MBA Chat — September 22, 1999

MBA Chat — September 22, 1999

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Strategies for Success Transcript

This chat focused on success strategies for the MBA applicant. Linda Abraham,’s president, was the co-moderator with Maxx Duffy of Maxx Associates. Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu, editors, assisted.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:02:48 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to's first MBA admissions online chat!

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:02:53 PM)
I also want to welcome Maxx Duffy of Maxx Associates, who will co-host the chat with me and share her encyclopedic knowledge of MBA admissions. And last but not least, I want to welcome Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu, two of's editors.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:03:06 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:03:09 PM)
We encourage dialogue and discussion, but I would like to suggest a structure to make it easier to follow the threads of conversation. So here is the protocol:

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:03:14 PM)
We will post material to the chat. If you have a question on that material, please type a '?' and then your question. I and/or other participants will reply. If one of you wants to comment on the current topic, please jump right in. If you want to start a different topic, please type '?'.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:03:19 PM)
During the first half of the chat, it is my turn to ask Maxx questions. :-) Then it's your turn to fire away.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:03:29 PM)
OK. Let's get started. Maxx, applying to MBA programs sometimes seems like a cross between running a marathon and jumping hurdles.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:03:34 PM)
Can you give some advice on how to approach this almost overwhelming process? Focusing on the process after the GMAT, can you suggest strategies for success?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:03:37 PM)
Good evening, everyone. I am delighted to be here and to offer some insight on the admission and application process.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:03:49 PM)
In order for applicants to create a strategy for success, I need to establish a foundation from which applicants can build. This foundation consists of an understanding of the Admission Criteria used by MBA Admission Offices. By comprehending the Admission Criteria in depth, a candidate starts thinking more like an Admissions Officer. What is it that Admissions truly wants? What do they really mean by demonstrated leadership, management ability, outstanding personal characteristics? What is Admissions actually writing down when they read a candidate's file? By gaining an Admissions mindset, a candidate can then create an application strategy for success.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:03:53 PM)
We all know that ADCOMs look at the GMAT, GPA, work experience, etc. How do they weigh those different elements?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:04:20 PM)
The Admission Criteria used by all MBA programs are basically the same. The differences lie in the weight that each criterion is given. There are 3 areas in which an applicant is judged: Academics, Professional Potential, and Personal Characteristics. At some programs, these areas are weighed evenly: 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. At others, they are weighed roughly: 40, 40, 20. And, at still others, they are weighed roughly 50, 25, 25.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:04:34 PM)
Appreciate, though, that the weights assigned are very flexible, based on an individual application. An Admissions Officer can choose to increase or decrease the weight of a given admission area for whatever reason. Call this an option on the part of an Admission Officer. Clearly, as there is nothing that applicants can do about the weight that admission offices give the criteria nor about the individual decisions that an Admission Officer makes, I recommend that applicants not worry about the weight assigned and, instead, remain focused on employing a strategy that attempts to "ace" all the categories as best they can.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:04:39 PM)
Could we discuss those three qualifiers in more detail?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:04:45 PM)
Sure. The criteria start with Academics. Admission is trying to assess an applicant's intellectual potential. Can the candidate intellectually succeed in the program? When Admissions starts assessing a candidate's application file, it begins by reviewing the applicant's transcript(s) and GMAT result (usually the highest).

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:04:54 PM)
Usually the individual admission reader has the option to boost the GPA section a tad for either a difficult discipline, a well-known program, and/or another graduate program [i.e., another Master's degree.] An applicant cannot count on this though, as it is an individual decision and an application is usually read by multiple admission readers.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:05:02 PM)
I might point out that the common denominator in Admissions is the undergraduate transcript. All applicants have this. Thus, a transcript from a non-business, graduate program, while reviewed and noted, is not equivalent to the undergraduate transcript. It is more like having "extra credit."

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:05:17 PM)
Next, Admissions looks to see if the applicant had any trouble spots and, if so, in which subjects? How do those subjects relate to business school? How many trouble spots were there? Is there any sort of trend regarding the trouble spots -- a particular area? Has any of this been countered with other academic courses taken?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:05:25 PM)
Are certain trouble spots worse than others?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:05:29 PM)
Yes. Poor grades in quantitative courses or business-related courses are more detrimental than in non-business courses. Of course, all poor grades affect a candidate's cumulative grade point average, so the poor grades are not being dismissed!

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:05:39 PM)
Admissions pays close attention to a candidate's quantitative courses and/or business-related courses. While taking business courses is not required, if the applicant has taken some, then Admissions is certainly interested in how the applicant fared in them! Keep in mind that top programs need to believe that the applicant can succeed in graduate business school courses. So, Admissions is looking for those courses to be strong and consistent over time.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:05:41 PM)
What else does Admissions look for in an applicant's academic record?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:05:49 PM)
The savvy Admissions Officer looks to see how an applicant fared in his/her discipline (major/minor; multiple majors). As this was a chosen specialty, it can reveal an applicant's level of commitment/dedication and ability to excel. Did this discipline, if a non-business major, require any statistical course?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:05:59 PM)
Finally, Admissions looks at an applicant's GMAT. Ideally, the score would be in the upper 600s or in the 700s, though, keep in mind that all programs have a range in which the ideal GMAT falls. So, if a program's average score is 680, someone with a 650 could still be within their range, especially if their GPA was high and work experience unique.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:06:11 PM)
Clearly, with the upper scores, the percentile breakdowns (Quantitative/Verbal) often prove to be fairly even. If, however, there is a slight difference, it is preferable that the Quantitative percentile be stronger. This is a business school application, after all.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:06:17 PM)
OK, the academic criteria are an indication of ability to perform in business school. Could you address the role of work experience or "professional potential" as you described it earlier?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:06:24 PM)
Professional Potential is about an applicant's Leadership/Management experiences. Specifically, this is taken from the application's fill-in-the-blank questions (Collegiate and Post Collegiate Activities; Honors/Awards/Distinctions; Employment History) and the Essays. Admissions looks for depth and insight regarding an applicant's industry expertise, specific business aptitude, and leadership and/or management knowledge. Admissions tries to determine an applicant's understanding of the interrelationship between business principles, issues, problems, and concepts; it also strives to determine an applicant's insight regarding organizational and personal leadership and management skills and methodologies: SPECIFIC traits and abilities an applicant has and SPECIFIC tactics/methodologies an applicant employs.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:06:34 PM)
For example, one of the most common mistakes that applicants make is the use of umbrella words - broad, generic phrases such as: "strong leadership skills" or "excellent communication skills." What applicants should be doing is citing 5-6 specific leadership/management skills and/or communication skills that they actually have. Rule of thumb: Be Precise!

