Category Archives: General

$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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Stacy Blackman’s #WOW Campaign Continues to Inspire

We’re wrapping up the fourth week of the Words of Wisdom (WOW) campaign on our social media streams, and the online response has been nothing short of incredible! The goal is to motivate potential MBA …

Words of Wisdom campaign

We’re wrapping up the fourth week of the Words of Wisdom (WOW) campaign on our social media streams, and the online response has been nothing short of incredible! The goal is to motivate potential MBA candidates with inspirational quotes from the top business schools and our educational partners.

More than 12 elite MBA programs, organizations such as Forté Foundation and The MBA Tour, and our test prep partners have chimed in over the past few weeks. 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 9th.

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

  • “An MBA education is intended to prepare you for a career, not a job. Never lose sight of what’s best for you in the long run,” advises Robert Dammon, Professor of Financial Economics and Dean of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • “Sleep is essential for peak performance.  You cannot thrive if your body is deprived.”  GMAT Genius
  • “It’s important that applicants realize that not gaining admission to a school is not a reflection of you as a person or your ability to be successful in your career. One of the biggest challenges for the admissions committee is having too many great candidates to choose from among a competitive pool,” says Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
  • “Be ready to raise your hand for new opportunities even when you don’t have the full complement of capabilities,” urges Linda Darragh, Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice at the Kellogg School of Management.
  • Bara Sapir, CEO and Founder of Test Prep NY/SF, says, “For a goal to be effective, you need to clearly articulate for yourself what you want to do, believe you can do it, and then set in motion the tips necessary to make it happen.”
  • “Be unabashedly honest with yourself throughout the process. Why do you want an MBA? Which program culture feels right to you? Why? Go with your heart and not with your head when you make this decision,” suggests Eric Johnson, Executive Director of Graduate Career Services at the IU Kelley School of Business.
  • “When deciding which exam to take—the GMAT or GRE—for your MBA applications, think about your personal strengths.” The Economist Test Prep
  • Allison Jamison, Director of Recruitment at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, says, “Take the opportunity to send a note to your recommenders. Thank them for taking the time to submit on your behalf, and remind them of any deadlines that require their action.  If you have been in contact with admissions officers, students, and/or alumni at your target schools, send them a quick note as well and let them know you are submitting your application.  If appropriate, remind them where and when you met!”

You may also be interested in:

Stacy Blackman’s Words of Wisdom Campaign Heats Up
Stacy Blackman’s Words of Wisdom Campaign Continues
Stacy Blackman’s Words of Wisdom Campaign

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INSEAD Tops Latest FT Global MBA Rankings

Earlier this week, the Financial Times released its 2016 Global MBA Rankings, and for the first time since the ranking’s launch in 1999, a business school with a strong Asian presence—INSEAD—takes the top spot, rising …

Earlier this week, the Financial Times released its 2016 Global MBA Rankings, and for the first time since the ranking’s launch in 1999, a business school with a strong Asian presence—INSEAD—takes the top spot, rising from fifth place in 2015.

INSEAD financial times global mba rankings

INSEAD, the international business school with campuses in Singapore, Abhu Dahbi, and Fontainebleau, France, also makes history in this particular ranking as it is the first time FT has crowned a one-year MBA program. INSEAD was the first business school in the world to offer a one-year MBA program beginning in 1959.

“As the cost of studying for an MBA has steadily risen, many students are wary of taking on the debt associated with two-year degrees — students are frequently more than $100,000 in debt when they graduate. Though fees and living costs can be substantial, it is often the opportunity cost of lost salary that is the biggest factor,” write FT’s Della Bradshaw and Laurent Ortmans.

This year’s ranking shows a bit more movement than we saw last year, when FT deemed Harvard Business School the top MBA program for the third time in a row. U.S. MBA programs continue to dominate the top ten with seven schools, but this year, Spain’s IESE Business School slipped to 16th place, down from seventh place. Meanwhile, Cambridge Judge Business School comes in at number 10 this year, up from 13th in 2015.

