Category Archives: General

Ask the AdCom: Resources for MBA Students with Startup Fever

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we …

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!

entrepreneurship at bschool

Today’s question is: What resources are available for student entrepreneurs?

Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern School of Business: The W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab includes an annual $200K Entrepreneurs Challenge.  This past year, 231 teams comprising more than 800 entrants from 16 schools at NYU competed in one of three challenges: New Venture, Social Venture and Technology Venture.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management: Students from across campus participate in the courses and programs run by our Program on Entrepreneurship, which hosts numerous entrepreneurship electives like Venture Capital & Private Equity Investments, Start-up Founder Practicum (a mechanism for SOM students to work on their start-up ventures for credit), Impact Investing, and New Ventures in Healthcare and the Life Sciences.

Our students also connect with their peers and faculty around Yale through the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, a campus-wide convening space for entrepreneurs, to start new ventures. This points to one of the huge reasons we put so much energy into engaging with the rest of Yale: it gives our students the opportunity to build diverse teams around meaningful projects, and by doing so, to forge relationships that will benefit them throughout their careers.

Alex Lawrence, Assistant Dean of  MBA Admissions at UCLA Anderson School of Management: The Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which includes the Anderson Venture Accelerator, 24 courses involving 20 faculty members, and Entrepreneur Association (student club) presents more than 150 events each year.

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business: The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship unites the Tepper School with the world’s top-ranked Computer Science college, acclaimed Engineering and Fine Arts schools, and students, faculty and innovation from across a campus that is acclaimed for its startups, research and new big ideas.

Allison Jamison, Admissions Director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business: Fuqua has a very active entrepreneurship community.  The Program 4 Entrepreneurs (P4E) is a great way for those interested in entrepreneurship to gain experience or grow an idea. If you have an idea for a start up, or want to be a part of a start up team, this is the place to start.  We also maintain a network of alumni entrepreneurs at DukeGEN that works with our staff, faculty, students, and alumni to advance entrepreneurial activities.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions at SMU Cox School of Business: Since its founding more than three decades ago, the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship has continuously developed innovative courses and programs to help students keep pace with the dynamic, rapidly changing field of entrepreneurship. They sponsor the Cox MBA Venture fund, the Southwest Venture Forum, and the Dallas 100 Awards, which is an annual event that identifies and honors the 100 fastest-growing privately held companies in the Dallas area.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, tapped Najeen Riazi (MBA ’17) for input: Multiple internal resources at Cornell include a university-wide incubator and resource office, support for numerous case competitions, and graduate-level programming. Br Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital fund focused on providing funding to early-stage, high-growth businesses.

BR Consulting offers commercial and strategic consulting to startup companies, helping them bridge the gap between business idea and company growth. BR Microenterprise offers business advising and lending services to needs-based local entrepreneurs. BR Microenterprise is based at Johnson’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise in partnership with a local credit union.

BR Advisory assists on getting young companies off on the right legal track. BR Tech Transfer is a continuous business collaboration between our Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (EII) and the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization to help commercialize more Cornell technology faster.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of  MBA Admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business: The Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative has created a vibrant community for entrepreneurs both on campus and within the D.C. community. Students can take advantage of Venture Competitions, StartUpHoyas Summer Launch Program, Entrepreneurs Fellows Program, and the 1776 Partnership Incubator in downtown Washington DC, among other offerings.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business: The Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Program (BHEP), is an umbrella program that supports startups & students interested in entrepreneurship, and also connects them with campus resources such as the SkyDeck accelerator—a joint program of Haas, Berkeley Engineering, and UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Research Office.

Also, our Dean’s Seed Fund provides funding to qualified startups that involve Haas students, and our start-up events such as LAUNCH and the Global Social Venture Competition give students a chance to pitch their business plans to prospective investors.

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It seems there’s no hotter topic at b-schools today than entrepreneurship, right?  Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom about their favorite watering holes near campus!

