MBA Chat — September 13, 2000

MBA Chat — September 13, 2000

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Chat Transcript:
H/S/W: Strategies for Admission

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 9:57:57 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to's first MBA online admissions chat of the 2000-2001 admissions year!

calebys (ID=41) (Sep 13, 2000 9:57:58 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 9:58:19 PM)
I also want to welcome Maxx Duffy of Maxx Associates, who will be our guest this evening and share her knowledge of Harvard, Stanford and Wharton admissions. And last but not least, I want to welcome Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu, two of's editors, who should be here momentarily.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 9:58:27 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 9:58:34 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:

Paul Bodine (ID=46) (Sep 13, 2000 9:58:38 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 9:58:42 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 '?'.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 9:58:48 PM)
Final 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." Or "What are my chances?" This isn't the forum for that kind of analysis.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 9:58:50 PM)
It's good to be here.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 9:59:01 PM)
Other than that limitation, this is your chance to ask questions of an expert in MBA admissions. But I would like to take advantage of my position as host and ask the first question.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 9:59:23 PM)
Great to have you back Maxx.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 9:59:25 PM)
"H/S/W" has become shorthand for generic Top American Business School, but in reality the schools have different strengths, educational philosophies, and emphases in admissions. They are anything but generic. Maxx, could you highlight some of the differences first in approach to business education and then differences in admissions among the three schools?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 9:59:34 PM)
Thanks, Linda. Great to be here.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 9:59:47 PM)
Approach to Business Education: Harvard and Stanford are generalist schools and Wharton is a specialist school. The philosophical difference is simple — a generalist program focuses more on the integration of all subject matter; a specialist program focuses more on the selected discipline. Clearly, the learning perspectives of these approaches are dissimilar. The generalist viewpoint is one that is all encompassing; the specialist viewpoint is about gaining depth in a particular area of expertise.

Cindy Tokumitsu (ID=47) (Sep 13, 2000 9:59:56 PM)
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maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:00:17 PM)
Combine the above approaches with the learning methodologies and the real differences between generalist and specialist programs become clear. Let me explain. Today, the phrase — "the case study method" — is usually applied to all programs. All programs do use cases in their classes. However, only generalist programs employ the case study method. The difference is in how the cases are used. In a specialist school, cases are used to illustrate given circumstances in a particular discipline — a certain type of marketing problem. The focus is on a particular issue in marketing. But, at generalist schools, there is more cross-discipline integration in terms of the cases used. The marketing professor in a generalist program is going to see if you have incorporated the knowledge you have gained from your other classes — finance, operations, strategic planning, etc. — into your marketing case. Technically, the latter is what was originally called the case study method.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:00:26 PM)
Of course, even within a given philosophical approach, there are differences. Harvard has traditionally taught all courses via the case study method; Stanford has traditionally employed a mixture — some case study method; some alternative methods (books!) especially in quantitative classes.

xterra2 (ID=48) (Sep 13, 2000 10:00:43 PM)
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maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:00:52 PM)
Differences in Admission: The Admission Boards of these schools differ in size and in attitude. Harvard has four to six members; Wharton has eight members; Stanford has six members. The size of the board does not affect the applicant. The attitudes do. Again, the philosophical differences of the programs have an effect here. And, these philosophical differences come into play in the essay questions. Look at the essay questions from these 3 programs and consider them in terms of philosophy and attitude.

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:00:55 PM)
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maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:01:09 PM)
A. Harvard starts with a leadership question and then asks about a leader/hero/role model who affected your development, and later asks for 3 accomplishments. LEADERS with consistent track records are very much on their mind. HBS is interested in those who have corporate and global viewpoints. This is definitely a generalist philosophy and there is a much more hard core attitude behind the questions.

sid (ID=50) (Sep 13, 2000 10:01:21 PM)
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NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:01:24 PM)
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maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:01:25 PM)
B. Stanford leads with an essay that wants to know what matters most and then moves on to the standard goals question. Stanford wants to know the person behind the facts — the grounding principles that drive a leader. Stanford takes a humanistic attitude and combines it with its all-encompassing/generalist philosophy.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:01:42 PM)
C. Wharton leads with the factors that led to one's current position and immediately follows up with goals. They then want to know how one functions in a team. These questions clearly illustrate their philosophical approach — what is a candidate's expertise in knowledge or skill. Their attitude is much more point specific.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:01:54 PM)
Clearly, if you understand the philosophy and attitude, you then understand that you cannot possibly tell H/S/W the exact same thing - whether it be your goals, your insights, your skills, your strategies, your qualities.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:02:00 PM)
Do you think that applicants with strong stats and impressive experience should automatically apply to H/S/W in order to acquire the "brand" name diploma or should they look more closely at schools that may be lower ranked overall but may be superior to one or all of the Big 3 in their area of interest?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:02:13 PM)
Obviously there is much to be said about the high value of a brand name — from contacts/networking to salaries to sheer global alum numbers. But, bottom line is this: getting an MBA is about securing knowledge in order to achieve goals. If the brand name is knowledge/goal-appropriate to the candidate and the candidate can support that, then there is no problem. Keep in mind that AdComs are able to judge this fairly easily by the "Why our MBA program in particular?" question. But, if a candidate cannot come up with strong knowledge/goal-appropriate reasons for the brand name, then, the AdComs will know it. I always advise candidates to explore programs in terms of the specific knowledge they seek and the goals they have. That often means exploring beyond the Big 3.

Ed (ID=52) (Sep 13, 2000 10:03:16 PM)
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720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:03:17 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:03:18 PM)
Wharton is quite open that re-applicants have a better chance of admission, but what about re-applicants to Harvard and Stanford? Are they evaluated differently? Are re-applicants at an advantage or disadvantage?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:03:25 PM)
This is always a tricky question to answer. Understand that there are different types of re-applicants: re-applicants who had been voted preliminary admits but then got rejected because of the statistician [AdCom individual who worries about diversity of class profile]; and re-applicants who were rejected for more solid reasons — grades/gmat/weak application. Thus, it is important for a re-applicant to understand his/her individual situation. This can make a huge difference in the new application strategy.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:03:28 PM)
720. Hold on a second OK.

