Category Archives: General

Ace Your Harvard Business School Interview

Harvard Business School interviews just 25% of applicants each season. On the bright side, HBS admits about half of interviewed candidates, so if you can successfully pass this hurdle in the application process, your chances …

HBS interview tips

Harvard Business School interviews just 25% of applicants each season. On the bright side, HBS admits about half of interviewed candidates, so if you can successfully pass this hurdle in the application process, your chances of admission skyrocket.

As I explained in my recent article published in Business Insider, the admissions team seeks applicants who can demonstrate that they share the values central to HBS culture: passion, self-awareness, maturity, integrity, focus on solutions, high-impact leadership, and case-method compatibility.

While you can’t predict which specific questions will come up during your interview, you can expect the types of questions to fall into three broad categories representing your past, present, and future. The interviewer will probe in great depth about your career goals, professional choices, and interest in the MBA program. He or she will be very familiar with your essays — so familiar, in fact, that your interviewer will seem determined to find a “hole” in your story.

The anecdotes you share about your past experiences — both successes and failures — will give the interviewer some insight into your self-awareness and maturity. Your story should reveal how you confront life choices, the values and principles that help you negotiate complex situations, your beliefs, and your worldview.

Expect to receive a number of questions that will help interviewers gauge how life has tested you, and how you responded to that test.

As you prepare for the interview, focus on the experiences, anecdotes, and answers that will showcase your strengths. To learn exactly how to successfully wow your interviewer for a shot of admission at this ultra-elite school, click on over to Business Insider to continue reading my article with the best HBS interview tips.

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Image credit: Flickr user Florian Pilz (CC BY 2.0)

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US News Announces 2018 Ranking of Best Business Schools

U.S. News & World Report has released the 2018 Best Graduate Schools rankings, designed to help prospective students research programs across six disciplines and evaluate the potential return on their investment. In this year’s full-time MBA rankings, …

U.S. News & World Report has released the 2018 Best Graduate Schools rankings, designed to help prospective students research programs across six disciplines and evaluate the potential return on their investment.

Harvard Business School interview

In this year’s full-time MBA rankings, Harvard Business School and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School have tied for the No. 1 program in the country. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business holds the No. 3 spot, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business drops from last year’s second place to share fourth place with MIT Sloan School of Management and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Among part-time MBA programs, the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business once again retains the top spot, followed by Chicago’s Booth School of Business at No. 2. The NYU Stern School of Business and UCLA Anderson School of Management tie at third place.

US News’s Best Business Schools

  • Harvard Business School (#1 tie)
  • Wharton School (#1 tie)
  • Chicago Booth School of Business (#3)
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business (#4 tie)
  • MIT Sloan School of Management (#4 tie)
  • Kellogg School of Management (#4 tie)
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (#7)
  • Tuck School of Business (#8)
  • Columbia Business School (#9 tie)
  • Yale School of Management  (#9 tie)

The six graduate disciplines U.S. News ranks annually are evaluated on factors such as employment rates for graduates, starting salary and standardized test scores of newly enrolled students. Because each graduate program is different, the rankings methodology varies across disciplines.

Different output measures are available for different fields, U.S. News explains, saying that in business, they use starting salaries and the ability of new MBAs to find jobs upon graduation or three months later.

“A graduate degree can lead to professional advancement and a potential salary increase,” says Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “Whether you are interested in pursuing a full-time program or taking classes part-time, the grad school rankings and advice offer guidance on finding programs that help you fulfill your personal goals.”

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MAP Course at Michigan Ross Celebrates 25 Years of Hands-On Learning

This week, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business kicks off its annual Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) program, which embeds teams of students into a company or nonprofit to enhance their leadership skills and …

MAP course at Michigan Ross

This week, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business kicks off its annual Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) program, which embeds teams of students into a company or nonprofit to enhance their leadership skills and apply concepts from the classroom to real life business challenges.

