Tag Archives: Ross School of Business
March 6, 2014
The finish line is almost in sight, MBA admissions director Soojin Kwon of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business assures antsy Round 2 applicants. Last week, Kwon moderated a Forte Foundation admissions panel …
The finish line is almost in sight, MBA admissions director Soojin Kwon of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business assures antsy Round 2 applicants.
Last week, Kwon moderated a Forte Foundation admissions panel for women planning to go to business school next year, and the director notes that last Friday was the first in the month without a team exercise happening on campus. As she’s emphasized in previous posts, team exercise participants continue to affirm that no advance preparation is needed.
Associate Directors will make their recommendations to Kwon by tomorrow, and she will pass her own along to the Senior Associate Dean. Admitted students in the U.S. will begin receiving congratulatory calls next week on March 12th, and international candidates the following day.
All Round 2 applicants will be able to access their decisions online on March 14, Kwon explains, adding that Ross will be hosting admitted student events from March 16th – 30th.
Good luck to all applicants waiting anxiously for news!
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December 12, 2013
It seems we’re sharing news of major donations to top business schools on a regular basis lately—a great sign of economic recovery as donors invest in their alma maters to help create state-of-the art campuses …
It seems we’re sharing news of major donations to top business schools on a regular basis lately—a great sign of economic recovery as donors invest in their alma maters to help create state-of-the art campuses and modernized learning environments.
Bloomberg Businessweek takes a look at which schools pulled in the highest donations in 2013, and two in particular had banner years. In May, Ronald Perelman pledged $100 million to Columbia Business School, which matches the school’s largest gift ever, and will support the development of Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus. Business school namesake and alumnus Stephen M. Ross announced a gift of $200 million to the University of Michigan in September that will transform the student experience at the business school.
The news magazine compiled a list of donations totaling $10 million or more, and indicates what the funds will be used for at each of the schools. Check out the original article to see if your dream school had a gifted year in 2013, and if so, what innovations you can expect to see as a result.
August 16, 2013
As many readers know, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business will introduce a group exercise as an optional component of the upcoming MBA application season. It’s not actually an interview, per se, because …
As many readers know, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business will introduce a group exercise as an optional component of the upcoming MBA application season. It’s not actually an interview, per se, because no questions will be asked of participants. Through observation of each member’s discussions and communication with the group, the Ross admissions team hopes to glean deeper insight into each applicant’s teamwork and interpersonal skills.
One-on-one interviews weren’t giving the admissions committee enough information to determine how an applicant might engage with others, and the school believes this new component with fill in those blanks. Predictably, this new format has generated some anxiety among applicants, and Ross admissions director Soojin Kwon attempts to quell fears and demystify the process in a recent posting on her MBA blog titled, “Don’t fear the group interview.”
The entire exercise lasts about 30 minutes, with the first ten used for introductions and an icebreaker within your group of four to six people, Kwon explains in an accompanying video. Then, each participant receives two random words to weave into a 60-second story that you’ll share within your group. You’ll then spend the remaining 20 minutes connecting all of the word-pairs into a business challenge and solution that you’ll present to the observers.
How you manage yourself within the group is the sole focus of the observers, so it doesn’t matter if your fellow participants are “weak”, or whether you’ve landed in a “bad” group. How you interact within the team, and how you interact with people who have different styles than you, will be foremost on the observers’ radar, Kwon explains.
As noted, the group exercise is completely optional. In Round 1, team exercises will take place only in Ann Arbor. In Round 2, they’ll be held in Ann Arbor and most likely in Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing and Delhi. International applicants who want to participate in a team exercise should plan to visit Ann Arbor in Round 1, or apply in Round 2 and attend one of the sessions in the above cities.
“Not participating won’t hurt you in the admissions process,” the director clarifies. “But you’ll be missing another opportunity to make a positive impression. If I wanted to go to Ross, I’d do it.”
If you have been invited to interview with a school that is using the group interview format, you will absolutely want to take advantage of Stacy Blackman’s live group practice session. This format can be fun, but also challenging and stress inducing! Success comes from practice and becoming comfortable with the format.
We’ll have dedicated groups of 3-6 people for Wharton and Ross, with experienced moderators and admissions experience. You’ll receive preparation tips and a one-hour mock experience, followed by written feedback with actionable advice. For more on this new service, click here.
January 2, 2012
This post originally appeared on the U.S. News–Strictly Business blog.
