Category Archives: General

Stanford’s New Joint Electrical Engineering MS/MBA Degree Program

Earlier this week, Stanford University announced the launch of a new joint Stanford Electrical Engineering MS/MBA degree program, which will be available to graduate students in the 2015-2016 academic year. The joint program structure will …

Stanford joint degree program

Earlier this week, Stanford University announced the launch of a new joint Stanford Electrical Engineering MS/MBA degree program, which will be available to graduate students in the 2015-2016 academic year.

The joint program structure will allow students to complete the two degrees in three years, instead of the usual four years needed to complete each one separately.

Interested students must separately apply to and be accepted by both the Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA program and the School of Engineering’s Electrical Engineering MS program. Students may apply for admission starting this fall and must also take the GRE exam to be eligible for admission.

“The joint focus recognizes that the students we educate need and want an integrated understanding of engineering, strategy and execution as they drive future innovations that increasingly involve both technology and business,” says Madhav Rajan, Senior Associate Dean and faculty director of the MBA Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Completion of the joint program requires a combined total of 129 units, including 84 units at Stanford GSB and 45 units in the Electrical Engineering department. Students who complete the joint program will earn two degrees: an MS in Electrical Engineering and the MBA.

Admission to the Masters in Electrical Engineering requires a strong undergraduate background in engineering or quantitative subjects such as physics or mathematics. Applicants to the MBA Program are assessed on intellectual vitality, demonstrated leadership potential, and personal qualities.

“The Electrical Engineering MS/MBA program represents the growing emphasis on multidisciplinary learning at Stanford,” says Olav Solgaard, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the School of Engineering. “This program builds on the culture of entrepreneurship and creativity in the schools of Business and Engineering at Stanford and will better equip our students to take new technologies from basic research to commercial products.”

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What my MBA at Harvard did NOT teach me

In this special guest post, an Army combat veteran from West Point shares his perspective on two years of learning at Harvard Business School. My name is Ben Faw, I am a West Point graduate, …

In this special guest post, an Army combat veteran from West Point shares his perspective on two years of learning at Harvard Business School.

My name is Ben Faw, I am a West Point graduate, Class of 2007, a former Infantry Platoon leader, and a graduate of Airborne and Ranger School. Many friends have asked me what I learned at Harvard Business School.

Here is what I did not learn:

The only way to make an impact is to go to Wall Street.

More HBS MBA graduates are heading out to the West Coast, taking positions in product management, marketing, sales, and general management.  In a dramatic shift versus a decade ago, technology jobs are just as sought as roles in finance.  MBA’s are proving that they can make a difference as leaders in many different industries and fields.

HBS Grads

Money matters more than people.

Prior to attending business school, I was warned that HBS was filled with people willing to do anything to make inordinate amounts of money and that it is not the place to meet or build true friendships.

Having kept an open mind, I will graduate from Harvard Business School in a few days with many authentic relationships that have already been incredibly rewarding and made me a better version of myself.  These amazing bonds are priceless and define my experience here, helping me learn that people matter far more than money.

Experiences are expendable.

The MBA critic will say that most of what you learn in the class can be obtained more cheaply and more effectively by buying the books, studying on your own, and watching classes online.

In reality, no case study, framework, or amazing guest speaker can match the experience of learning from your peers, both inside and outside of the classroom. You can learn material many ways, but the most meaningful learning opportunities require in-person experiences and shared time together. The full-time in-class HBS MBA experience provides both.

More is better.  

HBS teaches us that we can’t have everything.  From day one, we are inundated with endless mixers, social gatherings, and recruiting events.  We are also exposed to hundreds of classmates who each have an incredible story to tell and would be incredible additions to our network.

However, we can’t pretend to really get to know them all, just like we can’t prepare well for every single interview.  We have to make tough decisions.  We have to invest – fully and deeply – in the few people and things that make us the happiest.  Only then can we make a truly meaningful impact as future business leaders.

Seeking out and receiving feedback is a waste.

No one is perfect, regardless of how impressive their resume.  Everyone can improve if they put effort in and use their friends and peers in the process. After a semester of cases and guest lectures one theme became clear: success post business school depends less on your IQ and more on your ability to work with others. Can you motivate a team and accomplish a common task that is impossible to achieve alone?

I would say no if you cannot accept and give the honest feedback that allows a team to function at an optimal level.  As uncomfortable as it is to give and receive feedback, the MBA class contains people who have a vested interest in your success and want to see you “Be all that you can be”. Seeking out these people and letting them play a direct role in your development creates the potential for amazing growth.

