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It’s time for this week’s edition of Trivia Tuesday, where we highlight special offerings that help differentiate leading MBA programs from their peers. Today we’re peeking inside the Clear Admit School Guide to the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at NYU to read about Stern’s Summer Start program.
“NYU Stern runs a distinctive program called Summer Start, which allows a selected group of entering students to spend the summer in New York getting a head start on their MBA coursework. When considering students for Summer Start, the admissions committee looks for candidates who have strong communication and leadership skills, but could nonetheless benefit from extra preparation before beginning the MBA. Some Summer Start students have been out of school longer than most of their new classmates, while others have worked in less traditional pre-MBA professions.
“Admission to Summer Start is by invitation only; there is no way to apply directly to the program. Because the admissions office looks to fill the Summer Start program with candidates who are enthusiastic about Stern and the program’s mission, candidates invited to interview for Summer Start have an opportunity to decline the invitation. However, once a student has interviewed with Summer Start and received a formal offer of admission to the program, participation is mandatory. Continue reading…
Clear Admit is excited to offer applicants one FREE school guide to the Tuck School of Business. Available for immediate download, each Clear Admit School Guide offers informative and detailed profiles of leading business schools; the Tuck School Guide will give you all of the information you need to imagine yourself in Hanover, New Hampshire, write Tuck-specific application essays, and get the background you’ll need for your interview prep. The School Guide includes in-depth information on Tuck’s program, from the general management curriculum to the tight-knit community. You can also gauge Tuck in relation to its peer schools through our selection of comparative graphs and analyses. Prospective Tuck applicants should be sure to take advantage of this special offer, but even prospective applicants of other programs could benefit from learning more about what the Clear Admit School Guides have to offer. Admissions officers, applicants and the press all agree that the Clear Admit School Guides are a vital tool to successfully navigating the MBA admissions process.
In order to download your free Tuck School Guide, simply go to the Clear Admit Shop and use the coupon TUCKSG13 at checkout. This limited-time offer ends Thursday, December 5 at midnight EST.
Welcome to the newest edition of Trivia Tuesday, the weekly column in which we highlight the elements that make each MBA program different from the next. Today we’re diving into the Clear Admit School Guide to the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business to learn about the school’s international exchange program:
“Ross MBA students have the option of spending a semester abroad at one of 11 international business schools in Europe, Asia, Australia or South America. While abroad, students take a full load of courses at the host institution; these courses are recorded on a pass/fail basis on the Ross transcript and are worth 15 credit hours toward the Ross MBA degree.
“As at most business schools, Ross students participating in an international exchange pay their normal tuition to Ross. Study abroad participants are responsible for all housing and travel costs incurred during the semester, though some additional financial aid may be available if the cost of living in the host city is significantly higher than in Ann Arbor. Applications to study abroad are due by July of the first year, leaving students plenty of time to plan for their semester away. Continue reading…
Clear Admit is excited to offer applicants one FREE school guide to the Chicago Booth School of Business. Available for immediate download, each Clear Admit School Guide offers informative and detailed profiles of leading business schools; the Booth School Guide will give you all of the information you need to imagine yourself in Chicago, write Booth-specific application essays, and get the background you’ll need for your interview prep. The School Guide includes in-depth information on Booth’s program, from the experiential and global resources to specific professors and student organizations. You can also gauge Booth in relation to its peer schools through our selection of comparative graphs and analyses. In addition, find all of the presentation ideas you need for Booth’s challenging creative essay in one place. Prospective Booth applicants should be sure to take advantage of this special offer, but even prospective applicants of other programs could benefit from learning more about what the Clear Admit School Guides have to offer. Admissions officers, applicants and the press all agree that the Clear Admit School Guides are a vital tool to successfully navigating the MBA admissions process.
In order to download your free Booth School Guide, simply go to the Clear Admit Shop (no coupon needed!). This limited-time offer ends Sunday, November 24 at 12:00 a.m. EST.
It’s time again for Trivia Tuesday, our weekly series in which we profile program elements that differentiate the leading MBA programs from their peers. This week we’re taking a peek into the Clear Admit Guide to UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School to learn more about their Center for Sustainable Enterprise.
