7 senior MBA Admissions Directors from Berkeley Haas, Cornell Johnson, Virginia Darden, Duke Fuqua, NYU Stern, Michigan Ross, and Yale School of Management came to Vietnam this Fall for an MBA admissions panel.
Darren shares the questions asked and lessons learned from the event.
What is the difference between Full-time, Part-time, Online and Executive MBA (EMBA) degrees? Which one makes most sense for you?
A number of you coming to Touch MBA for school selection help are considering multiple MBA program formats so I thought it would be good to dedicate one short episode to covering key differences from an admissions, curriculum, career and reputation perspective.
Dirk is involved in all 4 MBA programs for IE Business School so I played the role of “applicant” and asked him common questions I get.
How can you make a memorable impression on MBA Admissions Officers at MBA recruiting events? Drawing on his experience recruiting at MBA Tours and information sessions, Darren shares his best tips for how you can stand out.
Stephen Huber discusses his MBA experience at USC Marshall, from what he did to get off the waitlist, to preparing his wife for an intense first year, to leading the High Tech and Interactive Gaming Associations, to landing internships and jobs in tech and the hard-to-break into entertainment industry.
After listening to this talk, you’ll have a good idea of what it takes to make the most of your MBA experience, especially as a career switcher.
Your LinkedIn profile could be the first thing business schools see.
Darren draws on his admissions experience and shares 7 tips to make a good first impression, reinforce your MBA story, and highlight additional qualities not in your application.
MBA programs are looking at your social media, especially your LinkedIn profile. Take 15 minutes to follow these guidelines and represent yourself well to b-schools, MBA students & alumni, and future employers.
Many MBA applicants are interested in entrepreneurship, but have trouble reconciling the cost of an MBA with their goal of starting a business. Darren invites 2 recent Wharton MBA graduates, Alex Kubo and Renata Arauz De Stefano, to discuss if an MBA helps you become a better entrepreneur. Alex currently works at Burrow.com, a Y Combinator backed startup in New York City, and Renata started Mwayi, a fashion social enterprise that brings customized, African-print apparel to US consumers.
Caroline Diarte Edwards, Director of Fortuna Admissions and former Director of MBA Admissions at Insead, and Darren cover best practices for securing great MBA letters of recommendation. Don’t miss this detailed and open-ended discussion between 2 former Admissions Directors so you can sidestep common mistakes and understand what top b-schools consider an excellent letter of recommendation.
Sabaina Kamara, a Touch MBA listener and Admissions Edge Member, details what she did each step of the way to craft her best story – one that got her admitted to 4 top 20 US b-schools, including Michigan Ross, where she will head to this Fall. Sabaina also shares the benefits of applying through the Consortium, and her best application tips on career goals, school selection, GMAT, resumes, essays and MBA interviews.
Most applicants are 100% focused on getting IN a top MBA. Then after the euphoria of getting in, the hard reality of financing the MBA hits them in the face. Darren talks to Phil DeGisi, Chief Marketing Officer of CommonBond, about what applicants can do to get the best MBA loans for US MBA programs.
Darren and Phil also talk about the Dartmouth Tuck MBA, the MBA’s usefulness in the marketing industry, and what applicants should look for in an MBA network.
Matt Reesor from Queen’s University Smith School of Business joins the show to discuss what makes the Queen’s MBA unique, the school’s admissions process and career opportunities for Queen’s MBA students.
How do top business schools use the GMAT to evaluate you? What exactly are they looking for? What do you need to score and on which sections? When should you retake the GMAT? Do schools prefer the GMAT or GRE?
Darren asks Admissions Directors from 3 top schools – HKUST (Hong Kong), IESE (Spain) and Michigan Ross (USA) – tough questions about the GMAT. Listen on to get answers to the GMAT questions you’ve always wanted to ask.
Amid all the attention paid to rankings, average salaries, and ROI, one crucial part of the MBA experience often gets overlooked – faculty. After all, you are spending more than 700 hours in class at most top MBA programs. In this episode, Darren invites Professor Gregor Halff to give you a behind the scenes look at the life of a business school professor. What does their typical day look like? What are their responsibilities? What are they looking for from MBA students? And what should MBA applicants look for and expect from MBA faculty? Listen on to better understand what b-school professors do and how this could influence your experience.
Lawrence Chan and Professor David Ahlstrom of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) MBA program join the show to discuss what makes the CUHK MBA unique, the school’s admissions process and the career opportunities in the region.
You decide you need an MBA. You check your schools’ application deadlines – only 1 month left before Round 1 apps are due! What to do?
