Wharton School Round 1 Interview Update

The latest posting on the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School MBA admissions blog will bring some relief to nail-biting round 1 applications. The school has announced that invitations to interview will go out on October …

The latest posting on the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School MBA admissions blog will bring some relief to nail-biting round 1 applications. The school has announced that invitations to interview will go out on October 31st.

Applicants selected to interview will receive the Team-Based Discussion prompt prior to their interview, says Maryellen Lamb, Deputy Vice Dean, Admissions, Financial Aid, and Career Management.

Wharton piloted this new interview method last year, with the goal of giving potential students an opportunity to show who they are – how they think, lead, communicate and interact. Lamb recommends that candidates spend about an hour in advance preparing for the discussion.

As a reminder, the Team-Based Discussion will be comprised of 5-6 applicants. “Teams will be a function of who signs up – there is no ‘crafting’ done on our end. The discussion will have a prompt and a purpose – that is, there is a tangible outcome you will be working towards,” Lamb explains.

The majority of Team-Based Discussion interviews will take place on campus during the month of November and will be conducted by Admissions Fellows, a select group of second-year students. For those unable to participate on campus, Wharton will conduct interviews in Dubai, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and here, in Philadelphia.

This format can be challenging yet a lot of fun, and Stacy Blackman Consulting now offers a group interview prep service for applicants invited to interview at a school using the group interview format. Find out more information about this service here.

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Applicants Overwhelming Favor GMAT Over GRE, Kaplan Survey Reveals

Acceptance of the GRE as an admissions alternative to the GMAT among U.S. business schools has reached critical mass, according to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of business school admissions officers. According to the survey, …

Acceptance of the GRE as an admissions alternative to the GMAT among U.S. business schools has reached critical mass, according to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of business school admissions officers.

According to the survey, 85% of MBA programs now give students the option to submit a score from the GRE instead of a GMAT score. This percentage has steadily increased year-over-year since Kaplan first began tracking the issue in 2009, when only 24% of business schools said they accepted the GRE.

The caveat in wider GRE acceptance: Still only a trickle of MBA applicants are submitting a GRE score instead of a GMAT score. Over half of the admissions officers surveyed said that just one in ten or fewer applicants took this admissions path last application cycle, representing a slight uptick from Kaplan’s past surveys.

But is this apprehension from applicants warranted?

Additional Kaplan data shows that 78% of MBA programs say scores from both tests are viewed equally, but 18% of MBA programs say applicants who submit a GMAT score have an advantage over applicants who submit a GRE score.

“The trendline for business schools that accept the GRE as an admissions alternative to the GMAT has been unmistakable over the past five years. What was once seen as an almost exotic admissions policy by business schools has become nearly ubiquitous,” says Brian Carlidge, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs, Kaplan Test Prep.

“Our advice to prospective MBAs is if all the business schools they plan to apply to accept the GRE in addition to the GMAT, then contact those schools and find out if they have a preference for one exam over the other. We also advise students to take the GMAT if some of the schools to which they intend on applying do not accept the GRE. While the GRE is widely accepted, the only exam that is universally accepted is the GMAT.”

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Michigan Ross Admissions Director on Retaking GMAT

First off, congratulations to all of the R1 applicants to Michigan Ross School of Business who received an invitation to interview yesterday! MBA admissions director Soojin Kwon discusses the subject of retaking the GMAT in …

First off, congratulations to all of the R1 applicants to Michigan Ross School of Business who received an invitation to interview yesterday! MBA admissions director Soojin Kwon discusses the subject of retaking the GMAT in her latest blog post, noting that the question also frequently comes from candidates who have already submitted an application.

Perhaps not surprisingly, her answer to whether someone should retake the GMAT is, “It depends.” The tried-and-true advice is to aim for a score in the 80% range, which at Michigan Ross is 650-750. But, 10% of Ross admits have scores below 650, and Kwon explains what an applicant would need to have in order to counterbalance a low score.

That 10% looked something like this:

  1. had undergrad/post-undergrad records that demonstrated solid academic achievement including in quantitative skills and/or they took post-undergrad courses to demonstrated quantitative ability;
  2. had a strong track record of professional achievement that demonstrated an ability to contribute to class discussions;
  3. submitted essays that were well thought-out and well-written with rec letters that demonstrated a fit with Ross’ collaborative, initiative-taking community; and
  4. solidly reinforced all of the above in their interview. If you look like this, then you may be fine. Keep in mind that there may be many other applicants who look like this.

If applicants wish to retake the GMAT exam and can get their scores submitted to Michigan Ross reasonably close to the application deadline, Kwon says the program will consider the updated score. However, a new score won’t change an admissions decision once it has been made.