“Founded in 2001, the Center for Sustainable Enterprise (CSE) aims to provide educational resources and consulting services for environmentally-friendly enterprises throughout the United States. Its mission is to help leaders in the local and national business communities rework their business models in terms of a “triple bottom line” – to measure their success not only in terms of financial profitability, but also in terms of ecological integrity and social equity.
“The CSE is perhaps most familiar to Kenan-Flagler students for the enrichment concentration it offers in the field of Sustainable Enterprise. This cross-disciplinary concentration is not designed to stand alone; rather, it aims to supplement more traditional, career-oriented coursework by providing students with the intellectual framework to take a sustainable perspective on their future careers. The CSE reports that 31% of the MBA class of 2012 obtained the enrichment concentration in Sustainable Enterprise. Continue reading…
In this week’s installment of Trivia Tuesday, we turn our focus to the Clear Admit School Guide to Northwestern / Kellogg to learn about the school’s Global Initiatives in Management course.
“Kellogg’s international programs are coordinated by the International Business & Markets Program (IBMP). The academic core of the IBMP is the International Business major, which focuses on imparting the specialized tools and knowledge needed to lead an international firm. Areas of instruction include international marketing, accounting, finance and healthcare, as well as cross-cultural negotiation, international management strategies and doing business in emerging economies.
“In addition to the International Business major, the IBMP also runs the Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) course, one of Kellogg’s most popular electives. Over 400 Kellogg students enroll in the course each year, usually during the winter or summer quarters. Each GIM section of 35 students chooses a country of focus, and each student chooses a target industry or economic sector to study, taking on various leadership roles within their teams. Recent courses have focused on countries worldwide, including China, Ecuador, Germany Japan and South Africa, with students studying industries ranging from e-commerce and pharmaceuticals to eco-tourism and microenterprise.
Clear Admit is excited to offer applicants one FREE school guide to the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Available for immediate download, each Clear Admit School Guide offers informative and detailed profiles of leading business schools; the Ross School Guide will give you all of the information you need to imagine yourself in Ann Arbor, write Ross-specific application essays, and get the background you’ll need for your interview prep. The School Guide includes in-depth information on Ross’s program, from the experiential MAP program to specific professors and student organizations. You can also gauge Ross in relation to its peer schools through our selection of comparative graphs and analyses. Prospective Ross applicants should be sure to take advantage of this special offer, but even prospective applicants of other programs could benefit from learning more about what the Clear Admit School Guides have to offer. Admissions officers, applicants and the press all agree that the Clear Admit School Guides are a vital tool to successfully navigating the MBA admissions process.
In order to download your free Ross School Guide, simply go to the Clear Admit Shop (no coupon needed!). This limited-time offer ends Friday, November 8 at 12:00 p.m. EST.
It’s time for Trivia Tuesday, our weekly exploration of the components that differentiate leading MBA programs from their peers. Today, we’re taking a look into the Clear Admit Guide to the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management to explore Johnson’s focus on entrepreneurship.
“Both Johnson and Cornell University itself provide a wealth of academic and experiential opportunities for MBA students interested in entrepreneurship.
“The school’s Entrepreneurship & Private Equity immersion program is designed for students who plan to start new ventures or become principals in venture capital or private equity firms. Its foundation course provides an in-depth exploration of business plan creation, valuation and management of high-growth businesses, and leveraged buyouts, among other topics. Students in this immersion work together as a cohort to support each other both academically and professionally; many spend the subsequent summer creating or implementing their own business plans, often collaborating with faculty and fellow students to hone their ideas and generate funding. Continue reading…
We’ve been offering a good deal of advice lately on how to conduct oneself and prepare responses to MBA interview questions. Today we’d like to highlight the importance of thinking about what you might ask. Virtually all business school interviewers conclude their discussion by offering the applicant a chance to ask some questions about the program. While it might be tempting to claim that you’ve already learned all you need to know about the school, this is actually a great opportunity to gain additional insight, show your enthusiasm about a specific element of the curriculum or community, and demonstrate that you appreciate the opportunity to learn from your interviewer’s experiences.
Here are a few simple guidelines to keep in mind while thinking about what you might ask:
1. Focus on the positive. Now is not the time to conduct due diligence or express skepticism about a school’s academic program or career resources. You’re still marketing yourself to the adcom at this stage of the process, so you’ll want to project enthusiasm and demonstrate a desire to become more familiar with a program’s merits and your potential fit.
