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You can find a better version of my blog at http://www.adammarkus.com/blog/.

Be sure to read my Key Posts on the admissions process. Topics include essay analysis, resumes, recommendations, rankings, and more.

June 30, 2008

Secrets of the MBA admission process revealed at last!

Secrets of the MBA admission process revealed at last!

Actually not. I have to admit I am always suspicious of anyone who writes or says that they have MBA or graduate admission secrets. Such secrets always seem to have the same level of seriousness as much of the spam email I receive. The use of the word "secrets" strikes me as the worst sort of marketing designed to attract the badly informed and the desperate.

I suppose the holders of such secrets might know something, but is it really a secret? Often the information provided will be focused on getting you an insiders perspective on the admissions process. Yet such perspectives are easy to learn about through contact with admissions officers, reading guides like Montauk's How To Get Into the Top MBA Programs, and in any event are not too hard to imagine. Just because someone is not aware of something does not make it a secret, it simply makes learning that thing new information.

I suppose some might consider it a secret that admissions committees are subject to pressure from administrative entities within a university, but that is just a failure to treat universities as organizations. A holistic admissions process is one when every factor is taken into consideration. That does not just mean you as an individual applicant are judged only in terms of who you are, but you are also judged in relationship to the whole applicant pool, and to the institutional interests of the school. It certainly is not a secret that admissions committees judge applicants based on multiple factors and I have yet to meet a single applicant to a "Top 20" MBA program who did not think they were in competition to get admitted. The same is true of those applying for Ph.D.s and any degree program that is competitive to enter.

Perhaps the secrets are about techniques for admission? Well I have yet to see such a technique. I provide lots of advice, but I have never thought that any of it was a secret. If I said it was, my mentor who helped me get into graduate school would, no doubt, laugh in my face. I would hope that my fellow admission consultants would also refrain talking of secrets, but there is always someone who will claim a special gimmick.

I am a great believer in creating an effective admissions strategy and utilizing specific tactics to do so, but I would never say that such strategies or tactics are secrets, rather they are methods. Some are writing methods, others relate to interviews, while still others relate to goal setting. I consider myself to be a methodological pluralist: The are many ways to peel an onion. My recent series of posts on ranking reflect that pluralism as does the way I analyze essay questions. If you review my Harvard Law School LL.M. and/or Harvard Business School MBA essay analysis for Fall 2009 admission as well as the schools I covered for Fall 2008, you will see that I have a variety ways to I analyze questions for the purpose of assisting applicants. These methods of analysis, while not secrets, are based on my clients' results.

In July, I will be analyzing the essay questions for Stanford GSB, Kellogg, Columbia (My J-Term analysis is up already, but the questions may change for September 2009), and some other programs. Look for a series of posts on recommendations, hopefully some more interviews with students, and perhaps a surprise or two.
Stay cool.

Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.
-Adam Markus
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June 29, 2008

The Aspen Institute Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs: 2008-2009

You can find an alternative version of the post below that includes the Aspen Institute's Top 20 Ranked Programs on the AIGAC blog.

A review of
The Aspen Institute Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs: 2008-2009.

As I have indicated in earlier posts (1 2 3), the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education's (CBE) www.caseplace.org is a great source for MBA case studies focused on issues related to social responsibility. CBE's other site www.beyondgreypinstripes.org actually ranks MBA programs through its "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" rankings. The most recent was for 2007-2008.

Before going onto a review of The Aspen Institute Guide, I think it is helpful to consider the source of data that the guide was based on. While I will not reprint the entire "Global 100," I would mention that the schools that rank well on this list include both unsurprising perennial "Top 20" schools and some schools that get little if any attention from Businessweek, US News & World Report, EIU, FT, Wall Street, or Forbes. Seeing alternatives is always valuable because it makes one look at something from a new perspective. Getting a new perspective on ranking is always a good idea from my perspective(as anyone who has followed my various methods for ranking programs can tell). For that reason alone, for anyone looking for an MBA program with strong social responsibility content, "The Global 100" is worthy of serious consideration.

The same is true of The Aspen Institute Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs: 2008-2009. The book brings life to the data found at www.beyondgreypinstripes.org. For those who are trying figure out where to apply and are interested in socially responsible investing, non-profit management, environmental issues, social entrepreneurship, socially responsible management practices, sustainability, and development, The Aspen Institute Guide provides an efficient way to learn which programs focus on these issues. It highlights socially responsibility related core and elective courses, institutes and centers, annual events, other events, student clubs and programs, and, where applicable, faculty pioneers. Actually, when I advise my clients about what they need to highlight to show why they want to attend a particular program, it is often these categories that I suggest they focus on. While The Aspen Institute Guide could not possibly include every potentially relevant aspect of the program, it does quite a good job of providing a solid introduction.

That said, as this is the first edition, I do hope they make some improvement to it in future editions. The summaries are very good, but the analysis of each program is rather limited. While the ranking analysis is available on www.beyondgreypinstripes.org, I think the authors needed to make the book stand on its own. Unfortunately at an analytical level it does not.

I was surprised to see that the book did not even include "The Global 100" rankings. I think this is rather unfortunate. Readers will have to refer to the ranking list because they will not find "The Global 100" in The Aspen Institute Guide.

