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How Much Time Should You Spend on Your MBA Applications?

How Much Time Should You Spend on Your MBA Applications?

Inevitably there are applicants each season who decide rather late in the game to apply to business school.  While it’s hard to believe for those who spend months or even years preparing themselves specifically for a run at top schools, due to career focus or simple procrastination, some applicants find themselves with a short window before due dates pass.

5 Predictions for 2014 in the MBA and College Spaces

5 Predictions for 2014 in the MBA and College Spaces

One thing that we love to do around Veritas Prep HQ is declare our opinions. Whether it’s about football, health food, traffic etiquette, dancing, or stand-up comedy, everyone here has an opinion. Even more fun is when we stick our necks out and make some predictions about where we see test preparation and admissions going in the coming year. We’re often right, and we’re always entertaining.

Our 2013 Predictions: How Did We Do?

Our 2013 Predictions: How Did We Do?

And just like that, a whole year has flown by again! Last January, we posted four predictions for the world of test prep and admissions. As fun as it is to make predictions, and it’s even more rewarding to look back at some point and see how we did. (“Oh my… We predicted THAT would happen?”) If you predict enough things, some of them will eventually happen, right?

Test Prep and Admissions: The Best of 2013

Test Prep and Admissions: The Best of 2013

There goes another year. Faster than you can say “99th-percentile instructors,” 2013 has come and gone, leaving in its wake a trail of excellent Veritas Prep blog articles. As we start to wrap up the year here at Veritas Prep HQ, wrap our Secret Santa gifts, and prepare to break in the new hires at our annual holiday party, we thought this would be a good time to share some of our biggest news and most popular articles from the past year.

Biggest Discounts of the Year on GMAT & SAT Prep and MBA & College Admissions Consulting Services!

Biggest Discounts of the Year on GMAT & SAT Prep and MBA & College Admissions Consulting Services!

Here at Veritas Prep, we have a long list of reasons to be thankful this year!  From our students, to our incredible teachers and admissions consultants, it’s truly been an amazing year.

We are excited to announce that starting today through Monday, December 2nd we are making available our biggest discounts of the year on all of our services (discounts on MBA admissions consulting services will be available through  Wednesday, December 4)! Whether you are trying to hit Round 2 business school deadlines or are planning on taking the SAT next year, make sure to take a look at our discounts and register before these prices are no longer available.

What to Know About the Off Campus MBA Interview

What to Know About the Off Campus MBA Interview

Having just completed an extensive overview of MBA interviewing, it occurred to me I forgot to address an area which affects a large portion of applicants:  the off-campus interview.  While it’s always preferable to do the interview on campus, due to travel and scheduling complications, most schools will make alternatives available, the most common of which being the off-campus alumni interview or the dreaded phone or Skype interview (you can probably tell which is my least recommended option!).

The Importance of Self Reflection Before your MBA Admissions Interview

The Importance of Self Reflection Before your MBA Admissions Interview

As we wrap up our dissection of the business school interview, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of self reflection.  Make sure you are spending time not only recalling your work history and personal experiences, but how they have shaped you and why you have made decisions in the past.  Getting to the why is the most revealing part of the questions which may include:

6 Unexpected Questions You May Get Asked in Your MBA Admissions Interview

6 Unexpected Questions You May Get Asked in Your MBA Admissions Interview

We continue today with another post in our MBA interview series. When interviewing, applicants are generally prepared for the obvious questions, but what about the tougher questions?  It would behoove you to ponder some of the following questions, which have been known to trip up even the most prepared applicants:

Prepare for Your MBA Interview: 5 Important Questions

Prepare for Your MBA Interview: 5 Important Questions

In this continuing series on the all-important interview, we discuss more questions which are typically heard during business school admissions interviews including:

11 Questions You Might Hear in Your MBA Admissions Interview

11 Questions You Might Hear in Your MBA Admissions Interview

We always get asked what kinds of questions to expect from interviewers, so I have compiled an introductory list of eleven which you might hear as you sit in various b-school interview sessions as well as what they are “really” asking:

1.   Walk me through your resume

How to Prepare for a Business School Admissions Interview

How to Prepare for a Business School Admissions Interview

Business School admissions interviewing can be nerve-wracking to say the least.  Everything you have worked your entire career for is on the line as you sit and sweat, waiting in your target school’s office for the one shot you will have to make a case in person for a seat in business school.

But if you do find yourself in this situation, consider yourself one of the lucky ones, since only about 20% of applicants are invited to interview at top schools. The better news is, about 50% of the interviewees are admitted on average!  While that still puts you in a precarious tie with a coin-flip, it’s still far better than the low double or even single digit percentage of general applicants who are admitted.

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part III

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part III

Previously, we covered two strategies to improve the perceived quality of your work experience, wherever you are. The first and fastest was asking for budget. The second and slower was finding subordinates.

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part II

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part II

Previously, we discussed probably the easiest and fastest single factor that you can proactively do to gain impressiveness with your work experience. That was to ask for budget.

