Category Archives: General

Kelley School Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines, Essay Questions

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business has posted the following MBA application deadlines and essay prompts for the 2015-2016 admissions season. Early Round Deadline: October 15, 2015 Notification by: December 20, 2015 Priority Round Deadline: …

Kelley School of Business horizontalIndiana University’s Kelley School of Business has posted the following MBA application deadlines and essay prompts for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Early Round
Deadline: October 15, 2015
Notification by: December 20, 2015

Priority Round
Deadline: January 5, 2016
Notification by: March 15, 2016

Third Round
Deadline: March 1, 2016
Notification by: April 30, 2016

Final Round
Deadline: April 15, 2016
Notification by: May 31, 2016

Fall 2016 Essay Questions

Required Essays:

1. Please discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)

2. Please respond to one of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)

  • My greatest memory is…
  • I’m most afraid of…
  • My greatest challenge has been…
  • I’m most proud of…

3. Please share with the admissions committee an interesting or surprising fact about you. (25 words)

Optional Essay:

Is there anything else you think we should know as we evaluation your application? If you believe your essays and credentials represent you fairly, you shouldn’t fell obligated to answer this question. (300 words)

Please visit the Kelley MBA program admissions website for more information.

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B-School Deans Convene at White House to Promote Women in Business

Business schools play a critical role in helping workers, companies, and leaders adapt to meet the needs of the 21st-century workforce. On August 5th, the Council on Women and Girls and the Council of Economic …

Happy BusinesswomanBusiness schools play a critical role in helping workers, companies, and leaders adapt to meet the needs of the 21st-century workforce. On August 5th, the Council on Women and Girls and the Council of Economic Advisers hosted a convening at the White House focusing on opportunities for the business community and business schools to work together to encourage success for women in business, helping companies to incorporate the full range of talent and diversity of American workers.

The convening brought together leaders from the business and business school communities as well as other stakeholders for a conversation on recruiting, training, and retaining leaders for the 21st-century workplace and the importance of implementing policies that work for families.

In conjunction with the event, over 45 business schools committed to a set of best practices that offer concrete strategies for business schools to help women succeed throughout school and their careers and to build a business school experience that prepares students for the workforce of tomorrow.  These best practices focus on four key areas:

  • Ensuring access to business schools and business careers
  • Building a business school experience that prepares students for the workforce of tomorrow
  • Ensuring career services that go beyond the needs of traditional students
  • Exemplifying how organizations should be run

Actions Address Unique Barriers Women in Business Careers Face

The Council of Economic Advisers released a new Issue Brief highlighting the unique barriers that women face in business careers and the need for business schools and the business community alike to work together to encourage women’s success. Together, these changes would help businesses fully reap the benefits of diversity, maximize innovation, and boost productivity. Among the Issue Brief’s highlights:

  • Although women have become more equal players in the labor market and have increasingly entered previously male-dominated occupations like medicine and law, women have made relatively fewer strides in business careers. In 2014, only 5 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies were female, and in 2013 only 17 percent of board seats in the Fortune 500 were held by women.
  • Undergraduate women are currently about 30 percent less likely than male undergraduates to major in business.
  • A recent study by a global organization to accredit business schools found that enrollment in North American MBA programs is sharply skewed towards men, with women representing only 38 percent of students. Among specialized master’s degree programs offered by business schools, however, men and women were enrolled at essentially equal rates.
  • While men and women in MBA programs have fairly similar earnings at graduation, after 5 years, men earn approximately 30 percent more than women, and after 10 or more years, this gap stretches to 60 percent.
  • An increased role for women in business is good news for our economy, in part because research has shown that greater diversity in the workforce increases productivity, improves decision making, and heightens performance.

As the global membership association for more than 1,450 business schools, and the accrediting body for more than 700 institutions worldwide, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has committed to supporting business schools in their efforts to expand opportunity for women in business careers. To help lead these efforts, AACSB announced on Monday, August 3rd the appointment of its first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Advocate, Christine Clements, who will lead this effort.

Business schools and the business community as a whole have a critical role to play in helping prepare future leaders for a 21st century workplace. This event, along with the commitments by business schools and the AACSB, is a concrete step forward in helping women succeed throughout the business community and broader workforce.

Follow this link to read the complete press release issued by the White House.

Image credit: Flickr user Steve Wilson (CC BY 2.0)

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What’s it Like to Work with the SBC Team?

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 an experienced consultant can always help, …

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 an experienced 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.

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.

