Thursday, May 30, 2013

The trap of the short-term career goal

In my last post I discussed the pitfalls applicants face when discussing long-term goals.  In this post I will be focusing on the short-term goal.

I recently had drinks with a former co-worker.  She wanted to discuss MBA applications since she will be applying this coming year.  She is someone who has the credentials and background to get into a great school, but like many others new to the process, she does not yet have a clear idea of what she wants to do right after an MBA.  Although she knows what she wants to do long-term, the notion of figuring out the job she wants post-MBA is still foreign to her.  I suspect many are in the same shoes, so I want to lay forth some general guidelines when tackling this in the essays and interviews. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

The trap of the long-term career goal

Pretty much every school asks some variation of this standard MBA question:  "What are your short and long-term career goals and how will school "X" help you achieve it?"  I think a lot of applicants, myself included, make the mistake of taking the question quite too literally, especially as it pertains to addressing the long-term goal.  Let me explain what I mean.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Compensation Problem

There is perhaps no question on the MBA application I hate answering more than telling schools my precise base salary+bonus.  At a basic level, I feel like my privacy is being undermined.  But there is also a far deeper concern as it relates to admissions.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Exploring Yale SOM

I had previously ruled out Yale SOM from my list of schools, but I'm now seriously taking a look at it.  Although one of the youngest b-schools in the country, Yale has some serious things going for it. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Choosing an admissions consultant

I am generally quite skeptical of admissions consultants and the entire business as a whole.  My reasons for this are many, and I'm not going to get into that here.  I used a consultant the first time I applied to b-schools, and it was an utter debacle. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The potential risks of working for a startup

As anyone can imagine, working for a startup has huge risks:  big upside but also big downside.  Due to its very nature, no one can know for sure how successful a startup will be; much of it depends on a combination of quality of the product, execution, market forces, and luck.  There is also risks as it pertains to MBA admissions.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why a b-school's prestige matters so much

When I got rejected from the top programs this year, a bunch of people told me that I should apply to lower ranked schools as well and expand my target list.  Although they certainly mean well, this is something I thought about extensively and decided against doing.  This upcoming year I will probably add 2 schools that are slightly lower, but aside from that I am committed to my core target programs.  Why am I doing this?  Some think I'm being downright stubborn or that my ego won't let me go anywhere else.  That is certainly not the case.  In this post, I want to outline the reasons why a b-school's prestige matters so much to me.  Although certain specifics of my reasons may not apply to others, I do think the general principles outlined here could apply to all MBA applicants.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Further clarification on the masters program

Since getting admitted to the finance masters program, I have been doing tons of research and talking to alums about the program.  It's pretty interesting how much more access I have as an admit as opposed to a prospective. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Accepted at a top finance masters program

I was recently accepted at a top finance masters program.  The admissions director called to congratulate me; however, I felt nothing.  I had to fake being excited, and the conversation was rather awkward.  I had applied to the program as a "hedge" in case nothing else worked out, hence my feeling of apathy.  If I had gotten into a top MBA program, there is no doubt that I would have gone nuts during the phone call with admissions, and I would have wept tears of joy.  Alas, that was not to be this year, but the fight goes on!