But that is not my chief criticism. Rather, I found "The Bottom Line," The Aspen Institute Guide's attempt at analysis to be useless. Instead of providing some sort of a real analytical narrative about the program, the only analysis is a set of comments that simply represent data:
"We applied a statistical analysis to determine the relative strength of each along a few select criteria...We then make qualitative remarks using the flowing terms to reflect precise statistical scores:
  • Truly Extraordinary-given to schools that scored more than one standard deviation above average
  • Excellent- given to schools that scored between average and one standard deviation above average
  • Good-given to schools that scored between one standard deviation below average and average" (P. 12)
The result is that the comments are so standardized as to be almost useless. Compare "Global 100" #1 Stanford GSB and #10 IE:

Stanford: "Compared to other business schools in our survey, Stanford University offers a truly extraordinary number of courses featuring relevant content, and does a truly extraordinary job in those courses explicitly addressing how mainstream business improves the world. Stanford University requires 23 core course featuring relevant content." (p. 144)

IE: "Compared to other business schools in our survey, IE Business School offers a truly extraordinary number of courses featuring relevant content, and does a truly extraordinary job in those courses explicitly addressing how mainstream business improves the world. IE Business School requires 40 core course featuring relevant content." (p. 144)

It would be better to have the data behind such comments than to have this qualitative version of it. The creators (writers does not seem appropriate, perhaps editors and/or statisticians) of the guide should be willing to provide the numbers. After all, any would-be applicant who can't handle a few numbers is going to have a difficult time getting a decent GMAT score, not to mention surviving business school. While it would be easier to see the numbers, including ranking data, what I would really wanted is an analytical section that reflected real expertise and not mere statistical conclusions. The Guide's authors hope that prospective students, the business education community, and recruiters will use it(p. 10). If so, it had better provide all three intended audiences with some guidance to and not just a summary of programs.

Another area of future improvement would be to identify socially responsible companies that recruit at each school. This is no easy task, but to include such data would be very helpful to applicants as well as make recruiters more interested in The Aspen Institute Guide.

I should point out that there is also some inconsistency between "The Global 100" and The Aspen Institute Guide. The most extreme example from my perspective was that HBS, while not part of "The Global 100," received "Bottom Line" comments that are in no significant way different from Stanford GSB or IE:

"Compared to other business schools in our survey, Harvard University offers a truly extraordinary number of courses featuring relevant content, and does a truly extraordinary job in those courses explicitly addressing how mainstream business improves the world. Harvard University requires 9 core course featuring relevant content." (p. 79)

This alone suggests that CBE needs to a better job of linking its guide to its rankings. If CBE is to be the authority on socially responsible business programs, it needs to create a consistent set of publications so that applicants, schools, recruiters, and even admissions consultants like myself will be looking at CBE 's "Global 100" the same way we do when looking at Businessweek's or other more generally recognized rankings of MBA programs.

On a more positive note, I want to mention that The Aspen Institute Guide includes very useful appendices on MBA concentrations, joint MBA degrees, and a geographical breakdown of the location of the programs. This information will prove useful to all applicants as part of their school selection process.

Again, the summary is great and I would recommend the guide to those who are interested in exploring their options for a socially responsible MBA education, but it is only a first step. In addition to it, you must certainly look at CBE's two great websites (mentioned above) as well as The 2007 Net Impact Student Guide to Graduate Business Programs. I hope that future editions of The Aspen Institute Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs will include introductory essays, perhaps by some of the faculty pioneers, as well as a greater analysis of how each MBA program creates a socially responsible business education, and also some qualitative-based comparisons between programs. Given the ever-expanding number of MBA applicants who have a social responsibility agenda, I am confident that The Aspen Institute Guide will become a standard resource for many future applicants.

Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.
-Adam Markus
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MBA留学 ビジネススクール カウンセリング コンサルティング MBA ランキング

June 25, 2008

All Six "Top 20" MBA Rankings Tables

Below you can find all six of the "Top 20" rankings tables that I have previously presented (links to the posts are below). The only difference is that the versions below have been slightly edited. The numbers have not changed. In addition, I have reprinted my ranking of schools by post-MBA salary. I hope this will make it easy for my clients and readers to utilize this information. I suggest reading the posts for some specific suggestions for how to use these tables as part of an application strategy. In addition, if you are interested in learning more about social and/or environmental responsibility, I suggest reading my review of The Aspen Institute Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs: 2008-2009.

A Comparison Of Rankings For Top 20 MBA Programs Worldwide:

The 54 "Top 20" MBA Programs Averaged Ranking:

A. Calculation:

B. Averaged Rank:

Ranking "TOP 20" MBA Programs by Acceptance Rate:

"Top 20" MBA Programs Ranked by Applications & Yield

A. Number of Applications:

B. Yield:

"Real" Global MBA Rankings for 2008:

"THE 98": All 98 schools ranked by FT in average post-MBA salary order.

