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What We Can Learn From Graduation Speakers

Graduation time ushers in an optimistic feeling. It's a time of celebrating achievements, and more, it's a time of opening up the world for tomorrow’s young adults.  No wonder it’s called “commencement.” For those taking steps toward a business career or hoping to embark on an MBA program, you can draw upon that wisdom as you reflect upon your own experiences and goals.  What better way than to learn than from leaders who have been through

3 Must-Know MBA Resume Tips offers loads of MBA resume tips on how to format and design your application resume. In this post, however, we're going to focus on three must-know tips on how to compose your MBA resume's content. Before we do this, though, I'd like to explain what your MBA resume is and what role it plays in the MBA application process. What IS an MBA Resume Anyway? First and foremost, the MBA resume is a clear outline of your employment and

5 Steps to Finding the Right B-School for You

Everybody loves school rankings. They’re fun, they’re competitive, and they make great headlines. But they’re also a bit like political opinion polls: The devil is in the details. Sure, rankings are a great place to start, and they give you some ideas about which MBA programs to explore, but they don’t quite tell you where you best belong. That part is up to you. So, even if you’re just starting to think about business school, it’s time to do

Learning Leadership: When It’s OK to be a Beginner

I am not a very good athlete, so you can imagine everyone's surprise when I decided to pick up a new sport. I decided to learn to row – not in a traditional rowboat, but in a long skinny shell with two 10-foot oars. It isn’t that hard, except you’ve got to do a few things right or you end up in the water.But to really enjoy it, at least for me, I had to accept the fact that I was a novice.  And that meant not expecting myself to get it perfect

Clear Admit Publishes Free, Objective Overviews of 27 Leading MBA Programs for Business School Applicants

We are excited to announce the release of the Clear Admit “School Snapshots” series, a new publication line designed to give prospective applicants concise overviews of leading MBA programs – for free – as they begin the process of finding the right business school.  This new series of guides was created especially for early-stage applicants with limited knowledge of MBA programs at leading business schools. Each School Snapshot provides

Preparing for IMD’s Interview


Without a doubt, IMD conducts the most thorough MBA interview.  The interview day is divided into four evaluative sections.  When you arrive on campus, you will be introduced to the adcom and faculty evaluators as well as a group of applicants who will partake in the same experience as you.  Since the adcom will evaluate you on your team interactions and most of your peer-applicants will become your classmates, get to know them, have fun with

Stop Being Overwhelmed by Your Overrepresentation!

Take a deep breath. Being a member of an overrepresented group is not an MBA admissions death sentence. Most applicants find themselves relating to one (at least) label or group, and that doesn't exclude them from the adcom pickings. What do you think – that the adcom readers only choose candidates who have no associations to any larger group or label? Obviously that would be impossible – if nothing else, applicants fall into either the "Male" or

Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Although Most Top Business Schools Now Accept the GRE as an Alternative to the GMAT, Only 16% of Future Business School Applicants Considered the GRE Option

The following is a Kaplan Test Prep press release by Russell Schaffer and Carina Wong. New York, NY (April 25, 2012) – Despite the fact that a majority of top business schools now accept the GRE as an admissions alternative to the GMAT, just 16% of prospective business school students said they considered taking the GRE route, according to a recent Kaplan Test Prep survey*.   And of the 84% who said they never considered taking the GRE instead

Want to get into b-school? Be yourself!

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "authentic?" My bet would be that you don't automatically think of an MBA student. But someday, you just might. Why? The top business schools are not only looking for applicants with academic potential, but they’re seeking out a new breed of leader—­someone who’s passionate, collaborative, and wants to make a difference in the world. They want applicants with more than good

3 Steps to a Successful MBA Reapplication Effort


Have you been dinged from your top choice MBA programs? Don’t despair – get back on that application horse and try again! (In other words, it's time to put your best efforts forward again in the MBA reapplication process.) Here's what you should do: 1.      Analyze why you were rejected. Was there a problem with your MBA profile (like you not have enough work experience or your GMAT was too low)? Or were you competitive but your actual

