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.
The UST MBA Forum is designed to help you learn about the graduate business options available at St. Thomas and provide insight into the application process.
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.”
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.
Having trouble opening new career doors? Consider the ways an MBA can help. (We had a great post this spring titled “Why You Should Get Your MBA.”) The upcoming UST MBA Forum, featuring The Princeton Review, helps MBA candidates prepare for the GMAT and learn more about opportunities to open new doors in their careers and personal lives.
With a few weeks of winter still left ahead of us, it may seem like the fall 2012 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.
Showed his creativity
Earned a scholarship
There are many parts to an MBA application, but one of the most time-consuming is writing the essay. At UST (as at many universities), we suggest word limits for each essay—in most cases 500 or 750 words. But the Tippie School at the University of Iowa recently held a contest that limited applicants to 140 characters—one Twitter message.
The winner of the Tippie School’s contest was selected based on the creativity he showed in combining one of the world’s oldest forms of poetry (the haiku) with a new form of social media. I summarized the Business Week story in a haiku of my own at the top of this blog post for those readers who don’t have time to read the entire article.
What do you think about tweeting your graduate school application essays? As an admissions director, I have always said there is value in keeping essays short and sweet, but this takes it to a whole new level. While the UST MBA doesn’t have immediate plans to institute a Twitter-based application process, I’ll leave you with an example of what a good UST Twitter haiku might look like. Feel free to contribute your own in the comments section!
Who are globally minded
Choose our MBA
Margaret Heffernan, CEO, author and noted business lecturer, has some blunt advice for today’s MBA students: “You’re not there for the grades: you’re there for the learning.” For American students, this can be quite a mental shift. Over the past couple of decades, American schools have focused on testing and grades to measure achievement. Colleges and universities have seen average GPAs rise significantly.
Perhaps it is not surprising that many MBA students hyper-focus on their grades. After all, habits are hard to break: students have to earn excellent grades in high school to gain acceptance into top universities, and undergraduate grades play a role in the MBA admissions process. As Heffernan notes in her blog, however, MBA grades are not a major concern for most employers.
Schulze Hall atrium
With a few weeks of winter still left ahead of us, it may seem like the fall 2011 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.
The UST MBA Forum is designed to help you learn about the graduate business options available at St. Thomas and provide insight into the application process. Information about all of our graduate business programs will be available to attendees, and representatives from the Full-time and Evening UST MBA programs will lead a fast-paced, informative session highlighting the distinctive features of each program.
Students and alumni will take part in a Q&A session following the presentation, and additional current student ambassadors will be on hand to answer your individual questions about the UST MBA experience. You can choose to attend a 20-minute sample MBA class as well as participate in a Princeton Review GMAT preparation class.
Join us on the Minneapolis campus from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, February 26–register here. The event is free of charge, a light breakfast will be available, and we’ll provide parking validation. We’ll even waive your application fee to the MBA program of your choice just for attending.
An article posted on businessweek.com yesterday announced that, contrary to popular belief, salary increases are not the main motivator for students to apply to MBA programs. While the desire to learn about how business affects society as well as create positive changes were cited as the main motivators to pursue graduate business education, the article did note that the majority of respondents still expected salaries of over $100,000 after graduation.
An earlier article on businessweek.com looked at one particular applicant’s path to applying to business school; he cited the opportunity to strengthen his formal business education, change careers, and use his strategic thinking capabilities to their fullest. And a blogger for the New York Times offers a variety of additional reasons for pursuing an MBA.
Working in admissions gives me the opportunity to have frequent contact with interested parties and applicants to the Full-time MBA program. Recently, I’ve noticed a shift in tone when it comes to email messages from those with questions. Overall, there seems to be a lax feeling with many emails to the point that I’ve received notes that use simply “Hey” for their salutation. This gives me reason for reflection.
If you look in Webster’s dictionary, you’ll discover that the word “hey” is defined as “an interjection used especially to call attention or to express interrogation, surprise, or exultation.” Traditionally, “hey” was solely an exclamation. Sometimes it expressed delight, sometimes a warning. These days we find it used for emphasis, as a greeting, or as a short version of “how are you?” It is a close cousin to the informal salutation “hi,” which it seems to be replacing in many situations.
Having worked with MBA programs for almost a decade, I have seen time and again how useful an MBA education can be for students with various educational backgrounds, professional experiences, and career goals. However, an MBA isn’t necessarily the right graduate degree for everyone. I’ve met with many prospective students over the years who would be better served by pursuing a specialized master’s degree in business. A recent article posted on investopedia.com highlights some of the things to think about when deciding between an MBA and a specialized master’s degree.
While the Opus College of Business is well-known for its Evening MBA and Full-time MBA programs, there are several other graduate options designed for students with specific career interests.