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:06:39 PM)
From a writing perspective, I couldn't agree with you more. Specifics and details distinguish applicants from their competition, are more interesting to read than generalities that appear in every essay, and make your point far more effectively.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:06:47 PM)
Absolutely. Admissions wants to know the applicant. Beyond the facts that an applicant cites, Admissions wants insight - information above and beyond the general situation. Another common mistake that applicants make is factual repetition. Applicants often repeat the facts of their background [i.e., those listed in Employment History] in the essays. While essays do ask for some facts, the trick is to cite the facts quickly so you can concentrate on the added insight.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:06:55 PM)
This might be a little confusing. On one hand you (and I) are saying to include specifics, but not to cite too many facts. Could you clarify?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:07:00 PM)
There is a time and place for everything. Employment History includes many specifics -- clients, industries, projects. The same is true for the other sections: Extracurricular, Professional or Community Activities, Honors/Awards. But the essays are about insight - what one learned or gained; what one knows because of a particular situation. So, in essays, it is about writing precisely about insight, not simply repeating the facts.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:07:05 PM)
What else does Admissions consider?

mit (22-Sep-99 9:07:07 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:07:13 PM)
Admissions looks for unusual elements in a candidate's professional background. Think of this in terms of perspectives. A candidate often has exposure to and/or experience from multiple perspectives: international/domestic; client/company; owner/employee; differing industries; marketing vs. production, etcetera. Keep in mind that Admissions wants to admit the candidates who have the most to contribute to classroom discussions. So candidates should look for unusual angles in their backgrounds.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:07:18 PM)
Insight and multiple perspectives play powerful roles in producing compelling essays about past experience. What is the role of professional goals for the future?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:07:24 PM)
Admissions desires candidates who have established career goals. They seek candidates who know what they want and how they are going to get there. Not to be trite, but Admissions wants candidates with vision - candidates with clear goals and a developed strategy. So, as Admissions reads a candidate's goals essay, they ask themselves such questions as:

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:07:33 PM)
1. How well-thought out are the candidate's goals?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:07:45 PM)
2. How solid a "Strategic Plan" does the applicant have to achieve them? What are the goals upon leaving the program [short term]; goals 5-10 years later [long term]. How specifically will the applicant get there?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:07:53 PM)
3. How well does the applicant's goals fit with the particular MBA program? Is it balanced? Does the knowledge that the applicant brings to the program balance with the precise knowledge that the applicant seeks from the program? [Note: this is a bit of a catch-22. An applicant needs to do homework to find this out. What does a 2nd year MBA know that the applicant does not? What business concepts, principles, topics, issues, problems is sought? Once again, be precise!]

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:07:58 PM)
I might add that the applicant should also do his or her homework about the program before attempting to say why they want to go to a particular school.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:08:05 PM)
Agreed - and those reasons need to go beyond the obvious: reputation, location, atmosphere, etc.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:08:08 PM)
Okay. What about the final segment of the decision criteria - Personal Characteristics?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:08:17 PM)
Sure.  Will the "everyday" candidate please stand up? The final segment of the Admission Criteria is about applicants in their everyday life. It is the candidate who takes an active role in the community. It is the candidate's personal perspectives - cultural upbringing; multicultural environment; personal ethics/values/beliefs; family circumstances (lst generation; economics; religious factors.) It is the personal profile of a candidate - from personal activities to personal traits - all of which define, on a personal level, who a candidate is.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:08:28 PM)
Admissions is interested in understanding who an applicant is above and beyond the job. What makes an applicant tick? How would an applicant describe himself/herself? What are an applicant's core beliefs? These, after all, affect an applicant in all walks of his/her life.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:08:41 PM)
Interestingly, the trick with this section of the criteria is finding a place to either cite or discuss them. What is especially odd is that this section of the admission criteria can be as much as 1/3 of the decision, and, yet, many applications do not readily offer space to address these topics. (But, I guarantee these topics are part of the admission criteria.) So, what should an applicant do? Answer: Find a spot! Personal Activities can be volunteered in the Post-Collegiate section of the Activities question; and Ethics/Values and Personal Skills/Traits can find a home in the optional essay, if necessary.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:08:48 PM)
Your point about finding a spot in the essays or in the boxes to include personal information brings to mind a question. Could you comment on the percentage of non-professional material that should be included in the essays? Should they be 2/3 professional and 1/3 non-professional? Is there a rule of thumb?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:08:54 PM)
This is a difficult question to answer as each individual case is different. In GENERAL, I would opt for 2/3 professional and 1/3 personal. However, there are certain circumstances where an applicant might change that balance. For instance, a slightly younger candidate with strong but shorter in duration professional experience might change the mix to 75/25.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:09:02 PM)
By providing evidence of potential in these three areas, the applicant is also developing a multi-dimensional picture, what you call the 3-D image, right? If done well, the ADCOM readers should feel like they have met someone when they finish reading the essay, correct?

pc (22-Sep-99 9:09:04 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:09:08 PM)
Correct. Look what Admissions has done. It is very clever. Admissions has three sections in their admission criteria. It is a 3-dimensional view of the candidate and it is interrelated. Who is the applicant Intellectually (Academics); who is the applicant Professionally (Leadership + Management + Knowledge + Goals + Skills/Traits); and who is the applicant Personally (Community + Personal Activities + Ethics/Values + Skills/Traits). It is a 3-D image of a candidate with the criteria overlapping:

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:09:17 PM)
1. Who an applicant is intellectually overlaps with the knowledge an applicant brings/contributes to a program,

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:09:26 PM)
2. Professional skills/traits/abilities overlap with personal ones,

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:09:35 PM)
3. Professional leadership is aligned with community leadership

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:09:45 PM)
4. Personal ethics/values/beliefs equal business ethics/values/beliefs.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:09:53 PM)
5. Professional goals often overlap with life goals.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:10:03 PM)
An applicant needs to be sure that this 3-D image exists in every application. It is the foundation of the admission criteria; it is the foundation to a stellar application; it is the foundation for a strategy of success.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:10:16 PM)
When candidates look at an application's biographical questions and essays, they should ask themselves what is it that Admissions really wants to know. Look at the Admission Criteria and make links to the question/essay you are answering. Is the question/essay after intellectual, professional or personal information? Is it after facts or insight? Or is it a combination of both? [NOTE: If both, err on the side of insight. The facts are probably supported in the Employment History section.]

