Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting Winning Marketing Strategy for Business School Admissions Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:03:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bloomberg Businessweek Launches #WhyMBA Social Media Project Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:03:06 +0000 ]]> #WhyMBA

Bloomberg Businessweek has launched #WhyMBA, a Web and social media campaign that calls upon current business school students, graduates, teachers, and anyone with an opinion and a Twitter handle, to engage in a real-time debate about the true value of a graduate business education. #WhyMBA comes at a moment when the costs and benefits of an MBA are a source of passionate discussion across the country.

In the run-up to announcing its full-time MBA program rankings on Tuesday, November 11, Bloomberg Businessweek will pose a series of daily questions on Twitter, soliciting feedback from aspiring, current and alumni MBA students, as well as professionals, entrepreneurs and industry leaders with or without an MBA. An accompanying website will track the #WhyMBA conversation, highlight trends, and visualize responses and sentiment.

The site allows users to select specific schools, identify and respond to active conversations and topics, and boost a school’s standing by tweeting about it. A live leaderboard will reveal which schools are getting the most mentions on Twitter.

Ways to participate:

  • Follow @BW and @BWbschools and watch for Tweets featuring the hashtag #WhyMBA
  • Retweet interesting questions from @BW and @BWbschools to your followers
  • Respond to Twitter questions and highlight your school’s unique attributes
  • Check out the website at and watch the results unfold

“The #WhyMBA project was devised to broaden the business school discussion,” says  Francesca Levy, Business Education Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek.

“We want to find out how people really feel about MBA programs in today’s market. Our upcoming full-time MBA program rankings will help answer the very specific question, ‘which school is right for me?,’ but #WhyMBA opens the real debate to graduates and everyone else: What does a good B-School accomplish or teach? And do those lessons make it worth the time and expense of getting an MBA?”

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How to Stay Sane During B-School Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:03:54 +0000 ]]> By now, you’ve either fantasized about how hectic yet amazing business school life is,  or you’re living it right now. Rohan Rajiv, a first-year student in Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management‘s two-year MBA program, has written a thoughtful blog post on how to prioritize your experiences—and it begins with putting yourself above all else.

While he started the program fully aware of the many interesting academic things he would learn throughout his time at Kellogg, Rajiv says he didn’t expect he would have to learn about such things as decision-making and trade-offs, both of which guide the daily experience at business school.

The challenge of competing priorities—academics, career planning, extra-curriculars, social, family, ourselves—can sap all your energy until you learn to rank them in order of importance. Rajiv shares three core ideas he’s learned about maintaining balance so far:

Make decisions easy for yourself by being crystal clear about your core priorities.
“If you aren’t clear about the relative importance of your core priorities, you are going to drain your energy every day just thinking about these decisions. Once you get clear on your own priorities, decisions get much easier.”

Pre-decide your days and weeks as far as possible.
“Most of the time you have enough information to plan in advance. There’s a high return-on-investment on being brutally organized. Pre-decide by blocking off your time for the week based on your priorities. If you don’t prioritize exercise and sleep, other things will get in the way. Be proactive to drive your own agenda. Or someone else will.”

Make time to reflect.
“The busier things are, the more you need time to reflect. Learning-by-doing is incredibly inefficient if you don’t have enough time to take stock. Again, the return-on-investment on a little reflection time is incredibly high.”

The competing priorities never go away, Rajiv acknowledges, but figuring out the best way for you to get a handle on it will make all the difference in your enjoyment level throughout your MBA experience.

You may also be interested in:

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

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Social Media Will Change the B-School Landscape Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:24:04 +0000 ]]> Social media as it relates to management education continues to be a hot topic, and I found the comments in a recent Huffington Post blog piece really fascinating. For Millennials, memories of the world prior to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may be hazy, while members of Generation X have perfect recall of the pre-Internet days.

John T. Delaney, dean of Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, writes about the irony of rising loneliness in our connected world, and how the social media disconnect will affect business schools.  This disconnect relates to a growing inability among the youngest professionals to interact face-to-face and to collaborate in an era of truncated communication.

“Because this dynamic affects human interactions and society, it will affect business schools,” Delaney writes. “I see it exacerbating the existing trend of students coming to school with higher test scores but having a growing need for the development of emotional intelligence and social graces.”

One of the best ways to combat those deficiencies, and one that’s already in play at many top MBA programs, is to shift greater focus on experiential learning and soft skills in tandem with the typical foundation courses.

The dean points to ways technology has already disrupted the classroom experience and altered professor/student relationships, but he also recognizes the numerous advantages of social media—including its ability to democratize and increase transparency in the academic setting.

It may be too soon to fully grasp the effects social media will have on management education even ten years from now, but Delaney is grappling with these issues now, and his article offers much food for thought.

