Tag Archives: GMAC

Focusing on the Full M.B.A. Experience

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA blog on U.S.News.com Despite all of the attention paid to extracurriculars during the MBA application process, it seems some b-school hopefuls don’t fully realize how vital it …

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA blog on U.S.News.com

Despite all of the attention paid to extracurriculars during the MBA application process, it seems some b-school hopefuls don’t fully realize how vital it is to continue being involved once they settle in on campus.

According to the 2013 Prospective Student Data Survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council, the nonprofit behind the GMAT graduate school admission exam, prospective students at both ends of the age spectrum expressed differing levels of interest in participating in clubs. Forty-eight percent of those younger than 24 and 23 percent of those 31 years old and older planned to become involved in student groups once on campus.

While it’s true that part-time students tend to sacrifice participation in MBA clubs and extracurricular activities, anyone gearing up for a traditional, two-year MBA program needs to know this: if you don’t get involved with some activity outside of the classroom, you will not reap the full benefit of the MBA experience.

There is a multitude of ways to get involved, and you will learn as much from these activities as you will from your studies. Your grades really don’t count that much.

Even if your school has a disclosed grading system, after you graduate, no one is going to ask for your GPA. So go to class to learn, but don’t study so much that you miss out on the rest of the experience.

Whether the focus is social enterprise, entrepreneurship, real estate or rugby, there’s a club for every interest under the sun and something for absolutely everyone at b-school. These clubs will not only to build up your network, but help you create a sense of camaraderie with your fellow students. This is essential for getting the most out of your MBA, and I encourage anyone applying to also check out the student clubs offered by your target programs.

You might be contemplating a different career path after graduation, in which case the professional interest clubs provide an excellent opportunity to explore new career options and gain deeper knowledge in a specific area.

Perhaps you’d like to become involved with an activity that provides a diversion from academic life, or nurture a hobby or interest that had languished during your 80-hour work weeks, pre-MBA. Or how about a student organization that is both professional and social, offering the best of both worlds? The options are nearly endless.

There are only so many hours in the week, however, so do watch out for the phenomenon known as FOMO – fear of missing out – which may lead you to overextend yourself simply because there are so many amazing things happening all the time at b-school.

Julianne Harty, who has just graduated from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and chronicled her MBA experience on her blog “Sleeping Between Spreadsheets,” says she chose both social and professional clubs for the first year but was restrained by both time and her budget as each club has membership dues.

“Be aware that while you may join a lot of clubs, you may only be active in a couple of them,” says Harty. “Join only the ones you’re interested in and will derive value from – the professional club that’s related to your career is a good one, but also look out for social clubs with common interests so that you can develop relationships with people and bond over something that isn’t b-school.”

The writer behind the MBA blog “The Brain Dump,” who goes by Cheetarah, wrote about how she encountered FOMO this past year at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She writes that joining student groups is practically mandatory. “If you’re going to search for summer internships and full-time employment the student groups are often the first line of recruiting. Many events are members only. If I want to interact with my target companies I need join the clubs.”

Student clubs can also offer an excellent opportunity to hone your leadership skills. In a recent post on the Duke University Fuqua School of Business student blog, Sarah Feagles shares what lead to her desire to make Fuqua a better place by committing her time and abilities to organizations that she’s passionate about.

“It’s easy to fall into the trap of just going through the motions as an MBA student and making it a very ‘transactional’ period in our lives,” she writes. But now that she co-chairs Fuqua’s Leading Women Organization and is training to become a COLE Leadership Fellow, Feagles has a new perspective on the importance of giving back to the community that has given so much to her.

Aside from the knowledge you acquire academically, the network you cultivate in business school is the most valuable asset you’ll come away with. The best thing about participating on campus, says Harty, is just being able to be with your classmates in a non-academic setting.

“Being able to bond over a beer, a game of poker, the latest case study you worked on, diffuses a little the stress of the program. These extracurriculars are where you find your friends in the program,” she says.

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Hiring Up 4% for Class of 2013 B-School Grads

The job market continues to improve for graduate business school degree holders, as more employers plan to hire MBAs and specialized business master’s talent than did so last year, according to the 2013 Corporate Recruiters …

The job market continues to improve for graduate business school degree holders, as more employers plan to hire MBAs and specialized business master’s talent than did so last year, according to the 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey. The survey was issued earlier this week by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and its survey partners, the European Foundation for Management Development and the MBA Career Services Council.

