2017 MBA Application Trends

2017 MBA Application Trends

As the 2017 application season gets off to a start with school package releases, it’s a good idea to take a look at some recent trends in b-school application world before you dive in.  Make sure you consider these subtle but important changes before you undertake your application process...

Who is Reading Your B-school Application?

Who is Reading Your B-school Application?

One mistake applicants often make is to misunderstand their audience.  When crafting a winning MBA application package there is much to consider, but how much thought have you given to who will actually read your essays?  Who is analyzing your resume? Common sense may dictate that an essay about going to a top MBA program should be crafted for an MBA crowd, but did you know that most essay readers at the top schools never attended an MBA program and don’t have an MBA themselves?  Remembering this in the application process can help you communicate your story in a much more effective way to the adcom.   Read on for tips…

Where Should You Live During B-School

Where Should You Live During B-School

Ok so there’s lots to talk this time of year regarding school selection, application strategy, essay writing, recommendations, and resumes, but let’s daydream for a minute that you have been accepted into your school of choice.  Have you considered yet how you will make the move to business school and where you will live?  It’s not a bad idea to start thinking about this lifestyle choice early in the process. 

The MBA Round 2 Advantage

The MBA Round 2 Advantage

It's the time of year where I start having the "Round 2 conversation" a lot with individual clients, so I thought I'd once again take it out wide.  Basically, the idea is that Round 2 might be offering a slight advantage, based on theories of market inefficiencies and so forth.  For years, I would say the prevailing belief is that Round 1 is the best round in which to apply to business and while there is no hard-core evidence to suggest otherwise, some common sense and deduction may point to a different result.  So let's quickly run this down. 

How Good is Your MBA Faculty?

How Good is Your MBA Faculty?

There are plenty of criteria you should be considering when making the decision on where to apply for b-school, but it is always fascinating to hear what clients prioritize in this process.   While in many cases, it becomes like splitting hairs to differentiate amongst schools in the areas of course offerings or job availability at graduation, there are other areas where schools actually begin to look quite different.  One question we rarely hear from prospective applicants is “How good is my target school’s faculty?”  Not asking this could be the biggest mistake you make when choosing where you do your MBA.

Analyzing an MBA as an Investment

Analyzing an MBA as an Investment

Other than buying a house, there is likely no other expense in your life as substantial as graduate school.  Most MBA hopefuls dive headlong into the opportunity without much thought about the financials, since they know the utility and opportunity they will receive generally outweigh the fiscal burden.  Coupled with the ready availability of student loans (some schools even offer their own loans), committing to a six figure graduate business education can be as simple as signing on the line that this dotted.  But have you analyzed the decision like you would any other investment?

Should I Work While Getting an MBA

Should I Work While Getting an MBA

For most applicants, the thought of quitting a well-paying job and committing to full time graduate school is a scary one indeed.  Especially if you have spent a little too much on Starbucks and Spotify since graduating college, you may find yourself a little short on cash—and it takes a heck of a lot of cash to pay for an MBA.  With price tags more than $120,000 in most cases, the thought of continuing to work in some way while embarking on an MBA program might be tempting.  Not so fast, type-A grasshopper.

The MBA Facilities Arms Race

The MBA Facilities Arms Race

In the ever-increasing competition amongst the world’s top business schools, there are several ways each school tries to stand out from the crowd.  For the longest time, the best schools could rely on reputation alone, and the flood of top students matriculating at these schools coupled with the incredible opportunities for graduates with top firms on the backend made for a nearly permanent lofty position in the rankings tables.  As the demand for the MBA heated up, however, and the philanthropic investment in these schools climbed, each program found itself with plenty of money in their endowment pool to plow back into the program.  What has resulted is a facilities arms race that now extends well beyond the top ten or twenty business schools. 

Should You Care That an MBA Program is Good at Marketing Itself?

Should You Care That an MBA Program is Good at Marketing Itself?

This post is going to feel like its about Wharton, but its not - not really.  I'm prompted to write it because of Wharton, but it is about a larger issue, which is whether or not you should have a takeaway when you see that an MBA program is going all in on its marketing.  Should you read into it or ignore it?  And if you do search out some meaning, is it is good or bad thing when a business school suddenly seems to have hired a new marketing whiz who knows how to game the headlines?  Let's dive in. 

The Real Cost of Going Back For Your MBA

The Real Cost of Going Back For Your MBA

For most young professionals considering an MBA, the decision to go back is an easy one.  Whether you are stalling out in your current career or are progressing so rapidly, you can hardly be stopped, the appeal of a prestigious MBA degree can be almost too alluring to resist in order to boost the earnings trajectory of your financial future.  But at what cost?

