Words Can Change the World

If you have an upcoming interview, take YOUR first step in interview prep with one of SBC’s interview packages. Purchase today, January 16th, and receive two free interview guides of your choice. Simply forward purchase …

If you have an upcoming interview, take YOUR first step in interview prep with one of SBC’s interview packages.
Purchase today, January 16th, and receive two free interview guides of your choice. Simply forward purchase receipt to MLK@StacyBlackman.com and specify your two guides.
www.StacyBlackman.com/interview-prep.

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Mapping Out Your MBA Application Timeline

Once you’ve decided to pursue an MBA, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Applicants need to fit studying for the GMAT, visiting schools, and developing essays in with other personal and professional commitments. …

MBA timelineOnce you’ve decided to pursue an MBA, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Applicants need to fit studying for the GMAT, visiting schools, and developing essays in with other personal and professional commitments.

If you’re planning to apply to business school in the fall, come up with a game plan for completing the admissions components within a schedule that doesn’t necessitate sleepless nights and a jumbo bottle of Maalox. The best way to do this is to put together your MBA application timeline several months before your target deadlines.

Community Involvement: Now is a great time to deepen or establish your involvement with a community organization. If you have been involved with outside activities over the last couple of years, consider stepping your activities up a notch. Consider roles that will allow you to take a leadership position and create real impact before September. Offering to organize an event is a great discrete activity that will allow you to work in a team, have an impact, and show results.

Allot time for essays and the GMAT: The amount of time MBA aspirants will spend on their applications will vary, depending on writing abilities and general work efficiency. That said, plan to spend between 40 and 60 hours preparing four to eight applications. Non-native English speakers will also likely need to allot more time on their applications, particularly on writing, revising, editing, proofing, formatting, and inputting essays.

The other piece of this puzzle is, of course, the GMAT. Have you completed the GMAT and are you satisfied with your score? If you still need to take the GMAT, you have a lot of work ahead of you, as applicants typically devote at least 100 hours to test preparation. Depending on where you are in the process, you may have to take a prep class and perhaps take the test more than once. The good news is, Round One is still nine months out so you have time if you get serious soon.

Bolster your quant profile: An undergrad GPA hovering around 3.5 is generally considered fine. If your GPA is a 3.2 or below, or you majored in liberal arts, you may want to consider taking quantitative classes to enhance your academic profile. The MBA canon generally consists of Calculus, Statistics and Microeconomics.

If you took any of those classes in undergrad and scored a C or below you should certainly re-take the classes now. Where you take the class is much less important than the course material and grade (aim for A’s!!). The local community college is a great option.

Structure your work sessions: Some people work most efficiently when they can break up tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces, while others prefer to devote several hours to their writing in one sitting. MBA applicants should be aware of the way they work most effectively and structure their writing and editing sessions accordingly.

I typically recommend that candidates allocate two to three hours each time they sit down to work on their essays, particularly for the first few drafts. Essays should be approached holistically; you won’t have a compelling final product if you’ve only snatched 15 minutes here and 30 minutes there.

Conversely, most applicants should also avoid the “marathon session.” Few people are still sharp or creative eight hours into a writing and editing session. If you need to make up for lost time, try breaking it up with a session in the morning and another in the evening.

Allow some distance: Applicants should also build several weeks for reflection and feedback into their MBA timeline. If you can come back to your essays days later with fresh eyes, you’ll often think of a better example or more inspired language to illustrate a certain point. This won’t happen if you’re forced to work at warp speed.

Distributing your writing and editing over a reasonable period also makes it easier for friends, family, or colleagues to provide feedback. It’s unfair to ask someone to turn around comments in a 24-hour period, so provide them with a few days to give you their critiques. Leave yourself adequate time to reflect upon and incorporate their feedback.

The b-school application process is stressful, but careful planning will make the experience manageable and help you channel your energies into continually improving your candidacy until the moment you submit your applications.

Posted in General, GMAT, Test Prep Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Show Me the Money: Highest Paying Consulting Firms for New MBAs

As you know, consulting is a top industry of interest at business schools around the globe. Few career paths can match consulting when it comes to providing exposure to a wide variety of projects, geographical …

As you know, consulting is a top industry of interest at business schools around the globe. Few career paths can match consulting when it comes to providing exposure to a wide variety of projects, geographical areas, company cultures…and then there’s the handsome compensation package to boot.