alisonj (ID=53) (Sep 13, 2000 10:03:37 PM)
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maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:03:43 PM)
Re-applicants to Harvard or Stanford need to be extremely objective and honest with themselves in evaluating their profile and previous application, before reapplying again. If their assessment proves to be an "easy" fix — applying in first round versus last round; upping a low GMAT; writing stronger essays — then it is probably worth the effort. However, if their assessment indicates "multiple" problems - low GMAT + few post-collegiate activities + weak essays + etcetera, then reapplication is not a good idea.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:04:04 PM)
Re-applicants are judged first in terms of the admission criteria, second in terms of the given applicant pool, and third in terms of the differences achieved from the year before. A re-applicant's file contains both the current year's application/reapplication materials and the previous year's application materials. The admission officer reads the current materials, judges them accordingly, and then reviews the previous material to determine what is new, different and/or improved.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:04:09 PM)
If the school doesn't ask a specific re-applicant question i.e. HBS, how should the applicant approach the essays? Will new essays be read as complements to last year's?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:04:39 PM)
Take a fresh, new approach. Sometimes this means selecting new topics; other times this means putting a new spin or perspective on last year's topic. The new essays/application is read first; last year's application is reviewed/scanned to determine the differences.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:04:47 PM)
Are international applicants evaluated differently by the Big Three? If so, how?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:04:52 PM)
I believe that international applicants are judged similarly by the Big Three. I often hear that one school seems to admit more from one country than another. When I hear that I find myself thinking about the volume of applications from a given country and how it snowballs over time. It is not that the admission criteria has changed nor that a particular school likes candidates from one country over another; rather it is a question in any given year of the total number of international applications received and the number of countries those applications represent.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:05:02 PM)
The admission standards that the Big Three use in evaluating international applicants are the same rigorous standards that are used for domestic applicants.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:05:18 PM)
Which criteria are more important to the three schools? Do they want different kinds of students? If so, what is each school looking for?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:05:22 PM)
The easiest way to think about this is in terms of the "weight" that is applied to the admission criteria — academics, professional experiences/goals, personal qualities. Harvard has traditionally judged their criteria evenly — each segment equals one-third of the decision. Stanford, according to my best understanding, is more 35, 30, 35. Wharton has traditionally put more emphasis on the first 2 categories: 40, 40, 20.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:05:31 PM)
As the applicant cannot do anything about the weight a given school applies to the criteria, I recommend that applicants ignore the weight and instead simply attempt to ace all categories!

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:05:43 PM)
Re: different kinds of students - I do think that the student at HBS is different than the student at Stanford and the student at Wharton. The programs' philosophical differences and attitudes certainly are reflected in their student bodies. Stanford = collaborative spirit; HBS = competitive drive; Wharton = mingling individuality. I strongly recommend that applicants visit the schools if possible.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:05:47 PM)
Do students over 35 have a chance at H/S/W if they are not interested in Executive MBA programs?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:05:53 PM)
Technically, yes. Appreciate that an AdCom cannot discriminate against someone based on age. However, a breakdown of the age statistics of these programs would demonstrate that numbers-wise, fewer candidates who are 35+ years old, are admitted versus those who are 26-27 years old.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:06:00 PM)
Example: The median age for Stanford's Entering Class 2000 is 26, with an age range of 22-42. The class size is 366. Suppose that 100 of the 366 are 26 years old. The remaining 266 are divided in half: 133 = 22 to 25 years old; 133 = 27 to 42 years old. Of the 133 admits who are 27 to 42 years old, there might be only a few admits who are 35+ years old. In other words, the number admitted who are 27, 28, 29, 30-34 years old might equal 130 of that 133.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:06:12 PM)
Thus, the 35+ applicant is vying for an extremely few number of spaces and will have to have extremely strong reasons as to why they wish to attend in light of what is probably, already, an excellent professional profile. Those reasons should include precise academic goals and precise reasons for the particular program. Additionally, this 35+ candidate needs to have an extremely well-defined strategic plan [goals].

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:06:20 PM)
720Indian, what did you want to ask?

xterra2 (ID=48) (Sep 13, 2000 10:06:42 PM)

720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:06:47 PM)
What sets Harvard apart from Stanford in terms of strengths in Finance. and them from Wharton?

ads521 (ID=54) (Sep 13, 2000 10:07:09 PM)
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sagar (ID=34) (Sep 13, 2000 10:07:12 PM)

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:07:47 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:07:49 PM)
Wharton is a specialist school and obviously the course work in finance is in much greater depth than that at Harvard or Stanford. Both H & S approach finance from a corporate perspective. I would actually give H the edge.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:08:09 PM)
xterra2, what's your question?

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:08:16 PM)

minorseventh (ID=33) (Sep 13, 2000 10:08:50 PM)

xterra2 (ID=48) (Sep 13, 2000 10:08:51 PM)
I have been told that Stanford might shy away from the military officer, whereas Harvard invites them based on leadership experience... thoughts?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:09:47 PM)
xterra2: Both H & S will certainly take military officers, although it is true that H has probably taken more of them. Both schools are interested in leadership although H has a more traditional perspective on said leadership.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:09:54 PM)
sagar, did you have a question?

sagar (ID=34) (Sep 13, 2000 10:09:57 PM)
regarding role model q for Harvard, what should the approach be ?

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:10:32 PM)
Applicants with high GPAs and high GMATs traditionally apply in the first round. 3.4 accounting and finance/ 690 GMAT. Does this qualify in the 'high' category for Wharton?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:10:38 PM)
Keep the focus on you, the applicant, sagar, not the individual you select. The key is to discuss the effects on your development, your skills, your perspectives, rather than writing a lengthy commentary on the role model.

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:10:42 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:10:53 PM)
jfreder, go ahead.

sid (ID=50) (Sep 13, 2000 10:10:59 PM)
I sometimes hear that Harvard requires candidates who already are managers or have significant responsibility. Is that true?

kal (ID=55) (Sep 13, 2000 10:11:16 PM)
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calebys (ID=41) (Sep 13, 2000 10:11:22 PM)

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:11:31 PM)
On the essay for a gen school dealing with your exact goals... how should this be approached

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:11:37 PM)
you are getting a general mang degree

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:11:42 PM)
sid. Answer, yes. Harvard is interested in people with leadership and management experience with hopes that they will offer these experiences and perspectives in the classroom environment.

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:11:45 PM)
by definition it is general

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:11:46 PM)
I just want to go over the protocol that we use for chats for late comers. Here it is:

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:11:51 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: 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 '?'.

