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July 7, 2014

MBA Admissions Tip: School-Hosted Blogs

As the summer progresses and applicants begin researching their target schools in more depth, we would like to highlight a valuable research tool: school-hosted blogs.  The last few years have seen a significant increase in the number of MBA student blogs hosted by schools’ admissions offices, as well as in admissions offices’ use of blogs to keep applicants informed of deadlines, admissions policies and events.  Both types of blogs are useful throughout the admissions cycle; the factual information in the admissions office blogs is helpful in understanding and planning for the application process, while the student blogs offer valuable insights into student life, culture and academics.

Below we’ve provided links to some of the active blogs hosted by the leading MBA programs.

Admissions Office Blogs:

Harvard Business School Director’s Blog
http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/blog.html

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
http://berkeleyhaasmba.wordpress.com/

Wharton MBA Admissions
http://engage.wharton.upenn.edu/MBA/blogs/mbaadmissions_blog/default.aspx

Stanford MBA Admission Blog
http://www.stanford.edu/group/mba/blog/

Chicago MBA Admissions Blog
http://blogs.chicagobooth.edu/boothinsider

School-Hosted Student Blogs:

London Business School
http://blog.students.london.edu/

Fuqua Daytime MBA Student Blog
http://blogs.fuqua.duke.edu/duke-mba/#.UfJyYhaPCZY

Wharton Student Diaries
http://engage.wharton.upenn.edu/MBA/blogs/studentdiarists/

Yale SOM Community Blog
http://blogs.som.yale.edu/index.php

Finally, the Tuck School of Business  offers a blog for which both students and admissions officers contribute.  In addition, the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee at Chicago Booth maintains a blog written by students but offering advice and information on the admissions process at the school.

About Clear Admit:

Ivey Consulting is proud to partner with Clear Admit to provide comprehensive admissions information and consulting services to business school applicants. Learn more about Clear Admit here.

July 1, 2014

MBA Admissions Tip: Addressing Unemployment or Gaps in Employment

Given the emphasis that schools place on a candidate’s work experience, it is important to be proactive in addressing gaps in employment.  When applying to business school, many candidates worry about how the adcom might perceive gaps in employment.  We would like to take some time to discuss strategies for addressing this issue.

It’s not unheard of for an MBA candidate to have a gap in employment, and this will not necessarily make a negative impact on someone’s candidacy.  Gaps might be due to anything from lay-offs to periods of travel.  As a rule of thumb, applicants should explain gaps in employment that are three months or longer in an optional essay or, if instructed, on their data forms.  The adcom will not want to play detective with vague dates on an applicant’s résumé or large chunks of unaccounted for time.  As the adcom will simply want to know what an applicant was doing during a period of unemployment, applicants should show that they made productive use of this time.  It is important for applicants to be open and clear about extended gaps to show that they were not simply spending the time to look for full-time employment.

Addressing current unemployment in applications, however, requires a different strategy than simply discussing past gaps in employment history.  Candidates applying to business school who are not currently employed are in a trickier situation, as business schools view themselves as career accelerators rather than career jump-starters.  The task is not impossible, though, and given the current state of the economy, more candidates are applying to business school during a period of unemployment.  As with addressing gaps in employment, these applicants should not evade discussions centering on this issue.  On the other hand, they should not present unemployment as the reason for applying to business school nor should they suggest that they aren’t presently looking for work due to the need to devote time to their MBA applications (a major red flag).

In addressing unemployment, applicants should show that they are doing their best to find something temporary or engaging in volunteer work.  Ideally, applicants would show that they are doing something in line with their stated professional goals, like attending conferences or working to secure an internship in a field they want to explore.  Whatever the case, applicants should be honest and appear proactive.

As every applicant is unique, we encourage our readers to contact Clear Admit directly if they need guidance on tackling a gap in employment or current unemployment situation.  Send us your résumé and sign up for a free one-on-one session with one of our counselors.

About Clear Admit:

Ivey Consulting is proud to partner with Clear Admit to provide comprehensive admissions information and consulting services to business school applicants. Learn more about Clear Admit here.

July 1, 2014

52 Weeks to College: Week 1 — A Week-by-Week Plan for Applying to College Successfully and Sanely

Applying to college is a complex and difficult project. You know that. Your parents know that. Your teachers and college counselors know that. Admissions officers know that. In other words, everyone involved in the process knows that.

