Feb 19, 2011

Kellogg R2 Interview Call

Kellogg is still sending interview calls after initially sender a waiver. Kellogg R2 Interview call received by one of our clients after initially getting an interview waiver -

Feb 18, 2011

Chicago Booth R2 Interview Call

Another success story from BizSchoolPrep

From: admissions@chicagobooth.edu
Date: X February 2011 XXX
           Subject: Your Chicago Booth application status

Dear XYZ,

Congratulations, we have evaluated your application and are extending an invitation for you to interview with us in the next phase of our admissions process.

Interview Logistics (Please read carefully):

1. Please schedule your interview immediately! All interviews must be by completed by February 25th, regardless of location or by whom the interview is conducted. 2. All final admissions decisions will be released by 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16th.

3. Interviews are available on-campus at the Harper Center or with Chicago Booth alumni around the world. If you have not already visited campus and would like to attend classes and meet with students, we strongly encourage that you schedule a visit along with your on-campus interview. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/visit/

4. In addition to interviews available on-campus during regular business hours, on-campus interviews are available on Saturday ,February 5th and February 19th. Lunch with current students will be available for as well as building tours.

5. To schedule the interview, login to your online application, select "Interviews" in the menu bar on the left. You will have the option to select an on-campus interview or complete the alumni interview matching process. Please note that you are allowed only one successful alumni interview search. If you conduct a search that does not return an alumnus' information, it means we do not have alumni available in that area. Either select another location or contact our office to see how we can assist you in setting up your interview.

6. Your interviewer will not have read your application prior to your interview. The only information he/she will have is the updated resume you submit at the time you schedule your interview.

7. Please note that your application status as "Invite to Interview" WILL NOT change even after the interview is completed. Your status will only change once a final decision has been made.

8. We invite you to share your feedback with us regarding your interview. Through your application account, you now have access to an optional and anonymous online survey which is aimed to assess the process for scheduling the interview and the interview itself. We value your opinion and look forward to learning from your experience.

9. All applicants are asked to bring a form of photo identification to the interview.

Should you have any questions regarding the admissions interview or are unable to schedule an interview online, please contact our interviewing team at: admissions@chicagobooth.edu.

Once again, congratulations on reaching this next step in the application process. We look forward to learning more about you during the coming weeks.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637
voice 773.702.7369 | Fax 773.702.9085

Tips/General Information for the interview:
Be sure to upload your resume with all updates for your interviewer to review prior to selecting interview.

  • Be sure to wear business attire to the interview, regardless of where it is conducted.  

  • Be sure to allot approximately forty-five minutes for the interview even though the interview itself is 30 minutes.

  • Plan to arrive for your interview early. Parking, transportation, traffic or other such obstacles should be planned for. We will be maintaining a tight schedule for On-Campus interviewing so accommodating late arrivals may not be possible.

  • Be yourself - the interview is an opportunity for the Admission Committee to learn more about you. It is important that you share your stories with us, and avoid telling us what you think we would like to hear.

  • All interviews, regardless of the interviewer, are weighted the same. You may be interviewed by an alumnus, admissions committee member or a current second year admissions fellows.

  • Wharton R2 Interview Call

    Feb 15, 2011

    One Year vs Two Year MBA program, European MBA vs. US MBA – Which one to choose?

    European MBA programs are usually one year in length when compared to the full time MBA programs in the US, which extends over a two year period. Hence, US vs European MBA comparison can also be considered pretty close to the 1 Year vs 2 year MBA program comparison with exception to the region specific attributes.

    A lot of MBA applicants, especially internationals, are confused about which region to target for their MBA education. While the US has always been an educational center, Europe/Canada and other parts of Asia are fast offering great places and strong global MBA programs. Choosing the right region is one of the most common questions for MBA candidates and particularly, it is a decision making involving some level of confusion when international aspirants such as from India are applying for a course outside their home country and hence, are pretty open to the idea of moving to a country they desire.

    So let’s find out what are the key differences in the MBA program of the US business schools and the European business schools or between the one year and two year MBA programs:

    1. Length of the program:
    Most of the European schools offer 1 year program compared to the 2 year full time MBA programs of the US based business schools (there are few exceptions such as LBS which offers 15-20 month program). However, it does not mean that you will learn any less in a European MBA program than in the US one. It is just that you will be more busy in the school and studies with less time to indulge in the other activities in the European programs when compare to the American ones.

