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Category Archives: American Business Schools

#111 MBA for Entrepreneurs – Worth It?

Alex Kubo, Burrow

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.

#109 Crafting Your Best Story & Applying Through the Consortium with Sabaina Kamara, Michigan Ross ’19

Sabaina Kamara, Michigan Ross '19

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.

#108 How to Finance Your US MBA with Phil DeGisi, CommonBond

Phil DeGisi - Chief Marketing Officer of CommonBond

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.

#106 The GMAT Episode

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.

#103 Advice for MBA Reapplicants with Neethling McGrath, Columbia MBA ’19

Neethling and Darren at CEIBS Pre-MBA Bootcamp 2016

Neethling McGrath, an Admissions Edge Member, shares the ups and downs of applying, reapplying and getting into his first choice: Columbia GSB.

Neethling shares what he did differently the second time around and what he believes were the factors for his application success.

To those of you who got dinged and are re-applying to top programs, this episode is for you.

#102 Last Minute Application Tips with Clare Simonis, HBS MBA ’19

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.

#95 MBA Careers in Social Impact

Pin Chin Kwok, UC Berkeley Haas MBA '09

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.

#90 Boston University Questrom MBA Admissions Interview with Dana Dubovik

Dana Dubovik Boston College Carroll MBA

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.

#89 Washington University St. Louis Olin MBA Admissions Interview with Ashley Lautzenheiser

Ashley Lautzenheiser Washington Olin MBA

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.

#83 MBA Essays that Work – Candid Thoughts on Essays, Authenticity and Being Yourself

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.

#77 Internships, Jobs & Social Life at MIT Sloan

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!

#76 Carnegie Mellon Tepper MBA Admissions Interview with Kelly Wilson – “Leadership & Analytics”

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.

#75 Yale SOM MBA Admissions Interview with Bruce DelMonico – “Educating Leaders for Business & Society”

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.

#72 UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions Interview with Jessica Chung – “Shared Success”

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!

#71 How to Apply for Top MBAs with Tyler Cormney of MBA Prep School

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!

#60 Rochester Simon MBA Program & Admissions Interview with Rebekah Lewin – “Rigorous Training”

Simon MBA Rebekah Lewin

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.

#50 Vanderbilt MBA Admissions Q&A with Christie St-John

Vanderbilt MBA Christie St-John

Christie St-John, Director of Admissions, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, joined the show to discuss the Vanderbilt MBA. The program is focused on giving students a high-touch and flexible education that will prepare them well for internships and job placement success.

Owen is focused on attracting the best students and award 70% of their students with scholarship funding based on merit. Christie makes it very clear that school takes a counseling approach in order to admit students who will succeed – and the school’s rising rankings and excellent job placement stats attest that her team has done so.

#48 Inside UCLA Anderson as a Non-Traditional Candidate with Mark Zee ’14

My good friend Mark Zee, a second year student at Anderson, joined the show to discuss his experience at UCLA. Mark is truly a non-traditional candidate, graduating from Princeton University in 2003, acting in Asia for 6 years, starting an import/export business in Singapore, and then working in educational consulting and finance in Houston, Texas before applying to business school in 2012. Mark shares how he tied all this experience together – and linked them to congruent career goals – in only a few essays.

#46 Steve Dalton’s The 2 Hour Job Search: The 80/20 Formula to Target Employers & Secure First Interviews

Are you struggling with post-MBA career goals in your application? Top business schools are looking for well-researched and realistic career goals. But exactly how can you do this? Especially when you’re strapped for time?

Steve Dalton, Senior Associate Director of the Career Management Center at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and author of the 2 Hour Job Search, joined the show this week to share his systematic formula to efficiently and effectively target potential employers and secure the first interview.

#35 Cornell Johnson MBA Admissions Q&A with Christine Sneva “Join our club”

I started this podcast to have open conversations with Admissions Directors so you could get a good feel for not only the bschool, but also for the people evaluating your application. Many see admissions at top bschools as a black box, and I’m trying to tear those walls down.

This week I had such a chat with Christine Sneva, who is Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid of MBA Programs at Cornell Johnson. Christine is one of the most enthusiastic guests I’ve had on the show. And she really opens up on what makes Johnson special and how her team looks at applications. You can really go behind the scenes of Cornell’s admissions process in this episode.

#30 How to Improve Your Chances of Getting In

Over the past 6 months, I’ve had over 20 MBA Admissions Directors on the Touch MBA Podcast. I’ve asked all of them, “What would you advise candidates to improve their chances of admissions?”

This is what they told me.

Here are 10 actionable tips you can use right away to boost your admissions and scholarship chances at your target business schools.

#25 “It’s Such an Entrepreneurial Place” – MIT Sloan MBA Admissions Q&A with Mr. Jeffrey Carbone

If you were studying business at one of the world’s greatest research institutions, and had to pick 75% of your classes and activities, what would you do?

Mr. Jeffrey Carbone, Associate Director of Admissions at MIT Sloan School of Management, started our conversation with “we’re not just an MBA program…” and after you listen to this episode, you’ll understand why.

#20 “Learn How to Lead in Any Industry” – University of Virginia Darden MBA Admissions Q&A with Ms. Katherine Alford

Sometimes MBA candidates forget how critical faculty are to a great MBA experience. Well, how would you like to have the USA’s top ranked faculty leading you through over 600 case studies? And these faculty having an “open door policy” so you could access them at any time?

Ms. Katherine Alford, Associate Director of Admissions, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, joined the show to share more about the Darden’s 3 distinguishing factors: its near exclusive use of the case-study method to teach, its top ranked faculty, and its collaborative student community.

#18 “Be a leader of consequence” – Duke MBA Admissions Q&A with Ms. Megan Overbay

Ms. Megan Overbay, Director of Admissions, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, joined the show to share more about the Duke Daytime MBA (22 months), located in Durham, North Carolina, and Cross Continent MBA (16 months).

Megan and I had a great discussion on many of the programs’ finer points which should give you a good feel for the school. Listen on for much more…

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