In fact, knowing that is exactly what might make you feel a bit overwhelmed. That's understandable because the truth is that you don’t have all that much experience managing complex and difficult projects, let alone projects as high stakes as applying to college. So what are you going to do?

The grown-up thing to do is to take on the challenge. You’ve been preparing for this for the last 16 or 17 years. You are ready. You can do it. You really can.

Of course, you can do it better if you take advantage of the resources that are out there to help you. Like your parents, teachers, and college counselors. Like admissions officers. Like websites, apps, and books. Like this series.

52 Weeks to College is a week-by-week plan for applying to college. It breaks this complex and difficult project down into weekly to-do lists. Based on the Master Plan for applying to college found in our forthcoming book, How to Prepare a Standout College Application, 52 Weeks to College is designed for any applicant who intends to apply to top U.S. colleges.

Each week, we’ll post your list of to-dos for the week, along with some tips and tricks for getting those to-dos done. Your job? Come back weekly and work the plan. If you do, you’ll have more success and less stress in the process. Guaranteed.

Ready to get started? Then below you’ll find your to-do’s for this week, along with the promised tips and tricks.

Week 1 To-Dos

This Week and Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college. Read them and take whatever action is necessary.
  • Update your parents about what you’re doing. This regular communication will work wonders in your relationship with your parents during this stress-filled year. 

This Week

  • Download the Master Plan. It will give you a big picture overview of what you’ll be doing over the next year. For now, just look it over and get a general sense of what will be expected from you each month. In a few weeks, you’ll be tweaking the Master Plan to fit your own situation.
  • Choose your calendar and put all the “non-college stuff” on it. You must use a calendar this year, because in order to get everything done, you are going to have to grab free hours whenever you have them. You need to know when you can focus on the college application process and when you are going to be preoccupied by school or life. So even if you haven't really used a calendar before, commit to using a calendar this year, whether paper or electronic or whatever method works for you. Start by putting all the key dates related to the non-college stuff on your calendar right now.
  • Set up your filing system and file all the stuff you have already collected in it. An avalanche of information is the nature of the college application beast. You have to have a system for managing it. Once you’ve set up your system, gather up everything you already have related to the college application process, sort it and file it. That goes for everything – including your electronic stuff!
  • Order your copy of How to Prepare a Standout College Application. The 52 Weeks to College series assumes that you will have access to this resource and will refer you to it often. (Note that the publication date for the book is August 23, just under two months away. In the meantime, anything you need from the book, like the Master Plan, will be included here.) 

Tips and Tricks

Use a single calendar.

Don’t have separate calendars for school, personal, and college applications. That is a sure recipe for disaster in the form of double or triple booking yourself and missing deadlines. You can use either paper or electronic versions.  For most students, electronic is the way to go because you always have your cell phones on you, and your cell phones have calendars on them.  

Set up a Gmail or other free email account that you use exclusively for applying to college.

Setting up a dedicated email address offers two advantages. First, you can create a professional, appropriately serious email identity that is worthy of an applicant to a top U.S. college, and you can still have whatever email identity you want for other purposes. Second, by setting up a separete email accout you have also set up an automatic “filing” system for your college related emails, because those are the ONLY emails that will come to this email address (so long as you maintain the discipline of using that address only for this purpose). 

Set up three identical filing systems.

One of the problems with figuring out your filing system is that the information will come in many forms — snail mail, email, voicemail, notes, internet research, hard copy brochures and folders. Not only do you have to figure out how to store all this various information, you also have to figure out how to retrieve it when you need it.

For most students, the easiest way to go is to have three storage locations that all have the same file structure – set up one storage system in email, set up another storage location either on a hard drive on your computer or in the cloud, and set up a third in old-fashioned paper file folders. To get you started, we've compiled a basic list of files you should set up in each storage location. 

Once you've set up those organizational tools for yourself, you'll be all set to tackle the rest of the series.

 

About the Authors:

Alison Cooper Chisolm heads the college admissions consulting practice at Ivey Consulting. She came to private consulting after working in admissions for more than 10 years at three selective universities (Southern Methodist University, University of Chicago, and Dartmouth College).

Anna Ivey is the former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process and make smart choices about higher education.

You can find more college admissions tips in their book How to Prepare a Standout College Application (Wiley, August 2013), and follow them on Twitter @IveyCollege.

