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Inside the MBA: The Stereotypes

Part of the saga to enter in an MBA is to choose the right school. It may seem stupid, after all, only the fact to indulge in one of 10, 20 or even 30 best business schools in the world is already of good size, but the truth is that each school has a profile. And apply to a that has nothing to do with you can mean to not be accepted.

Therefore, do not spend your time for nothing. Talk with students, ex-students, staff, teachers, or whether, with all the people possible who have had or still have some kind of experience with the school. The majority of them organizes in-person events in Brazil. It is a great opportunity to better understand your proposals. A consultant can also help you, as well as the good old internet, but nothing replaces the personal contact. If you can, pack your bags and go visit them. Just do not forget to check before if your trip does not coincide with the holiday period.As mentioned in the previous post, I have travelled just in the summer holidays in 2011 and the experience was not as rich as to the visits that I did in the following years.

Inside the MBA: The Stereotypes

After choosing the schools, it also reflects on the amount of applications that are willing to do. I did nine and I do not recommend it to anyone. Many of the schools have not had my profile and, to make matters worse, in the rush I ended up trying to reuse some essays, and I made confusion. In one of the essays for Insead, I wrote that I would love to do the summer internship in an area different from mine. The problem is that Insead lasts 10 months and has no probationary period for those entering in September.The fault does not he harmed me, but I know a lot of people that have made mistakes worse, as they leave the name of a school on the application of the other and gave evil, so the best thing is to prevent silly things like this commit to the application as a whole. One of the golden rules for a good application is always to have in mind that the schools want to believe that they are your first choice, even knowing that this often is not true.

This is also one of the main tips for the interviews. With the exception of Kellogg, who interview all over the world, business schools make a previous selection and choose only a part of the candidates to interview. The interview, or in the case of Wharton, group dynamic, it is a kind of second phase. I was interviewed by four schools – Ross, Insead, Stanford and Kellogg. In all of them, I focused on convince my interlocutors that I was passionate about school.No college wants to invite a student that will end up going to another, because they are ranqueadas by the number of students who accept your invitation.

Passed the interview, all that remains is to wait. The answer comes within one or two months. A period of anxiety, controlled in my case with intense work to apply to other MBAs. The schools usually have three periods of application. The recommendation for foreigners is to apply in the first or in the second round. The good side of the divide their applications in these two rounds is that you can devote to the second round with more tranquility, so if you have already had positive responses in the first. The bad thing is that you already know that going for the MBA, but still don't know where. Can also occur of you do not pass on any of your choices in the first round. In this case, do not be insecure, learn from the mistakes of the first, and strive even more in the second.

My “marathon” of applications gave good results. I was accepted in three MBAs – Ross, Insead, and Kellogg – and in Sloan Stanford, a course that is shorter than the MBA traditional and geared for executives with more than 10 years of career. Ross was the only positive response in the first round. Then, in the second, came to Stanford, Insead, and finally Kellogg. The decision was not difficult. Insead and Stanford had a duration of one year and I wanted two to have the opportunity to meet other business areas with more depth.And, although Kellogg and Ross have a similar profile, Kellogg has a worldwide reputation in marketing and building reputation, area in which I work. Also I identified a lot with the students. Are communicative and somewhat hyperactive. In fact, one of the jokes that I heard the other day of a student of the Wharton school is recognized for grooming great executives for the financial markets, is that my colleagues will listen very in Kellogg phrases such as: “math is not my forte.”

Know thyself

I know that all these jokes are just stereotypes, but the little that I saw until now, schools have erred very little in the choice of the allowed. So, a good path for you that is beginning is to know very well what your own profile and highlight in all your material – essays, resume, interview – the attributes and stories that show your fit with the school. You can start by trying to imagine their answers to the questions below. Despite the ironic tone, the satire says a lot about the style of business schools.

Harvard: Of which Fortune 1000 company are you going to become the CEO and why would you pick that company?

Wharton: Of which Fortune 1000 company are you going to become the CFO and why would you pick that company?

MIT: Draw an ASCII picture of your favorite Lord of the Rings character and describe three lessons that today's business leaders can learn from Lord Of The Rings.

Stanford: Why? (100,000 words recommended)

Chicago Booth: Provide a detailed statistical analysis of why Chicago Booth is #1 in BWeek and never higher than #3 in USNews. Do the math in your head.

NYU: How badly do you need a vacation from your ibanking job, and what makes you think you will be able to get back into ibanking upon graduation?

Yale SOM: Which nonprofit organization do you plan to run, and what about running a nonprofit makes you feel important?

Columbia: In your opinion, what is the best way to sabotage the Whartonian CFO of your company and become CFO?

UC Berkeley Haas: What makes a hippie like you think you can succeed in business? Use the words ‘sustainable’ and ‘green’ at least twice in your response.

Cornell Johnson: Describe how awesome being an Ivy Leaguer would make you feel.

UVA Darden: How badly do you want your ass to be kicked by our professors on a scale of 9 to 10?

Notre Dame: Describe how awesome Irish Football is, and list ten ways we can make our MBA program as well-known as our NFL training program.

London Business School: Answer NYU's essay and use the find/replace function to replace all ‘NYU’ with ‘LBS’, ‘New York’ with ‘London’ and ‘program’ with ‘programme’.

Wash U Olin: How early are you willing to wake up to serve coffee to our medical students?

UNC Kenan-Flagler: See Notre Dame but replace Irish Football with Tar Heel basketball, and NFL with NBA.

U of Phx (pick 2 of 4): When your boss finds out you have enrolled here, how loudly will he/she laugh? Have you ever wasted a lot of money on something useless before? Would you be willing to appear on the billboard or would you rather keep your enrollment a secret? What is 5+8?

Tuck: Do you remember summer camp? How amazing was that!?!? Don't you wish you could go to camp for 21 months? Attach the letter you wrote to your parents in fifth grade summer camp explaining how awesome it was.

UMich Ross: What was the craziest thing you did while tailgating during undergrad, and are you prepared to tailgate like a pro again? In your essaym try to include the words moonshine, goat, and anus.

Kellogg: Explain why you think good quantitative skills are not required in the business and discuss the importance of teamwork in situations in which no one is skilled enough to do the job by himself?

UCLA Anderson: Have you seen that show “The Hills?” Isn't it amazing? Discuss your strategies for getting into clubs to party with the cast of “The Hills” so you can feel important.

Duke Fuqua: What are your short-term and long-term career goals? Begin your essay with the sentence, “My career goal is to provide investment and business advice to the much more successful graduates of the Duke Law and Medical Schools.”

Carnegie Mellon Tepper: Draw an ASCII picture of your favorite MIT student and list three things that business leaders can learn from MIT.

INSEAD: List the number of languages in which you are fluent, and explain how knowing a bunch of languages and studying in one of the world's slowest economies for ten months will make you an effective business leader.

CEIBS: Would you rather be upper middle class in the US, or rich in China? Pleeeeeeeease say the rich in China!





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