1. Stanford University GSB, US, $175,766
2. Columbia Business School, US, $169,730
3. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton, US, $166,032
4. Harvard Business School, US, $163,493
5. Indian School of Business, India, $155,938
6. University of Chicago GSB, US, $155,484
7. MIT: Sloan, US, $155,316
8. CEIBS, China, $154,144
9. Dartmouth College: Tuck, US, $152,580
10. UCLA: Anderson, US, $148,615
11. INSEAD, France/Singapore, $147,763
12. IMD, Switzerland, $147,172
13. London Business School, UK, $145,918
14. New York University: Stern, US, $141,554
15. University of Oxford: Saïd, UK, $141,170
16. Yale School of Management, US, $140,576
17. Northwestern University: Kellogg, US, $136,674
18. University of Cambridge: Judge, UK, $133,480
19. UC Berkeley: Haas, US, $131,688
20. Cranfield School of Management, UK, $129,785
21. University of Virginia: Darden, US, $129,389
22. Cornell University: Johnson, US, $126,829
23. University of Michigan: Ross, US, $125,839
24. Emory University: Goizueta, US, $ 123,569
25. Duke University: Fuqua, US, $ 122,811
26. Australian Graduate School of Management, Australia, $122,349
27. Georgetown University: McDonough, US, $120,346
28. Imperial College London: Tanaka, UK, $120,207
29. IE Business School, Spain, $120,190
30. IESE Business School, Spain, $119,890
31. HEC Paris France, $118,562
32. University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler, US, $115,519
33. University of Southern California: Marshall, US, $114,582
34. University of Rochester: Simon, US, $113,983
35. University of Bath School of Management, UK, $113,727
36. University of Strathclyde Business School, UK, $113,071
37. Manchester Business School, UK, $112,625
38. Warwick Business School, UK, $112,586
39. Carnegie Mellon: Tepper, US, $112,536
40. City University: Cass, $111,615
41. University of California: Davis, U.S.A., $109,189
42. University of Texas at Austin: McCombs, U.S.A., $108,268
43. ESADE Business School, Spain, $108,166
44. Edinburgh University Management School UK, $107,956
45. Vanderbilt University: Owen U.S.A., $107,328
46. Rice University: Jones U.S.A. 2008, $107,180
47. Melbourne Business School Australia, $106,978
48. Babson College: Olin US, $106,849
49. University of Maryland: Smith US, $106,636
50. University of Western Ontario: Ivey Canada, $106,073
51. University of Notre Dame: Mendoza U.S.A., $105,783
52.Boston College: Carroll U.S.A. 2007, $105,659
53.Boston University School of Management US, $105,586
54. University of Washington Business School US, $105,554
55. Indiana University: Kelley US, $105,547
56. Lancaster University Management School UK, $104,609
57. RSM Erasmus University Netherlands, $104,211
58. Leeds University Business School UK, $104,165
59. Pennsylvania State University: Smeal US, $103,764
60. George Washington University US, $102,852
61. Michigan State University: Broad US, $102,202
62. University College Dublin: Smurfit Ireland, $101,730
63. Washington University: Olin US, $100,808
64. Nottingham University Business School UK, $100,277
65. University of California at Irvine: Merage US, $100,030
66. Bradford School of Management/TiasNimbas Business School UK/Netherlands/Germany, $99,202
67. Thunderbird School of Global Management US, $99,099
68. University of Toronto: Rotman Canada, $98,940
69. Purdue University: Krannert US, $98,554
70. Arizona State University: Carey US, $98,060
71. Hong Kong UST Business School China, $97,235
72. University of Wisconsin-Madison US, $96,866
73. SDA Bocconi Italy, $96,824
74. Vlerick Leuven Gent, Belgium, $95,754
75. College of William and Mary: Mason, US, $96,717
76. Brigham Young University: Marriott, US, $96,702
77. University of South Carolina: Moore, US, $95,417
78. Tulane University: Freeman, US, $95,384
79. Case Western Reserve: Weatherhead, US, $95,283
80. University of Arizona: Eller, US, $95,225
81. University of Georgia: Terry, US, $94,930
82. University of Pittsburgh: Katz, US, $94,641
83. University of Minnesota: Carlson, US, $94,246
84. University of Florida, US, $93,077
85. Ohio State University: Fisher, US, $92,788
86. Texas A & M University: Mays, US, $91,656
87. McGill University: Desautels, Canada, $91,551
88. Shanghai Jiao Tong University, ACEM, China, $91,346
89. EM Lyon, France, $90,532
90. Nanyang Business School Singapore, $89,836
91. Nyenrode Business Universiteit Netherlands, $89,223
92. University of Iowa: Tippie, US, $88,972
93. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US, $87,318
94. EADA Spain, $85,811
95. York University: Schulich, Canada, $84,388
96. University of British Columbia: Sauder, Canada, $81,997
97. Temple University: Fox, US, $75,458
98. University of Alberta, Canada, $74,250

Comments? Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.

-Adam Markus
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MBA留学 ビジネススクール カウンセリング コンサルティング MBA ランキング 合格者率

June 24, 2008

"Top 20" MBA Programs Ranked by Applications & Yield

After ranking by post-MBA salary, comparing "Top 20" rankings, ranking by averaged "Top 20" rank, and ranking by acceptance rate, I thought it would be useful to rank "TOP 20" MBA by number of applications and by yield. Click here for all of my rankings tables together in one post.

Ranking by the number of applications is a crude, but clear, measure of the relative popularity of a program. While I would never suggest making application decisions based simply on what other applicants do, as I will explain below, it is quite helpful to look at the number of applications when reviewing other core admissions data (number admitted and yield).

Yield, the number of accepted applicants who actually enroll, is the single best measurement of relative program popularity among admits. As I discuss below, yield measures the behavior of admits.

Taking the 39 "Top 20" programs that provide data on their acceptance rates (see my earlier post on acceptance rates for the "Top 20 programs that did not provide such data), I put the tables below together. Click to enlarge them.

Ranking by number of applications:

Ranking by yield:

"Number Admitted," "First Year Enrollment" &"Acceptance Rate" data: For US, US News & World Report (2007) & for non-US & Kellogg, Businessweek (2006). Since Businessweek only lists percentages of admitted and enrolled, I have calculated the number of admitted and enrolled. For sources for the rest of the data, see "Difficulty Rank", "Averaged Rank" , and "Post-MBA Salary Rank." The following programs were ranked:
Brigham Young: Marriot, Carnegie Mellon: Tepper, Columbia Business School, Cornell University: Johnson, Cranfield S. of Management, Dartmouth College: Tuck, Duke University: Fuqua, ESADE Business School, Harvard Business School, HEC Montreal, HEC Paris, IE Business School, IESE Business School, IMD, Indiana University: Kelley, McGill, Michigan State: Broad, MIT: Sloan, New York University: Stern, Northwestern U.: Kellogg, Queen's School of Business, RSM Erasmus University, SDA Bocconi Italy, Stanford University GSB, Thunderbird, U. of Chicago GSB, U. of Iowa: Tippie, U. of Michigan: Ross, U. of Pennsylvania: Wharton, U. of Toronto: Rotman, U. of TX at Austin: McCombs, U. of Virginia: Darden, UBC: Sauder, UC Berkeley: Haas, UCLA: Anderson, UNC: Kenan-Flagler, USC: Marshall, Yale School of Management, and York University: Schulich.

How can applicants use these rankings?

As I have suggested elsewhere in this series of posts, when looking at any ranking, I think it is critical to look at actual market conditions.
Just as average post-MBA salary reveals the market value of the degree, the number of applications reveal each business school's ability to attract customers (applicants are customers- they are buying the right to be considered for admission) and the yield measures the rate at which a select group of customers (admits) offered the right to exercise their option for admission choose to do so. If you are going to be an intelligent investor in this market, you need to understand the market not for some abstract reason, but because doing so will enable you to determine where is best for you to apply and to go.

