Articles published in April 2010

Got MBA Admissions Questions? Get Answers!

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Business school applications are a daunting prospect, and new questions pop up constantly. That’s why mbaMission founder Jeremy Shinewald will be holding regular Q&A sessions in our live online classroom, starting tomorrow at 6pm EST. Feel free to drop in at any point during the session”Jeremy will be available for the full hour.

If you can’t make it tomorrow, we’ll be holding another MBA Q&A in two weeks, on May 13. Stay tuned for future sessions as well.

MBAs Forgoing Finance for Health Care, Non Profits

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An MBA degree does not necessarily have to be synonymous with a career in finance.

While most MBAs do still choose to go into finance and consulting, the options for business school graduates are not limited to these two fields.  Health care, for example, is attracting a substantial number of MBAs. A recent New York Times article points out:

Health care is the target career for 10 percent of students working on a master of business administration degree at Harvard Business School, making it the third most popular choice, behind financial services and consulting.

This trend is accelerating as the boomer generation ages and needs increased health care. In fact, the Times article notes business schools like Tufts and Duke already have programs focusing on health care management, and Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business is in the process of creating a new masters of health care delivery science.

But if the health care sector doesn’t strike your fancy, you can follow in the footsteps of MBAs like Tim Elliott, who, as this BusinessWeek article describes, left his job as a vice-president of finance and technology to join MBAs Without Borders. The nonprofit program sends MBAs overseas for six months to work in the developing world, and it’s seen a substantial increase in applicants over the past year.

In fact, if you’re interested in nonprofits, there are now MBA programs that focus specifically on nonprofit management.  Beyond Grey Pinstripes is a great place to start if you’re looking for a business school devoted to sustainability and nonprofit management.

And for a list of the top 100 companies MBAs would like to work at, you can always refer to Fortune Magazine’s list.

How To Read A Reading Comp Passage

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Reading ComprehensionRecently, I was asked to write an article on the reading part of reading comprehension “ specifically, what are we supposed to do and look for during the initial few minutes before we start to answer the first question? I thought it was a great idea; a lot of people struggle with this.

Note: this article doesn’t address how to answer reading comprehension questions; it focuses on the initial read-through and note-taking. If you do that well, though, then that should help you answer any kind of question.

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Top Three Books to Read this Summer for Aspiring MBAs

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A recent Business Week post about b-school summer reading lists got us thinking here at Manhattan GMAT. What other books might provide a good foundation for your first year? We turned to Chris Ryan, our Director of Instructor and Product Development, for some recommendations. His suggestions make good reading for incoming MBA students and curious applicants alike.

1. First and foremost, Chris recommends Larry Gonick’s Cartoon Guide to Statistics, which will give you a jump on the hardest quant class in your first semester, one on which other important classes ” like Finance and Operations ” depend. “If you actually understand the content in this book, you will do better in your stats class ” it’s as simple as that,” Chris tells us. The title might sound silly, but the content is truly useful.

2. A more theoretical start for your reading would be Co-Opetition (Adam M. Brandenburger and Barry J. Nalebuff), which covers game theory and its practical applications for business. The authors argue that to maximize success, companies sometimes have to cooperate with traditional rivals.

3.You should also pick up something about the economic turmoil of recent months. “You’re going to need to have an opinion,” Chris says. Pair your selection with Roger Lowenstein’s When Genius Failed, which covers the rise and fall of Long Term Capital Management, a hedge fund that brought about a late-90s precursor to the current financial crisis.

Plus, for a b-school beach read, try Predictably Irrational (Dan Ariely), a nice introduction to behavioral economics.

For more suggestions, try Business Week’s list.

Interviewers Are Not Out to Trick You

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Several news outlets recently wrote about a list of strange questions that you might encounter in a business school admissions interview.