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B-Schools Say GRE Option Attracts More Non-Traditional MBA Applicants

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2016 business school admissions officers survey finds that 92 percent accept the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT, giving aspiring MBAs more flexibility than ever in deciding which exam to take …

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2016 business school admissions officers survey finds that 92 percent accept the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT, giving aspiring MBAs more flexibility than ever in deciding which exam to take to get in.

This all-time high percentage in Kaplan’s annual survey represents a huge jump from its 2009 survey — the first year Kaplan asked the question — when only 24 percent of business schools said they accepted GRE scores.

But despite increased acceptance of the GRE among business schools, there’s a point of consideration for MBA applicants who are considering this option: The GMAT might still give applicants an edge at some schools. Twenty-six percent of admissions officer say those who submit a GMAT score have an admissions advantage over those who submit a GRE score.

Only 2 percent say GRE takers have the advantage; the remaining 73 percent say neither exam taker has the advantage, essentially unchanged from Kaplan’s 2015 survey.

Business schools have contended that accepting the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT — long the only accepted admissions exam –widens the pool of applicants beyond students from ‘traditional’ MBA backgrounds like finance, banking or consulting.

Kaplan survey data supports this notion and finds that schools have been successful in this effort, with 61 percent saying offering the GRE option has resulted in the enrollment of more students from nontraditional backgrounds. The GRE has not, however, significantly contributed to business schools enrolling more female students (25 percent), students of color (24 percent), or low income students (16 percent).

It’s important to note, unrelated to the GRE, that the percentage of female students at top business schools has increased over the past several years and there are other efforts underway to increase the number of students of color; and the GRE alone isn’t the only reason business schools have enrolled more students from non-traditional MBA backgrounds.

“One reason acceptance of the GRE continues to grow seems to be because it generally broadens the application pool to include prospective students who might bring a different set of experiences and skills to business school and the business world, which is important as the economy continues to diversify. It’s also possible that business schools that don’t offer the GRE option may lose excellent prospective students to schools that do,” said Brian Carlidge, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs, Kaplan Test Prep.

“We continue to stress to students to understand that some schools are still reluctant to give both tests equal cachet, even though they accept both exams. Our advice is to gather intel and ask admissions officers if their program has preference for one exam over the other.”

*The survey was conducted between August 2016 and October 2016 of admissions officers at 224 business schools in the United States. Among the 224 business schools are 18 of the top 50, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

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Ask the AdCom: Opportunities to Study Abroad

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we …

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!

MBA study abroad options

Today’s Question is: What study abroad options can MBA program students explore?

Alex Lawrence, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at UCLA Anderson School of Management, points to The Global Immersion Program includes classes at UCLA Anderson and one week immersion in-country for a blend of classroom lectures, guest speakers, panel discussions, company visits and cultural activities.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions  at Berkeley-Haas School of Business, says: Berkeley MBA students may embark on an international exchange program in the fall semester of their second year. International exchange programs are offered at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, IESE Business School, Universidad de Navarra, Barcelona, L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Jouy-en-Josas, and London Business School.

Students can also do an exchange with Columbia Business School in New York. Students interested in international exposure without the semester exchange often participate in International Business Development (IBD), our global consulting course that sends student teams all over the world to complete a three-week consulting project.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid  at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, asked students to share their experience with Johnson’s study abroad options:

  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: We have programs where students can attend schools across the world. For shorter periods, there are opportunities to attend two week international treks to receive elective credit.
  • Najeen Riazi, MBA ’17: There is incredible diversity of study abroad programs.  I participated in programs in South Africa/Zanzibar and Israel and both were life-changing.
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Yes – either semester abroad or week long excursions known as Johnson Treks.

Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD, says: In addition to our three campuses (Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau & Singapore), we have alliances and partnerships with Kellogg, Wharton, SAIS John Hopkins and CEIBS in the US and China.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, says: We have semester exchange programs with ESADE, HEC, and BiMBA at Peking University. We also require all MBAs to complete the Global Business Experience course, which asks them to consult for a company abroad then travel to that company to present their recommendations to executives.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions  at SMU Cox School of Business, says: While we have traditional Study Abroad programs, all students will go abroad to either Asia, South America or Europe as a part of the Global Leadership Program at Cox at the end of their first year.

As one of the first leading business schools to mandate global immersion for our students, the Cox School has built deep and extensive relationships with the leaders of today’s greatest international companies. As a result, students don’t just tour countries and visit headquarter locations; you hear and learn from the C-level executives who lead their global organizations on a daily basis.

Allison Jamison, Admissions Director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, says: In addition to our Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE) courses, where students study an area of the world for a term and then go to visit, we offer more than 30 international exchange partners from Denmark, to China, to South Africa, to Argentina, and more.

Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern School of Business, says: Yes, including our popular 1-2 week in-country, intensive courses called Doing Business in… (DBis) to explore how business is conducted in other countries in Central America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia & Pacific.

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says: Transitional Economies Study Abroad in EU is an option for those looking for a formal exchange program. Global Treks also play a role internationally.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management, says: Global engagement is a daily occurrence at Yale SOM…Our curriculum not only incorporates global perspectives into course work and cases but also requires significant global experience and includes a unique class on working in global virtual teams.

Yale SOM was the first major MBA program to require students to study abroad, with the introduction of our International Experience trips in 2006. Students now choose from a menu of Global Studies options, which include leveraging the Global Network for Advanced Management through Global Network Weeks and Courses, semester-long study abroad, International Experience trips, and real-world consulting experience with mission-driven entrepreneurs in the Global Social Entrepreneurship elective. Students also participate in an innovative Global Virtual Teams course, in which they partnered this year with Global Network peers at EGADE Business School in Mexico and HEC Paris in France on a virtual operations management project.

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Get your passport ready, because it seems international travel is all but guaranteed when you pursue an MBA degree at one of the top b-schools anywhere in the world!  Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom about the entrepreneurship resources available at their programs.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

On behalf of the entire team here at Stacy Blackman Consulting, today we’d like to wish our U.S.-based followers and clients a lovely Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season. In this time of gratitude, we …

thanksgiving

On behalf of the entire team here at Stacy Blackman Consulting, today we’d like to wish our U.S.-based followers and clients a lovely Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.

In this time of gratitude, we give enormous thanks for our 15 amazing years in the MBA admissions consulting business, and for you, our loyal blog readers. We appreciate your confidence in our work and are grateful that you’ve chosen us as a trusted resource to help you achieve your MBA goals.

Warmest wishes,

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New Scholarship Resource Open to MBA Applicants

Did you know that U.S. student loan debt exceeded $1.3 trillion in 2015? Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how you will pay for it. Interestingly enough, more …

Did you know that U.S. student loan debt exceeded $1.3 trillion in 2015? Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how you will pay for it. Interestingly enough, more than 50% of business school applicants said they would attend a less desirable program if awarded a scholarship, according to SBC’s 2016 annual survey of MBA applicants.

paying for MBA

An MBA must be seen as a long-term investment, and fortunately, schools are committed to working with students to find a solution to financing school through a combination of loans and scholarships.

While MBA programs typically offer fewer scholarships and other types of “free” money than the non-professional forms of graduate education, many online resources can help you to search for a scholarship or fellowship that fits your background and needs.

MBA applicants interested in checking out a variety of potential financial aid options should take a look at ScholarshipOwl, a new platform designed to increase students’ access to scholarships and make the scholarship market more efficient.

The goal of ScholarshipOwl is to provide direct access to the scholarships and create the best opportunities to help students graduate debt-free. The company already has 450,000 users, matching each to 60-70 scholarships on average. In addition, every month the company gives out its own $1,000 scholarship.

