Tag Archives: social media

Last-Minute Checklist for Round 1 Applicants

Are you planning on applying in Round 1, which at many schools is just weeks (or September 9th, in the case of HBS) away? There are several reasons to apply in the first round, from …

Are you planning on applying in Round 1, which at many schools is just weeks (or September 9th, in the case of HBS) away? There are several reasons to apply in the first round, from demonstrating your strong interest and preparation, improving your chances of landing a spot while every possible seat is available, to having first crack at financial aid opportunities.

Bloomberg Businessweek just ran a story discussing what to do to prepare for round 1 deadlines, and I shared some of my thoughts with Katy Finneran, author of the piece. One important thing I stress to clients, and mentioned to Finneran, is the importance of managing your social media presence and beefing up your online persona.

If you can demonstrate you’re social media savvy, and perhaps show that side of yourself through a blog, Twitter feed, or even through Instagram if you’ve touched on an interest such as photography in your application, these factors can really work to your advantage.

By now, you should also have your recommenders firmly on board in support of your candidacy. If you’re aiming at round 2, make sure they have their instructions and hard deadlines about 12 weeks before you want their letters.

Another thing to remember is to adapt your resume for an MBA application, which should have a greater emphasis on your general accomplishments and anything that would showcase your leadership qualities.

Finally, I would urge applicants to apply a few days ahead of the deadline just to ease some of the last-minute pressure, as well as congestion on the programs’ servers. Do a thorough review, hit submit, and take comfort in knowing that you did your very best.

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5 Last-Minute Tips for Round 1 Applicants

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MBA Grads Still Need to Master Social Media

While we all know social media use has exploded over the past decade, some MBA graduates are still operating like its 1999 when it comes to maximizing its benefits from a professional standpoint. In BusinessWeek’s …

While we all know social media use has exploded over the past decade, some MBA graduates are still operating like its 1999 when it comes to maximizing its benefits from a professional standpoint.

In BusinessWeek’s latest article on working social media at the beginning of your career, Katy Finneran writes about why recent graduates must create social accounts as well as maintain and clean up existing accounts, and how to network successfully in the social media age.

Stacy Blackman Consulting conducted an MBA applicant survey earlier in the spring, where we learned just how social media savvy current applicants are when it comes to the b-school admissions process. The results are somewhat surprising: only about half of those polled planned to review and clean up their online profile.

I chatted with Finneran about this topic at length, and I invite you to read her article for some of my tips on proper social media etiquette as it relates both to applying to business school and navigating the job search after graduation.

In the end, the goal is to develop a personal brand and make sure your social media sites promote brand “You.” Put your best foot forward by keeping your social media presence clean, mature and presentable, and have faith that you can do so without scrubbing away your entire personality.

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How Does Social Media Fit Into Your MBA Application Strategy?

Will Your Social Media Profile Help or Hurt Your MBA Application?

Give Yourself a Social Media Makeover

 

 

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Will Your Social Media Profile Hurt or Help Your MBA Application?

Do you have a profile on any of the major social media platforms? Do you frequently tweet, upload pictures to Instagram or Flickr, or post updates on Facebook? If so, you might want to make …

Do you have a profile on any of the major social media platforms? Do you frequently tweet, upload pictures to Instagram or Flickr, or post updates on Facebook? If so, you might want to make sure your online presence won’t derail your MBA application efforts.

If an admissions team is leaning toward admitting you to their program, it’s possible that they could do a quick Google search on your name before making their final decision. If you’ve demonstrated bad judgment by posting pictures of yourself doing not-so-upstanding things or making offensive or otherwise politically incorrect comments, you’ve given them a reason to move your application to the ding pile.

Want to find out more about what should stay and what needs to go as you assess your social media profile? Click over to read the rest of my guest post, Social Media and Your MBA Application, published on Peterson’s Newswire.

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How Does Social Media Fit Into Your MBA Application Strategy?

In the era of social media saturation, business school hopefuls have to think about more than just drafting memorable essays, nailing interviews and marketing themselves effectively during the MBA application process. Today’s applicants must scrutinize their …

In the era of social media saturation, business school hopefuls have to think about more than just drafting memorable essays, nailing interviews and marketing themselves effectively during the MBA application process. Today’s applicants must scrutinize their public persona on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and elsewhere to make sure it matches the version they wish to present to the b-school admissions committee.

In an online survey we conducted in April, I discovered to my surprise that 20% of applicants plan to create a new online presence to enhance their application and their online brand. It makes perfect sense though. At a time when essay word counts are shrinking, you can see how it might be more compelling if you can back up your noted interest in photography by pointing to your Instagram account.

As I mention in Poets & Quants’s recent story on social media in the b-school application, many applicants are just beginning to realize that everyone has an online brand now and so the focus at first is on clean up. Review your online persona to ensure that there aren’t any inappropriate pictures or posts. Basically, put it to the grandma test: if you wouldn’t want granny to see it, just get rid of it.

To meet the growing need for guidance in this area, Stacy Blackman Consulting has launched a new service this season called the social media strategy review to help applicants professionalize their existing profile and set them up for a lifetime of online social success.

With competition as stiff as it is at the ultra-elite schools, I would err on being a little more conservative and think about removing overly political or religious posts, and of course anything remotely sexy or related to partying. You don’t need to scrub your profile of all personality, however. Leave the travel pics and anything that supports the outside interests you’ve highlighted in your application. It’s good for the AdCom to see your informal side.

I shared a few more tips on social media and admissions strategies with editor John Byrne, so click on over to Poets & Quants to read the entire article.

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Which B-Schools are Social Media Savvy?