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:10:26 PM)
Does the question/essay ask for specific knowledge? (This was a trick question. The answer to this is always: "Yes!") Remember, the more depth you provide, the more you distinguish yourself.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:10:35 PM)
Once you have determined the connection, then begin your response. After citing what is obvious, push yourself to see if you are forgetting something not-so-obvious. Is it possible to volunteer a little extra, while diplomatically staying within the confines of the application? Answer: Yes!

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:10:38 PM)
What do you mean by volunteering a little extra?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:10:44 PM)
Let me give you a couple of examples:

brenda (22-Sep-99 9:10:54 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:10:55 PM)
1. Most applications ask for your Cumulative GPA, but not all of them ask for your Major GPA. If your Major GPA is substantially stronger than your Cumulative GPA, volunteer it somewhere, perhaps where they ask for your concentration. Or if you excelled in your last 2 years in college, find a spot to "slip in" this Junior/Senior GPA.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:11:04 PM)
2. The application asks for College and Community Activities. You cite all of those. Did you volunteer your Professional activities or Personal ones?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:11:13 PM)
3. The essay asks for an accomplishment and why you consider it to be an accomplishment. You cite the situation, your role in it, and the results attained. Those are the facts. Leave room for the insight/perspectives you gained, the skills you demonstrated, the traits you enhanced.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:11:16 PM)
Wow! You have provided a treasure trove of information here this evening. Thank you, Maxx.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:11:24 PM)
Now I would like to open the cyberfloor to questions. Let's try to stick to the protocol mentioned earlier:

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:11:29 PM)
If you have a question on a new topic, please type a '?' and then your question. Maxx, other participants, or I will reply. If you want to comment on the current topic, please jump right in. If you want to start a different topic, please type '?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:11:36 PM)
Maxx and I also have a request: We would like to avoid the brief summary of qualifications (or even the long laundry list) followed by the question, "Can I qualify for a particular school." All we will be able to say is "You seem to have a competitive profile" or "Your chances are slim."

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:11:46 PM)
Other than that limitation, please fire away!

jay (22-Sep-99 9:12:03 PM)
? Maxx can the goal be too specific - like in the next 10 years I will start my own industrial automation company

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:12:26 PM)
No, a goal cannot be too specific. The more focused you seem the better.

Sheila Bender (22-Sep-99 9:12:44 PM)
?Given that they are not looking at graduate studies outside of business other than as extra credit, is a strong gpa in grad school worth pointing out if it was higher than undergraduate gpa?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:13:01 PM)
Yes, absolutely.

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:13:34 PM)
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ABC (22-Sep-99 9:13:42 PM)
? is the use of optional essays to demonstrate other interesting aspects always a good idea? Do AdCom people discount the worth of optional essays ?

Cub (22-Sep-99 9:13:52 PM)
? Should you be mentioning your strong academics in your essays or should you merely let the transcript speak for itself ?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:14:00 PM)
Optional essays should always be written.

Sheila Bender (22-Sep-99 9:14:08 PM)
?If someone has personal reasons for staying in a particular city where the MBA program is located, is that something worth stating?

jay (22-Sep-99 9:14:09 PM)
? Maxx what's the best strategy for a why particular school question?

AJ (22-Sep-99 9:14:13 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:14:15 PM)
It provides another perspective and should be different from other essays.

J Powers (22-Sep-99 9:14:18 PM)
? Does professional academic work such as progress toward CFA, etc. help counter poor GPA?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:14:24 PM)
OK. Let's hold the questions for a minute so Maxx can respond.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:14:41 PM)
Make a connection between your goals and specific professors at the school. Check articles professors have written.

pc (22-Sep-99 9:14:46 PM)
? Maxx, can community service be too short to mention in the application, (i.e. started in May of this year)?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:14:53 PM)
Yes it helps

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:15:29 PM)
No, community service should always be mentioned.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:15:50 PM)
Community service is a balance between ongoing leadership commitments and one-day events.

jay (22-Sep-99 9:16:33 PM)
?so if a school asks for three leadership experiences it's better to list them from three different areas professional, extracurricular, family?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:16:52 PM)
Re: Location of the school. Yes, do state that you have a reason for being in a certain city. Peripheral reasons are valid.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:17:18 PM)
Jay: It depends on personal circumstance. If you have fewer years of experience err on the side of professional.

J Powers (22-Sep-99 9:17:49 PM)
? What is the best way to explain a general lack of maturity in Undergrad?

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:17:58 PM)
how do schools view a married couple both applying to their school?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:18:19 PM)
J Powers, first take responsibility for your grades and then counter with your professional experience, especially if it's quantitative.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:18:32 PM)
Teebone, you need to tell them, but there are no guarantees.

Cindy (22-Sep-99 9:18:43 PM)
?Do you have any special advice for people who fall into some larger MBA applicant groups, such as engineers and financial analysts?

4ever (22-Sep-99 9:18:55 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:19:22 PM)
Cindy, yes. Look for unique elements or angles in your background regarding projects, industries, or particular business problems/challenges.

jay (22-Sep-99 9:19:39 PM)
max - would too many professional experiences make it nerdy? I mean I have 7 yrs work exp so I can come up with a strong leadership incident from all three fields but should I limit it to two work and 1 external event?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:20:19 PM)
Jay, for HBS essay 1, your strength is the 7 years. Give two professional and one external.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:20:55 PM)
Maxx, on the question about undergraduate record, would that also depend on how many years you have been out of school? If someone has been out of school for 5 or more years and the poor grades occurred eight to ten years ago, should the applicant deal directly with the poor grades from way back when. Or should the focus be on achievement since graduation?