Final 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." Or "What are my chances?" This isn't the forum for that kind of analysis.

sagar (ID=34) (Sep 13, 2000 10:12:00 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:12:25 PM)
jfreder 96: Be precise about your academic goals...

great24 (ID=56) (Sep 13, 2000 10:12:30 PM)
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720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:12:32 PM)
Comment on Sagar's Qs.: I don't have a role model! I want to be my own role model. Is that a workable answer? Or using a fictional character like a movie character from an acclaimed movie?

nammi (ID=57) (Sep 13, 2000 10:12:34 PM)
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Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:12:38 PM)
You can want a generalist degree to accomplish specific goals.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:12:43 PM)
specific things you wish to learn and have a real professional strategic plan regarding your short-term and long term goals.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:12:56 PM)
Those goals should be a specific and concrete as you can make them, particularly for Wharton.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:13:09 PM)

great24 (ID=56) (Sep 13, 2000 10:13:15 PM)
hi everybody

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:13:20 PM)

720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:13:26 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:13:35 PM)
Sure 720.

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:13:53 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:13:55 PM)
Is there anyone you admire and would like to emulate?

sagar (ID=34) (Sep 13, 2000 10:13:59 PM)
this is again regarding the nos. - gpa, gmat, no. of yrs of w/e play a big role ?

720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:14:01 PM)
You think the latter part is workable because I am seriously considering it.

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:14:23 PM)
? Applicants with high GPAs and high GMATs traditionally apply in the first round. 3.4 accounting & finance / 690 GMAT. Does this qualify in the 'high' category?

720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:14:26 PM)
I don't want to emulate anyone. I want to be my own person.

Ed (ID=52) (Sep 13, 2000 10:14:33 PM)
People say be specific about goals, but can you be too specific? Could an admissions officer ever feel your making outrageous claims you can't be sure of with only 4 yrs work experience?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:14:41 PM)
Sager: they all play a role. H judges an applicant in academics, professional potential and personal characteristics. These are weighed evenly, so they are all important.

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:15:08 PM)
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Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:15:14 PM)
720, you can want to be your own person. You can even admire someone who is his or her own person and discuss how you want to be your own person.

sagar (ID=34) (Sep 13, 2000 10:15:18 PM)
maxx what do u think about the proclaimed claim about admitting younger applicants...

nammi (ID=57) (Sep 13, 2000 10:15:22 PM)
At Wharton, what are the disadvantages of applying early?

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:15:29 PM)
MAXX: Will Harvard readily accept anyone with unconventional leadership experience? Can we have too much leadership experience? How much should we lay on the chutzpah with out sounding too cocky? Are we auto-dinged for lack of strong undergrad experience?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:15:30 PM)
Let's hold the questions for a minute.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:15:30 PM)
ban: not the gpa.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:15:56 PM)
ed: No you can't be too specific. Leaders are supposed to provide vision.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:16:15 PM)
Sager, you may want to see Maxx' first chat transcript from last year in which she discussed the multi-dimensional applicant.

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:16:18 PM)
maxx: do you suggest me to go for 2nd round?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:16:44 PM)
Sagar: The applicant will have to have a solid collegiate track record of leadership, internships, work experience, and a fairly good sense of what they want out of an MBA.

great24 (ID=56) (Sep 13, 2000 10:16:45 PM)
hi linda what are my chances in h/s/w with a 780 gmat and 3yrs work ex but

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:16:47 PM)
Maxx are there any cut-offs or filters at HBS for eliminating applicants before essays are read by the admissions committee. I heard there was a formula for deciding who gets read and who doesn't based on a mix of gpa and gmat (13000 point ma)r

great24 (ID=56) (Sep 13, 2000 10:16:50 PM)
a low gpa?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:17:49 PM)
Nammi: People with high GPAs and high GMATs tend to apply early. Someone with a solid GPA and GMAT may pale in comparison. But the problem with applying later is a profile one — spaces with your profile may already have been taken up.

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:17:51 PM)
? Getting back to the re-applicant issue, if I think that I can improve my chances for admission to H/S (i.e. - increase GMAT, much more concrete management experience, better essays), what round of applications should a re-applicant (like myself) go for?

sagar (ID=34) (Sep 13, 2000 10:17:52 PM)
thanx maxx... will a low gpa hurt a young applicant (given he has impressive leadership experience both in and outside college)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:18:21 PM)
javaca: No there are no cutoffs or filters. All applications are read from first page to last page.

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:18:31 PM)
You mentioned that H is big on Global Viewpoint. What would H (or S or W) think about an American who spent 2 yrs in Japan as a volunteer church leader from ages 19-21? Is this viable, respected leadership experience?

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:18:54 PM)
Thanks, Is a 660 and 3.0 usually out of the question regardless of leadership and entrepreneurial experiences

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:18:57 PM)
sagar: Yes, a low GPA will hurt a young applicant. This individual should get some work experience and take some courses in the interim years to help boost his/her profile.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:19:02 PM)
Nick is raising an interesting issue about retaking the GMAT. Is their a number above which the applicant shouldn't retake the GMAT?

Ed (ID=52) (Sep 13, 2000 10:19:28 PM)
If this has already been asked, please ignore... but is there ever any benefit to applying in the 2nd round of applications rather than the first? I heard there occasionally is.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:19:42 PM)
ExarKun: Absolutely! This is respected leadership experience and would provide a really intriguing, deep and personal perspective of you as well as your experiences.

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:19:46 PM)
MAXX: How should we come off in our HBS essays? Very confident, normal, or humble? I trying to figure out how much chutzpah I need to put in my essays..,

calebys (ID=41) (Sep 13, 2000 10:20:11 PM)
? in Stanford's "what matters the most to you and why?" i understand that we're supposed to write something that supports our "case" but how touchy feely are they really looking for? And how should we tie that into our more practical goals and accomplishments?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:20:25 PM)
Confidence, creativity are good. Chutzpa and arrogance are not.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:20:32 PM)
Nick: If you really improve that GMAT, the re-applicant should apply first round. Anything from 680 higher will do it.

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:20:52 PM)
Maxx is it possible to pinpoint what are the key characteristics sought by HBS in their applicant pool.

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:21:03 PM)
Thanks, Maxx!

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:21:05 PM)
Ed: The advantage of the second round is linked to someone with a solid GPA and/or GMAT but not a stellar one.

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:21:14 PM)
Thanks Linda!!

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:21:27 PM)
Are minorities evaluated differently on the quant. part of the app. (gmat /gpa).?

