Articles published in January 2013

5 Tips on How to Balance a Full-Time Job and Business School

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mba@uncEditor’s Note: This is a guest post by Harrison Kratz, Community Manager at MBA@UNC. See the bottom of the post for more information about the author. 

While employed full time, the prospects of continuing your education can seem like a daunting task. Business school can be challenging, yet furthering your education can give you far better career opportunities and the ability to move into managerial positions more quickly. Fortunately, colleges today offer greater flexibility with part-time classes that are offered at night or online; some individuals are even able to attend school full time online while working. Whatever path you deem best for your situation, here are five tips on balancing your school and work life:

1. Don’t overdo it.

Find the course load that fits your situation, not overtakes it. Many colleges offer classes part time, once or twice a week, and online classes give you the advantage of being able to work from anywhere at any time. You may want to take only one or two classes per semester, and while it may take longer to complete your program, it will prevent you from being overwhelmed. Keep in mind: If you plan on receiving financial aid, you usually need to take a minimum of two courses to be eligible.

2. Choose your class load wisely.

In this U.S. News Education article, Menachem Wecker recommends that you balance course difficulty. Stagger your most difficult classes over multiple semesters. If you are taking two courses at a time, opt for a difficult course and one that you can complete with ease. This will make your journey far more comfortable.

3. Communicate your plans with your employer.

Going back to school is meant to further your skills and career, thus making you a greater asset to your company. With that in mind, be sure to gain your employer’s trust and keep them in the loop on your school plans. This will hopefully buy you some leeway at work or at least win you some understanding, but your company may supportive enough to offer tuition assistance. Be sure to explain to your supervisor how your education can benefit the company, continuing education making you more productive and management ready.

4. Don’t neglect sleep and exercise.

You cannot forget to take care of yourself – first and foremost, make sure that you exercise regularly and get adequate sleep. Trying to manage your work and school life can cause you to burn out quickly. Exercising will keep you feeling healthy and alert. Sleep is essential for focus. While you are at it, avoid snacking on junk food while doing schoolwork ” choose nutritious options!

5. Manage your time well.

Become an expert in time management. If you want to be successful in school and at work, you will need to be organized and able to prioritize. Plan specific times to do your schoolwork in order to avoid procrastination. Include your social plans in your schedule, and if you find that you are short on time, prioritize the most important things first. You may have to take a break from some social commitments if time does not allow for them, but in addition to sleeping and eating well, don’t forget to give yourself time to just relax and read a book or watch television. This will help maintain your sanity as you juggle your full-time job and business school classes. Good luck!

 

Bio: Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the online MBA program offered through the University of North Carolina. Harrison also sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Operation: Social Santa. When he’s not working, Harrison switches his focus to great food, watching any sport that’s on TV, all things Disney, and traveling. You can find Harrison on Twitter: @KratzPR.

Challenge Problem Showdown- Jan 28, 2013

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challenge problem
We invite you to test your GMAT knowledge for a chance to win! Each week, we will post a new Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for a free Manhattan GMAT Prep item. Tell your friends to get out their scrap paper and start solving!
Here is this week’s problem:

A computer program generates a single digit by a random process, according to which the probability of generating any digit is directly proportional to the reciprocal of one more than that digit. If all digits are possible to generate, then the probability of generating an odd prime digit is between

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But I studied this – I should know how to do it!

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gmat frustrationWhen was the last time you thought that? For me, it was sometime within the past week. I knew that this problem was not beyond my reach! Meanwhile, the clock was ticking away and all I could focus on was the fact that I couldn’t remember something that I should have been able to remember.

That horrible, sinking feeling is universal: we’ve all felt it before and “ unfortunately “ we’re all going to feel it again. How can we deal with this?

Recognize the But! feeling

You almost certainly already know what this feels like, but here’s a longer list of the ways in which this manifests. When was the last time you thought any of these things?

– But I studied this

– But I should know how to do this

– If I just had a little more time, I’m sure I could figure it out

– I’ve already invested so much time, I don’t want to give up now

– I’ve been struggling with this for 2 minutes but I really did finally figure out now what I need to do; it’s just going to take me another 1.5 minutes

Then, of course, I’m sitting there staring at the problem and stressing over it “ which makes it even harder to think clearly.

These feelings all have one crucial thing in common: I don’t actually know how to do the problem right now. If I did, I wouldn’t feel any of the But! feelings. I’d just do the problem.
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Free GMAT Events This Week: Jan 28- Feb 3

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Here are the free GMAT events we’re holding this week. All times are local unless otherwise specified.

1/30/13– Online- Free Trial Class– 8:00-11:00PM (EST)

2/02/13– Online- Free Trial Class– 2:00-5:00PM (EST)

2/03/13– Online- Free Trial Class– 5:00-8:00PM (EST)

1/29/13– Online- Interview Workshop presented by mbaMission– 9:00-10:30PM (EST)

1/30/13– Online- MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed presented by mbaMission-5:00-6:30PM (EST)

1/29/13 – Boston, MA – Free Trial Class – 6:30-9:30 PM

1/28/13 – Evanston, IL – Free Trial Class – 6:30-9:30 PM
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Friday Links: Best Performing CEOs, Top Business Schools and More!

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GMAT NewsHere’s a roundup of some of this week’s top business school related articles:

B-School Chart of the Week: Which B-Schools Produce the Best-Performing CEOs? (mbaMission)

Trying to decide where to go to business school? Have a look at where others have garnered great success.

Job Market Improving for Business School Graduates (U.S. News Education)

A new survey reveals that business school graduates’ job prospects are on the rise and are as good as they’ve been since 2003.
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Breaking Down a GMATPrep Consecutive Integer Problem

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This week, we’re going to talk about what to know for consecutive integer problems and how to recognize what to do on future problems of the same type.

