Stacy’s #WOW Campaign Inspires Thousands in Social Media

Have you been keeping an eye out for the Words of Wisdom (WOW) campaign on our social media streams?  For the past few weeks, we’ve been motivating potential MBA candidates with inspirational quotes from the …

2.1 Forte

Have you been keeping an eye out for the Words of Wisdom (WOW) campaign on our social media streams?  For the past few weeks, we’ve been motivating potential MBA candidates with inspirational quotes from the top business schools and our educational partners. Awesome is the only way to describe the massive online response!

More than 12 elite MBA programs, organizations such as Forté Foundation and The MBA Tour, and our test prep partners have chimed in with their advice. Every Friday during the campaign, we’ve provided a roundup of these motivational messages here on the blog, but you can see them right away on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Use the following hashtags:  #WOW #WordsofWisdom #SBCWOW #MBAinspiration and #BeInspired to check it out each day until the campaign ends on February 10th.

We hope these motivational messages inspire you to make 2016 your best year ever!

  • “Tuck offers feedback sessions to many candidates who are denied admission or placed on the waiting list. We encourage applicants to take advantage of the opportunity to hear feedback and make every effort to act on the advice that is given, should you decide to reapply next year,” says Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
  • “You have incredibly valuable skills that can add a great deal to the civic and philanthropic community. Engaging with community leadership will expand your network, challenge you to think about a different perspective and allow you to give back in a very important way,” says Kellogg School of Management Professor Liz Livingston Howard.
  • “Quick breaks help you rejuvenate. Healthy snacks, stretching, and deep breaths can do wonders.” GMAT Genius
  • “When the process challenges you (as it surely will), remind yourself that this was your goal, and why you wanted to do it. View each challenge as a learning opportunity to handle the next challenge more effectively,” advises Zachary Talmadge, MBA candidate ’16 and president of the Graduate Business Association at the Tepper School of Business.
  • “Make sure to devote yourself and all resources at your disposal not just to good or productive things, but to the very best option available,” urges Kellogg School of Management Professor Leemore Dafny.
  • “The key [to doing well on the GMAT] is to manage your time properly and remember that if you just don’t know how to answer a question, it may be best to skip it, rather than devote too much time to it.” The Economist Test Prep
  • “In making the admissions decision, the admissions committee will consider a bundle of factors including your undergraduate performance, the quality and amount of your work experience, your global exposure, work references, GMAT score, IELTS/TOFEL result (if applicable), etc. There is no single factor that dominates the admissions decision,” explains Crystal Wong, Director of Admissions and Marketing at HKUST Business School.
  • “To get a top score, you need to be in the optimal state of mind: positive, calm and focused,” says Bara Sapir, CEO and Founder of Test Prep NY/SF.

You may also be interested in:

Stacy Blackman’s Words of Wisdom Campaign
Stacy Blackman’s Words of Wisdom Campaign Continues
Stacy Blackman’s Words of Wisdom Campaign Heats Up
Stacy Blackman’s #WOW Campaign Continues to Inspire

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$10M Gift Will Transform Wharton Leadership Program

The University of Pennsylvania’s  Wharton School has received a $10 million commitment from alumna Anne Welsh McNulty that will drive the global reach of the current Wharton Leadership Program and build on its 20-plus years …

The University of Pennsylvania’s  Wharton School has received a $10 million commitment from alumna Anne Welsh McNulty that will drive the global reach of the current Wharton Leadership Program and build on its 20-plus years of innovation and impact in leadership development.

Anne McNulty, image courtesy of The Wharton School

Anne McNulty, image courtesy of The Wharton School

In recognition of this transformative gift, the Wharton Leadership Program will be renamed the Anne and John McNulty Leadership Program at the Wharton School, memorializing John’s legacy of  impact and both John and Anne’s passion for preparing individuals to lead in their fields and communities.

The program will continue to provide a holistic approach to coursework, coaching, mentoring, and experiential learning for students of all ages. It will also provide them with the necessary tools to adapt their leadership styles through action, reflection, and experience, and to become global leaders of diverse workforces.

“I believe in the transformative power of developing each individual’s leadership capacity. Wharton’s Leadership Program is uniquely poised to make a real impact that will multiply from its students to businesses and communities and beyond,” says McNulty.

“Wharton was a turning point in our lives,” Anne says, reflecting on her and John’s experience at the school. “It challenged us to think differently and taught us to be more thoughtful and more ambitious. Our time at Wharton motivated us to be active leaders, not only in running businesses, but also in our communities. It is a pleasure for me to support future students so that they may have a similar experience, so that they may reach their potential, and so that they may change the world through the lessons they learn at Wharton.”

Learn more about John and Anne McNulty, and how this new investment will accelerate Wharton’s leadership development initiatives, here.

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UCLA Anderson Launches Entrepreneurship Accelerator

To meet the needs of an expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus, the UCLA Anderson School of Management has announced the launch of the Anderson Venture Accelerator—a 10,000-square-foot incubator for nascent UCLA startups. The accelerator, launched …

Dean Olian

UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Dean Judy Olian

To meet the needs of an expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus, the UCLA Anderson School of Management has announced the launch of the Anderson Venture Accelerator—a 10,000-square-foot incubator for nascent UCLA startups.

The accelerator, launched in association with the UCLA library, encourages multidisciplinary collaboration among aspiring Anderson MBA candidates, faculty researchers, undergraduates and graduate students from other schools on campus, and will include mentoring from alumni, experienced entrepreneurs, and the business community.

This technology-rich space is divided into training rooms, collaboration spaces, meeting rooms, and working lounge areas, all of which are conducive to developing the ideas and momentum needed to start businesses. The facility will also host guest speakers, topical seminars and “demo days” for resident companies.