2. Avoid the obvious and the obscure. Because this is an opportunity to tap the interviewer’s unique knowledge and point of view (and he or she will assume that you did your basic research before applying), it’s best to avoid asking questions that could be answered by perusing the school’s website or speaking with anyone you might happen to encounter on campus. On the other hand, you don’t want to ask something so obscure or specific that your interviewer might not have an answer. Seeking the interviewer’s opinion on or impression of some element of the program often makes for a discussion that both parties will find interesting and enjoyable.
Chicago Booth Alumna and Former Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Consultant Offers Interview Tips and Insider Knowledge to MBA Applicants and Students
Clear Admit recently interviewed Admissions Counselor Heidi Granner, who has conducted over 200 interviews of top business school applicants and students in her roles at Chicago Booth, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Roll Global.
Can you describe the basic protocol or format of the typical Booth on-campus interview? Was this the same as when you applied to the program?
Booth on-campus interviews are typically 30-45 minutes long and are conducted by Admissions Fellows – trained 2nd year students who are paid members of the Admissions Office. They are typically quite conversational and friendly. Students are generally evaluating the candidate from the perspective of whether they would want to be in a study group with them. Study groups work together very closely and rely on each other, so traits important here are intelligence and reliability, as well as having a clear sense of humor and direction. Also, Booth takes its intellectual legacy very seriously – they will be looking for demonstrations of intellectual curiosity and interest in academics. You might receive a question such as “What is your favorite book?” or “What was your favorite class in college?”
I still remember going to Booth’s campus on a cold February day and being so impressed with the campus and administration. The University of Chicago’s overall campus and Booth’s Harper Center in particular, are really spectacular. The campus has a traditional brick and ivy feel and the Harper Center is modern and open. I definitely suggest a campus visit and/or interview on-campus if you can make it.
I got into Booth despite what I feel was a shaky interview. I used that experience – and my desire to get into strategy consulting – to focus on becoming more polished and effective in an interview setting. Once I started at Booth, I knew I needed to drastically improve. I focused tremendous effort on preparation, including seeking out a second year mentor who spent a lot of time coaching me. I ultimately received full-time job offers from McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. I say this to encourage everyone that there is great potential to improve and preparation is key! Getting into business school is extremely competitive, so take advantage of every opportunity to shine.
Can an interview entirely change the outcome of an application?
Absolutely. While it is possible to get admitted with a below average interview performance and it is also possible to get denied with a strong interview performance, on the whole it is a very important facet in the process at all business schools. The interview is your only opportunity to “put a face” to your candidacy. In addition, it is the school’s best opportunity to really test your English language abilities, interpersonal skills and overall presence, not to mention your true interest in their program. Working in an admissions office, I found that decisions really do come down to so many more intangibles than just test scores and resumes. And interviews are an excellent chance to tell your own story and make a personal connection.
What were some of the most common mistakes or missteps you observed while conducting interviews at Booth?
- Awkward conversation or engagement as a result of being overly formal or being too introverted. I suggest using the same communication style as you would with your day-to-day boss – conversational and friendly, but respectful. The interviewers almost always genuinely want to get to know you and are rooting for you to do well. They are generally giving you the benefit of the doubt going in, so it is yours to lose. Smile – warm and friendly goes a long way.
- Not preparing. It’s difficult to have a strong business school interview performance by “winging it.” The schools are looking for detailed and structured responses, and want to see that you have researched the programs, which really makes conscientious preparation imperative. Business school interviews are not the same as job interviews – for example, you have to explain your job in layman terms, the evaluation criteria is generally much broader than in job interviews, and the topics are far more wide-ranging. I have seen many successful applicants neglect this preparation step and ultimately have disappointing results. Also, little things can go a long way – bring two copies of your resume, your business cards, a pen and pad of paper – all together in a folio. Not having one of these screams that you are not prepared.
- Body language. It’s important to practice good posture and not fidget. You’ll also want to mirror your interviewer’s body language to some degree.
- Not precisely and concisely responding to an interviewer’s question. It’s important to listen to the specific question being asked and respond appropriately. Many candidates will ramble on and on before getting to the point. It’s fine and (sometimes necessary) to speak for 1-2 minutes in answering a question, but it’s important to clearly and directly answer the question at some point and to convey the specific actions you took and impact you made that are most relevant to the topic at hand.