 

About the 52 Weeks to College Series:

52 Weeks to College is a week-by-week plan for applying to college. It breaks this complex and difficult project down into weekly to-do lists with supporting tips and tricks for getting it all done. Based on the Master Plan for applying to college found in our forthcoming book, How to Prepare a Standout College Application52 Weeks to College is designed for any applicant who intends to apply to top U.S. colleges. For those of you who are just discovering the 52 Weeks series and want to catch up, click here.

June 23, 2014

MBA Admissions Tip: Visiting the Campus

As many applicants are finding out at this time of year, conducting thorough research on MBA programs is an essential step in formulating a list of target schools and crafting convincing essays.  Surfing the web and speaking with friends and mentors are great starting points in identifying programs of interest.  However, to really get a feel for a school and determine whether it’s a good fit for one’s goals and personality, applicants need to dig deeper and gain some firsthand experience with the program and the people.  Visiting the campus is a great way to gather this kind of information, and it can also be advantageous in the application process.  Although most formal campus visit programs will not start until the fall (when classes are in session), we’d like to offer a few “head start” pointers for getting as much mileage as possible out of a trip to your target program.

1) Make yourself known.  Putting forth the effort to travel to a school is a signal of interest in the program that the adcom loves to see, however, you need to let them know that you’ve made the trip.  It is possible to communicate this in your essays and interview, but the simplest route is often to register for a visit through the admissions office.  Not only will most schools arrange for you to sit in on a class and have lunch with current students, but many will also make a note of your visit and include it in your file.  Be sure to take advantage of all that the admissions office offers in this regard; even if you have friends on campus, it’s wise to speak to as many people as possible.

2) Think it through.  Before arriving on campus, you should think carefully about the sort of information you hope to take away from your visit.  Whether your inquiries cover something as broad as the night life or as narrow as the syllabus of a particular course, your trip will be much more informative if you come prepared with a sense of the details you hope to glean from information sessions and conversations.  Further, it’s a great idea to reach out to members of the community before you arrive; if there’s a club about which you are particularly curious, for instance, you could contact one of its leaders and arrange a conversation over coffee on the day of your visit.

3) Put your best foot forward.  Even though your conduct and interactions won’t be on the record in the way that they would be when interviewing on campus, it’s important that you be aware of the impression you’re making.  Because spending time on campus is a great way to forge ongoing contacts with students who could become allies for you in the admissions process, you’ll naturally want to put your best foot forward.

We hope that these simple tips will set applicants on the path toward a positive and productive stay on campus.  For more tailored guidance on application strategy and school selection, feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation or check out the school-specific information in the Clear Admit School Guides.

About Clear Admit:

Ivey Consulting is proud to partner with Clear Admit to provide comprehensive admissions information and consulting services to business school applicants. Learn more about Clear Admit here.

June 23, 2014

Should I Submit Supporting Materials for a Required Disclosure Addendum?

I am writing an addendum for a disciplinary probation proceeding.  The infraction was described by the judicial proceeding as: “used outside sources on an assignment without proper attribution.” The assignment was to “imagine myself as a curator for an art exhibit,” and to record myself giving a tour in which I should discuss certain paintings – their form, style, origins, etc.

The intent was not to deceive, but rather I was careless in completing an unfamiliar assignment. I described this using those words and wrote briefly about how I learned to bring a much greater degree of scrutiny to my work.  

My question:

The Dean of Students for my college offered to write me a brief letter of character discussing how the incident unfolded since before any judicial measures were taken by the professor I immediately brought the assignment to him and said: "this is what I did -- did I screw up?" We have a close relationship.  The point would be to impart that this was not a question of character, but a moment of carelessness which is no longer an issue -- he is willing to attest to that.

Should I include this with my addendum and attach it to the section that asks me to disclose disciplinary action, or do I leave it out and just attach my explanation.

And here we always thought it was obvious how to put yourself in the shoes of an art curator. ;)

That's not to triviliaze the charges or the proceedings. They are serious things, and because they are serious things, I think it's a great idea to attach his letter if he's willing to write it.

You're not required to include a letter like that for your disclosure addendum, but what a nice bonus that your Dean of Students has volunteered to write you one. Everything you say in your disclosure has to be accurate, as I can tell you already know, but it can help to have a third, authoritative party with some knowledge about you and the incident validate that your one lapse in judgment won't be an ongoing problem.

If he weren't saying supportive things, it wouldn't help you to include the letter, but in this instance, it sounds like a good thing for you, and something an admissions officer might value.

Good luck to you! Hope it all works out.