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:21:34 PM)
? About career goal — what do you think of forming a social enterprise to help the underprivileged to actualize one's Christian belief — does it sound unrealistic? how do I make it more convincing?

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:21:48 PM)
Maxx: I'm coming from the 'unique' side, having 3 yrs exp. as a personal coach. I work with CEOs, Execs, housewives, you name it. Should my essays run the gamut, or should I focus on the corporate types as far as experiences are concerned?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:21:59 PM)
calebys: Be real. Stanford really wants to get to know the person behind the facts, the person with insights, values and beliefs, and how these elements guide their goals.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:22:03 PM)
Let's hold the questions a minute and give Maxx a chance to catch up.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:22:24 PM)
Thanks Linda!

r2gan (ID=59) (Sep 13, 2000 10:22:50 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

alisonj (ID=53) (Sep 13, 2000 10:22:57 PM)
(This user is now known as Alison J.)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:23:07 PM)
Javaca: There are no specific characteristics other than, clearly, leadership, management and specifically the breakdown of these skills, traits, attributes. The key is to be precise. These are umbrella words. You need to break them down.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:23:26 PM)
ban, you have a unique goal. If you can root it in experience and a profound (but not preachy) religious belief, you should have something that will add to your application.

great24 (ID=56) (Sep 13, 2000 10:23:46 PM)
linda can i speak to u?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:23:50 PM)
javaca: It depends on the personal situation. Admissions would want to know more about your background and personal circumstances. Obviously this is something you would want to raise in an essay.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:23:51 PM)

xterra2 (ID=48) (Sep 13, 2000 10:24:18 PM)

great24 (ID=56) (Sep 13, 2000 10:24:25 PM)
I wanted to ask as an international with 3yr work ex, only information tech

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:24:27 PM)
Go ahead xterra2.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:24:33 PM)
ExarKun: You want to capture the essence of all of your experiences. Different abilities are required in handling CEOs versus housewives.

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:24:37 PM)

xterra2 (ID=48) (Sep 13, 2000 10:24:44 PM)
How important is it to visit the schools before applying. Due to time constraints, it makes it tough...

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:24:44 PM)
Thanks, Maxx

great24 (ID=56) (Sep 13, 2000 10:24:53 PM)
780 GMAT, where do i stand?

720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:24:59 PM)

Ed (ID=52) (Sep 13, 2000 10:25:00 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:25:43 PM)
We are trying not to do individual assessments here, but to respond to questions of a broader nature so I am going to pass.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:25:49 PM)
xterra2: If at all possible, it is worth the visit. YOU SHOULD GO! There is much to be learned about the program, about the environment, some of which could be used in the application.

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:25:56 PM)

great24 (ID=56) (Sep 13, 2000 10:25:57 PM)
okay i am sorry linda

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:26:05 PM)
NewYork Babe...

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:26:09 PM)
MAXX: If I'm an HBS reapp, how closely does Harvard look at last year's app?? I'm planning to totally change my positioning, themes, and everything... will this hurt me?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:26:09 PM)
No problem great24.

xterra2 (ID=48) (Sep 13, 2000 10:26:14 PM)
Is it worth waiting until the 2nd round, even if I have good stats just to visit the school first?

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:26:15 PM)
Maxx: Which top school come up strong in social enterprises? any suggestion? where can I find material to back the essay on why such and such school?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:26:18 PM)
Please type a ? if you have a question.

nammi (ID=57) (Sep 13, 2000 10:26:37 PM)

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:26:42 PM)
Re: personal coach — so are you saying I should use varied examples and that illustrate compassion, intelligence, business ability, etc.? I'm worried that using too many corporate clients' stories will put me in competition with management consultants — I like the unique angle.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:27:04 PM)
NYBABE: They will first read your current application thoroughly, and then they will scan the previous app to determine where there are improvements and/or what the differences are. A whole fresh take is never a bad idea. Show them that you've grown!

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:27:18 PM)
xterra2: If you have good stats and experience I would apply in the first round.

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:27:19 PM)
which top schools do you think mostly value entrepreneurship, volunteer activities, international experience and leadership?

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:27:33 PM)

xterra2 (ID=48) (Sep 13, 2000 10:27:37 PM)
thanks, maxx

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:27:48 PM)
? In the "why xxx school essay?", if I site a few specifics examples of that particular school's professors' research and/or books and use them as reasons why I want to go to xxx school, any thoughts on this approach?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:27:53 PM)
Let's hold the questions for a minute.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:28:05 PM)
ban: obviously Harvard, also Yale. Re: material, research articles profs have written and make a connection to your goals.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:28:19 PM)
javaca: All of them.

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:28:28 PM)
? where can find material to write convincing 'why xxx school essays?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:28:28 PM)
Ban, Haas is strong in NFP. Also, there is actually a list of schools, a ranking of schools with a "social conscience."

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:28:46 PM)
nammi, what was your question?

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:28:48 PM)
thanks maxx

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:28:56 PM)
nick: We are not just name-dropping here. We need to make genuine intellectual connections with your goals.

nammi (ID=57) (Sep 13, 2000 10:29:20 PM)
? I have an entrepreneurial interest, but have not set up any company till now. Could that be viewed as a negative? In what detail should I write about my future biz plan for H/S/W?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:29:34 PM)
ban, the material for that has to come from your goals and the school's information. There has to be a connection between what you ultimately want to do and the school's program.

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:29:36 PM)

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:29:49 PM)
Maxx: What do you think of Wharton for social enterprise?

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:29:58 PM)
No, I didn't mean name dropping, I really mean that I'm interested in the professor's work and how it's applied to what my career goals are.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:30:23 PM)
Nick, if there is a substantive connection, it is strong.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:30:24 PM)
nammi: the applications are going to help you determine what detail, because they have different word limits. Harvard will allow 300 words; Stanford will allow 3-7 pages. Though you have not set up a company, your experience and skills are still credible in applying them to your business plan.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:30:34 PM)
jfreder, did you have a question?

