Tag Archives: Stanford GSB
March 18, 2014
Earlier this month, Stanford Graduate School of Business made the unprecedented move of nullifying the MBA degree of Mathew Martoma, the SAC Capital Advisors LP employee convicted of insider trading. For those unfamiliar with the education …
Earlier this month, Stanford Graduate School of Business made the unprecedented move of nullifying the MBA degree of Mathew Martoma, the SAC Capital Advisors LP employee convicted of insider trading.
For those unfamiliar with the education angle of the story, Martoma was expelled from Harvard Law School in 1999 for falsifying his transcripts. He subsequently gained admission to the Stanford Graduate School of Business—without disclosing the expulsion from Harvard Law—and received an MBA degree in 2003.
As part of its admissions policy, prospective GSB students must disclose any prior academic disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions. Therefore, Stanford’s decision to revoke the degree is based not on Martoma becoming a convicted felon, but because he gained admission under false pretenses.
According to Wall Street Journal‘s Melissa Korn, the move “highlights the lengths to which schools may go to protect their reputations when graduates become enmeshed in scandal long after leaving campus.”
I spoke to Bloomberg BusinessWeek in the days following the announcement, because while invalidating degrees isn’t common, I have seen instances where people have been accepted into school and then escorted out of class within the first couple of weeks. Admits can be revoked, and I believe Stanford is putting Martoma out there as a lesson.
B-school hopefuls should always come clean about a criminal record when applying, because this is not the sort of information you want discovered during a background check. This issue may seem insurmountable, but I have helped more than one client explain an embarrassing episode from their past.
Many MBA programs ask you to explain a mistake you have made, or discuss a challenge you overcame. The most interesting candidates have faced difficulty and learned from it, preferably changing their behavior for the better. If you can turn a setback into an opportunity, and show how the incident sparked a period of serious self-reflection and change, your story may actually become inspiring.
Showing who you are, your potential, and even how you have overcome blemishes to your otherwise perfect record gives the school insight into your potential as a student, and as a future business leader.
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January 15, 2014
In an effort to offer applicants a definitive answer sooner rather than later, the Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA blog notes that the school will continue its new compressed interview timeline for applicants who …
In an effort to offer applicants a definitive answer sooner rather than later, the Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA blog notes that the school will continue its new compressed interview timeline for applicants who submitted for the Round 2 deadline January 8th.
The pilot process comes in response to feedback from applicants who said they would like to know right away if the answer is no, to minimize the constant obsessing and allow them time to refocus on other schools.
With that in mind, invitations to Round 2 applicants will go out from February 3rd through March 4th only—not before or after those dates—and Stanford expects to issue the majority by February 25th.
The waiting period is a painful one, but Stanford MBA admissions hopes that knowing exactly when those coveted interview invites will go out might ease the stress just a little bit.
January 13, 2014
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com 2013 may well become known as the year of the massive open online course, commonly abbreviated MOOC, as more and more prestigious business …
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
2013 may well become known as the year of the massive open online course, commonly abbreviated MOOC, as more and more prestigious business schools began offering their courses for free to anyone in the world with an Internet connection.
Stanford Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Spain’s IE Business School are just a few of the top MBA programs bringing their courses to the people, and it seems more are joining the party every month.
Most elite schools use the Palo Alto-based education company Coursera to host their MOOC content. While universities don’t offer official credit for their MOOCs, some offer participants a certificate – either free or for a fee – confirming completion of the course and a demonstrated understanding of the material.
In the fall, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Harvard Business School and HEC Paris announced they will offer numerous MOOCs as a way to enhance the academic experience and allow teaching to go beyond the confines of the classroom. HEC Paris is the first business school in France to launch a MOOC and will offer two courses, European law and corporate finance, in early spring 2014.
When announcing the news, HEC Dean Bernard Ramanantsoa said, “This partnership with Coursera offers HEC an opportunity to open up our courses to people who might not usually have access to higher education, whether for practical or economic considerations. Sharing our faculty’s expertise with the general public at no cost is a truly exciting and meaningful challenge.”
Meanwhile, with the Wharton MBA Foundation Series, faculty teach four core classes in financial accounting, operations management, marketing and corporate finance, allowing students all over the world to learn the same material a first-year Wharton MBA student would.
“This is the first time that a business school has bundled a collection of MOOCs together in this fashion,” Don Huesman, managing director of the innovation group at Wharton, told Bloomberg Businessweek in September. “We’re taking our core required classes in the MBA program, with the same instructors, to provide those same core concepts.”
