Tag Archives: Kellogg

Introducing SBC Scoop!

Earlier this month, as part of our Facebook 1,000 Final Stretch Contest, I asked you for suggestions on how to improve our blog, our Facebook page and my Tuesday Tip videos.  Over and over you suggested …

Earlier this month, as part of our Facebook 1,000 Final Stretch Contest, I asked you for suggestions on how to improve our blog, our Facebook page and my Tuesday Tip videos.  Over and over you suggested that we discuss: 
“diverse experiences of people…”
“specific backgrounds and their weaknesses…”
“backgrounds of people we have helped…”

Sounds like you want some case studies!!  So I thought about the best way to do this, dug into my client database, contacted clients, asked for permission to anonymously feature them and…

WA-LAH!  Introducing the newest weekly feature on the Stacy Blackman Consulting blog:  SBC Scoop. 

SBC Scoop will provide an inside look at our client experiences.  I hope that reading about our clients, understanding the advice they were given, and viewing the results, will help you on your quest for an MBA.  

Our first SBC Scoop case study is about a client who decided to ask for a deferral.

Our client, “Jason’s” father was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks after he started working with us.  This was a difficult situation, but he decided to forge ahead with his applications, as this had been his plan for a long time, and his father’s prognosis was unclear.  Jason applied to four schools: Wharton, Kellogg, Michigan and Tuck.  He put together a very strong package and was ultimately admitted to three of his target schools: Wharton, Kellogg and Michigan.  Unfortunately, over the next few months, his father’s health greatly declined and Jason felt that he needed to be near his family in southern California, to help support them.  Jason moved from his home in San Francisco, down to Los Angeles, and put his business school plans on hold indefinitely.  Of the three schools that he received admits from, he was torn between Wharton and Kellogg as his first choice.  He decided to contact those two schools and ask for deferrals.  We discussed the situation with him, and although deferrals are rarely guaranteed, this felt like as good a reason as any to request one.  We were optimistic that if he honestly relayed his story to the admissions comittee, and conveyed his enthusiasm for the programs, they would be sympathetic. 

What ultimately happened taught us a lot about deferrals.  Wharton granted a deferral and he ended up attending one year later.  I am sorry to report that my other alma mater, Kellogg, declined his request.  Obviously, this made Jason’s decision very easy and he still went on to have a great experience at one of the top business schools in the world.  This was Kellogg’s loss, but for us certainly highlighted the uncertainty around deferral requests.  It’s never a good idea to plan for a deferral to be part of your strategy.  Obviously, life can be unexpected, and in case something comes up, it’s nice to know that a deferral might be an option.  Yes, a possible option, but never something to count on.

So, what do you think?  Does this outcome surprise you?  Let me know in the comments below, and let me know what you think of SBC Scoop as well.  If you have ideas for profiles to feature, you can also suggest them below.

Posted in SBC Scoop: Client Case Studies | Tagged , , , ,

Foundations Need MBAs

Forget about business being the root of all evil. Today, more and more non-profit organizations are realizing that good stewardship requires someone at the helm with business savvy. An article published yesterday in the Financial …

Forget about business being the root of all evil. Today, more and more non-profit organizations are realizing that good stewardship requires someone at the helm with business savvy.

An article published yesterday in the Financial Times, Building on MBA Know-How, finds that as the foundation sector looks to become more accountable and effective in allocating their grants, they are increasing their hiring of business school graduates and sending staff on MBA or executive programs.

More forward-thinking organizations have dropped the academic model that once guided them to embrace an approach shaped by the idea that social or environmental problems require the combined focus of different sectors ”“ including business, reporter Sarah Murray writes.

Mark Kramer, managing director of FSG Social Impact Advisors, which advises foundations, corporations, governments and non-profit organizations, identifies a new wave of foundations that are instead focusing on promoting change through advocacy and helping non-profits become more effective.

“All these things require organizational and management skills, budgets, business plans,” he says. “And that is a very different way of thinking from that old approach, which said you just needed the idea and everything would fall  in place.”

MBA programs are also changing with the times, as more schools now offer a variety of electives in areas such as non-profit management and social entrepreneurship, making the training more attractive for foundation executives. FT highlights departments and centers for public and non-profit management exist at schools such as Haas School of Business, Kellogg School of Management and Yale School of Management.

Meanwhile, the research and educational programs of centers such as the Kenan Institute at Kenan-Flagler Business School focus on how private sector resources can serve the public interest. And Stanford Graduate Business School runs a course on strategic philanthropy through its Center for Social Innovation.

Professor Nora Silver, director of the Center for Non-profit and Public Leadership at Haas School of Business, explained the details of a fellowship program forged through a partnership with the Packard Foundation, in which an MBA graduate participates in courses and development programs at both Haas and the Packard Foundation.