This one is from GMATPrep. Set your timer for 2 minutes. and GO!

*  If n is a positive integer and r is the remainder when n2 “ 1 is divided by 8, what is the value of r?

 

(1) n is odd.

(2) n is not divisible by 8.

The first thing you’ll probably notice: I didn’t include the answer choices. The five Data Sufficiency answer choices are always the same, so we should have those memorized. If you don’t have them memorized yet, add this to your to do list.

Just in case, here are the five choices (in casual language, not official language):

(A) statement 1 works but statement 2 does not work

(B) statement 2 works but statement 1 does not work

(C) the statements do NOT work alone, but they DO work together

(D) each statement works by itself

(E) nothing works, not even using them together

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s tackle this problem! This one’s a theory question; they’re asking us about the concept of consecutive integers (as opposed to asking us to do more straightforward calculations with consecutive integers) and they’re not even nice enough to tell us straight out that this is about consecutive integers! We have to figure that out or “ even better “ recognize it.

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How Data Sufficiency Works

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Let’s just put it right out there: data sufficiency is bizarre. If you’re just starting out, you’re probably thinking, What is this thing? Even if you’ve been studying for a while, unless you really like math, you probably feel a little uncomfortable whenever a DS question pops up on the screen.

Why? Because we all realize that we could completely mess up a DS question and still get to one of the 5 answer choices, clueless that we’ve messed up. It’s not like Problem Solving, where at least I know when I mess up because my answer isn’t in the answer choices! (Actually, a lot of the time, we still get an answer that’s in the answer choices even on PS but we persist in feeling that PS is more straightforward because the answers are real.)

What is DS?

The GMAT really isn’t a math test. These tests are actually trying to test us on our executive reasoning skills “ that is, how well we make decisions and prioritize when faced with too many things to do in too short a length of time.

Data Sufficiency questions test our ability to (quickly) analyze a collective set of data and figure out which pieces are needed to do the job. Imagine your boss dumping a bunch of stuff on you and saying, Hey, our client wants to know whether they should raise the price on this product. Can you answer that question from this data? If so, which pieces do we need to prove the case?

We do, of course, have to do some math “ and sometimes that math is quite annoying. We usually don’t, however, have to do as much as is necessary on the more normal quant questions (PS).

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Working Smarter, Not Harder

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What’s more valuable on the GMAT? Saving 30 seconds on a question that took you 2:30 to solve? Or 30 seconds on a question that took you 1:30 to solve? Trick question. Either way, you have the same amount of extra time to use on some other question. So with that in mind, take out a timer, pen, and paper, and let’s try out a fairly straightforward GMATPrep problem.

 

District

Number of Votes

Percent of Votes for Candidate P

Percent of Votes for Candidate Q

1

800

60

40

2

1,000

50

50

3

1,500

50

50

4

1,800

40

60

5

1,200

30

70

 

The table above shows the results of a recent school board election in which the candidate with the higher total number of votes from the five districts was declared the winner. Which district had the greatest number of votes for the winner?

 

(A)  1

(B)  2

(C)  3

(D)  4

(E)  5

Now before we work through the problem. Ask yourself a few questions about what you just did:

  1. How confident are you in your answer?
  2. How much time did you take to answer?
  3. Looking back on your solution, was there shortcut you could have used to eliminate some of the work you did?
  4. If so, what specifically about this problem allows you to use your shortcut?

At this point, hopefully you either did the shortcut for this problem or discovered what the shortcut might be. Let’s start with the long method. If I wanted to calculate the number of votes for each candidate, it would look like this:

District

Number of Votes

Total Number of Votes for Candidate P

Total Number of Votes for Candidate Q

1

800

480

320

2

1,000

500

500

3

1,500

750

750

4

1,800

720

1,080

5

1,200

360

840

Total

6,300

2,810

3,490

Twelve calculations later (ten products and two sums), we have all of our numbers calculated and can answer two questions:

  1. Who won the election? (Candidate Q)
  2. Which district had the most votes for that candidate? (District 4- answer D)

Let’s go back for a second though. Are there any calculations from above that we could have skipped? Let’s start by analyzing the first question from above. Who won the election?

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Social Venture Scholars Program

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Manhattan Prep is offering special full tuition scholarships for up to 16 individuals per year (4 per quarter) who will be selected as part of Manhattan GMAT’s Social Venture Scholars program. This program provides the selected scholars with free admission into one of Manhattan GMAT’s live online Complete Courses (a $1290 value).

These competitive scholarships are offered to individuals who (1) currently work full-time in an organization that promotes positive social change, (2) plan to use their MBA to work in a public, not-for-profit, or other venture with a social-change oriented mission, and (3) demonstrate clear financial need. The Social Venture Scholars will all enroll in a special online preparation course taught by two of Manhattan GMAT’s expert instructors within one year of winning the scholarship.

Details about the SVS program and how you can apply can be found here.

Should You Take a GMAT Prep Course?

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should i take a gmat courseIn my 9-session courses, all students are invited to try the first session for free. At the end of that trial session, one or more students invariably ask me, do I need to take this course to get a good score on the GMAT?

In a word, no. In fact, I scored a 760 on my first attempt, and I didn’t take a prep course. But then again, I devoted my lunch hour to studying for more than two months straight. Every. Single. Workday.

I’d like to think I’m a smart guy, but even so, there’s no way I could have scored a 760 without putting in significant study time. That is true for 99.99% of the GMAT-taking population, prep course or no. If you want to get the most out of my class, be prepared for an hour of homework every day for the duration of the course.

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