Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Acceptance Rates At The P&Q Top 50 MBA Programs

Acceptance Rates At Top 50 MBA Programs

An MBA program’s acceptance rate is very important. The percentage of applicants who successfully gain admission to a school gives others some idea of their chances of getting in, and for the schools, the level exclusivity — or lack of it — is an important signal of their culture and the level of talent they attract. The more selective a school, the more highly talented students it draws in, which allows it to be more selective — and the virtuous cycle continues.


No. 1 Wharton (19.2% acceptance rate)  
No. 2 Harvard (11%) 
No. 3 Stanford (6%) 


For years now, acceptance rates for the most elite programs have been falling.  

1. Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, and MIT Sloan School of Management are still the three hardest schools to get into, in that order.
2. They are harder than a year (or five years) ago. 
3. Acceptance rates fell or remained the same at 14 of the top 20 MBA programs, and where they rose, they rose only by an average of 1.1%. 
4. There is leveling-off in the size of the applicant pool. 
- Enrollment for 2017 was 104,704 total applications to the top 49 business schools in 2017, only a 0.82% rise from the year before.



The biggest drop in the acceptance rate of any school was at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, which cut its rate 14% to 31.2%. Last year, No. 31 Carlson saw a jump in applications to 665 from 606, but admitted far fewer students — 208 compared to 274 in 2016 — and enrolled fewer, too: 88, compared to 104. In so doing, however, the school saw its yield rise more than five points, to 42.3%.


No. 49 Rutgers Business School of Newark and New Brunswick also shaved some points off its acceptance percentage, dropping 8.5% to 36.6%. But Rutgers enrolled only 49 students last year after having 76 in 2016, despite a jump in applications (from 377 to 443), and its yield fell by 14.5% to a paltry 30.2%, lowest of any school in the top 50.

Back at the top, seven of the 10 most elite MBA programs accept fewer than 20% of applicants. Applications are up year-over-year at all but one, No. 7 Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, which saw a slight drop to 2,610 to 2,623. Only at the Wharton School (from 1,306 to 1,285) and Columbia (from 1,025, to 1,019) did the number of admits drop, and only at four is enrollment down, at HBS, No. 4  Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, and Columbia — and then only by small amounts: six students at Harvard, Chicago, and Columbia, and five at MIT.

At a few schools, applications were up but enrollment fell, and yield suffered. 
This occurred most notably at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where enrollment dropped from 586 to 580 and the yield fell from 60.2% — in the upper tier among all schools — to 52.8%, despite Booth admitting more than 100 more students. 

Harvard remained the gold standard in yield at 91%, with Stanford — which shaved an inconsequential .02% off its acceptance rate because of a slight increase in apps, thereby effectively remaining static at 6.0% — also in the conversation, registering a remarkable 85.3%, same as last year.

1. Penn (Wharton) -0.4%
2. Harvard Business School +0.3%
3. Stanford GSB
4. Chicago (Booth) -0.1%
5. Northwestern (Kellogg) +0.1%
6. MIT (Sloan)
7. Dartmouth (Tuck) +0.6%
8. Columbia +2.4%
9. UC-Berkeley (Haas)
10. Yale SOM -2.0%
11. Michigan (Ross) -1.3%
12. Duke (Fuqua) -0.1%
13. Virginia (Darden) -2.0%
14. Cornell (Johnson) +2.4%
15. UCLA (Anderson) +1.3%
16. NYU (Stern) -2.1%
17. CMU (Tepper) -0.8%
18. Texas-Austin (McCombs)
18. UNC (Kenan-Flagler) +0.6%
20. Emory (Goizueta) -0.9%
21. Indiana (Kelley) +3.6%
22. Washington (Foster) -1.9%
23. Georgetown (McDonough) +3.2%
24. Notre Dame (Mendoza) +1.0%
25. Rice (Jones) +0.4%
26. USC (Marshall) -4.3%
27. Georgia Tech (Scheller) -1.0%
28. Washington (Olin) +10.3%
29. Michigan State (Broad) -0.9%
30. Arizona State (Carey) +9.7%
31. Minnesota (Carlson) -14.0%
32. Wisconsin +3.1%
33. Vanderbilt (Owen) -2.5%
34. Ohio State (Fisher) +5.3%
34. BYU (Marriott) +2.8%
36. Penn State (Smeal) +2.3%
37. Rochester (Simon) -0.6%
38. Purdue (Krannert) +1.8%
39. UC-Irvine (Merage) -3.6%
40. Maryland (Smith) -0.5%
41. Boston (Questrom) +1.7%
42. Pittsburgh (Katz) +3.2%
43. Texas-Dallas (Jindal) +4.3%
44. Texas A&M (Mays) +6.8%
45. Iowa (Tippie) -0.8%
46. Boston College (Carroll) +1.5%
47. SMU (Cox) +6.9%
48. Temple (Fox) NA
49. Rutgers -8.5%
50. Georgia (Terry) +2.5%