The Part time-Full time MBA Jobs Battle

The Part time-Full time MBA Jobs Battle

One of the main challenges at the schools with both part time and full time programs has nothing to do with rankings, but rather with job placement.  Getting your MBA is mostly about landing that dream job at the end, and the last thing a graduating MBA needs to worry about is whether or not they will be able to land one.  But this can sometimes be exactly the challenge at schools with large part time programs.   In fact, since these schools often have a far larger part time program than their full time program, there is sometimes a glut of graduating MBAs at these schools who are competing against each other for jobs from both tracks.

How to Tackle the HBS Joint Degree Essay

One thing that seems to be on the rise in our little corner of the academic world is an interest in joint degree programs, be it combining an MBA with a policy program, a more niche degree (such as a masters in something very quantitative), or the tried-and-true JD-MBA, there has been a push to fuse a business education with “something else.”  This is especially true at Harvard, where HBS is always a powerful draw for our clients, but also boasts Harvard Law and the Kennedy School, creating truly dynamic and elite pathways for students seeking a joint-degree program. 

MBA Networking Tips

MBA Networking Tips

We have established that MBA networking should begin well before business school and that some schools have better networking than others.  What we haven’t really covered yet, are the nuts and bolts of networking and how you go about doing it effectively.  Below is a baker’s dozen tips for building a network which will pay dividends as you apply to business school, as you attend business school and as you dive into your post MBA career…

The Value of Your Unique Perspective in MBA Applications

The Value of Your Unique Perspective in MBA Applications

I was working on our Michigan Ross Strategy Memo over the weekend, when it occurred to me just how overlooked a "unique perspective" is when it comes to MBA applications.  Even here at Amerasia, where we work hard to push our clients away from thinking in terms of "impress the reader" and towards "connect with the reader," we sometimes lose sight of how just what an easy and effective way that can be to frame introspective writing.  Because Michigan Ross has the MAP program and everything funnels towards what perspective you bring to the class, it became a good reminder and something that felt worthy of passing along. 

RANKINGS: BEST MBA PROGRAMS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA JOBS (Updated for 2017) - UCLA ANDERSON & NYU STERN

RANKINGS: BEST MBA PROGRAMS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA JOBS (Updated for 2017) - UCLA ANDERSON & NYU STERN

For the third year in a row, UCLA Anderson comes out on top when it comes to sending MBA graduates (as a percentage of all graduates in 2016) back into the entertainment & media industries. 

NYU Stern remains a respectable 2nd, maintaining its spot since our last entertainment & media career ranking. No surprises here.

MIT Sloan now leap frogs into 3rd place from its prior 4th place ranking. This is a bit of addition by subtraction. Last time around MIT Sloan had 4.3% of their MBA graduates enter the entertainment & media field. This time it was only 3.6%.

Wharton moves into 4th place from 7th, growing their percentage from 2.4% to 3.2%. 

The b-school Before and After Paradigm

The b-school Before and After Paradigm

We are often reminded (and rightly so on the one hand) that finding a common thread in our careers is an important step in convincing the admissions committees you have been progressively responsible and focused, and have not just meandered through your professional life. 

While finding that common thread is indeed a critical exercise to not only ensure you are ready for the b-school application process, but also to judge whether or not you have a solid vision for your future, a trap that often ensnares b-school applicants and alumni alike is worrying too much about the logical progression of your career trajectory from a narrative point of view.  Applicants often become distracted or obsessed about finding this “theme” in their careers to the point that they force a round peg into a square hole just to try and make everything connect.

How Good is Your Target School's MBA Network?

How Good is Your Target School's MBA Network?

A business school’s network is usually one of the top reasons someone chooses an MBA program.  Leveraging both the b-school and also other alumni from a particular school can pay dividends when advancing your post-MBA career, so wisely considering which school will meet your needs in that area is a critical component of the b-school selection process. 

Don't Wait for B-School to Start Networking

Don't Wait for B-School to Start Networking

One of the best payoffs for attending a good MBA program is the instant network you receive around the world through all the living alumni from your school.  You not only obtain access to alumni from the b-school, but also to undergraduate alumni as well.  This network can benefit you well beyond landing your first job or two, and will pay dividends throughout your entire career. 

Keeping a Journal for MBA Applicants

Keeping a Journal for MBA Applicants

We can all likely remember our high school days when our English or Lit teacher required us to keep a journal.  The painstaking process of writing down what you did every day typically found everyone frantically making up journal entries the night before it was due, since most had bypassed the daily ritual in favor of the other distractions of youth.  Your English teacher was on to something, however, and for those who are disciplined enough to keep a daily log of your thoughts and adventures can find it easier to lay the introspective groundwork that is required for a good MBA application.  Why?

What Flavor MBA Suits You?

What Flavor MBA Suits You?

The MBA degree has evolved over the years into a multi-faceted graduate degree option that comes in several different flavors.  This means that before you apply, you must first decide which flavor suits you best.