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:30:39 PM)
I know that schools look for management and leadership... is there any way to incorporate efficiency reports from w/e into the application... being a military officer, I have every job documented on paper and they talk about performance and potential.

calebys (ID=41) (Sep 13, 2000 10:30:50 PM)

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:30:57 PM)
Maxx I guess I should have added... and overlook slightly lower gpa and average gmat, meaning my numbers will not match their averages but would compensate based on the attributes described (volunteer activities, leadership, int'l, entrepreneurship )

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:31:00 PM)
ban: I would not put Wharton high on my social enterprise program list.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:31:16 PM)

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:31:28 PM)
Ok, Maxx a whole fresh take on the reapp is good. Should I also get new recs as well or get my old recommenders to resend the previous year's?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:31:39 PM)
jvreder96: It is possible to include one or two, but I know that the military has tons of them. A sample is fine.

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:31:52 PM)
just put them in with the app or what?

rahul (ID=64) (Sep 13, 2000 10:31:57 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:32:21 PM)
javaca: the more distance you can put between the lower GPA and average GMAT with regards to work experience, the better chance you'll have.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:32:40 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:32:49 PM)
NYBabe: I am a fan of new and improved recs! Maybe even one of them brand new (i.e. from a new source.)

calebys (ID=41) (Sep 13, 2000 10:32:54 PM)
any detriment of taking the gmat's too many times?

rahul (ID=65) (Sep 13, 2000 10:32:59 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:04 PM)
jfreder96: yes.

sssssss (ID=66) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:09 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:21 PM)
Thanks Maxx ;-)

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:22 PM)
? In Wharton feedback, I was told of weak leadership and career goal essays (2 out of 3 essays). In my reapplication, should I just submit one updated essay or resubmit all three essays again?

nammi (ID=57) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:23 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:34 PM)
calebys: Surprisingly, the top schools will give you the benefit of the higher score. I never recommend more than 3 times though because there are diminishing returns.

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:40 PM)
My background is in leadership education — president of leadership seminar in undergrad, 3 yrs personal coach — after MBA I want to gain exp as a management consultant before returning to school for PhD in org development/strategy. GPA (BA) 3.8 GMAT 700. Any thoughts on what W/H/S would think ?

720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:41 PM)

kal (ID=55) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:46 PM)
? for reapps, is it a good idea to include more than one new rec?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:33:47 PM)

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:34:11 PM)
? To build on NYBabe's question, if I select my old recommenders, what should I suggest them to concentrate on? (I definitely don't want them to resend the old one)?

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:34:32 PM)
Yes linda?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:34:33 PM)
ban: technically Wharton has the re-app essay, but I would be inclined to take another deep and meaningful look at everything from how you have defined your leadership in activities to of course how you define leadership on the job, in employment history, and in essays.

Santab (ID=67) (Sep 13, 2000 10:34:38 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:34:50 PM)

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:14 PM)

calebys (ID=41) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:14 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:16 PM)
Nick, it is a good idea to ask recommenders to address possible or real weaknesses.

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:21 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:31 PM)
So if you have low quant scores or grades ask them to comment on your technical or quant skills.

sagar (ID=34) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:32 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:40 PM)
Let's hold the questions a minute.

xterra2 (ID=68) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:45 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:46 PM)
kal: You have to ask yourself if this is the reason you are reapplying. Give a rigorous assessment of whether it's the recommendations that need refreshing or the content of your biographical information and essays.

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:35:54 PM)
Thanks again, Linda.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:36:03 PM)
IF you have a low verbal, ask your recommender to comment on communications or verbal skills, particularly if you are not a native speaker.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:36:11 PM)
And always ask them to give specific examples.

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:36:48 PM)
? Is the feedback from Wharton general or pretty accurate? Would addressing their concerns like weak leadership and career goal clarity enough? or should I go a bit further?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:36:51 PM)
Nick: Insight regarding your strategies, your analytical reasoning, your intellectual thought processes, the SPECIFIC skills you have in leadership or management. Most are not precise enough.

kal (ID=55) (Sep 13, 2000 10:37:07 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:37:11 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:37:33 PM)
And I think I skipped 720Indian, so you should ask after jfreder.

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:37:35 PM)

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:37:39 PM)
As someone who has been divorced, I look at that as a failure...can I address that as my biggest failure? Even though the end of the relationship was really not my doing?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:37:44 PM)
ban: again, I am a big fan of looking at the whole application and updating as much as possible.

720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:37:53 PM)
Thanks Linda!

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:37:58 PM)
thanks maxx!

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:38:14 PM)
jfreder96: There is no failure question in H/S/W this year.

720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 10:38:19 PM)
Maxx: I have one major concern, which is low extra-cur/community involvement. Linda had mentioned in a post that one can hope they overlook it for international apps, as the practice is not that well-developed. Anything you want to add? I am really concerned about this aspect.

xterra2 (ID=68) (Sep 13, 2000 10:38:40 PM)

Santab (ID=69) (Sep 13, 2000 10:38:51 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:38:54 PM)
sorry, not talking about H/S/W

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:38:57 PM)
is that bad?

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:01 PM)
? Where can we go to get guidance on our individual chances of admission?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:15 PM)
720Indian: Look to see if you have any one-day events. Include personal interests. Include any lectures or seminars or conferences that you have attended. If you have been a part of any committees at work that were not part of your job... Dig deeper -- you probably have them.

Ed (ID=52) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:15 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:20 PM)
This chat is focusing on HSW and with the volume of questions, let's save that for now OK?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:32 PM)

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:38 PM)
MAXX, when a school indicates they have underrepresented minorities what impact does this have on the evaluation of these applicants?

calebys (ID=41) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:39 PM)
? from what i am hearing, if my various scores and figures are not top flight, i should not apply in the first round? i am assuming that even if i am not accepted outright in the first round, they will still put it into consideration the second?

minorseventh (ID=33) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:58 PM)
? JD/MBA question: Are these schools willing to consider less work exp. for joint degrees? Specifically Stanford...

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:58 PM)
ban: or
Thanks for asking! :)

nammi (ID=57) (Sep 13, 2000 10:39:59 PM)
? Sorry Linda..I was away

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:40:29 PM)
? MAXX, what can I do to make up for weak **undergrad** extra-currs?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:40:49 PM)
javaca: Clearly it means that they are going to take a close look at those who do apply, with strong hopes that they will meet the criteria in order to admit them. Bottom line: Admitted people to H/S/W are qualified.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:41:04 PM)
Let's hold the questions and let Maxx catch up. Calebsys had an excellent one. Actually they have all been excellent.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:41:31 PM)
Exarkun, you are next.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:41:32 PM)
calebys: If you are not accepted in the first round you are out of the game. Once you've received a decision it does not change for that year.