“From the foundation’s perspective, they want more diversity in the foundation world ”“ and not just ethnic or gender diversity but diversity of thinking and skills,” Silver says.

“My hope is that this will also enlighten the foundation as to what the MBA has to offer.”

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Registrants of the upcoming MBA Tour events in New York City and Washington D.C. will have a chance to win one of Stacy Blackman Consulting’s fantastic MBA essay guides. Once you’ve signed up for one of the events, email matthew@onqcommunications.ca with your full name, and you’ll be entered to win!

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Tuesday Tips – Kellogg MBA Essay Tips

Tuesday Tips addresses the new Kellogg MBA questions for the 2009-2010 application season.

Fit is a crucial aspect to demonstrate in your Kellogg MBA application. The close knit community values leadership and teamwork. To understand what Kellogg offers to prospective students, note the areas of excellence demonstrated in the academic program, from Marketing to Finance. As Kellogg MBA’s Dean Dipak C. Jain explains, the Four Pillars are “instrumental in advancing the Kellogg MBA’s dual mission of creating knowledge and producing socially responsible global leaders, The Four Pillars ”” intellectual depth, experiential learning, global mindset and values/people skills ”” [provide] our students with the balanced tools to succeed at the top levels of any organization.”

As you determine your application strategy for this set of Kellogg MBA essays, think about how the Kellogg MBA community reflects your own background and goals. In addition, make sure to choose a range of experiences in your professional and community life. When approaching any MBA application essay, be as specific as possible in every example to authentically communicate your unique leadership and teamwork style.

Essay #1
MBA Program applicants ”“ Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at the Kellogg MBA program. (600 word limit)

The Kellogg MBA career goals essay takes a standard approach, asking for your past experiences, your future goals, and how the Kellogg MBA program fits into your plans. Since you have a fairly limited amount of space to explain your entire career path, focus on the high points. When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of your proudest accomplishments?

As you describe your career background, keep in mind any aspects that will relate to your future career plans. If you are a management consultant now and want to become an entrepreneur, what have you learned and experienced that will help you with those plans?
Having done your research on Kellogg MBA’s academics and resources will help you answer the question about your motivation to pursue a graduate degree at the Kellogg MBA program. Choose specific classes, professors and programs that fit into your career goals. Think about clubs and conferences that are unique to the Kellogg MBA program and will advance your career.

Essay #2
Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences (600 word limit)

Answering this question effectively requires a candid self evaluation. Think about your key strengths and development areas in the realm of leadership. When you look back at your key leadership experiences, what did they all have in common? Can you identify a particular behavior or approach you take in your leadership style? Are you directive, collaborative, or a teaching leader? When people choose to follow you, why do they do so?

Once you know your own strengths as a leader, it’s easier to identify some areas for development. If you are great at motivating people, but not as strong in driving follow through and results, you might want to develop your directive qualities. If you are good at pushing results, yet alienate your team members, developing a consensus based leadership style may be worth your focus. Whatever your own unique approach, determine what you could use a little bit of help with and describe the specific Kellogg MBA resources to help you reach your own leadership potential.

Essay #3
Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg MBA Admissions Committee. Why would your peers select you to become a member of the Kellogg MBA community? (600 word limit)

It’s important to note the subtle change in this question since last year, when the Kellogg MBA program asked what “in your background, values, academics, activities and/or leadership skills [would]l enhance the experience of other Kellogg MBA students” While you have more latitude this year in answering the question, it may help to refer to this list for brainstorming ideas.

Doing your research is essential here. What will you contribute to the Kellogg MBA community? Investigating the activities, people and projects available at Kellogg will help you determine what you would like to be involved in. Once you determine what you are interested in participating in, you will want to clearly explain what you have to offer.
Your peers might be interested in: your ability to bring unique company or industry knowledge, attract interesting speakers to your club of interest, or manage teams in the classroom or in a club. Think about the attributes you can bring to the table and how you will drive value for the Kellogg MBA community.

Essay #4
Complete one of the following three questions or statements. (400 word limit) Re-applicants have the option to answer a question from this grouping, but this is not required.

a) Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.
This question requires a very specific example to work effectively. The decision could be one that had ethical or moral implications, or perhaps demonstrated your courage and tenacity. It could be a decision you made at work or in an extracurricular setting. Whatever the story, make sure it demonstrates core attributes you want to communicate to the admissions committee. Though you are only asked to describe the decision, a satisfying result to your decision would be welcome to conclude the essay.

b) People may be surprised to learn that I”¦.

An open ended question that is ideal for any differentiating factor. If you are a typical Indian IT applicant who actually grew up in France on a vineyard, this is the place to discuss it! Think about what aspects of your background that might be interesting, unique, and surprising in the context of the information you have already shared in this set of essays. Do not forget your overall application strategy, whatever topic you choose should be relevant to your story.

c) I wish the admissions committee had asked me”¦”¦

This is a great question to help you fill in any gaps in your application strategy. What did you want to communicate to the admissions committee and weren’t able to in any other essay? Here’s your chance. You may want to use this space to highlight special leadership or teamwork examples or to differentiate yourself from your peers. Whatever topic you choose, make sure you can compose a concise and specific example and outline your own thinking and motivation.