Clare Simonis found her herself in this situation last Fall. With deadlines 1 month away, she applied to HBS, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan and Berkeley Haas. She got into HBS and Haas and will be starting at HBS this Fall.
Clare shares her journey and tips for those of you scrambling to apply last minute. Not the ideal situation – but certainly a common one.
With 200,000 MBAs graduating each year, are business schools preparing “career ready” employees?
In a sweeping survey of 10,000 recruiters, 3,000 business students (both MBAs and undergraduates), and 500 B-school career center leaders, Jeff Kavanaugh found that all three constituencies had different perceptions of what’s important and where they stand.
Darren and Jeff discuss the 4 main skills recruiters are looking for, where business school graduates are perceived as falling short, and what you can do to boost your employability. Jeff also shares what competencies consulting firms are looking for from MBAs, and what non-consultants can do to break into the industry.
Vince Ricci from VincePrep shares his best MBA interview preparation tips, from mindset to strategy to tactics. Vince has some of the most downloaded Youtube videos on MBA interviews and has helped hundreds of applicants get past this final hurdle so don’t miss this one!
Rahul Kewalramani, Insead MBA 16D, shares his thoughts on leading the Insead Private Equity and Venture Capital club, finding jobs in Private Equity and Venture Capital, the January vs. September intake, differences between Singapore and Fountainebleu’s campus and cultures, exchanging at Wharton, bidding for exchanges/classes at Insead, entrepreneurship, hot industries at Insead and more.
Amber Wigmore Alvarez, Executive Director of Career Services for IE, shares her best career tips for international MBA students considering top business schools in Spain. Amber and Darren discuss work conditions for non-EU nationals, Spain’s new visa policy, achieving career goals in a 1-year program, and trends in IE MBA student placement.
Pin Chin Kwok, UC Berkeley Haas MBA ’09, shares her journey pursuing a social impact career as an MBA applicant, student and alumni. Pin majored in Finance & Operations Research at NYU and worked 7 years at Citi in the finance industry before starting her MBA. Pin and Darren discuss what social impact applicants (broadly defined as those who want to work in corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, non-profit, government/public policy, and corporate social responsibility) should look for when shortlisting MBA programs, securing internships/jobs in the sector, and planning their careers.
Emma Fisher, NYU Stern MBA ’15, shares what international MBA students must know about working in the US during and after their US MBA. Emma and Darren walk through the common visa path for most international students – from F1 student visa to OPT/CPT to H1B. Emma also shares ways international students can maximize their chances of working in the US post-MBA.
Darren offers 3 questions to consider when presenting your extracurricular activities and shares examples from successful applicants. The volunteering / activities / interests / achievements / additional part of your resume is anything but “additional.” Make it count!
Will Morgan, an oil & gas engineer looking to transition to management consulting, got into ALL 8 programs he applied to – here are his top 3 tips for getting admitted. Will heads to UT Austin McCombs MBA on scholarship this Fall.
Considering going to CEIBS Pre-MBA Bootcamp? Darren shares an on-the-ground account of the CEIBS Pre-MBA Bootcamp so future participants (and CEIBS MBAs) know what to expect from Mainland China’s #1 MBA Program.
Darren speaks with Ivan Kerbel of Practice MBA about what applicants need to know about MBA career strategy. A Wharton MBA himself, Ivan headed Yale SOM’s Career Development Office and was also a Associate Director at Wharton’s MBA Career Office. There are few people worldwide who have Ivan’s know-how about MBA career strategy – listen on for the inside scoop!
Looking for the best full-time MBA programs in Singapore? Here’s your ultimate guide! Now you can compare the city’s best MBA programs head-to-head and get the inside scoop from Admissions Directors, MBA alumni and more from Singapore’s best MBA programs.
Boston University’s Questrom MBA wants to equip its graduates for jobs 10-20 years down the road. One way they’ve done this is by offering industry concentrations in health sector management, public & non-profit management and digital innovation, which are strengths of both the university and the city of Boston. The program also allows students to customize their experience starting in the first quarter and offers 10 functional concentrations. Listen to Darren’s interview with Director of MBA Admissions Dana Dubovik about what makes the Boston University Questrom MBA unique and what the admissions team is seeking from applicants.
How has Washington University St. Louis Olin MBA placed 96%+ of graduates within 3 months for the past 4 years? The program prioritizes personal connection through its size, career platforms, and focus on experiential learning. Darren talks with Associate Director of Graduate Admissions Ashley Lautzenheiser about what makes the Wash U Olin MBA unique, admissions, scholarships, careers & more.