Sunday, February 18, 2018

4 Qualities to Show During MBA Interviews

U.S. News asked MBA admissions officers to describe key traits applicants displayed during interviews that made lasting impressions. Here are four qualities that resonated with the interviewers.

Clarity: Applicants who are able to explain their work eloquently to alumni interviewers in other industries often get rave reviews. 

For instance, a Ross MBA applicant who was a military veteran received a glowing evaluation for his interview because of his ability to share with his civilian interviewer the lessons he learned during his military experience, she says.

Self-awareness: Applicants stand out in MBA interviews when they offer thoughtful reflection about their career, Kwon says.

This means being able to have perspective about the things that you've done and the import of those things, because there's value in everything that an applicant might have done in their career. 

Humility: Business school leaders say they appreciate it when MBA applicants acknowledge mistakes when they're asked a question about past failures.

Dodging questions, rather than answering them honestly, during MBA interviews also typically backfires.

It's always better to point out what you gained from mistakes.

A personal connection: Showing emotions during an interview isn’t a sign of weakness and could, 

Some MBA applicants cry when describing the profound impact a mentor had on their lives or discussing adversity they have overcome.

U.S. News asked MBA admissions officers to describe key traits applicants displayed during interviews that made lasting impressions. Here are four qualities that resonated with the interviewers.

• Clarity: Applicants who are able to explain their work eloquently to alumni interviewers in other industries often get rave reviews, Kwon says.

For instance, a Ross MBA applicant who was a military veteran received a glowing evaluation for his interview because of his ability to share with his civilian interviewer the lessons he learned during his military experience, she says.

"Oftentimes, candidates think that they have to have this monumental achievement in order to impress the admissions committee, and it's not about the size," Kwon says. "We're trying to understand how you think about things and how you think about yourself."

• Self-awareness: Applicants stand out in MBA interviews when they offer thoughtful reflection about their career, Kwon says.

"It's being able to have perspective about the things that you've done and the import of those things, because there's value in everything that an applicant might have done in their career," she says. "It's knowing how that translates into something that will be valuable in your business school experience, in life and in work."

[Ask these five questions during an MBA admissions interview.]

• Humility: Business school leaders say they appreciate it when MBA applicants acknowledge mistakes when they're asked a question about past failures.

"I don't think you're ever penalized for being open and honest with that question," says Patrick Mullane, executive director of HBX, Harvard Business School's online education platform.

Mullane recommends applicants be natural. He says dodging questions, rather than answering them honestly, during MBA interviews also typically backfires.

Kari Graham, director of graduate admissions at the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business, says some of the most poignant interviews she's conducted are ones where MBA applicants described the wisdom they gained from mistakes.

"Those are usually the things that make us better people and hopefully better students," Graham says.

• A personal connection: Showing emotions during an interview isn’t a sign of weakness and could, when real and appropriate, help applicants make meaningful connections with interviewers, experts say.

Graham says she has encountered MBA applicants who cried when describing the profound impact a mentor had on their lives or discussing adversity they have overcome.

"I've had people really, literally come to tears in my office," she says. "What's so beautiful about that is that really breaks down barriers, and it connects us profoundly emotionally to one another."

David Simpson, admissions director at the London Business School, says that a great MBA interview goes beyond discussing an applicant's resume.

- A poor interview is one that just restates facts that could have come from the application form," Simpson says. "A good interview adds color.”

MBA admissions officers say they like to see applicants display humility and resilience during interviews. It's hard to succeed in business if you lack the ability to sell yourself. That's one reason why experts say MBA interviews are a critical component of the admissions process.

Soojin Kwon, admissions director with the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, says a strong interview evaluation has occasionally changed her mind about an applicant and caused her to shift an application from the "no" to the "yes". But she also says that a poor interview evaluation – in rare cases – can lead to a rejection.

Face-to-face communication skills are crucial in the business world, but those skills are hard to measure in the written components of the MBA application, so the interview is key.

