Wharton’s Social Impact Initiative Welcomes New Senior Fellow

Jonathan Greenblatt, founder of Ethos Water and currently Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, will serve as a Senior Fellow at University of …

Jonathan Greenblatt, founder of Ethos Water and currently Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, will serve as a Senior Fellow at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School starting in January, the school announced late last week. 

A serial social entrepreneur, Greenblatt is considered one of the leading experts in the country on social innovation and shared value. Ethos Water, the premium bottled water that helps children around the world get clean water, was  acquired by Starbucks Coffee in 2005.

While working with the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Greenblatt is expected to lecture on a number of topics for the remainder of the 2014-2015 academic year, including impact investing, shared value, social entrepreneurship, cross-sector leadership, and nonprofit management and strategy.

Last month, Greenblatt was named as the new national director of the Anti-Defamation League, where his service will begin in July 2015.

“We are delighted to welcome Jonathan to Wharton,” says Geoffrey Garrett, Dean of the Wharton School.  “He brings a unique perspective on innovation and leadership, enriched by a rare combination of experiences at the highest level of government, business and the nonprofit world.  We are excited to have him on campus to work with our students and faculty.”

Jonathon was a classmate and friend of mine at Kellogg School of Management, so I’d also like to extend my personal congratulations to him for this latest recognition his important work has received.

 

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Addressing Academic Strengths On MBA Applications

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com Hard data points such as test scores and GPAs carry significant weight as business school admissions committees attempt to determine whether an applicant has …

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

Hard data points such as test scores and GPAs carry significant weight as business school admissions committees attempt to determine whether an applicant has the chops to handle the quantitative requirements of an MBA program.

While you’ll often hear advice on how to mitigate poor academic performance when applying to business school, it’s also important to take a look at the academic strengths in your undergraduate record and how you might play up those qualities in your application.

[Know how to convince MBA programs you’re a good fit.]

If a candidate had a quantitative-heavy undergraduate course load, obviously he or she should throw the spotlight on that. But business schools don’t want to fill their classes solely with economics and business majors.

Those applicants do fill a fair share of seats, but today the emphasis on diversity of thought means the schools are working hard to attract applicants from a wider variety of academic backgrounds. Often candidates coming from the humanities such as sociology, psychology or political science, are more attractive to the admissions committee than the typical business background peer.

A good application strategy is to show the connections between seemingly unrelated college courses and note how those classes shaped your current career goals.

[Check out three exercises to help MBA applicants develop a personal brand.]

For example, perhaps a history class sparked an interest in a different part of the world, which led to international business pursuits. Or maybe your psychology major prepared you for working well in groups and managing the diverse personalities of a team, as it did for one client of mine who parlayed those characteristics into a strong MBA admissions essay for Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Perhaps all of those science courses fueled a desire to lead a start-up in health care. Dig a little and you may be surprised at how the connections fall into place.

With business as globally focused as it is today, MBA admissions committees are on the lookout for candidates who are fluent in a second or third language, or who have had study-abroad experiences.

We coached one applicant who had double-majored in Spanish so that she could finally have a conversation with her grandmother, who had emigrated to the U.S. from Chile as an adult and had never learned English. That’s something we knew admissions committees would like to hear more about. Business schools are very interested in these qualities, as they indicate a certain level of comfort working with an international cohort.

[Avoid these surprising application mistakes of prospective MBAs.]

Applicants who participated in several extracurricular activities while in college and still managed to maintain a high GPA exhibited excellent time management skills and a dedicated work ethic. And, if a candidate held a leadership position in any of those activities, that shows initiative with a long leadership track record. Admissions committees are impressed if you can commit to something over a long period of time, no matter if it’s a sport or hobby.

MBA programs seek to attract applicants who show curiosity about the wider world, whether through academic, extracurricular or life experiences. As you start thinking about your MBA application strategy, take note of any compelling connections from your college days you can mine from. You never know if those years on the water polo team, the minor in game design or those articles you published in the school newspaper are just the ticket to creating a standout application.

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Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz

Welcome to the end-of-year edition of Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz, our periodic check-in with some of the MBA blogosphere’s applicant and student contributors. There was much to celebrate this week as multiple bloggers shared the …

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Welcome to the end-of-year edition of Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz, our periodic check-in with some of the MBA blogosphere’s applicant and student contributors. There was much to celebrate this week as multiple bloggers shared the great news of  getting in to one or more of their Round 1 schools. Congratulations to all, and for those who are waitlisted, don’t lose hope! You’re still in the running, and there are definitely things you can do to manage the waitlist experience.

Two down, one to go—Based in Madrid, Under Prescription was on pins and needles as the time zone difference caused considerable angst while decision calls and emails started coming down. The results so far: in at Tuck School of Business and with a scholarship to boot; and also admitted to MIT Sloan School of Management! A decision from Duke Fuqua is pending, but whatever the case, this is one applicant who feels great knowing he won’t have to worry about Round 2.

Three for threeMy Journey to Business School is about to have the best weekend ever as she celebrates admits to Tepper School of Business, Kellogg School of Management, and UCLA Anderson School of Management. Now it’s decision time, made more complicated by the fact that both Tepper and Anderson are offering scholarships.

A yes and a maybe—If being waitlisted by University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School stung a little, that was surely mitigated by  Top Dog MBA‘s acceptance offer at MIT Sloan School of Management. Since this is his second time at the rodeo—the first included five dings—we can only imagine how fantastic it feels to begin to close this chapter of the journey to b-school.