How to Make the Most of Your MBA: A Primer for Entrepreneurs-to-Be

This week's tips come courtesy of Alison Albeck Lindland, a fellow Vassar graduate who went on to get her MBA from Columbia Business School, graduating in 2008.  Prior to business school Alison worked on the Goldman Sachs and Jaguar accounts at OgilvyInteractive and was an early team member at, a startup media and ticket software company. After graduating from CBS, she worked at American Express Interactive, and is now director

Why You Should Take a Test Prep Course

I'm surprised that so many students who want to go to graduate school don't feel the need to take a test-prep course. Most of them are well worth the investment. I can’t stand standardized tests. They test only one thing: test-taking ability. But they are here to stay, and students who want to earn their MBA , or other top professional program from a top school, should get really high scores. Especially in quant. Both the GMAT and the

The Myth of the Flawless Applicant

Once upon a time there was a beautiful b-school applicant who had a perfect GMAT score, a 4.0 GPA, a dazzling resume, and glowing recommendations. She devoted all her spare time to serving her community, that is, when she wasn't dabbling in her hobby of bassoon-tuning or spinning wool into gold to hand out to needy orphans. To top it all off, she had the glossiest, longest hair, to-die-for eyelashes, and the straightest, whitest teeth – and she

6 MBA Applicants Who Should Retake the GMAT


An acceptable score for one person isn't necessarily an acceptable score for someone else. When considering retaking the GMAT, you need to ask yourself not just "What was your score?" or "What is the average GMAT score for your target b-school?" but also "Who are you?" Who you are is almost as important as what you score. For example, a score for a reapplicant who has been advised to retake may be judged differently than that of a first-time

Hoop Dreams and the March Madness of Admissions

Waiting to get admitted is enough to drive a person mad. So mad, that it's a wonder that the admissions process didn't grab the name "March Madness" before college basketball did. The expression goes back to 1939, but it has only been used in relation to the NCAA basketball tournament since 1982. (North Carolina over Georgetown by a point). As an admissions professional, I see many similarities between the two--not just the anticipation,

How Important are MBA Rankings?

Today US News & World Report released its hotly anticipated annual rankings for MBA programs. These rankings, along with those of Bloomberg, Businessweek, Forbes, The Financial Times and The Economist, have become akin to the Holy Grail for many MBA hopefuls. While the data in the rankings have value, the rankings themselves have real limitations that applicants frequently ignore. Rankings measure divergent aspects of a program, frequently

Goldman Sachs, Greg Smith, and Leadership

The Greg Smith resignation letter from Goldman Sachs is a big deal. And yes, it has some repercussions about leadership and the way it is taught at MBA programs. Already I’ve seen comparisons to Jerry Maguire , which I get, and Don Draper regarding quitting his tobacco client, which is a bit of a stretch. Here's the letter in its entirety. A little coffee with your New York Times op-ed piece? The internet is abuzz with parodies  and

What to Do When You’re Waitlisted without Feedback


It is true: The world would be a better place if all b-schools offered application feedback to their waitlisted applicants. But alas, few do, and life goes on. If you've been waitlisted feedback-less, then the following advice will help you tip the scales in your favor and turn that waitlist status into the acceptance you deserve. 1.     Complete your own application assessment. Why wasn't your application stacked on the top of the "instant

Leadership Lessons From The 2012 Academy Awards


While Joan and Melissa Rivers commented on Oscar styles, Master Admissions focused on the lessons for leadership, especially for those thinking about applying to business school, a job, or accepting an international award. Here are five takeaways from the Oscars that will resonate with MBA wannabees, MBA graduates, or those trying to impress their boss or work team. 1. Have a brand, but be humble: The Oscars are known for glitz and glamour,

The International Committee of the Red Cross joins IMD Business School’s Corporate Learning Network


Humanitarian aid. Help for victims of conflict and armed violence. Joyous moments of relief and reuniting family. These are among the images most have when thinking of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). But with more than 12,000 people working across 80 countries for a common cause, the ICRC shares many of the same challenges in management and talent development that occur in the world of business. Running any large scale

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