Tag Archives: Kellogg School of Management
May 27, 2013
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA blog on U.S.News.com Applicants who have worked in a family business sometimes worry that their professional profile won’t measure up when compared with other MBA hopefuls …
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA blog on U.S.News.com
Applicants who have worked in a family business sometimes worry that their professional profile won’t measure up when compared with other MBA hopefuls with more traditional employment paths. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Every year, top schools accept students who will go back to work for the family business. In fact, 9 percent of the applicants accepted into the Harvard Business School class of 2014 had worked for, or planned to work for, their family-owned company.
Business schools strive to compose a cohort of diverse personalities and backgrounds to guarantee lively discussions, so depending on your role in the company and the type of business itself, your experiences would likely add a unique perspective to the class.
Family business management has emerged as an important discipline at business schools as second- and third-generation family members realize the need for specialized skills in order to take over the reins and create a more corporate work environment. Over the past decade, schools have introduced courses and clubs on family business, founded centers dedicated to the subject or launched concentrations in this area.
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has a Center for Family Enterprises. Columbia Business School, stating that 80 percent of businesses worldwide are classified as family businesses, offered a course this spring on Family Business Management. And students and alumni of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School can participate in the Wharton Family Business Club.
Part of your school selection research should focus on what types of resources and support for family businesses are offered by your target programs. For many applicants, a one-year MBA program is ideal since you won’t need the internship and recruiting opportunities that job-switching students in two-year programs rely on.
I advise applying to the best schools that you think you can get into because they will offer a great education as well as the best networking opportunities. Also, think about whether the school’s geographic location will help you build a network which would directly help your family business.
If the school offers a student club focused on this group, reaching out to current members for their insight on the program’s benefits might prove invaluable in your decision-making process.
As with any winning application, the strategy in this case is to show in detail how an MBA degree will help you further your professional goals. Explain with specifics what you need to learn in order to grow the family business.
Paint a clear picture of your vision for the company’s future, and leave no doubt as to how an MBA will help you make an impact on the business after graduation. That way, the admissions committee understands why business school is the logical next step.
For your essays, start brainstorming some of the challenges your business has faced, and come up with examples that show how you as a family worked to overcome those obstacles. Business schools place a high value on teamwork, and what better way to show commitment and follow-through than by demonstrating you know how to work well with others to achieve a common goal?
As many applicants know, the ideal recommender for an MBA application is the manager to whom you report directly. However, if your immediate supervisors are relatives, you’ll need to get creative since you cannot have a family member write your recommendation letter.
Can you approach a supervisor or manager from a company you’ve previously worked for? Or have you worked closely with any clients or vendors that can speak to your managerial or leadership abilities?
Our client Bill had been working for the family business, a manufacturing company in Baltimore, for three years after college.
[Get more MBA application advice from the trenches.]
After brainstorming for recommenders he could approach outside the business, Bill hit upon a retail vendor that had been supplied by his company for more than a decade with whom he’d built a strong relationship. Since this vendor was evaluating Bill on many similar criteria as a direct supervisor and was an objective, outside source, he turned out to be the perfect choice.
In the end, Bill’s family business-based application fared well next to candidates coming from a corporate background. He was ultimately admitted to Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and chose Darden to be a little closer to home.
Alberto Gimeno, director of Esade Business School‘s International Family Business Lab, recently noted in the Financial Times that “Concepts such as honesty, pride, loyalty and long-term commitment … are everyday practices of successful family businesses around the world.”
If you’re planning on pursuing an MBA to learn how to take your family business to the next level, take pride in your professional circumstances and know that business schools will value your accomplishments and responsibilities, whether acquired at a Fortune 500 company or under Mom and Dad’s tutelage.
May 6, 2013
Four MBA students from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management took top honors at the 2013 International Impact Investing Challenge on April 26th at the World Bank in Washington, DC. The third annual competition, hosted …
Four MBA students from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management took top honors at the 2013 International Impact Investing Challenge on April 26th at the World Bank in Washington, DC.
The third annual competition, hosted and organized by Kellogg and INSEAD, challenged graduate students to propose and defend a sustainable investment strategy that supports progress on global impact issues. Twelve finalist teams presented their proposals to a panel of judges, including experienced officers and investors of family foundations, pension funds and university endowments.
Innovation in Healthcare
The winning team, Outcomes Innovation Capital, included Kellogg students William “BJ” Bronston, Rebecca Johnson, Ratula “Milly” Shome and Nikki Tyler. The team won first place for their outcomes-based security to address the diabetes epidemic in the United States.
“Our team is thrilled at the support we have received regarding the outcomes-based security we developed,” said Tyler, speaking on behalf of the team. “We are excited by both its financial and social potential and look forward to continuing its development in the future.”
The team will receive $10,000. The overall runner up, Thammasat Business School from Thailand, was recognized for EThree Fund and will receive $5,000.
