Category Archives: General

New Georgetown MBA Course Focuses on Women Leaders

Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business has further expanded its efforts to groom young female leaders through a new MBA course titled Developing Women Leaders: Cultivating your Human and Social Capital, the school recently announced. Professor Catherine …

Georgetown MBA

Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business has further expanded its efforts to groom young female leaders through a new MBA course titled Developing Women Leaders: Cultivating your Human and Social Capital, the school recently announced.

Professor Catherine Tinsley, who has been instrumental in building the Georgetown University Women’s Leadership Initiative (GUWLI), created the six-week course. The GUWLI is a program that aims to cultivate young female leaders and connect them with already established female leaders out in the world.

A series of conferences, networking events, and panels inspired Tinsley to create a course based on the three activities that she has found helpful in advancing and empowering women: rigorous research documenting gender dynamics, active workshops targeting specific practical skills women need to build their human and social capital, and listening to other women.

Tinsley notes that with all the technical skills and experience students bring from their previous modules, “This course is designed not to help them get a job, but to help them advance once they have a job.”

The second-year MBA course, which began in March, will be structured around the six human and social capital skills that Tinsley believes everyone needs to advance in their careers.

The course title might seem to indicate it is intended solely for women, but Tinsley says the examined skill set is one from which women and men both would benefit. As Tinsley comments, “There’s no skill that women need to have that men don’t need to have, so this course is about advancement and building your own capital.”

Though there is a great deal of advice about career advancement readily available to women today, very little of it is based on organized research. Similar courses on female leadership that exist at other institutions are generally based on specific case studies and focus on where real women have succeed and where they have faltered.

Developing Women Leaders differs in that it is fundamentally research-based course, drawing on results from large sample sizes.  Guest speakers will offer students context for these results and insights gleaned from years of experience in the business world.

In the first class, 30 women have enrolled from the full female cohort of 81, but no male students have yet enrolled, the Financial Times notes in a profile piece on Tinsley.

The  professor hopes they will eventually choose to join the course, telling Financial Times that men need to be open to discuss gender issues and what those issues mean to them. “It would be interesting and challenging to include them – it is a dialogue that needs to take place,” she says.

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Kellogg School Takes 1st Place in Sustainable Investing Challenge

A team of students from the Kellogg School of Management has taken first place in the 2014 Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge with their proposed investment vehicle that would remediate contaminated land in the U.S. …

A team of students from the Kellogg School of Management has taken first place in the 2014 Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge with their proposed investment vehicle that would remediate contaminated land in the U.S. through reforestation.

This preeminent global competition is geared for students to develop investment vehicles aiming at delivering positive social and environmental impact and competitive financial returns.

Last week at Morgan Stanley’s New York City headquarters, Kellogg’s Nicole Chavas, Nathen Holub, Laura Kimes and April Mendez presented their winning idea for the Fresh Coast Forest Fund, which would lease 25,000 acres of contaminated municipal land to plant poplar tree farms on contaminated urban and industrial sites. Poplars naturally clean and restore soil by absorbing toxins, and could be harvested for use as biomass or wood product.

As a collaboration among the Kellogg School of Management, INSEAD, and the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, the competition seeks to identify the next generation of sustainable investing practitioners, connect emerging leaders with industry professionals, and foster even greater emphasis on sustainability at graduate schools around the world.

At last week’s event, ten finalist teams proposed investment vehicles addressing issues including agriculture, solar energy and sanitation. In February, more than 220 students from 39 schools in 10 different countries submitted prospectuses for the competition.

A team from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business won second place for their proposal, myCatch, a lending vehicle that would provide loans to organizations on behalf of small-scale sustainable fisheries.

“It is exciting to see today’s students—tomorrow’s financial professionals—pushing the frontiers of financial innovation to achieve positive social or environmental impact,” says Jamie Jones, Director of Social Entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management. “The young leaders who participated in the competition will be a driving force for the conversation about sustainable investing at their academic institutions.”

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How NOT to Approach GMAT IR

Guest post by our friends at Magoosh As of June 2012, the GMAT lost an essay and gained a new section. The GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) was born. This section appears at the beginning of …

Guest post by our friends at Magoosh

As of June 2012, the GMAT lost an essay and gained a new section. The GMAT Integrated Reasoning (IR) was born. This section appears at the beginning of the test and asks students to deal with complex and disperse forms of data to solve problems. The test makers explicitly state that this section is meant to mimic skills that students will need in business school, and more importantly, in business.

These skills, as stated by the GMAT, are “synthesizing information presented in graphics, text, and numbers; evaluating relevant information from different sources; organizing information to see relationships and to solve multiple, interrelated problems; combining and manipulating information from multiple sources to solve complex problems.”

