Tag Archives: Ross School of Business
September 23, 2014
Michigan Ross is a program that emphasizes learning both inside and outside the classroom, and is seeking candidates that are intellectually curious and able to accomplish their goals. At the same time, fit is a …
Michigan Ross is a program that emphasizes learning both inside and outside the classroom, and is seeking candidates that are intellectually curious and able to accomplish their goals. At the same time, fit is a crucial part of the Ross evaluation process and Ross wants to know that you have investigated the program thoroughly and know why you want to attend. When you are approaching this set of essays, think carefully about how you will best illustrate your fit with the Michigan MBA program.
This year Ross changed the essay questions significantly to focus on what you are most proud of both personally and professionally. While previous years’ essays focused on career goals and why MBA, this year the questions require introspection and a demonstration that you learn from experience.
Essay One: What are you most proud of professionally and why? What did you learn from that experience? (400 words)
Intellectual ability, professional achievements and teamwork are all among the qualities the Ross admissions committee is looking for in applicants. As you consider topics for this essay focus on the ones that will demonstrate you are a strong leader and that you can learn from experience.
One possible source of ideas are the inflection points in your career. When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of the most challenging projects you have been part of? Have you been surprised by what you have done well at in your career?
In some cases you may be most proud of an accomplishment because of what you learned and how it shaped your career. In other cases the follow up questions are two separate components of the essay. Either way the why behind your pride in accomplishment will reveal what you value most – whether prestige, credit, or the motivation to achieve your goals. Make sure that your values are aligned with how you want to be perceived by the admissions committee.
Essay Two: What are you most proud of personally and why? How does it shape who you are today? (400 words)
The personal is equally important to Michigan Ross, and the MBA program is designed to help you develop your leadership skills both in terms of professional accomplishment and personal and community interests. The personal attributes the admissions committee are looking for in applicants include community engagement and interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills.
When you consider topics for this essay you may want to write about an important extracurricular accomplishment, a challenge you overcame, or an event in your life that highlights something unique about your background. For example, if you have a track record of club leadership through college and afterwards that can be compelling evidence of your community engagement and leadership skills. On the other end of the spectrum perhaps you have spent time outside your home country for school or work and that has shaped your teamwork, interpersonal and communication skills.
Whatever topic you choose, make sure you are addressing why it is important to you. What you learned and how you have used what you learned since in your life can offer invaluable insight as well.
Stacy Blackman Consulting has worked with successful candidates to Michigan Ross for over a decade and can offer comprehensive strategic advice every step of the way. Contact us to learn more.
March 11, 2014
Not even the Polar Vortex can hamper student and applicant excitement about the innovations happening at Michigan Ross School of Business.This week, Ross MBA students fan out across the globe for a transformative experience in …
Not even the Polar Vortex can hamper student and applicant excitement about the innovations happening at Michigan Ross School of Business.This week, Ross MBA students fan out across the globe for a transformative experience in action-based learning.
For the next seven weeks, participants tackle real-world business challenges through the Michigan Ross MAP program, a hallmark of the school’s MBA degree and one of the most extensive and intensive hands-on learning programs of its kind.
Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the Ross School, says this real-world experience gives MBA students a head start in both the job market and their careers.
The MAP program connects 450 first-year students working on 89 projects with 81 different companies and organizations regionally, nationally, and in 24 different countries. This year’s projects include developing market entry strategies in Central America and the Caribbean; developing digital banking services in India; and launching a new pharmaceutical product in Europe.
“MAP stretches and challenges students,” adds Valerie Suslow, senior associate dean for MBA programs at Michigan Ross. “It provides them with a potent learning experience which incorporates diverse group dynamics, cultural awareness, and self-leadership – all while staying on task to provide actionable recommendations for companies and organizations.”
In February, the Ross School opened the call for submissions for the first annual Positive Business Project, a contest that aims to identify, profile and showcase exceptional business leaders that make a positive difference in their work.
Submissions for the contest are in the form of an original two-to-three minute amateur video highlighting positive business practices in the workplace. The video can focus on an individual or the company as a whole, and multiple individuals from the same company can submit entries.
“Business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today’s dynamic global economy,” says Wally Hopp, senior associate dean for faculty and research at Ross. “The Positive Business Project will shine a spotlight on some of the very best examples of this and inspire others to bring similar strategies to bear in their own organizations.”
The project is part of the first annual Positive Business Conference, taking place May 15-17, 2014 on the Ross School campus in Ann Arbor, Mich. Finalists will be showcased at the event, where a grand prize winner will be named.
Finally, the University of Michigan regents met last month to consider a $135 million plan for the business school. The project would include a new academic building and major renovations to the Ross School of Business library.
Business school namesake and alumnus Stephen M. Ross made a $200 million donation to the university in September, a part of which was earmarked for business school facilities upgrades.
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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.”