Go to a better blog!

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.

November 23, 2009

GMAT Content from Knewton, Inc.

May 20, 2011 Update:  My Linkshare arrangement with Knewton has ended.

I am pleased to announce that Knewton, Inc. will be providing my blog with GMAT content. I think Knewton, Inc. offers a superior GMAT course option. They have a great development team lead by some of the best in test prep and are offering a course with a money-back guarantee that anyone looking for GMAT test prep should really consider taking.

As a matter of disclosure, I have entered into a Linkshare arrangement with Knewton.  For quite a while now, I have wanted to find an advertiser for my blog who I was comfortable partnering with. Knewton, Inc. is that partner.

-Adam Markus
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November 11, 2009

UC Berkeley Haas MBA Interviews

I have made a few minor changes to this year's version of this post.

Before reading this post on UC Berkeley Haas MBA, I suggest reviewing the Director of Admissions for the Full-time MBA Program's excellent Tips for Acing the Admissions Interview. I also suggest that you listen to the short podcast on interviewing found at http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/haas/podcast/audio/haas_mba_interview_tips1.mp3. The advice is very simple and clear and applicable to most schools. If you think you will get special insight about the Haas interviews from listening to this, you will likely be disappointed, but still it is worth a listen.

The reports of interviews found at accepted.com and clearadmit.com make it clear that you need to know your resume completely as you will be asked about content in it ("Walk me through your resume"). Review it carefully and consider what your interviewer might ask you to explain more thoroughly. If it is on your resume, it is fair game.

You also need to be prepared to answer routine MBA questions. Most reported interviews simply consist of them. See my previous post on basic interview strategy.

I see no reports of and have never been told about any trick questions that have been asked in Haas interviews. Be prepared to ask questions about the program. If you have an alum interview, be prepared to have a number of questions.

Interviewers (students, adcom, or alumni) are usually friendly and consistently try to create a very relaxed interview atmosphere. Most interviews are conducted with students on-campus or alumni off-campus. I did read some reports of relatively weak student interviewers, so don't be surprised if this should happen. Regardless of how your interviewer performs, just be relaxed and positive. This is an interview about fit and your own potential, so make sure you can explain in depth why you want to attend Haas, how you will contribute to it, and what you intend to do afterwords. Previous contact with alum, visits to campus, and/or intensive school research are all great ways to prepare. For more about Haas, see my Q&A's with students and essay analysis.

Campus interviews are scheduled for 30 minutes and usually last 30-45 minutes. Alum interviews seems to last about 45 minutes to an hour.

If you are interested in my interview preparation or other graduate admission consulting services, please click here.

Questions? Write comments, but do not send me emails asking me to advise you on your application strategy unless you are interested in my consulting services. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to. Before emailing me questions about your chances for admission or personal profile, please see my post on "Why I don't analyze profiles without consulting with the applicant."
-Adam Markus
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November 09, 2009

Starting to post 2010 client results and testimonials

While it is too early for most results to be in,  two of my clients were admitted to CBS J-Term and one client was admitted to HEC and IE.  You can find testimonials from two of them here. I will post more results and testimonials as they become available.

Are good MBA application essays like maple syrup?

One of my clients dared me to write this. Since it is 1:49am right now and I am bit tired from doing a significant amount of interview prep with a number of clients today, I thought it might be nice to write this. Warning: There is a high likelihood that what follows will not help you gain admission to the MBA program of your choice.

Are good MBA application essays like maple syrup?

It depends on what you think about about maple syrup.

For those of us raised on artificially flavored quasi-maple pancake syrup, the real stuff can seem, well, not that sweet.  Even, and this makes me sad to admit, somewhat bland.  Good essays should certainly not be bland.  They need to standout and have impact. If your reader can't easily distinguish between the subtle, but authentic taste of something really good, you clearly have no room for being overly subtle.  In this sense, good  MBA application essays are not like good maple syrup.  Instead, a better comparison would be a great bottle of wine.  Good essays are certainly like that.  A truly great of wine will be memorable.  The odor and taste will leave you wanting more.  This is an ideal image for what one wants from great MBA essays because they leave the reader wanting more so that the reader is left with only one choice, interviewing the applicant.

However, maple syrup is authentic and authenticity is something that the best MBA application essays must have.  Those who really know the real stuff become unable to enjoy the fake stuff. Put simply, real maple syrup lacks that extreme sweetness of the artificial buttery sweet pancake syrup. Consider that essays that are sickeningly sweet have a high likelihood of leaving the reader with a bad taste in his or her mouth.    Real maple's subtle taste is what makes it such an expensive sweetener.  Good MBA essays certainly have a taste of their own.  The applicant's ability to communicate their own story as effectively as possible and in a manner that convinces the reader is quite similar to the impact that maple syrup can have on those who appreciate it.

It is times like these when I wish that I had some pancakes.  Instead, I will simply end this post now.


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