How handsome, you might ask? A recent article in BusinessInsider lists the highest paying consulting firms for newly minted MBA graduates using data supplied by Management Consulted, a company that helps candidates land consulting jobs.

To determine the top salaries earned by graduates in their first year out of b-school, Management Consulted pored over data from clients, spoke with industry insiders, and reviewed real offer letters from readers.

The Top Ten Highest Paying Consulting Firms

10. Strategy&
Total compensation: up to $204,900
Signing bonus:$25,000
Base: $152,000
Relocation:up to $3,000
Performance bonus: up to $24,900

9. KPMG
Total compensation: up to $205,000
Signing bonus: $35,000
Base: $140,000
Relocation: up to $5,000
Performance bonus: up to $25,000

8. EY
Total compensation: up to $206,700
Signing bonus: $25,000
Base: $145,000
Relocation: up to $5,000
Performance bonus: up to $31,700

7. Bain & Company
Total compensation: up to $215,000
Signing bonus:25,000
Base: $148,000
Relocation: up to $5,000
Performance bonus: up to $37,000

6. Parthenon-EY
Total compensation: up to $216,000
Signing bonus: $35,000
Base: $170,000
Relocation: up to $2,000
Performance bonus: up to $9,000

5. Deloitte
Total compensation: up to $221,250
Signing bonus:$25,000
Base: $149,000
Relocation: up to $2,500 if local; $10,000 otherwise
Performance bonus: up to $37,250

4. McKinsey & Company
Total compensation: up to $221,500
Signing bonus: $25,000
Base: $152,500
Relocation: $2,000 to $9,000
Performance bonus: up to $35,000

3. Accenture Strategy
Total compensation: up to $224,900
Signing bonus: $25,000
Base: $147,500
Relocation: up to $8,000
Performance bonus: up to $44,400

2. A.T. Kearney
Total compensation: up to $226,100
Signing bonus: $25,000
Base: $147,000
Relocation: up to $10,000
Performance bonus: up to $44,100

1. Boston Consulting Group
Total compensation: up to $229,100
Signing bonus: $30,000
Base: $147,000
Relocation: $2,000 to $8,000
Performance bonus: up to $44,100

According to Management Consulted, after working in the firm for over a year, one can typically expect a 12-20% increase in total cash (base + performance bonus). After working 2-3 years in a consulting firm, one either leaves the consulting firm or is promoted.

“Consulting salaries have been bullish for the past several years and the trend has continued into 2017,” Management Consulted concludes.

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Round 2 Updates from Michigan Ross

The Round 2 deadline at Michigan Ross School of Business came and went just over a week ago, and the busy MBA admissions team is already prepared to send out the first wave of interview invitations …

Michigan Ross MBA admissionsThe Round 2 deadline at Michigan Ross School of Business came and went just over a week ago, and the busy MBA admissions team is already prepared to send out the first wave of interview invitations at the end of this week.

Director of MBA Admissions Soojin Kwon updated the admissions blog today to inform R2 applicants of several key updates, and to explain that the second and final wave of invites will go out at the end of January. Whether you receive one early or later is not a reflection on how you “stack up” against other applicants, she assures.

Dates and locations for the team exercise outside of the United States are as follows:

  • Sao Paulo (February 4)
  • New Delhi (February 12)
  • Shanghai (February 16)
  • Tokyo (February 18)

Michigan Ross will invite waitlisted international applicants from Round 1 who have already had their one-on-one interviews to participate in  team exercise in Round 2, Kwon says.

Meanwhile, on-campus interviews will run every Monday and Saturday from February 4 through February 20, and off-campus interviews will take place between January 23 and February 20.

As far as preparing for the interview is concerned, in an October post the director advised applicants to know their resume backwards and forward, and to thoroughly research the school. “Interviewers are proud of their school,” she said, and “Doing your homework on Ross demonstrates interest.”

Prepare to answer common interview questions such as: “Why do you want to get an MBA? Why do you want to do that at Ross? What do you hope to pursue after getting your MBA? Why?”

Your answers should be succinct, enthusiastic, and show that you’re prepared without sounding memorized. “Be authentic,” Kwon advised, but don’t worry too much because, as she adds, “You don’t need to try to ‘impress’ us.”