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience

Business schools have a very difficult problem. For most intents and purposes, their applicant pools are junior business acolytes whose days usually consist of menial desk labor at the beck and call of a perhaps marginal superior. The issue is that it is very difficult to separate a good candidate from a bad one among a pool of people doing this type of work.

When Should You Submit Your MBA Applications?

When Should You Submit Your MBA Applications?

With application deadlines upon us, the question sometimes surfaces about whether or not there is any strategy around when to submit your application.  To answer this, you must first determine if your school is accepting applications on a rolling admissions basis or a rounds/deadline basis.  A rolling admissions calendar accepts and considers applications as they are submitted, and then they return a decision to the applicant as soon as that decision is made, most often within a few weeks of submission.

How Students Feel About the GMAT and Why They're Wrong

How Students Feel About the GMAT and Why They're Wrong

It’s the first day of class, and students are volunteering what they think of the GMAT.  The typical sentiment goes something like:  “Tough!” “Tricky stuff, hard to get a grasp on the logic,” or “I like ___ but really have trouble with ___.”  Some just have a knowing smile that says “yeah, it’s a clever exam, but I’ll be glad when it’s over.”

3 Advantages to Applying Through the Consortium

3 Advantages to Applying Through the Consortium

In 1966, a professor at Washington University, Sterling Schoen created The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management in order to give African American men the business skills they needed to secure positions in American corporations.  Just two years after the Civil Rights Movement, this was a bold endeavor, and one whose impact is stronger than ever today.

Top 3 MBA Programs for a Nonprofit Emphasis

Top 3 MBA Programs for a Nonprofit Emphasis

Should there be a heaven and you’re hoping for a way in, a good place to start is to work in the nonprofit sector because you’re doing thankless work, you’re not motivated by salary and everyone hugs and recycles.  No, those are all myths – well, hopefully everyone hugs from time to time.

How to Stand Out in Your MBA Applications

How to Stand Out in Your MBA Applications

It’s getting more and more difficult to stand out these days.    It sometimes seems as if everyone meanders through life with the same or similar routine, all doing the same or similar thing, so when it comes time to differentiate yourself in your b-school application, how do you pull it off?

Getting an MBA vs. an EMBA

Getting an MBA vs. an EMBA

One can get an MBA, and one can get an Executive MBA. From the student’s perspective, the executive MBA could be a good choice for those wanting an MBA but not looking to stop working full-time. As a matter of fact, for those who already have over 10 years of work experience (and especially over 15 years of work experience), an EMBA could very well be the only practical option, because MBA programs do not encourage such seasoned applicants.

Filed in: Business School
When to Use the Optional Essay in MBA Applications

When to Use the Optional Essay in MBA Applications

Many schools have become super restrictive on how many essays they allow you to submit.  The crushing numbers of applicants has forced schools to streamline the evaluation process and they simply do not have the staff or time to read 1000 word essays from everyone.

Harvard, as an extreme example, actually has no required essays as part of this year’s application!  They allow you to submit one essay if you like, but it’s not technically a requirement for consideration as an MBA applicant.  While we don’t recommend you submit to HBS without leveraging the essay, this shift in the process highlights the fact that every word does indeed count.

5 MBA Programs Near the Beach

5 MBA Programs Near the Beach

Harvard Business School may have many things going for it, but stunning weather is not one of those things. And while we don’t suggest you choose an MBA program solely based on physical location, if you just can’t get away from the sun, and want to spend your two years of business school earning an MBA in a warm, ocean-breeze-infused climate, here’s a list of five schools where you can get your MBA within walking distance to sun, surf, and seashells!

Filed in: Business School
How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member: Part III

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member: Part III

In this final post about how to think like an admissions committee member, we should discuss how to let your personality shine through. First, be sure to take a look at Part I and Part II from this mini-series.

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member: Part II

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member: Part II

I outlined in my previous post how to frame your stories around some key attributes that all business schools are looking for. But the natural question to ask is, “how can I stand out when everyone is demonstrating the same attributes?” This is where the personal story comes in.

Show Leadership in Your MBA Applications

Show Leadership in Your MBA Applications

Like beauty, leadership is often desired but hard to figure out for those who do not have it.

Even among experts, the exact definition of leadership is quite murky, like the exact expert definition of beauty. Entire careers have been dedicated to the study of leadership and it is probably a concept that changes depending on the context. Military leadership, for example, is probably quite a different matter from business leadership or intellectual leadership, despite areas of possible overlap.

Should Women Skip Business School?

Should Women Skip Business School?

In a recent opinion piece in the New Yorker titled “Why Women Should Skip Business School”, author Laura Hemphill argues that, since women are far more likely to experience a career interruption (usually because of having kids) than men, they should work as much as possible while they’re young and aren’t get juggling family obligations. Make money and get far ahead now, she argues, and you’ll have more options later on than you will with an MBA.

