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Choosing Which Graduate School to Attend

Submitted By Stephen Round, Executive Director, Round One Admissions Consulting Co., Ltd. (“R1″),

First posted on February 15, 2015

Some of you who applied in the first application rounds last fall have already been admitted to several MBA programs, but are still waiting to hear the results from your second round applications. Therefore, you’ll have some decisions to make in the weeks ahead regarding which graduate school you will choose to attend. In the process of making your decision, you should consider several factors, just as you did when you were deciding which programs to include in your Application Portfolio last year.

Class size: Some MBA programs, such as Harvard Business School, have very large classes consisting of almost a thousand students. Although large class sizes (i.e. the number of people earning the MBA degree in a certain year) provide an advantage in terms of connecting students to large networks of people, including MBA students and alumni, some students claim that it’s difficult to become familiar with classmates and faculty members in such MBA programs. These people might feel more comfortable at a business school with a smaller class size consisting of a few hundred students, such as the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. One of the advantages of programs with smaller class sizes is that it’s generally easier to become familiar with students and to build closer relationships with faculty. When an MBA program only has a few hundred students, people will be more likely to remember your name and face during, and after, the program!

Location: Certain MBA students prefer to study in large cities like New York and Los Angeles, which are home to the outstanding MBA programs of Columbia Business School and the Anderson School at UCLA, respectively, among others. Some of the advantages of living in such metropolitan areas include excellent public transportation systems, a wide variety of entertainment options, and easy access to Fortune 500 companies. Nevertheless, some people who have spent most of their lives in huge cities like Tokyo see the downside of these locations, such as higher living expenses and crowded spaces. If you are one of these people, you might prefer to study in a college town type of environment, such as Ithaca or Evanston, home to Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, respectively. Single MBA students may prefer to choose schools in urban areas, whereas those with families may gravitate toward universities in college town settings. In any case, you should choose the environment that’s the best fit for you (and your family), based on your own unique and specific priorities.

Costs: If you are one of the fortunate MBA applicants whose company sponsors your graduate studies abroad and will pay for your education and other expenses that you will incur overseas, then cost might not seem like an important factor for you. However, there has recently been an increasing trend among companies that sponsor MBA applicants in that many have required their MBA Scholarship winners to sign agreements to repay their organization for the expense of their MBA education in the event that they leave the company within a specific time period following their graduation. Therefore, cost might be more important than you think. Of course, if you’re a private-sponsored MBA applicant, then you’re probably quite conscious of the costs associated with your MBA education already. Keep in mind that public schools, such as the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, tend to be a bit less expensive than private schools, such as New York University’s Stern School of Business. Also, remember that there are some financial aid programs available to international students, so be sure to check with the schools to which you have been accepted to see if they can assist you. We expect that that some of you will scholarships this year and wish you all the best with that! J

Placement Success: In R1’s opinion, the ultimate measure of a graduate school is its ability to find jobs for its graduates. After all, that’s why so many people, like many of you, make such an extraordinary effort to gain admission into the top-ranked and most highly-reputed graduate programs. While company-sponsored applicants need not concern themselves so much with their chosen school’s placement success since they will return to their organizations, those of you private-sponsored applicants who plan to hunt for new jobs should pay special attention to the placement success of the schools to which you have been accepted. R1 strongly advises you not to accept the advertised placement success rates at face value. Remember that the majority of a business school’s placement resources are spent on supporting “domestic” students. Therefore, if you’re a private-sponsored “international” student in need of a job following your graduation, then you should carefully research the schools to which you have been accepted in order to determine what resources and support systems are available to assist international students searching for jobs in your home country. Furthermore, you should ask alumni of those schools how they found their first post-graduation positions back home. If you plan to find a new job after graduating, then R1’s advice is for you to be very proactive in your employment search. The early bird gets the worm!

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How to Master MBA Interviews

Submitted By Stacy Blackman, Stacy Blackman Consulting

‘Tis the season for interviews! This is the most unpredictable portion of the MBA application process, since every interviewer is different. The same interviewer may even react differently depending on his or her mood that day. For the lucky round one MBA applicants who have been invited to interview by their target business schools, here are several tips for preparing and guidance in what to expect.

The role of the interview varies by program, so if possible, reach out to your network of current or former students at the school for an insider perspective. Most MBA programs will offer the option to interview on campus or with a local alumni volunteer. You should make your decision based on your personal needs, rather than on the basis of how it may look to the admissions committee.

Read more about How to Master MBA Interviews by clicking here.

