New Loan Available for International Students Doing Their MBA in the US...

Prodigy Finance has launched a new loan scheme for international students who are doing their MBA in the US. The loans will be available for international students at 15 business schools, including the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Harvard Business School, and MIT Sloan School of Management, among others. (See a complete list of business schools below.) The loans are capped at the cost of tuition, and can only be used for tuition. Foreign full-time MBA students are eligible to apply, while US citizens and permanent residents are ineligible. Many banks don’t lend to students who are studying internationally. To fill this need, Prodigy Finance uses a “community finance” model, by which alumni help fund loans that are intended for current students. Loan recipients pay interest of between 6 and 12 percent, depending on their profile and current Libor rates, which means that the alumni providing the money receive a return on their investment. Terms vary by business school. Since launching in 2007, Prodigy Finance has distributed around $50 million to some 1,300 students. It provides loan schemes to students doing their MBAs at business schools all over the world, including Germany’s ESMT, France’s HEC Paris, Singapore’s NUS Business School, and the UK’s Oxford University Said Business Schools, among others. In the US pilot program, loans are available for international students doing their MBAs at the following business schools: Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business Cornell University – Johnson Graduate School of Management Dartmouth College – Tuck School of Business Georgetown University – McDonough School of Business Harvard Business School MIT – Sloan School of Management New York University – Stern School of Business Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management UCLA – Anderson School...

The Ultimate Guide To Applying To Business School...

If you’ve clicked on this article, you’ve probably decided it’s time to get serious about applying to business school. I won’t sugar coat it: The admissions process is hard and does take a fair amount of time. But you can definitely be successful and get into your dream school, as long as you take all of the right steps and plan out your time. I’ve written a lot on getting through this process, so I’ve gathered some of my best advice here into an ultimate guide to MBA admissions, walking you through everything from picking which schools to apply for to making your final decision once the acceptance letters start rolling in. 1. Take the GMAT Unfortunately, there’s no way around this one—the GMAT is required for nearly every program out there. Signing up for a test date is the only way I was able to push myself to study, so I’d recommend picking a date and going for it. Once you’ve signed up, follow my plan for picking a study strategy, actually making time to practice, and getting yourself to test day in the best shape possible. Depending on your background and your goal score, you can plan to study for roughly 8-10 weeks before the test. 2. Pick Your Schools Deciding where to apply to school can be a little tricky just because each program is pretty distinct. As I detailed in my article on the subject, definitely take the time to dig into the culture, curriculum, and career placement statistics for each school you consider so that you don’t have any surprises later on in the process. And if you can find the time and money, try to visit each campus you’re strongly considering—there’s really no...

Avoid 4 Mistakes Wait-Listed MBA Applicants Make...

Applying for an MBA program requires patience. Once prospective students submit applications, it can be weeks or months before they know if they’ve been accepted. The waiting game can be extended even longer when applicants get the news that they’ve been wait-listed. “We try to kind of wrap up our waitlist decisions sometime in July,” says James Holmen, director of admissions and financial aid at Indiana University —Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business. New MBA students usually have orientation in August, he says. There are rules for what applicants should or should not do when wait-listed, and applicants who break these guidelines can push schools from saying “maybe” to “no.” Here are four common mistakes that experts say,​ wait-listed students have been known to make and how to avoid them. Refusing to listen to sound advice: Some applicants will call the schools that have wait-listed them to say they’ll do whatever it takes to be admitted – but they don’t really mean it, says Treavor Peterson, managing director of MBA programs at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. Certain schools, such as Marriott, tell wait-listed applicants why they’ve been wait-listed and what they can do to increase their chances of admittance, says Peterson​. Applicants don’t always agree with the school’s feedback,​ though. “They don’t want to follow the direction we gave them,” he says. In other cases, applicants will take it upon themselves to update schools with information they think will improve their candidacy, regardless of if ​the school has asked for this type of information or not, says Leah Derus, founder of the admissions consulting company fxMBAConsulting. Applicants should first listen to any instructions or feedback a school has given, experts say, and use those as guidelines​ for...

4 characteristics Wharton looks for in top MBA candidates...