MBA schools use interviews to gauge not only whether an MBA applicant would thrive but also what kind of impression an applicant would make on future colleagues and employers, say Peggy Conway, director of MBA admissions with the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University

- Schools want students who are going to make an impact. 

The MBA interview also offers insight into how applicants think and what they care about, says Chad Losee, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School.

- You don't have to have a life plan already mapped out, but you do need to have a sense for how people think about the decisions that they make.

MBA applicants who are anxious about the interview process should do their best to relax before the interview by perhaps taking a run or walk, eating comfort food or meditating. 

For more information see US News & World Report



Understanding the MBA Admissions Interview, Part III

The group interview or team-based discussion. 


What Is the Team-Based Discussion?
A few years ago, the admissions office at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School partnered with the Wharton Innovation group to launch a new evaluation method, the team-based discussion (TBD). 

As part of the TBD, applicants are placed into a group with five to six other applicants for an interactive discussion about real-life business scenarios, designed to reveal to the Admissions Committee how each applicant approaches and analyzes specific situations.

This was designed by Wharton to give students experience of Wharton’s group learning dynamic. It gives students an opportunity to show the schools how they think, lead, communicate and interact.

The teams of applicants are assembled simply by who signs up when. Each participant will receive a prompt for the TBD in advance, and Wharton recommends spending about an hour in advance preparing for the discussion.

The majority of TBD interviews are held at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus and conducted by Admissions Fellows and select group of second-year MBA students. But TBDs are also held various cities around the world as part of each round. These sessions will be conducted by admissions officers.

Here’s the prompt applicants received in the 2015-16 application season:

“The diversity of interests and backgrounds of the Wharton MBA community is reflected in the variety of programs that we support. The African American MBA Association, Private Equity and Venture Capital Club, Wharton Women in Business, Entrepreneurship Club, and the Veteran’s Club are five of the more than one hundred student-run clubs here at Wharton. Each year, many of these clubs run conferences, providing unique and exclusive opportunities for students to engage with business and thought leaders around the world.

For the purpose of this discussion, picture yourself as a core member of a student-run club’s Conference Committee. Feel free to consider yourself part of an existing club or one that has not yet been created. In this role, you and your team must create and deliver a one-day, high-impact conference on the topic of your choice keeping in mind that the event’s aim is to provide a forum for students, faculty, alumni, thought leaders, and executives to explore and challenge ideas related to the topic at hand. Please take a moment to learn more about the current Wharton MBA student-led clubs and conferences.

Please come prepared to share your thoughts with the group in one minute or less before moving into the team discussion. You should plan to spend no more than one hour in preparation for this part of the process.”

How to deal with this? Here are some tips.
1. Wharton really values decisions backed up by data, so when you make a point, support it with facts
2. As you make your way through the given scenario, be sure to take logical steps from one point to the next and communicate your thought process when it’s relevant,
3. In a group exercise, don't get sidetracked by details. Always keep the big picture in mind. 
4. Determine your most effective role within the group. Should you lead, should you listen and contribute only when appropriate, should you facilitate and draw others into the conversation?
5. You want to show the Admissions Committee that you work well in a team environment, can adapt and show a keen sense of understanding not only of the problem at hand, but of the dynamics of the group as the discussion unfolds. Oftentimes the most important skill you will need is the ability to listen. 

Wharton still gives applicants an opportunity for a short one-on-one conversation with an admissions team member immediately following the team exercise. 
- Often, the first questions applicants are asked as part of this one-on-one interview pertain to how they think they did during the TBD. But these brief individual interviews also provide an opportunity for applicants to make their case for admission. 
- In this, share your story, goals, career plan and passion for the school.


Ross Rolls Out Its Own Group Interview

The group interview is designed to give us insight into applicants' teamwork, interpersonal and communication skills
Ross observes the group’s discussion and the communications within the group.

- Ross also continues to evaluate participants as individuals, not as a group, and since no questions will be asked.

The exercise lasts for 30 minutes, with the first 10 devoted to introductions and an icebreaker. 
Each participant will be given two random words to weave into a 60-second story to share with the group.
Applicant reports from past years have indicated that one of the words has been a place and the other a thing (e.g. fire station and cheese or grocery store and tree). 
During the remaining 20 minutes, the members of the group will work together to connect their word pairs into a business challenge and solution they then present to the group’s observers, second-year Ross MBAs who have been trained for the job.