You may also be interested in:

Michigan Ross Director Calms Common Applicant Concerns

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CBS Professor Offers 5 Tips to Boost Your Confidence

Multiple times every day, people in homes and offices across the country are faced with a daunting decision: do I speak up and risk being penalized by or embarrassed in front of my friends, family, …

confidenceMultiple times every day, people in homes and offices across the country are faced with a daunting decision: do I speak up and risk being penalized by or embarrassed in front of my friends, family, colleagues, or superiors; or do I remain silent, refrain from influencing a conversation or decision, and go unnoticed?

In a new TED Talk titled “How to Speak up for Yourself,” Columbia Business School professor and negotiations expert Adam Galinsky offers viewers an answer to this time-weathered dilemma. Through vivid and real-world examples, Galinsky offers viewers five steps to follow to increase their power, overcome insecurity, and boost their assertiveness in public settings.

“Each of us has something called a range of acceptable behavior. When we stay within this range we are rewarded; when we step outside of this range we are punished by being dismissed, demeaned, or ostracized,” says Galinsky, the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. “To speak up, we need to both understand our range and also learn how and when to expand it. The key thing that determines that range more than anything else: your power.”

Galinsky provides a series of five tools that can be used to help increase power and improve assertiveness.

  1. Advocate for others (aka, the “Mama Bear Effect”). Advocating for others is easier than advocating for oneself. Thus, people can speak up and use behaviors that traditionally fall outside their range of acceptable behavior. Doing so helps people not only begin to understand their own ranges but also know how to expand them.
  2. Perspective-Taking.  Although this may sound easy, Galinsky calls perspective-taking one of the hardest – but most important – tools people have for better understanding and expanding their ranges of acceptable behavior. Research by Galinsky and others show that by better understanding what someone else really wants, that person is more likely to give you what you really want.
  3. Signal flexibility.  The most effective way to signal flexibility is by giving people a choice.  Providing people with a range of options and/or alternatives lowers their defenses and makes them more receptive to your point of view. Galinsky notes that this tool can work in a variety of situations, from selling a product to parenting a child.
  4. Gain allies.  People feel most comfortable when they have social support in an audience.  Galinsky advises that two easy ways a person can build allies are to be an advocate for others (see number one) and to ask people for their advice.
  5. Display expertise and show passion.  Displaying expertise garners confidence from others, which in turn increases one’s power and expands one’s range of acceptable behavior. Audiences grant greater permission for people to speak up when they display passion for a topic.

“Speaking up can be risky, but these tools will help lower your risk,” says Galinsky. “Whether you’re offering advice to a family member or friend, or deciding whether to confront your employer about a pertinent issue at work, these steps will help increase your confidence, elevate your power, and improve your assertiveness by expanding your range of acceptable behavior.”

Image credit: Flickr user Equipe Integrada (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Snapshot of Darden’s MBA Class of 2016 Employment Report

Students in the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Class of 2016 found a job market eager for their talents, with the most recent graduating class reporting a year-over-year increase in both average base …

Darden MBA essay tipsStudents in the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Class of 2016 found a job market eager for their talents, with the most recent graduating class reporting a year-over-year increase in both average base salary and signing bonus, the school announced last week.

According to the new MBA Employment Report from Darden’s Career Development Center (CDC), graduates of the residential MBA program reported an average base salary of $122,806, up from $119,819 for the Class of 2015, and an average signing bonus of $31,370, up from $29,634 for the previous class.

“It’s validating for everyone at Darden to see this strong employment data,” said Jeff McNish, assistant dean of the CDC. “The annual employment report confirms that Darden helps students build skills and abilities employers demand and, most importantly, students are getting the jobs they want.”

Consulting moved to the top spot for most popular industries for the Class of 2016, attracting 38 percent of graduates, outpacing financial services, which drew 27 percent of graduates. Jobs in the field of technology have grown more popular in recent years, with 17 percent of the Class of 2016 taking technology positions.

The Class of 2016 also saw more international opportunities, with 9 percent of the Class of 2016 taking positions outside of the United States. Consulting, financial services and technology will likely remain leading choices for the next class of Darden graduates, as the three fields remained the top choices for internships for members of the Class of 2017.

You may also be interested in:

UVA Darden Launches IDEA Course
Interview Tips from the Darden MBA Program

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