Cub (22-Sep-99 9:20:56 PM)
? What is the best way to differentiate between leadership and substantial experiences for the HBS essays ?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:21:43 PM)
Linda, great question! I would actually have the applicant still address the previous difficulty, but keep it short and simple, and certainly then focus on achievements since then.

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:22:14 PM)
adcom people complain about too many essays sounding the same. how do you make yours stand out?

MM (22-Sep-99 9:22:22 PM)
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Nix (22-Sep-99 9:22:23 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:22:32 PM)
Cub, I think you mean accomplishments, not experiences. Substantial accomplishments can be in your community and personal life, for example mentoring a child in reading or something.

AJ (22-Sep-99 9:22:37 PM)
?The Stanford essays seem very open-ended. What is the best way to approach them?

Nix (22-Sep-99 9:22:39 PM)
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LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:22:42 PM)
You make your essays stand out by using specifics.

MM (22-Sep-99 9:22:53 PM)
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jay (22-Sep-99 9:23:17 PM)
?maxx - is the feedback from schools if you were rejected pretty accurate or is it pretty much generalizations just so they have something to say

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:23:18 PM)
Don't talk about "community service" Discuss your leadership role in an organization that serves families facing the catastrophic illness of their children.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:23:36 PM)
Tell about real people... stories, anecdotes.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:23:43 PM)
AJ, the best way to approach them is with a mixture between your professional abilities, style, experiences balanced by your personal ethics, values and beliefs and your contributions to community.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:23:52 PM)
They make your essay come alive. Maxx do you agree?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:24:27 PM)

pc (22-Sep-99 9:24:33 PM)
? Maxx, if you have two pretty different jobs since graduation, should one, as a general rule, focus on the more recent job?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:25:21 PM)
PC, your most current job is crucial, but what you want to do is look to the different elements in both jobs as to what each will contribute to your success in graduate business school in terms of your business knowledge.

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:25:34 PM)
What are the adcoms looking for when they ask what you can contribute to the mba program

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:26:13 PM)
Teebone, they're looking specifically for, again, business knowledge: What do you know about finance, marketing, global strategy. They want you to be able to contribute to classroom discussion.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:26:14 PM)
Maxx, Jay posed a question about feedback after rejection. How accurate is it?

Nix (22-Sep-99 9:26:29 PM)
?What is the best strategy for dealing with lack of community involvement in the past? Should you ever try to make excuses for lack of community service involvement? e.g. moved around a lot; not part of culture where you grew up.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:26:49 PM)
In general, don't make excuses.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:26:54 PM)
Jay, feedback is usually accurate but generic in nature. What you need to ask yourself is: what's beneath the generality.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:27:03 PM)
But look at community service in a broad light.

mit (22-Sep-99 9:27:08 PM)
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jay (22-Sep-99 9:27:28 PM)
?maxx - I understand the need to be specific but how do you get specific in 200 words? should you spend minimal time on the setup and let the adcom read into it and focus on the solution or the other way round.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:27:30 PM)
It can include managing extraordinary family responsibilities, volunteering or serving one's church, political activism.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:28:03 PM)
Jay, write precisely. Use short phrases to say a lot in few words.

J Powers (22-Sep-99 9:28:12 PM)
? Is it risky to apply before you feel you stand a good chance yet (i.e., you might take night classes to demonstrate better grades and apply next year, etc.)?

Paul Bodine (22-Sep-99 9:28:12 PM)
How about the applicant with a sterling career profile who spends his/her free time writing the Great American Novel. Does he/she lose points for lack of "community service"? I.e., can a "passionate" involvement in something creative compensate for little community service in the adcom's eyes?

ABC (22-Sep-99 9:28:20 PM)
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LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:28:42 PM)
Jay, also use the active voice, Write succinctly. Again try to use one specific to exemplify what you are trying to communicate.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:28:58 PM)
Nix, regarding lack of community service involvement, admissions doesn't want to hear excuses. Counter with committees at work, one-day events, religious/church affiliations, memberships, etc.

pc (22-Sep-99 9:29:14 PM)
? Maxx, is it always a good idea to apply as early as possible, or can short amount of time on current job (1 year at time of applying) be a bigger negative?

dab (22-Sep-99 9:29:18 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:29:25 PM)
JPowers, yes it is risky. The best chance of getting in is the first chance.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:29:57 PM)
Paul, absolutely it can.

AJ (22-Sep-99 9:30:16 PM)
?Is there a better chance of getting in depending on which round one applies?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:30:53 PM)
PC, if you are applying at the Top Ten, it is very difficult to gain acceptance with less than two or three years of full-time work experience.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:30:53 PM)
pc, no it's not always a good idea to apply as early as possible. It depends on circumstance. A short amount of time on the current job is not a problem if you've had 2-3 years' experience on another job.

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:31:12 PM)
how can you be sure the examples you use in the essays don't sound too trivial?

Cub (22-Sep-99 9:31:16 PM)
? Is it okay to use names of people in the essays (e.g. Joe Smith instead of "a colleague") ?

Sheila Bender (22-Sep-99 9:31:27 PM)
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MM (22-Sep-99 9:31:28 PM)
? What is the best way to address my interest in strategy consulting as a post-MBA career goal, especially when I don't have any prior experience in the field. I don't want to sound as if 1) I'm following the herds 2) I don't have realistic career goals. Is it enough to demonstrate that it matches my interests and skills and that I have done enough research.

dab (22-Sep-99 9:31:34 PM)
?Maxx if one is making a career switch (within the same industry) at the time of the applications, do schools prefer that you spend a minimum amount of time at the new job before applying? how would you address a career change?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:31:40 PM)
AJ, it depends on circumstance. The balance is between risking high GPA/GMATS in first round versus loss of spaces and diversity in second round.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:31:46 PM)
Teebone, you can ask your editor ;-). Seriously, you can ask someone else how they react to your essays.

Paul Bodine (22-Sep-99 9:31:55 PM)
Teebone. They aren't trivial if you show why they were important to you.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:32:06 PM)
Also, if the examples are significant to you, they probably aren't trite.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:32:13 PM)
Dab, you would be better off working in the new job for a solid year to year and a half before applying.

jay (22-Sep-99 9:32:31 PM)
?maxx - if you have some unique hobbies like telescope making etc should that be stressed somehow in an essay or is the resume a better place to bring it up.