Learning stops when class ends.

While the classroom was incredibly valuable to my development and education (both here and as an undergrad), I found my experience outside the classroom to be equally, if not more, valuable.

Ranging from debates over equity investments, deep conversations on business models, or discussions around how to create a sustainable competitive advantage, outside the classroom learning never stopped. My interactions with professors, peers, and mentors beyond the teaching halls contributed the most to my personal and professional growth.

Try everything.

Focus on your strategy, on your goals, and on what you are uniquely good at and love. The rest is noise. If you are terrible at modeling financials or hate using Excel, learn the basic competency, and then follow your passions. There will be something that makes your eyes sparkle and your face light up. Find out what that is – you have two years to do just that – and then run after it without looking back.

A special thanks to Harvard Business School for providing data on placement locations for recent graduates, and to friends at a local start-up for helping us build out a unique infographic to help tell this story in a creative manner.
To Ajmal Sheikh, Heidi Kim, Julia Yoo, Momchil Filev, and Walter Haas: You have each been wonderful co-authors and co-editors in this writing process and more importantly dear friends, thanks for making an idea become reality. To the Professors, staff, and faculty of Harvard Business School, thanks for making this an experience unlike any other – one chapter ends, the pages turn, and another begins!

 

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Comparing Regional MBAs With Big-Name B-Schools

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com While much of my MBA consulting work is with clients who aspire to attend one of the top business schools, focusing solely on …

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

While much of my MBA consulting work is with clients who aspire to attend one of the top business schools, focusing solely on the top ten programs is not the best choice for every aspiring MBA student.

If investment banking or management consulting is your dream career path, then stick with the sterling b-school brands. If you’re looking to switch careers, a top-tier program will get you there faster. If you’re a young applicant with only a few years of work experience, then the nationally or internationally respected name brand will help open those crucial first doors.

However, if you’re in your 30s and have a solid work history of increasing leadership positions, future employers in every industry outside of banking and consulting will judge you more on your professional experience than on whether your MBA is from a top 30 or top 10 school.

Research from the American Journal of Business Education shows that a significant percentage of regional MBAs have different MBA-related goals. These applicants are often older, have more work experience and are more interested in what they can learn to improve themselves with their current employer rather than trying to reposition or advance themselves in the market.

The motivation for choosing a particular region may be personal, such as wanting to stay near family, or professional, if your preferred industry is heavily represented in the area. That means if you want to work in entertainment, focus on the top schools in Southern California. If you want to work in a high-tech field, look at your options in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Austin.

For nonprofit or government jobs, your best bet is the District of Columbia. If the energy sector is your calling, there are several good options in Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina. In other words, don’t seek out a regional school in the Northeast if your ultimate goal is to end up in Los Angeles.

Keep in mind that a school that places 40 in a national or international ranking may be perceived as a top five school by the local business community. Therefore, if you want to work in a particular geographic region, it makes sense to choose the best school in that region. Local companies can have strong connections with their nearby universities and recruit locally, making it easier to network and conduct a job hunt when you’re already right where you want to end up.

Another plus is that regional business schools are often less expensive than their showier counterparts. Tuition and fees for 2014-2015 at Tulane University Freeman school’s full-time MBA program in New Orleans runs about $53,000.  In Texas, the Rice University Jones MBA tuition tops $50,000 a year.

Harvard Business School, meanwhile, charges nearly $59,000 for the full-time MBA Class of 2016, and Stanford Graduate School of Business estimates full-time tuition at a whopping $61,875 per year.

Regional schools might also offer more scholarship incentives, which would make your return on investment come much faster. Or, if you plan to continue working while you study in an evening MBA program, your employer might be willing to foot the bill due to tax advantages.

Whether your decision to pursue an MBA at a regional school is based primarily on financial, academic or geographic reasons, make sure you also look closely at fit. Visit the school, sit in on a class and talk to current students and alums.

If you don’t feel a genuine connection with the people in the program, the professors or the classes, it’s going to be much harder to have a positive b-school experience. Choose wisely and you may find that your regional MBA program goes toe-to-toe with the best of the big league players.

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NYU Stern 2014-2015 MBA Essay Questions

New York University’s Stern School of Business has posted the two required and one optional essay included in the MBA Class of 2017 application. NYU Stern anticipates the application will go live in August after …

school-nyu-stern

New York University’s Stern School of Business has posted the two required and one optional essay included in the MBA Class of 2017 application. NYU Stern anticipates the application will go live in August after undergoing annual updates.

