Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kaplan's Road to Business School- Part 1

Here are my notes from Kaplan's Road to Business School in Los Angeles.

The event started out with a panel of Admissions staff from Cornell (Johnson), UCLA Anderson, UNC- Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler), and Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles (LMU).

The moderator asked each school to give their stats:

Cornell - 2200 applications last year
-less than 500 offers for a class of 270

UNC Chapel Hill - 1700 applications last year
- admitted 38% for class of 290
- has 4 rounds for application cycle

LMU - Class of 100
- admitted 57% of applicants
- it's an evening program with both full and part time students, 33-35% full time

UCLA - 2500 application
- 700 offers for class of 360 students

The next question was asking about what is diverse about its class

UCLA- work experience
- professional background
- personal background
-interesting extracurricular
- interesting background

LMU - over 40% female
- 1/3 minorities
- mainly Southern California residents
- age range from early 20's to early 50's
- more and more students from non-profit and education sectors

UNC - diversity is important
- what you learn from interactions with classmates just as important as what you learn from lectures
-makes an effort to recruit internationally
Cornell – all different aspects
-perspective and skill set you bring that sets you apart
-how will it add to the classroom?
Cornell went on about the Admissions Committee and networking
-Adcom consists of career management center and admissions representatives
-establish a relationship with someone on the admissions committee or the receptionist
-if you are rude to the receptionist it could hurt you. He will tell the admissions committee that you were rude to them when you were waiting for your interview
-keep in touch
-drop a note if you’re going to visit and if you’re going to apply
-don’t take it too far by emailing everyone on the AdCom!
-don’t be a stalker!
What is the AdCom’s philosophy on the application? How do you weigh everything?
LMU- GMAT is important
-key indicator if you will have difficulty in the program
-low GMAT coordinates with those that struggle with the program
-GPA is less important the longer you have been out of school
-typos in essays and resume raise red flags

UNC- agree that GMAT is one common denominator but uses a holistic approach
-everyone interviews
-look at quality of your work experience
-your progression
-team oriented
-two people read your application and one person interviews you
-even if you have a high GMAT but do not have solid work experience you may still not get in

Cornell- GMAT is important but lots of people are qualified to enroll
-other things have to set you apart
-argue you would be a good addition to the class because of other things
UCLA- reads every application from cover to cover
-tell us why Anderson is the right school for you
-look at balance of experience and extra curricular
-very collaborative environment
-terms of fit: how are you comfortable working in teams?
How important is the GMAT quantitative section?
Cornell- quant section is key crucial
-correlation between quant on GMAT and quant core classes
-have to get through core to get your MBA
-score above 65 percentile on the quant section to do well in the program
-Also look at your writing section
-can you convey your thoughts?
-can you write under pressure?

Personal Statement:
LMU- be careful what you write
-make sure you are using the write words
-be consistent
-be professional
-don’t write an essay like a text message

UCLA- read questions carefully
-questions may be similar between schools but they aren’t exactly the same
-address the question asked
-read instructions
-do not go over word count
LMU- comments about people you know that donate to the school do not make a difference on yojur application
-ex: calling out certain priests at the school
- doesn’t matter
-comes off as sucking up

Work experience:

Cornell (she said she had a very strong opinion regarding work experience)
-result oriented resumes
-what you accomplished or achieved at your job
-ex) cut costs, increased sales by X%, increased participation
-Cornell wants people that make things happen
-start an achievement journal
-what did you do this week personally and professionally?

After business school:
UCLA- wants to see you thought about your goals
-what you will get out of the program
-don’t have to map out the next ten years
-wants to see you put thought in and have done some research
-Anderson understands that goals change
UNC- be authentic
-it reads thousands of essays a year
-if you think your stud isn’t good enough or the right fit, you may be miserable here
-don’t make your essays read like someone else wrote them

Letters of Recommendation
UNC- who you choose is a reflection on you
-less than stellar or bland recommendation makes you look bad
-choose someone that knows you well
-someone who has seen you work in teams
-think ahead, give them enough time to write
-have bullet points
-let them know what you are writing about in your essays

LMU- tell your recommenders beforehand
UNC- its okay to ask them if they would be comfortable writing a positive letter of recommendation
-gives them the opportunity to opt out
Cornell- only ask a subordinate if the school asks for a subordinate specifically

Non- Traditional Background:
UCLA –showcase strengths
-project management experience
-great leadership roles
-highlight why you want to come to business school
-tie experiences with future career plans
-Liberal Arts background
-take supplemental courses
-bring a unique perspective
-bring unique ideas to the classroom
-strengths of being different

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