AJ (22-Sep-99 9:32:45 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:33:03 PM)
Jay, hobbies are sometimes asked for in applications, but can also be included as personal interests after you've listed community activities.

Cub (22-Sep-99 9:33:05 PM)
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LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:33:24 PM)
Any other questions?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:33:43 PM)
I do.

pc (22-Sep-99 9:33:51 PM)
? Maxx, how is a resume viewed by AdCom?

J Powers (22-Sep-99 9:34:00 PM)
? where can we go to get guidance on our individual chances for admission?

dab (22-Sep-99 9:34:29 PM)
?How should one address issues of sexual orientation. I understand what the official stance is, but what is the scoop?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:34:35 PM)
pc, you are better off giving a fuller description in "employment history." The resume gets you a job; employment history gets you into graduate school.

MM (22-Sep-99 9:34:49 PM)
Maxx, you have not answered my question.

Nix (22-Sep-99 9:34:55 PM)
I have an unusual undergraduate experience where I worked full time and studied part-time but took an overload of subjects in order to finish faster. Is this an appropriate topic to explain in an optional essay?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:34:55 PM)
JPowers, well, give me a call!

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:35:03 PM)
MM Could you please repeat it?

jay (22-Sep-99 9:35:24 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:35:32 PM)
Nix, explain it sooner than in the optional essay.

J Powers (22-Sep-99 9:35:42 PM)
? If I waited tables and bartended my way through college, should this be a part of my application? If so, where...?

jay (22-Sep-99 9:35:49 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:35:57 PM)
nix, put an asterisk where they ask for the GPA and give your statement there.

MM (22-Sep-99 9:36:03 PM)
Well, it was a long one, can you please scroll back? If you don't mind.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:36:13 PM)
JPowers, yes it should be listed in part-time work experience.

pc (22-Sep-99 9:36:39 PM)
? Maxx, allow me to follow up on my resume question, is resume given more weight than what's generally stated in the application packet, and should we keep it to one page?

dab (22-Sep-99 9:37:24 PM)
?Maxx how should one address issues of sexual orientation. I understand what the official stance is, but what is the real scoop?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:37:44 PM)
MM, your skills are applicable to strategy consulting. In the end that's what it's all about: applying your knowledge and skills to a chosen field. Add some unique perspectives that you can bring to it.

J Powers (22-Sep-99 9:38:36 PM)
? How does one gracefully indicate that working one's way through college was a contributor to bad grades without appearing to make excuses for bad gpa?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:38:37 PM)
MM If you have skills in strategic consulting, then you must have some experience -- perhaps not at a consulting firm. It is still experience and the basis upon which you have decided to go into the field.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:38:38 PM)
pc, a resume is for interviews and, again, if an application asks for employment history or gives you a choice between employment history and a resume, go with employment history. A resume should be one page.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:39:11 PM)
dab, unless your sexual orientation has some bearing on your professional goals, it would not otherwise be included in an application.

MM (22-Sep-99 9:39:11 PM)
I have 6 years of solid managerial experience.

Paul Bodine (22-Sep-99 9:39:21 PM)
Is there a typical professional background for adcoms? What do they do before they become adcoms?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:39:31 PM)
J Powers, you can discuss how you benefited in terms of experience by working 40 hours per week as an undergrad.

4ever (22-Sep-99 9:39:38 PM)
Maxx, you mentioned about schools looking for business knowledge in finance, mktg as a contributing factor. What should one with technical experience mention?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:39:53 PM)
JPowers, admit it and counter and move on.

LLB (22-Sep-99 9:39:53 PM)
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LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:39:58 PM)
MM, then you have an experiential basis upon which to say you want to go into strategic consulting.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:40:21 PM)
Paul Bodine, there's no particular typical background for AdComs. They're often graduates of that particular program, literally from that year.

Cindy (22-Sep-99 9:40:40 PM)
?Maxx, what is your view of the "optional" essay? When should it be used?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:40:41 PM)
4Ever, quantitative analysis and abilities.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:40:57 PM)
4Ever, teamwork, project management

4ever (22-Sep-99 9:41:15 PM)
Maxx, thanks.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:41:21 PM)
Cindy, it should always be used. What you want to do is look at the application and ask yourself what perspective has not been offered yet, be it professional, personal, community

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:41:34 PM)
4Ever, you're welcome

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:41:36 PM)
I am glad you clarified the optional essay.

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:41:46 PM)
I was told I should give compelling reasons for applying to schools now, since I only have two years of work experience. What are your thoughts on this?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:41:53 PM)
I completely agree with you, and I know some feel differently.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:41:54 PM)
I'm a big fan of the optional essay. It should always be positive.

dab (22-Sep-99 9:42:07 PM)
?Maxx , what should one's goal be out of the interview? To add even more information, or to focus on the key themes mentioned in the application?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:42:28 PM)
Teebone, your goals must be crystal-clear in terms of what you want to learn in business school, specific issues, topics, problems and how those relate to the goals you've set for yourself.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:42:55 PM)
The MBA should be a bridge between where you are and where you want to go.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:43:01 PM)
dab, add more detail beyond what is in the application. Make them like you!

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:43:23 PM)
Any other questions?

MM (22-Sep-99 9:43:31 PM)
? Is living in a foreign country a valid reason for not having significant community involvement?

4ever (22-Sep-99 9:43:54 PM)
Maxx, does choosing 'undecided' on the application form while selecting a major imply anything negative?

jay (22-Sep-99 9:44:06 PM)
?maxx - on an average how many adcoms review the applicants essays

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:44:20 PM)
MM, yes. It is commonly known among AdComs that international applicants from foreign countries have fewer community activities.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:44:59 PM)
4ever, yes. It means for the top programs that you're not focused enough for them. Top programs have the luxury of admitting those with vision. Future leaders have vision.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:45:20 PM)
jay, a minimum of two; as many as five.

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:45:50 PM)
Is it ok for a reapplicant to change the career goals this time around (specifically with Wharton in mind)?

