One of the big components of an application to a business school program is the often-dreaded standardized test. The GMAT, for most applicants here, is by far the most-taken test. We often are asked about how to prepare for these tests and how much time to spend studying. Of course, the answer is different for every applicant, but there are some generalizations that apply. I often suggested planning on devoting about 100 hours to test preparation. The next question becomes: how should you spend those hours? Reading vocabulary cards, taking practice tests, studying algebra textbooks? The Bell Curves Blog recently posted some interesting advice that helps to provide an answer: (more…)
Archive for the ‘Admissions’ Category
Let me set the scene… You just completed your MBA admissions interview, the end to a very long day that has also included a class visit and lunch with a student ambassador. You know you rocked the interview because a) you were well prepared, b) you had the right responses to the questions asked, c) you knew all about the entire MBA program and d) you prepared a good list of follow-up questions. Your admissions application had no grammatical errors and you did not make the mistake of calling this school by another business school name to which you are also applying. One month later, you receive your anticipated package from the business school. You hurry with excitement to open it, only to find out that the school has denied you admission into their fall cohort class.
While there are many factors that contribute to students not gaining acceptance into the business school of their choice, I thought I would outline a few items that often get overlooked by many prospective students. While the information presented here might seem logical, I have witnessed the occurrence of at least one of these items more than once during my time here in the UST MBA Admissions office. Realize that while you might have a formal interview on campus at a specified time, the interview process begins once you first connect with the school of your choice. (more…)
Applying to business school can be a time consuming process. Many prospective students wonder about the “black box” of the admissions evaluation process, which often not only includes taking the GMAT, writing essays, and completing various application requirements, but an interview with admissions team members as well. Interviews can be nerve-wracking for prospective students, but as one of the Assistant Directors of Admissions in the Full Time MBA program here at the Opus College of Business, interviews are one of my favorite parts of the job. Why? Meeting applicants in person is an important part of getting to know candidates on a personal level and assessing fit with our MBA program, which overall, is the goal of most admissions interviews. Admissions directors want students to be successful, and meeting applicants in person to learn about what they will uniquely contribute to their MBA program is an important part of the evaluation process.
That said, interviews do not have to be the anxiety-producing event that some applicants believe they are! From an admissions insider’s view, here are some tips to prepare for – and ace – your MBA admissions interview (p.s. These tips can also apply to interviews for MBA-level internships or full time positions): (more…)
Having trouble opening new career doors? Consider the ways an MBA can help. (We had a great post titled “Why You Should Get Your MBA.”) The upcoming UST MBA Forum, featuring Kaplan, helps MBA candidates learn more about opportunities to open new doors in their careers and personal lives and take the first step in preparing for the GMAT.
With a few weeks of winter still left ahead of us, it may seem like the fall semester lies far in the future. However, now is the time to begin working on your application if you’d like to enroll in one of the Opus College of Business graduate programs this fall.
Deadlines are approaching–and in some cases passed–for B-school applications. The Evening UST MBA‘s priority deadline for Spring 2013 admissions was November 1, applications are still welcomed and reviewed once the file is complete. So, as you’re working on your application, how can you stand out (in a good way) to get a spot in the class?
We’ve got an old series of posts here on Opus Magnum with application and admissions advice called “Take it From Me” with some of the bad examples and recently, Business Insider published a great list of 4 Ways To Make Your MBA Application Stand Out.
One of the biggest mistakes candidates make is that “they act on what they perceive the committees want rather than reveal what’s interesting within themselves,” says Jeremy Shinewald, author of “The Complete Start-to-Finish MBA Admissions Guide“ and founder of mbaMission, a consulting firm for business school candidates. ”They try to become something that they’re not to impress the committee.” (more…)
By Ujin Han, M.B.A. ’12
I can tell—you’re excited. You’ve scheduled your GMAT. You have a list of schools you are applying to. You have a list of all the items they want you to send. But as you fill out the application, write the essays and get the letter of recommendations…do you really have what it takes to get in? What should you avoid and what should you do?
What You Should Avoid: The “7 Deadly Sins of Business School Applications”
Dr. Don Martin, who was the dean of admissions at the Booth School of Business for 11 years, listed “7 Deadly Sins of Business School Applications” in an US News and World Report article. Avoid these like the plague:
Sin 1. Misrepresenting the facts
Sin 2. Rude or arrogant behavior
Sin 3. Too much contact
Sin 4. Not following directions
Sin 5. Sending wrong or unproofed information
Sin 6. Asking questions you could answer yourself
Sin 7. Leaving something unaddressed or making excuses
These sound like very simple things to avoid, yet we see many applications with these sins—and trust me, they are noticed and flagged (never to be seen again).
What You Should Do: Four Simple Things
- Avoid all the seven deadly sins listed. These sins could cost you your admission.
