Social Media Skills a Must for MBAs, Survey Says...

Students and applicants live and breathe through social media If you think social media is primarily good for reconnecting with long-lost friends from high school or stalking celebrities to find out what they had for breakfast, think again. Now more than ever, M.B.A. students and applicants live and breathe through social media, a new online survey reveals. And that level of social media use is a good thing, considering the growing demand in the business world for employees with honed social media skills. After polling hundreds of both prospective and current b-school students, The MBA Tour found that 85 percent of potential students worldwide say they use social media sites to research their top school choices. This is higher than the 71 percent of students already enrolled who reported using social media for their school research, suggesting a massive upward trend is afoot. Although most elite business schools use Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and LinkedIn as part of their outreach strategy to potential applicants, it appears their efforts haven’t quite hit the mark. Approximately 14 percent of would-be students reported outright disappointment with their potential schools’ use of social media tools, or, while acknowledging that the schools had made an effort, 63 percent were left wanting more. For current students or graduates, 55 percent felt the social media options and subsequent classes were either “not up to par with the growing industry” (17.7 percent) or simply weren’t provided (37.7 percent). Additionally, 99 percent of students researching business schools reported social media was either a “necessity in every field of study” (51.7 percent) or “somewhat important dependent on the field of study” (47.6 percent)…Read full...

How to woo the MBA admissions committee

What do admissions committees look for in an MBA candidate? What do admissions committees look for in an MBA candidate? The answer is as varied as the motivations of the applicants and the many flavours of MBA degrees that now make up part of the Canadian business school landscape. When it comes to gaining entry, previous academic performance and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores are critical. “We look for a solid B in the final two years of an undergraduate degree and we have minimum required scores on both the quantitative and verbal sections of the GMAT,” says Isabella Piatek, manager MBA programs at the DeGroote School of Business. That said, there are other qualities that can help sway the decision. “We look for a well rounded candidate to bring a diverse set of experiences, who can communicate well, has passion and is engaged,” says Ms. Piatek. One of the key areas of focus for Brock University is fit, says Shari Sekel, director of graduate programs for the university’s faculty of business. “We are trying to make sure that what a student is trying to achieve with their MBA is something our program is capable of delivering. Not all MBA programs are alike. There are similarities, but they all have different specializations, styles of learn-ing, opportunities, extra-curricular activities. We want to make sure there is a good fit between the expectations of the student and the realities of our program.”…Read full...

Russian MBA: playing by the rules and not.

Independent rating of Russian business-schools “Exclusive Personnel” business publication represents its own independent rating of Russian business-schools. 70 educational establishments, where managers and entrepreneurs comprehend higher mathematics and acquire an MBA degree, participated in the rating. The structure of Western business is such that only people with an MBA degree can occupy positions of a certain level. But an MBA degree in Russia is optional and often criticized as it does not guarantee career take off or rapid salary increase. Natalya Bukhshtaber, Head of department of Higher School of Business (Moscow State University) lists the complaints of business companies’ representatives: “You have to teach business school graduates to work. They wait for a hint and do not take responsibility. They cannot assess a situation critically and see the full picture. Their knowledge outdates quickly and can become inadequate.”…Read full...

The MBA’s new dawn

East’s brightest and best opt for study closer to home The balance of world economic power is shifting east, and the potential impact on business education is huge. Though the Graduate Management Admissions Council reports that candidates from Asia Pacific make up 57% of the applicant pool to U.S. two-year M.B.A. programs, the heavy flow of applicants to schools in Europe and North America may drop off as the East’s brightest and best opt for study closer to home, and case studies about Asian companies become more relevant than those about their Western peers. Which raises the question whether the balance of world intellectual power may also be shifting. And whether the future business school of choice may not be in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania or Barcelona but in Shanghai, Hyderabd or Singapore. As reflected in the media business school rankings, the Asian M.B.A. is on the rise. In 2011 there are eight schools that feature in the top 100 business school rankings of the Financial Times, up from only three schools four years ago. The likes of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), the Indian School of Business (ISB), China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and Singapore’s Nanyang and National University of Singapore (NUS) and are fast on the heels of the top M.B.A. programs of North America and Europe for a position at the top table. It is a little over one hundred years since the Harvard Business School began its M.B.A. program – are we set to see a comparable Asian champion in the next ten? Demand is certainly on the rise. Score reports for the GMAT, the Graduate Management Admissions Test used by business schools as part of the candidate selection process, indicate that in...

The Bargain MBA

You can still go to Asia for a bargain MBA Not long ago I wrote about a recent graduate who had cut her college costs in half by going to another country. (See: “Royal College Bargain”) Ever since then, I’ve wondered why so many American college students stay here and pay so much. Others are wondering the same thing ” as this blogger put it, going abroad is “a hell of a lot cheaper, and you don’t emerge deep in debt like you would back home.” But if you’ve stayed here, that’s fine. You can still go to Asia for a bargain MBA. Business students, of all students, should realize that competition is global, even in education. On top of that, they have a strong incentive to shop around because MBAs cost a fortune. The math is striking: Duke University’s MBA program is ranked 20th in the world on the Financial Times’ list of the best business schools. It takes two years and roughly $100,000 to get a degree, although that’s just for tuition, not housing or books. The University of Michigan’s business school is ranked 24th in the world and takes a similar amount – out-of-state students will pay $105,888 for two years there. Books and other expenses could add another $41,000. Some other top U.S. schools cost even more. The University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Northwestern, Dartmouth, University of Chicago and MIT all charge higher tuition, the Michigan representative cheerfully told me. But the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India costs $45,750, which includes housing and all other expenses. Plus it takes one year of your life, not two, and is ranked 13th in the world. To state the obvious, that means you pay half...

Tweets, Plays Well with Others: A Perfect MBA Candidate...

Get to the point and make it interesting. Oh, that the business world were more like that. Now, some graduate schools are aiming for just such a goal” at least in the applications process for their M.B.A. programs. Columbia Business School this year is asking applicants to respond in no more than 200 characters to the following question: “What is your post-M.B.A. professional goal?” (The answer would be shorter than the length of this paragraph.) Admissions officers review their application processes regularly, but have picked up the pace in recent years as they seek more creative responses via essays, PowerPoint presentations, Twitter and even in-person. The hope is that these new components to the application process will help steer prospective students away from trying to anticipate what they think business schools want to hear, and will force those students out of their comfort zone. Admissions officers say they are looking for more authenticity and honesty, since essays can be carefully crafted, often with help from a professional M.B.A. admissions consultant. Beginning this winter, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School will invite a random sampling of M.B.A. applicants to participate in a staff-moderated on-campus group discussion with fellow applicants. They will be encouraged to discuss and debate current topics in business, as chosen by the school. The method isn’t much different from a preschool screening, when a group of children are observed on the playground to see who plays nicely. Ankur Kumar, director of M.B.A. admissions and financial aid at Wharton, said the purpose is to give applicants “a chance to demonstrate, not just talk about” their critical thinking skills and intellectual curiosity. Though this year’s discussions won’t count toward the admission decision, if the pilot goes well, the exercise...