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  • 02/12/2024 0 Comments
    Dealing with Worrying

    Surviving the Worry Phase of MBA Admissions

     

    It’s natural to worry while you are waiting for that coveted invitation or admit from dream school X or even safety school Y. However, it can become an obsession – because subconsciously, worrying makes us feel like we are doing something. Like we are asserting control over the outcome.
    Here are a few ideas to help you regain control of your mind and energy.

     

    1 – Tapping or EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique.

     

    Tapping is an amazing way to create new neural pathways that interrupt the fright you might be experiencing. It’s easy, fast, free and effective. My favorite practitioner is Brad Yates; here is a tap-a-long on Feeling Not Good Enough or Overthinking Things. It helps in the moment - but committing to tapping 10 minutes a day can create lasting change.

     

    2 – Submit other applications!

     

    There are still ways to start a top MBA around January or March. If you are actively engaged in creating more options for yourself, this reduces the fixation on X school and the sense of desperation that can easily set in.

     

    If you are waitlisted, rather than sit on your hands or cross your fingers – find ways to (skillfully and appropriately) repurpose content for a couple new applications. You never know where they have room for someone with your profile.

     

    3 – Put energy into making a positive impact for a worthy cause.

     

    There is no way to lose with this. It occupies your time and mind until results come through.
    In the event you don’t get into an M7 school or whatever your target was, you have a head start on your “what changed” reapplication essay. If things DO go your way, more leadership fodder for your internship interviews.

     

    If you are actively leveling up your leadership and contribution profile – you will probably still worry - but a bit less knowing you are actively engaged in doing all you can do.


    PS - I have seen clients get off the waitlist submitting nothing but updates around community leadership.

     

    4 – Adjacent ways to achieve MBA goals.

     

    Even if just as an exercise. Our amygdala gets triggered when frozen in A/ B: MBA Yes or MBA No. Our prefrontal cortex (executive functioning) goes offline. But once you introduce a third option you can get unstuck and get your brain back online.

     

    • Maybe a MFin is a good adjacent option and there are still deadlines you can target
    • Maybe you can receive entrepreneurship mentorship from that guy at Toastmasters
    • Maybe submit an application for Y Combinator
    • Maybe you can try the networking path to consulting
    • Maybe you can learn skills that allow you to switch functions or departments 

     

    Even if you do exactly none of these things now, brainstorming non-MBA ways to improve your lot or get closer to your goal might help feel better during this purgatory period.

     

    The MBA admissions process can easily make you feel dependent and disempowered at times. The goal is to recover some of your agency and power, to have a better quality of life as you wait for results.

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  • 01/24/2024 0 Comments
    Still a few paths to a top MBA within the coming year

    It's January of 2024 - missed the R2 MBA boat and still want to start soon?

     

    PART-TIME


    Many have fully remote jobs these days and can work from anywhere. So, this
    brings about the opportunity to relocate to attend a top part-time program
    in places such as Chicago, California, NYC, Austin or Ann Arbor. The cohort
    system with the Berkeley-Haas EWMBA, featuring full access to on-campus
    recruitment, makes the program feel like a full-time MBA.

     

    Both Kellogg and Booth PT have deadlines each season, rather than rounds, which gives applicants a lot of flexibility. Michigan-Ross’s online part-time program offers full on-campus recruitment, and those deadlines are just beginning. The NYU part-time program is more popular than the full-time program - you’d likely have some very interesting classmates. R1 is on Feb 15.

     

    ROUND 3 – preferably of 4

     

    Of course, there is R3, which often has worrying odds for overrepresented applicants, but if they have a R4, it’s still pretty viable (and, I have seen overrepresented clients even get into R4 with nice schollies!). Duke, McCombs, UNC, and IESE come to mind.

     

    MID-CAREER: 8+ YEARS of Work Experience

     

    Stanford MSx is due Feb 15 and Michigan-Ross has the Global MBA – where Round 1 is April 28th.

     

    EU SCHOOLS & CANADA

     

    If you are looking to attend b-school in a French-speaking country – they all have January intake with R1 kicking off March 12 for INSEAD – make sure to apply by R2/April 26 for scholarship eligibility. There are monthly deadlines at HEC-Paris and R2 at IMD on Feb 15 (and they have 7 rounds.) There are 4 deadlines at HEC-Montreal and R3 is on March 15.