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member

How to Think Like an Admissions Committee Member

Reverse engineering is an amazing process.  Why reinvent the wheel when you can pick apart someone else’s expertise to inspire you or lead you in the right direction?  While this concept is largely applied in the technology and manufacturing world, it can be readily utilized in your business school application process as well.

In Which Round Should You Apply for Your MBA?

In Which Round Should You Apply for Your MBA?

With precious little time between the release of the applications from business schools and the application deadlines in the first round (or even earlier for early decision rounds) we often see clients vexing over whether or not to push off an application to subsequent rounds.  This leads to natural questions about whether this is a good strategy, a bad strategy, or a neutral decision.

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School: Part III

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School: Part III

Last week, we began a 3-part series exploring a few factors to consider when choosing a business school. The first two factors include location and career services.

What Should Your Recommenders Say About You?

What Should Your Recommenders Say About You?

Now that applications have been released, many clients are beginning to reach out to their recommenders.  We often get questions about the best approach to ensuring this portion of your application is the best it can be, so I thought it would be helpful to give you some tips for working with your recommenders so your end result is just that.  I have written other articles on how to wisely choose your recommenders, so I will assume you have done that part already.

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School: Part II

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School: Part II

Last week, we began a 3-part series exploring a few factors to consider when choosing a business school. The first factor to consider is location, and today we’ll take a look at the second factor, which is the career services provided by different institutions.

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School

3 Factors to Consider in Choosing a Business School

There is little doubt that the most prestigious business schools command serious consideration. But alas, outside the top 3 programs (and even then), it makes little sense to select a business school based on rankings alone. Most MBA aspirants do not give enough consideration to some key factors that will have serious impact on their business school happiness and success. Here are some factors that deserve your serious consideration and could swing your decision one way or the other.

Your Strategy for MBA Reapplication

Your Strategy for MBA Reapplication

If you have decided to re-apply to a school where you were rejected, one of the most valuable things you can seek is feedback on why you didn’t make the cut last time.  Some schools will actually provide this information if you ask for it, so don’t be shy about reaching back to them.

Writing MBA Application Essays: 2 Rules to Follow

Writing MBA Application Essays: 2 Rules to Follow

Yesterday, we looked at the importance of the essay word limit in your MBA application essays. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the details behind the word limit and how much room you might have to budge.

What an Essay Word Limit Really Means

What an Essay Word Limit Really Means

You have spent considerable time collecting valuable work experience since college and even more time reflecting back on this experience as you prepare to apply to business school, possibly even making notes or an outline on how you plan to ideally relate your story to the admissions committees.

Now that the essay questions have been released, your stomach sinks as you see your target school has put a 250 character limit on describing your post MBA goals, or a 400 word limit on explaining why you want to go to their school.  Worse yet, your aspirations for Harvard Business School begin to wane as you see their one essay this year has no posted word limit —is this a trick?

Is a 650 GMAT Score Good Enough for a Top 10 MBA Program?

Is a 650 GMAT Score Good Enough for a Top 10 MBA Program?

It goes without saying that the GMAT is a challenging test.  Weeks of preparation boils down to just a few hours sitting in front of a glowing screen, attempting to demonstrate your aptitude for business school, which is supposedly what the test is designed to measure.  Despite your best efforts to get a seven-handle on your score, however, you end up in the mid sixes. Will this be good enough to get into your dream school?

Filed in: GMAT, MBA Admissions
INSEAD Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2013-2014

INSEAD Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2013-2014

Rounding out our look at applications at the top business schools this year, today we break down INSEAD’s application deadlines and essays for the 2013-2014 admissions season. INSEAD has made only very subtle tweaks to its essays this year, and the school has decided buck the trend and not to go the route of significantly cutting down its number of required essays. When a business school only makes subtle changes to its essays, that usually means that the admissions office likes what it’s been getting from applicants.

UCLA Anderson Admissions Essays for 2013-2014

UCLA Anderson Admissions Essays for 2013-2014

We can add UCLA Anderson to the long list of top business schools that have cut down their essay requirements for the coming admissions season. Anderson recently released its admissions essays and deadlines for the coming year, and the school dropped one essay prompt, going down to just one required essay for 2013-2014. We can’t wait until next year, when schools go from one essay down to zero. (Just kidding!)

13 Dos and Don'ts for your MBA Application Essay

13 Dos and Don'ts for your MBA Application Essay

Got Writer’s Block?  We are here to help! It can be hard to tell your story in 500 words or less, but we are here to provide a few tips to help get you started in tackling your admissions essays.

Take a look at the Dos and the Don’ts of essay writing and let us know if you have any questions.

Duke (Fuqua) Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2013-2014

Duke (Fuqua) Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2013-2014

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business recently released its MBA application essays and deadlines for the Class of 2016. Bucking the trend among most top MBA programs, Duke has actually made no changes this year! However, last year the school made some pretty radical changes, so one could argue that other schools are now coming around to some of these aggressive and creative changes. Further, the fact that Fuqua hasn’t made any changes this year suggests that the admissions committee likes what it saw last year, so following their advice and giving them what they want is key.