Every MBA program has a personality — and some candidates are a better fit for certain schools than for others. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is no exception. After more than 15 years of helping our clients receive highly coveted admissions letters to Wharton, we’ve pulled together some key characteristics that, together, paint a unique picture of what Wharton is looking for in MBA students. Before we launch into the list, one caveat: Knowing what a particular business school is looking for isn’t an opportunity to re-make yourself into what you think their “ideal” student would be. Rather, it’s a chance to find a learning community that values your strengths and where you can make a positive contribution with the unique skills, experiences, and perspectives you bring to the table. If you have your sights set on Wharton, here are a few qualities that successful MBA candidates often have in common. If your values and Wharton’s line up, Wharton might be a great fit for you — and you might be a great fit for their world-renowned MBA program. Here are four characteristics that Wharton looks for in MBA candidates: 1. An innovative mindset “Innovation” is such a buzzword today that it’s commonly used to describe almost everything. But at Wharton, the willingness to take an innovative approach is something they not only look for in prospective MBA candidates — it’s also a standard they hold themselves to, starting with their MBA admissions process. For example, Wharton was one of the first business schools in the US to pioneer a new team-based conversation as part of the interview process, to gauge how candidates express their ideas and relate to others in a conversation that mirrors those they’d have...

Why an MBA won’t get you the banking job you want. And what you can do about this...

Do you aspire to a job in an investment bank in order to recoup the tens of thousands you’ve spent on your MBA? Before you hit “submit” on your application, here are a few things you should bear in mind about looking for a job in investment banking in Europe with an MBA. Before the financial crisis, investment banks were some of the biggest recruiters of MBAs. I was one of the people recruiting MBAs on their behalf. In 2008, Lehman Brothers was one of the top 5 hirers of MBAs globally. Merrill Lynch, where I’d also worked, was one of the top employers too. Eight years on, and banks have fallen away. Instead, the consulting firms are the biggest recruiters of MBAs from top schools. For example, London Business School’s most recent MBA employment report, for 2014, shows that the biggest hirers of its MBAs were McKinsey & Co, the Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Co and A.T. Kearney. Collectively, these firms hired 71 students. By comparison, the biggest banking hirers (Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Nomura) hired just 25 people. Banks generally hire MBAs into a far narrower range of roles than previously. Ten years ago, banks often hired MBA associates into IBD (M&A and corporate finance) sales and trading, equity research, private banking and wealth management. Now, most MBAs are hired into IBD. A few are hired into wealth management and commercial banking roles, but not many. Trading floors tend to focus on students from financial masters programmes and undergrads. Although banks are looking for relatively small numbers of MBAs, you don’t necessarily need to have worked in banking prior to the MBA. However, banks behave as most employers would...

Consider a Second MBA Degree

The idea of pursuing a second MBA degree may sound strange, but it happens with a small number of applicants during every admissions season and can make sense under the right, very specific, circumstances. Some applicants consider a second degree after earning an MBA from a for-profit university or an unaccredited program. They may find they have hit a ceiling with their employment prospects as they vie for positions against candidates from better-known schools. More often, people who seek a second degree are international candidates who have discovered that their professional dreams cannot be fulfilled with their current degree alone. In India, for example, it’s common for a student to jump into an MBA program straight out of university, which makes for a very theoretical learning experience rather than a practical one in which to contextualize management problems. Once these MBA grads get into the workforce, they discover they must further develop various skills to become strong business leaders. For professionals working in international firms who aspire to relocate abroad, a degree earned in-country will not open doors the way a highly ranked MBA from a name-brand university will. A second MBA is seen as an efficient way to move out of a stagnant career and enhance their competitiveness, allowing the degree holder to shift into a new function, industry or geography after completing their studies. Creating a rich classroom experience through diversity is a huge focus of the top business schools, offering students the opportunity to interact with peers from an array of countries and professional backgrounds. While the educational component of the degree in South Asian business schools, for example, may sometimes rival their international counterparts, the ability to create networking ties across the globe is nowhere...

MBA programmes that yield the best salaries

One major component of Business Insider’s ranking is the average starting salary. Looking at this exclusively, you can filter out the business schools that yield the best salaries after graduation. Among the 50 leading schools, students from 22 schools went on achieving base salaries over 100,000 US-Dollar. Although Stanford placed fourth on the overall list, its graduates earn the highest starting salaries of all the schools, averaging more than 133,000 US-Dollar. Other high achievers like Harvard and Wharton fared well as well. Harvard graduates earn an average of more than 131,000 US-Dollar after school and Wharton graduates average on more than 127,000 US-Dollar, though Wharton’s tuition cost also amounts to 144,340 US-Dollar. The Wharton School topped the Business Insider ranking overall in 2015 for all-around excellence (see article above). Wharton’s salary expectation is similar to Columbia Business School’s as well as Sloan School of Management’s and the Booth School of Business’s. Graduates of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business follow with an average starting salary of 123,900 US-Dollar. Amongst the 22 schools are many more well-known schools like the Anderson School of Management, the Fuqua School of Business, Yale School of Management, London Business School, Darden Business School, the Booth School of Business or the Kellogg School of Management. But other not as well-known universities do well in the salary category as well. Graduates from the Foster School of Business, the Jones Graduate School of Business or the McCombs School of Business also break the ranks of the 100,000 US-Dollarfor example. Read full story: MBA...

