8 Reasons Women Should Consider Business School

Excited to say that through the Forté Foundation, I was interviewed for this piece on Levo League about why women should consider going to business school!

Some highlights:

4. Because business school isn’t just for “business people.”

At the University of Michigan, 25 percent of first year b-school students had liberal arts majors as undergrads. “Women should have confidence knowing that what we’re looking for is a diversity of thought,” said Diana Economy. “The most common misconception is that business school is only for people who want to go into what they feel is ‘traditional business’: investment banking, consulting, and operations roles. The MBA offers incredible diversity in terms of post-MBA options. I have friends who are in leadership roles within school districts, they are consulting for non-profits, they are creating sustainable supply chains in emerging markets. I think an MBA program is a place where you can marry your passion with your profession.”

8. Because you’ll broaden your horizons, sharpen your skills, and get better at what you’re best at.

“I’m surprised at how much I’m interested in venturing outside of my comfort zone to meet different types of people and learn different types of subjects than what I’m typically used to,” said Sonie Guseh, 27, a second year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. “I’m learning so much about myself and the world around me through school, and that’s an incredible part of the experience.”

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Apply to MLT Faster (and Furiouser?) Than Ever

MLT’s first round MBA Prep application deadline is on September 15th, and they really want you to apply! They’ve created a guide to completing their application in seven days or less and note that they know of people who’ve completed their entire application in two days!

I didn’t do MLT, but I know a bunch of people at Kellogg who did and who have come into school with a strong community of other MLTers and some amazing scholarships as a result of their participation. So make sure to check out the program and apply if you’re interested!

More about MLT:

More than 5,000 high potential minorities have benefited from our programs. Last year, 98% of our MBA Prep Fellows entered a Top 25 Business School. One year from today, you yourself could be applying to a top business school with MLT’s help.

Submit your application before September 10th and receive a VIP access code to attend an exclusive virtual fireside chat with Willie Green, Admissions Officer with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business on 9/10 at 8PM EDT.

Your next step toward getting into a top rated MBA program starts with submitting your application before the Round 1 deadline. For questions about the application process, the MBA Prep Program or MLT, please visit our website, email us at mbap-recruiting@ml4t.org, or call the MBA Prep hotline from 10am – 5pm at (202) 793-8551.

Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.

NYMag’s “She’s the Boss” Series

A little late to the game here, but I just stumbled upon NYMag‘s “She’s the Boss” series, which is full of great articles about being a lady in the business world. A couple of my favorite pieces were “25 Famous Women on Being in Charge” and “Everything I Learned Leading a Fortune 500 Company,” an interview with Lynn Good, the first female CEO of Duke Energy.

Some highlights:

Lynn Good
“Always play to your strengths, whether your strengths are gender-based or just natural aptitude. You’re well-spoken, or you’re very analytical, or you’re a great team-builder, or you’re great with relationships … Playing to your strengths is always something good to build on, because you’re trying to develop a foundation to keep growing, as a professional and as a leader. [… T]his issue of stereotypes, behavior that’s consistent with gender, I think every woman needs to evaluate how those things help your effectiveness, because ultimately what you’re trying to do is be the most effective leader, the most effective professional, and you want to add to your foundational strengths, and not detract from them.”

Jenna Lyons
“Managing creative people — not so easy. A lot of emotion, a lot of stroking. Some people need tough love. Some people need a lot of love. There’s no right or wrong answer. When someone creates something and puts it in front of you, that thing came from inside of them, and if you make them feel bad, it’s going to be hard to fix, because you’ve actually crushed them.” —Fast Company, April 2013

Mindy Kaling
“Well, [being a boss] was the thing I was kind of most excited about. You know, I came into the new show thinking, oh, let me have this democratic way of doing the show because I remember what it was like being a staff writer … At the beginning, I started at the show being a little bit too democratic … I just didn’t want to, like, overcorrect and become, like, the Saddam Hussein of the new job … [I]t was a really interesting learning experience, deciding that I have to just be very decisive and not take everyone’s opinion.’” —NPR, September 2012

Marissa Mayer
“I realized in all the cases where I was happy with the decision I made, there were two common threads: Surround myself with the smartest people who challenge you to think about things in new ways, and do something you are not ready to do so you can learn the most.” —Los Angeles Times, January 2011

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Orientation Day 1: Accidentally Kellogg-Famous?

Yesterday was the first day of orientation (CIM — Complete Immersion in Management) at Kellogg. There is already so much I want to write about my experience at Kellogg so far, from their Social Impact Days event to the people to the KWEST trip I just went on to Peru (more on that soon).

But I am just so jazzed about this first day of orientation that I need to write about it RIGHT NOW. We were assigned our sections for fall quarter (go Big Dogs!) and listened to some speeches, including one by Dean Sally Blount, undoubtedly the most badass woman in the MBA dean game. We also did a choose-your-own-adventure leadership simulation based on a climb up Mt. Everest.