Required essay for re-applicants only ”“ Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (400 word limit)

When determining how to strengthen your reapplication, you likely improved aspects like GMAT score, formulated an alternative transcript or become more involved in extracurricular activities. Whatever advances you have made since the last time you applied, make sure you can clearly explain what you did and how it makes you a stronger candidate. Think beyond the benefits in the MBA application to how your progress rounds out your experience. For example, an improved GMAT score could have helped you brush up on your quant or verbal skills to be more prepared for demanding MBA classes.

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Click for more posts containing Application Advice for the Northwestern Kellogg MBA program.
To see our Northwestern Kellogg MBA Essay Guide for MBA Applications, click here.

Posted in Application Tips, Northwestern Kellogg Advice | Tagged , ,

Kellogg Releases 2010 Application Essay Questions

Although deadlines have yet to be announced, the Kellogg School of Management has posted the 2010 essay topics. Essay #1 a) MBA Program applicants – Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your …

Although deadlines have yet to be announced, the Kellogg School of Management has posted the 2010 essay topics.

Essay #1

a) MBA Program applicants – Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at Kellogg. (600 word limit)

b) MMM Program applicants – Briefly assess your career progress to date. How does the MMM Program meet your educational needs and career goals? (600 word limit)

Essay #2

Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences (600 word limit)

Essay #3

Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would your peers select you to become a member of the Kellogg community? (600 word limit)

Essay #4

Complete one of the following three questions or statements. (400 word limit) Re-applicants have the option to answer a question from this grouping, but this is not required.

a) Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.

b) People may be surprised to learn that I”¦.

c) I wish the admissions committee had asked me”¦”¦

Required essay for re-applicants only – Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (400 word limit)

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Jain to Step Down as Kellogg Dean

After eight years of leadership, Dipak C. Jain plans to step down as dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management effective September 1 and return to the Kellogg faculty following a year’s leave of …

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After eight years of leadership, Dipak C. Jain plans to step down as dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management effective September 1 and return to the Kellogg faculty following a year’s leave of absence, Provost Daniel I. Linzer has announced.

“I have been both honored and fortunate to have been able to serve as dean of this wonderful school,” Jain said.

“Over the past eight years as dean, it has been my pleasure to work alongside wonderful colleagues whose dedication to Kellogg has made my job a joy. I truly appreciate the support, guidance and assistance that I have received from Kellogg faculty, staff, students and alumni during my tenure as dean.”

To read Dean Jain’s letter to Kellogg students, click here.

Linzer commended Jain’s leadership of Kellogg and attributed the school’s enviable ranking to his guidance and that of former dean Donald Jacobs.An interim dean will be appointed soon and Northwestern will begin a national search for Jain’s replacement.

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For a concise, thoughtful guide that will help you navigate the MBA admissions process with greater success, order our NEW book, The MBA Application Roadmap.

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Non-Profit Managers Turn to Executive Education Programs

The Financial Times on Wednesday highlighted business school programs geared toward non-profit managers in dire need of brushing up on their leadership skills during this time of economic crisis. Programs targeting non-profit managers are fairly …

The Financial Times on Wednesday highlighted business school programs geared toward non-profit managers in dire need of brushing up on their leadership skills during this time of economic crisis.

Programs targeting non-profit managers are fairly new at most business schools; the expense of executive education programs for corporate customers ”“ they are typically a cash cow for business schools ”“ makes them out of reach for most, FT says.

But some business schools have found a way to make them affordable for social sector clients through sponsorship and grants to sub­sidize the programs.

Here’s a look at some of the programs mentioned in the article. Click here to read the whole story in the Financial Times.

Thunderbird School of Global Management ran a program in March for high-potential leaders of top social sector organizations in the US and overseas. A $200,000 grant by the American Express Foundation funded the program. Part­icipants spent a week at the school’s Glendale, Arizona, campus learning about non-profit sustainability, strategy, brand management, fundraising and innovation.

Kellogg School of Management offers short courses on social sector management. The classes include critical issues in board governance, leveraging resources through partnering, and non-profit finance, and the goal is to provide intense courses on specific issues for non-profit leaders who may not have a week to spare at a training seminar.

Stanford Graduate School of Business started a mini-MBA program in 2001 geared at non-profit executives. The program, subsidized mainly by grants from the Hewlett Foundation and the Packard Foundation and alumni gifts, is held every year and lasts two weeks.

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For a concise, thoughtful guide that will help you navigate the MBA admissions process with greater success, order our NEW book, The MBA Application Roadmap.

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