Answer Our MBA Survey for a Shot at $100 Amazon Gift Card

2014 could be a life-changing year for you. You may already know that you’ll be headed to business school in the fall, or you might be planning to start your MBA journey in the coming …

2014 could be a life-changing year for you. You may already know that you’ll be headed to business school in the fall, or you might be planning to start your MBA journey in the coming months. Either way, exciting things lie ahead.

All of us here at Stacy Blackman Consulting want to help make your dreams come true by giving you a shot at a top program. Or at the very least, by putting a $100 Amazon gift card in your pocket!

So, here’s the deal. We’re asking for a favor: please fill out our one-minute survey. We know how precious your time is—you’ll only have to “check the box” in response to nine simple MBA-related questions.

Click now to fill it out for a shot at the $100 Amazon gift card—the survey will close on Thursday, April 24.

Thanks for your participation,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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MBA Students on Classroom Diversity

Earlier this week, Bloomberg Businessweek launched a new series called One Question, which will attempt to take the pulse of MBA students here and abroad to suss out what Next Gen business leaders are thinking. …

Earlier this week, Bloomberg Businessweek launched a new series called One Question, which will attempt to take the pulse of MBA students here and abroad to suss out what Next Gen business leaders are thinking.

This week’s subject was classroom diversity, and students from Duke Fuqua, Cornell’s Johnson School, Simon Graduate School of Business, and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School weighed in on the following question:

Does the curriculum at your business school expose you to a diverse array of leaders and other professionals? (Diversity could mean gender, ethnicity, class, or other characteristics.) What would you like to see more of?

It was interesting to read the comments of current students, many of whom expressed a desire for greater diversity when it comes to issues of gender and sexuality in the workplace, as well as extending the concept of diversity to include a broader socioeconomic range.

All but one of the interviewed students felt their school could improve its efforts in this area. Simon Moore-Crouch, a student at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, commends his MBA program’s strong diversity efforts, which he says are supported by cases, speakers, and projects that typically have an international component.

Check out the original post for a more complete picture of the areas where these students would like to see broader representation. This One Question series sounds like it will be a lot of fun, and we look forward to seeing how Businessweek plans to pick the brains of MBA students on a regular basis!

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Round 3 Update from Harvard Business School

Just two more days, Round 3 applicants to Harvard Business School. That’s right, your fate will be known at noon Boston time, when the admissions team sends out both interview invitations and release notifications. According …

HBS round 3

Just two more days, Round 3 applicants to Harvard Business School. That’s right, your fate will be known at noon Boston time, when the admissions team sends out both interview invitations and release notifications.

According to the latest update by admissions director Dee Leopold, all Round 3 applicants will hear something on Thursday, April 17th. Interviews will take place via Skype, or on campus on April 28th and May 2nd. Decisions on all interviewed Round 3 candidates will go out at noon on May 14th.

Leopold also says the Class of 2017 application will go live in mid-June, but we can expect to see the essay and recommender questions in advance.

Good luck to all the Round 3 applicants out there, as well as those on the HBS waitlist.

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Round 3 Myth-Busting by Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School Enters Online Learning

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Getting Accepted to Grad School (Again): Tips for Applicants Who Already Have a Degree (or Three)

Guest post by admissions expert Ryan Hickey For some students, college is just the first step on a lengthy higher education journey that includes multiple stops and sometimes-abrupt changes in direction. This may be part …

Guest post by admissions expert Ryan Hickey

Red Die Job Money etc shutterstock_142147552-1

For some students, college is just the first step on a lengthy higher education journey that includes multiple stops and sometimes-abrupt changes in direction. This may be part of a planned education path that requires a terminal degree like a Ph.D. in addition to a bachelor’s and master’s. In other cases, however, returning to graduate school is necessary to completely change fields or open new job opportunities.

If you have been in school for most of your adult life, the term “career student” and its often-negative connotation can become a burden as you think about pursuing any degree after a bachelor’s. This can be baffling to applicants. Why would someone undertake the time, work and financial commitment required to earn a degree without good reason? Why should educating yourself further in a discipline or making the difficult choice to change careers be considered a negative thing?

While most know full well that setting out toward a second, third or fourth degree shouldn’t be a knock against an applicant, the myth of the aimless lifelong student persists in some corners of the higher-education world. If this isn’t your first time applying to graduate school, consider these four tips to avoid falling victim to that characterization.

1. Change Happens

Things don’t always go the way you originally or ideally plan. That’s life. What you considered your dream career in your twenties may no longer be fulfilling when you hit your thirties. Just because you start down a particular path does not mean that you must remain on it for the rest of your life.

In both essays and interviews, be honest if your interests and priorities have shifted. You were not wasting time in your previous degree program or career. It was simply the right focus for you at that time, even though it isn’t today. Don’t be ashamed of or try to hide those experiences. Instead, emphasize how you will apply the skills they helped you build to your next academic undertaking.

2. Dig Deep

With myriad education and career experiences, applicants who already have a graduate degree often make the mistake of trying to pack too much into their essays. By covering everything in brief to cram it all in, they never get to the deeper, more intimate content that resonates with admissions officers.

Instead of taking that shotgun approach, identify the experiences most relevant to your current target program and dive deep. You’ll be much better off if you can draw meaning out of several carefully selected stories rather than generally stating many more. By doing this, you can show the reader your applied passion and sense of purpose in applying to this particular program.

3. Non-traditional? No problem!

Non-traditional: this term doesn’t solely refer to applicants with distinctive demographic details. Instead, take it as meaning that you have the ability to bring a unique set of experiences or skills to a program.