Essay 1:  Professional Aspirations

(750 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life?
  • What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience?
  • What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation?

Essay 2: Choose Option A or Option B

Option A: Your Two Paths

(500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

The mission of the Stern School of Business is to develop people and ideas that transform the challenges of the 21st century into opportunities to create value for business and society. Given today’s ever-changing global landscape, Stern seeks and develops leaders who thrive in ambiguity, embrace a broad perspective and think creatively about the range of ways they can have impact.

  • Describe two different and distinct paths you could see your career taking long term. How do you see your two paths unfolding?
  • What factors will most determine which path you will take?
  • How do your paths tie to the mission of NYU Stern?

Option B: Personal Expression

Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message (e.g. words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative.

If you submit a non-written piece for this essay (i.e., artwork or multimedia) or if you submit this essay via mail, please upload a brief description of your submission with your online application.

Please note the following guidelines and restrictions:

  • Your submission becomes the property of NYU Stern and cannot be returned for any reason.
  • If you submit a written essay, it should be 500 words maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font. If you submit a video or audio file, it should be five minutes maximum.
  • If you prepare a multimedia submission, you may mail a CD, DVD or USB flash drive to the Admissions Office. These are the only acceptable methods of submission. Please do not submit an internet link to any websites or to a video hosting service such as YouTube.
  • The Admissions Committee reserves the right to request an alternate essay if we are unable to view your submission.
  • Do not submit anything perishable (e.g. food), or any item that has been worn (e.g. clothing).
  • Mailed materials must be postmarked by the application deadline date. Please follow our mail and labeling instructions.

Essay 3. Additional Information (optional)

Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL or any other relevant information.

If you are unable to submit a recommendation from your current supervisor, you must explain your reason, even if you are a re-applicant.

If you are a re-applicant from last year, please explain how your candidacy has improved since your last application.

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NYU Stern 2014-2015 MBA Deadlines

The Stern School of Business at New York University has announced the application deadlines for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season. The four deadlines are: Round 1 Deadline: October 15, 2014 Notification: December 15, 2014 Round …

The Stern School of Business at New York University has announced the application deadlines for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season.

The four deadlines are:

Round 1

Deadline: October 15, 2014
Notification: December 15, 2014

Round 2

Deadline: November 15, 2014
Notification: February 15, 2015

Round 3

Deadline: January 15, 2015
Notification: April 1, 2015

Round 4

Deadline: March 15, 2015
Notification: June 1, 2015

*Applicants will receive one of three initial notifications: invitation to interview, waitlist offer, or denial of admissions.

Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on the day of the deadline. Any mailed application material must be postmarked by the deadline date.

NYU Stern encourages international applicants to apply by the November 15 deadline to facilitate visa arrangements and to have priority consideration for off-site interviews, if desired. You may also apply for any other deadline.

For more information, please visit NYU Stern’s admissions website.

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MBA Admissions Counseling: What You Pay and What You Get

Those who are new to the MBA admissions process often wonder whether they should engage the services of a professional consultant, and if so, to what extent. I believe a consultant can always help, whether …

Those who are new to the MBA admissions process often wonder whether they should engage the services of a professional consultant, and if so, to what extent. I believe a consultant can always help, whether you are a first-time or a repeat business school applicant, whether you are in the dark or more knowledgeable about the admissions process.

Working with a respected consulting team gives you the ability to leverage the database of knowledge of a collected group of experts who together have experience with thousands of clients in programs across the globe. As I pointed out recently in my US News blog post on the pluses and minuses of hiring an MBA admissions consultant, input from one friend who applied, or even someone who attended the school, provides only a limited snapshot.

For anyone interested in a closer look at the costs and variety of services provided by the leading MBA consulting firms, I recommend John Byrne‘s story on what admissions consultants charge, published by Poets & Quants yesterday. In addition to merely listing prices side by side, the article does a good job of explaining the whys as well.

While essay editing is a popular service we offer, the process is really much more involved than just working within a certain word count. My consultants coach clients in their up-front strategy, help them develop compelling stories that play out across the application, prep for interviews, review and retool resumes, and much more.

We have high standards, for ourselves and for you. We know what it takes to be successful and we’re excited to help you reach your goals. If you think you might be interested in working with an admissions consultant, I invite you to contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for a free consultation about your candidacy today.

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