     

    At Ivey in Ontario, arguably the top school in Canada, things are just getting started with R1 due on Jan 29.

     

    COLUMBIA JANUARY INTAKE

     

    If you can achieve your goal without a summer internship, maybe explore various paths through in-semester internships instead, apply to January intake at CBS when the application opens in June or July (one and only deadline is around the last day in September but don’t wait until then, in my opinion.)

     

    The acceptance rate is much higher the normal term because they don't have to mess with you in terms of recruitment (reputed to be 40%). This is ideal for those who want to work for the family business, our sponsored candidates or entrepreneurs. They are friendly to older applicants.

     

    Hopefully one of these paths to a top MBA works for you if you want to start soon!

    Read More
  • 11/08/2023 0 Comments
    Stanford's What Matters Most & Why: Values

    This is a daunting question, and most people are lost at sea with it before coming to me. The way to tackle this is to examine the question behind the question. First of all, in becoming part of the GSB alumni, you would be an ambassador of sorts, whether you are aiming to or not. Because of that, they want to really understand your operating system – your values.

     

    And so, this question actually asks, what do you most value? The answer is meaningless without an anecdote, really – as with all the essays, show, don’t tell – and the story should illustrate how you acquired value to which you lay claim.

     

    As a coach, I try to help my clients discern their values so they can make better decisions. To use myself as an example, my values include self-expression, playfulness, and independence. How did I come to know this? Before I got into this business, I moved from newspaper marketing to Wells Fargo.

     

    The change appeared to be an upgrade from the outside, but I found myself stripped of all that I valued. No longer was I able to champion my own initiatives, lead graphic designers, copywriters, or collaborate with the news desk. None of the writing I did came from a place of self-expression like it used to.

     

    Rather, everything at Wells Fargo was lockstep, recycled from the marketing calendar, under heavy scrutiny of compliance standards, and totally devoid of all humor and spontaneity.

     

    Had I understood my values, I would have been able to articulate why my inner guidance was saying NO DON’T DO IT. Once I started at Wells, I then realized to be happy in my work, self-expression, independence and playfulness needed to be there.

     

    When it comes to What Matters Most, consider personal and professional anecdotes and see what the golden thread is, the “through line” that ties things together.

     

    The exercise I have people do is to identify one personal and one professional anecdote for each of the following: 1) when did you feel most proud? 2) when did you feel most accomplished?, and 3) when did you feel most fulfilled? Then we consider each anecdote and from there back out what it says about the values of that person.

     

    For instance, one of my clients felt most fulfilled when several coworkers slammed his phone with messages encouraging him to apply for a new job opening in their department.

     

    As an Iraqi American in Texas, he had been the target of racist bullying in his youth, which gave birth to his value around belonging to community, feeling wanted and welcome.

     

    In his essays, he shared the story of bullying and anecdotes around his later efforts to create a welcoming communities around him in his personal and professional lives.

     

    By identifying where your values come from, you can understand why they are important to you provide a holistic and authentic answer to “What matters most and why?”

    Read More
  • Rules to get in MBA Colleges
    10/03/2023 0 Comments
    Low GMAT? Applying to Full-Time MBA with Executive Assessment

    Struggling to achieve your ideal GMAT score and applying Round 2 MBA?

    Read More
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    08/07/2023 0 Comments
    Creating Your MBA Résumé

    If I can brag a bit - MBA Career Services love my résumés. "Don't you dare change a single word!" were the words spoken to my client who started at Stanford GSB last fall.

    Read More
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    07/10/2023 0 Comments
    Breakdown of Average Age for Top US EMBA Programs

    Hi everyone, as the first round of EMBA deadlines arrive for most schools, wanted to touch on average age/work experience for each of the top programs. They vary quite a bit. Hoping this might provide some nuance and help you avoid potentially wasted effort.

     

    Wharton: It’s concentrated around people in their 30s: year after year, only 20% of the class is over 40. Also, the only US based program breaking out this stat. Everyone stays in the same hotel every other weekend and I wonder if they are looking to maintain a certain social dynamic by avoiding big age gaps (this might create cliques).