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:41:40 PM)
Should I consider that adcomms have reviewed and understand my resume re: w/e, especially job responsibilities, etc., so that I don't need to repeat it in essays? My experience being unique, I want to make sure they understand, but don't want to waste precious space.

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:41:52 PM)
? If I want to go Wharton for social enterprise (personal reasons), would Wharton look at me unfavorably because they are not that strong in social enterprise?

sagar (ID=34) (Sep 13, 2000 10:41:52 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:41:55 PM)
minorseventh: absolutely. Esp. for the JD part.

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:42:05 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:42:27 PM)
Kal, you are next.

kal (ID=55) (Sep 13, 2000 10:42:30 PM)
what sort of experiences should I concentrate on if I am reapplying?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:42:46 PM)
NYB: Look at any other elements in your life that were going on at that time. Church-related or personal or family activities. I don't care if it was a one hour or one day event, it'll count.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:42:47 PM)
Growth, increased responsibility, change since you last applied.

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:43:00 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:43:50 PM)
ExarKun: Essays are about insight. Resumes and employment history are about fact. Employment history allows a greater in-depth presentation of those facts (versus a resume). Go with employment history whenever possible. This will give you "more room to move" in the essays.

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:43:54 PM)
? Can we talk about financial aid -- do Wharton provide full financial aid for international student? I am worried around my finances!

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:44:01 PM)
ban had a question on Wharton and social enterprise goal. Would they look unfavorably on him if they are not strong on social enterprise?

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:44:03 PM)
Are extra courses after graduation helpful, particularly quant coursesl? is it recommendable for low gpa's?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:44:13 PM)
ban: You can make a good case for social enterprise at wharton, as long as you are also making a good case for what your personal reasons are for wanting wharton.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:44:25 PM)

xterra2 (ID=68) (Sep 13, 2000 10:44:27 PM)
Not so much community involvement, but tons of extra-cur and the schools look at this as one and the same?

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:44:32 PM)
thanks max!

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:44:46 PM)

kal (ID=55) (Sep 13, 2000 10:44:47 PM)
maxx, can you be more specific about an in-depth presentation in terms of employment history?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:45:01 PM)
kal: You need to, again, assess what you've already told them. Wharton is big on expertise in disciplines, the knowledge you have, and the skills that you would bring. So: depth of knowledge, and then leadership/management.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:45:10 PM)
ban: I don't know much about fin. aid. Sorry.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:45:21 PM)

jfreder96 (ID=44) (Sep 13, 2000 10:45:24 PM)

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:45:33 PM)
no problem, maxx.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:45:40 PM)
Also in the job history use numbers to bring your achievements and responsibilities to life.

nammi (ID=57) (Sep 13, 2000 10:45:44 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:45:47 PM)
javaca: Yes I do recommend it, but it will not be judged to the weight that an undergraduate transcript is. But you can't beat the visual impact of showing solid A's in quant courses after college.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:46:14 PM)
"Manged an $X million dollar budget with Y employees" says a lot more than "managed a department."

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:46:20 PM)
xterra2: It doesn't matter how they weigh it. Offer it. It is insight into who you are, what you like to do, what's important to you, how you spend your time. Don't be afraid to volunteer information.

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:46:30 PM)
? Besides researching professor's writing, how else can I find out about the specific strength of a particular school?

rahul (ID=65) (Sep 13, 2000 10:46:31 PM)
Hi I am Rahul and an international applicant. Against whom will I be competing? Against International apps only? Should I work on my application such a way that I distinguish myself from the rest of the applicants from the pool?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:46:52 PM)
ban, talk to current students, alumni, and potential employers.

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:47:08 PM)
Thanks Linda!

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:47:10 PM)
nammi, you're next.

nammi (ID=57) (Sep 13, 2000 10:47:14 PM)
Thanks Linda! For Wharton Essay3 which asks for a leadership experience that had a significant impact--I have two--one in leading a non-profit and another in university sports. However, they do not have a common thread. So, should I completely drop one of them?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:47:37 PM)
Kal: Employment history should contain overview bullets which define the breadth of your employment, specific bullets which are the breakdowns of your projects, budgets, industries, clients, and result bullets are the achievements for you, the client, the company, the project.

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:48:03 PM)

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:48:09 PM)
? Looking at H's #3 essay question about the "defining moments", would you recommend that I approach it with the personal or professional story?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:48:12 PM)
ban: Ask tons of questions. See if you can talk to students in the program as well as graduates. Network!

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:48:14 PM)
NY Babe...

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:48:19 PM)
Maxx how important is it for my HBS essays to "flow" like a continuous story as opposed to a series of distinct essays? And if flow is important do I just continue to recycle the same themes?

ban (ID=45) (Sep 13, 2000 10:48:45 PM)
thanks maxx!

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:49:06 PM)
Rahul: You are competing against everyone in the applicant pool. You will also be competing against others from your particular country. You will always want to distinguish yourself from the rest of the applicant pool.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:49:25 PM)
NYBabe, I am going to take a stab at this question and Maxx can add her own slant.

Santab (ID=69) (Sep 13, 2000 10:49:28 PM)
? thank you. Top-ten schools: at what point, assuming that a candidate has excellent exp/gpa/excurr/everything, does the "elasticity" of the GMAT score becomes an issue?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:49:43 PM)
You want each essay to add a different dimension to the school's picture of you.

xterra2 (ID=68) (Sep 13, 2000 10:50:04 PM)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:50:04 PM)
I like to use the jigsaw puzzle analogy where the pieces fit together and don't overlap to create a complete image.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:50:33 PM)
NYBabe: I agree with Linda. 'Nuff said.

calebys (ID=41) (Sep 13, 2000 10:50:37 PM)
? people who have higher gpa/gmat's tend to apply in the first round, is this correct?

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:50:38 PM)

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:50:38 PM)
Besides the general competition against all applicants is there a secondary competition against apps. with similar experiences and nationalities in order to bring balance and diversity?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:50:40 PM)

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:50:44 PM)
My background is 2 yrs international volunteer, heavy undergrad involvement in leadership (president of campus-wide leadership seminar), 700GMAT 3.8GPA Japanese, 3 yrs exp as personal coach. I want an MBA to gain analytical skills to join big-league consulting. After 10 years I want to return to school for PhD in org strategy/leadership. What does HSW think about aspiring PhD's? Does my strategy seem to fit one school more than others?