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Princeton Review 2015 B-School Rankings Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:11:08 +0000 ]]> The Princeton Review recently released the 2015 editions of its guides to business and law schools, which also include annual ranking lists uniquely based on student surveys. Among the ranking list categories and schools ranked #1 on them, you’ll find:

“Best Career Prospects”—Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Best Professors”—Yale School of Management

“Best Classroom Experience”—New York University Stern School of Business

“Toughest to Get Into” (the only ranking list in the books based on school-reported data)— Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Greatest Opportunity for Women”—Simmons College

“Best Green MBA”—Yale School of Management

Unlike other popular rankings, the Princeton Review does not rank the business or law schools hierarchically. “Each school in our books offers outstanding academics: no single law or b-school is ‘best’ overall,” says Robert Franek, SVP / Publisher of the Princeton Review.

“We publish rankings in several categories along with our detailed profiles of the schools to give applicants the broader information they need to determine which school will be best for them.”


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ROI of the MBA Strong Across Most Tiers Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:37:24 +0000 ]]> Just about everyone knows that earning an MBA degree offers an excellent return on investment. But what’s interesting to learn is that even schools outside of the Top 20 and without a globally recognized brand still offer degree-holders the chance to rake in a seven-figure income over a two-decade period.

PayScale, which collects salary data from individuals through online pay comparison tools, provided an analysis for Poets&Quants which revealed that the career and salary benefits extended far beyond top tier MBA programs.

Several schools offer a greater ROI than their ranking would suggest, Payscale determined. MBAs from Boston University, says P&Q’s editor in chief John A. Byrne as an example, earned enough money–$2,329,000–to put them at No. 19 on the list, even though his organization ranks BU’s full-time MBA program at 40.

Similarly, MBAs from UC-Irvine’s Merage Business School will earn an estimated $2,319,932 over the 20 years, putting Merage alums at No. 21 on the list, though the school’s MBA program is ranked at 47.

That’s not to say attending a top school isn’t really worth the hefty cost; far from it. The highly ranked, big-brand schools tend to deliver the highest earnings over a 20-year period, Byrne reports.

Harvard Business School’s MBAs come out on top, with median income of $3,233,000. Stanford MBA holders are next with $3,011,000, and Wharton comes in third with $2,989,000. Harvard MBAs, in fact, earned nearly twice as much as MBAs from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, who pull in $1,781,820 over 20 years,” he notes.

The deans of two prominent business schools weigh in on the issue in Byrne’s story. Robert Bruner of the University of Virginia’s Darden School, isn’t surprised by the strong association between income potential and where you earn your MBA.

“There is a winners-take-all, self-reinforcing cycle in higher education: certain schools attract excellent student talent, which in turn attracts intense recruiter activity and high-salary offers. The employment results make it easier for those schools to attract excellent student talent…and the cycle continues,” Bruner says.

Paul Danos, dean of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, notes that while the elite programs require a significant investment in time and money, it pays off in both career options and compensation. “The top programs are able to recruit the best qualified students, provide a truly excellent educational experience, and therefore attract top recruiters who recognize the value of that experience.”

While industry choice, geographic location, and other factors ultimately influence ROI, those in management education are unanimous in their belief that no other degree can open doors as the MBA does.

““It is a transformative experience that enables an engineer to become a financier, a high school teacher to become a marketing executive, or an auditor to become a mergers and acquisition specialist for a top corporation, says Danos. “I know of no other educational experience that can match the total value proposition of a 2-year full time MBA.”

You may also be interested in:

Forbes Announces Top MBA Rankings

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MBA Essay Do’s and Don’ts from Kenan-Flagler Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:58:47 +0000 ]]> The admissions team at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School recently provided a list of helpful do’s and dont’s for applicants working on their MBA admissions essay, and their advice holds no matter which program you’re currently contemplating.

Three Things to Do:

  • Tell a compelling story if you hope to stand out amid the thousands of essays read by the admissions team each year. Make sure your personality comes through so the team gets a real sense of who you are, as well as why you want to attend UNC Kenan-Flagler, and how your past experiences have shaped you as a professional.
  • Recruit at least one other person to proofread your essay for those pesky punctuation errors or grammatical mistakes that we tend not to see ourselves after re-reading and tinkering along the way.
  • Thou shalt adhere strictly to the word count limit unless thou wishes to antagonize the overworked folks in admissions.

Three Things to Avoid:

  • One hopes this goes without saying, but please refrain from regurgitating your resume in essay form and calling it a day. Use examples to illustrate the highlights of your professional experience. Remember, you’ve got a story to tell and a personality to sell!
  • To build upon the previous point: don’t forget to make the case for why Kenan-Flagler is the right program for you. The admissions team is adept at sussing out applicants who have merely switched out the school name from another essay…so don’t be that applicant!
  • Don’t forget to proofread, spell-check, and proofread some more. “Submitting an essay riddled with spelling, punctuation and grammar errors is the equivalent to wearing pajamas to your admissions interview,” the admissions team warns.

You may also be interested in:

UNC Kenan-Flagler 2014-2015 MBA Essay Topics

UNC Kenan-Flager’s History of Sustainable Enterprise



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