Articles published in May 2011

Relationships in Business School


The two authors of Case Studies and Cocktails, Chris Ryan and Carrie Shuchart, were recently interviewed on The MBA Show. See what they have to say below about dating, relationships, sex, and b-school jargon:

Take a Practice AWA and Earn Yourself $30


If you want a little extra practice with your Analytical Writing Essays, we’ve just come across a great resource for you. The GMAC is hosting a survey that includes having participants write out two essays. If you are studying for the GMAT, this gives you a great chance to see more sample essay questions as you practice. In addition, the GMAC is giving participants $30 for completing this survey. They’re only looking for 1000 participants, so be sure to sign up soon if you want this opportunity!

You can find out more about the survey here.

Columbia University (Columbia Business School) Essay Analysis, 2011-2012


This post orignally appeared on the mbaMission blog. Read the introduction below and find the full post here.

Columbia Business School (CBS) whittled its essay questions from four to three to two over the past five years but is now back to posing three essay questions. Maybe the school’s admissions committee felt that, with just two questions, they were not learning enough about applicants? This year, CBS is offering a variety of creative options in its final essay question, giving candidates greater flexibility”and thus greater control over what the admissions committee will learn about them.

Here are the Questions: Read more

From The Bench To B-School: A Scientist’s Road To Enrollment (Part I)


by Jonathan McEuen, guest blogger

Jonathan McEueun is a Manhattan GMAT grad who is off to Wharton this fall. We asked him to share his application process with us. What follows is Part 1 of 5 posts in a series about his experiences. We hope it gives those of you who are going down a similar path some insight into the decisions, work and thought that goes into applying to business school.

I was wrapping up my doctoral thesis in Neuroscience when I first started thinking about business school.  My research had taught me to see the process by which an experiment can grow into a potential drug candidate, and that left me eager to participate in the process of bringing innovations from the lab to market.  In addition, I had planted the entrepreneurial seed in my mind back as an undergrad, and by the end of the PhD process, it had grown into an urge to jump back into the business of science.

So Why Business School?

Halfway through the PhD process I wasn’t yet convinced that business school was the best answer for my position. Then, I started working with a student-run consulting group , and Read more

Evaluating Your Practice Tests


[This article has been updated and released Feb 11, 2014 as “4 Steps to Get the Most our of your CATs.”]

Practice tests are an invaluable component of any test-taker’s study plan, but the most valuable thing is actually not the act of taking the practice test. Just taking a test doesn’t help us to improve all that much. While taking a test, we are concentrating on doing (using everything we’ve learned up to that point); as a result, we’re not really learning much.

The most valuable thing is actually the data that you can extract when you’re done with the test; that’s how you learn to get better and know what to study before you take another practice test. There are two main components to that data:

Read more

A Business Ethics Potpourri


Last week, in one of the government’s biggest insider trading cases ever, Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty on fourteen counts of securities fraud and conspiracy.  His conviction has stirred up even more conversation on what has been a hotbed topic since the financial crisis in 2008-09: business ethics.  Now, with 36 unrelated insider trading convictions in the past 18 months and several major b-schools attempting to refocus their curriculums, we thought we would share with you some of the articles we have been reading on the matter.

In an article on Poets & Quants, Joel Schectman discusses the hypersensitivity of Wharton graduates following the conviction of Raj Rajaratnam, a member of the Wharton ’83 class, just days before the business school’s May 15th graduation.  The piece, which is filled with quotes from the students and staff, conveys the Wharton community’s mixed feelings about the trial.  Some of our favorite reactions include: We are all ethical; We can prepare them for the temptations, but we can’t inoculate them completely; and We hope we can do better. Read more

How to make the best of being a “non-traditional” MBA student


by Jenn Yee, guest blogger

I arrived at business school without a shred of background in economics, statistics, or higher-level mathematics. Kellogg called me a non-traditional student, but most of my pre-business-school friends just said I was flat-out crazy.

With a background almost exclusively in media and education, I went into business school a little naïve about how much would be expected of me academically, socially, and emotionally. It took a little while for me to adjust; I felt uncertain about the strength of my background. Additionally, everyone looked so shiny and happy in the halls “ I wasn’t sure if anyone else was having this experience.

It turns out that quite a few of them were.

Here are some things I learned while attending business school with a non-traditional background, and how to cope. Read more

Developing a GMAT Study Plan


Just starting out? Or maybe you’ve been studying for weeks already? Perhaps you’ve already taken the official test once but want another crack at it? Whatever stage you’re at, you need a plan, so that’s what we’re going to talk about this week: how to develop your own personalized study plan. Get a notebook, open up a file on your computer, or start a blog. Record everything.

Read more

A B-School Boys Club?


Historically, business has always been a boys club – picture spiffy suits, cigar clubs, and golf course negotiations. That was back in the day, of course, and recently women have become much greater players (think Indra Nooyi at PepsiCo).  Even so, gender equality – or inequality –  remains a hot-button issue, and some recent press has us taking a second look at women’s status in the business world.

When The Harbus reported recently on the academic gender gap at Harvard Business School, it stated that women were shocked by a marked historical difference between men and women’s academic performance at business school. The article goes on to detail how the women (the article’s authors in particular) combated their surprise by researching the causes of the achievement gap, looking to understand how personal, social, and demographic characteristics affect the academic experience.

After reviewing several possibilities, the researchers found that the most substantiated cause for women’s underperformance at HBS was their feeling of discomfort towards speaking in class.  The women reported feeling less comfortable participating due to their perceived difference in academic and professional backgrounds.  They also found themselves self-editing in class in order to manage their image outside the classroom.

Read more

Why the odds are good for finding a husband or wife at business school


by Jenn Yee, guest blogger

We hate and love to admit it, but business school is like a weird marriage-making commune.

Relationships bloom here (some in secret, at first). When we were at Kellogg, three couples that met at business school were already engaged by graduation. In the next six months, four more couples followed. It was like love dominoes.

So what’s with this phenomenon?

As one of my [married] friends exclaimed over Indian dinner during our first quarter of classes to our fellow sectionmates, “Business school is your last best chance to find a man.” Around the table, my single friends looked both panicked and enlightened.

Why is business school such good hunting grounds for a husband or wife? MBA Social has some theories: Read more