     

    Just this year that number bumped to 25% which makes me wonder if this average went up because they have older candidates doing the “global program” (the new remote option.) Or a philosophical change in general about having older candidates. Only 3% of the class is under 30. But, if you are an employer sponsored candidate, check out the “fellow” option.

     

    Columbia: Many who consider Wharton also consider CBS EMBA. This option is a great one if you are a bit young for an EMBA. One of my clients started this program at age 25, actually, and had completed his online bachelor's degree the previous year – however – he was in fact in a people/program management role at his company. He was promoted 2 or 3 times during the program to director and is now a partner.

     

    CBS doesn’t have a work experience minimum – and I can’t think of another program that doesn’t. It’s a bit of a wild card. This doesn’t mean anyone can get it in of course but they look at how the employer has “vetted” the candidate: are they sponsored? Have they been promoted? What is their track record of achievement? If you are a top performer under that magic 8 years of experience – this is likely a good option.

     

    Yale: The 14 average years of work experience are higher than
    Wharton but less than MIT, and the average age is 36. However interestingly they only require seven years of work experience, and it seems as though they are willing to make an exception with that if you have a track record of leadership. Note: The fact that the program is in New Haven Connecticut (logistics not ideal) and meets biweekly means that the majority of the class will be from the Northeast (59%). So make sure that a network from this geography would be valuable to you. It's clear they've put a lot of effort into making sure that 47% of the class are people of color and 44% female. They really emphasize their specialties of asset management, sustainability, and health care.

     

    Booth: The average age is 37 with 13 years of work experience; they don't really give an 80% range so I'm not really sure how tightly clustered things are around that average. But I do know that one of my clients visited Booth he is like 42 or something and he felt somewhat comfortable there and found many others his age.

     

    MIT: Primary reason I am writing this blog is to keep young applicants from applying here. The average age is 41 with 17 years of experience with a minimum of 10. And, having the most experienced EMBA cohort is cornerstone to their marketing. 90%+ are Directors. I recommend against having a “apply for the heck of it, worst they can say is no” approach here if you don’t fit this profile. Why? Because it's the most competitive EMBA program (very hot brand and no GMAT required = tons of applications) AND it’s a huuuuge application; a LOT of both recommendation and essay questions.

     

    If you have 8+ years but less than 10, however, you are a director AND offer a lot of diversity, then you might contact admissions to see if they will make an exception. Note: don’t apply unless you have a B or better in stats and business calculus.

     

    Kellogg: Average age is 39; down from 40. Average work experience is 15 years. 68% are director level or above. This program is less rigorous than Booth, Wharton, and MIT with a monthly Kellogg-Miami option. If you have small children or work long hours, you might find this program more manageable. Note: they have both fall and winter intake, so, frequent deadlines.

     

    Duke: Average age is 34 for the global MBA (class meetings are at various international destinations) and 35 for the Weekend EMBA – interestingly, the required work experience is only 5 years. The Weekend option is monthly so might be a good option for younger applicants, even if they need to travel from outside the area.

     

    NYU-Stern: There are 3 options; NYC; DC and the prestigious TRIUM Global EMBA. For NYC, the average age is 37 with an average of 13 years of work experience. The Stern PT MBA is very popular so it would make sense that less experienced applicants would go for that option. The DC monthly program is very new with no class profile yet posted. Given that there is no “top ranked” PT MBA in DC, I am guessing it might scoop up those applicants and skew younger. For TRIUM, the average age is 40. This is like a more prestigious version of the Duke Global MBA.

     

    Michigan-Ross: The situation here is similar to Kellogg – average age is 40; less rigor, with more emphasis on leadership than quant-heavy subjects. No class breakout between Ann Arbor & Burbank monthly options. Interesting that they include average salary is $180K.

     

    Berkeley-Haas: 80% fall between 33 and 48 and so it seems there is a good deal of variation here with age. Also, a monthly program.

     

    I might even go so far as to say that monthly programs usually skew older than weekly (CBS only) or biweekly (Booth, Kellogg-Evanston, Wharton, NYU in NYC). However, MIT meets every 3 weeks and has the highest average age.