The Anderson Venture Accelerator offers students and researchers an environment that triggers innovation and breakthrough ventures. —Dean Judy Olian

Elaine Hagan, executive director of the Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, explains that Anderson’s accelerator has slightly different goals than incubators at other universities.

“We’re taking students through the entrepreneurial experience so they can understand if it’s right for them,” she says. “We’re helping them decide what role they would like to fill or whether or not they like collaborating. There’s an opportunity to learn about themselves.”

The Anderson Venture Accelerator launch is sponsored by Cadillac, which is presenting three $10,000 Cadillac Dare Greatly Awards to each of three outstanding entrepreneurial ventures founded by members of the UCLA community:

  • Leo Petrossian (’14), Dan Hanchey (’13), Robert Hamilton (PhD. ’13 Biomedical Engineering), Neural Analytics
  • Rob Douk (GEMBA ‘16), Behavioral Healthworks, Inc.
  • Layne Haber and Mykolas Marcinkevicius (B.S. ’16), Arctica

“It is important to foster young minds to think differently, carve their own path and provide them the resources to move the world forward,” says Melody Lee, Cadillac director of brand strategy and planning. “Our partnership with the UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator is a terrific way to recognize those who will change the world for future generations.”

image courtesy of UCLA Anderson School of Management

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Avoid These 10 Pitfalls in MBA Application Essays

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com The essay component of the MBA application is a chance to really wow the admissions committee and stand out from potentially thousands of …

taking notes2

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

The essay component of the MBA application is a chance to really wow the admissions committee and stand out from potentially thousands of other candidates with similar GMAT scores or GPAs.

There are many ways to craft a stellar essay that will give the reader a better sense of who you are, but there are also several mistakes to avoid as you’re answering these required prompts. Make sure you sidestep the following pitfalls at all costs.

1. Neglecting to answer the question: Applicants often become so determined to drive home a particular point, or worse, drift off into a tangent, that they fail to succinctly answer the question. Don’t answer with “what” when the question asks “how?” or “why?” Business schools create their essays with the goal of finding out how you fit their program, and not answering the question immediately indicates poor fit.

2. Using industry jargon or pretentious language: Never assume the admissions committee member reviewing your application is intimately familiar with your particular industry. Write for a lay audience, and avoid flowery or stuffy language – use familiar words instead.

With hundreds of applications on their desks, the admissions staff has only a few minutes to review each essay. It should be immediately digestible.

3. Basing essays on what you think the admissions committee is looking for: Even if you have a pretty good idea of what a particular business school looks for in MBA candidates, this isn’t the time to remake yourself into what you think their ideal student would be.

This is a major pet peeve of the admissions committee, which is why they have gone to great lengths recently to come up with creative essay prompts. Stay true to yourself and your professional goals.

4. Using a negative tone, or sounding whiny or complaining: As you come up with those great anecdotes to illustrate your leadership, problem-solving or team-building skills, make sure the examples in your essay don’t include criticizing a co-worker or complaints about your supervisor, even in a subtle way. Always keep the tone positive, or it will end up reflecting poorly on you.

5. Lying or exaggerating about your experience: For some applicants, it can be tempting to fudge a few details or embellish a bit in the hopes of making a memorable impression. Just ask news anchor Brian Williams.

But aside from being bad form, the admissions committee has various ways to fact-check a candidate’s claims, and discovering fabricated information would trigger an automatic rejection, even if the mistake was innocent. Be accurate in how you represent yourself.

6. Failing to demonstrate passion: Most MBA applicants aren’t professional writers, and sometimes make the mistake of writing essays that are informative, logical, well-organized and, inadvertently, a snooze fest. This is not the time to repeat your resume in prose form.

You must connect with the person evaluating your application on an emotional level if you hope to stand out. As the University of Texas—Austin McCombs School of Business‘ MBA program recently noted on its admissions blog, “Convince us that you are not only capable, but that you are special and that we will be lacking something without your presence.”

7. Discussing inappropriate topics: While you do want to open up and allow the admissions committee to get to know the person behind the paper, certain subjects do not belong in an essay for business school.

Leave out any mention of religious or political views; avoid the subject of money and how you want to make loads of it after you get your MBA; and steer clear of overt humor in general, unless you are a comedian by profession.

8. Disregarding word count: In almost all instances, the admissions committee has specified a word limit to the essays. With thousands of applications to read each round, they don’t have time to review essays that read like epic tomes.

You can sometimes go over the limit a smidge, but flagrant disregard for the prescribed word count is a red flag that you either have trouble following directions or cannot express yourself concisely.

9. Referencing high school experiences: Unless you did something amazing in your teenage years – started a business, raised an insane amount of money for a fundraiser, built houses for Habitat for Humanity in Kyrgyzstan – stick to anecdotes from your career from the past three years.

Candidates applying straight out of college or with only one year of work experience can mention university accomplishments. But for those with more than two years in the workforce, focus on current career developments instead. Recent examples give the admissions committee a better sense of where you are today, both personally and professionally.

10. Making apologies or excuses: Whether the issue is poor academic performance in the past, being fired from a job or even having a criminal record, applicants feel terrified they will be rejected out of hand if they admit to these kinds of mistakes.

Address the matter directly, take ownership and explain what you learned or how you improved. No excuses or apologies needed – or desired.

MBA essays are a wonderful opportunity to share what makes you a dynamic, multidimensional person. If you can avoid inadvertently committing these mistakes, you’ll stand an excellent chance of creating a positive impression on the admissions committee.

Image credit: Daniel Foster (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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