Now in its 25th year, the entire class of 400 first-year full-time MBA students will embark on a seven-week project, spending time in the field and traveling to meet with executives on-site to tackle complex problems or uncover new opportunities for their sponsor organization. MAP student teams undertake a variety of projects, including evaluating market entry opportunities, developing long-term strategic plans and analyzing branding efforts.

To celebrate this important milestone in hands-on learning, the team at Michigan Ross has come up with a list of 25 things that make the MAP course unique and impactful learning experience.

  1. MAP is the longest such hands-on learning program, sending our entire class of first-year MBAs out into the field for seven weeks during the winter semester.
  2. It’s also one of the biggest.
  3. This year, students will be working on 83 simultaneous projects, while working with 74 different companies and organizations.
  4. These projects are with some of the biggest, most influential companies on the planet(Amazon, Google, Microsoft);
  5. with some of the most impactful nonprofits (Make-a-Wish, CARE International, Ocean Conservancy);
  6. and with some of the most promising startups (Vayu, Jeevtronics, VerseAI).
  7. Students will work hand-in-hand with the organization’s executives, gaining firsthand insights into business operations and expanding their networks.
  8. Companies often implement student suggestions, giving our MBAs incredible new resume credentials.
  9. And setting them up for success on day one of their summer internship.
  10. MAP is a unique opportunity to explore the global world of business in an entirely immersive way.
  11. Nearly 70-percent of MAP students will be participating in a project outside of their home country this year.
  12. Projects are taking place in 115 cities and 25 countries around the globe.
  13. There will be teams of Michigan Ross MBAs on almost every continent.
  14. Projects are taking place in six countries in Africa (Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania);
  15. in seven countries in Asia (Cambodia, China, India, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Vietnam);
  16. in four countries in Europe (Finland, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom);
  17. in four countries in South America (Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru);
  18. and in four countries in North America (Canada, USA, Mexico, Jamaica).
  19. This is the first time MAP students will be working in Nepal. They will be helping a company there develop financial models that can end the use of slave labor in the brick industry.
  20. MAP projects give students a chance to choose which industry they want to experience.
  21. From finance and technology to healthcare and marketing, many students choose to work in an entirely new industry than their previous job in order to build important new skills.
  22. MAP has already impacted an entire generation of business leaders.
  23. In 25 years, 10,852 Full-Time MBA Ross students have participated in MAP.
  24. They’ve worked with 1,391 sponsor companies, helping them solve some of their most pressing challenges.
  25. And the best part is, MAP is just getting started.

Although initially associated exclusively with the Ross Full-Time MBA Program, in recent years MAP has expanded to include other Ross degree programs. Global, Weekend, Evening, and Executive MBA students participate in projects similar in scope to the Full-Time cohort.

MAP Course Michigan Ross

Highlights of this year’s Full-Time MBA Ross MAP projects include:

  • A project with Java House, a chain of 44 coffee shops throughout Africa, where students will be working to provide a roadmap to help the company successfully enter the Tanzanian market.
  • A project with luxury brand, Shinola, where students will assist the company in developing new product categories.
  • A strategy project with GE Power in India, where students will help develop a framework for bringing new products and services to emerging markets.
  • Nineteen different technology projects, including one with Hotels.com, in which students will be developing a portal for sharing consumer research, and one with Microsoft, where students will investigate collaborations between universities and tech companies.
  • Several healthcare projects, including one with Jeevetronics, a medical device startup in India asking students to help them bring it’s affordable, innovative hand-cranked defibrillator to new markets.

For the next seven weeks, Ross students will be sharing their experiences on Instagram using the tag #RossMAP. The school encourages anyone interested to follow along and see the MAP experience through their eyes by following @MichiganRoss.

Image credit: Michigan Ross School of Business (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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Haas School Receives Largest Gift Ever from Alumnus Under 40

UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business announced it has received the largest gift made by an alumnus under the age of 40—Kevin Chou, the 36-year-old founding CEO of mobile gaming firm Kabam, and his wife, Dr. …

new building at berkeley haasUC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business announced it has received the largest gift made by an alumnus under the age of 40Kevin Chou, the 36-year-old founding CEO of mobile gaming firm Kabam, and his wife, Dr. Connie Chen, have pledged $15 million, with two potential step-ups of $5 million or $10 million at the end of five years.