    2. Specialization:
    A two year full time MBA program (more typical in the US) gives you more opportunity to explore the areas of your interest by taking electives that interest you and other learning opportunities such as consulting projects, etc that may align with your post MBA goals. European MBA programs, usually 1 year in length, will be more specific to get the fundamentals right and move into the advance part in the remaining time.

    3. Internship:
    All the two year MBA programs at the US allow around three months internship opportunity to the MBA students. It is particularly beneficial for those who are career changers and hence, internship gives them a vital point to market themselves during full time recruitment. Moreover, most of the campus recruitment takes place through the conversion of internship into a full time offer. In contrast, European MBAs do not have such a long internship period and at the most, will have few weeks to work on some kind of project with a company as their pitch of “real-world experience”. For those who consider internship a must (don’t forget that you earn pretty well during internship to offset the cost of tuition to a certain extent), a two year US program might look more attractive than a one year European MBA. On the other hand, those who want to come back to their pre-MBA industry, a one year MBA program might make a lot of sense.

    4. Average work experience / Age:
    European MBA schools tend to have higher average age of the incoming class than the US schools. While the top tier US Schools have an average work experience of about 4-5 years, it is around 6-7 for the European schools. It is also to do with the fact that many of the applicants who apply are more experienced at the first place and hence, prefer one year program over a two year one.

    5. Tuition and Living Expenses:
    Tuition and living expenses are less for a one year European program when compared to a two year MBA program. Also, you lose just one year of your salary than two years (in the full time US program) and hence, payback period is less in a European program than the US MBA. For e.g. INSEAD’s website says that its MBA graduates recover their MBA expenses in three years or even before.

    6. Ranking:
    US MBA programs still rules most of the rankings, however, European programs are fast catching up. The 1999 Bologona Accord has provided a level of uniformity to the degree qualifications for higher education across Europe and has helped in developing quality educational programs across the region.

    7. Percentage of Internationals:
    Internationals constitute around 30-40% of the top business schools in the US compared to more than half of the class belonging to outside-home country in the European MBA programs. For sure, the US MBA programs can not beat the European schools in international diversity for many coming years.

    8. Language:
    While English is the prominent language in the US and hence, internationals, most of whom know English really well, find it very easy to work alongside colleagues in any major corporation in the US. In Europe, however, it may be critical to know the local language to present yourself as a great recruit for the companies that are recruiting from the particular region. Learning a new language in one year ain’t easy!

    9. Bonding with Classmates:
    More the time you will spend with your classmates, better will be the bonding. Hence, two  year programs/full time US MBAs score over 1 year/European MBA. Having said that, the bonding amongst students also depend on the location and community culture of the school. For e.g. student bonding and collaborative student culture at Dartmouth or Cornell (where no matter which part of the city you go, you end up bumping into the same set of people) is  definitely going to be stronger than that of NYU or Columbia (New York city!).

    Need help to get the best application out there for your dream Business School? Come to BizSchoolPrep Consulting. Whether you are a domestic applicant or an international one, our process is uniquely designed to understand your background, and then create a strategy whose sole aim is to get you to the business school of your dream. Know what makes us different.

    Feb 9, 2011

    US & Europe - the top MBA destinations for the Internationals. Why?

    When it comes to business school education for international students, majority of them opt for the business schools based out the US and Europe. But what makes these two regions so special that attracts so many internationals? Let’s put our thinking cap and analyze the five reasons that we believe drive this motivation -

    1. One of the reasons is that the business schools from the US and the European countries dominate the MBA rankings published by most of the publications. The business schools from the US and Europe together contributed to almost around 80-90% of the schools in top 100 with a pretty heavy percentage tilted towards the US schools, followed by Europe, Canada, Asia and Australia, more or less in that order. No wonder they have high visibility across the world, and eventually, in the eyes of MBA aspirants.

    2. Another reason that contributes to a heavy interest in the US and Europe B schools is that many of the internationals who apply for business programs have either direct exposure to these two regions through work and/or prior educational experience, or, they know someone who had that kind of exposure. The result is an increased comfort level in thinking about educational options in these two countries. Ever wondered why there are so many IT applicants applying to the business schools from India? Well, they either worked onsite (in the US/Europe, etc or regularly interact with the friends, colleagues, etc who have worked).

    3. Don’t forget that a lot of internationals are already residing in these regions and have settled well, which further makes it convenient for them to explore an MBA option without having the hassle of moving to a different country, and hence, avoid facing new visa rules and regulations.

