UNC Kenan-Flagler’s History of Sustainable Enterprise

The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School is celebrating its 15th anniversary as a global leader in sustainable enterprise. The school began its focus on the triple-bottom-line approach – measuring success in terms of …

kenan flagler sustainable enterprise

The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School is celebrating its 15th anniversary as a global leader in sustainable enterprise. The school began its focus on the triple-bottom-line approach – measuring success in terms of financial profitability, ecological integrity and social equity – in 1999.

It was one of the first business schools to offer a comprehensive curriculum in sustainable enterprise that includes experiential learning, enrichment activities and career development. Today, over 550 MBA students have graduated with a concentration in sustainable enterprise and are pursuing a wide range of careers.

Leading the school’s work in education, research and outreach is the Center for Sustainable Enterprise (CSE), founded in 2001. “Sustainable enterprise is a strategic strength for UNC Kenan-Flagler,” says Al Segars, CSE faculty director, PNC Bank Distinguished Professor and chair of strategy and entrepreneurship.

Recognition of the school’s educational leadership in this area includes top rankings. Every “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” ranking by The Aspen Institute has rated UNC Kenan-Flagler among the very best in the world. The Financial Times consistently ranks the MBA program among the top 10 in corporate social responsibility and ethics, and Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program No. 7 globally for sustainability.

CSE initiatives with global reach include the award-winning Sustainability Leadership Capstone course, a unique model of experiential learning; the Investing for Impact Competition, in which students apply VC skills to assess socially and environmentally sustainable firms; and the MBA and undergraduate Net Impact clubs, which have received the gold chapter standing for the last three years.

“The commitment of UNC Kenan-Flagler to embedding business stewardship for the planet in the classroom experience is evident in their high performance on the Beyond Grey Pinstripes rankings of MBA programs,” says Judith Samuelson, executive director of the Business and Society Program at The Aspen Institute. “Congratulations to UNC Kenan-Flagler on 15 years of demonstrating a commitment to excellence in business education in this important arena.”

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Wharton School MBA Class of 2016 Profile

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has just posted the MBA Class of 2016 profile, and here is a snap shot of a few of the more interesting data points: 40% Women 31% International students …

wharton deadlines

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has just posted the MBA Class of 2016 profile, and here is a snap shot of a few of the more interesting data points:

  • 40% Women
  • 31% International students
  • 30% US students of color
  • Mean overall GMAT: 728
  • Average work experience: 5 years
  • 45% Undergrad major in Humanities, Economics, Social Science

The Round 1 deadline at the Wharton School is coming up on October 1. If you’re still putting together your application, take a look at our Wharton MBA essay tips to make sure you’re on the right track with this year’s streamlined essay prompt.

 

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A Strategy of Inspired Growth at Kellogg

This week, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management announced it has reached several key milestones in its Envision Kellogg plan for transformation, including a new brand strategy focused on “inspiring growth.” The new brand strategy, …

Kellogg Dean Blount

This week, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management announced it has reached several key milestones in its Envision Kellogg plan for transformation, including a new brand strategy focused on “inspiring growth.”

The new brand strategy, “brave leaders inspire growth in people, organizations and markets,” sharpens how the school articulates the Kellogg difference in developing growth-minded leaders.

“Growth has long been the imperative and continues to be the biggest challenge that every organization faces,” says Kellogg Dean Sally Blount. “But the rules have changed since 2000. Bigger is not always better.”

Kellogg has also announced the launch of a new global experiential learning program entitled International Growth Lab, a course where students from Kellogg and a network school will collaborate remotely and on the ground to develop international growth strategies for global companies. This program provides the opportunity to gain real-world experience managing diverse teams across geographic boundaries and time zones.

Blount notes that currently 125 to 150 of Kellogg’s MBA candidates are doing a quarter abroad at a partner or exchange school, while another 200 do a two-week experiential learning course abroad. “About 50% of all our MBA students are choosing to participate in these options,” the dean tells Poets & Quants.

Additionally, Kellogg has increased the size of its One-Year MBA Program by nearly 20 percent over the past two years, and will continue to evolve with the market. The two-year program will shrink slightly in what Blount calls a rebalancing of the portfolio to meet market demands.

A core tenet of the Kellogg strategic plan is its distinctive approach to thought leadership that integrates foundational departments with four cross-disciplinary initiatives: Markets and Customers; Architectures of Collaboration; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Public-Private Interface.

Thomas Hubbard, senior associate dean of strategic initiatives and professor of strategy at Kellogg, says, “This thought leadership translates directly into what and how we teach.” In three years, Kellogg has launched more than 55 new courses, focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, growth and scaling, and data analytics, comprising 25 percent of its total curriculum.

This includes six new courses focused on growth and scaling, ranging from scaling operations to personnel management in a rapidly growing organization, as well as three new courses in data analytics. Kellogg today offers 11 elective courses in data analytics across six foundational departments, the most robust curriculum in the industry.