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Top 5 Things You Should Always Do For An Interview – Part 1

Submitted By The Red Pen – University & MBA Admissions Advising

Interview season is upon us. Some early applicants have already had interviews, while others are preparing for calls after the new year. Top 5 things you should always do for an academic interview.

Take a clean copy of your current resume
There are several reasons to do this. First off, it gives you something to do when you walk into the interview and it makes you look prepared. Second, it gives the interviewer a reference point from which to start asking questions.

Read more about Top 5 Things You Should Do For An Interview - Part 1 by clicking here.

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MBA Waitlist Strategy

Submitted By Hillary Schubach. Shine MBA Admissions Consulting

You’ve turned in an excellent MBA application.  Unfortunately, the news was disappointing: you’ve been waitlisted. Being on the waitlist can feel like a rejection, but don’t be discouraged. All hope is not lost.

A spot on the waitlist means the admissions committee liked something they saw in you; this is positive feedback!  And every year, business schools admit people from their waitlists.  Here’s how you can best position yourself for a spot in the class.

Read more about MBA Waitlist Strategy by clicking here.

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What to Do if You’re Waitlisted

Submitted By Stacy Blackman, Stacy Blackman Consulting

All MBA applicants wait anxiously to hear final decisions from the programs they’ve applied to. For some b-school prospectives, however, that date comes and goes—and they’re still waiting. They’ve been waitlisted.

If you’ve been rolled over from a Round 1 waitlist, have recently been informed that you were neither accepted nor denied at one of your Round 2 schools, or get this same news in the coming weeks from a program that hasn’t notified applicants yet, your first question might be, “Well, now what?”

Read more about What to Do if You’re Waitlisted by clicking here.

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5-Step Checklist Before Submitting Your Applications

Submitted By Accepted

Whether you’re applying to b-school, law school, med school, grad school, or college, this checklist will be the same. Don’t hit that “submit” button until you’ve completed the following 5 steps:

1.  You’ve made sure that your application presents a holistic, multi-dimensional picture of you.

Each section of your application should not just present you as a strong candidate on its own, but should complement the other application components as well. When the admissions readers have finished reading your entire application, they should have a clear picture of who you are as a well-rounded and unique individual.

Read more about 5-Step Checklist Before Submitting Your Application by clicking here.

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SBC Scoop: Managing Stress with a Timeline

Submitted By Stacy Blackman

Just about a year ago our client Emily was starting to freak out. Every time she looked at her applications for four MBA programs, all she could see was a pile of work to be done with nothing complete, and worse, no sense of when she would get it all done. It was just overwhelming.

When Emily had her first meeting with her consultant and set up a strategy for her applications to HBS, Stanford, Wharton and Kellogg, the answers seemed manageable. Discussion with her consultant helped her set up a plan to prepare her recommenders.

Read more about SBC Scoop: Managing Stress with a Timeline by clicking here.

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Avoid 3 Mistakes When Building Your MBA Budget

Submitted By Stacy Blackman, Stacy Blackman Consulting

The MBA admissions process requires determination, dedication and hard work. But don’t let the effort required to gain admission stop you from tackling another important aspect of business school success: your budget.

Given the rising cost of a top business degree, even a small budgeting mistake can cost you a fair amount. Here are three mistakes to avoid as you create your plan to pay for business school.

1. Not starting early enough: Ideally, you would have considered the cost of an MBA when deciding whether to attend business school or in the first place. This includes thinking about tuition along with external costs such as wages lost by leaving your job.

Read more about Avoid 3 Mistakes When Building Your MBA Budget by clicking here.

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Pick the right varsity, get funded too

Submitted By The Red Pen – University & MBA Admissions Advising

It is no big discovery to learn that undergraduate education abroad is expensive. As of August 2014, the annual cost of attending college in the US is approximately $50,000 to $60,000 or Rs. 30 to 36 Lakhs.  That is a whopping quarter million dollars over four years.  While this estimate does college fees, living expenses and insurance, additional costs will include travel to and from India. And, if a student elects to attend a summer term or do an extra year, expenses increase.

Read more about Pick the right varsity, get funding too by clicking here.

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MBA Admissions: Preparing For The Interview

Submitted By

“MBA Admissions: Preparing For The Interview” is the latest post in our series Navigate the MBA Maze.

Here are three key tips on how to present yourself during those crucial face-to-face minutes.

1.  Structure Your Answers.Structure helps your interviewer see where you’re going with your answer and helps you remember where you’re going, too.

Read more about MBA Admissions: Preparing For The Interview  by clicking here.

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