Don’t Rush The MBA Decision: Not All Work Experience Is Created Equal...

We all know some things look good on paper but don’t always work in practice. And that sentiment should be taken into consideration when deciding if the time is right for an MBA. Just because you have the two years of experience that many of the world’s business schools require, doesn’t mean you are ready for an MBA. You should think more deeply about how to get the most out of your investment of time and money before applying to an MBA. We often see applicants rush this decision. At the Ivey Business School, we believe that a key question candidates should be asking themselves before applying to an MBA is: Does it make sense for me to get this degree right now? Here are some things to consider: 1.The admissions teams can help: The admissions team at Ivey is not in place to scrutinize or judge applicants. Instead, an important part of the team’s role is to ensure that you make the best decision possible, so you can get the most out of the program and contribute to the class community in a meaningful way. Where you are at in your own work journey before you arrive is a critical part of a successful outcome. Talk to us. We can help; 2.Quality over quantity: Be prepared to talk about the kind of work you have done. We are not interested in the length of time you have spent collecting a paycheque, but instead your ability to talk about the quality of work you have done. Tell us about the interactions you have experienced with internal or external clients and the projects you have contributed to moving forward. Bringing these kinds of experiences to formal classroom discussions is a...

Top Tips for Meeting an MBA Admissions Officer Face-to-Face...

You’re dressed in your best business attire, you have a flawless resume in hand, and you’re ready to network! Yet, when you approach the booth for your dream school your mind draws a blank. What do you say? How do you make the best first impression? Meeting Admissions Officers face-to-face can be intimidating, but if you prepare ahead and follow these tips it will easily become second nature. 1) Do Your Research Before attending the event take note of the schools that will be there. Highlight the ones that you are most interested in and do research online about specific programs, classes, admissions processes, etc. Most answers to common questions (grades, requirements, scholarships) can be found online. You’ll want to formulate questions that will be of value in a conversational setting. For example, instead of asking if the GMAT is required, ask about the competitive advantages of the school’s MBA program. This probing question will provide the basis for a better conversation. 2) Practice Your Pitch Take a few minutes to write down why you are interested in doing an MBA. By putting your goals down on paper you’ll be able to better articulate them to the Admissions Officers you meet. Be clear and concise when introducing yourself. 3) Confidence is Key Remember, Admissions Officers are there to help you! They want to answer your questions and provide you with the best information possible. Be confidant when introducing yourself and speaking about why you are interested in that specific school. 4) Relax! The more at ease you are, the more information you’ll absorb, and the better your interactions will be. For more information on how to prepare for the event and advice from Admissions Officers, visit The MBA Tour’s...

The 19 best online MBA programs

An MBA can be a shortcut for ascending the career ladder and boosting your salary. While attending one of best b-schools in the world can be an attractive option — Business Insider published its list of the world’s 50 best business schools in December — for some working professionals it’s not feasible, making online programs a great alternative. U.S. News & World Report recently released their ranking of the best online MBA programs, evaluating schools based solely on data related to their distance education MBA programs in five categories: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. (You can read a full breakdown of the methodology here.) Note that because of multiple ties, the ranking only goes through No. 15. Temple University’s online MBA program took the top spot, followed by Indiana University at Bloomington, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read on for the rest of the 19 best online MBA programs in the country, according to U.S. News.Read full story: Business...

MBA Students’ Predictions For Business Education In 2016...

BusinessBecause spoke to several MBA students at the heart of the business school world to get their thoughts on what lies ahead. Power To The Pupil Ragen Haythorpe is a part-time student on the flexible MBA program at UWA Business School. She believes that with competition for applicants high, business schools will become more responsive to the needs of their students. “We will see greater flexibility for students to create their own unique education experience,” she says. “Enhanced collaboration between educational institutions, moving towards borderless education….is the way of the future.” MBA students want to choose what they learn, how and where they learn it. “New age companies like Google, Apple, Uber and Airbnb have shown how effective a bottom-up consumer oriented approach can be,” says Arijit Gupta, a first year student at the George Washington University School of Business. “I hope that the education industry picks up this mantra and starts offering courses which are customizable based on the students’ interests.” Online Revolution For Aaron Hoyles, a student at EMLYON Business School in France, more flexibility over how MBA programs are designed will invariably mean more content delivered online. “We’ll increasingly see online content blended with the classroom experience,” he says. “The most successful models will combine richly produced, self-paced digital content with collaborative teamwork that is practical and emphasizes integrative thinking and experiential learning.” Harish Sivashanmugam, a first year student at CUHK Business School, agrees. “Theoretical teaching will be pushed online and [the] classroom will become an incubation center,” he says. Harish also forecasts that more people will work in the technology sector and in start-ups, forcing a change in MBA course content. “Business education will cease to exist as an offshoot of finance,” he says. He...