In recognition of the gift, the school will name its new, state-of-the-art academic building opening later this year, seen in the above rendering, Connie & Kevin Chou Hall.

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree from Berkeley-Haas in 2002, Chou co-founded Kabam along with two fellow Berkeley alumni. Late last year, he sold the majority of Kabam’s assets to South Korea’s Netmarble Games Corp. in an $800 million deal, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Chou says it is important to him to give back to the school early in his career to inspire current and future Haas students to become entrepreneurs.

“Beyond Yourself is a principle that really resonates with me today,” says Chou, citing one of the four Haas Defining Principles. “I’m excited to be able to do this at this point in my career because I get to spend time with students and with Haas professors and other administrators, collaborating and helping them think about the new student space and the program.”

Chou is one of 176 Berkeley entrepreneurs who have signed the Berkeley Founders’ Pledge, a personal, non-binding pledge to give a portion of the value of their venture to support the university’s schools and programs, if and when they have a liquidity event.

The couple says their gift is also a testament to their support for UC Berkeley’s role in providing world-class public education to students of all backgrounds.

“We believe that diversity is so important in terms of shaping future leaders. We’re excited about bringing together students of all backgrounds—not just business students—to formulate ideas that will improve the world,” says Chen, 29, a practicing physician and co-founder of Vida Health, a venture-backed startup providing health coaching and programming.

Dean Rich Lyons calls the Chou and Chen gift transformative for Berkeley-Haas, noting that, “What makes this gift so special is that these are two people in their 30s—an extraordinary time in life to be making a commitment to an institution that Kevin says has had so much of an impact on his life. Their donation is going to have a catalytic effect on generations of donors to come.”

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Alumni Call MBA Experience Rewarding, Expands Career Possibilities

More than half of graduate business school alumni are currently employed in an industry or job function they did not have experience in prior to entering business school, according to a report released today by …

MBA alumni

More than half of graduate business school alumni are currently employed in an industry or job function they did not have experience in prior to entering business school, according to a report released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a nonprofit organization of leading graduate business schools.

Findings from the Council’s 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey show that 2 in 5 (39%) alumni currently work in an industry they hadn’t considered prior to starting business school; they learned of the opportunity while enrolled in a graduate business program, with 88% sharing that they are satisfied with their job and employer.

“Year after year our research has shown that a graduate management education offers significant personal, professional and financial rewards. We’re now seeing strong evidence of how valuable the degree is with regard to changing careers,” said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC.

“Given the current pace of change in the economy and the workplace, candidates can be confident in the knowledge that a graduate management education can prepare them with the skills and flexibility they need to be in a better position to pivot and adapt their careers when opportunities present themselves and industries are disrupted.”

The findings of the 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report detail the education and career outcomes of nearly 15,000 graduate business alumni representing 1,100 graduate business programs located around the world. The report highlights that the value proposition of a graduate business degree is high regardless of graduation year or program type.

Key Findings

Compensation for Business School Graduates

Nearly all (95%) survey respondents rate their graduate management education a good to outstanding value. On average, the total compensation package for graduate business school alumni can range from a median of US$75,513 for an entry-level position upward to a median of US$440,122 in total compensation for a C-suite executive.

Business school alumni earn 76% of their total compensation in base salary, on average. As they advance up the career ladder, a greater proportion of their compensation comes from non-salary sources such as bonuses.

 Employment Profile

Ninety-two percent of survey respondents are currently employed — 8 in 10 overall (81%) worldwide are employed with a company and 11% are self-employed entrepreneurs. Globally, the products and services (27%), technology (14%), and finance and accounting (11%) sectors employ the greatest proportion of alumni represented in this survey.