To give you an even better idea of how we can help, I’d like to share with you some of the feedback we’ve received from clients who applied during the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season. See below for insights on Essay Guidance, Personal Branding, Strategy, Younger Applicants, Non-Traditional Applicants and Overall Support. Scroll through to find the area important to you!

Essay Guidance

“I was given a choice of consultants to work with, and chose Sherry given her experience in MBA admissions. We had an initial conversation so I could introduce my goals and she could explain the process. Most of the help I needed was with essays so the remaining interactions were mostly  through email as I sent essay drafts and she provided comments.

I probably wrote 50% extra on most essays throughout the process. While this was more work than I expected, it undeniably created a better application as Sherry would select examples / topics that better fit with my overall application. Sherry was very fast yet thorough at revising, so relatively less time was reduced from my account and draft turns were very quick. We also had time to have a mock interview and revise my resume.

The biggest impact was having each aspect of an application articulate and cohesive to the overall application ‘story.’ I recommend this service to anyone who has not worked in MBA admissions. It was a hit to my wallet for sure… but I was accepted to all four schools I applied to, including a top-20 and two scholarship offers, as a < 3.0 GPA / < 700 GMAT even though I thought my chances were slim/not good at three of the schools.”

Developing Your Personal Brand

“I can not thank SBC and my consultant Maureen enough for their help through out the b-school process! Maureen was patient, diligent and her insights were critical at every step of the process. She took a lot of time upfront to get to know me and was able to draw out strengths/unique characteristics from my profile that I would never have thought of on my own. I had a tremendous gaps in my profile and Maureen was very direct about what I had to do to fill those in (additional courses, leveraging work experience, etc). She had a lot of perspective on what Admissions was looking for in a candidate, and a lot of school-specific knowledge.

When we went through our mock interview prep, she was intimately aware of what the school in question was looking for. I asked Maureen just about anything and everything (and my questions were frequently borderline ridiculous!), but she always replied on time and with comprehensive advice. Often times, Maureen’s response time exceeded our agreed upon time. She was a thorough professional and an exceptional support throughput. I would recommend SBC unequivocally to anyone looking to get into a top school!”

Honing Strategy

“I just want to give many thanks to Bill. I think he is an amazing consultant and he does his job super professionally. It is really hard to underestimate his participation in my success. I got two out of two! Chicago Booth EMBA and LBS-Columbia GEMBA program have accepted me. I hesitated before getting a consulting service and was not sure of its worth for EMBA. I tried six different firms and consultants but he seemed the best. It was one of the best choices in my life.

His guideline changed my view not only on the application process but really helped me to develop my personal mid- and long-term strategy. His answers were always efficient and came very quickly. During the interviews, I felt very confident as adcoms asked exactly the same questions that we discussed. I just gave them a very impressive story of my life that he helped me to create. I will strongly recommend him to anyone who may be looking for a top program.”

Helping Younger Applicants

“As a younger candidate, expecting only 2 years of full-time experience before entering school, I was worried how MBA programs would perceive my experience when I re-applied. I had already applied to one school, unsuccessfully, so I decided to work with a consulting agency to help me create a strong personal brand.

I had a very positive experience working with Meredith on my 5 applications. She was very helpful in making sure I was displaying the different aspects that admissions committees want to see. While I was responsible for writing the essays and making corrections based on her suggestions, Meredith gave me confidence that I was sharing the best parts of my application while patching any holes that I had. Specifically, she helped me convey my work experience so that employers could see that there was great substance to it, despite its limited duration. In addition, she helped me address the fact that despite showing improving grades, my GPA was below the average for a top school.

I would recommend Stacy Blackman to a friend. While consulting services are expensive, they can pay off greatly. Not only do you know you are picking schools that you have a shot getting into, but you also know that you are putting your best foot forward. Stacy Blackman provided an objective and experienced point of view that give you constructive feedback and guidance through the application process.

In the end, I got interviews to four of my five schools (all top 25). I will update this review when I hear back from all of my schools.”

Helping Older/Non-Traditional Applicants

“Last week I got the good news that I have been admitted to my desired b-school. About 4 months back from now I was very concerned about completing admission requirements of the school including GMAT, essays, references, customized resume etc. Then I found Stacey Blackman Consulting. Kevin from SBC was assigned my case. I admit that my case was quite difficult.

I was about 7-8 years older than the average age of the part-time MBA students in my desired school, plus I had no business degree or experience. Kevin’s initial assessment of my case provided me invaluable advices that gave me a clear direction on how to work toward completing the requirements. Kevin reviewed my essays and resume several times and at the end the product was very impressive.