Yield should be evaluated in comparison to acceptance rate. Some highly ranked schools, Haas and Yale being two of the best examples, that are difficult to get into have relatively low yield rates. Obviously those admitted to Haas and Yale had other options that they chose to exercise, but more significantly it means that Haas and Yale admissions want to get who they perceive as the best students even if it means having a relatively unimpressive yield. This indicates that while the admission offices at these two schools might care about yield to some extent, they are not willing to sacrifice the quality of their potential student body in order to improve their yield. Similarly if you find a program with a high acceptance rate and a high yield, you can assume that its admits had no better options and that the admissions office was not that selective.

I think it is possible to use the yield, number of applications, and acceptance rates to a get sense of how a particular school is being used as part of a large number of applicant's application strategy. Example: UNC Kenan-Flagler, which has a decidedly low yield (42%), receives a relatively large number of applications (1714), and is relatively easy to enter (39.2%), is a school both this data (and my own experience) tell me is being used as a "back-up school" by a significant number of applicants. Indeed, regardless of the number applications received, schools with low yields and high rates of admission should most certainly be used for the purpose of reducing the risk of total application failure.
When selecting a group of schools to apply to, use the yield and acceptance rates to put together a school application strategy that takes the level of risk into account. For more about school selection strategy, click here.

Comments? Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.

-Adam Markus
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MBA留学 ビジネススクール カウンセリング コンサルティング MBA ランキング 合格者率

June 21, 2008

Ranking "TOP 20" MBA Programs by Acceptance Rate

Click here for all of my rankings tables together in one post.

For the 3rd in my series of MBA rankings, I asked myself the following: HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO GET ADMITTED TO THE 54 "TOP 20" MBA PROGRAMS WORLDWIDE?

After ranking programs by starting salary ("The 98") and ranking them by average of their Top 20 ranking, I wanted to look at actual acceptance rates. For 39 of the 54 "Top 20" programs I was able to obtain their rates of acceptance rates from US News and World Report(US programs except Northwestern, which I took from Businessweek) and Businessweek (non-US programs). For the other 15, I looked elsewhere, but came up with nothing (If I missed admissions data somewhere, please let me know.)

Here is what I put together (The pretty JPEG version is below):

RANK ------------------------ BUSINESS SCHOOL
1. Acceptance Rate: 7.90% Stanford University GSB
2. Acceptance Rate:13.70% UC Berkeley: Haas
3. Acceptance Rate:13.80% Harvard Business School
4. Acceptance Rate:14.70% Yale School of Management
5. Acceptance Rate:16.30% Columbia Business School
6. Acceptance Rate:17.10% New York University: Stern
7. Acceptance Rate:17.30% U. of Pennsylvania: Wharton
8. Acceptance Rate:19.20% Dartmouth College: Tuck
9. Acceptance Rate:19.70% MIT: Sloan
10. Acceptance Rate: 20% HEC Paris, France
11. Acceptance Rate: 20.40% U. of Michigan: Ross
12. Acceptance Rate: 23.30% U. of Chicago GSB
13. Acceptance Rate: 23.40% UCLA: Anderson
14. Acceptance Rate: 24% IESE Business School
14. Acceptance Rate: 24% Northwestern U.: Kellogg
16. Acceptance Rate: 26% IE Business School
17. Acceptance Rate: 26.70% Cornell University: Johnson
18. Acceptance Rate: 28% IMD
19. Acceptance Rate: 28.90% U. of Virginia: Darden
20. Acceptance Rate: 29.00% York University: Schulich
21. Acceptance Rate: 29% USC: Marshall
22. Acceptance Rate: 29.60% Michigan State: Broad
23. Acceptance Rate: 29.80% Carnegie Mellon: Tepper, US
24. Acceptance Rate: 31.50% Duke University: Fuqua
25. Acceptance Rate: 33% McGill
26. Acceptance Rate: 34% U. of TX at Austin: McCombs
27. Acceptance Rate: 34.40% Indiana University: Kelley
28. Acceptance Rate: 37% SDA Bocconi Italy
29. Acceptance Rate: 39.20% UNC: Kenan-Flagler
30. Acceptance Rate: 42% U. of Toronto: Rotman
31. Acceptance Rate: 48% ESADE Business School
32. Acceptance Rate: 49.80% U. of Iowa: Tippie
33. Acceptance Rate: 53% Brigham Young: Marriot
34. Acceptance Rate: 54% UBC: Sauder
35. Acceptance Rate: 56% Cranfield S. of Management
36. Acceptance Rate: 59% RSM Erasmus University
37. Acceptance Rate: 62% HEC Montreal, Canada
38. Acceptance Rate: 65% Queen's School of Business
39. Acceptance Rate: 72.30% Thunderbird

I could not obtain acceptance rates for AGSM, Ashridge, CEIBS, City University: Cass, EGADE, ESSEC, Henley Business School, Hong Kong UST Bus. School, Indian School of Business, INSEAD, IPADE, Lancaster U, Mngt. School, London Business School, Manchester Business School, U. of Cambridge: Judge, U. of Oxford : Said, and U. of Western Ontario: Ivey. If any of these programs actually provide such data, I would be happy to correct this ranking.

Since I wanted to compare difficulty of admission to averaged top twenty ranking and post-MBA salary, I prepared the following table(Click to enlarge it):
So what does my ranking by difficulty reveal? I think it helps to see the real variation that exists between the difficulty for admission at "Top 20" programs. I have read of fear mongers who would suggest the rate of admission for top programs is around 10%, but with the exception of Stanford GSB, this is not the case. Even Berkeley Haas (A tuition bargain for those paying in-state tuition in California) and HBS (with 88% yield, see my post on Columbia Early Decision regarding this.) have rates of admission over 13%. The reality is that many of the programs that consistently rank "Top 20" have something in the 15% to 25% rate of acceptance. Some programs are not particularly difficult to enter with rates approaching or exceeding 50%.

Keep in mind that difficulty of admission cannot simply be measured by acceptance rate. After all those who apply to a program are self-selecting and the programs can impact who even applies. Stated GPA, TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, and work experience minimums or age maximums/maximums can significantly reduce the number of applications a school receives: Why apply if you have been told that you will not be considered? Similarly, if a program has no specific minimums and appears open to all applicants, it would be logical to assume that it will receive many applications.

