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...

7 Money-saving Tips for MBA Students and New Grads...

In business school, you learn how a disciplined, strategic approach to finances helps organizations ultimately achieve great things. Along the way, it becomes important for you to apply that lesson to yourself. The years in business school and then working as a new MBA are, for many, a budget-conscious time. Between leaving your job to complete the degree and perhaps incurring student-loan debt to ease the financial burden, you may need to pinch some pennies before you reach your full earning potential as an MBA. Here are seven ways that soon-to-be and recently graduated MBAs can save money: 1. Make a budget with specific goals. For many people, making a budget is a chore, but not you — as an MBA, this is your bread and butter! Think of it as you would an assignment in business school: What does Company X (i.e., you) need to do in order to meet shareholder expectations (i.e., have enough money to pay all your bills while still enjoying life and generating some savings)? The more specific you can get about your spending allowances and savings goals the better. If you have trouble tracking your expenses and sticking to a budget, try using a free money-management app such as Mint. If you end up with money left over in your budget, consider investing in the future. There are many new companies that help automate this process and optimize your investments, such as Betterment. 2. Cut back on inessentials. In business school and then as a new MBA, you’re exposed to a lot of wealth. It can be tempting to want to join the party. But now is the time to buckle down and wait for the years when you have more disposable income....

These 6 Sloan Startups Are so MIT

When it comes to ground-breaking scientific discoveries and technological developments, MIT kills it. But the accolades in those areas sometimes might overshadow the fact that the Institute fosters stellar businesses, as well. Sloan is a big name among business schools, and its students have launched many a startup that are just so MIT. Let’s celebrate these Sloan startups: Here’s a list of some of the most interesting startups from the B school – both current student ventures, along with spin-outs. Insurify This Sloan spin-out is taking car insurance into the 21st Century. Insurify has already made waves with its auto insurance shopping platform, which includes a virtual insurance agent – Evia – who’s there to help. The venture secured $2 million in seed funding in January, so it’s off to a steady start. GoodSIRS The recent winner of MIT Sloan’s Healthcare Innovation Prize, GoodSIRS is trying to save millions of lives each year with its filtration treatment for sepsis. The common, fatal condition occurs when people’s bodies go into overdrive trying to fight an infection, causing organ failure. With GoodSIRS’ selective filtration technology, we’ll be able to remove the offending chemicals from the bloodstream and prevent deaths from sepsis. Gomango Here in the U.S., we walk into a grocery store, peruse the produce section and think nothing of it. In developing nations where refrigeration is lacking, a significant portion of food spoils before it makes it to market. Gomango is creating a network of rental cooling boxes in India that would let farmers prevent food spoilage, sell more at markets and even transport their products to areas further away to be more lucrative. EarID We love talking about what’s good and not good for your health, yet we know...

Prepare for Short Answer MBA Application Essay Questions...

Ten years ago, lengthy MBA essays were a staple of business school applications. Flash forward to today, and admissions departments worldwide have reduced the word count and number of essays candidates must tackle. Whether the influence is social media, with its condensed communication style, or simply that the admissions committee has grown weary of reading thousand-word essays from thousands of applicants, it seems short and sweet is here to stay. Many applicants struggle with short-answer essay questions because they feel like they cannot adequately convey everything they want the admissions committee to know in so few words. The challenge of these brief prompts is to give the admissions committee what they ask for while still providing a compelling snapshot of yourself. I always advise applicants to do two things as they work on their MBA essays: make sure to answer the question asked and spend a lot of time brainstorming up front. You would be amazed at how many applicants start to answer an essay prompt and veer off-subject entirely. With such a limited word count, even answering a “why” question with a “how” response will be a turnoff to the admissions officer reviewing your application. The brainstorming phase is the same whether you have a word count of 750 or 200. First, find a theme, or a couple of main points, you want to convey. Consider the essay set for each MBA application as a whole, and make sure your answers do not overlap but rather build upon each other. Then whittle away anything non-essential, and always avoid the passive voice as it eats up valuable space in your allotted word count. Whenever possible, share details that show a glimpse of your personal interests or something amazing that...

Read Like an MBA: Top 5 Books Ivy Leaguers Read in Business School...