- Go to admissions events (such as the UST MBA Forum tomorrow). These events are your chance to meet the admissions representatives and faculty, and make yourself known. If you make a great first impression and you follow through with that admissions rep, you have just recruited an insider to fight for you.
- Write stellar admissions essays. We read them carefully, so you should write them carefully. Triple check your work for spelling and grammatical errors, and word limit—then have others proof read them again. (More tips on essays and how to rock them.)
- Ask thoughtful questions during the interview: admissions interview isn’t different from any other job interviews you’ve had. Come prepared (and dressed professionally). Ask questions that tell us you’ve researched and know the program, such as details on study abroad opportunities, their teaching method and curriculum details, recent news about the program, etc. (More tips on preparing for an admissions interview.)
If you follow these simple dos and don’ts, you will increase your chances to get into the program and start making your dreams a reality.
Poets and Quants, a favorite B-School-related blog, recently broke down the news that some schools aren’t strongly considering the new Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT…yet. Their post did this using techniques from the GMAT’s Critical Reasoning (which makes up a third of the verbal section).
Brian Galvin held this issue up to the Critical Reasoning precision-in-language standard to see which conclusions we can legitimately draw.
Generalization – this [news] is attributable directly to Stanford GSB, and a few other quotes have emerged with similar language from admissions officers at Harvard, Wharton, and INSEAD. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that all other top schools will feel the same way. On a Critical Reasoning question, the conclusion “Integrated Reasoning does not matter for the 2013 business school intake” isn’t fully supported, as there are plenty of top business schools and the current evidence doesn’t apply to all of them. In more colloquial GMAT speak, we know “some,” but a lot of the conclusions being drawn these days suggest “all.” Be careful with generalization. (more…)
Graduate Management News, from GMAC, the creators of the GMAT recently had a post about how they work to reduce bias on the exam. Often, for international and also minority students, hidden biases can really add an additional layer of challenge to an already difficult test.
Check out a few of the things the GMAT creators take into consideration regarding bias…these are things they attempt to eliminate from the exam:
- Use vocabulary, idioms, and constructions that are not universal. My favorite example is skimmed milk. You might expect all educated individuals applying to a graduate level English language program would know skimmed milk. But in India, toned milk and double toned milk are common, and skimmed milk is rare. Vacation and holiday, and quite and very, are other examples. Also under this category are the use of double negatives (The GMAT is not unfair), contractions (should’ve), abbreviations (for example, e.g.), imperatives, possessives, and some sentence structures (Do you have a pencil? Have you a pencil?). (more…)
By Dan Jackson, MBA ’12
Why you have decided to pursue an MBA is one of the most common (and usually the first) question of the essay section within an MBA application. The main objective of this question seeks to understand an applicants’ reasoning behind his/her pursuit of a higher level business education, more importantly the question is aimed at getting candidates to show the MBA admissions committee that the program is the right fit at the right time.
MBA.com highlights a trend, and one primary reason that recent business graduates decided to pursue an MBA: a desire not only for a high-quality business education that will help them get to the next level within their careers, but also an opportunity to give back to the community through corporate social responsibility (CSR). Now CSR can mean a lot different things to different people, but for the purpose of this post, I refer to it as the desire to give back to the community.
MBA.com summarizes a few key points from the 2010 Global Management Education Graduate Survey, in which recent MBA graduates “indicated that emphasis on community and inclusion was of great importance [when pursuing an MBA degree].” This commitment to the community is not only true for business students, but also is what B-school programs are looking for in their candidates. MBA programs today are not looking for the next top richest business students, but instead want students who are passionate about giving back in a variety of different ways.
This reason for pursuing an MBA got me thinking about the various ways to address this first question when completing an application for MBA admission. I’ll try to provide a bit of advice based on my experience working in the University of St. Thomas MBA admissions office. (more…)
This month, the GMAT added a new section called Integrated Reasoning in place of one of the essays. Their blog discussed the relevance of this new section in B-school and beyond:
I thought I would share with you the perspectives of test takers who have participated in our research to develop the Integrated Reasoning section and who have actually experienced Integrated Reasoning. Nearly 8,000 test takers took the Integrated Reasoning section at the end of their regular GMAT exam January 3-12, 2012. More than 1,200 also responded to a short survey designed to gauge their reaction to this section and the question types.
One of the first questions that we asked these test takers was if they thought the skills measured by Integrated Reasoning were relevant to graduate management education, including the MBA, as well as the work environment they expected to find themselves in post-graduation. The range of options varied from Very Relevant to Very Irrelevant. As you can see from the chart below, nearly 70 percent felt that these skills are either relevant or very relevant to both graduate management education and the corporate environment.
Read more on the Official GMAT Blog