If all this is true, and I think it is, the IR section is an important measure of your potential success in school and in business. As such, practicing for the IR section will benefit you long after you take the GMAT, and the GMAC has evidence from actual test takers to prove it.

But what exactly are these skills and how do you prepare for this new section? I’d like to walk you through what not to do and end with what you should do to prepare for the IR section.

Not Just About Math

You will need to exercise your math brain and use your logical, numerical reasoning powers for this section, but you are greatly mistaken if you think that your preparation for Quantitative Reasoning is sufficient preparation for the IR section.

Students may find that being strong in algebra or data analysis will help them through some of the IR section, but most of what they will see there is in the form of text, tables, or graphs. The closest things to IR, in the Quantitative Section, are the word problems that require both reading comprehension and math sense. But even these questions don’t touch the level of complexity that you will see in IR.

You will need to do more.

Not Just About Reading

The IR contains a lot to read—messages and emails, announcements and descriptions, explanations of graphs and prompts to answer, statements to evaluate and column headings to understand. Having strong reading skills is a must, as with the entire test, but again, it is not sufficient for success.

The ability to quickly read for meaning will help. The ability to organize information from multiple sources will help. The ability to locate details will help. But none of it is sufficient.

You will need to do more.

Not Just About Graphs and Tables

Students sometimes misunderstand the IR section. It’s not just graphs, charts, and tables. Yes, they are there. Yes, you’ll be dealing with scatter plots, radar charts, and graphs like this one. Having experience in statistics will help, but that won’t be all that you need to be ready.

Understanding U.S. Today charts is a start, but you’ll probably want to move on to The Wall Street Journal and The Economist tables and charts to be ready. But even comfort with graphs at that level is only part of what you need.

Here’s What You Need to Do

First thing you’ll need to do is take the time to learn all the question types. There are four of them—Two-Part Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, and Graphical Interpretation. Learn the difference among these questions and also learn how much variety exists within each question type.

Although the general format will be the same, the types of information and presentation of data can vary greatly. For example, a Two-Part Analysis question can involve algebraic expressions or valid statements based on a passage.

Next you’ll need to deal with timing. Integrated Reasoning is deceptively long. The test makers tell us that we have twelve questions to answer in 30 minutes, but in reality, we have twelve pages that have anywhere from two to five questions to answer.

We must answer all questions correctly on a page to receive credit. As such, we all need to practice these questions in a timed environment. We all need an impeccable pacing strategy to avoid guessing on questions as time is running out.

Finally, you’ll need to work on your executive function. No, not that type of executive. I am talking about neuroscience. Executive function refers to the management and control of certain cognitive processes. These processes are skills needed for success on the test and later in life.

They include deciding priorities, weighing benefits and liabilities, designing strategies, resolving conflicting values, planning, and execution. The key to honing these skills, as with most skills, is practice. And not only practice of IR questions, but also general practice of these skills in your life, while reading the newspaper or managing your finances.

Takeaway

Preparing for the IR section is not the same as preparing for the Verbal section or the Quantitative section. But the preparation can greatly benefit you. Not only will it help you in understanding a GMAT score report or help you in applying to Wharton, but it also will make you a more competitive student and a more competent employee.

More than anything else you will practice for the test, besides good reading skills perhaps, is IR prep. You are practicing life skills—not abstract math concepts or contrived arguments. Practice them well.

This post was written by Kevin Rocci, resident GMAT expert at Magoosh, a leader in GMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’s GMAT blog.

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Columbia Business School Gives Back

Columbia Business School has announced its first large-scale, student-led volunteering initiative coming up on April 4th. The school’s inaugural Day of Impact includes ten service projects throughout New York City and will give students, faculty, …

Columbia Business School has announced its first large-scale, student-led volunteering initiative coming up on April 4th. The school’s inaugural Day of Impact includes ten service projects throughout New York City and will give students, faculty, and staff a chance to give back to the communities where they live and study.

Participants will partner with several different organizations, including the Citymeals-on-Wheels, Food Bank for New York City, The Humane Society of New York, and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Projects will include:

  • Beautifying various city parks — Morningside Park, St. Mary’s Park, and Hamilton Grange National Park;
  • Delivering meals to the home ridden through meal providers Jan Hus Church, Leonard Covello Senior Center, and Goddard-WEME Mainstream Nutrition Program;
  • Preparing dinner for the Food Bank of New York; and
  • Caring for animals in need at the Humane Society of New York City.

“Making an impact on society — however large or small — is a huge part of who we are at Columbia Business School,” says Sheila Lalani ’14, vice president of community service for the School’s Graduate Business Association. “The idea behind Day of Impact is to demonstrate our community’s commitment to not only bettering the business world once we graduate, but also working to improve the community in which we live.”

Lalani presented the idea in 2013 to the school’s administration. Since then, it has been embraced by the entire Columbia Business School community.  Lalani’s hope and expectation is that the Day of Impact will become an annual event that grows in scope and impact each year.