The Future of MBA Education


Harvard Business Review has a 20-minute interview on the challenges that MBA courses face and some of the latest new innovations and thinking. 

Scott DeRue, the dean of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, says the old model of business school education is gone. It’s no longer good enough to sequester yourself on campus for two years before heading out into the world of commerce. DeRue discusses how the perceived value of an MBA education is changing in the digital era, and how MBA programs are innovating in response to individual and company demands.



Answer the 5 Hardest MBA Interview Questions


Applicants to business school should prepare answers to the most common and difficult admissions interview questions.

Although euphoria is the first feeling applicants experience upon receiving an interview invitation from the business school of their dreams, what follows is often a mixture of anxiety, nervousness and, in extreme cases, dread.

If you fail your MBA interview, your odds of admission plummet. You can help ensure that doesn't happen to you by thoroughly preparing for the exchange and the hardball questions that await.

Some schools are known for asking their applicants difficult questions such,  "If you were a tree, what kind would you be?" While you can't prepare for every random query, here's how to prep for five of the toughest yet most common MBA interview questions.


1. What is your biggest weakness? No one relishes the notion of painting themselves in a less-than-flattering light, so plan to address your weaknesses in a way that shows self-reflection and a dedication to improvement.


If you have a shortcoming within your application, such as a lack of meaningful community service or middling undergrad academic performance, use the interview to remove doubt about any potential red flags. Explain how you have already begun the hard work of improving on your negative traits and that you have a plan for further betterment while at business school through specific classwork and activities.

Far from being a disservice, this sincerity can enhance your shot at admission into a top MBA program. When you convey an honest assessment of weaknesses, any of your strengths mentioned during the interview will have more credibility.

2. Tell me about a time you failed. Business schools realize that failure represents a learning opportunity for everyone, from companies to individuals. In this case, the MBA interviewer is asking about a specific event, so choose your anecdote wisely – from a professional setting or your personal life – and refrain from sharing pseudo failures that ultimately show your poor judgment.

One applicant we worked with came from a country that has different ethical standards than the U.S. regarding plagiarism. While an undergrad in the U.S., he was accused of plagiarizing parts of a major college term paper. He failed the course and had to repeat it, an experience that was humiliating and humbling for him. Ultimately, he turned that negative episode into something positive when he later ran for student government and championed a change in plagiarism standards and communications at the school.

When you discuss a failure during an MBA admissions interview, acknowledge your role in the incident, explain your reaction and discuss what lessons you learned or what you wish you could have done differently. Don't blame others; your overall tone should come across as positive.

3. Describe a poor manager you've had. This question requires a delicate balance of assigning blame to another person with articulating your thoughts on good management and leadership. Your best bet is to briefly explain, with no bitterness, your issues with the manager and quickly move on to the positives: how you adapted, became empathetic, reached a compromise or confronted the situation to ultimately achieve a favorable outcome.

One MBA applicant we worked with previously had a manager with whom she got along well personally but who did not provide constructive feedback on mistakes and frequently opted to redo work herself rather than explain or delegate assignments. The applicant eventually discovered she was working in a bubble, unwittingly making several errors. This was not an environment where she could grow her competencies.

Keep in mind that the MBA interviewer uses this question to judge your fitness with the program. In business school as in life, you will encounter difficult classmates and colleagues. How you handle these types of situations shows your character and how you might behave with your cohort once admitted.

4. Tell me about an ethical dilemma you faced. MBA programs want to equip students with the ability to analyze business situations that raise moral dilemmas or appear to call for unpopular actions. The ethical dilemma question gives the admissions interviewer a glimpse of your unique moral filter and a gauge on how life has tested you.

Choose your ethical dilemma carefully to make sure the situation has no clear-cut answer – and remember, it doesn't need to be a large-scale conundrum. Situations that rest in the gray area are most effective with this sort of question, as those circumstances require leadership, nuance and maturity.

For example, we consulted with an applicant who, in a previous position, had discovered that his bosses were fudging the numbers of valuation reports to make a client happy, but which were not accurate for investors. The applicant was running numbers and providing data, and he had to decide whether to confront his bosses or the client about the lack of integrity in the reports.

When answering this type of question, you should describe the situation briefly, explain how you responded and the action you took, and then reflect on what you learned from the experience.

Answering the ethical dilemma question on the spot can trip up even the savviest of applicants. Seek input from friends, family or your application adviser to ensure you appear both sincere and mature in the example you've chosen.

5. Tell me about yourself. This seems like the easiest question, but because it's so open-ended, applicants often ramble and get lost in the weeds. Structure your thoughts and come up with your "elevator pitch," the one-to-two minute speech where you convey who you are and what motivates you, your education, work accomplishments and passions, why you want an MBA and what professional goals the degree will help you reach.

Your interviewer wants to assess whether you would contribute enthusiastically to the program, so practice your MBA elevator pitch with multiple audiences until it flows effortlessly and sounds conversational, authentic and, most of all, memorable.

A solid MBA interview won't necessarily get you in, but a poorly conducted one might keep you out of your dream school. Do your interview homework and use these tips to boost your chances. The final step is simply to relax and enjoy the process.

For more, go to US News & World Report 



Getting an MBA in Asia: Top scholarships for women


Thinking of doing an MBA in Asia but worried you don't have the money to pay for it? You're not alone, but if you're a woman you may be in luck.


In a bid to address gender imbalances, a number of Asian business schools have created women-only scholarships to promote change from the ground up. CNBC Make It has compiled a list of the region's top MBA scholarships specifically for women. Please click on the link below to see the list.


MBA courses have long-struggled to reach gender parity in their applications. In 2016, women accounted for only 37 percent of all applicants globally, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.

Within Asia, the imbalance is particularly striking, with women making up just 34 percent of MBA students at the region's top 10 business schools. This compares to 42 percent in the U.S. and 36 percent in Europe.

For the full list, go to the story on CNBC 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

5 Critical MBA Interview Questions

The following five interview questions are perhaps the most important.

1. Walk me through your résumé.
The real trick with answering this open-ended question is to gauge how much detail is too much. Imposing a structure can help. 
- It's best to be quite short
- Ask the interviewer where (s)he would like you to start.
- Develop a two- to three-minute run-through, beginning with where you grew up and went to college, what you studied and perhaps something you enjoy outside of work. Then move into a concise overview of your work experience, beginning with your first job and continuing to present day, making sure to explain why you made the choices you did and what you learned in each major role. 
- This kind of high-level overview gives your interviewer the opportunity to ask for more detail about specific points if (s)he wants to. Brown says. 

2. What are your career goals?
- You will already have a well-honed response to this question, developed and refined as part of the process of writing your application essays. 
- However, be prepared to answer this from several points of view. Don't memorize a scrip.
- The adcon wants to know how focused you are on the MBA and whether you are in a position to take advantage of the resources business school offers or at risk of getting overwhelmed
 - Present a very clear post-MBA goal. Schools prefer to admit students who can explain exactly what kind of job they want to pursue beyond graduation and articulate how it will set them up to obtain their long-term career objectives
- Schools are also looking, with this question, to see if your goals make sense and are feasible in light of your past experiences; are you able to articulate a clear path and plan?

3. Why X school?
- Here, schools want to see if you have really done your research on their program and whether you are a good fit with their culture.
You should have a FOUR-pronged approach to make a truly compelling case for your interest in a given school
(a) Start with academics, naming specific courses and professors that you are interested in. 
(b) Second, mention specific clubs, conferences and other special programs that will help position you for your career goals. 
(c) Even better, show how you would contribute to the school community, such as by organizing an event to share specific knowledge you bring with your future classmates
(d) Show that you have a good understanding of the school’s community, culture, class size and location and have thought about how these fit with your personality, goals and background. 

4. Give us an example of a time you took a leadership role.
- This question can be put in several ways: sometimes you’ll be asked directly about your most notable leadership experience and other times you’ll be invited to describe your general leadership style.
- It’s important to keep a few basic principles about leadership in mind. A leader is someone who has a strong vision or point of view and is able to see things others are not.
- A leader must also have excellent communication skills. 
- Choose an example that demonstrates these points. 
- An ideal leadership example will describe a time when you negotiated with and persuaded key stakeholders, such as clients or a supervisor, to buy into your vision and then delegated the work and managed colleagues or juniors. 
- If you encountered obstacles along the way, share how you dealt with them.
- If possible, you should also show success through quantified results.
- As important as a successful outcome is demonstrating how you drew on the help of others where necessary.

5. Tell us about a time you failed.
- This is a favorite question for those who appear to be ‘rock stars’ on paper.
- Everyone makes mistakes.
- You can show humility as well as your capacity to learn and grow
- The best answer to this type of question ends with a more recent experience where you took the lesson you learned from the failure and put it into play, affecting a better outcome.