Why Top Companies And MBA Programs Are Teaching Improv...

It’s the standard business school storyline: A manager decides to get an executive MBA degree and starts classes with a bit of a chip on her shoulder. “You may have reached that point in your career where you’re middle management, you’ve done many things right, you’ve had some failures that you’ve learned from, [and] you could be molded into thinking you’ve figured some things out,” says Michael Desiderio, executive director of the Executive MBA Council, a nonprofit association that works with more than 200 universities and colleges that offer executive MBA programs. “You think there are some things you know, and you quickly figure out your peers can help you identify what you don’t know by asking challenging questions that you wouldn’t have even thought of, because you have one frame of reference,” he adds. “It completely changes how you think about enterprise and business.” Executive MBA programs—designed for senior professionals who have at least seven years of experience—have been a way for managers to develop an edge in their business acumen. Depending on the program, training consists of rethinking standard leadership practices and management structures, and immersing students in specific foreign cultures with programs catering to new professions, like a wine-intensive MBA program. The thing is, if you’re going to cultivate exceptional leaders, you’re going to need some innovative training. Enter improvisational classes, which may not be the first thing that comes to mind when putting together an executive MBA curriculum, but Desiderio says can be very effective in helping leaders identify—and admit—their deficiencies. So much so that dozens of mega companies, like Google, PepsiCo, and McKinsey have included improv sessions in their own corporate training. GETTING THROWN A CURVEBALL WHILE IN TRAINING—LIKE DANCING OR SINGING—IS BELIEVED TO...

MBA Applications: What to do About Low Work Experience...

Business schools don’t like to admit students with less than two years of experience–but they will if a candidate really shines. As an undergrad, Nik Hazell was attending Oxford University as a rower and engineering student when he was injured during the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race. Hazell suddenly found himself with more time in his schedule. He wanted to stay at Oxford for his masters, and he cast around for the right academic path for him. An MBA from Oxford’s Saïd Business School sounded appealing, but Hazell had a problem: he had never worked in business, save for one week at a finance firm. Less than one percent of students admitted to Saïd have under two years of work experience, but Hazell says the admissions committee was impressed by his ability to balance rowing and engineering during his prior Oxford career. “Without juggling the extracurricular activity and his academics, they wouldn’t have considered me,” says Hazell, who ended up earning a place in the course and is now pursuing his MBA. “It showed that I could juggle a lot.” Many MBA programs do not publish hard and fast rules about minimum full-time work experience, but most internationally accredited business schools say they prefer at least two years, and many schools admit classes with average overall work experience of five to six years. Hazell’s story is an illustration of a principle espoused by MBA admissions directors: if a student with less than two years of work experience wants to apply for an MBA, he or she must be exemplary. Anna Farrus, head of admissions at Oxford – Saïd, says a strong academic background, scholarships like the Rhodes, internships and part-time work experience can help sway an admissions committee towards accepting...

13 MBAs that are really worth your money

Sure, you want to get an M.B.A. to make a higher salary and you may even be willing to plunk down the small fortune that the top programs are charging these days. But, still, you’ll want to make sure such an investment will pay off. So it’s worth checking out this list of M.B.A.s in the U.S. ranked by return-on-investment, calculated using total tuition cost and average graduate salary. The big names are all over this list, which probably comes as much-needed solace for grads who have dropped over $100,000 for their degrees. But there are also a few schools that may not have caught your attention before and come in under $55,000. We’ve included the school’s U.S. News & World Report ranking as a point of comparison. Three of the top 13 schools significantly outperform their overall U.S. News ranking when it comes to ROI. Many of the bigger names have a slightly lower ranking when it comes to ROI than overall, but when it comes to the top of the top, it looks like grads are getting exactly what they’re paying for… Read full story:...