My essays clearly defined my goal and the reason for pursuing for MBA. My resume clearly described my achievements. My essays and resume together made perfect sense of what I have done so far, my vision for future and how MBA will help me to achieve my goal. Kevin’s great experience and insight were great help all the way. I am very grateful to SBC and particularly to Kevin.”

Support on all Fronts

“I was initially hesitant to engage a professional consultancy. I had planned to ask my friends for tips based on what they had learned from their own application processes. I ultimately invested in the comprehensive package with SBC after a current Wharton student told me that I risked putting myself at a disadvantage otherwise. This was great advice.

I was paired with Margaret, a great match for my personality and work style– in her words, we’re both ‘hard-assed perfectionists.’ Margaret’s help was invaluable every step of the way, from developing my story and polishing essays to tactical questions regarding recommenders and school-specific minutiae. She exchanged hundreds of emails of the summer and she reviewed scores of drafts of my various essays, always promptly and incisively. During the long interview season in the fall, she helped to coach me on my standard responses and generally prepare me to excel in interviews. After she discovered I love cooking (which featured in my applications) we even exchanged a few recipes.

With the comprehensive package, I also had access to a “flight test” of my application by a former MBA admissions committee member, and after I received an interview offer from Wharton, I was able to practice their unusual group interview with other SBC applicants over Skype. My real Wharton interview went almost exactly the way it did in the practice session, which helped me to stay calm and confident despite the unusual format.

Ultimately, I was accepted to Booth with a scholarship and to my dream program at Wharton. Based on that alone, I’d say SBC is well worth the investment as a way of reducing downside risk. But I’d endorse them even if I hadn’t been as fortunate in what is ultimately a capricious and subjective process. SBC’s consultants act as mentors and coaches, and when it matters Margaret can be as demanding as my former investment banking bosses. I gained valuable experience and I learned practical and tactical lessons about positioning myself as a candidate, which I will apply to my post-MBA goals.”

***

You can also view Stacy Blackman Consulting’s  reviews on Yelp! We have stronger reviews there than any company in the industry and are so proud of our track record.

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.

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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Ask HR: Why Hire MBAs?

Special guest post provided by MBA@UNC The demand for candidates who have earned an MBA is clear across all business sectors. According to a Graduate Management Admission Council survey (the administrator of the GMAT), nine …

fortune cookie job--attribution requiredSpecial guest post provided by MBA@UNC

The demand for candidates who have earned an MBA is clear across all business sectors. According to a Graduate Management Admission Council survey (the administrator of the GMAT), nine out of 10 employers say they expect to maintain or increase job opportunities for graduates of MBA programs in 2015.

As a bonus, the majority of the employers who responded also plan to increase base salaries for new hires this year. So the question is, what makes MBA graduates so employable?

To find out, MBA@UNC decided to go right to the source: HR executives. Professionals from a variety of industries were asked to answer the question, “Why does an MBA give candidates an advantage?” Here’s what they had to say:

Erin Anderson, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, 2U

“Candidates with MBAs tend to have a broader set of skills that enable them to address business needs with a more comprehensive understanding of how their actions will impact the organization.”

Katie Burke, Director of Talent and Culture, HubSpot

“At HubSpot we give employees significant autonomy to create solutions for our customers and our company. MBAs are incredibly valuable to our team because they drive data-driven decisions to impact change and lead cross-functional projects all while thinking like founders, and that’s a hybrid skill set we need in spades as we grow and scale globally.”

Tisa Head, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Navy Federal

“MBA candidates have experienced rigorous academic programs, project work in a team environment, internships with industry leaders, and, in many cases, international business experiences. All of these experiences, in and out of the classroom, develop critical thinking, problem solving and team-oriented skills that enhance their overall business acumen and provide advantages in a very competitive job market.”

Julie Hodges, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion, Disney Parks & Resorts

“We find that MBA graduates joining Disney possess a passion for our company, brand and unique experiences, and they offer a wide range of business knowledge and intense enthusiasm for what is possible. Their ability to handle complex business situations and capacity to adapt and be nimble in a rapidly changing global environment has been an asset for us.”

Sandy Hynes, Senior Vice President of People, Opower

“Having an MBA is so much more than a few additional years of education. Candidates with MBAs stand out because they are able to take theoretical knowledge and apply it to real business situations, enabling them to get up to speed and deliver results more rapidly, which is what top companies need to compete globally.”

As you can see, there were trends among the 24 responses that included the desire to hire people with diverse skill-sets and those with the ability to discover innovation solutions. Other answers focused on the global perspective and the exposure to real-world business challenges that MBA graduates possess.

