Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog

Career Services is Taking Care of Business School Students

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Job prospects for MBAs are picking up thanks in large part to the diligent efforts of business schools’ career offices, according to this Wall Street Journal article.

Career services officers at MBA programs nationwide have been working extra hard this year. HBS, for example, boosted their recruiting budget 50 percent and engaged employers more actively at conferences in Shanghai and Paris. The school also started a fellowship to cover students’ travel costs for interviews. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business tripled its employer development staff. Stanford started an online forum allowing career services to act as a matchmaker between students and potential employers. “We are almost able to act like an eHarmony between students, alumni and companies,” says the director of the school’s career management center.

The numbers suggest that all that work is paying off: At the end of the year, 85 percent of Harvard grads had offers, along with 80 percent at Booth. Meanwhile, at Stanford, job postings for students were up 70 percent over last year. Heartening statistics, to say the least. They’re also a good argument for picking a school with solid career counseling.

American B-Schools Eye Indian Expansion

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With the national number of GMAT test-takers rising to 267,000 last year, India is clearly a big source of b-school applicants. We wrote about the GMAC’s new office in the country a couple of months ago, but that’s not the only US-based institution looking to India for expansion. According to this article, several American business schools hope to build campuses on the subcontinent.

Why now? Historically, foreign schools haven’t been allowed to operate in India. Instead, they’ve had to partner with native institutions. But the Indian parliament is currently considering a bill that would open the country’s educational system to outsiders. American institutions including Duke’s Fuqua School of Business are marshalling forces to open new Indian outposts as soon ASAP if the legislation goes through. They’re talking to local officials, shopping for land, and drawing up building schematics.

The bill comes in response to ever-increasing demand for spots at the nation’s top universities and business schools. Application rates are simply too high for existing schools to accommodate, and many students don’t want to go abroad. The numbers are staggering. One figure estimates India will need 600 more universities and 35,000 more colleges over the next 12 years. India has 14 million enrolled students; the Parthenon Group, an educational consulting firm, estimates economic growth will boost that number to 22 million by 2014. “The volume of students looking for education is just unbelievable,” says Eileen Peacock, VP for the Asia office of the Association to Advance Collegiate Studies of Business.

Lots of details aren’t clear yet, like the tuition and fees schools could charge and how the admissions process will work. Plus, universities will have to cough up an $11 million fee to enter the country. And there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to attract Indian students in large enough numbers, especially the less well-known institutions. But they’ve certainly got plenty of demand to work with.

Must-Use Strategy for Critical Reasoning

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I’ve been speaking with students lately who aren’t entirely sure how to approach Critical Reasoning (CR) questions when a new one first pops up on the screen. In particular, a lot of students do one thing they shouldn’t be doing: they read the argument too soon.

How can someone read the argument too soon?

It may seem kind of strange to say that someone reads the argument too soon. After all, isn’t that the first thing we do on a CR question? Actually, reading the argument is not the first thing we should do. The first thing we should do is read the question stem.

Then, we’re ready to read the argument, right?

Not so fast.

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Behind the Whiteboard: Dave Malloy

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Here at Manhattan GMAT, we care deeply about the quality of our instructors. We only hire people who have both prior teaching experience and a 99th percentile GMAT score. We also pay them the highest salary in the industry “ $100 per hour “ so that they are motivated to do the best job possible.

One great thing about the way we treat our instructors is that it allows many of them to pursue their other passions, whether it’s teaching underprivileged children in urban areas, or creating new and exciting companies. We hire so many intriguing people that we wanted to showcase some of their many talents and interests.  And so begins our new series: Behind the Whiteboard, where we tell you about the non-GMAT related talents of some of our instructors.

Our first instructor to be featured on Behind the Whiteboard is Dave Malloy, who recently won an Obie!

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Is an MBA Synonymous with Money?

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With all the recent discussion about teaching ethics in business schools, some of us may have started to forget another factor involved in choosing to attend business school: moving up the pay scale.

It’s good to remember that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau , there is about a 20% increase in salary between a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree, and that’s taking into account all of the Master’s degrees out there!

Yet it seems that to make a lot of money you may have to spend a lot of money. A new study commissioned by Bloomberg BusinessWeek has found that there is in fact a correlation between an MBA’s average salary and where he or she went to business school.

Harvard, where students spend an average of $106,000 for their two years of education, comes in first. According to the study, the median income for HBS grads over a 20 year period is $3,867,903. Wharton is second and has the highest average salary at graduation: $137,000.

But if you’re looking for a large percentage increase in salary over time, check out George Washington University, where the average salary increase in 20 years is 114 percent.

It looks like  getting an MBA from a top school has its benefits. Added incentive to get a great GMAT score!

More MBAs Being Recruited by… Casinos.

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Sometimes, we like to take a Friday here on the blog to spotlight fun, exciting, or unusual career paths open to MBAs. Today’s edition: Ever considered a career in gambling?

No, we’re not suggesting you follow in Maverick’s footsteps.  According to this Business Week article, casinos have begun to see the appeal of candidates with MBAs. Once upon a time”say, in the 50s”casino managers got their start as dealers in the pit, and many didn’t even have a college degree. But as corporations have taken over and competition has intensified, things like marketing and human resources are increasingly important. So the industry wants fresh blood with the kind of formal business skills acquired in MBA programs. Meanwhile, business schools are stepping up their gaming-related offerings. “The employers are just waking up to the education of business students,” says Chris Roberts, director of DePaul University’s School of Hospitality Leadership.