Another TrifectaFinance Furry is over the moon after receiving admissions offers at all three of the schools she applied to in Round 1: Wharton School, Kellogg, and Chicago Booth School of Business. She says she plans to spend the coming weeks making pros and cons lists, consulting alums and students, and praying for guidance.

To stay waitlisted or no?Naija MBA Gal is facing a tough decision as she contemplates whether to remain on the MIT Sloan waitlist or fully embrace the acceptance from Chicago Booth. Since she admits Booth is her “first love,” is it safe to call it for Chicago? By Monday all should be revealed.

When nerves set inPulling that MBA Trigger is full of good cheer for her fellow MBA bloggers this week as many on the same journey have already received good news. It’s time to focus on that GMAT next week, and keep up the positive energy for the Round 2 deadlines coming up.

Do you have an MBA-centric blog? Want it featured in an upcoming B-School Buzz post? If so, email me at buzz@StacyBlackman.com.

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R1 Decisions from Michigan Ross

Moved by the holiday spirit, Soojin Kwon, MBA admissions director at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, tapped into her inner poet for her latest blog post announcing the Round 1 admitted student …

Moved by the holiday spirit, Soojin Kwon, MBA admissions director at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, tapped into her inner poet for her latest blog post announcing the Round 1 admitted student calls she and her team completed Thursday. All decisions are now posted online.

The Michigan Ross MBA admissions officers plan to issue Round 2 interview invitations on January 19th, with interviews  taking place from January 22 to February 23, 2015. Kwon also notes team exercises will happen on campus during that period every Friday and Monday, and a few Saturdays, beginning on January 30th.

For those who cannot make it to campus in Ann Arbor, the Ross School will hold team exercises in Sao Paulo and Delhi on February 7th; Seoul on February 8th; and Shanghai on February 10, 2015.

For applicants planning on submitting in Round 2, the admissions director had some advice to share. The winter break is an ideal time to set up a Café Chat with a current Ross student near you, and Kwon says students are eager to share their experiences with prospective candidates.

Also, she recommends applicants review the admissions webinar from earlier this week, which, in addition to talking about the program, included last-minute application tips and answers to burning questions.

Finally, Kwon urges applicants to make time for doing things they enjoy with the people they care about in the coming weeks. “This will give you better perspective to review your app in early January (before the January 5 deadline) and see if it really reflects who you are and what’s important to you,” she says.

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HEC Paris Creates New Series of MOOCs for 2015

Capitalizing on the success of its first massive open online courses, HEC Paris has announced it will launch a series of new MOOCs in 2015. They begin with courses on understanding organizations, social entrepreneurship, technology-based …

Capitalizing on the success of its first massive open online courses, HEC Paris has announced it will launch a series of new MOOCs in 2015. They begin with courses on understanding organizations, social entrepreneurship, technology-based start-ups, and corporate finance. The first four are already open for registration, and others will follow later in the year.

Professor Rodolphe Durand teaches ‘Time to Reorganize’, an integrative approach to understanding organizations (termed ‘orgology’ by Durand). It explores how organizations can act strategically to protect or renew a sense of belonging in individuals. This course is offered on Coursera on January 13, 2015.

The second Coursera-platform MOOC  is dedicated to social entrepreneurship, and aims to inspire and help aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in society. It begins February 24, 2015.

On April 1, 2015, a course co-developed by HEC Paris Affiliate Professor Etienne Krieger and Romain Beaume from École Polytechnique engineering school focuses on how to set up a technology-based start-up. This program will also be offered to Master’s students from HEC Paris and École polytechnique.

Finally, HEC Paris will open the first online Executive Education Certificate program on Corporate Finance, in partnership with First Finance Institute. This certificate offers a comprehensive and practical curriculum in corporate finance targeted to a wide audience, including executives from different backgrounds and sectors.

Two sessions, led by HEC Affiliate Professor Pascal Quiry, will be available: one in French, and another in Mandarin in partnership with Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.

One year ago, HEC Paris was the first business school in France to launch a massive open online course (MOOC) on Coursera. The success of the 2014 programs has affirmed HEC’s commitment to this innovative educational format.

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Take a Deep Breath…

If you applied to MBA programs in Round 1, this is a really big week: several schools will be releasing their final decisions, and you’ll know the results of all of your hard work at …

If you applied to MBA programs in Round 1, this is a really big week: several schools will be releasing their final decisions, and you’ll know the results of all of your hard work at last. We know “The Dreaded Wait” has been tough!

If you receive good news – congratulations! What a wonderful way to close out 2014, huh? You’ll probably feel like you’re on cloud nine for quite a while after the reality of your achievement sinks in. Even though this is a really busy time of the year, please find a way to do something to celebrate. You deserve it! And don’t forget to share your happy update with everyone who helped you along the way.

If you’re waitlisted, take heart. It’s not the news you wanted, but there’s reason to keep hope alive. You can plan a waitlist strategy dependent upon the school’s guidelines; if they are open to hearing from you over the coming weeks, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure you have a significant update to send along with the time comes.

If you are met with nothing but dings, we are truly sorry. It is frustrating to pour time and energy into perfecting your materials and then not be accepted in the end. Our advice would be to take a few hours of “me time” over the next week and consider whether there are other programs you’re interested in that you could pull together materials for by their Round 2 deadlines. It is most definitely worth a shot.

Remember:

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