The Five Worst Reasons To Get An MBA

I could use your advice. I am 27. I got a BA in Marketing because my parents pushed me hard in the direction of business and I didn’t really know what to major in. I didn’t love my program but my college isn’t known for its undergraduate business courses. However, they have an excellent MBA program. I got my degree five years ago and I’ve had one decent job and two pretty awful ones since then. My first job came from a referral from my Stats professor who also consults with a biotech firm. They hired me in as a Business Analyst and I loved that job, but they moved the position to their headquarters in New York. I could have taken a job in Client Support at the same firm but I didn’t see any reason to take a step back. My manager got me an interview at a temp firm that our company worked with. I took the job at the temp firm and it was horrible. I lasted seven and a half months at that job. One of my clients at the temp firm hired me into the job I have now, which is better than the temp firm but not that great. In my current job I manage a client database which is just as boring as it sounds. My manager is okay but the office atmosphere is oppressive. No one likes it here and it’s hard to get through the day. I’m thinking about going back to my alma mater for an MBA which would qualify me for higher-level jobs. I got good grades in high school and my undergrad program and I’ve been active with my alumni association so I’m pretty sure they...

3 tips for acing a Wharton MBA interview

Every year, top business schools receive thousands of applications for admission, but they only admit an average of 25% of those who apply. The story is no different at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where approximately half of all applicants are interviewed, but less than one in 10 are ultimately granted admission — and no student is admitted without an interview. As a consultant who helps clients earn admission to top MBA programs, I know first-hand how important interviews are. They’re a key component of how the admissions committee gets a full picture of you as an applicant, and evaluates whether you’ll fit into the Wharton community. Here are three tips for ensuring your Wharton interview strategy shows your assets and skills off to their best advantage: 1. Be prepared for the team-based discussion. Wharton was among the first business schools in the US to implement a team-based discussion component as part of the interview process, in which five to six applicants discuss a topic while being observed by admissions committee members. This new aspect of the application is designed to get a sense of who you are outside of a well-written essay or even a well-rehearsed interview. Wharton is looking for team players and people who can be analytical while working well with others. Keep in mind that observers want to see candidates contributing without dominating the discussion; the idea is to see how you might engage in a productive conversation with a group of future classmates. To make a positive impression, be sure to share your point of view, but also listen thoughtfully; respect differing points of view; and bring others into the conversation. 2. Emphasize your experience as an innovator. Innovation is integral to Wharton’s...

5 Ways an MBA Makes You an Ideal Candidate

It’s never been better to be a young professional in Boston. The city has a booming tech scene, it houses some of the best companies in the country, and it’s filled to the brim with talented individuals. Yet, as with all good things, there’s a downside. Amongst the best and the brightest, how do you stand out? How do you snag a top paying job at one of these highly-ranked firms? If you’re asking yourself these questions, it might be time to consider an MBA. I know what you’re thinking. What can learning about business in an MBA program teach me that I wouldn’t learn in the workforce? However, there’s a reason MBA programs have been fundamental to successful business men and women since the inception of the MBA–which was locally done at Harvard–in 1908. An MBA allows you to develop fundamental skills that will help you succeed in your career and make you indespensable to an employer. Here are 5 ways an MBA will make you a standout candidate. You’re a Leader People Want to Follow Leadership positions are highly sought after in the business world. Not only because they tend to come with a flush salary, but also because they allow an individual to have a huge influence on the direction of the organization. MBA Programs recognize the importance of these roles and focus on developing highly skilled leaders. The curriculum is based around opportunities that encourage leadership and enable students to fully explore what it means to be an individual coworkers respect and listen to. You’re an Entrepreneur who Uses Innovation to Find New Opportunities Entrepreneurship isn’t just about independently starting your own business. It’s a mindset. Entrepreneurial thinking is a way to see the world...

Tips to Maximize Your MBA Application Feedback Session...

All MBA hopefuls fear getting denied, but if there’s any silver lining to rejection, it’s that many business schools now offer feedback sessions to help unsuccessful candidates figure out where they might have gone wrong. This availability of application feedback confirms that the schools really do welcome and encourage re-applicants, who often find success the second time around. In fact, in the past, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has shared with us anecdotally​ that applicants who reapplied often have a slight edge in the applicant pool. Find out the policy of your school of choice and get in touch with the admissions office right away, making it clear that you will use the feedback to reapply next year, if that’s the case. These meetings usually take place on a first-come, first-served basis in the spring, at the end of the admissions season. Due to the brevity of these sessions, it’s important to prepare in advance. Write down a few pointed questions that will help you make the most of your meeting. If you questioned anything during the application process, you now have the opportunity to clear things up. In order to gather actionable information, your questions should sound something like this: • Was there any concern about my quantitative abilities? If so, what can I do to demonstrate my capabilities? • Were my career goals clear? • Are my reasons for wanting an MBA sound? • What were some of the biggest weaknesses in my application? Do you have any suggestions for how I can ease your concerns in those areas? Have a plan to make sure the session stays on pace, because you’ll usually have a maximum of 15 minutes. Keep track of the time and strive...