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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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.

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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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.

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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