Looking for the best full-time MBA programs in Hong Kong? Here’s your ultimate guide! Now you can compare the city’s best MBA programs head-to-head and get the inside scoop from Admissions Directors, MBA alumni and more from Hong Kong’s best MBA programs.
ESMT, based in Berlin, Germany, was the quickest school in history to become triple accredited, and in less than 15 years, has become top 50 ranked by the Economist and top 65 ranked by the Financial Times. Darren talks with ESMT Assistant Dean Nick Barniville about what makes the ESMT MBA unique, admissions, scholarships, careers & more.
Looking for a close-knit 100-student program that prioritizes real-world learning, with a “fiercely loyal” alumni base? Darren talks with Boston College Carroll Associate Director of Graduate Admissions Kristen Shambo about what makes the Boston College MBA unique, admissions, scholarships, careers & more.
How do you plan to finance your MBA? This can be a very challenging process, especially for students from developing countries who have less access to competitive MBA loans. Ricardo Fernandez, Head of Business Development for Prodigy Finance and Insead MBA ’05, discusses financing options for students pursuing their MBA outside their home country, as well as how Prodigy is trying to innovate in this underserved marketplace. Darren and Ricardo also talk about the value of the MBA 10 years after graduation and whether MBAs are beneficial for entrepreneurs.
Yuan Lee Chung, HKUST MBA ’15, discusses why she got her MBA in Asia and the benefits and challenges of attending a top Asian business school. Yuan Lee studied at Columbia for one-term and shares her thoughts on how Asian and US programs compare.
Looking for a an industry-focused general management MBA from a top-ranked European b-school? Darren talks with IMD MBA Program Director Dr. Ralf Boscheck about what makes the IMD MBA unique, admissions, scholarships, careers & more.
With MBA programs shortening their applications and asking for less essays, how can applicants still tell their story? How should applicants approach these MBA essays and what should they write?
Darren speaks with Yale SOM MBA Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico, MBA Admissions Consultant and Author Paul Bodine, and successful graduate school applicant John Kaaiohelo to get 3 different perspectives on this common applicant challenge.
Ben Parker, a longtime Touch MBA listener, shares his journey from researching MBA programs to getting accepted to London Business School and HKUST – all this despite having a less than stellar GMAT and GPA and a non-business background.
You’ll learn what to ask MBA students, alumni, and admissions to shortlist schools, make your story “glow” and improve your essays and interview performance. This episode is about assembling an army of advocates – friends, students, admissions staff – to support your candidacy and sanity during an emotionally challenging application process.
At Touch MBA we believe that school selection is half the battle to having a great (and worthwhile!) MBA experience. In this episode, Darren covers an MBA decision-making process to help you avoid common decision-making biases and choose the right MBA programs.
Stephen Sweeney is Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin. Stephen got his MBA from McCombs in 2011 where he was the first recipient of the McCombs Social Enterprise Fund Scholarship.
Erin Town, Director of MBA Admissions of the Foster MBA, joins the show to discuss Foster’s special combination of small size, flexibility, and access to the Seattle business community. Erin and Darren also discuss what Foster desires from its candidates.
Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the Ivey MBA the #1 international MBA program in 2014, largely due to employer and student satisfaction. Darren interviews J.D. Clarke, MBA Executive Director of Masters Programs Recruitment and Admissions, about the school’s unique offering and admissions process.
Darren talks to Andrew, a recent MIT Sloan MBA graduate, about his internship and job search experience at Sloan. Andrew worked for Target as a Senior Analyst doing business intelligence and analytics before business school. He landed an internship with Uniqlo (one of the world’s top 5 retailers) in New York City and will be heading to Cupertino to work for Apple this month. This episode will give you a great feel for how recruiting works at top US business schools and what to look out for as you shortlist programs based on your career goals. The two also talk about social life at MIT Sloan and what to look forward to. Enjoy!
Do you know how to solve a problem that has no precedent?
Kelly Wilson, Executive Director of Masters Admissions at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, shares with Darren how Tepper equips its students to do this through a mastery of analytics, year-round leadership development program, and one-on-one attention with professors. Kelly and Darren also talk in depth about Tepper’s admissions process, how to prepare for Tepper’s behavioral interviews, and the school’s career services.
This week Darren sits down with Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management, to discuss Yale’s mission of “educating leaders for business and society.” How does this translate into the curriculum? How does the school plan to evolve? And what does this mean from an admissions and career perspective? Don’t miss this very informative chat about what makes Yale unique and how you can give yourself the best shot of getting in.
