Category Archives: General

HBS Dean Nohria Discusses Value of the MBA

The debate over whether the MBA degree is overrated never seems to get old, thanks to the media’s regular stoking of the topic. We thought we’d share with you today this new Bloomberg interview with …

The debate over whether the MBA degree is overrated never seems to get old, thanks to the media’s regular stoking of the topic. We thought we’d share with you today this new Bloomberg interview with Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria, an obvious proponent of the degree who strongly feels the MBA is key toward a lifetime of impactful leadership.

Though the interview kicks off critiquing the high cost of business school, I hope cash-strapped applicants take heart when they hear the dean say, “What we’re looking for is the brightest people with great leadership potential. And I promise you, if you apply to Harvard Business School you will be able to attend irrespective of your financial needs.”

As the conversation segues into the recent shifts of popular industries for grads—finance is down but entrepreneurship and tech are way up in 2015 over 2012—the Indian-born dean shares his strong support for the US financial system and discusses how not everyone is meant to start a company in their 20s.

For instance, though most surveys look at where alumni are and how much they are earning five years after graduation, the dean says one of the least-known facts about Harvard Business School is that, “Ten to 20 years after they graduate, 50% of alumni become entrepreneurs.” Interesting, no?

Check out the video, see where Dean Nohria’s head is at on the numbers of women in corporate America, the role online learning will play in the future of education, and why the intimate and immersive experience at HBS will never be replaced by the virtual world.

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MBA Value More than Financial, Says GMAC Survey

video source: Bloomberg News

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Finding Balance as an MBA Student and Beyond

The topic of work-life balance consumes a lot of air space in the media lately, particularly as Millennials try to figure out how to fulfill their professional passions while making time for their personal relationships …

finding balance in business schoolThe topic of work-life balance consumes a lot of air space in the media lately, particularly as Millennials try to figure out how to fulfill their professional passions while making time for their personal relationships and pleasurable downtime pursuits.

In my new post published on the Wharton Blog Network, I discuss how MBA students can find inspiration and practical advice on bringing balance to those crazy busy two years through a terrific novel called The Balance Project, by my friend and fellow Penn alum Susie Orman Schnall.

I also spoke to Schnall as a part of her interview series of the same name, which explores the idea of balance and how accomplished and inspiring women perceive and achieve the notion of having it all.  My interview is here, and it’s No. 104, so you know there’s a wealth of insight to be gleaned from the 100+ women who came before me!

I invite you to read both pieces and share with anyone you know who wants to bring a little balance to their lives but isn’t sure how.

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How to Make the Most of Your First Year of B-School

Are you hoping to head to b-school next fall? It’s never to early to learn from students who are currently where you want to be. This past year, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management has published …

first year of business school

Are you hoping to head to b-school next fall? It’s never to early to learn from students who are currently where you want to be. This past year, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management has published the viewpoints of now second-year student Rohan Rajiv as he shares the lessons learned at Kellogg that he considers most relevant to MBA applicants.

His latest post is extensive, and full of helpful tips on how to make the most of your first year in an MBA program. No matter whether Kellogg is on your short list or not, his experiences and feedback can help orient you during that first hectic year.

Rajiv covers several areas, from academics to career, to extracurriculars and social and family priorities. While veryone will have different priorities while at business school, his post is illuminating for its thorough examination of these often-competing aspects of the MBA experience.

Take a look, and do explore the links to some of the other subjects Rajiv has addressed this year. There’s sure to be something within that will be applicable to your MBA journey as well.

You may also be interested in:

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

Advice for Your Time at B-School

Image credit: Flickr user Richard Foster (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Harvard Business School Launches Virtual Classroom in HBX Live

Harvard Business School‘s unique digital learning initiative HBX has formally announced the launch of HBX Live—a virtual classroom designed to reproduce the intimacy and synchronous interaction of HBS’s famed case method in a digital environment. …

HBX Live in action. (PRNewsFoto/Harvard Business School)

HBX Live in action. (PRNewsFoto/Harvard Business School)

Harvard Business School‘s unique digital learning initiative HBX has formally announced the launch of HBX Live—a virtual classroom designed to reproduce the intimacy and synchronous interaction of HBS’s famed case method in a digital environment. It enables participants from around the world to engage in a dynamic and highly interactive discussion under the direction of an HBS professor.

HBX entered the digital learning platform market just over a year ago with the introduction of HBX CORe, an online program that teaches the fundamentals of business (Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting) to college students and recent workforce hires.

More recently, HBX announced the launch of Courses, a portfolio of online learning programs targeted at more senior managers.  The first offering in that series is “Disruptive Strategy” with Professor Clayton Christensen, renowned as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth. Both CORe and Courses are delivered through HBX’s innovative online platform, which was designed to create a highly interactive learning experience for online participants.

With HBX Live, no matter where participants are located, they can log in concurrently and join real-time, case-based sessions with Harvard Business School faculty who teach from the HBX Live Studio, located in the Boston-based facility of public broadcaster WGBH.  In the custom-designed studio, a high-resolution video wall mimics the amphitheater-style seating of an HBS classroom, with up to 60 participants displayed on individual screens simultaneously.

In addition, others can audit sessions via an observer model.  Sessions are expertly produced using still and roaming cameras, thus creating the look and feel for participants of being in a real classroom, where they can see both the professor and fellow students.

“Everything in the HBX Live Studio was designed to recreate the magic of the Harvard Business School case method classroom,” says Professor Youngme Moon, the School’s Senior Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation.

“We then layered on some additional features to bolster the learning model even further.  The result is a deeply immersive and engaging experience that allows participants from around the globe to interact in a highly kinetic way,” Moon adds.