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:50:46 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:51:00 PM)
calabys: Yes.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:51:09 PM)

kal (ID=55) (Sep 13, 2000 10:51:36 PM)

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:51:41 PM)
Yes, Linda .

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:51:50 PM)
javaca: After you have been judged by an admissions board, you get what is known as a preliminary admit. You then need to pass the statistician test which has to do with your profile. Consequently a preliminary admit might get passed over if there are already too many similar admits.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:52:14 PM)
rahul, did you have a question?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:52:26 PM)
ExarKun: Harvard in particular likes Ph.Ds. You would want to surely incorporate your doctoral plans in your goals statement.

Dewy (ID=70) (Sep 13, 2000 10:52:30 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

rahul (ID=65) (Sep 13, 2000 10:52:39 PM)
Thanks Maxx. I have one more question. I am from Software Development. I often see the question budged managed under employment history section. But it is irrelevant in my scenario. Does it mean that I have not considerable leadership position?

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:52:40 PM)
Thank Maxxx, could you describe the statistician test used at harvard in some detail?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:53:08 PM)

rahul (ID=65) (Sep 13, 2000 10:53:10 PM)
Thanx linda. I just posted it.

xterra2 (ID=68) (Sep 13, 2000 10:53:11 PM)
How would a PhD (tumor biology) with no "real" w/e fair if she had good stats?

ExarKun (ID=49) (Sep 13, 2000 10:53:20 PM)
Thanks, Maxx.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:53:30 PM)
NYBabe: There isn't anything that Harvard doesn't "like." What you want to avoid is being generic, simply repeating facts. Lend insight, lend perspective. Have precise reasons for why the program. Don't try to tailor your material based on others. Just be you.

Jester (ID=71) (Sep 13, 2000 10:53:32 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:53:52 PM)
Santab, did you have a question?

Jester (ID=71) (Sep 13, 2000 10:53:56 PM)

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 10:54:02 PM)
Thanks again Maxx!!

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:54:03 PM)
? This is for future reference...if HBS invites you for an interview, is it better to schedule an interview on campus, or with an alum in your area?

Santab (ID=69) (Sep 13, 2000 10:54:03 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:54:05 PM)
rahul: Leadership is linked to budgets, or projects, or people. There are lots of ways to demonstrate leadership.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:54:09 PM)
Go ahead.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:54:23 PM)
Santab, the floor is yours.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:54:47 PM)
calebys, you're next.

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 10:55:10 PM)
Maxx, to be clear on the whole admissions process does it first get read then sent to stats. for filtering and then re-read (if passes the stats) for a final decision? is this all there is to it and the correct order?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:55:13 PM)
xterra2:You would emphasize your analysis skills, results... I'm sure there were projects, be they related to your discipline, that would demonstrate strategies and management qualities.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:55:35 PM)

Santab (ID=69) (Sep 13, 2000 10:55:45 PM)
Top ten schools: at what point, assuming that a candidate has excellent exp/gpa/excurr/everything, does the "elasticity" of the GMAT score becomes an issue. In other words, how long can it go?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:55:59 PM)
nick: I'm a big fan of the interview on campus, as that will be an interview with an admissions officer, a voting member of the board. HBS says it doesn't make a difference, but it did to me when I was in that position.

calebys (ID=41) (Sep 13, 2000 10:56:18 PM)
my work experience after college have been 3 rather distinct roles in rather non-similar fields... how do you suggest that I tie all this together? part of my reason for the 3 separate roles was to be more unique among the applicant pool but now I'm a bit concerned about consistency..

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 10:56:33 PM)
Thank you, Maxx. : )

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:56:40 PM)
javaca: no, it gets read and voted, then it goes to the statistician. The statistician has the ability to confirm the admit or change the admit to waitlist or reject.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:57:12 PM)
Santab: I don't understand your question.

ilovemba (ID=72) (Sep 13, 2000 10:57:24 PM)
(This user has entered MBA Admissions)

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:57:36 PM)
I think the question is how low can one's GMAT be without ensuring rejection.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:57:39 PM)
calebys: Pull it together via your skills and the knowledge learning-curve.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:57:45 PM)
correct me if I am wrong Santab.

Santab (ID=69) (Sep 13, 2000 10:57:47 PM)
Sorry, yes., Linda

rahul (ID=65) (Sep 13, 2000 10:57:47 PM)
But there is what adcoms call that intangible difference in 'Leadership of projects and people' and the one that is linked to budget. But if it is linked to budget as well does it mean a person is in much more authoritative position as opposed to others?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:58:13 PM)
Budget is an indication of the responsibility someone thinks you can handle.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:58:19 PM)
Santab: For h/s/w, I've seen people admitted with 640s and 780s, but the applicant would be better off at 680 or higher.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:58:29 PM)

kal (ID=55) (Sep 13, 2000 10:58:35 PM)
should I position myself differently for H vs. S vs. W?

Santab (ID=69) (Sep 13, 2000 10:58:47 PM)
Thank you, Maxx

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 10:58:54 PM)
Jester, you're next.

Jester (ID=71) (Sep 13, 2000 10:59:06 PM)
Thanks...For H "3 accomplishments" essay, I want to share how I retook an inorganic Chem class and brought my grade up from a C+ to a 7th-highest B+. I think the story is an intriguing one of guts and "never say die" and turning a weakness into a strength that I used for the rest of my undergrad. Is H going to think I'm a fool for only getting a B+, and so should I use a different experience?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 10:59:12 PM)
rahul: not necessarily. However, you will have to have another source that indicates that you have quantitative ability, be it course work or more recent exposure to quantitative seminars.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:00:05 PM)
kal: The answer is yes. When we're done tonight, go back and re-read the beginning of this chat as I discussed the differences in philosophy and attitude in depth.