Also keep in mind for the programs where I could not get data, you can't make the assumption that they are easy to enter. That would most certainly be wrong with schools like INSEAD and LBS. I am not sure why these schools are transparent about their rates of admission. I can't imagine that their reputations would be damaged by releasing this information. One would hope that they would want applicants to be able to make fully informed decisions. Certainly, knowing how difficult a school is to enter is one key way to measure that.

Finally, I think it is valuable to use acceptance rate data to determine the level of risk of rejection one is willing to take when applying to B-school. See my "School Application Selection Strategy Based on Salary Approach." That approach is based on using acceptance rate data in combination with post-MBA salary ranking to come up with an optimal set of schools to apply to. Using the table above, I have made it easy to compare acceptance, post-MBA, and averaged "Top 20" ranking for the purpose of school application selection. For those who review my other posts on school selection, it should become clear that I do not consider such a purely quantitative approach to be sufficient, but I do think it is important to incorporate a real consideration of the numbers (rates of admission, yield, post-MBA salary, ROI) when determining where to apply to and where to go.

Comments? Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.

-Adam Markus
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MBA留学 ビジネススクール カウンセリング コンサルティング MBA ランキング 合格者率

June 20, 2008

Columbia Business School Early Decision

The post has been updated and expanded since I first posted it on September 7, 2007. Also see my essay analysis for September 2009 Term Admission.

In what follows, I provide: my answer to the question of who should apply for Columbia Business School's Early Decision, one reason why I think Columbia has an application option, and some related remarks on application strategy.

Every year many applicants to Columbia Business School have to deeply consider whether to apply to the Early Decision or the regular application round. Among top MBA programs Columbia's
Early Decision (ED) is unique. While Tuck has Early Action,I have not seen applicants face the same issues of school selection and application with Tuck that I will discuss below in regards to Columbia. First keep the official statement from Columbia regarding Early Decision in mind:

"The Early Decision option is ideal for candidates who have completed their research about MBA programs and have decided that Columbia is the school they want to attend. Early Decision applications are reviewed before Regular Decision applications." Early Decision candidates must sign the following Statement of Commitment:
As an Early Decision candidate to Columbia Business School, I understand that if I am admitted I will submit my non-refundable $6000 deposit to secure my place in the September entering class. I am committed to attending Columbia Business School, and will withdraw all applications and decline all offers from other schools upon admission to Columbia Business School.
This statement is quite clear and is taken very seriously by Columbia. Consider Linda Meehan's (assistant dean and executive director for MBA admissions and financial aid at CBS) remarks made in Businessweek's August 19, 2007 chat:
Her language is quite strong. Given that MBA programs take ethics seriously, I think it would be very bad idea to treat ED as some sort of $6000 insurance policy. ED is great for those are ready to apply and know Columbia is their first choice. However, if Columbia is not your first choice, but simply a great option, apply in the regular round.
I think one primary reason that Columbia takes Early Decision so seriously is that ED Increases Columbia's yield (percentage of admitted who attend).
Below are the yield rates for Columbia plus the schools I think someone is most likely to chose over Columbia. This data is based on US News and World Report for Fall 2007 Admissions in Yield Order:

HBS Yield: 88% Admitted: 1021 Attend: 901
Stanford GSB Yield: 80% Admitted: 455 Attend: 362
CBS Yield: 77% Admitted: 919 Attend: 711
Wharton Yield: 69% Admitted: 1153 Attend: 799
Univ. of Chicago GSB Yield: 60% Admitted: 932 Attend: 555

Yield is a fundamental measure of program popularity. After all if a program has a higher yield it means that applicants who are often admitted to multiple schools are choosing to attend it over another school.

I think it is useful to compare Columbia's yield rate to those programs with which it is in the most competition for admits. I think that, regardless of any rankings considerations, Columbia is most in competition with HBS and Stanford, where, at least in my experience, it usually loses. Next comes Wharton, where Columbia is more likely to lose, and Chicago, where Columbia often wins. My assumptions were made well before I ever looked at yield numbers, but are, with the seeming exception of Wharton, consistent with them.

Now Columbia's yield is certainly high. That said, ED helps to keep it that way and hence given the unique nature of that round, comparing the rates of CBS to other programs is somewhat problematic because by comparison the other schools are at a disadvantage. Which is to say, if Columbia did not use the
mandatory $6000 deposit and ethical stranglehold approach it takes to those who are accepted for Early Decision, its yield would easily fall. How far, I am not sure, but enough for it to matter. Given that Columbia is at least popularly perceived as losing to Wharton when it comes to school selection, I think we can assume there would be a statistically meaningful impact This is, of course, pure speculation on my part. While it might be the case that CBS Adcom simply takes the applicant's binding commitment seriously, I think it would be safe to assume that they do so based on the institutional interest of the Business School, not merely ethical considerations.

If Columbia Business School is your first choice and you can get your application ready by the due date of October 8, 2008, I do suggest applying to Early Decision. Given the deadline, you might try to get in other first round applications as well, but I would focus on making your Colombia application as strong as possible and consider applying to more schools in the second round. While I suppose there are many who will finish Colombia by October 8th and try to get in another top program such as HBS by the October 15 deadline, do not do that if it means submitting a weak application for either school.

Try to apply as early to ED as possible, but only if your application is as strong as you can make it. Since decisions are made within ten weeks of sending a complete application, I would recommend that you apply for ED relatively soon after they start taking applications on August 13th because this will give you sufficient time to consider whether you need to apply in the second round. Also, if Tuck is your second choice, it will give you plenty of time to apply to its Early Action round (due on October 15th).
Applying in mid-August means that you should have Columbia's decision by or before the end of October. One advantage to waiting until 2nd Round for at least some of your other applications is that if you don't get invited to a Columbia interview and/or are dinged after an interview, you have a pretty good indicator that you need to do a better job with your other applications (See here for a relevant post on that topic).
Finally, the above application strategy is not for everyone. In my experience, each applicant's needs very. When I am actually advising an individual client on application strategy I can factor in their specific situation to come up with an optimal tailored strategy.
Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.