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Bloomberg Businessweek Launches #WhyMBA Social Media Project

Bloomberg Businessweek has launched #WhyMBA, a Web and social media campaign that calls upon current business school students, graduates, teachers, and anyone with an opinion and a Twitter handle, to engage in a real-time debate …

#WhyMBA

Bloomberg Businessweek has launched #WhyMBA, a Web and social media campaign that calls upon current business school students, graduates, teachers, and anyone with an opinion and a Twitter handle, to engage in a real-time debate about the true value of a graduate business education. #WhyMBA comes at a moment when the costs and benefits of an MBA are a source of passionate discussion across the country.

In the run-up to announcing its full-time MBA program rankings on Tuesday, November 11, Bloomberg Businessweek will pose a series of daily questions on Twitter, soliciting feedback from aspiring, current and alumni MBA students, as well as professionals, entrepreneurs and industry leaders with or without an MBA. An accompanying website will track the #WhyMBA conversation, highlight trends, and visualize responses and sentiment.

The site allows users to select specific schools, identify and respond to active conversations and topics, and boost a school’s standing by tweeting about it. A live leaderboard will reveal which schools are getting the most mentions on Twitter.

Ways to participate:

  • Follow @BW and @BWbschools and watch for Tweets featuring the hashtag #WhyMBA
  • Retweet interesting questions from @BW and @BWbschools to your followers
  • Respond to Twitter questions and highlight your school’s unique attributes
  • Check out the website at http://buswk.co/WhyMBA and watch the results unfold

“The #WhyMBA project was devised to broaden the business school discussion,” says  Francesca Levy, Business Education Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek.

“We want to find out how people really feel about MBA programs in today’s market. Our upcoming full-time MBA program rankings will help answer the very specific question, ‘which school is right for me?,’ but #WhyMBA opens the real debate to graduates and everyone else: What does a good B-School accomplish or teach? And do those lessons make it worth the time and expense of getting an MBA?”

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How to Stay Sane During B-School

By now, you’ve either fantasized about how hectic yet amazing business school life is,  or you’re living it right now. Rohan Rajiv, a first-year student in Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management‘s two-year MBA program, …

By now, you’ve either fantasized about how hectic yet amazing business school life is,  or you’re living it right now. Rohan Rajiv, a first-year student in Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management‘s two-year MBA program, has written a thoughtful blog post on how to prioritize your experiences—and it begins with putting yourself above all else.

While he started the program fully aware of the many interesting academic things he would learn throughout his time at Kellogg, Rajiv says he didn’t expect he would have to learn about such things as decision-making and trade-offs, both of which guide the daily experience at business school.

The challenge of competing priorities—academics, career planning, extra-curriculars, social, family, ourselves—can sap all your energy until you learn to rank them in order of importance. Rajiv shares three core ideas he’s learned about maintaining balance so far:

Make decisions easy for yourself by being crystal clear about your core priorities.
“If you aren’t clear about the relative importance of your core priorities, you are going to drain your energy every day just thinking about these decisions. Once you get clear on your own priorities, decisions get much easier.”

Pre-decide your days and weeks as far as possible.
“Most of the time you have enough information to plan in advance. There’s a high return-on-investment on being brutally organized. Pre-decide by blocking off your time for the week based on your priorities. If you don’t prioritize exercise and sleep, other things will get in the way. Be proactive to drive your own agenda. Or someone else will.”

Make time to reflect.
“The busier things are, the more you need time to reflect. Learning-by-doing is incredibly inefficient if you don’t have enough time to take stock. Again, the return-on-investment on a little reflection time is incredibly high.”

The competing priorities never go away, Rajiv acknowledges, but figuring out the best way for you to get a handle on it will make all the difference in your enjoyment level throughout your MBA experience.

You may also be interested in:

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your B-School Experience

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Social Media Will Change the B-School Landscape

Social media as it relates to management education continues to be a hot topic, and I found the comments in a recent Huffington Post blog piece really fascinating. For Millennials, memories of the world prior …

Social media as it relates to management education continues to be a hot topic, and I found the comments in a recent Huffington Post blog piece really fascinating. For Millennials, memories of the world prior to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may be hazy, while members of Generation X have perfect recall of the pre-Internet days.

John T. Delaney, dean of Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, writes about the irony of rising loneliness in our connected world, and how the social media disconnect will affect business schools.  This disconnect relates to a growing inability among the youngest professionals to interact face-to-face and to collaborate in an era of truncated communication.

“Because this dynamic affects human interactions and society, it will affect business schools,” Delaney writes. “I see it exacerbating the existing trend of students coming to school with higher test scores but having a growing need for the development of emotional intelligence and social graces.”

One of the best ways to combat those deficiencies, and one that’s already in play at many top MBA programs, is to shift greater focus on experiential learning and soft skills in tandem with the typical foundation courses.

The dean points to ways technology has already disrupted the classroom experience and altered professor/student relationships, but he also recognizes the numerous advantages of social media—including its ability to democratize and increase transparency in the academic setting.

It may be too soon to fully grasp the effects social media will have on management education even ten years from now, but Delaney is grappling with these issues now, and his article offers much food for thought.

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