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Fridays from the Frontline: It was the best/worst of times

This week in the business school blogosphere, MBA students travel the world and embark on promising business ventures, while applicants continue wading through the complex and often mysterious process of applying to business school.

Many applicants are doling out advice about how to navigate the MBA admissions game. First, Texaswannabecali recommends getting “behind the scenes info” on your target schools by contacting alumni, current students, and visiting campus. She also stresses the importance of researching your schools before visiting: “Don’t you just hate the person who asks a question in class that the teacher LITERALLY just answered 3 seconds ago? Yeah, don’t be that person.” 

Similarly, Thebumpyroadtoanmba suggests keeping tabs on your target schools by subscribing to their Instragram, Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Switching gears to the essay section, Naijambagal recommends linking your past experiences to your future goals and articulating clear career plans, even if you are actually unsure of what you want to do. On the other hand, Matt Harris says you should tell a memorable story, and craft clear, concise answers to interview questions.

When it comes to the GMAT, Efessays gives a virtual lesson on the difference between combinations and permutations. He also presents two real-life GMAT questions, including the following:

A fraternity needs three seniors and two juniors to go on a beer raid. If the frat has six seniors and five juniors, then how many different teams can be formed?

Visit his page to check your answer and learn how to do the calculation.

On the subject of recommendations, Scottgduncan reminds us that recommenders often procrastinate and need direction on what they should write. In fact, he advises applicants to read over their recommendations to suggest revisions.

Lastly, Pullingthatmbatrigger addresses the issue of school selection. She explains how she shaved down her list of target business schools by methodically ranking them on a number of factors, including prestige, acceptance rate, location and fit. In addition, she lays out her approach to the application process, which involves applying to four schools during round 1. If none of them accept her, then she plans to wait until next year in order to improve her qualifications.

In contrast, current business school students are relishing their day in the sun. After getting into the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell, Hamm0 decided to quit his job. Since then he has been enjoying the luxury of “funemployment,” which includes golfing, spending time with friends, and studying for the upcoming school year. He highly recommends taking time off before attending business school.

Meanwhile, Haas students are taking International Business Development trips to Kenya, Kazakhstan and many other locations around the world. One team in Moscow found “warm pretzels waiting for them” in a business meeting. Also, at one point during this meeting, “the CEO left, returned with a toolbox, and repaired a malfunctioning air-conditioner – all without stopping the conversation!”

Other MBA students are rethinking their career goals. After working as an engineer at Mercedes for seven years, Victoria Diederichs decided to attend Said Business School with the aim of climbing the corporate ladder. Then, her Entrepreneur Project team launched SHUFFLE, a platform that connects artists with non-traditional display spaces like cafes and pop-up venues. Now, Victoria proudly considers herself an entrepreneur.

Likewise, after working as an engineer at NASA for six years, Tyler-Blair Sheppard came to Said Business School, where his Strategic Consulting Project recommended prices for a cashless payment service called Zoona. This involved studying the costs of using cash payments within a single company, Zambian Breweries. Tyler is also reconsidering his career plans in light of this experience.

In other news, Trevor McKinnon walks us through a typical day at Fuqua, which includes making breakfast for his wife and daughter, discussing socioeconomic trends in China and Brazil, meeting with other officers in the Latter-Day Saints Student Association, and calling his first-year “Fuqua buddy.”

Meanwhile Missionm argues that some industries like consulting are very open to international students, while others like finance and marketing are relatively closed.

Finally, Sarahmbajourney discusses how she copes with dyslexia at business school. This includes taking frequent breaks, experimenting with multiple teaching styles and focusing on one thing at a time rather than multitasking.

That’s everything for this week. Good luck with your applications, and be sure to tune in next week for more news from the business school blogosphere!


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