-Adam Markus
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June 19, 2008

The 54 "Top 20" MBA Programs Averaged Ranking

This is the second of two posts on MBA Rankings. The first post is here. See also my ranking of these programs by acceptance rate.
Click here for all of my rankings tables together in one post.

In what follows, I have built upon the data I collected on the 54 programs worldwide (Table 1) that are generally identified by major ranking lists as "Top 20." While it seemed quite useful to simply collect all the data together so that I could see which programs were considered "Top 20" by the most well known ranking lists, I wanted to see what would happen if I simply determined the average ranking for each of the 54 schools and so that is what I did in Table 2. In Table 3, I eliminated all the calculations and added in "The 98," my ranking of MBA programs by post-MBA salary.

Actually I copied this method from one used by Real Clear Politics (RCP) for looking at Polling Data. The situation is similar because the RCP averages, just like mine, do not take account for differences in the methods by which the initial calculations were made. I will enter into the debate about the various problems with all of these publication's rankings, not because I am unbiased, but because I am. As I am no statistician, I used the following rather simple method to make my calculation:

1. Schools that were not ranked in the Top 20 on a specific list that they qualified for were given the value of 21. By assigning the value of 21, I have not weighted the value of the individual rankings.

2. I calculated average value by taking scores for all six rankings and
dividing by 6 for US programs and 5 for non-US Programs as
US News and World Report only ranks US.

3. The school with the lowest total has the top average rank.

4. Schools with the same average numerical value have the same rank.
Obvious unsolved problems with my methods that I am aware of :
1. Some ranking do not actually rank 20 programs.
2: While US News and W World Report, FT, and EIU's each have one comprehensive list, the other four rankings break-up schools into two or more lists, which results in Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes having more impact on the averaged ranking.
3. I could have used FT's regional lists, but choose to use the Worldwide list.

Here is the result (Click to enlarge it):


Table 3 does two things. First, it simply presents the programs in rank order. I am placing them here as well for ease of reading, but in order to see the second thing it does, you need to look at the JPEG (see below):

AVERAGED RANK FOR THE 54 "Top 20" MBA Programs
1. U. of Chicago GSB
2. IMD, Switzerland
3. London Business School
4. Stanford University GSB
5. Dartmouth College: Tuck
6. Harvard Business School
7. Columbia Business School
8. IESE Business School
9. MIT: Sloan
10. UC Berkeley: Haas
11. Queen's School of Business
12. Northwestern U.: Kellogg
12. U. of Pennsylvania: Wharton
14. IE Business School
15. ESADE Business School
16. New York University: Stern
17. SDA Bocconi Italy
18. U. of Michigan: Ross
20. York University: Schulich
21. Manchester Business School
22. Lancaster U., Mngt. School
23. U. of Virginia: Darden
23. Yale School of Management
26. Duke University: Fuqua
27. Cranfield S. of Management
27. U. of Western Ontario: Ivey
29. HEC Paris, France
30. Cornell University: Johnson
31. RSM Erasmus University
32. HEC Montreal, Canada
33. UNC: Kenan-Flagler
35. Carnegie Mellon: Tepper, US
36. UCLA: Anderson
37. U. of Oxford : Said
37. U. of Toronto: Rotman
39. AGSM
40. City University: Cass
40. UBC: Sauder
40. U. of Cambridge: Judge
45. Henley Business School
46. McGill
47. Thunderbird
47. U. of TX at Austin: McCombs
48. Hong Kong UST Bus. School
49. U. of Iowa: Tippie
50. Indiana University: Kelley
51. Brigham Young: Marriot
51. USC: Marshall
52. Ashridge
53. Michigan State: Broad
54. Indian School of Business

The second thing that Table 3 does is include the post-MBA salary based on my own ranking, "The 98." As you may have gathered from this earlier attempt at looking at MBA rankings, I have a bias towards that single characteristic that all B-schools have in common: market value. My use of FT for the purpose of ranking schools in post-MBA salary order relates directly to my belief that applicants should calculate the ROI of the programs they plan to apply to. An MBA is an investment and you can't calculate the rate of return on investment by looking at a school's ranking, instead you need to think about starting salary, lost income, and other tangible and intangible factors that will make such an investment either a success or a failure.

The wide ranging results that I saw when I put Table 1 together convinced me even more that looking at starting salary makes the most sense. Since I am focused on rankings here, I simply added "The 98" rank for any program that had my list. If you want to see the starting post-MBA salaries, you can find them here.

(Click to enlarge it)
I hope you found this post helpful or at least entertaining. By the way if you find any errors in my data, please let me know. I have already spent too much time on this to triple check my numbers.

Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.

-Adam Markus
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MBA留学 ビジネススクール カウンセリング コンサルティング MBA ランキング

June 18, 2008

A Comparison Of Rankings For Top 20 MBA Programs Worldwide

This is the first of two posts on MBA Rankings. The second post is here. See also my ranking of these programs by acceptance rate.
Click here for all of my rankings tables together in one post.

MBA Rankings are important because applicants, recruiters, students, and the schools themselves pay great attention to them. As to their basis in reality, I am not a statistician, so I can't judge their validity as measurements. I won't even try.

For me the chief value in MBA rankings is that they provide lists of schools that are generally thought to be superior by enough people and institutions so that the authors of the rankings are taken somewhat seriously. Applicants take them seriously enough when selecting where to apply. B-Schools take them seriously enough to mention their rankings.

If you are told that your company will only sponsor you for a "Top 20" MBA program, then you will have to take these lists seriously. Every year I have had Japanese clients who have been under such constraints. I hope the following is somewhat helpful to them.

What I have done here is simply take all the major lists and look only at the rankings for top 20 programs as ranked by Businessweek, the Financial Times, US News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and The Economist Intelligence Unit. Following this table, you see each ranking list. Note: If less than 20 programs are listed that is because less than 20 were ranked.
To best view the following table, click on it.

The rankings lists:

New Businessweek rankings will be coming in October 2008, this are the rankings from October 2006.