- Arrogance. MBAs have a common stereotype of being arrogant – coming in to a situation and already knowing it all. Admissions offices are very sensitive to this stereotype and work very hard to weed people out who are not willing to learn. While presenting yourself as a confident individual is important, remembering to balance that with an inquisitive spirit or humble nature will make you a more attractive candidate.
Any particularly memorable exchanges, either positive or negative, that highlight specific points applicants should keep in mind either in terms of Booth specifically or just in any MBA interview context?
These are all “little” things, but perhaps since they come to mind first that reinforces how important these “little” things are in an interview.
- Having questions prepared to ask me and being genuinely interested in the answers. Alums and students will almost always enjoy talking about their business school experiences and appreciate when applicants are engaged in the conversation. An applicant who asks a question but seems to tune out as I respond loses appeal and would make me question whether they were truly committed to the school, or whether they could be an effective listener and contributor to team projects.
- Arriving late. An applicant would really have to knock my socks off to be recommended after they showed up late to the interview. They are digging themselves into a massive hole. The two years you are in business school are going to be chock full of activities, responsibilities and deadlines. Showing up late to an interview that you are well aware of suggests that you would not be a reliable member of the community. Leave yourself PLENTY of time and just go to a nearby coffee shop if you are too early.
- Interviewee having badly chipped finger nail polish or otherwise looking a little ‘rough around the edges.’ It’s critical to present an overall professional and impeccable appearance. Shine your shoes, iron your suit, and only carry one bag/briefcase (ideally not a bag plus a purse), shave and generally make sure you’re presentable.
- I remember once asking an interviewee about a recent acquisition in his industry I had read about that week on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. He hadn’t heard the news and didn’t have a perspective. I suggest reading the business news, particularly for your industry and company, on a daily basis in the few weeks leading up to your interview. The Economist and The Wall Street Journal should cover your bases.
- Being overly casual. I once had an interviewee bring in and drink a Red Bull during the interview. I don’t recommend bringing in any food or drinks unless offered water, and choosing to enjoy an energy drink is especially distracting.
What is your perspective on the rising trend of schools including a video interview/essay component to the initial application (a la Yale)?
I think schools are considering video strategies due to the limitations that alumni interviews have revealed over time. Admissions offices are in a difficult position of needing to conduct a large number of interviews and not having the staff resources to do so in a short time frame, so they often rely on alumni interviews. While alumni interviewers’ opinions are obviously valued, the admissions office also knows that the evaluation report can be heavily skewed based on that person’s individual biases and perspective on what makes for a strong candidate. Most alumni interviewers receive minimal training, and there is little consistency in interviews across alumni. There is also concern that the interviews are being conducted in the local language rather than English, which might make it harder for the adcom to accurately gauge whether a foreign applicant would truly be prepared and comfortable with the all-English classroom environment they would encounter at a top U.S. school.
So I think short videos are an efficient way for the admissions office to get their own eyes on every applicant. They can personally observe applicants’ communication skills, particularly English abilities for international applicants, while utilizing the same overall evaluation process for all.
This year I’ve observed that many applicants aren’t familiar with how to optimize their video presence. For example, having the light source coming from front rather than behind and not having distractions in the background make for a more aesthetically pleasing video response. In addition, smile! I do practice videos with my clients to tweak their presentations.
What is the mock interview process like for you and your clients? What’s your strategy or approach to these practice sessions? Continue reading…
The focus of this week’s column in the Trivia Tuesday series, in which we cover the unique program elements that differentiate the leading MBA programs from their peers, is the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Today we’re sharing a passage from the Clear Admit School Guide to McCombs that describes the school’s AIM Investment Center.
“The AIM Investment Center, created by an endowment provided by AIM Management Group co-founders Gary Crum and Bob Graham, provides students with the resources to gain an experiential perspective on investment management. The center’s EDS Financial Trading and Technology Center, founded by former dean George Gau and sponso
red by technology services company Electronic Data Systems, includes an accurate recreation of a Wall Street trading room complete with real-time stock quotes and cutting-edge telecommunications systems – a resource which enables finance professors to incorporate the latest technology into their courses. The center also provides office space for the members of the MBA Investment Fund to manage their three multi-million-dollar investment portfolios.