Though alumni work across the spectrum of industries, their degree type often differentiates career paths. MBA alumni are more likely to work in technology, nonprofit and government, manufacturing, health care, energy, and utilities, compared with alumni holding non-MBA master’s degrees. Business master’s alumni, for example, are more likely to be found employed in finance, accounting and consulting industries.

As for job functions, MBA alumni are more likely to hold positions in marketing, sales, operations, logistics, and general management. Alumni of non-MBA business master’s degrees are more likely to work in finance, accounting, and human resource positions.

In total, more than 4 in 5 alumni agree their education prepared them for leadership positions (86%), prepared them for their chosen career (85%), and increased their earnings power (82%).

The Entrepreneur

Most alumni delay their entrepreneurial activities until after graduation. In fact, 2 in 3 alumni entrepreneurs began their business after graduation following employment at another company.

One in 8 alumni entrepreneurs sought venture capital and 72% of these individuals received such funding. Half of the alumni entrepreneurs say their university provided faculty guidance, experts from the community, and mentors to guide their entrepreneurial activities.

Most Valued Skills in the Workplace

Alumni rank interpersonal skills as most important in the workplace, regardless of job level or function. Among the top five talents important to their job, the ones related to “people” skills or emotional intelligence are highly ranked by alumni, with interpersonal skills (e.g., active listening, persuasion and negotiation, time management) topping the list.

Other skills predominate as one moves up the corporate ladder. Alumni in higher-level positions are more likely to indicate that managing human capital, strategy and innovation, and the decision-making process are more important to their current job compared with alumni in lower-level positions.

Alumni Recommendations

Most alumni are very likely to recommend their graduate business program to colleagues and friends. The overall Net Promoter Score — a customer loyalty metric — that business schools receive from their alumni is 47, which is greater than scores received in many sectors of the economy.

Net Promoter Scores are positive for all graduate business programs, although differences by program type range from 22 for Master in Management programs to 62 for full-time two-year MBA programs. If offered the choice, more than 9 in 10 (92%) alumni would have pursued their graduate management education knowing what they know now.

“Graduate business programs expose students to a wide range of opportunities and provide alumni with access to a variety of career outcomes,” said Chowfla. “It’s clear from the results that alumni feel their education helped prepare them for leadership positions, as well as enhanced their earnings potential and guided their career development. This positivity is reflected in their recommendation of a graduate management education to others.”

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Evaluate MBA Career Services When Selecting Possible B-Schools
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Using an MBA to Change Careers

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Time to Think About Funding Your MBA Plans

With Round 2 applications behind us, it’s time to turn your attention to the next step in your MBA journey. Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how to pay …

PAYING FOR YOUR MBAWith Round 2 applications behind us, it’s time to turn your attention to the next step in your MBA journey. Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how to pay for it. An MBA is a long-term investment, and fortunately, schools want to work with students to find a solution to financing school through a combination of loans and scholarships.

Therefore, the first resource to tap is your target program. Once admitted, your school will present you with a package of information about public and private loans and scholarships.

In addition, you may be considered for merit fellowships based on your academic credentials, accomplishments and experience that has already been communicated in your application. Most elite business schools offer merit-based awards at the time of admission that do not require a separate application, and some schools may also offer additional fellowships that you can apply for directly through the program.

Find out whether your target program offers fellowships or scholarships to applicants with extremely high GMAT scores, or who have otherwise excelled in academics, work experience, and service to the community.

For example, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business offers full-ride fellowships through the Jefferson Scholars Foundation that include a living stipend, funds for travel and research, and health insurance.

Some candidates look to their employer, especially those working for a large Fortune 100 company. Often, these employers will help fund your tuition if you commit to remaining with the company after graduation.

Finally, here are a few words of wisdom 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)

Consider seeking out diversity organizations where applicable. Forté Foundation does an amazing job preparing women for the journey to business school, and The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management orients applicants of color during the application process and awards full-tuition scholarships to top MBA candidates.

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.

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You’re In…Now How Will You Pay for the MBA
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