Top 20 US
1 University of Chicago
2 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
3 Northwestern University (Kellogg)
4 Harvard University
5 University of Michigan (Ross)
6 Stanford University
7 MIT (Sloan)
8 UC Berkeley (Haas)
9 Duke University (Fuqua)
10 Columbia University
11 Dartmouth (Tuck)
12 UCLA (Anderson)
13 Cornell University (Johnson)
14 NYU (Stern)
15 University of Virginia (Darden)
16 Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)
17 UNC - Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)
18 Indiana University (Kelley)
19 Yale University
20 University of Texas - Austin

Non-U.S. Top 10 MBA Programs

1 Queens University
2 Western Ontario (Ivey)
3 Toronto (Rotman)
5 London Business School
9 York (Schulich)
10 HEC - Montreal

March 2008
1. Harvard University
1. Stanford University
3. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
4. Northwestern University (Kellogg)
4. University of Chicago
7. Dartmouth College (Tuck)
7. University of California--Berkeley (Haas)
9. Columbia University
10 . New York University (Stern)
11. University of California--Los Angeles (Anderson)
12 .University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (Ross)
13. Yale University
14. Cornell University (Johnson)
14. Duke University (Fuqua)
14 . University of Virginia (Darden)
17. Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
18. University of Texas--Austin (McCombs)
19. University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)
20. Indiana University--Bloomington (Kelley)

Top Twenty Worldwide

1. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton
2. London Business School
3. Columbia Business School
4. Stanford University GSB
5. Harvard Business School
7. MIT: Sloan US
8. IE Business School
9. University of Chicago GSB
10. University of Cambridge: Judge UK
12. IESE Business School
13. New York University: Stern
14. IMD Switzerland
15. Dartmouth College: Tuck
16. Yale School of Management
17. Hong Kong UST Business School
18. HEC Paris France
19. University of Oxford
20. Indian School of Business


National Ranking: Recruiters hiring for jobs in the US
1. Dartmouth College (Tuck)
2. University of California, Berkeley (Haas)
3. Columbia University
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
5. Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
6. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)
7. University of Michigan (Ross)
8. Yale University
9 . University of Chicago
10. University of Virginia (Darden)
11. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
12. Northwestern University (Kellogg)
13. Duke University (Fuqua)
14. Harvard University
15. University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson)
16. Cornell University (Johnson)
17. New York University (Stern)
18. University of Southern California (Marshall)
19. Stanford University

Recruiters Hiring for Jobs Primarily Outside of the US

2. IMD
3. London Business School
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
6. Columbia University
8. Tecnológico de Monterrey (EGADE)
9. HEC Paris
10. Thunderbird
11. York University (Schulich)
12. University of Western Ontario (Ivey)
13. University of Chicago
14. Instituto de Empresa (IE)
16. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
17. Bocconi University
18. Erasmus University (Rotterdam)
19. IESE
20. Northwestern University (Kellogg)

2007 Ranking
1. Chicago, University of - Graduate School of Business
2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
3. IESE Business School - University of Navarra
4. Dartmouth College--Tuck School of Business
5. IMD - International Institute for Management Development
6. California at Berkeley, University of--Haas School of Business
7. Cambridge, University of - Judge Business School
8. New York University - Leonard N Stern School of Business
9. IE Business School
10. Henley Business School
11. Cranfield School of Management
12. Michigan, University of - Stephen M Ross School of Business
13. Harvard Business School
14. Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management
15. London Business School
16. MIT Sloan School of Management
18. Columbia Business School
19. Ashridge
20. Hong Kong UST -- School of Business and Management


Top US
  1. Dartmouth (Tuck)
  2. Stanford
  3. Harvard
  4. Virginia (Darden)
  5. Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  6. Columbia
  7. Chicago
  8. Yale
  9. Northwestern (Kellogg)
  10. Cornell (Johnson)
  11. NYU (Stern)
  12. Duke (Fuqua)
  13. UC Berkeley (Haas)
  14. Texas-Austin (McCombs)
  15. UNC (Kenan-Flagler)
  16. Iowa (Tippie)
  17. MIT (Sloan)
  18. Brigham Young (Marriott)
  19. Michigan State (Broad)
  20. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Top Non-U.S. One-Year Business Schools
1. IMD
2. Instituto de Empresa
3. Cranfield
4. SDA Bocconi
5. University of Oxford
6. Lancaster
7. City University, Cass
8. Queen's
9. HEC-Montreal

Top Non-U.S. Two-Year Business Schools
2. London Business School
3. Manchester Business School
4. York
6. Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM)
7. UBC, Saunder
10. HEC-Paris
11. McGill

Read the second post in this series for the Averaged Ranking of the 54 "Top 20" Programs.

Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.

-Adam Markus
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MBA留学 ビジネススクール カウンセリング コンサルティング MBA ランキング

June 17, 2008

HBS: What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?

This post is on the forth of the four "Question 3" questions for the Harvard Business School MBA Application for Fall 2009 Admission. You must answer two out of four of these questions. To see all the posts in this series: Overall Strategy 1 2 3-1 3-2 3-3 3-4.

3-4.What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you? (400-word limit)

While I think it is important that the MBA Admissions Board understand what motivates you, I don't believe that you necessarily have to answer this question to tell them that. While many applicants are likely to want to answer this question, if you want to set yourself apart from the pack, don't do it unless your answer is really very compelling.

The reason they made it optional is because they don't want to read standard obligatory goals essays. This has been part of trend at HBS which began when they stopped asking about why applicants want to attend there. I think they decided that asking that particular "Why HBS?" question was not interesting and probably not sufficiently helpful in selecting who would necessarily succeed at HBS. As I have mentioned in my post on Strategy, it is possible to express your future academic and professional objectives in another essay question.

At a strategic application level, I suggest you still should go through the process of analyzing your goals in detail.
Chances are quite high that if your are interviewed by HBS, you will be asked about your goals. Hence, having essays that account for your goals even indirectly or in limited detail is an important part of having an overall application strategy.