Students have responded to the ramped-up recruiting efforts. And why not? As Harrah’s marketing analysis manager Dan Wyse tells the magazine, “We are selling fun, and we’re an entertainment option.” Attendance at Harrah’s most recent Stern recruiting event jumped sharply, attracting more than 100 students. Meanwhile, many of those already in the gambling business are returning to school for an MBA.

The bottom line:  even if you’re not in a traditionally MBA-heavy field, you still might benefit from a business school degree.

Building a Business School from Scratch

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It’s easy to forget how complicated a world-class business school really is. But if you want a good look at one’s inner workings, watch as Johns Hopkins gets the Carey School of Business off the ground. This Business Week article is a revealing look at what goes into a top MBA program.

Known primarily for its medical and public health schools, Johns Hopkins’ business offerings have traditionally been limited. But a $50 million gift from banker William Polk Carey has the university dreaming big. They aren’t simply going to start a business school; they aim to create one of the world’s best.

But the obstacles they must surmount first are considerable”and enlightening. First, the school needed a dean. They chose Yash Gupta, who brings more than a decade of experience and a proven knack for fundraising. Then Gupta began to gather building blocks: students, faculty, and funding. Students had reservations, but Johns Hopkins’ cache won over enough applicants. Gupta has wooed 31 faculty members to the school and hopes to triple that number in 5 years. And then there’s the issue of the curriculum. We’ve already written a bit about the program’s plans to integrate ethical education more thoroughly than other schools. A new program is an opportunity to do things differently”but the development process isn’t easy.

Finally, to meet their goal of recognition as a major, top-choice international business school, the Carey School of Business will have to clear one more difficult hurdle. The program needs accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The Johns Hopkins brand weighs heavily in Carey’s favor, and by leveraging the university’s expertise in public health and medicine, they already occupy a valuable niche. But the school also needs to launch a major fundraising campaign, while boosting its alumni network and career services offerings.

It’s worth a look if you’re considering places to apply. Johns Hopkins’ efforts demonstrate all the moving parts in a business school”and all the important features you should take into account.

Manhattan GMAT Supports Educational Causes

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We at Manhattan GMAT are happy to announce the launch of our first annual MGMAT Grant Program, designed to support organizations that prioritize the same standards and spirit as Manhattan GMAT.  Manhattan GMAT staff and instructors from around the country submitted applications to recommend worthy non-profit organizations to receive the grants. Winners were selected based on how closely the goals, standards, and values of the organizations match those of Manhattan GMAT.  We are pleased to award our 3 Instructor Grants for 2010 to the following non-profits:

2010 Instructor Silver Grant ($1,000):
Phoenix Collegiate Academy

2010 Instructor Gold Grant ($1,500):
North Oakland Community Charter School

2010 Instructor Platinum Grant ($2,500):
International Association For Human Values (Youth Empowerment Seminar)

We are excited to be supporting these impressive organizations and look forward to seeing all the great work they do this year!

We will also be awarding the first Manhattan GMAT Staff Grants “ totaling $10,000 “ to worthy organizations this year.  Stay tuned for an announcement of the recipients!

How Best to Learn from the GMAT Forums

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Lately, as I’ve been discussing test questions with people on the forums, I’ve realized that a lot of students aren’t using the GMAT forums to discuss those test questions in the optimal way. I’m defining the optimal way to mean the way in which students will learn in order to boost their scores the most. I’ll go out on a limb and assume that most people do have a goal of learning in the way that boosts their scores the most. 😊

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach in terms of the best way to learn; different things work best for different people. But there are certain principles that are universal—and we can use those principles to devise a best practice method for using the forums to maximize our learning.

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How the GMAT Relates to Business School

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The GMAT is a necessary hurdle on your way to business school, but sometimes it’s hard to see why. What do these multiple choice questions really have to do with a masters in business administration? If this question plagues you, take a look at this recent post from the GMAC. It explains exactly how two types of questions”data sufficiency and critical reasoning”measure abilities required by business schools.

Data Sufficiency. This question type, which requires you to determine what’s necessary to solve the problem, is ultimately a test of your ability to weed through minutiae for the important details. And sorting through information is an essential skill set, given the data-rich nature of the modern business environment, says Booth School of Business professor Pradeep Chintagunta. To successfully manage in this environment requires translating the data into usable information, he says, adding, The skills tested by the Data Sufficiency part of the test are consequently critical to managerial decision making.

Critical Reasoning. These questions probe your ability to evaluate the relative strengths of arguments. If you can handle a critical reasoning question, you’re prepared for collaborative b-school projects requiring you to judge others’ ideas. And those projects, in turn, are designed to get you ready for the real world. MBA programs can provide students with decision-making processes, says Valter Lazarri, MBA director of the SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, but they need a raw ability to connect facts, to detect patterns, to discriminate true causation from spurious correlations.

Of course, it is easier to sort through information when you understand its substance”hence our content-based curriculum.  And don’t fret if you’re struggling in these areas. With diligent practice, you can develop your natural abilities.