For example, lack of maturity is often a major complaint voiced by both admissions officers and professors. They value applicants who will take the program seriously and behave professionally from the get-go, rather than those who require time to adjust or “find themselves.”

Demonstrate how your background, both academic and professional, has helped you build experience working as part of a team, moderating interpersonal disagreements diplomatically, effectively managing your time and balancing diverse aspects of your life. In other words, let admissions officers know that your prior academic endeavors have helped you learn how best to succeed from the start in a new university setting.

4. Career Focused

Why are you going back to school? Admissions officers always want to know, so be prepared with a clear and thorough answer.

Here’s a hint: there’s only one right response, particularly if this isn’t your first trip to graduate school. Given your current career aspirations, there are gaps in your knowledge and experience that can only be filled with further education. While details will vary from applicant to applicant, that basic theme should hold true for you if you’re seeking another graduate degree.

Make direct connections between what each specific program offers and your career goals. Ideally, show that you have short, mid and long-term career plans that can only be accomplished with the help of this particular degree from this particular program.

Knowledge, maturity and professionalism are essential when it comes to getting things done in the real world. As you complete your application, don’t apologize for prior education and work experiences, whether you’re now changing paths or diving even deeper into your chosen field. Previous success as a graduate student is a tangible demonstration of your ability to complete high-level academic work and should help, not hurt, your chance of admission.

***

Ryan Hickey is the Managing Editor of Peterson’s and is an expert in many aspects of college, graduate, and professional admissions. A graduate of Yale University, Ryan has worked in various admissions capacities for nearly a decade, including writing test-prep material for the SAT, AP exams, and TOEFL, editing essays and personal statements, and consulting directly with applicants.

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New Georgetown MBA Course Focuses on Women Leaders

Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business has further expanded its efforts to groom young female leaders through a new MBA course titled Developing Women Leaders: Cultivating your Human and Social Capital, the school recently announced. Professor Catherine …

Georgetown MBA

Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business has further expanded its efforts to groom young female leaders through a new MBA course titled Developing Women Leaders: Cultivating your Human and Social Capital, the school recently announced.

Professor Catherine Tinsley, who has been instrumental in building the Georgetown University Women’s Leadership Initiative (GUWLI), created the six-week course. The GUWLI is a program that aims to cultivate young female leaders and connect them with already established female leaders out in the world.

A series of conferences, networking events, and panels inspired Tinsley to create a course based on the three activities that she has found helpful in advancing and empowering women: rigorous research documenting gender dynamics, active workshops targeting specific practical skills women need to build their human and social capital, and listening to other women.

Tinsley notes that with all the technical skills and experience students bring from their previous modules, “This course is designed not to help them get a job, but to help them advance once they have a job.”

The second-year MBA course, which began in March, will be structured around the six human and social capital skills that Tinsley believes everyone needs to advance in their careers.

The course title might seem to indicate it is intended solely for women, but Tinsley says the examined skill set is one from which women and men both would benefit. As Tinsley comments, “There’s no skill that women need to have that men don’t need to have, so this course is about advancement and building your own capital.”

Though there is a great deal of advice about career advancement readily available to women today, very little of it is based on organized research. Similar courses on female leadership that exist at other institutions are generally based on specific case studies and focus on where real women have succeed and where they have faltered.

Developing Women Leaders differs in that it is fundamentally research-based course, drawing on results from large sample sizes.  Guest speakers will offer students context for these results and insights gleaned from years of experience in the business world.

In the first class, 30 women have enrolled from the full female cohort of 81, but no male students have yet enrolled, the Financial Times notes in a profile piece on Tinsley.

The  professor hopes they will eventually choose to join the course, telling Financial Times that men need to be open to discuss gender issues and what those issues mean to them. “It would be interesting and challenging to include them – it is a dialogue that needs to take place,” she says.

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UMD Smith School to Offer Blended Part-Time MBA

Part-time MBA students in the nation’s capital no longer have to choose between online and classroom delivery. Starting in fall 2014, the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business will offer the region’s …

Part-time MBA students in the nation’s capital no longer have to choose between online and classroom delivery. Starting in fall 2014, the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business will offer the region’s first blended program for working professionals at its Washington campus.

The more flexible format will require participants in the school’s D.C. weekend program to meet on two Saturdays per month instead of three for traditional classroom instruction. Web-based learning modules designed by Smith faculty will provide the remainder of the content, allowing Smith students more latitude to structure their schedules. Participants in the pioneering program can complete their degree in two years.

“This eliminates 30 percent of the classroom time, giving students a huge amount of flexibility with their own lives,” Edward Lavino, Smith’s director of admissions for part-time MBA programs, said in a news release. “That three-Saturday-per month commitment takes away from an already small amount of free time from the program’s typical student — a 27- to 28-year-old professional.”

He said the blended format also allows assigned reading and skills practice to be designated for off-site engagement.

“About one-third of classroom time is currently consumed by students practicing skills via laptops or through other teacher-led exercises, and case studies sometimes are read in class prior to group discussion,” Lavino explained. “Now students will be able to engage in the same work at a quicker pace — off-site and on their own.”

Ken White, Smith’s associate dean of MBA and Master of Science programs, said flexibility is a major element of the program, but so is rigor.

“Students in the blended program will have the same classes and same professors available as in our full-time MBA program,” he said. “This is a high-quality program created for busy working professionals.”

The response among working professionals in the region has been positive. “Every applicant and current D.C. weekend student is on board,” Lavino said.

Upcoming application deadlines for the program are April 14 and June 2.

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Smith School Appoints New Dean with Global Outlook

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