     

    In sum – while age isn’t the only variable, of course, it’s something to factor in. EMBA programs are lockstep and 22 to 24 months – by design. Why? You will get to know your colleagues better this way and have deeper connections. You are paying to acquire a network, and so you want to feel you are surrounded by people who can help you. The fact is, a director probably won’t benefit much from someone with 5 years of work experience, and actually, vice versa. So, the bulk of the cohort needs to be equally yoked so to speak for the program to work.

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  • 05/19/2023 0 Comments
    Hobbies and Interests on CV

    MBA APPLICANTS – something I am realizing is a controversial issue and want to address it.

     

    Include hobbies on your resume for MBA. Please trust and believe they are evaluating you, in part, to see if you are a social value-add to the class. You are both the consumer and the product. They want people who are well-rounded with a sense of humor.

     

    Offering a couple examples so you will believe me I can TALK YOU OFF THE LEDGE of not doing this.

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  • 05/17/2023 0 Comments
    Getting Admitted from the MBA Waitlist

    Question:

     

    Hi, what are some proven strategies on getting off the waitlist? I have taken my GRE five times already so no more chances to retake it. Thank you!

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  • 05/04/2023 0 Comments
    Social Work/Community Service - Does it Help?

    Q: I was told that social work improves your profile and helps you stand out in front of the ad-com. Is that true?

     

    A: 1000% yes. 

     

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  • 03/31/2023 0 Comments
    MIT Sloan Executive MBA Interview – Sample Account for Startup Client

    Interview Part 1 (45 min):

    1. Walk me through your early career. Inflection points, decisions to pursue field

    2. How do you choose mentors? How are you mentored?

    3. Describe market opportunity and how you addressed it in your current organization

    4. Biggest challenge and adversity turnaround story

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  • 03/29/2023 - Farrell 0 Comments
    A few points of comparison: Wharton v Booth EMBA

    As Wharton offers are coming in, I've been asked to comment on the differences to help people decide. This is by no means comprehensive but what comes to mind.

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  • 02/28/2023 0 Comments
    Kellogg EMBA Interview Questions - Sample Account

    The cool thing about Kellogg is that they interview everyone, so its wise to apply if your magnetic and personable camera presence sells you better than other elements of the application. Here are the interview questions from a recent client. Reminder than R1 is 4/19 - factor in time not just for essays but brainstorming recommendation anecdotes (DEI in particular) and interview talking points!

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  • 02/28/2023 0 Comments
    Kellogg EMBA: Essay 2: Community Impact

    Essay 2: Community, belonging and inclusion are important values at Kellogg. Tell us about a community that’s important to you and how you contribute to or impact that community. (450 word maximum)

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  • 02/22/2023 0 Comments
    Why Kellogg - Executive MBA Essay 1

    In the application, you shared your short-term and long-term goals. How will Kellogg and an Executive MBA equip you to reach those goals? What are you looking to gain or develop during your MBA experience? (450 word maximum)

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  • 02/16/2023 0 Comments
    Kellogg EMBA Short Answers - Goals Questions

    Round 1 April deadline for Fall intake is approaching and I'll be tackling the various elements of the Kellogg EMBA application.


    Essay 1 starts out with, “In the application, you shared your short-term and long-term goals” so before tackling essay tips – let’s start here first. These short answers are the basis for the your response in Essay 1 - I will write a separate article for that.

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  • 02/14/2023 - MBA Prep Coach 0 Comments
    MIT EMBA Letter of Recommendation Tips!

    1. How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?

    They are trying to understand how well the recommender knows you, measured by both years and the level of engagement. When they say capacity – sure, articulate their role and yours, but really, they are trying to find out if you have worked closely with this person. Has this person observed you from a distance or have you been in the thick of it together, partnering on high-stress projects together? Ideal if you can show you have worked closely on complex and/or high priority initiatives.

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  • 01/23/2023 0 Comments
    IMD MBA Failure Essay - Tips and Sample Essay

    Describe a situation in which you failed as a leader. What did you learn from it? (Word limit 300)

    Because IMD is primarily a leadership development program, as Sean Meehan mentions, they want to know you are ready for what they deliver.