 

Former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and a recovering lawyer, Anna Ivey founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process. You can find more admissions tips in The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions. Join the conversation here in the blog comments and on Twitter and Facebook, or email us a new question for the blog.

June 16, 2014

MBA Admissions Tip: How to Write a Résumé that Will Get You In | Admissions Tip

Your résumé is not only an important component of your MBA application, it’s also a great place to start when crafting your overall positioning strategy.  This document forces one to distill a candidacy into a concise summary, focusing on key aspects and themes.  With that in mind, here are a few simple tips to get you started:

1) First things first.  Because you’re applying to graduate school, it makes sense to lead this document with a section detailing your academic history.  This is also the format that many business schools’ career offices instruct students to use when applying for internships or full-time jobs post-graduation.

2) Keep it simple.  While you’ll certainly want to describe your professional responsibilities and achievements in some detail, remember that this document needs to fit on a single page, with very few exceptions.  Rather than overwhelming the reader with information, try to identify three or four discrete projects or accomplishments to complement a few concise statements about your day to day responsibilities in each position.  Remember that it’s also important to be as specific as possible about the impact you’ve had on your organization by quantifying the results of your efforts.

3) Round it out.  Don’t discount the importance of your interests and outside activities.  Schools like applicants who are well rounded and demonstrate a track record of involvement outside of work and the classroom, so formal extracurricular activities are a logical category to include.  At the same time, information about your less structured interests and hobbies is also relevant, as these details can lend some more color to your candidacy and help the adcom get to know you better.  Remember to be as specific as possible; many business school applicants are interested in “travel” or “film,” so specifying a region you especially enjoy visiting or your favorite movie genre will be the key to setting yourself apart.

We hope that these general guidelines serve as a good starting point for Class of 2017 applicants in translating their experiences and achievements into this brief but important document.  For more tailored guidance, contact us to speak with one of our counselors about your background.  You can also read the Clear Admit Résumé Guide for a complete step-by-step “instruction manual” for crafting your résumé (available for download in our publications shop).

About Clear Admit:

Ivey Consulting is proud to partner with Clear Admit to provide comprehensive admissions information and consulting services to business school applicants. Learn more about Clear Admit here.

June 9, 2014

MBA Admissions Tip: Crafting Strong Essays – The Rewards of Reflection

With several of the leading schools having already released their essay questions for this admissions season, we’re sure that quite a number of early birds are eager to get a jump on the process in order to complete as many applications as possible by Round 1.  As applicants find themselves brainstorming for essay topics, we wanted to offer a few tips on presenting yourself and your experiences as advantageously as possible.

1) Take time to reflect.  Before diving in and beginning work on a draft of any one essay, it’s often fruitful to think carefully about all of the stories and accomplishments at one’s disposal.  These can include experiences from the professional realm, formal outside activities, college clubs and even more casual hobbies and interests.  A comprehensive, reflective approach should enable you to arrive at the essay topics that are most impressive and in line with your overall positioning.

2) Establish balance.  It is crucial that your essays work together to present a consistent and compelling picture of who you are, what you’ve done, and what you bring to the table; the adcom is looking for students who are interesting, well-rounded, and likely to make a contribution to the school both in and out of the classroom.  In selecting topics for your essays from your list of possibilities, remember that it’s ideal to have a balance of stories covering your full career and to introduce your interests and involvements outside of work.

3) Keep it relevant.  While it’s important that you have a wide range of stories to tell and positive characteristics to convey, there are a few things that you shouldn’t mention in your essays.  In terms of chronology, remember that you are applying to graduate school and that the adcom is primarily interested in your experiences since the time you began college.  There are of course some exceptions to this (such as questions that ask you to recap your life story or discuss what matters most to you), but as a general rule it’s best to avoid writing at length about your high school accomplishments or your upbringing, as this can make an applicant sound immature or stuck in the past.  Other topics of which you should steer clear are those that are potentially sensitive or emotionally charged, such as politics and religion.

4) Show, don’t tell.  Keep in mind that a given adcom reader often spends only 15 or 20 minutes on each application.  As a result, it is imperative that you make an impression and give the reader a clear sense of who you are and what you’ve done.  Specific anecdotes and vivid details make a much greater impact than general claims and broad summaries.  Be sure to quantify your impact, fully explain your actions, and provide illustrative examples to produce a set of engaging essays.

Happy writing!  Stay tuned to this blog throughout the summer for additional essay-specific tips and guidelines.  Feel free to contact us for a free initial consult on your candidacy and to speak with one of our admissions counselors on how to best approach your target schools’ essay topics.