To read the full list of responses from companies like Accenture, Costco Wholesale, KPMG, LinkedIn, and Wegmans, visit MBA@UNC’s website here.

image credit:  www.flazingo.com/creativecommons

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Tuesday Tips: UCLA Anderson Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips

UCLA Anderson is a small and close-knit school with particular focus on entrepreneurship, entertainment, real estate and other major industries in Southern California. While UCLA has a dominant position in the region it is also …

UCLA Anderson essay tipsUCLA Anderson is a small and close-knit school with particular focus on entrepreneurship, entertainment, real estate and other major industries in Southern California. While UCLA has a dominant position in the region it is also a nationally known program that will position you well in whatever career you pursue.

Anderson can be selective about the composition of each MBA class, therefore your fit with the values and principles of the school is of primary importance. When approaching this set of essays make sure you understand what Anderson will do for you and what you plan to bring to the community.

We have helped countless applicants achieve their UCLA Anderson dreams. Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you.

Required Essay
We believe that the best results are achieved when you share success, think fearlessly and drive change. With this in mind, what are your goals at UCLA Anderson and in your short-term and long-term career? (750 words maximum)

UCLA Anderson’s values are embodied by “share success, think fearlessly and drive change” and by demonstrating that you possess those qualities you will be demonstrating your fit with UCLA Anderson. Thorough school research will provide examples you can use to describe why these values and principles drive your goals while attending UCLA Anderson. Your career goals should be examined through the filter of Anderson’s values and how you plan to use those values in your post-Anderson life.

When structuring this essay consider telling one or two pivotal stories to illuminate who you are. UCLA is looking for personal expression in this essay, and to understand how you are different from other applicants. Consider the turning points or moments that triggered reflection for you. Have you experienced a significant personal setback? What is your family background? Have you lived outside your home country? When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of your proudest accomplishments? What moments have called upon your need to collaborate, lead or innovate?

For the second part of the essay briefly explain what you plan to do immediately after graduation, and then what you want to accomplish over the long-term with your career. A career path that focuses on demonstrated passions and interests throughout your life is going to be most compelling as you write this essay and each section should bridge seamlessly into the next.

For the part of the essay focusing on UCLA Anderson’s part in your plans, UCLA specifically requests citing specific classes, professors and programs. To express a bit more on the personal side it will be helpful to include the social and extracurricular aspects that attract you to the small and close-knit experience at Anderson. Be specific as you discuss the clubs and conferences that are unique to the UCLA MBA.

Optional Essay
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)

It is important to focus on explanations rather than excuses in this essay. Potential extenuating circumstances may be a very low GPA, academic probation or using a recommender other than your current supervisor. Clearly explain the situation, and if it is a situation from the past, explain why you have changed. Providing evidence that you will not repeat the actions in question will help to solidify your answer.

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UCLA Anderson Requires 2 Recommendation Letters for Fall 2016 Application

The latest post on the MBA Insider’s Blog at UCLA Anderson School of Management reveals that the full-time MBA program will require applicants to submit two letters of recommendation for the class entering in Fall …

ucla anderson letters of recommendation

The latest post on the MBA Insider’s Blog at UCLA Anderson School of Management reveals that the full-time MBA program will require applicants to submit two letters of recommendation for the class entering in Fall 2016.

It seems many applicants in previous years were submitting two letters anyway, so the program decided to make it official this season and will monitor how useful the extra recommendation will be to the admissions committee.

“The letters of recommendation are very helpful in providing a third party’s perspective on your leadership and management potential, readiness/fit for business school, interpersonal skills and teamwork abilities,” writes admissions officer Jessica Chung.

In addition to listing who you should and should not choose as a recommender, Chung also details what kind of information these champions for your b-school candidacy should share with the admissions team.

Finally, she stresses the importance of managing your recommenders and providing them with reminders of your strengths and past accomplishments to make the process just a little bit easier.

“It’s a small investment of time on your part,” Chung notes, “But your recommenders will absolutely appreciate your insight because it will make their job easier!”

We completely agree with the advice and suggestions shared by the admissions team at UCLA Anderson. As MBA admissions consultants, we’re always coaching clients on how to strategize and manage the MBA recommendation process, avoid choosing the wrong MBA recommenders, and decide whether they should juice up MBA recommendations with alumni and VIPS.

Letters of recommendation are one of the most influential components of your business school application, and you want yours to be as strong and compelling as possible.

You may also be interested in:

Recommendation Letters for MBA Applications

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