     

    Regarding the failure part, they want to know you have enough self-awareness to observe where you might have failed, which makes you coachable and more receptive to change. Regarding the leader part, they want to know you have worked at a high enough level to benefit from a leadership program. If you haven’t worked in a leadership capacity in some form, you won’t have a frame of reference and there isn’t much for their curriculum and experiential exercises to “hang on.”

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  • 12/10/2022 - Farrell Dyan 0 Comments
    Wharton EMBA Essay 1

    What is your career objective and how will the Wharton MBA Program for Executives contribute to your attainment of this objective? (400-word limit)

     

    Career Objective

    The ideal situation here: you need more skills to adeptly navigate a new manager or director role. Or you need those skills to obtain that role, within your organization or within the same industry. They want you to apply what you learn on the weekend to your job on Monday. Even if you have a long-term (or even short-term) goal of starting up, you REALLY want to first articulate how you will benefit from the program where you are today. They are looking at the ROI of the program for you, just as you are. Wharton rewards pragmatism and analytical thinking, that is their jam. So, make sure your goals show a financial outcome that will leave you satisfied with the program.

    Beware of a ready-fire-aim approach – first do the research needed. Find out if a Wharton EMBA would open the door to the job you want through informational interviews with hiring managers, and mention this in the essay. For example, based on you learned through your conversation with Mr or Ms. In The Know, you need this degree to advance. Or need the skills that come with a Wharton EMBA to break in. DO THE RESEARCH. Talk to people. When you do this the essay writes itself, you have compelling content, rather than stressing and guessing, trying to slap some crap together to fill the page. It’s important to avoid a “pitch it over the fence” mentality – meaning, you are crossing your fingers that once admitted Wharton will figure things out for you.

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  • 12/10/2022 - Farrell Dyan 0 Comments
    Columbia EMBA Admissions/Essay Tips

    The early deadline is 1/11 for CBS EMBA Saturday – followed by the final one on 2/23. If you are just starting now – and especially if you still need to sort out your test score – do prioritize application quality over tossing something together within a couple weeks.

     

    The Saturday program kind of operates like a PT program at CBS. One of my clients got in at the age of 25 (he did have managerial experience in market research) There really isn’t any work experience or age minimum, which is UNIQUE. I can’t think of another EMBA program without a minimum. So, if you live in the NYC or Philly area, and you have steady progression at work with a solid test score, don’t let age or years of work experience stand in your way.

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  • 12/05/2022 - Farrell Dyan 0 Comments
    Why Does MBA Admissions Look at My LinkedIn profile?

    After the heaps of information I have already shoveled at them, what more are they looking for? While MBA adcom has peeked LinkedIn profiles on the sly for many years, mostly at the interview stage, now most schools are formally asking for your LinkedIn profile as part of the application.

    Read More

RECENT POSTS

  • 02/12/2024 0 Comments
    Dealing with Worrying

    Surviving the Worry Phase of MBA Admissions

     

    It’s natural to worry while you are waiting for that coveted invitation or admit from dream school X or even safety school Y. However, it can become an obsession – because subconsciously, worrying makes us feel like we are doing something. Like we are asserting control over the outcome.
    Here are a few ideas to help you regain control of your mind and energy.

     

    1 – Tapping or EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique.

     

    Tapping is an amazing way to create new neural pathways that interrupt the fright you might be experiencing. It’s easy, fast, free and effective. My favorite practitioner is Brad Yates; here is a tap-a-long on Feeling Not Good Enough or Overthinking Things. It helps in the moment - but committing to tapping 10 minutes a day can create lasting change.

     

    2 – Submit other applications!

     

    There are still ways to start a top MBA around January or March. If you are actively engaged in creating more options for yourself, this reduces the fixation on X school and the sense of desperation that can easily set in.

     

    If you are waitlisted, rather than sit on your hands or cross your fingers – find ways to (skillfully and appropriately) repurpose content for a couple new applications. You never know where they have room for someone with your profile.

     

    3 – Put energy into making a positive impact for a worthy cause.

