That MBA Hustle and Flow

Dusting off this post from the drafts bin because it brings to mind a couple of conversations I’ve had recently with folks applying to MBA programs about how to frame their experience in their applications. (No, it’s not just an excuse to share this oldie-but-goodie video of Taraji Henson behind the scenes on Empire.)

This article by Stacy Blackman for 10Thoughts, “Filling in the White Spaces for the Job Hunt,” does a great job of explaining how and why the way you craft your story matters:

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An Update! And a Confession.

Oh hey there. So, first things first, I’m SUPER sorry about totally falling off the face of the earth and not posting during first year. Things happened, man, and they happened fast, and there were just so many of them.

So now that that’s out of the way, here’s a super-quick update about how the first year of business school went: I stretched and challenged myself, met a ton of amazing and surprising people, learned so many new things, visited places I never thought I’d go, and ate a lot of delicious meals in Chicago. If I can get my act together (let’s hope), I’ll post soon about some of those experiences.

…I also kind of changed course, career-wise. I applied to business school thinking that I would go into entertainment marketing, but instead I recruited for (and last week signed a full-time offer in) management consulting. Whaaaaaaaat?

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#OscarsSoWhite: A Perspective on Diversity in Hollywood

It’s been a while since my last post, which unfortunately isn’t a surprise because business school is ridiculous. I survived recruiting and have a lot of thoughts about the start of school, so expect new posts to come your way before too long (hopefully) about that.

In the meantime, I want to share a piece I wrote for Kellogg’s student news startup #daybreaK (think The Skimm for Kellogg, started by my awesome friend Rachel) about diversity and the Oscars:

#OscarsSoWhite is so hot right now. And it’s an extension of a larger conversation this past year about diversity in Hollywood across both racial and gender lines. As a biracial woman who worked in entertainment, I’m passionate about this convo and have been keeping up as best I can (thanks a lot, recruiting).

So as we head into Oscars weekend, here is some background for you to explore.

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Mid-December Advice for Round 2 Applicants

Holy crap it’s December!! I just narrowly survived finals (YAY!), and you are in the final stretch into submitting R2 applications. Hopefully at this point you’ve taken a crack at your essays and resume, you’ve taken the GMAT at least once, and your recommenders know that they’re going to be writing recs for you.

This time of year was really stressful for me, so I’ve got a few pieces of advice for you at this stage of the process, as well as a collection of some resources to help you prep!

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Stranded in Oakland = Finally, Time to Write!

Oh hey there! Greetings from a lovely Oakland airport hotel, where I’m spending the night before heading to LA for the start of Thanksgiving break. For those of you who aren’t traveling or who don’t live in the Midwest, we had our first snowstorm of the year yesterday, after a long fall of temperatures in the 50s. Winter is here, y’all. And it doesn’t give a crap about our travel plans.

On the upside, I met a very nice Kellogg grad (class of ’82) who is also stranded at this airport hotel, and the staff here is very nice, even though I look (and feel) a little (a lot) crazy.

Also on the upside, having a little break from my plans is giving me some time to write! I’ve been dying to tell you about so many things, but this MBA thing really is as hectic as people say it is, and it’s been very hard to find time to reflect and write. But that changes tonight!

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Featured on Accepted.com!

I’ve been kind of a shy bird about this for some reason, but I figure it’s time to just own it: I was featured on Accepted.com’s blog! They asked me to answer some questions about my MBA application experience, and I did. I answered a LOT, you guys. So verbose.

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Click through to read the whole interview, if you’re interested. I do some talking about things I’ve mentioned on the blog so far but haven’t gone into a ton of detail about, like building story and some reflections about life at Kellogg so far.

Hope you enjoy it!

Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Stop. Forté Time.

It’s Forté time! Any ladies out there planning to apply to start their MBA in 2017 should look into this program — I’m a past participant and huge fan and can’t recommend it highly enough. Applications are open until November 15th!

The MBALaunch locations for this upcoming year are Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Boston, Houston, London, and Toronto. If you live near but not in one of those cities, you can travel to the city for the initial launch event then join Forté’s virtual program for the rest of the year.

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Have you decided to get an MBA but don’t have the network to stay focused or don’t feel prepared enough to make grad school a reality? Get focused with Forté MBALaunch, a 10-month program that pairs women seeking an MBA with a support network and provides a structured roadmap for applying to business schools.

What You’ll Get

  • 10 months of peer group meetings
  • 8 meetings with admissions experts
  • 3 months of GMAT test prep
  • 25+ webinars
  • 7 study sessions (and assigned homework)
  • 8 months of application prep
  • 2 in-person events to connect with women that have the same goal as you

Cost to Participate

$25 application fee + $500 program fee. Upon completion of the program, you’ll receive application fee waivers from more than 20 Forté schools and discounts from leading GMAT test prep providers and admissions consultants that can recoup the total cost of MBALaunch.

Interview Guides + Admissions Boards

Hello from midterm week! Still working on an update about life at Kellogg, as well as some new application-related info. I didn’t realize when people said that business school life was super busy, they really meant SUPER BUSY. People say it’s like drinking from a fire hose, but I think it’s more like being in that gasoline dance party sequence from Zoolander — so fun but a crazy high potential for burnout. (Too soon? RIP.)

Anyway…here are some useful application-related things that have hit my inbox lately:

MBAMission recently sent out a link to their free interview guides, for any round 1 applicants who have heard back about interviews. (If that’s you, congrats!)

And now for some conflicting info…

First, Clear Admit’s MBA LiveWire is buzzing with admissions updates from round 1 applicants. Second, Stacy Blackman just sent a great e-mail to her listserv about not listening to MBA message boards. Here it is, quick and abridged:

“At worst, participation in these online conversations can subconsciously influence your application strategy and send you off in the wrong direction. […] They are not adcom members and cannot judge your odds of being accepted somewhere, nor do they have any special insight into a certain school’s admissions process, as much as they might like to think they do. […]

Nothing good has ever come from listening to—or comparing yourself to—other business school hopefuls. Use that precious time to beef up your resume, work on your essays, or do something else productive.”

Keep your head in the game and best of luck with your applications!

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Netflix Knows When You’re Hooked

Oh man, you guys. This is wonderful. Netflix has released the results of a study it did of when people get hooked on TV shows. They defined the “hooked episode” as the episode after which 70% of viewers went on to complete the first season of that show.

The big news from the study (which isn’t really all that surprising, intuitively):

“In our research of more than 20 shows across 16 markets, we found that no one was ever hooked on the pilot. This gives us confidence that giving our members all episodes at once is more aligned with how fans are made.” –Ted Sarandos (emphasis mine)

So, why does this matter?

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Three Weeks In: Just Too Much to Keep Track Of

I’m three weeks in to my Kellogg experience, and a LOT has already happened. I became a little b school famous, survived orientation, finished two pre-term classes (including finals last weekend), had my last first day of school on Monday, and have already interviewed for extracurricular leadership positions.

People were not kidding when they said that starting an MBA program is like trying to drink from a fire hose, and I’m working on some posts about my first experiences at Kellogg to give you a sense of what that’s been like. Stay tuned for those!

In the meantime, I’ve got a couple of articles to share with you! The first is a fun article from Kaplan Prep: “4 Unlikely TV Shows MBA Students Can Learn From.” The second is a truly fantastic Forté blog post, “Be Willing to Take the Hits,” about a current Forté MBALauncher’s experience with the application process.

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