A companion student exit survey, the 2013 Global Management Education Graduate Survey, shows that similar to last year, six in 10 business school graduates already had job offers in February or March. The annual employer and graduate surveys, looking at the current employment outlook from both sides of the market, were released Tuesday by GMAC.

graphic courtesy of GMAC

graphic courtesy of GMAC

The 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey of 935 employers around the world finds 75 percent plan to hire MBAs, up from 71 percent that hired MBAs in 2012. The proportion of employers planning to hire other types of business school graduates is up from last year for master in management, master of accounting, master of finance, as well as other specialized business master’s.

Both surveys show a healthier job market for business school graduates from five years ago, when just 50 percent of corporate recruiters planned to hire MBAs and 43 percent of class of 2009 graduates surveyed had early job offers.

“These results positively answer many of the primary questions MBA candidates ask about the opportunities an MBA degree may present to them, by not only confirming the value of the MBA degree in today’s dynamic job market, but also clearly illustrating the industries in which it might currently best be leveraged,” says Mark Peterson, president of the MBA Career Services Council.

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GMAC Updates Free GMATPrep Software

GMAT test takers can now review their practice exam responses, gain insight into their pacing, and customize practice question sets in an updated version of GMATPrep software, the free test prep program from the Graduate …

GMAT test takers can now review their practice exam responses, gain insight into their pacing, and customize practice question sets in an updated version of GMATPrep software, the free test prep program from the Graduate Management Admission Council.

“With two computer adaptive exams using retired test questions and the same technology as the actual exam, GMATPrep has always provided the most realistic experience for test takers to understand the question formats and practice pacing,” says Andy Martelli, vice president of new product development for GMAC. “Now, GMATPrep v2.2 provides even more features to help test takers make the best use of their study time.”

Compatible with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems, the GMATPrep software includes a step-by-step guide to taking the exam, a comprehensive math review, and 90 questions with answer explanations.

GMATPrep was overhauled last year before the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section to the GMAT exam on June 5, to add Integrated Reasoning preparation; enable Macintosh compatibility; and introduce new features to help users customize their studying, track their progress, and extend GMATPrep through the purchase of additional retired test questions. GMATPrep v2.2 includes more features developed as the direct result of feedback from test takers and test prep companies.

In GMATPrep v2.2, users can:

  • Review responses to practice exams and practice question sessions
  • Pause a practice exam or question session
  • Gain insight into pacing with new timer tools, available when answering practice questions
  • Specify how many questions of each type and difficulty level they want to answer when they opt to create their own question set
  • Receive their IR percentile ranking
  • Have Reading Comprehension questions grouped by passage wherever possible
  • Be able to generate system information at the click of button should they require customer support

GMATPrep v2.2 is available for free download at mba.com/gmatprep. An additional question pack, with 404 questions and answer explanations usable within the GMATPrep program, is available for purchase at the mba.com/store.

While GMATPrep includes two full-length practice exams, GMAC will release a second add-on package later this year. Exam Pack 1 will feature additional computer adaptive practice GMAT exams with new questions and will be available for sale on mba.com.

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GMAC Reports Testing Trend Going Younger, More Global

A trio of student mobility trend reports issued yesterday by the Graduate Management Admission Council shows that graduate management education is becoming more global and diverse as applicants send GMAT scores to a range of …

A trio of student mobility trend reports issued yesterday by the Graduate Management Admission Council shows that graduate management education is becoming more global and diverse as applicants send GMAT scores to a range of programs around the world.

A record 286,529 GMAT exams were administered in testing year 2012 (ending June 30, 2012), with 831,337 score reports sent to MBA and other types of graduate management programs, according to the GMAC World Geographic Trend Report, which was released along with the European Geographic Trend Report and the Asian Geographic Trend Report.

The boost in test-taking partially reflects increased interest in the GMAT exam with the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section. Historically, test volume rises just before changes are made to a standardized exam as test takers opt for a familiar format at the transition.

GMAT testing trends

Within the latest numbers are signs of increasing diversity, GMAC reports these key trends:

  • GMAT testing outside of the United States continues to grow quickly, with tests taken by non-US citizens rising 19% from 2011 to 2012 and representing 59% of global GMAT volume.
  • More test takers are sending their GMAT scores to specialized master’s degrees in business, such as master of accountancy, finance and management. In 2012, 29% of all scores were sent to specialized masters programs, up from 17% in 2008.
  • The percentage of exams taken by women hit 43% in 2012””a record for the third straight year. Women made up the majority of test takers for citizen groups in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Russia.
  • More younger people are taking the exam, as the percentage of tests taken by those younger than 25 was 47% in 2012, up from 38% in 2008. More than half the Asian and European citizens taking the GMAT exam were under 25.
  • GMAT testing in the United States picked up slightly in 2012 after falling from recessionary highs recorded in 2009. The percentage of US test takers sending their scores to US schools remains a world-leading 98%. The US remains the top score-sending destination, with 76% of score reports sent to the US.