High Performance, High Reward
“This challenge provides a platform for graduate students to create and pitch high-performance, high-reward and high-impact investment strategies to prospective institutional investors,” said Jamie Jones, director of social entrepreneurship at Kellogg.
“Once again, the judges were impressed by the innovative and displays of financial creativity exhibited by the finalists on topics like flexible farm financing, medical education loan models, and funds to address urban food deserts.”
The International Impact Investing Challenge is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, World Bank Institute, Morgan Stanley, McCall Foundation, Milken Institute, Equilibrium Capital Group, and Impact Assets.
February 5, 2013
While the rest of America was riveted by Beyoncé’s half-time performance and the power outage at the New Orlean’s Super Dome, a group of almost 60 MBA students from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management …
While the rest of America was riveted by Beyoncé’s half-time performance and the power outage at the New Orlean’s Super Dome, a group of almost 60 MBA students from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Marketing Club studied the event from another perspective during the School’s ninth annual Super Bowl Advertising Review.
Students watched the event and rated the advertisers using a set of academic criteria known as ADPLAN to rank the most and least successful advertisers. ADPLAN is an acronym for Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.
First place went to the Tide “Miracle Stain” spot as the best ad during Sunday’s game, while BlackBerry ranked at the bottom of the always-anticipated Review due to weak branding and the lack of a compelling benefit.
“Tide really broke through the clutter with a very engaging spot,” said Clinical Professor of Marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the event along with Associate Professor of Marketing Derek D. Rucker. “At Kellogg, our Review evaluates the ads based on strategic execution and the potential to build brands. Tide, M&M’s and Best Buy all did a terrific job connecting engaging spots to product benefits.”
Students judged the advertisements based on their potential to drive sales, favorably impact companies’ bottom lines and improve brand awareness, as opposed to evaluating the commercials according to their popularity.
In a wrap-up posted on the Review’s blog, Professor Calkins noted two big trends this year: an increase in longer spots that develop a story, and a huge boost in social media tie-ins during the game. If you’d like to see which spots earned the top, middling, and lowest marks, and read commentary from the Review explaining their picks, check out Calkin’s post, which includes all of commercial spots in question.
November 9, 2012
Earlier this week, the Career Management Center at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management—named the “undisputed winner” in student satisfaction by Poets & Quants— announced several new enhancements designed to make the department work even …
Earlier this week, the Career Management Center at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management—named the “undisputed winner” in student satisfaction by Poets & Quants— announced several new enhancements designed to make the department work even harder for MBA students.
Following meetings with students, alumni and key employers to determine where the department excelled and where it could improve, the CMC has implemented a restructuring plan that enhances services in three key areas:
Kellogg’s CMC will now have a director of global relations and international coaching tasked with identifying, building and maintaining relationships with employers worldwide so as to raise the profile of the Kellogg brand around the globe.
Former CMC Senior Associate Director Carla Edelston will take on this role, which will enable the entire team to act as a resource for students looking to work outside their home region.
CMC Managing Director Michael Malone says that while the team has done outstanding work with a very lean staff, the time has come to add more coaches on the roster.
“We are building further bench strength so we can extend our reach,” he says. “We want to have the right blend and volume of coaches to build and maintain relationships and show students we are truly interested not just in short-term but long-term success.”
In order to build deeper connections with employers whose hiring needs don’t adhere to an on-campus recruiting style, Malone has added two new development team members to uncover opportunities in an array of industries, from media to clean tech, investment management to real estate.
This three-prong approach should ensure that the CMC at Kellogg School of Management continues to provide exceptional support for students, alumni and employers.
“The most important factor is that they find something that fits,” Malone says. “We will work through every stage of a student’s search, and they will continue on into their alumni career with that support behind them.”
November 6, 2012
Wondering which MBA programs boast the best track record for MBA job placement? The results of Bloomberg Businessweek‘s recently released study of job placement rates among the top-30 U.S. business schools may surprise you. With …
Wondering which MBA programs boast the best track record for MBA job placement? The results of Bloomberg Businessweek‘s recently released study of job placement rates among the top-30 U.S. business schools may surprise you.
With only a tiny fraction of 2012 graduates still out of work three months after graduation, the top spot goes to Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, which saw just 2 percent of students without job offers within that time frame.
UC Berkeley Haas School of Business ranks second, and I’m happy to see my alma mater Kellogg School of Management nab third place. Only 4 percent of Kellogg graduates had no job offers within three months of earning their degrees—a steady improvement over the 6 percent without an offer in 2011 and the 10 percent in 2010.
