Articles published in June 2011

From The Bench To B.School: A Scientist’s Road To Enrollment (V and Final)

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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 5 of 5 posts in a series about his experiences. You can read Part 4 here.

Decisions, decisions

I’ve written so far about my experience preparing for and taking the GMAT, writing and editing (and occasionally re-writing) essays and gaining confidence for the interview process, all of which led into the result “ in broad strokes, a yes or a no.   In this last post, I’m going to describe my experience after getting the yes I was hoping for and the process of confirming my enrollment in a full-time MBA program. Read more

University of Michigan (Ross) Essay Analysis, 2011-2012

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University of Michigian Ross Business SchoolOur partners at mbaMission have been analyzing business school essay questions as they come out. The latest that they’ve written on is the University of Michigan (Ross). Read the questions below and find the full analysis of these questions on the mbaMission blog.

  1. Introduce yourself to your future Ross classmates in 100 words or less.
  2. Describe your career goals. How will an MBA from Ross help you to achieve those goals? What is your vision for how you can make a unique contribution to the Ross community? (500 words)
  3. Describe a time in your career when you were frustrated or disappointed. What did you learn from that experience? (500 word maximum)
  4. Select one of the following questions:
    • What are you most passionate about? (300 word maximum)
    • Describe a personal challenge or obstacle and why you view it as such. How have you dealt with it? What have you learned from it? (300 word maximum)
  5. Optional question: Is there anything else you think the Admissions Committee should know about you to evaluate your candidacy? (500 word maximum)

Find the analysis of these essay questions here.

The Last 14 Days: Building Your Game Plan

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What’s the optimal way to spend your last 14 days before the real test? There are two levels to this discussion: what and how to review, and building a game plan. We’ll discuss the latter topic in this article. Once you’ve read this article, you may want to check out How To Review.

What is a Game Plan?

In the last two weeks before your test, your focus needs to shift from trying to learn new things to acknowledging that your skills are what they are. They’re not going to change an enormous amount in the last two weeks; you can tweak some things, but now is not the time to change major strategies across an entire question type. Further, it would be a mistake to spend your last two weeks entirely focused on your weaknesses; if you do that, then you won’t be prepared to excel on your strengths.

Your Game Plan will help you to make certain decisions quickly during the test. When is it a good idea to spend an extra 20 or 30 seconds on a problem? When should you decide to make an educated guess? When should you cut yourself off completely, guess immediately, and move on? What should you do if you find yourself ahead or behind on your timing? (We’ll discuss the answers to these questions later in the article.) Read more

Video: How to Beat the New GMAT

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Our very own Manhattan GMAT instructor Tom Rose has another life outside of teaching the GMAT. He and Miro Kaz host a online show called the MBA Show. This week, they were lucky enough to interview Dave Wilson, the President and CEO of the GMAC (the company that makes the GMAT). Not only is this segment full of good information, it’s also entertaining, so enjoy!

For more episodes of the MBA Show, check out their website.

From The Bench To B.School: A Scientist’s Road To Enrollment (IV)

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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 4 of 5 posts in a series about his experiences. You can read Part 3 here.

Be A Score With A Story

How do you tell a great story in a few essays or a few minutes of dialogue? How do you make it compelling but not desperate, informative but not pandering? How do you make sure that your reason for applying to an MBA program comes through clearly, with goals that are both realistic and inspired?

It’s a lot for a couple thousand words to accomplish.  But in sitting down to the essay-writing process, that’s the end goal (at least, it is by my opinion). Read more

Everything You Need To Know About Time Management

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I haven’t picked too ambitious a title there, have I? Let’s see how we do!

Time management is obviously an essential GMAT skill, and one of the (many!) skills we need for this test is the ability to maintain an appropriate time position. Time position refers to the relationship between the test taker’s position on the test (the question number) and the time that has elapsed to get to that point in the section. For example, if I’ve just finished quant question #5 and 15 minutes have elapsed so far, am I ahead, behind, or on time?

Check out the table below to help answer that question:

Positive ahead of time (>3 minutes ahead)
Neutral on time (+/- 3 minutes)
Negative behind on time (>3 minutes behind)

In my previous example, I would be behind on time because, on quant, we’re expected to average about 2 minutes per question. After 5 questions, only 10 minutes should have elapsed “ so I am 5 minutes behind, putting me in a negative time position.

Most people will find themselves in the negative position more frequently than the positive position. If we run out of time before completing the section, Read more

Stanford University (Stanford Graduate School of Business) Essay Analysis, 2011-2012

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

Stanford Graduate School of Business
Before we even begin our analysis of Stanford’s essay questions for this application season, we want to share a quote from Stanford Assistant Dean and Director of MBA Admissions Derrick Bolton that we feel bears repeating and is important to keep in mind with respect to your essays for Stanford or any other school: Because we want to discover who you are, resist the urge to ˜package’ yourself in order to come across in a way you think Stanford wants. Such attempts simply blur our understanding of who you are and what you can accomplish. We want to hear your genuine voice throughout the essays that you write and this is the time to think carefully about your values, your passions, your hopes and dreams.

At mbaMission, we constantly tell candidates to avoid attempting to portray themselves as something they are not”something they mistakenly believe the admissions committee wants them to be”in their essays. The schools want a class that is made up of diverse individuals, and by pandering to some perceived expectation, you are basically aspiring to create a generic application, rather than one that will separate you from the pack.

1. What matters most to you, and why?

For the analysis, see the full post here.

mbaMission Comments on the Changing Class Profile at HBS

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This post orignally appeared on the mbaMission blog.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on the shifting career balance of Harvard Business School’s incoming Class of 2013. Notably, the class will have a higher percentage of students with manufacturing and technology backgrounds, and fewer students with finance backgrounds. According to HBS managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, Deirdre Leopold, the school does not run with quotas or targets. It is worth noting that this shift is not all that significant “ the finance industry still has the strongest representation in the class.

mbaMission Founder and President Jeremy Shinewald frequently comments on how candidates erroneously try to game the admissions system. The Journal quotes him as saying, You’re going to see guys who worked on one private-equity deal with an auto manufacturer try to play up their auto experience and look ridiculous. Candidates buy into stereotypes for their target schools and become things they think the school wants. As candidates examine the stats, they should keep in mind that they can only be who they are and that they cannot go back in time and change careers. So, they are best creating an authentic picture of themselves in an attempt to set themselves apart from all others (not just those in their fields).

B-school Book List

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Whether you are headed off to business school in the fall or just planning for the day when you will be, summer is the perfect time to beef up your knowledge with a little summer reading.  We spoke with Chris Ryan, Manhattan GMAT’s Vice President of Instructor and Product Development, and with Jason Arvanites, MGMAT Instructor and Yale School of Management 2nd year, to ask them what books they thought should be added to the incoming MBA student’s summer library. (And if you’re looking for more books after reading the list below, be sure to check out last year’s summer reading list.)

Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert
Stumbling on Happiness Cover
What makes you happy?   Read more

From The Bench To B.School: A Scientist’s Road To Enrollment (III)

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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 3 of 5 posts in a series about his experiences. You can read Part 2 here.

Don’t Get Lost Before The First Step

The big question of How should I prepare for this test? quickly becomes a set of much more detailed, specific questions:  Do I enroll in a course? Should I buy books and study on my own?  What if I need to take the test multiple times?  All this tends to become a little overwhelming.

I tried to calm down and bring myself back to the first question.  I knew I needed structure and guidance.  I again turned to friends for recommendations.  It was word of mouth that Read more