Articles published in August 2011

Patty’s Path to Wharton: Recommendations (Part 5 of 8)

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Patty at WhartonThis is part 5 of a series featuring b-school advice gleaned from one of Manhattan GMAT’s own. Until recently, Patty managed marketing and student services for our sister company, Manhattan LSAT. But she chose to return to business school and started at Wharton last fall. She has agreed to share her application experiences with us  in a series called, “Patty’s Path to Wharton.”
Read Part 4 here.

Recommendations are one of the more fraught aspects of your b-school application, because you’ve got the least control over the process. But, once again,  Patty’s experiences can provide some guidance.
If you’re wondering who to approach, here’s her advice:

People always want to know who to ask for recommendations, the person you work with or the person with the best titles. I already knew who I wanted because I’d worked with them closely. I just knew I wanted people who knew me best as a person and as a professional. My only advice for people who do have that question is to think about it: If you’re on the ad com, do you want a generic form letter or a genuine note? And which one do you think is going to distinguish you from a sea of a thousand.

Once you’ve selected recommenders, be sure to Read more

Too Many Decisions Can Drive You Crazy

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Have you ever experienced the panic stare? That’s when you stare at a problem for way too long without really doing anything besides thinking that you don’t know what to do. Or you sit down to study, but you’re not sure where to begin, and so you take way too long to get started, while you shuffle your papers aimlessly.

The more decisions we need to make, or the more options we have, the harder it is to act, or the more likely we are to act rashly or make snap decisions. The New York Times recently published an article on this topic entitled Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?

What is decision fatigue?

The basic theory is this: the more decisions we make, the more our mental energy suffers, though we’re not necessarily aware of this fatigue in the same way that we’re aware when we’re physically tired. According to the article, we tend to deal with this mental fatigue in one of two ways: either we start making very quick, snap decisions without necessarily thinking everything through, or we just refuse to make a decision at all “ we do nothing.

What are the consequences?

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How to Write a Successful Application Essay

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The ways you can use a baseball coaching experience to write an MBA application essayThis article is written by Angela Guido, Manhattan GMAT Instructor and Senior Consultant at mbaMission.

You may have heard the MBA admissions truism: You can’t turn a bad idea into a good essay. And that is why we recommend a lengthy brainstorming process at the outset of your applications to discover the stories that make you unique. As you uncover your stories, it is important to consider them from as many different angles as possible. Doing so will not only help ensure that you understand the various tools in your tool box, it will also provide you with maximum flexibility (considering that MBA admissions committees ask questions that vary dramatically from school to school).

For example, an experience coaching a baseball team at an underfunded high school may have multiple dimensions, such as the following: Read more

Weaken the Conclusion: Breaking Down a GMATPrep CR Problem

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Critical Reasoning ConclusionIn this post, we’re going to analyze a challenging GMATPrep Critical Reasoning question.

First, set your timer for 2 minutes and try the problem!

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The GMAT’s Value in Business School

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The GMAT RoadmapThis article, written by Eric Caballero, was adapted from our upcoming book, The GMAT Roadmap: Expert Advice Through Test Day. The full book will be available mid-November.

Make no mistake about it. Business Schools love the GMAT. And despite admissions officer statements that the GMAT score is only one piece of your application, it is a huge piece. Since its inception in 1953, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) “ creator of the GMAT “ has studied the desires of Business Schools. In fact, GMAT content is refined by intelligence gathered from frequent surveys of MBA faculty around the world. Additionally, GMAC sets aside profits to fund management education research ” since 2005, GMAC has awarded $1.3MM in grants and fellowships to business school faculty and PhD candidates. The lesson? Take your GMAT seriously. Here’s why: Read more

Indecisive or Inflated? One Man’s B-school Decision

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A few months ago, we shared an article with MBA-Social.com about how to avoid becoming That Guy at business school. It was an excerpt from the recently published book Case Studies & Cocktails: The Now What? Guide to Surviving Business School, and we found it to be a witty overview of how to keep one’s ego in check in b-school. There can be no denying that prospective MBAs are remarkable people: they’ve attended prestigious undergrad programs, earned good grades, launched companies, excelled in business, and stopped just short of saving the world.  For all of this, we applaud them “ we just don’t need to be reminded of it constantly.