On the cusp of 2012, it’s safe to say that deans at the nation’s top business schools will have a lot on their plates in the New Year and beyond. M.B.A. enrollment in the United States is flat; international expansion is critical but problematic; recruiters want to influence curricula to meet their own talent needs; and the schools’ need to differentiate their graduate management programs is paramount.
As economic pressures escalate and stakeholders shift, business schools must innovate, refocus, and restructure””or risk falling behind their academic competitors, says “The Business School Dean Redefined,” a report recently released by the Korn/Ferry Institute. Staying competitive requires a new kind of dean with a leadership profile that emphasizes strategic skills, enterprise management, innovation, and people and relationship effectiveness.
“In the past, the primary questions for dean candidates essentially were: Can this person get along with our faculty? Do they have a good research reputation? And can they get things done?” says Sally Blount, appointed dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in July 2010, in an interview published within the report.
That has all changed in an era when managing the “business of the business school” is a more like a CEO position, albeit one that also includes challenges that do not constrain private-enterprise executives. “Few CEOs, for example, must grapple with the concept of a tenured workforce, highly diffused authority, and funding constraints placed by donors,” the report’s authors note.
A business school dean now needs to manage relationships with multiple types of stakeholders, says Blount, as well as build the rankings, build market share, and act effectively as the public voice and image for the school.
“I was surprised when search committees at the top schools started seeking me out. I was not your typical business dean candidate,” recalls Blount, adding that she doesn’t think any business school would have considered her a candidate 10 years ago.
“One of the most difficult challenges I encountered when I switched to academia was the need to go deep and narrow in my thinking because I was more naturally a broad, integrative thinker,” says Blount. “Today, as a business school dean, I need to be broad and integrative, and that approach is not typically fostered in an academic setting.”
Enterprise management is a core competency for today’s deans. The ability to organize and set priorities and make difficult resource allocation decisions will be critical to achieving results in a hyper-competitive marketplace.
“There is a much tighter coupling between business schools and the external world today,” says Alison Davis-Blake, the recently appointed dean of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “As a dean, you need a much deeper understanding of macroeconomic conditions because you have to be able to respond to those shifts.”
As the M.B.A. degree becomes available in more and more forms””traditional two-year programs, accelerated one-year degrees, online programs, global M.B.A.’s””attracting students will require innovative strategies to help differentiate the schools from one another.
International expansion, though widespread by this point, continues to demand great innovation in order to generate returns over the long term. Deans must cope with faculty members reluctant to accept overseas assignments and figure out how best to sell the M.B.A. value proposition to foreign students who might balk at the six-figure price tag.
Managing the growing number of increasingly diverse stakeholders has become so critical for deans that it warrants its own treatment as a skill set, say the researchers, who note that deans need to gain buy-in from faculty, donors, alumni, administrators, prospective students, and corporate recruiters””communities that may oppose the dean, or one another, on any given issue.
“I sometimes think of the university as a multi-divisional enterprise,” says Davis-Blake. “Deans are divisional managers who run a business that had better make a profit to generate the investment capital we need. We have multiple lines of business””tuition and non-degree lines of business””that need to be managed as a portfolio.”
November 21, 2011
With Global Entrepreneurship Week underway, the debate over whether entrepreneurship can really be taught””after all, some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs didn’t even go to business school””seems to have died down a bit. In …
With Global Entrepreneurship Week underway, the debate over whether entrepreneurship can really be taught””after all, some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs didn’t even go to business school””seems to have died down a bit.
In fact, more and more M.B.A. programs have ramped up the number of contests and classes designed to help students learn how to transform a good idea into a good business. According to a 2011 survey of 476 prospective M.B.A.’s in 79 countries by CarringtonCrisp, a market research firm, entrepreneurship is now among the top five most sought-after areas of course content.
Granted, the best programs acknowledge that they don’t actually create entrepreneurs””they merely nurture innate ability.
In a recent blog post, Freek Vermeulen, associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the London Business School, wrote, “I have yet to meet a successful entrepreneur who did go to business school who proclaims his/her education was not a great help in becoming a success.” Invariably, he adds, entrepreneurs claim their education helped them a lot.
As someone who has started more than one successful business, I leveraged a lot of my M.B.A. classes and resources into my business ventures and can attest to the truth in Vermeulen’s statement.