Are you at all surprised that Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business boast the strongest performance in MBA50’s 2013 US B-School Social Media Ranking? According to the results presented by chief editor …

Are you at all surprised that Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business boast the strongest performance in MBA50’s 2013 US B-School Social Media Ranking? According to the results presented by chief editor of MBA50 Matt Symonds, HBS leads the pack on Facebook and Linkedin, while Stanford GSB attracts the biggest following on Twitter and You Tube.

In fact, the data gathered shows these two schools are way ahead of other elite American MBA programs, and Symonds calls the difference between the top 5 and top 25 striking, noting that “many business schools have been slow to embrace social media, particularly in the way they market themselves.”

Top Five in Twitter Followers

  1. Stanford GSB (113,560)
  2. HBS (67,811)
  3. UPenn Wharton School (63,670)
  4. MIT Sloan School of Management (40,943)
  5. Georgetown McDonough (39,214)

Top Five in Facebook Likes

  1. HBS (121,678)
  2. UV Darden School of Business (71,850)
  3. Stanford GSB (71,662)
  4. Wharton (37,285)
  5. MIT Sloan (25,061)

Top Five in LinkedIn Followers

  1. HBS (32,670)
  2. Wharton (18,523)
  3. Stanford GSB (11,991)
  4. UV Darden (8,533)
  5. MIT Sloan (7,878)

Top Five in YouTube Subscribers

  1. Stanford GSB (53,797)
  2. HBS (32,436)
  3. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (7,863)
  4. Columbia Business School (7,052)
  5. Wharton (6,070)

As the numbers show, the difference between first and fifth in each category is stark, indicating that today’s business schools need to significantly ramp up their social media participation if they hope to land the attention of this generation of tech-native consumers.

Today’s students don’t see social media as a trend; rather, this is a generation that has grown up with the Internet. Business schools, like any enterprise, need to adapt and evolve to this new reality in order to prepare graduates who can develop and manage marketing strategies that address the nuances of the online world.

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Give Yourself a Social Media Makeover as a B-School Applicant

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Give Yourself a Social Media Makeover as a B-School Applicant

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA blog on U.S.News.com In the era of social media saturation, business school hopefuls have to think about more than just drafting memorable essays, nailing interviews and …

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

In the era of social media saturation, business school hopefuls have to think about more than just drafting memorable essays, nailing interviews and marketing themselves effectively during the MBA application process. Today’s applicants must scrutinize their public persona on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and elsewhere to make sure it matches the version they wish to present to the b-school admissions committee.

According to the 2012 Kaplan Test Prep Survey of business school admissions officers, 32 percent of business school admissions officers have Googled an applicant, and 27 percent have visited a social networking site to learn more about an applicant.

Those numbers may not seem high now, but all signs indicate they will only creep up as admissions officers use social media to verify information and look for indicators via your status or wall posts as to how you would contribute to forming a strong, productive cohort.

Jeff Olson, vice president of data science for Kaplan Test Prep, says the traditional application components represent the polished version of the applicant, while what’s found online is a rawer version of that candidate.

“Schools are philosophically divided on whether an applicant’s digital trail is fair game, and the majority of admissions officers do not look beyond the submitted application,” Olson says in a release. “But our advice to students is to think first, Tweet later.”

The obvious first step toward scouring your online media persona is to perform a Google search of your name and see if any “red flags” pop up in the first 10 pages of search results. If you do find inappropriate content, remove it or try to edit it whenever possible.

Most applicants today have been on Facebook for years, so this is often an area ripe for a profile cleanup. I worked with one client from Portugal, Marco, who had a 3.9 undergraduate GPA and a 710 GMAT score but worried that his Facebook profile detracted from the strong candidate he strived to present on his applications. I advise all applicants to take the same steps we did to remedy the situation.

We started by deleting or making private any photos or posts that might have tarnished his professional persona. Next, Marco updated his profile photo and chose one where he had a great smile. He kept posts that attested to his professional focus and intellectual curiosity and weeded out “likes” to reflect his maturing perspective.

Admissions committees expect you to have friends and family, but be judicious in analyzing whether the pictures and comments support how you want to be perceived online. You might consider changing your preferences so people can’t tag pictures of you in order to better control your brand.

After you’ve completed a thorough cleanup, start cultivating a more professional side on Facebook. Connect with MBA programs you’re interested in by liking them, and engage in their online communities by posting intelligent, courteous comments that demonstrate to admissions how you would behave on campus if admitted.

Following Marco’s Facebook makeover, he felt confident his profile reflected the strong candidate he’d worked so hard to become, and Marco ultimately received acceptances at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Twitter is a great way to stay on top of news coming out of the schools, as most MBA programs and business school deans actively use the micro-blogging site. Following the tweets from admissions, retweeting and the occasional direct message to ask an admissions question could put you on their radar in a positive way.

As with Facebook, the idea is to present yourself in the best light possible. Keep it fun, intellectual, engaging, and never profane, insulting, negative or prejudicial.

Perhaps the most important step after sorting out your personal-social persona is beefing up your professional online identity. If you’re not already on LinkedIn ”“ the world’s largest professional network ”“ now’s the time to join.

[Explore how LinkedIn is changing MBA grads' job searches.]

Here, you can create a professional profile with far more detail than a standard one-page resume, and LinkedIn is often seen as a more legitimate way to network with current students or alumni who can provide feedback about the MBA programs you’re most interested in, as well as professionals working in industries you want to target. Joining groups based on common interests, and contributing to discussions on LinkedIn can also help you effectively expand your network.

In the end, the goal for MBA applicants is to develop a personal brand and make sure your social media sites promote brand “You.” Put your best foot forward by keeping your social media presence clean, mature and presentable, and have faith that you can do so without scrubbing away your entire personality

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