For me though, the very best part of all was during Kellogg’s MBA-famous “One of You” speech, delivered by Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. In this speech, she highlights the diversity of the incoming class by listing off some of our classmates’ accomplishments. There were so many impressive achievements, from starting non-profits benefiting underprivileged children, to convincing Melinda Gates to invest $100M in a development project, to Ironman triathletes and professional musicians.

Then… “One of you interviewed cast and designed challenges as a producer on shows like The Biggest Loser and Joe Schmo 3.You guys…THAT’S ME! And I’m so excited to tell you about this because it goes to show that we non-traditional people really are unusual and valuable and totally brag-worthy. (For real though, I’m even in the Kellogg news feature about the speech.)

So if you’re a non-traditional candidate working on your applications or looking into applying, keep your head in the game. It’s a lot of hard work, and we have more to prove than traditional candidates, but there are programs out there that want you and students out there who will be so excited to have you as one of them.

And now, a lovely PSA from our CIM Week execs on ways to celebrate life. Why not, right?

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Corporette’s Tips for Full-Time MBA Students

A friend of mine (and fellow Northwestern alum) is friends with Kat Griffin, the founder / brilliant mind behind Corporette, a fashion and lifestyle blog for women lawyers, bankers, MBAs, consultants, and otherwise overachieving chicks who need to look professional but want to look fashionable. It’s an awesome resource, especially for those of us who dressed super casually for work pre-MBA.

Earlier this week, Kat put together a post full of great advice and resources for women who are starting MBA programs. I was thrilled to get a shout-out in the post (thanks Kat!) and want to share a few highlights and takeaways with you!

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MBA Intel Sessions: What I Learned

My last post was about setting up informational interviews with students and/or alumni from your target schools. I did a bunch of these intel sessions as I was applying, and I got great information not just about each school, but also about how to package myself as an applicant.

During my informational interview phase, I spoke to four students at UCLA Anderson, one Kellogg student, two Kellogg alums, a student at Indiana Kelley, a student at NYU Stern, and a student at Stanford GSB. Here is what I learned from them!

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15-Minute Admish Tip: Set Up Intel Sessions

At last year’s Forté conference, I was waiting for lunch next to an Anderson student who couldn’t decide what sandwich she wanted. I offered to get a second kind and share with her, so we ate lunch together. After the event, she connected me with another Anderson student, who then introduced me to another, and another…you get the idea.

When I was standing in that line, I didn’t see the sandwich swap as my way into a series of awesome informational interviews with MBA students — it was my way, as a semi-shy person, to connect with one student at one of my target schools. But I got lucky; the informational interviews I got from this chain of referrals were invaluable, and I think you should do the same!

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How Do You Stack Up?

Wondering how you stack up against other applicants to your dream MBA programs? Check out Clear Admit’s MBA LiveWire, which is a live stream of updates from candidates applying to school (fictitious example: Interview invite from Columbia, 710 GMAT, 3.4 GPA).

If you dig the info about who’s getting into which schools, a couple of similar resources are GMAT Club’s Admit Forum, where applicants post their application stats and results, and Poet and Quant’s Handicapping Your MBA Odds series, where HBR guru John Byrne reviews blind profiles of MBA applicants and gives them an estimate of their likelihood of admission.

Now, I should mention that these things gave me a bit of anxiety while I was applying to school, so I used them sparingly, but they’re worth checking out (especially if you have a stronger stomach than I do) — they can help give you a sense of who else is applying and how they’re all doing.

Another thing to remember is that you are not just the numbers in your application. The GMAT Club forum will give you an idea of the career backgrounds of the other folks applying, and as a non-traditional candidate, you’ll notice that you stand out immediately. Remember that this info is just a starting out point to get a sense of what the applicant pool looks like.

Also, Clear Admit is doing a limited time discount on their awesome school guides with promo code CASG25. They didn’t give a deadline for the promo code, so go get yours today! And if you want awesome blog posts and discounts from MBA admissions-type people in your inbox, make sure to join all the lists!

Image courtesy of The CW Network.

Advice for a Great First Year of B School

I want to share a recent Kellogg blog post by Rohan Rajiv, “Making the Most of Your First Year in an MBA Program.” I haven’t met Rohan yet, but I’m super excited to — he’s one of the students planning Kellogg’s CIM orientation week, so he’ll definitely be around. His posts are great because they’re thoughtful, detailed (read: long, in a great way!), and comprehensive. This latest post is about what he learned from his first year at Kellogg — everything from daily routine to how he decided what social activities to attend.

If you like that blog post, Rohan also blogs daily (yes, DAILY) at A Learning A Day. I recommend checking it out!

And if you’re looking for new b school blogs to follow, I also totally recommend the Kellogg blog. Most schools have their own admissions blogs and student blogs. Kellogg has a mix of students, adcom members, alumni, and faculty as bloggers, which is pretty awesome. When I was applying, I also loved the UT McCombs student blog and think it’s a great way to virtually get to know a really warm and friendly student body.

Image courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.