Enter Mike Moradian.  Read more

Planning Ahead for your MBA (Part 5)

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Original Schedule/Timeline photo by Peter Kaminski on FlickrThe folks at mbaMission always recommend getting started with your MBA applications as early as possible. By taking action now, you can dramatically improve your chances of gaining admission to a top MBA program in the coming years. It is never too soon (and certainly not too late) to take several crucial steps to shape your MBA candidacy. So they’re presenting a five-part series to provide a step-by-step timeline to help guide you down the long road of applying to business school. These guidelines assume that you are setting out a year ahead of the January deadlines. Even if you are starting later, you should be able to leverage this timeline to help you prioritize each step along the way. This week, they lay out what you should be doing November through January. For more information on mbaMission and how they can help you in this process, click here.
View Part 4 here. Read more

International Student? Getting a visa might be harder than you think

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By Shahid Hussain

Getting a Student Visa might be harder than you think

If you are studying or applying for an MBA in your native land, skip this post, go home and make love to your passport.

I’m a limey by birth, and was lucky to get into Kellogg’s class of 2009. I was excited, but I had no inkling of how the visa process and dreaded words administrative processing would affect me over the coming years.

Home of the brave

We had people from all over the world at Kellogg “ Brazil, France, Japan, Indonesia “ you name it. Why did we all come to the U.S.? Read more

Patty’s Path to Wharton: Short-Answer Questions (Part 4 of 8)

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Patty at WhartonThis is part 4 of a series featuring b-school advice gleaned from one of Manhattan GMAT’s own. Until recently, Patty managed marketing and student services for our sister company,Manhattan LSAT. But she chose to return to business school and started at Wharton last fall. She has agreed to share her application experiences with us  in a series called, “Patty’s Path to Wharton.”
Read Part 3 here.

Short answer questions are truly a case of the devil lurking in the details. The name sounds like a breeze, but if you don’t get cracking ahead of time, you’ll be pulling an all-nighter to get them done. Patty explains:

You’d be very much surprised to see how many short answers there are on extracurriculars and work experience, so don’t wait until the last minute. You can’t do it on the fly right before submitting. It took much longer than I anticipated. There are a limited number of overall characters for the section and you have to allot them very carefully”it’s such a pain.

To complicate matters further, multiple schools ask the same question but with varying length requirements. Harvard would say describe your responsibilities in 1000 characters, then Stanford would say 300 characters.

I found myself swapping out verbs for shorter verbs. You have to shorten and make sure it still sounds a little punchy. For the same description, you have to write it three different times. It can take a painfully long time. And some people don’t realize this until the day before, so they stay up all night crafting them. Also, if you can do this any earlier, get all your verification as early as possible. Exact salaries, bonuses, date of employment, starting salary, ending salary, etc. Get all your transcripts ahead of time. Make sure your GMAT scores are sent. Some people don’t know where they’re applying when they take it, so they have to make sure. Schools always say you have to have the GMAT scores in first.

Next: Read Patty’s advice on Recommendations here.

Breaking Down A GMATPrep Divisibility Problem

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We’ve got another GMATPrep word problem on tap for today, but this one’s in the area of divisibility (number properties). These kinds of problems often include a lot of math vocab; we need to make sure both that we understand the precise words used and concepts being described and that we don’t forget or overlook any of the pieces.

Set your timer for 2 minutes and GO!

If m is a positive odd integer between 2 and 30, then m is divisible by how many different positive prime numbers?
(1) m is not divisible by 3.
(2) m is not divisible by 5.

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