     

    There is no way to lose with this. It occupies your time and mind until results come through.
    In the event you don’t get into an M7 school or whatever your target was, you have a head start on your “what changed” reapplication essay. If things DO go your way, more leadership fodder for your internship interviews.

     

    If you are actively leveling up your leadership and contribution profile – you will probably still worry - but a bit less knowing you are actively engaged in doing all you can do.


    PS - I have seen clients get off the waitlist submitting nothing but updates around community leadership.

     

    4 – Adjacent ways to achieve MBA goals.

     

    Even if just as an exercise. Our amygdala gets triggered when frozen in A/ B: MBA Yes or MBA No. Our prefrontal cortex (executive functioning) goes offline. But once you introduce a third option you can get unstuck and get your brain back online.

     

    • Maybe a MFin is a good adjacent option and there are still deadlines you can target
    • Maybe you can receive entrepreneurship mentorship from that guy at Toastmasters
    • Maybe submit an application for Y Combinator
    • Maybe you can try the networking path to consulting
    • Maybe you can learn skills that allow you to switch functions or departments 

     

    Even if you do exactly none of these things now, brainstorming non-MBA ways to improve your lot or get closer to your goal might help feel better during this purgatory period.

     

    The MBA admissions process can easily make you feel dependent and disempowered at times. The goal is to recover some of your agency and power, to have a better quality of life as you wait for results.

    Read More
  • 01/24/2024 0 Comments
    Still a few paths to a top MBA within the coming year

    It's January of 2024 - missed the R2 MBA boat and still want to start soon?

     

    PART-TIME


    Many have fully remote jobs these days and can work from anywhere. So, this
    brings about the opportunity to relocate to attend a top part-time program
    in places such as Chicago, California, NYC, Austin or Ann Arbor. The cohort
    system with the Berkeley-Haas EWMBA, featuring full access to on-campus
    recruitment, makes the program feel like a full-time MBA.

     

    Both Kellogg and Booth PT have deadlines each season, rather than rounds, which gives applicants a lot of flexibility. Michigan-Ross’s online part-time program offers full on-campus recruitment, and those deadlines are just beginning. The NYU part-time program is more popular than the full-time program - you’d likely have some very interesting classmates. R1 is on Feb 15.

     

    ROUND 3 – preferably of 4

     

    Of course, there is R3, which often has worrying odds for overrepresented applicants, but if they have a R4, it’s still pretty viable (and, I have seen overrepresented clients even get into R4 with nice schollies!). Duke, McCombs, UNC, and IESE come to mind.

     

    MID-CAREER: 8+ YEARS of Work Experience

     

    Stanford MSx is due Feb 15 and Michigan-Ross has the Global MBA – where Round 1 is April 28th.

     

    EU SCHOOLS & CANADA

     

    If you are looking to attend b-school in a French-speaking country – they all have January intake with R1 kicking off March 12 for INSEAD – make sure to apply by R2/April 26 for scholarship eligibility. There are monthly deadlines at HEC-Paris and R2 at IMD on Feb 15 (and they have 7 rounds.) There are 4 deadlines at HEC-Montreal and R3 is on March 15.

     

    At Ivey in Ontario, arguably the top school in Canada, things are just getting started with R1 due on Jan 29.

     

    COLUMBIA JANUARY INTAKE

     

    If you can achieve your goal without a summer internship, maybe explore various paths through in-semester internships instead, apply to January intake at CBS when the application opens in June or July (one and only deadline is around the last day in September but don’t wait until then, in my opinion.)

     

    The acceptance rate is much higher the normal term because they don't have to mess with you in terms of recruitment (reputed to be 40%). This is ideal for those who want to work for the family business, our sponsored candidates or entrepreneurs. They are friendly to older applicants.

     

    Hopefully one of these paths to a top MBA works for you if you want to start soon!

    Read More
  • 11/08/2023 0 Comments
    Stanford's What Matters Most & Why: Values

    This is a daunting question, and most people are lost at sea with it before coming to me. The way to tackle this is to examine the question behind the question. First of all, in becoming part of the GSB alumni, you would be an ambassador of sorts, whether you are aiming to or not. Because of that, they want to really understand your operating system – your values.