Want to get an Ivy League MBA education without the six-figure cost? It’s simple: read like an MBA student! We dug into the best school’s required reading lists Take a look at what MBA seekers at America’s top Ivy League schools are reading. Harvard Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Robort Sutton and Huggy Rao “A great read that provides read, practical advice whether you’re a team of five or fifty thousand.” ––Lazlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations, Google In Scaling Up Excellence, bestselling author, Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague, Huggy Rao Sutton offer a comprehensive guide to management in a package of enticing stories, subtly supported by references to high-end research. Their personal history in the Silicon Valley and their global access to interesting organizations provides a relevant backdrop. The main theme is that, while many good practices exist in organizations, they either get lost or there are difficulties when attempts are made to spread them (scale them) across the organization. The breadth of this theme means that this book will provide value to anyone who would like to see organizations improve. The benefits are not limited by industry, functional area or organizational size. Stanford What books do alumni from the Stanford Graduate School of Business recommend? Here’s one: Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie “It was written by a guy who made Hallmark cards. It’s about maintaining creativity in a corporate structure.” ––Tristan Walker, founder of Walker & Company Any business can morph into a giant hairball, a tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems based on what worked in the past that can plunge it into mediocrity. Gordon MacKenzie...

Warren Buffett on the Importance of an MBA

In 2001, Warren Buffett was interviewed by the University of Nebraska Business Magazine with regards to his views on the importance of earning an MBA nowadays. His comments provide a wide view on knowledge, learning and, in his view, the correct attitude that we should have toward learning. “If you are interested in business, or likely to be in business, an MBA is very useful. But, what is really important is what you bring to a class in terms of being interested in the subject. If you view a course like accounting as a drudge and a requirement, you are missing the whole game. Any course can be exciting. Mastering accounting is like mastering a new language, it can be so much fun. The attitude should be one of discovery, that you are coming there and discovering. Accounting is the Rosetta Stone of business. Economics is fascinating, the first page of economics describes how mankind deals with insatiable wants and creates the systems to fulfill these wants. It’s great stuff. Really how the world works. Business is a subsection, a fairly understandable subsection, not like black holes, which are fairly hard to visualize, but business is everyday stuff and you are learning how the world works. You are 18-19 years old and learning about the world, understanding how this great world works. The GDP per capita in the 20th century increased 6 to 1. Think of that, six times. Why does that work here in the U.S., why doesn’t it work other places? The U.S. is a small part of the universe, but a very important part and understanding that and seeing everything else against that backdrop for the rest of your life is fabulous.” My favorite points from...

Porn star Alix Lynx with an MBA, living X-rated dream after quitting office job...

A high-achieving graduate has lifted the lid on why she turned her back on a promising career to pursue her dream of becoming a PORN mega-star. Alix Lynx worked hard to earn a degree in communications and then an MBA in digital marketing, and was rewarded with a string of office jobs. But the corporate world just wouldn’t do for the racy blonde, and after a stint doing webcam shows, she decided to carve out a career in porn. The 26-year-old says she first realised she wanted to be an X-rated movie star after watching a documentary about the industry. Read full story:...

Is Business School Worth the Money?

Over time, MBAs earn $1 million more than non-MBAs, says a new study. If you’re on the fence about whether to spend the time and money to pursue a graduate business degree, a new report from the Graduate Management Admission Council could help you decide—including what kind of program might give you the biggest returns. Based on a survey of 14,279 alumni of 275 MBA programs worldwide, the study says these MBAs reported base salaries that totaled $1 million more over the two decades following graduation than if they had not gone to B-school. GMAC’s calculations show that, even taking into account the opportunity cost of two years of lost pay, people who graduate from two-year, full-time MBA programs recoup their investment, on average, in three-and-a-half years. Can’t take two years away from your job (and spend an average of $105,000 in tuition, in addition to lost pay)? That’s not necessarily a problem since, the report says,“graduates with lower investment costs tend to recoup their expenses more quickly and show a larger ROI.” For instance, MBAs who got their degree part-time, at an average tuition cost of $25,000, took just two-and-a-half years to earn back their investment, as did executive MBA grads who paid roughly the same tuition. After five years, the two groups reported total ROIs (including pay increases minus the cost of their degrees) of 221% and 491%, respectively. By contrast, because their MBAs cost so much more, the full-time two-year students’ five-year ROI was 132%—still not too shabby—and climbed to 445% only after an average of 10 years. In all, 89% of the alums said their MBAs have proved “professionally rewarding,” and 9 out of 10 said they’d go to B-school if they had it to...