BRC (22-Sep-99 9:45:57 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:46:24 PM)
teebone, yes it is. However, pull together skills and knowledge that you might have mentioned in your previous application and apply them to the new goals.

pc (22-Sep-99 9:46:35 PM)
? Maxx, is previous graduate degree (master) a plus or minus, and can GPA in graduate school compensate for undergraduate GPA?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:46:47 PM)
In explaining why you want a particular school, is location a good reason to put. For instance the cultural life of NY or the rural serenity of Dartmouth?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:47:22 PM)
pc, a previous degree can get you "extra credit" in the grading process. It is not the equivalent in weight to the undergraduate degree. The common denominator is undergraduate GPA.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:47:49 PM)
Linda, yes, assuming you connect it to your personality and traits.

jay (22-Sep-99 9:47:56 PM)
?maxx - would gaps in work experience to help out in family business be frowned upon?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:48:04 PM)
jay, no they would not.

dude (22-Sep-99 9:48:16 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 9:48:22 PM)
jay, you would have been working.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:48:24 PM)
Working in a family business is another experience that can add breadth.

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:48:36 PM)
how can I explain why I want to apply to a particular school, considering that I would be happy at any top ten?

Nix (22-Sep-99 9:48:54 PM)
?Is a good GMAT score (Quant percentile 94%) and reasonable to good grades in a couple of undergraduate business classes (accounting, microeconomics, business finance) enough to convince adcom of the quant ability to get thru the program?

jay (22-Sep-99 9:49:05 PM)
?linda - what if the family business is far removed from your academic field of expertise?

BRC (22-Sep-99 9:49:05 PM)
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4ever (22-Sep-99 9:49:06 PM)
Maxx, do the Adcom review the essays keeping your choice of major in perspective?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:49:17 PM)
teebone, if you were accepted at all of them what would make you choose any particular one of them?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:49:25 PM)
teebone, particular schools want to know that you really know why you want them versus their competitor. Thus, you must find something not obvious that is unique to that school and you can connect to your goals.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:49:43 PM)
Jay, then you showed responsibility in shouldering the family burden and you had to have experienced something new.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:49:58 PM)
Nix, yes, assuming that the courses were not "beginning" courses.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:50:15 PM)
I once had a client who went into a small family distributorship when his step-father died after working in a Big-Six accounting firm and corporate finance.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:50:26 PM)
It was a tremendously educational and growing experience for him.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:50:34 PM)
It also helped him come up with some outstanding essays.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:50:43 PM)
4ever, your major of course is considered, but the essays are usually about your professional experiences primarily.

abc (22-Sep-99 9:50:59 PM)
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Paul Bodine (22-Sep-99 9:51:12 PM)
Re: "Make them like you." Do you mean schools won't admit extremely qualified people who come across in essays and/or interviews as overly serious, for example, or "snooty"?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:51:15 PM)
Jay, in other words, play up the positive growing experience that you had in the family business.

dude (22-Sep-99 9:51:17 PM)
What if you have your own business, which has gotten you a ton of exposure, but not very much money?

4ever (22-Sep-99 9:51:23 PM)
Thanks Maxx

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:51:40 PM)
Again, you had to take initiative to start a business.

J Powers (22-Sep-99 9:51:44 PM)
? Please ballpark the weight given to GPA vs. GMAT in determining academic qualifications, can you ballpark relative importance? (I understand it varies b/w candidates)

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:51:58 PM)
You had to face responsibility and market, account, finance, everything.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:52:17 PM)
Paul Bodine, this was an interview situation. If you can convince an interviewer of your capabilities and do so while being friendly, it's going to go a long way.

dab (22-Sep-99 9:52:17 PM)
?is it ok to mention that one of my goals to get an MBA is because it is more or less necessary for me to be promoted in my industry ? (investment banking)

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:52:19 PM)
I presume you learned something and that is what you should emphasize. The breadth and positive aspects of the business.

dude (22-Sep-99 9:52:34 PM)
Is starting your own business -- because you see an opportunity that will be missed otherwise -- an acceptable reason to start ignoring schoolwork? (i.e. explain low GPA?)

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:52:35 PM)
Dude, that's okay. It's the experience that counts.

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:52:45 PM)
my gmat is 680 - either average or slightly below average for most of the schools I'm applying to. Is it worth retaking it?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:52:48 PM)
Jpowers, the weight given to GPA and GMAT at many schools is the same.

MM (22-Sep-99 9:53:06 PM)
? In general, what characterizes a good personal accomplishment?

dude (22-Sep-99 9:53:29 PM)
maxx: What if you have a VERY low GPA but a VERY high GMAT?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:53:29 PM)
dab, yes, but it would be better to argue that this is what I know and this is what I need to know in order to advance in my field.

jay (22-Sep-99 9:53:38 PM)
?maxx/linda - for the why MBA question - if I were to say I want to supplement my strong technical skills with business skills to help when I start my own business - is that too general or should that be reworded somehow?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:54:22 PM)
I think you need to be more specific. Your reason is valid; it just needs to be honed and refined much more sharply.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:54:23 PM)
dude, it explains the circumstance and should be cited but the lower GPA is still going to give you an uphill battle. This is not to say that it can't be countered eventually in the application with the knowledge you gained by starting a business.

abc (22-Sep-99 9:54:35 PM)
? do Wharton reapplicants stand a better chance when they reapply than they did the first time

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:55:01 PM)
teebone, I'd hold with a 680. It's definitely and comfortably within their range. Why risk going down?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:55:06 PM)
Jay, which business skills? What business do you want to go into? Where have you seen yourself lacking?

pc (22-Sep-99 9:55:16 PM)
? Maxx, does GMAT gain more importance as GPA gets older, is there a number of years when GPA became less important than GMAT?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:55:33 PM)
abc, it depends on why you got rejected the first time.

dude (22-Sep-99 9:55:40 PM)
maxx: What if the GPA is low due to a combination of courses in which you had the HIGHEST marks and failures? Does it matter if you received the most prestigious entrance scholarship in the whole university?

Cindy (22-Sep-99 9:55:47 PM)
abc--I recently worked with a Wharton reapp client who was told explicitly by their adcom that reapps do have a better shot, as long as they're basically qualified.

abc (22-Sep-99 9:56:02 PM)
? is 'thought' leadership given as much weight as other forms of leadership by b-schools

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:56:09 PM)
pc, GMAT does gain more importance as the GPA gets older, since the GMAT is more current, but keep in mind that you can never totally dismiss a GPA.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:56:12 PM)
What is "thought" leadership?

jay (22-Sep-99 9:56:19 PM)
linda - I mean general corporate strategies, negotiation skills, marketing - the non technical side of business as such

Cindy (22-Sep-99 9:56:28 PM)
abc--to continue, the individual obtained Wharton's feedback on the first application, and there was nothing impossible to overcome; the weaknesses were correctable.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:56:34 PM)

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:57:00 PM)
Leadership is about motivating people.