Jester (ID=71) (Sep 13, 2000 11:00:17 PM)
clarification: 7th highest means it was 7th highest grade in class of 75

rahul (ID=65) (Sep 13, 2000 11:00:29 PM)
Thanks Linda and Thanks Maxx

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 11:01:11 PM)

kal (ID=55) (Sep 13, 2000 11:01:11 PM)
linda, when will the transcript of tonight's chat be available?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:01:37 PM)
kal, that's a good question. My Webmaster is nursing a bad back.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:01:42 PM)
I hope within two weeks.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:01:43 PM)
Jester: This is a difficult question to answer because the application is such a puzzle that it's difficult to say whether, at this point in the application, will continue to demonstrate the growth of insight that admissions is gaining about you. Technically it is an accomplishment; however, as it sounds like you might have a GPA problem, I would be inclined to have a GPA discussion back where Harvard asks for a breakdown, and at that point attach a statement.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:02:03 PM)

kal (ID=55) (Sep 13, 2000 11:02:30 PM)
Thanks Linda, thanks Maxx

Alison J. (ID=53) (Sep 13, 2000 11:02:40 PM)

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 11:02:55 PM)
? Thanks, Linda. I read from previous year's chat transcript, it is recommended that optional essay should always be written? What kinds of subjects would you recommend for the optional essays?

Jester (ID=71) (Sep 13, 2000 11:03:14 PM)
My GPA was 3.8. My quant GPA (pre-business classes) was 3.56. Do I need to discuss this on my app?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:03:32 PM)
Accomplishments, interests, leadership experiences, distinctive hobbies and experiences that you didn't have room for in the other essays.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:03:45 PM)
Nick: First thing you need to do is take an assessment of what you've already told them and then ask yourself is there any additional info you'd like them to know regard

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:04:03 PM)
oops -- regarding your experience, insight... heck, what Linda said.

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 11:04:19 PM)
Thank you, both!

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:04:29 PM)
NYB: In the activities.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:05:00 PM)
Maxx, it's after 8:00 PM. Do you want to take a few more questions?

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:05:22 PM)
Sure, a couple more and then let's call it a night. After all, it's after 8 am in New Delhi!

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 11:05:22 PM)
Thanks...Maxx. You've been a Godsend!!

rahul (ID=65) (Sep 13, 2000 11:05:23 PM)
My undergrad school does not have a GPA system. I was asked to submit marks sheet as they are. Will adcom go through marks sheets of all the four years? If so, My scores may appear completely random. Should I take it as an advantage or disadvantage?

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 11:05:45 PM)
I'm sorry to keep coming back to this Maxx but I feel the statisticians would ONLY look at the numbers and help ensure a school keeps its stats. up to par with other leading schools which forces them to reduce the importance of experience and personal attributes, thus dropping candidates who have been selected by both subjective and objective data. It appears that it always goes back to being a numbers game regardless of the greatness of your accomplishments or individual traits/ uniqueness?

720Indian (ID=39) (Sep 13, 2000 11:05:45 PM)
Maxx: We slept all night to meet you in time. *Smile*

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:06:04 PM)
rahul: Yes but also I encourage you to include your own statement and interpretation of what I am sure is your stellar track record.

xterra2 (ID=68) (Sep 13, 2000 11:06:21 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:06:38 PM)
javaca: No, your profile is more than your numbers. It is your work experience, your industry, your background, etc.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:07:01 PM)

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:07:03 PM)
One last question?

xterra2 (ID=68) (Sep 13, 2000 11:07:06 PM)
If you have the capability, can you cut and paste your discussion on philosophies of schools (since transcript won't be available for a few weeks)? If not, I'm sure we can all wait patiently! Thanks!

rahul (ID=65) (Sep 13, 2000 11:07:07 PM)
Thanks Maxx.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:07:23 PM)
Let me do that since my connection is faster.

javaca (ID=58) (Sep 13, 2000 11:07:36 PM)
Thank you very much, both Maxx and Linda for a very useful session!

xterra2 (ID=68) (Sep 13, 2000 11:07:54 PM)
both of you are great — thanks.

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 11:07:57 PM)
Thank you, Maxx and Linda. Your advice have been tremendously helpful!!!

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:07:59 PM)
THis is what Maxx wrote at the begining.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:00 PM)
Differences in Admission: The Admission Boards of these schools differ in size and in attitude. Harvard has four to six members; Wharton has eight members; Stanford has had as few as two and as many as four. The size of the board does not affect the applicant. The attitudes do. Again, the philosophical differences of the programs have an effect here. And, these philosophical differences come into play in the essay questions. Look at the essay questions from these 3 programs and consider them in terms of philosophy and attitude.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:11 PM)
"A. Harvard starts with a leadership question and then asks about a leader/hero/ role model who affected your development, and later asks for 3 accomplishments. LEADERS with consistent track records are very much on their mind. HBS is interested in those who have corporate and global viewpoints. This is definitely a generalist philosophy and there is a much more hard core attitude behind the questions."

NewYorkBabe (ID=51) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:12 PM)
Maxx you take care now!! You too Linda A!!!!

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:20 PM)
"B. Stanford leads with an essay that wants to know what matters most and then moves on to the standard goals question. Stanford wants to know the person behind the facts - the grounding principles that drive a leader. Stanford takes a humanistic attitude and combines it with its all-encompassing/generalist philosophy."

rahul (ID=65) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:25 PM)
Thank you max and linda

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:28 PM)
"C. Wharton leads with the factors that led to one's current position and immediately follows up with goals. They then want to know how one functions in a team. These questions clearly illustrate their philosophical approach - what is a candidate's expertise in knowledge or skill. Their attitude is much more point specific."

Jester (ID=71) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:36 PM)
Thank you Maxx and Linda!!!

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:37 PM)
"Clearly, if you understand the philosophy and attitude, you then understand that you cannot possibly tell H/S/W the exact same thing - whether it be your goals, your insights, your skills, your strategies, your qualities."

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:42 PM)
You are all very welcome.

maxx (ID=38) (Sep 13, 2000 11:08:58 PM)
Best of luck everyone. I hope you all get in!

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:09:00 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.

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 11:09:07 PM)
So, Linda...2 weeks for this chat transcript?

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:09:08 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.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:09:15 PM)
I'll try to get it up sooner.

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:09:26 PM)
I would like to announce our next MBA chats on September 28 and October 10. On September 28 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time (please note the time!!!) Linda Meehan, Columbia Business School's Assistant Dean and Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, will be our guest for a chat focused on Columbia admissions. And on October 10, Maxx Duffy will return to discuss admissions at Chicago, Michigan, Duke, Tuck. We look forward to seeing you again at these events.

Nick (ID=43) (Sep 13, 2000 11:09:29 PM)
Thanks, again... Good night!

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:09:33 PM)
Finally, I would also really appreciate feedback from all of you on tonight's chat. Please send your comments, criticisms, and suggestions for future chats to

Linda Abraham (ID=40) (Sep 13, 2000 11:09:39 PM)
Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications!