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Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application
 

Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application

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MBA Prep School (http://mbaprepschool.com) assembled a team of experience admissions consultants and analyzed the application forms, essay questions, and interview transcripts. We also interviewed ...

MBA Prep School (http://mbaprepschool.com) assembled a team of experience admissions consultants and analyzed the application forms, essay questions, and interview transcripts. We also interviewed admissions officers to get their opinion on the questions they most wanted answered.

We discovered that although every school has its own unique application – five fundamental questions appear again-and-again.

Join Tyler Cormney, MBA Prep School co-founder, as he shows you the five questions and provides guidance on tackling each one!

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    Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application Presentation Transcript

    • Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
    • Introduction: Tyler Cormney  AIGAC Certified Admissions Consultant  Author of five MBA essay guides  Harvard MBA  USC Master of Professional Writing  UT Austin Business Undergraduate © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 1
    • Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
    • Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application Leadership Are you a leader? Career Goals What are your career goals? Career Progress What have you achieved professionally? Why Our School Why are you applying to our school? Potential Contributions How can you enrich our community? © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 3
    • How to Prepare for the 5 Questions  Learn to recognize the five fundamental questions  Internalize the Criteria for Top Marks  Assemble Your Content Building Blocks  Outline Your Answers © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 4
    • Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application # 1: Are You a Leader? © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 5
    • Are You a Leader? Example Questions • Discuss a defining experience in your leadership development. • Tell us about a time when you made a lasting impact on your organization. • What impact do you hope to have as a leader of consequence? Top Marks For … An extensive Leadership Portfolio: Concrete examples of your ability to rally others and motivate them to work together to achieve an important shared vision or goal © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 6
    • Are You a Leader? Content Building Blocks  Leadership Stories  Leadership Actions  Leadership Capabilities © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 7
    • Are You a Leader? Content Building Blocks Building Block Questions:  Leadership Stories When have I…  Leadership Actions …harnessed the energy of other  Leadership Capabilities people to achieve a goal …made an impact and permanently upgraded an organization’s capabilities …spotted a problem and coordinated efforts to solve it Example: Susan led a software team and built security software for a weapons system. © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 8
    • Are You a Leader? Content Building Blocks  Leadership Stories Building Block Question: What steps did I take as the groups  Leadership Actions leader to overcome challenges and keep  Leadership Capabilities people focused and motivated? Example: •Set high expectations for the team •Learned about each team member personally and their career development goals •Showed my teammates that we weren’t just software coders -- our work would save lives © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 9
    • Are You a Leader? Content Building Blocks  Leadership Stories Building Block Question: What leadership capabilities did I draw  Leadership Actions upon in this story/example?  Leadership Capabilities Example: •Adapting to New Situations •Mentoring & Developing People •Inspiring Others with Words © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 10
    • Are You A Leader?: Example Building Blocks Building Block Example Building Blocks Leadership Story Led a software team and built security software for a weapons Leadership Action •Learned about each team member personally and their career development goals •Showed my teammates that we weren’t just software coders -- our work would save lives Leadership •Adapting to New Situations Capabilities •Mentoring & Developing People •Inspiring Others with Words © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 11
    • Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application # 2: What Are Your Career Goals? © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 12
    • What Are Your Career Goals? Example Questions • What are your professional objectives? • What is your career vision? • Where do you want to be 10 years from now? Top Marks For … Clearly defined post-MBA career goals which reveal a sense of passion and purpose © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 13
    • What Are Your Career Goals?: Content Building Blocks  Career Purpose  Career Meaning  Long-term Career Goal  Career Action Plan © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 14
    • What Are Your Career Goals?: Content Building Blocks  Career Purpose Building Block Question: What is the purpose of your  Career Meaning career -- who will it serve and how  Long-term Career Goal will it benefit others?  Career Action Plan Example: Spur economic development in the former Soviet Union/Ukraine. © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 15
    • What Are Your Career Goals?: Content Building Blocks  Career Purpose Building Block Question: Why is this career you envision  Career Meaning meaningful to you?  Long-term Career Goal  Career Action Plan Example: Talk about my visit to Kiev two years ago. © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 16
    • What Are Your Career Goals?: Content Building Blocks  Career Purpose Building Block Question: What is your long-term career  Career Meaning goal?  Long-term Career Goal  Career Action Plan Example: To found and lead a private equity fund and serve as an economic adviser to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 17
    • What Are Your Career Goals?: Content Building Blocks  Career Purpose Building Block Question: What is the career path to this  Career Meaning long-term goal?  Long-term Career Goal  Career Action Plan Example: Short-term/Post MBA: Work for an established private equity group in the Common Wealth of Independent States (CIS) such as Baring Vostok. Middle-Term: Start a fund. Long-Term: To serve as an economic advisor to CIS countries © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 18
    • What Are Your Career Goals?: Example Building Blocks Building Block Example Building Blocks Career Purpose Spur economic development in the former Soviet Union/Ukraine. Career Meaning Talk about my visit to Kiev two years ago. Long-Term Career To found and lead a private equity fund and serve as an Goal economic adviser to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Career Action Plan • Short-term/Post MBA: Work for an established private equity group in the CIS such as Baring Vostok. • Middle-Term: Start a fund. • Long-Term: To serve as an economic advisor to CIS countries © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 19
    • Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application # 3: What Have You Achieved Professionally? © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 20
    • What Have You Achieved Professionally? Example Questions • Briefly summarize your career progress • What decisions have you made that led to your current role? • Walk me through your resume. Top Marks For … Distinguished academic and career performance to date and demonstrated potential for future advancement © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 21
    • What Have You Achieved Professionally?: Content Building Blocks  Career Phases  For each Career Phase: – Career Decisions – Challenges/Achievements – Career Growth © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 22
    • What Have You Achieved Professionally?: Content Building Blocks  Career Phases Building Block Question: What are the major milestones in your career so far?  For each Career Phase: – Career Decisions – Challenges/Achievements Example: – Career Growth • Graduated from Michigan • Analyst job at Deutsche Bank; offered 3rd Year Analyst job • Analyst at Astrix Partners for 1.5 yrs © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 23
    • What Have You Achieved Professionally?: Content Building Blocks  Career Phases Building Block Question: Why did you leave the old job and take the new one?  For each Career Phase: – Career Decisions – Challenges/Achievements Example: – Career Growth Decided to join Astrix because I wanted to be an investor not an advisor. © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 24
    • What Have You Achieved Professionally?: Content Building Blocks  Career Phases Building Block Question: What was the most significant challenge you faced? What did  For each Career Phase: you achieve that you are most – Career Decisions proud of? – Challenges/Achievements – Career Growth Example: Sourced optical drive manufacturer deal and presented to the investment committee © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 25
    • What Have You Achieved Professionally?: Content Building Blocks  Career Phases Building Block Question: How did you grow and what did you learn in this phase of your  For each Career Phase: career? How did you progress? – Career Decisions – Challenges/Achievements – Career Growth Example: Acquired fundamental private equity skills and discovered passion for investing © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 26
    • What Have You Achieved Professionally?: Example Building Blocks Building Block Example Building Blocks Career Phase Leaving Deutsche Bank (DB) to join Astrix Partners Private Equity Career Decision Offered 3rd year analyst role at DB but decided to join Astrix Partners to work in Private Equity Achievements/Challenges Sourced optical drive manufacturer deal and presented to the investment committee Career Growth Passion for investing and fundamental private equity skills © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 27
    • Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application # 4: Why Are You Applying to Our School? © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28
    • Why Are You Applying to Our School? Example Questions • Why do you need an MBA? • Why is now the best time for an MBA? • How will our school prepare you for your career goals? Top Marks For … Convincing motivations for pursuing an MBA … specifically from this program © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 29
    • Why Are You Applying to Our School? : Content Building Blocks  Academic Programs  Professors  Student Organizations  Alumni Network  Leadership and Management Growth © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 30
    • Why Are You Applying to Our School? : Example Content Building Blocks Generic Personal and Specific (Columbia) Courses Courses • I want to study marketing • Design and Marketing of Luxury Products Class Professors Class Professors • The Marketing Faculty is top- • Retail Marketing Prof. John notch Smith Student Organizations Student Organizations • 80 different student • Retail and Luxury Goods Club organizations to choose from © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 31
    • Five Questions You Must Answer in Your MBA Application # 5: How Can You Enrich Our Community? © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 32
    • How Can You Enrich Our Community? Example Questions • What can you contribute to our program? • How can you enrich next year’s class? • Why should we accept you? Top Marks For … Concrete answers about what you can contribute to the program and the overall MBA community © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 33
    • How Can You Enrich Our Community?: Content Building Blocks What are your unique life experiences, knowledge, Unique Features strengths/talents? How can those unique things about you benefit your Benefits classmates? Concrete In what concrete ways can you deliver those benefits if Contributions you’re accepted by the school you’re applying to for? © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 34
    • How Can You Enrich Our Community?: Translate into Benefits and Contributions Unique Features Army brat; moved to a new city every three years Developed an ability to break the ice and I can help Benefits new classmates to start connecting Entering-student member of the orientation Concrete committee in first-year and lead the committee in Contributions second year © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 35
    • Key Takeaways  Are you a leader? You can’t simply claim that you are. You must present a leadership portfolio that proves you are  What are your career goals? Admissions officers aren’t asking how you’ll make a living but how you’ll make a difference  What have you achieved professionally? Tell them your career story  Why are you applying to our school? Answers must be personal and specific  How can you enrich our community? Answer in terms of benefits not features © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 36
    • © 2010 Prep School Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.