Every top school devotes considerable resources to its center of entrepreneurship, but here’s a glimpse at the latest breakouts in this area. Just last week, University of Michigan’s highly ranked Ross School of Business announced the launch of a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, offered jointly with the College of Engineering and slated to begin in fall 2012.
The initiative is unique, the school says, because most b-schools focus on the skill set required in larger, more mature organizations, and most engineering programs don’t include market assessment and commercialization skills. “Our new program brings these two cultures together in a novel synthesis that is greater than the sum of its parts,” says Bill Lovejoy, a professor at the Ross School and codirector of the new program.
Meanwhile, over at Harvard Business School, the school’s brand new Innovation Lab hosted a Startup Weekend Scramble November 11 to 13 to kick off its launch week. More than 100 student “creatives, doers, visionaries, and builders” from both Harvard and MIT participated in this intense, 54-hour event to promote innovation, teamwork, and entrepreneurship.
While Startup Weekend is a global event designed to let aspiring entrepreneurs discover if their startup ideas are viable, this hands-on experience took things a step further by mixing in the “scramble” aspect. StartUp Scrambles are two-day intensives offered only to colleges and universities that scramble the lines between real-world experience and classroom education with the help of mentors and professionals.
As the banking and finance sectors face continued instability, it comes as no surprise that many of tomorrow’s M.B.A.’s want to take control of their own careers and avoid the unemployment lines their own parents might be facing.
“Entrepreneurs are our best shot at pulling the current economy from the doldrums, as the excitement and massive participation in this week’s Global Entrepreneurship Week clearly reflects,” says Rhett Weiss, executive director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.
Earlier this month, Cornell hosted the 3-Day Startup Cornell (3DS), where the goal is for participants to start a technology company over the course of three days. Sponsored in part by Facebook, this year’s program recruited more than 40 students, selected from almost 150, who were charged with devising the best idea for a software startup over the course of a weekend. Six ideas with real potential to create businesses were pitched by teams in the final session.
“We in the higher education space have a responsibility to commit to the growth and training of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs for both their own prospects and the global economy’s prospects,” says Weiss. “Every day, I’m talking with and helping at least one student entrepreneur, founder team, or other member of this incredibly energized ecosystem.”
Whether you fall into the camp of nature or nurture as it relates to entrepreneurship, I think most people would agree that an entrepreneur needs to know the same basic skills as someone running a more established company. After all, every company began as a startup, launched by an entrepreneur.
If anything, you need to know all of the basics as opposed to specializing in one area. My advice to current and prospective M.B.A. students interested in entrepreneurship is to pay close attention in all of your classes””even in the areas you plan to outsource as soon as you have the budget.
July 27, 2011
It’s that time of year again, when most b-school applicants have the GMAT or GRE on the brain. Soojin Kwon Koh, director of admissions at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, lays out five steps in the latest Ross Newsletter that can help you develop your own test training plan.
Step One: Start preparing early
Unless you’re a natural at standardized test-taking, you’ll need to train your brain to get it into test-taking mode. Studying is like a workout for your brain, writes Soojin, so the more you exercise it, the better you will perform when it counts.
Step Two: Assess your baseline, then set a goal
Take a practice test to assess the level of training you’ll need to close the gap between your practice score and the average and middle 80 percent range of a school’s GMAT scores. Given a similar professional background and undergraduate performance, a higher GMAT score will make you more competitive, the director explains.
Step Three: Set up a study schedule
Commit to a study plan that fits your schedule and budget. Whether you take a test prep class, work with a tutor, or use study guides, thorough and disciplined preparation is a key to success, Soojin writes. While a score over 700 isn’t necessarily a must, schools want to feel confident you won’t struggle in a rigorous MBA program.
Step Four: Simulate the test day scenario
While you can’t replicate the exam environment completely, do eliminate all distractions, set a timer, and take a practice test at around the same time of day you’ll be taking the actual test. This will help you build up your endurance and maintain focus throughout the exam.
Step Five: Go for your personal record
If you fall short of your goal on the first try, rally your energies to try again, Soojin urges. The admissions committee considers the highest total score, and she says the majority of Ross applicants take the GMAT more than once. If you do re-test, focus your preparation on the sections that challenged you the most.
Like most top MBA programs, Ross School of Business evaluates your application holistically; no single section will make or break your candidacy. A great score won’t guarantee admittance, and a less-than-stellar test performance won’t seal your fate.
“Continue these training runs and your preparation regimen until you score in your target range and feel you can go into the actual test with confidence,” Soojin advises.