J Powers (22-Sep-99 9:57:02 PM)
Cindy - what were the "correctable" weaknesses?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:57:16 PM)
I always like Eisenhower's definition which goes something like this:

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:57:16 PM)
dude, if the GPA is a combination of high and low, AdCom is going to want to know more precisely why this happened. Is the high within your major? Is the low in quantitative courses that would affect business school?

Paul Bodine (22-Sep-99 9:57:17 PM)
abc--They will not count the prior rejection against you.

abc (22-Sep-99 9:57:27 PM)
'thought' leadership - as in making recommendations and lending direction though not necessarily involved in executing them. Is it viewed favorably?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:57:32 PM)
Leadership is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.

Cindy (22-Sep-99 9:57:45 PM)
Not focused enough in goals; not insightful/revealing enough in describing past experiences

teebone (22-Sep-99 9:58:08 PM)
cindy - wharton's feedback said my essays lacked passion. how can I overcome this? (they said my work exp, gmat and recommendations were fine)

MM (22-Sep-99 9:58:08 PM)
? Maxx/Linda. In general, what characterizes a good personal accomplishment?

jay (22-Sep-99 9:58:24 PM)
cindy - those reasons can be specified for any essay don't you think?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:58:36 PM)
Challenge, success, impact.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:58:45 PM)
As always, specifics.

Paul Bodine (22-Sep-99 9:58:56 PM)
MM. First it has to be important to you and you have to be able to say why it was.

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:59:00 PM)
MM, look internally and ask yourself how you feel. What did you learn from it, what did you give to it, what did you take away with you?

Cindy (22-Sep-99 9:59:14 PM)
teebone--in answering the questions, always be sure to focus on something specific; something that moves you in some way, even if it's intellectual passion. The authenticity really rings through.

dude (22-Sep-99 9:59:22 PM)
maxx: I'll tell you my situation. I paid no attention to most of my Computer Science courses because they were irrelevant to the business I was in the middle of starting, and I failed a bunch of them. In others, I achieved the highest marks. However, I won the university's programming competition the same year and I have a 99+% quantitative section on my 750 GMAT, and have co-authored a book on software development. What do you think?

maxx (22-Sep-99 9:59:52 PM)
dude, call me and I'll answer this question for you.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 9:59:57 PM)
Dude, are you related to Michael Dell?

dude (22-Sep-99 10:00:03 PM)
maxx: How do I call you?

dude (22-Sep-99 10:00:10 PM)
Linda: No, is his story like this? :)

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:00:15 PM)
dude, call 323.664.4991

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:00:18 PM)

dude (22-Sep-99 10:00:20 PM)
Right now?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:00:30 PM)
I'm a little tied up right now. :)

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:00:33 PM)
Call tomorrow.

dude (22-Sep-99 10:00:42 PM)
heheh.. of course. OK what time tomorrow?

dude (22-Sep-99 10:00:56 PM)
Linda: Interesting!

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:00:59 PM)
You seem serious Dude.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:01:13 PM)
I don't have my appointment book in front of me. Call and leave your number and I'll call back. Remember the time zones!

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:01:19 PM)
He started Dell in his freshman dorm room and dropped out of school.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:01:32 PM)
Plus there was that guy named Gates...

dude (22-Sep-99 10:01:35 PM)
Linda: The thing is, I didn't have the common sense to drop out.

abc (22-Sep-99 10:01:35 PM)
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gula (22-Sep-99 10:01:42 PM)
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dude (22-Sep-99 10:01:50 PM)
Linda: Instead I racked up a whole bunch of bad marks doing the least I needed to do to get a degree.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:01:54 PM)
Did we miss any questions above?

pc (22-Sep-99 10:01:57 PM)
? Maxx, is 94% on Q in GMAT along with stat course as well as other finance-related courses in college enough to satisfy the quantitative requirement for b-school, or should I explain the reason I didn't take calculus in college?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:02:12 PM)
pc, it's enough.

jay (22-Sep-99 10:02:22 PM)
?maxx - do adcom expect intl exp?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:02:34 PM)
jay, no.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:02:41 PM)
Dude, you sound like you were very busy as an undergrad, just not with school.

LLB (22-Sep-99 10:02:47 PM)
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dude (22-Sep-99 10:03:00 PM)
Linda: Basically, yeah. Any ideas on how to spin that? :)

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:03:13 PM)
Call me tomorrow after 9:00 am PDT.

dude (22-Sep-99 10:03:18 PM)

dude (22-Sep-99 10:03:27 PM)
You think I have a hope?

teebone (22-Sep-99 10:03:34 PM)
how important is the AWA considered by the adcoms?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:03:36 PM)
Tomorrow, dude.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:04:00 PM)
teebone, it has some weight but it is still new enough that it can be countered by your essays.

J Powers (22-Sep-99 10:04:03 PM)
? Is Int'l experience a big plus or not that unique these days?

dude (22-Sep-99 10:04:04 PM)

J Powers (22-Sep-99 10:04:33 PM)
How much should Int'l be played up?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:04:34 PM)
JPowers, it depends on circumstance. Obviously in a shrinking global economy, international experience will always be a plus.

4ever (22-Sep-99 10:04:34 PM)
Maxx, is it fair enough to get information from the school's prospectus in answering their question of why I want to join that school?

dude (22-Sep-99 10:05:01 PM)
If you wrote the GMAT last January (98) but are only applying now, will the schools you sent your score to still have them?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:05:03 PM)
jpowers, include it in your employment history and if you have a professional project that you directed, you might consider it in one of your essays.