Harvard Business School is playing it close to the vest with its initial foray into online education, perhaps because it must consider how to impart its knowledge to the masses without tarnishing the school’s venerable brand.
Brian C. Kenny, chief marketing and communications officer for HBS, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that the school needs to figure out how to translate its signature pedagogical technique, the case method, to an online educational experience.
“Whether or not the case method can work online,” said Kenny, “is a question that we haven’t answered yet.”
For its part, Darden has upcoming courses in foundations of business strategy, smart growth for private businesses, design thinking for business innovation and new models of business in society. Darden’s Dean Bob Bruner remarked in an interview that the school is proud to be one of the most active schools in online learning.
“Everyone says ‘you’re a business school, why are you giving it away for free,’” Bruner said, but he explains that “MOOCs are consistent with our mission and we’re learning a great deal about digital instruction with practice.”
These online courses may also be one of the best marketing tools the schools have at their fingertips. As Bruner noted, MOOCs are “helping a part of the world to learn about Darden, a population that was pretty much oblivious to the existence of the school beforehand.”
For MBA applicants wondering whether to enroll in a MOOC at one of their target schools, I say go for it. There’s no harm in getting an early taste of the course work to come, and the experience might actually help inform your decision to apply or allow you to reference something concrete about the curriculum in your essays.
The courses typically require a high level of motivation to complete, and doing so shows a commitment to self-improvement the admissions committee would find laudable.
Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that completing a set of MOOCs from Wharton will put you in the same league as a student on campus. The conversations that occur in class and out, and the networking opportunities business school provides, remain the most valuable aspects of the MBA experience.
No one is exactly sure yet how free online courses factor into the world of students, nonstudents and applicants. Does it merely offer a taste of the school, or will it one day replace live classes? Right now, this kind of online learning is still in its infancy, but it is a very real part of the education world and good to experiment with rather than ignore.
November 25, 2013
The Stanford MBA Admission Blog has published a trio of posts this month designed to dispel some of the misleading myths that continue to confound applicants. From interview questions to recommendation letter queries to work …
The Stanford MBA Admission Blog has published a trio of posts this month designed to dispel some of the misleading myths that continue to confound applicants. From interview questions to recommendation letter queries to work experience concerns, the admissions team at Stanford Graduate School of Business once again attempts to set the record straight and, with any luck, helps calm the nerves of worried b-school hopefuls.
Here, in one place for ease of viewing, is a condensed version of the myths addressed in all three posts—and the corrections—the admissions team would like applicants to know.
MYTH: The interview has a lot of weight so if I blow the interview, I have blown my chances of being admitted.
THE TRUTH: There is no specific weight assigned to the interview; the interview is one part of a comprehensive process. A positive interview does not guarantee admission, while a less than favorable interview does not, by itself, preclude admission. The written application, including the essays and letters of reference, is a critical part of the evaluation process. The interview is a key source of supplemental information.
MYTH: I received my interview invitation early in the round so it must mean I have a better chance of getting admitted.
THE TRUTH: The timing of your interview invitation reflects only the order in which your application was reviewed (and the order in which your application was reviewed doesn’t mean anything, honest!). Applications are not reviewed in any particular order, and applicants are not ranked.
MYTH: Visiting campus before or after I’ve submitted my application is an important way to demonstrate my interest in Stanford and increase my chances of being admitted.
THE TRUTH: Visiting campus does not affect your chances of admission whatsoever. You may wish to visit if it’s helpful to your research and decision-making process about schools. If you have only one chance to visit, save your time and money and come after you’ve been admitted for Admit Weekend, where you’ll meet students, alumni, faculty, and your future classmates.
MYTH: If I work in a family business, am self-employed, or can’t tell my boss that I’m applying, I will be at a disadvantage since I cannot get a recommendation from a current direct supervisor.
THE TRUTH: Rest assured that you are not the only applicant in this situation. You just need to be a little more creative in terms of where you get your recommendation. You could ask anyone who is in a position to evaluate your work: a previous supervisor, a client, or a member of your board of directors.
MYTH: It is okay to submit more than three recommendations. In fact, more is better!
THE TRUTH: We discourage you from sending additional letters. More is not better. In fact, it can have the opposite of the intended effect as it adds an additional burden to our staff who review literally thousands and thousands of pages over the application season. When we receive additional letters of reference either before or after the application deadline, we do add them to your application file, but there’s no guarantee that they will be reviewed.
MYTH: It is better to get my recommendations from three different sources to highlight different aspects of my professional and personal background.