Top Ten FT Global MBA Ranking 2016

  1. INSEAD
  2. Harvard Business School
  3. London Business School
  4. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
  5. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  6. Columbia Business School
  7. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
  8. Chicago Booth School of Business
  9. MIT Sloan School of Management
  10. Cambridge-Judge Business School

One interesting development to come out of these latest rankings is the increase in the numbers of women pursuing the MBA. “In 2015, 35 per cent of MBA students were women, up from 30 per cent in 2005. Last year, the proportion of female students topped 40 per cent in 27 schools, a leap from just four schools 10 years ago,” Ortmans reports.

The Financial Times ranking methodology involves assessing MBA programs according to the career progression of alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty. FT data from the past three years is used for alumni-informed criteria.

For more information, visit FT‘s 2016 Global MBA ranking analysis and school profiles.

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Stacy Blackman’s Words of Wisdom Campaign Heats Up

We’re wrapping up the third week of the Words of Wisdom (WOW) campaign on our social media streams, and the online response has been nothing short of incredible! Have you checked it out yet?  The …

motivation for MBA applicants

We’re wrapping up the third week of the Words of Wisdom (WOW) campaign on our social media streams, and the online response has been nothing short of incredible! Have you checked it out yet?  The goal is to motivate potential MBA candidates with inspirational quotes from the top business schools and our educational partners.

More than 12 elite MBA programs, and organizations such as Forté Foundation and the MBA Tour, have chimed in with their thoughts on reapplying, reminders about how to take advantage of every opportunity, reality checks regarding the GMAT, and views on how to create value and sense of purpose in all that you do.

Every Friday during the campaign, we’ll provide 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.

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

  • “Approximately 15 percent of Tuck applicants are reapplicants. We look favorably upon reapplicants and work closely with them. If Tuck remains your top choice, reach out to us to help you determine if and what reapplicant strategy might work best for you,” says Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
  • “Training yourself to be sure of the outcome of the GMAT, to imagine conquering business school and even looking ahead to your future career will help you create a game plan for success,” advises Bara Sapir, CEO/Founder of Test Prep New York/Test Prep San Francisco.
  • Kellogg School of Management Professor David Chen counsels MBA students to “Figure out how your values can create value.”
  • “Students ask me how to find their purpose.  My advice is simple: stop looking for a purpose and start noticing when you get excited by what you are doing.  When you enjoy your work, your purpose usually finds you,” says Professor Richard Shell at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
  • “Don’t put too much emphasis on the GMAT. People overemphasize the GMAT because it’s the most “concrete” element of the application. It’s easy to understand that a higher score means a somewhat higher change of being accepted. However, the real difference between a 710 and even a 740, or a 650 and a 690, is probably way smaller than you think.  In a way, it’s “easy” to put your head down and focus on improving your GMAT score for two hours. But it’s “hard” to figure out which schools are really a great fit for you, your core reasons for going to business school, and your personal narrative around what you’d bring to a program. Once you get the GMAT score that falls in the range of your target schools, move on and focus on the application,” advises My Guru‘s Mark Skoskiewicz.
  • Amanda Soule Shaw, Assistant Dean for Student Services at Cornell’s Johnson School of Management, says, “Commit to doing new things and expanding your network of contacts. It’s great to be completely sure of your post-MBA goal, but don’t let that goal define the choices you make in terms of classes, clubs, teams and friends. Your time in school will provide limitless opportunities to gain exposure to diverse topics and perspectives, so make sure to take full advantage of that once in a lifetime experience.”
  • “We all make mistakes. The key is to learn from your mistakes so you don’t repeat them.” GMAT Genius
  • “Embrace the transformative opportunity that an MBA program offers.  The network is invaluable, but maximizing its value first requires openness to change and effort to develop who you are and what you can do,” says Professor Scott B. Smart at Indiana University Kelley School of Business 
  • Professor Harry Kraemer at the Kellogg School of Management advises, “Don’t forget to take the time to self-reflect and ask yourself, ‘What are my values? What really matters?'”

You may also be interested in:

Stacy Blackman’s Words of Wisdom Campaign Continues
Stacy Blackman’s Words of Wisdom Campaign

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