The admissions process is stressful enough without having to worry about which type of tree you think you would be if you were a tree. Thankfully, our partner mbaMission has confirmed that it is very unlikely you will be asked such a question. In fact, they’ve conducted interviews with top admissions officers at Yale, Tuck and Kellogg, and all of the officers said their goal for interviews is to get a feel for the applicants and who they really are. They are not looking for how quickly prospective students can answer strange questions on their toes. A new mbaMission blog posting notes:

We feel that our responsibility as an admissions consulting firm is to calm MBA candidates and keep them focused on what is truly important within the application process. Interviews are not easy, but overwhelmingly the questions are straightforward and will be about you. So, you should be able to rely on your experiences to answer the questions. By entering your interview calmly and staying in your everyday frame of mind, you will be able to thoughtfully address the questions that you are asked. If you can do that, you should perform to the best of your abilities and you may even enjoy your interview.

You can read the rest of the blog post, which includes quotes from interviews with top admissions officers, here.

More Women Getting MBAs

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More women are headed to business school these days, according to a piece over at Forbes.

The numbers certainly are striking. In the last decade, women have enrolled at business schools across the country in ever-greater numbers. Between 1997 and 2007, the percentage of MBAs awarded to women jumped from 39 percent to 44 percent”a 12.8 percent increase over a single decade.  Top schools are showing big leaps, too: HBS went from 28 percent women in 1995 to 38 percent in 2010, while Wharton’s female population climbed from 32 percent in 2007 to 40 percent in the class of 2011.  

So what’s driving the increase? The article suggests it’s the combination of a weak economy, recruiting initiatives targeted to women, and, most of all, the flexibility offered by an MBA. Female grads can take their degrees into the nonprofit world or even start their own businesses, says Deirdre Leopold,  Harvard’s managing director of MBA admissions. That allows more wiggle room, especially for students juggling family responsibilities.

The increasing gender balance sure seems like good news to us!

Still Rough for Current MBA Students

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There have been many stories about the improving economy, but apparently the current climate remains tough for 1st year MBA Students seeking internships, according to Businessweek.com. For those of you who haven’t yet started school, you’ve got a year or two for things to improve!

The Distinction Between a 700 Score and a 760 Score

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[This article has been updated in a new post featured May 9, 2014. Read the newest version of The Distinction Beween a 700 Score and a 760 Score]. Recently, I was asked to write an article addressing what it takes to score in the 99th percentile. I have some reservations about writing such an article, but I agreed to write it.

First, I’m going to tell you why I have reservations about writing this article. A lot of people may read this article and think: Great! I can just do this and score in the 99th percentile! In order to have this conversation in the first place, however, we have to assume that the tester is already scoring at least 700, if not higher.

In other words, you cannot start with the information in this article (unless you’re already at 700+!). In addition, I can’t write an article that tells anyone, at any current level, how to get to 760. What I can do is write an article detailing the differences between a 700-level scorer and a 760-level scorer. What you can do, if you really want a 760, is first get yourself to a very solid 700-level “ using other articles and resources, not this one. (A very solid 700-level refers to someone who can consistently score 700 under full, official test conditions; it does not refer to someone who got 700 once after skipping the essays.)

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MGMAT on Oprah

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Okay, not really. But ace Instructor Jen Dziura IS appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Network giving advice to her younger self on this link on WSJ.com (it makes sense when you watch it)!

Congratulations Jen! 🙂

Gradspot.com’s Guide to Life after College

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What’s proper office etiquette? What type of drink do you order with what? Do I pay off my loans first or sock away some money for retirement?

We thought that these were excellent questions, and so were very excited when the guys from Gradspot.com came to our door saying that they were publishing a book about these and many other subjects, Gradspot.com’s Guide to Life after College. Basically, we wish that we had a book like this when we graduated from college (not THAT long ago . . . ).

If this sounds like a book you’d like too, pick up a copy or pass along one to your buddy/little sister/cousin/ex-girlfriend who’s graduating from college next month. They’ll thank you for it. 🙂