovation, and maturity. (These applicant dimensions are detailed extensively in Your MBA Game Plan, the industry’s most effective book on MBA admissions strategies.)

Why, then, have essay questions that directly hit on teamwork mostly disappeared from business schools’ applications over the past decade? Could this mean that teamwork suddenly doesn’t matter like it used to?

Most definitely not. While most schools no longer directly ask about teamwork in their essay prompts, you can be sure that they still care about this attribute a lot. They have just moved from asking about teamwork directly to looking for signs of a team-friendly attitude in your other essays and interview answers, as well as in your letters of recommendation. While they could ask you in an essay prompt, many have found that they get more useful answers via the interview process and your letters...

Kavita Singh Explains about Non-Traditional MBAsF1GMAT: Should you pursue an MBA if you are not thinking about going into consulting, finance or other more traditional careers?

Kavita Singh: Most applicants to MBA programs, still plan to pursue fairly traditional post MBA careers such as finance, consulting and general management. However, there are a number of ‘non-traditional’ careers after an MBA that applicants are now considering.  Some students are considering this largely because of the economy, while others join an MBA program with the intention of pursuing an alternative path.

Non-Traditional MBA: Alternative Paths

So what are some of these alternative paths? Working in a social enterprise is one that seems to be gaining steam. A social enterprise could be a non-profit organization or a for profit organization that has both profit and social goals. In fact, Columbia Business School’s 2010 Employment report showed that in 2010 7% of alumni were working in the non-profit sector and Harvard Business School’s Class of 2010 career statistics show that 6% of the class was...

Categories : MBA Admission Trends

F1GMAT: The MBA Exchange is a veteran in the MBA admissions industry, providing expert guidance to thousands of applicants since 1996. What are some of the MBA Admissions trends that you have seen over the past 14 years?

The MBA Exchange: Amidst a nearly constant state of change, there are seven major trends in MBA admissions that The MBA Exchange has observed over the past decade and a half.

Rise of Social Media and MBA Admissions1. The beginning – and the end -- of dialogue between school and applicant
The phenomenon of social media has prompted business schools to become more visible and even interactive in communicating with applicants over this time period. Admissions directors like Harvard’s Dee Leopold have even launched...

Categories : MBA, MBA Admission Trends

Recently, business schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Harvard and Stanford started to reduce their work experience admissions requirements. One of the most renowned examples of this trend is Harvard Business School’s 2+2 program for college juniors.

While it seems that the main reason for the change is increased competition for the students and business school’s desire to increase their application pools, HBS argues that the main goal is to attract applicants who would not enroll to the business school otherwise. According to an interview with Deirdre “Dee” Leopold, HBS Dean of Admissions, published on the Poets & Quant’s website, the program is meant to attract people to business school at a time when they are making other decisions — thinking about law, medicine or engineering, for example.

There are two main advantages of going to business school without significant working experience.

First, students enrolling to MBA programs shortly after college will have an opportunity to graduate younger and potentially improve their ROI.

Secondly, younger students with stronger stamina could be more attractive for specific categories of employment such as investment banking. Younger students could also be more attractive for the employers who are trying to attract MBA students with...

F1GMAT: One of the most time consuming task for an MBA candidate is researching about Business Schools. What are some of the best practices an MBA candidate should consider for this?

Christophe Access MBA The best way to search for a school is to take as much time as possible to think about the right selection criteria for you. There are plenty of choices, but you don’t need to consider hundreds of schools. It is probably more useful to first think about what you need and then eliminate the schools which are out of your scope. There are six or seven questions that need to be answered clearly. What kind of ranking do you really need: top 10, top 100 or a local school? Do you need an international or local network and of what kind of people? Do you need general management knowledge or strength in entrepreneurship or finance? What are your realistic chances of getting a high Gmat score and which schools are likely to admit you? Where do you feel at ease in terms of location and do you have any interest in pursuing your career in a specific country or region? These questions are linked to one: how do you see your career within a couple of years and basically...

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