One of the ScholarshipOwl’s main advantages is that it matches the student’s profile to the available scholarships, saving time spent sorting through the eligibility requirements. While some scholarships in their system are limited for students accepted into a B.A. program, many are open to enrolled college students and graduate students.

There are many different application processes for financial aid, from demonstrating need to demonstrating merit. Organize the deadlines and submission guidelines to make sure you have a plan to complete the applications, and carefully follow the directions of each scholarship, fellowship or loan you are applying for.

Here are a few tips for individuals planning to attend business school in the near future:

  • Get your finances in order first
  • Think about living slightly below your means before school
  • Save as much as possible
  • Avoid credit card debt
  • Scale back on things you don’t need (including big things like a car if you don’t really need one)

Starting early – about three months before applying – is also really helpful if you’re pursuing scholarships, fellowships or grants. Since scholarships are free money, competition can be fierce, and you’ll benefit from having the extra time to create strong scholarship applications and from knowing the key deadlines so that opportunities don’t pass you by.

You may also be interested in:

Show Me the Money: Top Schools for Scholarships

Pay Less for Your MBA

ROI of the MBA Strong Across Most Tiers

Image credit: Flickr User TaxCredits (CC by 2.0)

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Harvard Business School Tops Bloomberg’s 2016 US Rankings

Bloomberg Businessweek has released its 2016 ranking of the best U.S. business schools, based on data compiled from more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni, and 9,000 recent graduates. Harvard Business School claims the number one spot …

Bloomberg Businessweek has released its 2016 ranking of the best U.S. business schools, based on data compiled from more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni, and 9,000 recent graduates. Harvard Business School claims the number one spot among 87 full-time U.S. MBA programs. Stanford Graduate School of Business is number two, and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is number three. This is the second year in a row that Harvard came out on top—and this time by a wider margin.

Harvard Business School tops bloomberg ranking

HBS was rated No.1 by the more than 1,000 corporate recruiters, and No.3 among alumni. Its graduates left with the second highest salaries. Competition for the No.2 spot was particularly close this year, with Stanford edging out Duke-Fuqua by .08 percentage point for its highest ever Businessweek rank.

Bloomberg’s Top Ten U.S. Full-Time MBA Programs 

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  3. Duke University Fuqua School of Business
  4. Chicago Booth School of Business
  5. Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
  6. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
  7. MIT Sloan School of Management
  8. Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business
  9. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
  10. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

“We continue last year’s focus on how well the schools channel their graduates into good jobs and, with a new survey of MBAs after graduation, offer more insight into what grads can expect from their careers,”  writes Bloomberg’s Lance Lambert.

Highlights of the 2016 ranking include:

  • Harvard had more than a nine point lead on its nearest competitor this year, up from less than two points in 2015.
  • Indiana University received the highest score among recent graduates.
  • Rutgers University’s 2015 grads had the highest job placement rate.
  • The University of Michigan does not appear in the top ten for the first time since Businessweek started the rankings in 1988.
  • This is the first year that Rice University has ranked in the top ten.
  • Alumni, recent graduates and recruiters all gave the University of Texas at Dallas better scores, helping to propel it 13 spots.

The Bloomberg ranking methodology includes an employer survey (35% of score), alumni survey (30%), student survey (15%), job placement rate (10%), and starting salary (10%).

“Our Full-Time MBA rankings comprise five elements. So it’s possible to rank highly without knocking every category out of the park,” Lambert explains. “For example, Stanford which is the No. 2 school on our list, ranked No. 57 for job placement.”

This year’s rankings includes 15 U.S. MBA programs that weren’t ranked last year, moving the list from 74 programs in 2015 to 87 in 2016. “With so many new programs added to the list, we saw a lot of movement throughout the rankings,”  Lambert notes.

The top 30 full-time U.S. MBA programs will be highlighted in the print issue of Bloomberg Businessweek on newsstands Friday, November 18, 2016.

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