     

    And so, this question actually asks, what do you most value? The answer is meaningless without an anecdote, really – as with all the essays, show, don’t tell – and the story should illustrate how you acquired value to which you lay claim.

     

    As a coach, I try to help my clients discern their values so they can make better decisions. To use myself as an example, my values include self-expression, playfulness, and independence. How did I come to know this? Before I got into this business, I moved from newspaper marketing to Wells Fargo.

     

    The change appeared to be an upgrade from the outside, but I found myself stripped of all that I valued. No longer was I able to champion my own initiatives, lead graphic designers, copywriters, or collaborate with the news desk. None of the writing I did came from a place of self-expression like it used to.

     

    Rather, everything at Wells Fargo was lockstep, recycled from the marketing calendar, under heavy scrutiny of compliance standards, and totally devoid of all humor and spontaneity.

     

    Had I understood my values, I would have been able to articulate why my inner guidance was saying NO DON’T DO IT. Once I started at Wells, I then realized to be happy in my work, self-expression, independence and playfulness needed to be there.

     

    When it comes to What Matters Most, consider personal and professional anecdotes and see what the golden thread is, the “through line” that ties things together.

     

    The exercise I have people do is to identify one personal and one professional anecdote for each of the following: 1) when did you feel most proud? 2) when did you feel most accomplished?, and 3) when did you feel most fulfilled? Then we consider each anecdote and from there back out what it says about the values of that person.

     

    For instance, one of my clients felt most fulfilled when several coworkers slammed his phone with messages encouraging him to apply for a new job opening in their department.

     

    As an Iraqi American in Texas, he had been the target of racist bullying in his youth, which gave birth to his value around belonging to community, feeling wanted and welcome.

     

    In his essays, he shared the story of bullying and anecdotes around his later efforts to create a welcoming communities around him in his personal and professional lives.

     

    By identifying where your values come from, you can understand why they are important to you provide a holistic and authentic answer to “What matters most and why?”

    Read More
  • 10/03/2023 0 Comments
    Low GMAT? Applying to Full-Time MBA with Executive Assessment

    Struggling to achieve your ideal GMAT score and applying Round 2 MBA?

    Read More
  • 08/07/2023 0 Comments
    Creating Your MBA Résumé

    If I can brag a bit - MBA Career Services love my résumés. "Don't you dare change a single word!" were the words spoken to my client who started at Stanford GSB last fall.

    Read More
  • 07/10/2023 0 Comments
    Breakdown of Average Age for Top US EMBA Programs

    Hi everyone, as the first round of EMBA deadlines arrive for most schools, wanted to touch on average age/work experience for each of the top programs. They vary quite a bit. Hoping this might provide some nuance and help you avoid potentially wasted effort.

     

    Wharton: It’s concentrated around people in their 30s: year after year, only 20% of the class is over 40. Also, the only US based program breaking out this stat. Everyone stays in the same hotel every other weekend and I wonder if they are looking to maintain a certain social dynamic by avoiding big age gaps (this might create cliques).

     

    Just this year that number bumped to 25% which makes me wonder if this average went up because they have older candidates doing the “global program” (the new remote option.) Or a philosophical change in general about having older candidates. Only 3% of the class is under 30. But, if you are an employer sponsored candidate, check out the “fellow” option.

     

    Columbia: Many who consider Wharton also consider CBS EMBA. This option is a great one if you are a bit young for an EMBA. One of my clients started this program at age 25, actually, and had completed his online bachelor's degree the previous year – however – he was in fact in a people/program management role at his company. He was promoted 2 or 3 times during the program to director and is now a partner.

     

    CBS doesn’t have a work experience minimum – and I can’t think of another program that doesn’t. It’s a bit of a wild card. This doesn’t mean anyone can get it in of course but they look at how the employer has “vetted” the candidate: are they sponsored? Have they been promoted? What is their track record of achievement? If you are a top performer under that magic 8 years of experience – this is likely a good option.