THE TRUTH: It’s your decision how to present yourself in your application, what to highlight and what to focus on. There is no one right way. When choosing a recommender, our best advice is to (1) choose someone who knows you really well and can provide the detail, examples, and specifics that support his/her assertions; and (2) choose someone who is truly enthused to write a recommendation for you and will spend sufficient time writing a thoughtful letter.
MYTH: Recommendations must be written in English.
THE TRUTH: Recommendations must be submitted in English. However, if you and your recommenders think that their English is not sufficient to convey complex ideas, it may be to your advantage to have them write in their native language and then get it translated. The translation does not need to be from a paid service unless that is the only option available to the recommender. The translation is the responsibility of the recommender; the translator cannot be the applicant or a friend or family member of the applicant.
MYTH: It’s OK to provide a letter of recommendation from a professor as long as I did really well in the class.
THE TRUTH: We love professors – we are a school, after all – but faculty members typically are not the best choices for MBA recommendations. We find that they often ignore the questions we ask of recommenders, and instead, focus on how well you did in their classes (which we already know from your academic transcripts). If you are applying as a college senior and do not have much professional experience, there may be cases when a recommendation from a faculty member would be appropriate.
For example, if you worked with a faculty member outside the classroom, perhaps as a teaching assistant or on an independent research opportunity, then that professor might be in a position to write a helpful recommendation. Still, you need to think carefully about whether that person can address the questions we ask in the recommendation form.
MYTH: If I worked full-time during or before college, I can count those months as “full-time work experience.”
THE TRUTH: We value all work experience, including jobs or military service you’ve had before graduating college. We ask that in the box for “months of full-time work experience,” you include only the months of full-time work experience SINCE you graduated from your undergraduate university, calculating the number of months from your college graduation until September 1, 2014.
Since the application form doesn’t fit every person’s situation, we ask that applicants who have worked full-time before graduating college report that in the Part-Time Employment section and indicate 40 hours in the “hours/week” box. We will connect the dots that you were working before or throughout college. Also, the resume we ask you to submit will show us your career path.
MYTH: If my application doesn’t meet certain criteria, the admissions office won’t even look at it.
THE TRUTH: We review each and every application to understand your background, aspirations, and potential. While scores and grades command attention in the blogosphere, each of you is more than a combination of statistics; we are building a community as well as a class. Real people are getting to know you through your application. This is not an automated process; it’s a very human process that takes time and deliberation.
MYTH: Even though Stanford GSB accepts either the GMAT or GRE, it’s better to submit GMAT scores.
THE TRUTH: Nope. We don’t have a preference either way; and if we did, we’d tell you. Do what makes sense for you.
October 15, 2013
Stanford Graduate School of Businessrecently posted details of the MBA Class of 2015 profile, noting that at 406 students, this is the largest class in the history of the GSB.
While quick to point out that Stanford’s relatively small class size naturally includes percentage shifts here and there each year, the school also reports a greater diversity of experience and background this year as a result of the larger class size.
Here are some of the most notable shifts within the Class of 2015, as shared by Victoria Hendel De La O in admissions:
- The class comprises a record number of international and U.S. schools.
- Representation of both women and U.S. minorities in the class increased.
- As always, there was fluctuation in industry representation, with increases in biotech, consulting, and consumer-products sectors.
- The number of humanities and sciences majors in the class jumped, while a handful fewer students studied business or engineering.
- Average TOEFL and GMAT scores crept up slightly. The score ranges, however, stayed consistent.
- Average years of pre-MBA work experience fell slightly from last year’s decade-long high. The range of years of work experience also narrowed slightly.
For the most up-to-date information about the entering class profile, read more here.
October 11, 2013
Here’s a heads-up for applicants regarding a recent update on the interview process at Stanford Graduate School of Business. According to the MBA Admission Blog, the school has decided to compress the interview timeline. This …
Here’s a heads-up for applicants regarding a recent update on the interview process at Stanford Graduate School of Business. According to the MBA Admission Blog, the school has decided to compress the interview timeline.
This means interview invitations for Round 1 applicants will only go out from October 28-Novembr 26, 2013, instead of over the entire round. Final notification is still December 11th, but you’ll know on November 26th whether you’re still being considered for admission.
“Some of you have told us that if the answer is a definite ‘no,’ you’d rather know earlier to give you more time to work on Round 2 applications for other schools,” writes Victoria Hendel De La O in Stanford MBA admissions. “Our hope is that this compressed timeline helps ease your anxiety as you navigate the application process.”
Because this condensed interview process is still a pilot, interview dates for Rounds 2 and 3 have not yet been set.