How an MBA Admissions Committee Decides

It’s not just GMAT scores any more. On a chilly winter day in Boston, the group is huddled in a windowless, nondescript room. Piled high on a side table is enough junk food—potato chips, popcorn and Oreo cookies—to put an extra five pounds on every person in the room. It’s evidence of the likelihood that the locked-door session will test everyone’s endurance. The seven people around the rectangular table in room 112G are enacting a scene that is playing out at business schools all over the world, as admission committees decide the fate of tens of thousands of applicants to their MBA programs. In this case, the group is the MBA admissions team at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. Led by Assistant Dean of Graduate Admissions Meredith Siegel, the seven members of the committee will present dozens of candidates today, mull over the pros and cons of each application, and ultimately decide whether to admit, reject, or waitlist an applicant. A Record $50 Million Gift For BU, this is an uplifting time. Less than a year ago, the school received a $50 million naming gift from alumnus and long-time retailing giant Allen Questrom and his wife, Kelli. The gift, the largest ever received by the university, is going toward the endowment of 10 faculty chairs and will result in a new graduate program facility. Ken Freeman, a former corporate executive who is now in his sixth year as dean, not only reeled in the unprecedented gift. He has also put new life into a school that for years competed neck-and-neck with Boston College behind the two giants of business education in town, Harvard and MIT. “We have basically turned everything over,” he says. “There is no aspect of...

World’s first smartphone-based MBA launched...

The London School of Marketing has launched the world’s first ever MBA that students can study on their smart phones. The UK based educator has invested in a unique interactive online learning platform. It allows its learners direct access to course tutors, all the essential books and learning materials they’ll need, via their mobile phone. There’s also a community forum where students can chat directly with other students studying on their course and thereby learn from each other. This innovative approach to education means its learners can study when and where they want without being tied to a time or location. Since its launch, hundreds of students have already signed up to use the technology with more expected to follow. The courses it offers via smart phone include an MBA in business studies, a Masters and two undergraduate courses in the same subject. Its professional marketing course can also be accessed via smart phones. These courses are proving popular with international business executives who prefer to study from their home country rather than live and study in the UK. CFO of London School of Marketing, Anton Dominique explains: “They can study at a time and place to suit them and we’ve adapted the technology we use to make that happen. Everyone has a smartphone now, so it makes sense to run courses which our students can access while they’re on the move… Read full story: Khaleej...

63 MBA Grads Raised $15bn In Venture Capital For Their $65bn ‘Unicorn’ startups...

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4 Questions to Ask at MBA Admissions Events

When it comes to applying to business school, connecting with a school’s admissions team can be a key part of the process. For prospective students, this connection often happens at admissions events. School representatives travel to Chicago, Denver and dozens of other cities to attend business school fairs where they can meet applicants. Aspiring MBAs can learn about curriculum offerings, class sizes and experiential learning, often without having to visit the school. For those who are able to travel, admissions staffers also host on-campus open houses throughout the year. While applicants can learn about a school online or through a brochure, there’s an advantage to attending one of these meetups. “The dialogue that occurs is often much richer if you are present with somebody in person,” says Kelly R. Wilson, executive director of masters admissions at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. “I can get a better sense for who a candidate is in person, I believe, than I can over the phone or via email.” Prospective students can also use these occasions to learn key tips about how to boost their applications. Applicants often have five-minute, one-on-one chats with a member of a program’s admissions team during school fairs and can use the time to learn how to improve their personal statements or other application components. Below, admissions experts outline four questions applicants should ask to make sure they’re selling themselves to schools in the best way. 1. What’s an appropriate length for a resume? Many MBA programs prefer applicants work for a few years before applying and like to see resumes with a certain look. “I would say no more than two pages for their resume,” says Stephan Kolodiy, a senior admissions officer for the business...

MBA by numbers: inside the $200.000 cost

When it comes to value for money, European MBA programmes outperform their North American counterparts. Nine out of 10 of the best value-for-money programmes in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking 2016 are in Europe, while 44 of the North American programmes are in the bottom 50. But what are the cost considerations that underpin such comparisons? A full-time MBA programme can be a mighty investment. Not only do most come with a hefty price tag but, unlike part-time or online MBAs, also bring an added penalty in lost salary, or opportunity cost. A full-time programme at a top 100 school costs on average just under $200,000, according to a survey of MBA students graduating in 2012, conducted as part of the FT’s 2016 rankings. This includes tuition, accommodation and day-to-day costs totalling $112,000, and an opportunity cost of $106,000. As for tuition, the 101 schools ranked by the FT in 2016 have average fees ranging from less than $30,000 for Birmingham Business School to around $135,000 for the top four US programmes: Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Columbia Business School. Data from the class of 2012 show that students paid tuition fees of $78,000 on average. Part of Europe’s value-for-money appeal boils down to course length. Full-time MBA programmes last about 18 months, but in Europe they are typically a year, or 10 months at Insead. Some North American programmes have one-year and two-year tracks, but most students opt for the longer version, which lasts on average 21 months… Read full story: Financial...

