Articles from Find-MBA.com

Acing the MBA Admissions Essay

If you’re working on an essay for an MBA program this application season, here’s one big tip: do not mention Hitler when you’re writing about leadership. Julie Barefoot, admissions director at Emory’s Goizueta Business School, said that receiving a leadership essay about Hitler was the most egregious mistake she ever saw in an MBA application essay. “It showed horrible judgment,” Barefoot says. “Inappropriate on every level.” Most MBA applicants probably know not to make this mistake–and if they didn’t know before, they do now. But the Hitler essay mistake is a manifestation of a problem that admissions directors say they see on a smaller scale with many applicants’ essays: poor judgment. “The jobs that our MBA students are getting are very meaningful jobs. These are big jobs. They certainly can affect or impact people’s lives,” Barefoot says. “[Therefore we’re looking for] good judgment, strong analytical skills. These are all things we look for in an application. Not all of those are characteristics you can discern in an essay, but a lot of them you can.” An essay is just one part of an MBA application, alongside letters of recommendation, GMAT scores, resumes, work experience and GPAs. Essays can ask applicants to address a variety of topics, including their post-business school plans, their greatest achievements, and their role models. But all admissions essays have one thing in common: they present an opportunity for students to inject a personal flair into the impersonal numbers and lists of internships that comprise the rest of an application. Schools therefore use the essays to assess candidates’ intangible qualities, such as whether they will participate well in class, interact positively with professors, impress recruiters and ultimately enhance the schools’ reputation and brand when they join...

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...

How to Get an MBA Scholarship

Some tips on how to increase your chances for getting more money A big question on the mind of many an MBA applicant: “How do I get a scholarship?” “It’s a question that everybody asks,” says Garry Cooke, assistant dean for student recruitment at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Business Administration (UIC). Indeed, an MBA is expensive, and when you include living expenses and the opportunity cost of taking a year or two off from work, the grand total for getting the degree might seem astronomical. Fortunately for many cash-strapped applicants, many business schools tend to award scholarships to promising MBA applicants. This year, for instance, China’s CEIBS awarded around 12 million yuan (around 1.85 million USD) in merit scholarships, which was distributed to some 80 students, covering between 20 to 80 percent of tuition costs for each recipient. At NYU’s Stern School of Business, around 20 percent of all admitted students receive merit-based scholarships, the majority of which are awards for either full tuition or half tuition. Merit scholarships are just that: they’re given out based on how well an applicant has done, often in past academic and work endeavors. “These are awarded based on applicants’ academic and professional achievements, personal accomplishments, interview performance and potential contributions” to the MBA class, according to Yvonne Li, the director of admissions and career services at CEIBS. How do business schools make these decisions? In terms of potential contributions to an MBA class, “work experience is very important,” says Christine Cordt, MBA marketing manager at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, since a student with a strong background will be able to bring a lot to the table during class discussions. Additionally, according to Cordt, when awarding...

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...