Nix (22-Sep-99 10:05:04 PM)
? How much time do interviews usually leave for questions from the applicant? What kinds of questions make an impact? Most of the suggested questions I have seen can be answered by research into the school.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:05:47 PM)
Nix, the interview feedback database on the site has a lot of information from previous interviewees.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:05:52 PM)
4ever, no you need to dig deeper. Find out what a professor's research or consulting projects or articles have been in your field of choice and connect to your goals.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:05:58 PM)
It is located at /mba/interviews.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:06:17 PM)
The length of the interviews and questions asked are part of the database.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:06:28 PM)
Dude, possibly if you actually applied versus just sending the gmat there. For safety's sake, send them again.

jay (22-Sep-99 10:06:37 PM)
?maxx - re the Wharton - how would you handle a group dynamic situation - would it be advisable to discuss a specific problem that could happen or multiple issues that could come up?

MM (22-Sep-99 10:06:42 PM)
? What is the best way to address the question: "What if you were not accepted by our school?'

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:06:47 PM)
Nix, the last five minutes or so.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:07:28 PM)
jay, it's your role in the group dynamic that is important, not the specifics of the situation itself. Your leadership and/or your contribution to the group. The focus is always on you.

Cindy (22-Sep-99 10:07:58 PM)
?Maxx, many applicants I work with sweat over the failure question (in all its variations). Often they are loathe to reveal a real vulnerability, which a failure often involves. Any advice on how this question is viewed by adcoms?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:07:59 PM)
MM, you want to indicate what your options are. AdComs want to know that you have a plan of action.

teebone (22-Sep-99 10:08:10 PM)
follow up to the wharton essay question - what specific buzzwords/qualities are they looking for?

J Powers (22-Sep-99 10:08:39 PM)
? Can you comment on which schools consider GMAT more heavily than others?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:08:43 PM)
Teebone, writing compelling essays is not about buzzwords.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:08:51 PM)
Cindy, all leaders fail. It should be a real situation and the applicant needs to offer genuine insight as to why they failed, the mistakes they made, and then offer a line that indicates how they've gone about changing it for today.

jay (22-Sep-99 10:08:59 PM)
maxx - re no specific situation how do you relate your actions without specific situations?

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:09:05 PM)
It is about reflection and revealing qualities through experience, action and thought.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:09:12 PM)
There is no magic wand or word.

Paul Bodine (22-Sep-99 10:09:39 PM)
as buzzwords go, however, "diversity" isn't bad!

teebone (22-Sep-99 10:09:41 PM)
duke gives you an option of answering one of three questions in essay 3.

dude (22-Sep-99 10:10:00 PM)
How long does it take ETS to send your GMAT scores once you request they do so?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:10:00 PM)
Jpowers: MIT, Berkley, highly quantitative programs.

teebone (22-Sep-99 10:10:33 PM)
ignore question

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:10:45 PM)
dude, I don't know. Call them.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:11:35 PM)
Last call for questions.

4ever (22-Sep-99 10:11:43 PM)
Maxx, if the interview committee asks me whether I have applied to other schools, does a 'yes' mean I am not seriously interested in this school?

teebone (22-Sep-99 10:12:04 PM)
how do u answer an interview question : what if we don't accept you into our school?

jay (22-Sep-99 10:12:08 PM)
maxx your response to the Wharton no specific situation how do you relate your actions without one?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:12:12 PM)
4ever, no. They assume that you've applied elsewhere. Usually it tells on the GMAT score report anyway.

dab (22-Sep-99 10:12:18 PM)
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maxx (22-Sep-99 10:12:27 PM)
4ever, do reinforce why you want them.

dude (22-Sep-99 10:12:34 PM)
Does Harvard really let in Olympic athletes just because they're unique?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:12:56 PM)
jay, you minimize the specifics of the situation and spend more time on yourself.

4ever (22-Sep-99 10:13:01 PM)
thanks maxx.

pc (22-Sep-99 10:13:06 PM)
Maxx and Linda, I just want to thank you for this wonderful chat.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:13:09 PM)
dude, no.

dab2 (22-Sep-99 10:13:10 PM)
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LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:13:18 PM)
pc you are very welcome.

dude (22-Sep-99 10:13:22 PM)
Thanks very much Maxx and Linda!

J Powers (22-Sep-99 10:13:30 PM)

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:13:30 PM)
pc, 4ever, you're welcome, you too dude.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:13:33 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Maxx Duffy for her invaluable insights and to Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu for their assistance.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:13:39 PM)
I also want to mention that ( and Maxx Associates ( have been extremely busy. We are booking up. If you are interested in our services, please contact us well before your deadlines.

jay (22-Sep-99 10:13:41 PM)
yeah I think it was very informative thanks

Nix (22-Sep-99 10:13:43 PM)
Thank you!!

MM (22-Sep-99 10:13:45 PM)
? Should the style of the essays differ for European school (INSEAD, IMD...) from those for US schools.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:13:47 PM)
I would like to announce our next MBA chat on October 11. I plan to build on the foundation Maxx lay tonight. She provided the strategies for success, and I would like to move on to tactics. The topic will be "Writing an Outstanding MBA Essay." I look forward to "seeing" you again then.

4ever (22-Sep-99 10:13:48 PM)
Thank you!

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:14:05 PM)
MM, only by playing up languages and international experiences.

dude (22-Sep-99 10:14:06 PM)
Same time?

teebone (22-Sep-99 10:14:08 PM)
thanks all

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:14:13 PM)
Finally, I would really appreciate feedback from all of you on tonight's chat. Please send your comments, criticisms, and suggestions for future chats to

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:14:17 PM)
Yes. Dude.

MM (22-Sep-99 10:14:25 PM)
Maxx: I mean the style.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:14:29 PM)
Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications!

gula (22-Sep-99 10:14:31 PM)
LAbraham and maxx: How do top 10 b-schools view older applicants (32-35) compare to younger applicants for admission?

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:14:40 PM)
MM, keep the style the same.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:15:10 PM)
gula, fewer are admitted. The problem is that there are exec programs at many of the top schools and adcoms for MBA can't rob from exec.

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:15:28 PM)
good night!

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:15:31 PM)
OK. Thank you again for coming.

LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:15:41 PM)
Good night. I look forward to seeing you on 10/11.

Paul Bodine (22-Sep-99 10:15:47 PM)
Three cheers for Maxx and Linda.

J Powers (22-Sep-99 10:15:59 PM)
hip hip hooray!

maxx (22-Sep-99 10:15:59 PM)
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J Powers (22-Sep-99 10:16:20 PM)
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LAbraham (22-Sep-99 10:16:23 PM)
Bye. Thanks for coming. (This user has left DigiChat)