Volunteers will be communicating with each other throughout the day using social media.  The student organizers have set up the hashtag #CBSDayOfImpact and asked volunteers to post photos, videos, and updates about the progress of their efforts.

Associate Dean Michael Malone, who will be volunteering as part of the Morningside Park beautification efforts, commends the School’s community for giving back to society. “We are so proud of our students for bringing this opportunity to life.  They are constantly looking for new ways to demonstrate the impact Columbia can have outside of the classroom,” Malone says.

“This initiative really reflects what we believe in most strongly at Columbia: leadership through action, community-wide collaboration, and rolling our sleeves up to make a difference.”

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What Happens During an ‘Undercover’ Admissions Interview?

In the latest installment of Bloomberg Businessweek journalist Amy S. Choi‘s attempt to walk in the shoes of b-school applicants, the intrepid writer shares how being herself worked out during her recent MBA interview experience …

In the latest installment of Bloomberg Businessweek journalist Amy S. Choi‘s attempt to walk in the shoes of b-school applicants, the intrepid writer shares how being herself worked out during her recent MBA interview experience at NYU Stern School of Business.

From taking wardrobe risks to over-preparing to bungled answers, applicants can take away several useful tips from this story, particularly those with Stern on their shortlist.

“The interview process is typically to confirm a ‘yes,’” Alison Goggin, senior director of MBA admissions at Stern, tells Choi. “For the 30 percent of applicants that interview but don’t receive an invitation, it means that there were already questionable elements to their application, but we wanted to see if the interview might change our minds.”

After sketching out one “fumbled” Q and A, Choi acknowledges she might have been more succinct if she’d run through her answers at least once. I’m quoted in the piece advising Choi to practice out loud to avoid rambling and, even worse, becoming boring.

“Luckily, the next few questions are fairly typical: What are my greatest professional accomplishments? Challenges? Blackman recommends the STAR method for answering situational questions such as ‘Tell me about a professional hurdle.’ Discuss the situation, task, action, and result. This works like a charm,” Choi writes.

Ultimately, Choi learns that the key to acing an MBA interview is being professional, prepared, and most of all, true to yourself. As Goggin assures Choi, “We sincerely do want to have a conversation and learn about you. This isn’t a job interview. It’s an admissions interview.”

Follow the link above to learn more about Choi’s MBA interview experience at Stern, as well as what happened when she winged the GMAT with no preparation…all in the name of journalism.

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Tuck Dean Danos to Step Down After 19 Years

Tuck School of Business Dean Paul Danos has announced his plans to step down when his current term ends in 2015. At 19 years, his tenure is the longest in Tuck’s history and one of …

Tuck School of Business Dean Paul Danos has announced his plans to step down when his current term ends in 2015. At 19 years, his tenure is the longest in Tuck’s history and one of the longest in management education. By the end of his fifth term, nearly half of Tuck’s 10,000-plus living alumni will have graduated under his deanship.

Danos joined Tuck in 1995 and has guided the school through one of the most transformative periods in its history. He led a dramatic expansion of Tuck’s world-class faculty; oversaw the launch of nine centers and initiatives; and introduced a broad array of MBA curriculum innovations that enabled the school to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of global business.

“I realize that none of our achievements would have been possible without the contributions of our entire community—our skilled and caring faculty, our outstanding students, our committed staff, and our loyal and dedicated alumni,” Danos said in a letter to the Tuck community announcing  that he would not seek reappointment for a sixth term.

“Your support and encouragement over the last two decades has been vital to Tuck’s continued success and has meant the world to me. Tuck is a great school with a virtuous circle of caring people who will ensure that its future will be as bright as its past,” he added.

Under Danos, Tuck has consistently been cited for the excellence of its MBA program, and is known for its world-leading alumni giving rate, which is nearly three times the average participation rate of other business schools.

Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon also expressed the school’s gratitude to Dean Danos, saying his “commitment to the quality of the MBA program and to preparing students for a lifetime of responsible leadership has earned Tuck a unique place among the world’s top graduate schools of business. “

At Tuck, Danos also presided over an increase in both the size and quality of the student body, as classes became more international, diverse, and balanced between genders. The size of the faculty also grew during this period. Under his leadership, the number of full-time faculty at Tuck rose from 36 to 51, as did their levels recognition and accomplishment.

Board of Overseers Chair Christopher J. Williams said he anticipates significant global interest in this deanship, since “The opportunity to lead one of the world’s truly great business schools is a rare one.”

President Hanlon will be working with incoming Provost Carolyn Dever to form a search committee and will be seeking input from faculty, senior administrators, students, and alumni as they conduct a thoughtful search for the next dean. Williams said Tuck will likely announce a new dean in early 2015.

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