Top Ten Business Schools in 2012 for MBA Job Placement
1. Emory University: Goizueta Business School
2. University of California at Berkeley: Haas School of Business
3. Northwestern University: Kellogg School of Management
4. MIT Sloan School of Management
5. Columbia Business School
6. Rice University: Jones Graduate School of Business
7. University of Chicago Booth School of Business
8. Indiana University: Kelley School of Business
9. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton School
10. Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and Harvard Business School, tied
Several stellar programs make up the other end of the spectrum, which will no doubt come as a shock to many readers. In the bottom five, the study reports Yale School of Management is 25th, Stanford Graduate School of Business is 26th, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School at 27th, UM Ross School of Business at 28th, and Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business in 29th place.
The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California came in last at no. 30. Twenty-three percent of USC business school graduates did not have a job offer within three months of earning their degree.
According to the business publication, consulting was the most popular industry, followed closely by financial services. Other hot industries for graduates this year were technology, consumer products, and energy.
Meanwhile, employers such as Boston Consulting Group, Amazon.com, and McKinsey were active on the recruiting scene, snapping up many of this year’s most promising MBA graduates and ranking as top employers on many business school campuses, Bloomberg Businessweek reveals.
Editors note that the job placement report refers to job offers received within three months. Though some may argue that jobs offered isn’t the same as job offers accepted, associate editor Louis Lavelle points out that at three months out, the percentage of offers and acceptances is virtually identical at every school. “There aren’t a whole lot of MBAs sitting around collecting offers all summer without jumping on one,” Lavelle says.
November 5, 2012
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA blog on U.S.News.com ‘Tis the season for interviews! This is the most unpredictable portion of the MBA application process, since every interviewer is different. The same …
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA blog on U.S.News.com
‘Tis the season for interviews! This is the most unpredictable portion of the MBA application process, since every interviewer is different. The same interviewer may even react differently depending on his or her mood that day. For the lucky round one MBA applicants who have been invited to interview by their target business schools, here are several tips for preparing and guidance on what to expect.
The role of the interview varies by program, so if possible, reach out to your network of current or former students at the school for an insider perspective. Most MBA programs will offer the option to interview on campus or with a local alumni volunteer. You should make your decision based on your personal needs, rather than on the basis of how it may look to the admissions committee.
If you have the time and resources to visit the school, you’ll have a great opportunity to meet current students and attend classes. However, if an on-campus interview coincides with a big quarterly meeting at your job, the additional stress would likely make the experience far less beneficial, so it’s probably better to interview with a local volunteer. No matter which option you choose, the admissions committee uses the same metrics to evaluate your performance.
The first step in preparing for your interview is to review your applications. A few weeks have probably passed since you hit the submit button, so you’ll need to return to the MBA applicant mindset by reviewing your overall application strategy. If your interview is “blind”””meaning the interviewer hasn’t seen any of your application materials””this review will help you remember what aspects of your background you want to highlight.
At some MBA programs, such as Harvard Business School, the interviewer will have already reviewed your application and will tailor his or her questions specifically to help the admissions committee learn more about you.
The second step in your interview prep is to review some typical questions. Many candidates post their experiences online in boards, forums, and blog posts.
Once you have a list of likely questions in hand, you can use those questions to practice. Being concise, focused, and enthusiastic is your goal, and knowing what talking points you want and need to share will help. Write out short bullet points to outline what you would say in response to your practice questions.
When I was at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University meeting on-campus recruiters for a summer internship, I learned about an interview technique called the STAR method. I consider it one of the most useful frameworks for effectively answering interview questions.
For those unfamiliar with this technique, STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. The STAR technique can be applied when asked “situational” questions, such as: “Tell me about a time you failed;” “Tell me about a time you came up with an innovative solution;” “Tell me about a time you managed a difficult project;” and “Tell me about a time you led a team.”
The power of the STAR method is that it allows you to formulate a very complete answer, but it keeps your answer organized and prevents you from rambling on and on””a common occurrence in interviews.
Here’s one example of how you can organize your notes:
Situation: “Product A was losing market share to a new competitor.”
Task: “I needed to create a plan to regain our lost share.”
Action: “I led a team to implement tactics A, B, and C.”
Result: “We regained lost share, plus 10 percent.”
And then you stop.
Often, the interviewer will probe further, asking for very specific details related to your story. You need to be prepared to elaborate, but just start with the basic elements of your story. STAR will help you get there.
Once you know what you need to say, the only thing left to do is to practice. Enlist the help of family and friends, and ask them to provide constructive feedback. After you have undergone several mock interviews, you will feel more relaxed and be able to focus on connecting with your interviewer and demonstrating your enthusiasm for the school.
If time permits, think of a few interesting questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the conversation. Alumni interviewers will enjoy reminiscing about their experiences, and will especially like any questions about clubs or activities they were part of. Current students can provide a great perspective on what they wish they had known, or the most interesting aspect of their MBA experience.
Now that you have done your interview homework, the final step is simply to relax and enjoy the process.