Alumni from the MBA Classes of 2000, 2005, and 2010, as well as the HBS Alumni Board, were recently invited to participate in a two-session pilot on leadership.  And CORe students had the opportunity to interact in real time with the CORe faculty and their peers, including one session where there were participants from more than 30 countries.

To date, twenty HBS faculty members have taught in the HBX Live studio, and feedback has been very encouraging.  For example, ninety-six percent of the HBS alumni who took part in the initial session said they wanted to participate in HBX Live again. Participants have lauded the way the platform transcends geographical boundaries.

“The energy my faculty colleagues and I can feel in the studio from students located around the world is incredible, and the interaction with participants is seamless and impressive,” says Professor Bharat Anand, faculty chair of HBX.  “As a result, we are exploring the use of the HBX Live facility for a variety of new purposes, from case-based teaching in virtual executive programs to research activities.”

The HBX Live team also plans to connect more broadly with alumni and Executive Education and Corporate Learning participants in the near future as well as continue to explore how to best integrate Live with other HBX asynchronous offerings to add the benefit of real-time synchronous learning.

Finally, HBS Dean Nitin Nohria says, “HBX Live will help us deliver on our promise of lifelong learning by giving us a new way to engage students and alumni—not just here in Boston, but around the globe—as their professional and educational needs evolve over the course of their careers.”

You may also be interested in:

MOOCs and the Future of Management Education

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USC Marshall Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines, Essay Questions

The online application is now live at the USC Marshall School of Business, so we’re sharing the  2015-2016 application deadlines and required MBA essays for the upcoming admissions season. Round One Application deadline: October 19, …

USC MarshallThe online application is now live at the USC Marshall School of Business, so we’re sharing the  2015-2016 application deadlines and required MBA essays for the upcoming admissions season.

Round One
Application deadline: October 19, 2015
Notification begins: December 18, 2015

Round 2
Application deadline: January 8, 2016
Notification begins: April 1, 2016

Round 3
Application deadline: April 8, 2016
Notification begins: May 27, 2016

Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the day of the deadline.

Required MBA Essays

  1. Please complete both sections in no more than 700 words combined:
  • What is your immediate short-term goal post-graduation from the USC Marshall MBA program? (please include industry and function information in your answer.)
  • How will USC Marshall enable you to develop or improve your skills in order to reach your goals?

2. Tell us about a time went you went beyond what was defined, established, or expected.

For more information, please visit the USC Marshall MBA admissions website.

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Tuesday Tips: London Business School Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips

London Business School is a close-knit program with an international focus, set in one of the most exciting centers of culture in Europe. Among one of the top-ranked programs in the world, LBS is equally …

London Business School essay questionsLondon Business School is a close-knit program with an international focus, set in one of the most exciting centers of culture in Europe. Among one of the top-ranked programs in the world, LBS is equally valued by employers in both the US and Europe. LBS is an excellent choice for MBA hopefuls who have international experience, a goal to work in London or other parts of Europe, or just an interest in attending school outside the US.

LBS has a slim set of required questions. It will be a challenge for you to present everything you may want about your career, extracurriculars and personal attributes. Make sure you formulate a clear game plan for this set of essays so you can maximize the questions and the space permitted to make your case for admission.

Essay 1
What are your post-MBA plans and how will your past experience and the London Business School programme contribute? (500 words)

Most MBA applicants are pursuing the degree for a specific career goal post-MBA, but if you need a bit more reflection to answer this question it is worth doing the work. Self-awareness about your strengths and interests will help you refine what you want. To take your research deeper it could be helpful to talk to colleagues and alumni who have MBAs in your field to identify your career path options. Make sure that your career goals are both realistic and aspirational. An MBA will certainly open doors for you, and also may define a specific career path.

Your past experiences have certainly informed your post-MBA plans, and touching on those most relevant will be helpful to setting the background for your current pursuit of an MBA. To make this essay more than a rehash of your resume, think about explaining the rationale for your decisions throughout the essay. Why did you pursue your past experience and what has been the impetus behind subsequent career choices? At this point, why are you choosing LBS? If space permits, you will want to discuss the question of timing – why you have made the choice to pursue an MBA at this time, and why you want to attend LBS now.

Essay 2
What specific areas of London Business School life are you most excited about getting involved in and where will you add value? (300 words)

This essay is an opportunity to demonstrate passion for the school, London, activities and the community. Thorough research will be crucial here, whether online or in person. Consider both the academic community and the extracurricular communities. Reaching out to the clubs and organizations you are most interested in may allow you to interact with current students who can provide context for you. Visiting LBS would be an invaluable experience to feel the excitement in person.

To be most effective in answering this question you will want to be specific and logical in your choices of activities you will impact. What activities make the most sense in the context of your career and industry interests? What about your hobbies? Any community involvement you are currently pursuing and plan to continue could start to demonstrate your value to the groups you plan to join or lead at LBS.

International experience may be another area that is important to the LBS community and where you can add value. LBS is seeking applicants who are well traveled and thoughtful about cultural differences beyond their home countries. If you focus on your international background make sure you are able to explain what you have learned from interacting with cultures that are not your own, and relate your experiences back to what you will bring to LBS.

Optional Essay
Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (300 words)

This essay can be used to explain possible weaknesses in your application like a low GPA or GMAT score, or could be another opportunity to reveal an aspect of your candidacy that has not been covered in the previous questions.

If you use this space to explain a less than stellar aspect of your candidacy make sure you are offering explanations and not excuses. Keep all background information succinct and factual (no whining!) and explain the concrete steps you have taken to improve your candidacy and to be ready for an MBA programme like LBS.
If you are in the enviable position of having nothing to explain, this open-ended question would be a great opportunity to touch on a personal story or add color to your career goals. This could be the ideal place to describe a unique background, experience or attribute that did not fit elsewhere in the application.

Challenged by the LBS essay questions? Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help.

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