    4. The fact that these two regions also see a large number of incoming international students in courses other than MBA such as M.S., Ph.D., etc. has resulted in the creation of what can be called an “Educational Gateway”, which includes everything from universities local branches to media support in creating a reputation and admissions coaching to GMAT/GRE training classes.

    5. Finally, the reputation of the region as an educational destination, multiple school choices, post MBA recruitment opportunities as well as just the status of a developed country with its associated benefits, further drive the interest in the US and European countries! How many internationals will really be excited to go to Africa for an MBA (.. and not for Safari Vacation!) ?

    After thinking through the reasons that drive the popularity of the US and European business schools in the mind of international MBA applicants, the next logical question is how to decide a US vs European MBA? Our next post is going to specifically address the dilemma of where to do an MBA – Europe or USA? What are the factors you should be taking into consideration while deciding the region of your choice?

    In the meantime, we encourage you to look at the value proposition of BizSchoolPrep, MBA Admissions consultant with a particular focus on international applicants who are applying to the business schools in the US, Europe, Canada, and other countries. Find out on our Homepage what is it that makes us different than other MBA consultants, and how to get a free profile evaluation!

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    Feb 5, 2011

    What are my admission chances in X,Y or Z schools?

    Can you please evaluate my profile and tell me what are my chances in getting admission in school X, Y or Z?

    This is probably the most often asked question of all time in the MBA Admissions world! Right from the conversation with admissions representative of business schools during the MBA fairs to within the virtual walls of Internet through MBA/GMAT forums such as BusinessWeek, GMATClub, Urch, Beat the GMAT, this question is everywhere. Applicants are curious about what are there chances of getting admissions to the school of their choice and MBA admissions consultants have used this question as their marketing vehicle by offering free profile evaluation to all those who are looking to get an external nod ! So what do we think about these kind of question?

    After coming across more than hundreds of these posts, we have understood one thing - applicants already have a sense of what they are asking. They already have a pretty good intuition of what reply they are going to get from the admissions consultant, still they ask! Why? May be just to get a nod and agreement from someone else in the same direction.

    First thing first - Your chances of getting the admission at the school of your choice are as good as you can make them. "Being Competitive" or "Being Qualified" is a very different notion than "Getting In" and no matter whom you ask out of these expert MBA consultants, most of them are going to answer you only about the first part - How competitive your profile looks for admission. Your stats (GMAT/Work Exp/GPA/Age, etc etc ) are just indicators of the first part - "Being Competitive" - only which are compared with the general profile of the school to understand whether your profile falls on the upper side of schools student community, average or the lower.

    Now comes the reality - Most of the aspirants who apply to the top business schools are indeed competitive and qualified for these business schools. But only few get in. Why? It is because of the gap between the actual profile of a person and what is portrayed in the application. You may be a superstar but if you can not convince the admissions committee that you are indeed a superstar, then , for all practical purpose of getting the admissions, you are not a one! Hence, execution of the application is the key. You need to very strongly convince the adcom why should they take you over hoards of other applicants with the similar profile. Get your goals clear and put the right stories in the essay in the most effective manner. While most of the aspirants spends a considerable time on getting the language write, the most important part of the essays is the content. If you can execute these components of your application well, you are already a front-runner in the race!

    If your application is a kick-ass one, as seen from the eyes of the admissions committee of your target business school, your chances of getting admissions are pretty close to 100%!

    Check out our Homepage to know how to deliver that knock-out punch through your application that will force the adcom to look into your application in a new light!

    Need help to get the best application out there for your dream Business School? Come to BizSchoolPrep Consulting. Whether you are a domestic applicant or an international one, our process is uniquely designed to understand your background, and then create a strategy whose sole aim is to get you to the business school of your dream. Know what makes us different.

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    Harvard's New Curriculum

    Harvard Business School is spicing up its curriculum with few new features. Check out these stories on the changes that HBS is planning for the coming classes, starting coming fall -

    HBS take on HBS
    Wall Street Journal on HBS
    Bloomberg's BusinessWeek on HBS
    P&Q on HBS

    So let's cut the crap and see what are the main changes that are being proposed at HBS, and our take on these-

    1. Compulsory Course in FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development)
    So where is it coming from? While HBS is famed for it's leadership theme, it is clear that it is adding some more focus on teamwork as well. This course, FIELD, is going to be a team based course where the students will not just have to collaborate with the team members but also have might have to spend some time together in an international setting. However different it may be for HBS, most of the other top schools already have similar kind of courses to kickstart their respective MBA curriculum. Wharton has Learning Teams and core course in "Foundation of Leadership and Teamwork", Chicago Booth has LEAD, Tuck has FYP while London Business School has "Global Leadership Development Program" in its first year curriculum. Harvard is just going to start doing what others have been doing for a long time now. Nothing innovative!