Although universally known for its strength in marketing, these bold moves show Blount’s mission to change the public’s perception of the school. “We have always been a general management school,” Blount explains in Poets & Quants. “There were people in the market who tried to portray us as just a this-or-that school. That was a defensive tactic by competitors. Yes, we had stronger marketing relative to our peers, but it was a market-created perspective to categorize Kellogg as a marketing school and not make us as fierce a competitor. We have to push back on that by showing that we have never been just that.”

All of these milestones in Kellogg’s strategic plan have been enabled, at least in part, by its campaign. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Kellogg raised $47 million, bringing the capital campaign to $215 million under Dean Blount’s leadership that began in 2010. The Kellogg campaign is focused on enhancing thought leadership, increasing scholarships, expanding global connectivity and building a lakefront global hub.

“Sometimes growth means pulling back to attain greater clarity and focus,” says Dean Blount. “Our ‘inspiring growth’ brand strategy highlights the important dual meaning of the English word ‘growth’ – both in terms of increasing economic value and increasing self-knowledge and insight.”

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Tuesday Tips: Yale School of Management MBA Essay Tips

Yale School of Management is part of an Ivy League university with expertise across fields. The school now investing heavily in continuing to improve the business education at Yale with a new campus, top talent …

Yale School of Management is part of an Ivy League university with expertise across fields. The school now investing heavily in continuing to improve the business education at Yale with a new campus, top talent in faculty, and the admissions process.

This year, Yale SOM has streamlined the admissions process by reducing the essays to one 500 word essay (reduced from with two essays coming in under 1,000 words total last year). As we reported when Yale posted the question: “Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico explains that the change from two questions last year to a single prompt for the class entering Fall 2015 is an effort to focus on what really matters to the admissions team: finding out how applicants are making an impact in their professional and personal lives.”

Yale is still using the video interview platform to add an additional personal touch to your application. Stacy Blackman Consulting has been working with a similar video interview platform as the one Yale is using and we are familiar with the technology and process. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you prepare for the Yale application and interview process.

Because there is no specific career goals essay, make sure your resume and recommendations highlight the key elements to your work experience that influence your desire to pursue an MBA. You may want to highlight specific projects at work that have most excited you and shaped your future goals and discuss why. The key is to add some insight to your background through those additional parts of your application.

The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent. (500 words maximum)

Impact and leadership are key components to this question. Impact could range from driving business results for your company to starting an affinity group for an underrepresented employee population. Overall the impact story should be one that you are proud of and that showcases both your values and your leadership traits. Remember the type of MBA student Yale is most interested in admitting. Ideally you are coming across as an intellectually curious student with a diverse background deeply interested in the integrated curriculum.

Behavioral questions like this one seek to understand how you actually operate in various situations. Try to be as specific as possible about how you positively influenced the organization. What did you think or say when you were determining what to do? What did you actually do? How did you feel about the result? Start by describing each step in detail in terms of what you did, the reaction of others and your own reaction. From there you can cut out anything that is too detailed or too superfluous to the story to maintain the 500 word maximum.

Note that while this question could focus on a key solo accomplishment at work since most MBA applicants are individual contributors, ideally you can demonstrate how you work with others as you lead. Regardless of whether you choose an individual or team accomplishment it should show a significant positive impact on the organization or people within the organization.

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Tuesday Tips: Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips

A clear application strategy is crucial to approaching these essays. Duke Fuqua’s mission is to “identify, engage, and foster the development of future leaders of consequence,” and you will want to demonstrate you are the …

A clear application strategy is crucial to approaching these essays. Duke Fuqua’s mission is to “identify, engage, and foster the development of future leaders of consequence,” and you will want to demonstrate you are the kind of leader the admissions committee is looking for.

Don’t forget the personal – in this essay set you have the opportunity to add 25 new facts to round out your profile. As always, it is important to demonstrate that you know Duke Fuqua well and are a strong fit with the program. Starting your research and personal networking now will put you in a solid position to prepare the most specific and effective essays.

Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you prepare a compelling, individualized strategy to approach your Duke Fuqua application this year, contact us to learn more.

Required Short Answer Essays

Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).

1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
2. What are your long-term goals?
3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

This career goals essay asks for your plan in three parts. First, you should describe what you plan to do immediately after your MBA. Then you’ll explain the long-term vision for your career. Finally, Duke admits that many career paths are forged through circumstance, and asks you for Plan B.

Think big picture and focus on the overall story trajectory. What would be the most logical (and interesting) progression from your current skill set and MBA education? How will your next step flow from the combination of those experiences? And your alternative path ideally isn’t a massive departure, but simply shows the areas you could see yourself exploring if your primary plan doesn’t materialize.

For example, perhaps you are focused on becoming a marketing executive at a CPG company. If you don’t find the suitable position after Duke, maybe you would consider another industry for your career path. Think about your range of interests and go from there. Because you have limited space, you’ll have to boil your plans down in a clear statement of what you plan to do, but ideally any plans are supported by the information provided in your resume, recommendations, and other essays.