     

    Yale: The 14 average years of work experience are higher than
    Wharton but less than MIT, and the average age is 36. However interestingly they only require seven years of work experience, and it seems as though they are willing to make an exception with that if you have a track record of leadership. Note: The fact that the program is in New Haven Connecticut (logistics not ideal) and meets biweekly means that the majority of the class will be from the Northeast (59%). So make sure that a network from this geography would be valuable to you. It's clear they've put a lot of effort into making sure that 47% of the class are people of color and 44% female. They really emphasize their specialties of asset management, sustainability, and health care.

     

    Booth: The average age is 37 with 13 years of work experience; they don't really give an 80% range so I'm not really sure how tightly clustered things are around that average. But I do know that one of my clients visited Booth he is like 42 or something and he felt somewhat comfortable there and found many others his age.

     

    MIT: Primary reason I am writing this blog is to keep young applicants from applying here. The average age is 41 with 17 years of experience with a minimum of 10. And, having the most experienced EMBA cohort is cornerstone to their marketing. 90%+ are Directors. I recommend against having a “apply for the heck of it, worst they can say is no” approach here if you don’t fit this profile. Why? Because it's the most competitive EMBA program (very hot brand and no GMAT required = tons of applications) AND it’s a huuuuge application; a LOT of both recommendation and essay questions.

     

    If you have 8+ years but less than 10, however, you are a director AND offer a lot of diversity, then you might contact admissions to see if they will make an exception. Note: don’t apply unless you have a B or better in stats and business calculus.

     

    Kellogg: Average age is 39; down from 40. Average work experience is 15 years. 68% are director level or above. This program is less rigorous than Booth, Wharton, and MIT with a monthly Kellogg-Miami option. If you have small children or work long hours, you might find this program more manageable. Note: they have both fall and winter intake, so, frequent deadlines.

     

    Duke: Average age is 34 for the global MBA (class meetings are at various international destinations) and 35 for the Weekend EMBA – interestingly, the required work experience is only 5 years. The Weekend option is monthly so might be a good option for younger applicants, even if they need to travel from outside the area.

     

    NYU-Stern: There are 3 options; NYC; DC and the prestigious TRIUM Global EMBA. For NYC, the average age is 37 with an average of 13 years of work experience. The Stern PT MBA is very popular so it would make sense that less experienced applicants would go for that option. The DC monthly program is very new with no class profile yet posted. Given that there is no “top ranked” PT MBA in DC, I am guessing it might scoop up those applicants and skew younger. For TRIUM, the average age is 40. This is like a more prestigious version of the Duke Global MBA.

     

    Michigan-Ross: The situation here is similar to Kellogg – average age is 40; less rigor, with more emphasis on leadership than quant-heavy subjects. No class breakout between Ann Arbor & Burbank monthly options. Interesting that they include average salary is $180K.

     

    Berkeley-Haas: 80% fall between 33 and 48 and so it seems there is a good deal of variation here with age. Also, a monthly program.

     

    I might even go so far as to say that monthly programs usually skew older than weekly (CBS only) or biweekly (Booth, Kellogg-Evanston, Wharton, NYU in NYC). However, MIT meets every 3 weeks and has the highest average age.

     

    In sum – while age isn’t the only variable, of course, it’s something to factor in. EMBA programs are lockstep and 22 to 24 months – by design. Why? You will get to know your colleagues better this way and have deeper connections. You are paying to acquire a network, and so you want to feel you are surrounded by people who can help you. The fact is, a director probably won’t benefit much from someone with 5 years of work experience, and actually, vice versa. So, the bulk of the cohort needs to be equally yoked so to speak for the program to work.

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  • 05/19/2023 0 Comments
    Hobbies and Interests on CV

    MBA APPLICANTS – something I am realizing is a controversial issue and want to address it.

     

    Include hobbies on your resume for MBA. Please trust and believe they are evaluating you, in part, to see if you are a social value-add to the class. You are both the consumer and the product. They want people who are well-rounded with a sense of humor.

     

    Offering a couple examples so you will believe me I can TALK YOU OFF THE LEDGE of not doing this.

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  • 05/17/2023 0 Comments
    Getting Admitted from the MBA Waitlist

    Question:

     

    Hi, what are some proven strategies on getting off the waitlist? I have taken my GRE five times already so no more chances to retake it. Thank you!

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