Chinese test takers are the second-largest citizenship group after the US and represent 20% of global testing.  Their interest in specialized master’s programs has increased ”” from 43% of scores sent in 2008 to 64% in 2012. Meanwhile Indian citizens, the third-largest citizenship group, are sending a higher percentage of scores to programs in India, the United Kingdom, Singapore, France and Canada.

European citizens sat for 24,847 GMAT exams in 2012, up 26% from 2008, and they sent more than 60% of their scores to programs in Europe, the highest level ever. Citizens of Germany, France, Russia, Italy and the UK together sat for more than half the region’s exams in 2012.

The World, Asian, and European Geographic Trend Reports are available at gmac.com/geographictrends.

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GMAC Launches Online Assessment Tool for Soft Skills

The Graduate Management Admission Council announced the launch Wednesday of its newest product, “Reflect,” a self-administered online assessment and soft-skills development program. Soft skills are an important set of personal attributes that enhance one’s interactions, …

The Graduate Management Admission Council announced the launch Wednesday of its newest product, “Reflect,” a self-administered online assessment and soft-skills development program.

Soft skills are an important set of personal attributes that enhance one’s interactions, job performance and career prospects. GMAC worked with schools, corporate recruiters and experts in soft-skills development to identify 10 competencies essential to job and career success.

To build Reflect, GMAC partnered with Hogan Assessment Systems, a company that markets pre-employment personality tests, and combined the science of Hogan’s three flagship assessments into one product.

“What’s different about this test is that it’s been developed with the MBA student in mind,” Joe Fox, associate dean and director of the MBA program at Washington University in St. Louis’s Olin Business School, tells Bloomberg Businessweek.  Reflect costs $99.99 for three years.

Within 45 minutes of input, users have access to an online library of articles, book summaries, and videos with actionable development advice — based on their competency scores — from the industry’s best executive coaches. Users can also benchmark their scores against high performers in 14 job categories.

“Until now, there have been soft-skills assessments based on hard science for corporate, school or executive-coached programs or soft-science products for individual use. Reflect is a hard-science, data-driven product developed with the individual, schools and corporations in mind,” says Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC.

Ryan Ross, vice president of Global Alliances at Hogan, is pleased to offer these personality assessments to those who will have the biggest impact on the future of organizations.  “Meaningful career development is no longer just for the executive suite,” Ross says.

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Brighter Job Market for 2013 MBAs

Uncertainty hangs above many of the world’s economies, but the job market for 2013 graduates, particularly those with graduate-level degrees, may be looking up, according to a survey of 201 employers conducted by the Graduate …

handshakeUncertainty hangs above many of the world’s economies, but the job market for 2013 graduates, particularly those with graduate-level degrees, may be looking up, according to a survey of 201 employers conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

The 2012 Year-End Poll of Employers finds 76 percent of employers expect to hire new MBA graduates in 2013. Just 69 percent of them hired class of 2012 graduates. Of the employers planning to hire MBAs in 2013, 56 percent plan to offer starting base salaries that keep pace with inflation (43 percent) or exceed it (13 percent).

“Employers recognize that employees with graduate business degrees are a wise investment when times are uncertain and they need talent that not only bring skills but agility to meet the changing demands of these times,” says Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC, which administers the GMAT exam for graduate management programs worldwide.

Hiring projections for experienced direct-from-industry hires (86 percent, up from 83 percent hired last year) and new bachelor’s recipients (78 percent, down from 80 percent last year) remained relatively stable. The poll also found that demand for new graduates with graduate degrees in other business fields is smaller but growing:

  • 43 percent plan to hire master in management graduates (up from 33 percent)
  • 40 percent intend to hire master of accounting graduates (up from 32 percent)
  • 39 percent expect to hire master of finance graduates (up from 32 percent)
  • 46 percent plans to hire other specialized master’s degrees in business (up from 34 percent)

The outlook for internships looks strong in 2013, as well. Some 85 percent of the employers polled plan to offer student internships in 2013, with 70 percent planning to use undergraduate interns and 65 percent planning to use MBA interns. Although fewer companies offer internships to other masters-level students, those that do are likely to offer as many or more internships in 2013 than they did in 2012.

The 2013 outlook follows a hiring year that went as well as or better than expected for most companies. Between 85 and 97 percent of companies that planned to hire across each candidate type in 2012 actually made the hires, and most companies hired as many or more employees than they planned for each candidate type.

The 13th annual Year-End Poll of Employers includes responses from 201 employers at 182 companies worldwide, including 45 Fortune 500 companies. The poll prefaces GMAC’s annual Corporate Recruiters Survey, a more comprehensive survey of employers worldwide released in conjunction with the Global Management Education Graduate Survey, a student exit survey, each May.

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