Even if your career vision is absolutely clear to you, I suggest going through a formal process of MBA goals formulation.
You can use my GAP, SWOT, AND ROI TABLE FOR FORMULATING GRADUATE DEGREE GOALS for this purpose (see below). I think Gap, SWOT, and ROI analysis are great ways for understanding what your goals are, why you want a degree, and how you will use it. (Click here for the Businessweek MBA ROI calculator. Click here for a GMAC report on MBA ROI. )

(To best view the following table, click on it. For a word version, please email me at adammarkus@gmail.com)

How to use this table:

Step 1.
Begin by analyzing your "Present Situation." What job(s) have you held? What was/is your functional role(s)? What was/are your responsibilities?

Next, analyze your present strengths and weaknesses for succeeding in your present career. REMEMBER: WHEN YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESS DON'T ONLY THINK ABOUT WORK, THINK ABOUT OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE. In particular, some of your greatest strengths may have been demonstrated outside of work, so make sure you are accounting for them.
Strengths: What are you good at? Where do you add value? What are you praised for? What are you proud of?
Weakness: What are you bad at? What are you criticized for? What do you try to avoid due to your own limitations? What do you fear?

, analyze the environment you work in right now. What opportunities exist for your growth and success? What threats could limit your career growth?

Step 2.
Now, do the same thing in Step 1 for your "Post-Degree" future after you have earned your graduate degree. IF YOU CANNOT COMPLETE STEP 2, YOU HAVE NOT SUFFICIENTLY PLANNED FOR YOUR FUTURE and therefore you need to do more research and need to think more about it.

Step 3.
If you could complete step 2, than you should see the "Gap" between your present and your future. What skills, knowledge, and other resources do you need to close the gap between your present and future responsibilities, strengths, and opportunities?

Step 4. After completing Step 3, you now need to determine how an MBA will add value to you. It is possible that an increased salary as a result of job change will be sufficient "ROI" for the degree to justify itself, but you should show how a degree will allow you to reach your career goals. How will the degree enhance your skills and opportunities and help you overcome your weaknesses and external threats? If you can complete Step 4, then you should be ready to explain what your goals are, why you want a degree, and the relationship between your past and future career, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. If you know about HBS, you are ready to write about your goals, whether in Question 3-4 or elsewhere in the essay set.

The above table will also help you answer such common interview questions as: Where do you want to work after you finish your degree? Why do you want an MBA (or other degree)? What are you strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are your goals?

Formulating goals is not enough to answer 3-4 effectively because HBS is especially focused on understanding the "why," not just the "what." Simply stating what your goals are and why HBS is the best place for you to accomplish them is not exactly what you need here. Instead, you need to articulate a vision related to your goals. You need to focus on your motivations as well as your idealized career outcomes.

Making your career goals sound exciting requires thinking about whether these goals are compelling. Admissions committees ask applicants to write about their goals after graduate school, but can applicants actually know what will be on the cutting-edge in two or three years? While many applicants will be able to successfully apply with relatively standard goals ("I want to be a consultant because..."), putting together a truly outstanding career vision is one way of differentiating your application. But how?

Be informed. HBS Admissions needs to believe you know what you are talking about. If you are changing careers, no one expects you to be an expert, but you should come across as having a clear plan based on real research into your future. If are planning on staying in your present industry, you should be well informed not only about the companies you have worked for, but the industry as a whole. If you are not already doing so, read industry related publications and network.

Those changing fields should most certainly read industry related publications in their intended field. Additionally, I suggest conducting informational interviews with at least one peer level and one senior level person in that field. Conduct a peer-level interview to get a good idea of what it would be like to actually work in that industry. Conduct a senior-level interview to get the perspective of someone who can see the big picture and all the little details as well.

Don't know anyone in your intended field? Network! One great way to start that is through LinkedIn. Another is by making use of your undergraduate alumni network and/or career center.

No matter whether you are changing fields or not, learn what is hot now and try to figure out what will be hot by the time you graduate. Now, of course, this is just a plan and chances are that what is hot in your industry or field now, may very well be cold in the future. The point is to come across to the Harvard Business School as someone who is not only well informed, but has CUTTING-EDGE knowledge. Some great general sources for learning what is hot:

HBS Sources: One of the best places to learn about what HBS perceives as cutting-edge is through HBS. You should most certainly visit Harvard Working Knowledge, Harvard Business Review, and Harvard Business School Publishing.

Beyond HBS: Additionally, other great business school sources include the University of Chicago GSB's Working Papers, The University of Chicago's Capital Ideas, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Knowledge @ Wharton, and MIT Sloan Management Review.

LinkedIn Answers: I would suggest that everyone join LinkedIn and make use of LinkedIn Answers. LinkedIn Answers is a great way to tap into cutting edge expertise (including my admissions advice!). Follow LinkedIn's rules and you will often be able to obtain excellent information.

Hoovers: For information about specific companies, Hoovers is just a great way to learn about key facts including competitors (a very useful way of knowing who else you might want to work for and to learn about an industry). While primarily focused on the US, Hoovers does have listings for companies worldwide.

Vault: For scope of coverage, this site is a must. Vault includes both career and admissions information. It includes both company specific and industry-wide information.

Other sources: Read magazines, websites, and books that relate to your intended field.

The writing process: After going through a process of reflection and analysis, prepare a version of essay 3-4 that includes everything you want to say. If you have previously prepared a goals essay for another school this may serve as a foundation, but modify it to tell admissions everything you would want them to know about your career vision. Next begin the process of revision. Here are a few key things to consider when revising:

1. Think about the most important thing you need admissions to know about your career vision. Begin your essay with that. Chances are good that on your initial draft the most important thing is somewhere in the middle or end of your essay.

2. Prioritize the rest of your content: What do they really need to know? You probably have lots of details that can be cut.

3. Make a formal argument: Your essay should be neither a set of disembodied points or a summary. Instead, it should be a formal statement about your career vision. It may very well partially take the form of a memo or it may be rather creative. The important point is that the reader should be able to understand it clearly and be convinced by it.

Finally, once you have put together your career vision, consider how the rest of your application supports what you say in it. Without over-marketing yourself, or even necessarily writing it directly in the essays, make sure that your past accomplishments and other aspects of your application show how your potential will contribute to your future career vision.

Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.
-Adam Markus
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