3 Ways to Sell Yourself With an MBA Resume

The MBA resume is a whole other animal from the standard curriculum vitae designed to land you a job. The resume you tailor specifically for business schools should offer a quick snapshot of your significant work experiences and accomplishments in three areas that showcase your MBA-relevant skills. • Leadership: Business schools want to see applicants who already have strong leadership skills. You’ll further groom your management abilities during your MBA program, but the admissions committee wants to know that the foundation is already there. Give evidence of when you united people behind a common goal, made use of other’s talents and skills, instilled a vision, challenged the status quo, identified a new problem or prioritized the needs of the organization above personal needs. If you formally manage one or more people, don’t leave that information out. Even if you supervise and mentor someone informally, that should go on the resume as well. If you have played a role in training peers, subordinates or even those senior to you (perhaps on a new type of software), include that on your resume. Anything that shows how you identified an opportunity and took initiative is a great thing to include. My client, George, was concerned because he did not have a title change throughout his four years at a defense contracting company. Because he worked in an engineering function, increase in responsibility was marked by a raise instead of a new title. My colleagues and I took a look at what George did outside of work to see where he could highlight a leadership role. George had participated in an annual charity bike ride for the past five years, and we suggested that he volunteer to coordinate the next ride. The event...

Can An MBA Change Lives? This Stanford AND Harvard Grad Thinks So...

Investing in a business education is a major undertaking, and applicants focus a lot of attention on the immediate return that a place in a top business school will achieve. Whether in the data provided by schools on the latest graduating class, or in media rankings such as Forbes and the FT, emphasis is on the financial return on investment – post-MBA salary, securing a position at McKinsey, Google or Goldman, etc. But an MBA can provide a lifelong return that goes far beyond the initial career success you might enjoy. You have a business skill set that helps you perform to the highest level, a network of talented high-achievers to support your future ambitions, and friendships that can last a lifetime. Studying at Harvard Business School or Stanford GSB is the dream of many young professionals, but there are a small handful of individuals that study at Harvard and Stanford. That is the case for Heriberto Diarte, who graduated with a Stanford MBA in 1998, and then completed the Harvard Kennedy Masters in Public Administration (MPA) a year later. He sat in on a number of classes at HBS during his time in Boston, providing him with the rare opportunity to compare the students, teaching styles and personalities of the schools. In this interview, Heriberto talks about how his Stanford and Harvard experiences have accompanied his international career path, and continue to provide a return on his investment fifteen years later, as his latest venture hereO brings a GPS Watch tracking device for young children to market. Matt Symonds: Did your business education prove to be a good investment? Heriberto Diarte: The irony is that I did not maximize my post-MBA compensation nor position. I graduated from Stanford...

Why an MBA may not be enough to get you the banking job you desire...

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, writes Derek Walker, an independent careers consultant, a former director of campus recruitment at Barclays, and a former director of staffing for the investment bank Merrill Lynch. In 2008, Lehman Brothers’ many investment banks were amongst the top hirers of MBAs globally. Eight years on, and the picture is very different. Now consultancies have taken over as main employers. 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 as few as 25 people. Ten years ago, banks often hired MBA associates into IBD – that means M&A and corporate finance roles – and also into sales and trading, equity research, private banking and wealth management. Now, most MBAs are mainly hired into IBD. Trading floors rather focus on students from financial masters programmes and undergrads. If you think you have a strong academic and professional background and still want to go into banking, Walker suggests a number of areas where to put the focus of an application: Demonstrate some understanding of financial modelling. If you aspire to work in banking after the course is over, you really need to attend some extra-curricular or online modelling classes while you’re studying. You need to know about the firm and the deals they’ve been doing – and be able to discuss market reaction to the aspects of the firm’s...

Elite MBA Students Are Spurning McKinsey, Bain For Freelance Consulting Sites...

An MBA job at McKinsey & Co or BCG was once the pinnacle for MBA students. But for graduates of elite schools like Harvard, Stanford or Wharton, freelance consulting is increasing alluring. As the rise of so-called unicorn companies like Uber or Airbnb — valued above a billion dollars — has spurred the “gig economy”, for a growing number of MBAs, the flexibility of short-term projects trumps the prestige of Bain & Co, et al. Harvard MBA Marta Mussacaleca worked at McKinsey and BCG before business school, but turned to HourlyNerd, a freelance consultancy site, to earn cash during the two-year degree. Some projects were more enjoyable than at established firms. “They have pushed me to become more adventurous,” she says. “Not having an evaluation committee scrutinizing your every move frees up creativity. I basically get to be my own consulting firm and am exposed to every single element in the process.”…Read full story:...