About Clear Admit:

Ivey Consulting is proud to partner with Clear Admit to provide comprehensive admissions information and consulting services to business school applicants. Learn more about Clear Admit here.

June 2, 2014

MBA Admissions Tip: Selecting Your Recommenders

Since many of our readers are just beginning the business school application process, we wanted to offer some basic tips on a critical variable in the MBA admissions equation: recommender selection.

When choosing your recommenders, remember that it can be seen as a test of judgment – selecting a recommender whose letter is ineffective or who appears dubious about your qualifications may raise doubts about your ability to judge your interactions with others or to select the right person for a job.  In order for your letters to be as effective as possible, you should look for several qualities in a recommender.  First, your recommenders should have greater seniority than you unless the school specifically asks for a peer recommendation.  The adcom gives greater weight to statements made by your superiors rather than by a peer because a peer is assumed to be essentially a friend and therefore predisposed to write a positive recommendation.

As we discuss in greater depth with our clients, the most persuasive recommendation letters are those which contain specific examples and anecdotes.  Because of this, you should select recommenders who are very familiar with your work and with whom you interact(ed) on a regular basis.  This usually means that you should choose current or former direct supervisors, rather than someone whose title you think will impress the adcom.  Choosing a recommender based on their name or title can imply that you put an undue emphasis on such qualities instead of thinking about who would be the best person for the job.  In addition to picking people who know you well, you should also pick recommenders with whom you have a positive relationship, since if they like and respect you, their letters are likely to be much more positive and persuasive.

When deciding amongst your current and former supervisors or mentors, there are several factors to consider.  First, the people you select should be able to provide the adcom with a fairly comprehensive and up-to-date perspective on your professional experiences.  Often, it makes sense to ask your current supervisor and a supervisor from the job you held immediately prior to your current position.  If you find that it works best to choose two recommenders from the same employer, you should make sure that they can talk about different aspects of your experiences so as to provide letters that are complementary rather than repetitive.  In such a case, you should talk to each recommender about the anecdotes and traits each of them would like to cover.  Alternatively, if you decide to choose a recommender with whom you worked some time ago, you should choose a person with whom you have maintained a strong relationship so that they can speak positively to your continued professional development as well as to your past accomplishments.

Ideally, you would also choose recommenders who can write well and who are receptive to input.  Strong writing skills are obviously important because an articulate letter is more effective than an inarticulate one.  In addition, an openness to input is important so that your recommenders can build upon and reinforce the general message of your candidacy.

These tips should offer a good starting point for readers who are beginning to think about recommendations.  For those candidates looking for more guidance, we direct you to the Clear Admit Recommendation Guide.  After years of one-on-one work with clients in coaching their recommenders in producing the most supportive endorsements possible, we’ve made our MBA recommendation best practices available to the applicant pool at large.  The Clear Admit Recommendation Guide will teach you to strategically select the best possible recommenders, help them understand the characteristics of a strong recommendation, and exert some influence over the content of their comments to arrive at complementary documents that reinforce the strengths of your candidacy and alleviate its weaknesses.  This 23-page PDF file, which includes a set of guidelines you can print and share with your recommenders, a list of frequently asked questions and two full sample recommendations, is available for immediate download.  Buy this guide

About Clear Admit:

Ivey Consulting is proud to partner with Clear Admit to provide comprehensive admissions information and consulting services to business school applicants. Learn more about Clear Admit here.

May 27, 2014

MBA Admissions Tip: Feedback Session Etiquette

At the beginning of April, we discussed the importance of signing up for a feedback session when one is planning to reapply to a program that provides this opportunity.  Today we’d like to follow up on that post by offering a few thoughts on feedback session etiquette.

While on one hand a feedback session marks the close of this year’s process, it’s crucial that you realize that the impression you make on the adcom member conducting the session may be added to your file and come to bear on your candidacy next year.  Taking heed of the following advice could help to make your feedback session as productive as possible – both in terms of gaining information about your weaknesses that you can address now and fostering a positive relationship with the school that will pay off in the future.

Be pleasant.  Though the admissions process is a highly emotional one and to have invested time, effort and money in an application without having an acceptance to show for it is undoubtedly very frustrating, receiving the adcom’s comments in an appreciative – not defensive – manner is of the utmost importance.  While it might be tempting to argue with the adcom’s criticisms of your file or counter their comments about your weaknesses with steps you’ve taken to address them, this is simply not going to be productive.  You should view this as an exercise in listening and an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to the school.  No one ever converted a rejection to an admit by merely arguing their case in a feedback session.

