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.

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.

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.