First Required Essay

Instructions: Answer the following question — present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.
In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

This essay is entirely open ended and topics can span your personal background, work experiences, values or extracurriculars. If you have a particularly interesting story in any of those areas, this is the place to tell that story. This creative exercise is certainly an opportunity to follow the admissions committee’s advice to share what makes you a dynamic, multi-dimensional person.

Coming up with 25 random things to list in this essay may seem daunting at first. To jumpstart your creative process you may want to brainstorm with friends and family about what is most interesting and memorable about you. Or keep a notebook with you to record thoughts as you go about work and personal activities. A themed list that ties into a bigger point may be effective, but resist the urge to package the list too perfectly. In the end, Duke is interested in who you actually are and how your life has unfolded until now.

Second Required Essay (Choose 1 of 2)

Instructions: Choose only 1 of the following 2 essay questions to answer. Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.

Both of these essay question options are entirely focused on why the Duke MBA program is the right place for you specifically. This may be another opportunity to demonstrate your multi-dimensional personality as you explain which classes, clubs, and community activities most resonate with you.

The best essays will be both specific and personal. While everyone benefits from a diverse alumni network, what specifically do you want to give and receive from your classmates? If you describe clubs and classes you are attracted to, also offer specific examples from your past experiences to show your consistent personal or professional passions.

While the focus of the essay is the Duke MBA program, you are also being asked why these aspects are most meaningful. Your fit with the program is crucial, and therefore you must exhibit the qualities Duke is seeking as well. The Duke MBA program is especially interested in your role within the community, and will place significant weight on this factor. If you research thoroughly and are specific, you should be able to clearly demonstrate why you are going to be strong contributor and teammate.

This essay can also be a place to talk about how the Duke MBA fits into your career goals. What do you know now that will be enhanced through your MBA education? And what crucial aspects of the skill set required for your future career will be augmented by attending Duke?

The Team Fuqua community is as unique as the individuals who comprise it. Underlying our individuality are a number of shared ideas and principles that we live out in our own ways. Our students have identified and defined 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” that we feel are the guiding philosophies that make our community special. At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect the research you have done, your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

1. Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.
2. Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.
3. Collective Diversity: We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.
4. Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.
5. Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most.
6. Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part.

This option for the “Why Duke” essay requires as much introspection as the previous option, but more explicitly asks for research into the community and the aspects you identify with most. In some ways this a more structured question to answer and it may be a reasonable place to start whether you choose to answer this option or the previous option.

Choosing one of the six principles certainly doesn’t mean the other five are not relevant. While you will want to choose the one you think resonates most with your personality and values, it will enhance your application to touch upon the others that are particularly meaningful to you.

As in the prior option you can use this essay to also communicate a bit about your career goals at Duke, particularly if you focus on Supportive Ambition or Impactful Stewardship and factors of how the community will impact your future career and how you plan to give back to others or what kind of leader you will be. However, the main focus should be your community involvement and how you plan to improve the experience of others at Duke both in and outside the classroom.

Optional Essay
If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, or any significant weakness in your application).
• Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
• The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.
• Limit your response to two pages.

As with most optional essays, the Duke MBA asks that you use this space only to explain extenuating circumstances. If you have a low GPA, a non-typical recommender or gaps in work history this is the correct place to address those issues. If you do not have any of those areas to explain, it’s best to skip this question and focus only on the previous three essays.

When approaching any concerns about your background in the optional essay it’s important to focus on recent performance, whether academic or professional, and what such performance demonstrates about your ability. Your goal is to remove questions from your application and to address in a factual manner any information the admissions committee needs to know to fairly evaluate your application.

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HBS Lays Out Next Steps for R1 Applicants

In her recent blog update, Harvard Business School‘s director of admissions and financial aid Dee Leopold explained exactly what MBA hopefuls who submitted their applications last week for Round 1 can expect over the next …

In her recent blog update, Harvard Business School‘s director of admissions and financial aid Dee Leopold explained exactly what MBA hopefuls who submitted their applications last week for Round 1 can expect over the next two months.

Candidates invited to interview will receive an email invitation on either October 8th or October 15th with detailed instructions about the sign-up procedure. Applicants who are not invited to interview will be notified of their release on October 15th.

Leopold expects 100-150 Round 1 applicants to fall under the category of “further consideration,” aka the waitlist. These candidates will either be reviewed and invited to interview during Round 2, or released on the R2 timetable, she explains.

Harvard Business School will conduct Round 1 interviews between October 20–November 21 on campus and at various locations around the globe. These off-sight locations are: New York City, Palo Alto, London, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Santiago, Chile. Candidates who are unable to travel may be accommodated via Skype, the director assures.

The Round 2 deadline at HBS is January 5, 2015. If you’d like a little extra guidance on how to approach the optional essay question, read our Harvard Business School MBA essay tips for an array of possible strategies.

You may also be interested in:

MBA Trends at Harvard Business School and Beyond

Harvard Business School Admitted Student Profile

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