This week I sat down with Jessica Chung, Associate Director of Full-time MBA Admissions at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
We had an in-depth and open discussion about UCLA’s MBA offering and culture, what admissions is looking for, and how the program supports students in their career searches. After listening to our conversation, you’ll get an insider’s feel for the qualities Anderson is looking for and how the school is evolving. Jessica is very transparent about the admissions process so don’t miss this one!
Over the past decade, Tyler Cormney and MBA Prep School have achieved a 90% success rate with clients at the world’s top schools. What are the key steps to preparing an application that puts you in the top 10%? Hint: it’s not your essay(s).
Don’t miss this value-packed episode and feel free to ask Tyler your questions in the comments!
Darren speaks with Julee Conrad, Assistant Director of MBA Admissions and Recruiting at Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, about Fisher’s unique advantages and how to best position yourself in the admissions process.
Many of our podcast listeners come to Touch MBA to get free school selection help. One of them, Li Daming, recently got into Northwestern Kellogg, Insead, Michigan Ross, Duke Fuqua and Cornell Johnson with scholarship funding. How did he do it?
The MBA application process can be as mysterious as Christian Grey. Here are 50 reasons b-schools will put you in the grey zone i.e. “maybe” or “no” piles. Avoid these grey zone signals to score with your target MBA.
Top business schools are looking for candidates that would fit with their program, culture, and values. And you should be looking for programs that match your goals too. How can you demonstrate fit in your MBA application without sounding disingenuous or even worse, like everyone else?
What is the difference between a Masters in Management, MBA and specialized Masters degrees? Which one makes most sense for your career?
A number of you are considering multiple Masters programs so I thought it would be good to dedicate one short episode to covering key differences from an admissions, curriculum, career, and reputation perspective with Dirk Hopfl from IE Business School.
Want to attend a top 30 program in the US that lives and breathes “business is personal?” Darren talks to Ruthie Pyles, Director of Graduate Programs Admissions and Recruiting, W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, about how Carey works intimately with its students to achieve their educational and career goals.
How about getting your MBA from one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious universities and also having the option to study one semester at either Columbia Business School, London Business School or Fudan University School of Management? Sachin Tipnis, Executive Director of MBA Programmes at HKU, joins the show to discuss the HKU MBA’s unique format and career benefits. Darren and Sachin also talk about HKU’s admissions process in-depth so you know exactly how to best prepare your application.
If you’re thinking about getting an elite and rigorous MBA in Canada, you have to to consider the Rotman MBA based in Toronto. Get the inside scoop as Darren chats with Leigh Gauthier, Acting Director of Recruitment & Admissions & Director of Careers for the Full-time MBA. Rotman is a pioneer in the business education space and it’s great to hear how they are challenging the traditional MBA curriculum to produce sought after graduates.
Did you know that China is on track to overtake America as the world’s biggest economy by 2016? Dr. Longkai Zhao, Executive Director of the MBA Program at Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, joins the show to discuss why he thinks Guanghua is the best place to learn about China business at this pivotal point in the country’s history. We also discuss Guanghua’s admissions process, career opportunities for international students in China, and the changing status of the MBA degree in China.
Looking for an intimate MBA experience but want the benefits of a large alumni network at a good cost? Get the inside scoop on admissions, scholarships & careers – straight from Penn State Smeal MBA Admissions Director Stacey Peeler
Interested in tech, entrepreneurship or strategy and looking for strong ROI from a European MBA? The UCD Smurfit MBA in Ireland boasts 90% + employment rates after their 11 month program to go along with a relatively affordable tuition (29,500 EUR) and generous scholarships. Get the inside scoop on what makes the Smurfit MBA unique and its admissions process – straight from MBA Program Director Orla Nugent.
Want to get a rigorous business education grounded in economics and analytics from a renown US business school? Simon awards 75% of its students scholarships and prides itself on its 90%+ job placement rate within 3 months of graduation. Rebekah Lewin, Assistant Dean of Admissions & Student Engagement at Simon Business School, University of Rochester, joined the show to discuss what makes Simon unique, career prospects for Simon grads, and what fit qualities she’s looking for from applicants.
Want to study business in idyllic St. Gallen, Switzerland, with an experienced cohort of 40-50 classmates from around 30 countries? The school prides itself in its individual support and strong relationships with corporates in banking, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and luxury good industries. Nearly 50% of graduates made a “triple transformation” and switched geography, industry and function. Listen on for the inside scoop as Darren interviews Zwanet Van Lubek, Head of Marketing and Recruiting, Careers and Corporates, about the program.