    2. Revamping 2nd year structure
    Instead of 2 semesters there will be four quarters. The idea is to allow for more flexibility. Again, this is nothing new and most of the schools have a quarterly term system forming an academic year instead of just two long semesters. Good that HBS finally realized the benefit of small bursts over sustained pressure.

    3. Intellectual Ambition
    Without doubt, Harvard University and HBS has always been the pioneer in this area, pretty evident just from the tens of million of case studies it sells every year! Hence, it is nothing new that HBS will identify intellectual knowledge as a focus area going forward.

    4. Globalization
    With more outside - US being the focus of new cases, and experiential learning component in FIELD which takes students into a global setting, it is pretty clear that HBS is has learnt a lesson or two of "internationalism" from schools such as LBS.

    5. Inclusion - In terms of diversity and closer ties with Harvard.
    Nothing substantial to talk about.

    Overall, there are few changes but nothing so big that could change the MBA education landscape the way HBS Dean earlier proclaimed.

    Feb 4, 2011

    R2 Harvard Business School Interview Call

    It seems Harvard Business School has started releasing R2 interview decisions. As per the latest news, the interview release will start from Feb 4 and will continue till Feb 16th. This is the first of our R2 HBS interview call received around eight hours back today, Feb 4th:

    Stay tuned for more news. For those who are getting a ding from their top choices, reach out to us for a ding analysis by contacting us on our website.

    Feb 2, 2011

    How to select your Target Business Schools?

    Selecting the target business schools to apply in your MBA application process is never an easy task. How should you go about selecting your final list of schools to apply to? If you have a great GMAT score, should you blindly apply to all the top schools of the world or distribute your chances by selecting the schools in various ranking zones? How much should the rankings published by BusinessWeek, USNews, Financial Times, WSJ, The Economist, etc mean while you decide which schools to apply for? Should you target the schools based on location or repute?

    So here's our take on how you should go about selecting your target schools to apply during your MBA admissions process:

    Step 1. Understand your profile
    Most of the business schools publish some standard statistics about their incoming class on their website. While don't start comparing yours with theirs as the first step, start by understanding how does your profile look like. Few things to look in your profile would be your GMAT score, work experience, work industry, country, post MBA goals, age, sex, etc.

    Step 2. Set your Priority List straight
    This step involving list down the what do you want from your business school and in what order. For e.g. if your post MBA goal is in finance, your target business school should have a very strong finance program and faculty. Similarly, if you plan to go to IT field, business schools on the west coast might be more attractive. Few of the data points that you should include in your priority lists for the business schools are randomly mentioned below:

    1. Strength in your interest areas (such as Finance, Marketing, etc)
    2. Recruiting in your post MBA goals
    3. Location (East Coast/ West Coast/ European / Major City, etc)
    4. Country Specific (US / Euro / Asia,etc)
    5. Class Size (Big or Small)
    6. Community feeling (Usually schools in metro such as NYC will have less of a community feeling than in smaller towns)
    7. Reputation, world wide and in your region, if you are an international and plan to come back
    8. Tuition / Financial Aid / Living Cost
    9. Weather, Climatic preference, etc
    10. Any other consideration (for e.g. If you spouse works in New York City, it may be important for you to target business schools within and around NYC)

    The above list is not exhaustive and not in any particular order of importance. It is your task to know what matters the most to you and put a priority list based on your requirements.

    Step 3. Your profile v/s School's profile
    Compare your profile with that of school's published statistics to understand where would your profile fall under to select a very broad range of schools you can target. Various MBA ranking should be used here as a reference guide to get a somewhat feel of the Tier (which could be a set of 25-30 schools) you can target. Instead of narrowing your schools down based on ranking, we advise that keep your list of schools at this step very broad (such as Top 30 or Top 20-50, etc)

    Step 4. Filter your school based on your Priority List against the school set earlier identified
    Evaluate your schools from Step 3 against your priority list from Step 2 WITHOUT taking into account your GMAT/Work Experience, etc to filter down to 10-15 schools that matches your requirements.

    Step 5. Compare your profile with that of school's from Step 4
    Step 4 gives the list of schools that broadly fits most of the criteria or requirements you have from your business school education. Now compare your profile (GMAT/Work Experience, etc) with that of these schools to understand what are your "stretch" schools and what are not out of the identified list. Decide the number of schools you want to apply from this list and voila! You have your target schools identified.

    It goes without saying that the steps mentioned above are not some textbook defined standard process and you may want to customize these steps to yourself, however, these steps more or less covers all the different factors that you need to keep in consideration while deciding on business schools to apply.

    Few more passing thoughts:

    1. How many schools should I target?
    Our general recommendation is between four and six. Having atleast four schools to apply to give you the option to apply to "difficult to get into" as well as "Fits profile" to "gettable". Also, we do not advise more than six schools because the application process including essays, resume, recommendations, etc takes time and you definitely don't want to compromise on the quality just for the quantity. See it this way - If your application is strong, you may get interview calls from all the four schools, however, a bad applications will ruin your chances in all the 10-15 schools that you have applied to.

    2. Should I apply to the "stretch" schools?
    Definitely, as our USP on our homepage says that you do your MBA usually once a lifetime, it better be the best you can get into. Hence, we do advise our clients to apply to their stretch schools. After all, once you get into a business school, you don't want to have any regrets and ask "What if .." questions!

    3. What role does various MBA rankings play in school selection process?
    As you can see above, we recommend using the ranking only passively instead of a very heavy deciding factor in your school selection. You should use it just as an initial research tool. From the steps that we have recommended above, the MBA ranking come into picture in Step 2 (as a reflection of school reputation - but we recommend using a variety of ranking instead of using just one) and then again in Step 3.

    4. Which round should I target for?
    The answer would be the one you are most prepared for. If you are going to be equally prepared, go for the earlier round. Avoid the last round, especially if you are an international.

    Need help to get the best application out there for your dream Business School? Come to BizSchoolPrep Consulting. Whether you are a domestic applicant or an international one, our process is uniquely designed to understand your background, and then create a strategy whose sole aim is to get you to the business school of your dream. Know what makes us different.

    Like this post? +1 us and share it with your friends using any of our sharing widgets below!

    Financial Times 2011 MBA Rankings

    Ranking frenzy has started all over again for many MBA aspirants, students and schools with the release of FT's 2011 MBA ranking. The new rankings can be found on FT's website. However, before we look at the top 10 schools, let's go back to our previous post on Business School Rankings - Which one to look at? and see what does FT ranking really measures:

    The Financial Times
    It has surveyed graduates three years after graduation and gathered data directly from the schools since 2000. The FT ranks schools based on three factors; Performance of the MBA program, Diversity and the Research rating

    Financial Time's Website explains in detail its ranking methodology, however, here is a summarized version of it:

    1. The schools should be accredited ones and have a full time MBA program for last 4 years with first class graduated three years back.
    2. It surveys alumni (from three years back for e.g. for 2011 ranking, FT surveyed Class of 2007) and current students.
    3. Ranking are based on 20 criteria within these three areas: (1) Alumni salaries and career development, (2) Diversity and International Reach, and (3) Research capabilities.
    4. Also the overall ranking is influenced by the ranking from the previous three years.
    5. Alumni were surveyed on data points such as “Weighted salary (US$)”, “Placement success rank”, “Alumni recommend rank” and “International mobility rank”.
    6. Schools were surveyed on criteria  such as “Employed at three months”, “Women faculty”, “International board”,  “International experience rank” and “FT doctoral rank”.
    7. For the research part, the research papers written by faculty in 45 journals over the past three years are counted. Schools are awarded points per number of papers and weighted for faculty size.

    So let's see the Top 10 MBA programs, as ranked by FT:
    1. London Business School
    1. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
    3. Harvard Business School
    4. INSEAD
    4. Stanford GSB
    6. Hong Kong UST Business School
    7. Columbia Business School
    8. IE Business School
    9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
    9. IESE Business School

    Since "internationalism" is one of the important factor in FT ranking, many of the top 10 schools are European schools that are more diverse in terms of different countries from where their students are coming in and different locations their alumni land up after MBA education. 

    So what does it mean for you? It could be substantial if you are one of those who are heavily influenced by the MBA rankings or nothing if you know what you want from your schools and have shortlisted schools based on your requirements.