Take what you can get.  Because time is so limited, we often encourage applicants to approach the adcom member conducting their session with pointed questions about specific elements of their application and ideas for improvement.  However, you need to remember that there is some information they are simply not at liberty to divulge.  If you’ve waived your right to view your recommendations, for instance, they might not be able to speak on this subject, and they might also hesitate to go into detail about your interview as well (for fear that you’ll track down an alumnus or student interviewer to complain about their review).  When you meet a roadblock like this, the best strategy is to leave it at that, letting the adcom member share what he or she is comfortable saying rather than pressing or probing for more information.

Follow through.  If you take down the name and email address of the person conducting your feedback session, it would be a nice touch to send this person a brief thank you note after your meeting.  Further, by keeping in touch with this individual and updating him or her of your progress over the months leading up to your application and decision, you can make that person your advocate by demonstrating that you’ve been following their advice (an email or two between April and November is sufficient).

Of course, the schools are not always able to tell an applicant the whole story; for instance, it’s difficult to tell an applicant who comes from an oversubscribed group and had fine numbers and essays that the class simply didn’t need another banker by the time he applied in round three.  For this reason, it’s important to seek feedback from other sources, such as current students or colleagues.  If you’d like an objective and informed assessment of your candidacy and previous application, feel free to contact us for information about our comprehensive feedback reports.

About Clear Admit:

Ivey Consulting is proud to partner with Clear Admit to provide comprehensive admissions information and consulting services to business school applicants. Learn more about Clear Admit here.

May 19, 2014

MBA Admissions Tip: Going Beyond School Websites

In keeping with the recent Admissions Tips we have posted for the new crop of applicants to the Class of 2017, today we want to offer some tips on engaging the community of one’s target programs.  Communicating with b-school insiders can be beneficial for a number of reasons: In addition to learning about a given school and your potential fit, you’ll also generate material for your essays, demonstrate your interest in the program, and perhaps even make an ally or two.  In your efforts to go beyond the schools’ websites and promotional materials, we recommend reaching out to individuals in a few key groups:

Current Students – People who are currently enrolled in a given program can obviously provide the clearest picture of the present state of the school community.  They are often more capable of evoking their school’s overall culture than brochures put out by the admissions offices and can describe to prospective students the ins and outs of academic and extracurricular options.  In addition to reaching out to friends and acquaintances who are studying at a given school, it’s also wise to get in touch with the leaders of clubs and programs in which you are interested. (Their contact information is generally available through the website.)  This will help you to understand the impact you could make while on campus and provide a sounding board for the ideas you plan to share with a certain student group or organization.

Alumni – While students offer a great view of the program itself, a school’s alumni can often provide the best perspective on just how far an MBA from a given program can get you in a certain field.  Meeting with alumni working in your target post-MBA industry (tracking them down either through your own network or school-sponsored events) may help you anticipate the program’s strengths and weaknesses in setting you on the right professional course.  You might also gain some valuable insight that will help you to refine your career goals and better understand what short-term position would best prepare you for your long-term plan.

Faculty – The professors at business school tend to be a bit less accessible than students and alumni, but if you’ve identified someone whose research interests match yours or sat in on a class that you found particularly intriguing, there’s no harm in sending a note to let the faculty member know that you find his or her work appealing and would like to speak if possible.  The individuals responsible for designing and teaching the curriculum can offer great insight into the specific skills and lessons you would learn from one class to the next and help you to refine your understanding of the ways that an MBA would bridge the gap between your current skills and those you will need to achieve your goals.

Aspirants to the Class of 2016 should consider each of these options in the months ahead.  Not only are many individuals quite pleased to discuss their experiences with prospective students, admissions committees also like thoroughly informed applicants (of course in all cases, patience and manners are of great importance).  For more tailored guidance on what sort of programs you might consider, feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation or consider reading the Clear Admit School Guides, our in-depth profiles of the leading business schools, or the School Selection Guides, which offer comprehensive summaries of career-specific offerings at the top MBA programs.  If you’re just getting started, save time navigating schools’ websites by downloading our free School Snapshots for objective overviews of top programs.

About Clear Admit:

Ivey Consulting is proud to partner with Clear Admit to provide comprehensive admissions information and consulting services to business school applicants. Learn more about Clear Admit here.

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