Archive for December, 2010

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2010

Although I think a lot more about quality than quantity on my website, I do pay attention to what my readers are paying attention to. Not only do I keep up with trends in reader comments, the emails that come in behind the scenes, and the topics that spur conversations with friends, but I also count the number of hits that posts get. While it’s not the perfect measure, it is the easiest and the most tangible way to see what people are paying attention to. To that end, here below are 10 most popular posts of 2010, as measured by “hits”. I look forward to continuing to write about things you find interesting in 2011.

  1. 2010 Law School Rankings: National Law Journal’s Go-to Schools
    2010 Law School Rankings based on number of placements at top law firms in the US
  2. Korean Popstar In My Section And Diversity At Northwestern
    Post about a Korean pop star that was in my section at Northwestern Law School
  3. 2010 Princeton Review Law School Rankings
    2010 Law School Rankings by Princeton Review
  4. Applicant Question: Playing the MBA Wait-List Game
    My response to an applicant question about being waitlisted for an MBA program
  5. Careers Question: Undergraduate Major and Path To CEO
    My response to a question from an undergraduate student about what to major in at college
  6. Northwestern JD-MBA Class of 2012 Profile
    A quick profile of the Northwestern JD-MBA Class of 2012
  7. US News MBA Rankings and Law School Rankings
    2010 Business School and Law School Rankings by US News
  8. Applicant Question: Asking for an MBA Recommendation Letter?
    My response to a reader’s question about letters of recommendation for MBA programs
  9. My Thoughts on Day At Kellogg (DAK), Round 1, Class of 2012
    Reflecting about my experience at Day at Kellogg (DAK) last year during the first round
  10. Good Article: College Majors of Top CEOs
    My thoughts on college majors and an article about what CEOs have majored in

A couple of notes on the top posts. First, is that the real #1, #2, and #5 posts are my Homepage, the Archives, and About my Blog respectively.  I have not listed those in the rankings above. Second, is that some posts have the advantage of being on the net longer than others. In general, the advantage is not as large as it sounds, as posts generally see their most hits in the first couple of weeks of being posted. However, posts from December are likely at  distinct disadvantage. And finally, keep in mind that these aren’t my opinions about which posts are good. Instead it’s the actual rankings based on hits by the readers. In the next week, I’ll also share a few of the posts I think are must reads.  Stay tuned to see which ones they are.

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 31st, 2010 Business School, Law School No Comments

Webinar for Indian Applicants Hosted by

Indian students have long applied in large numbers to top MBA programs. Not only do the applicants bring strong technical training from highly regarded international institutions, but many also work at top tier companies after that. More and more, Indian students have been looking for a competitive advantage given the stiff competition they face to gain entry into MBA programs. Well one of the best MBA admissions resources I know has recently decided to host a Webinar specifically for Indian students.

Given the unique profile (and perceived profile) of the Indian segment of the population, my good friend Kaneisha Grayson, from The Art of Applying, has decided to host a webinar specifically dedicated to the Indian application population. The Webinar is sheduled to be hosted in April, after round three applications are in, but well in advance of next year’s round one admissions cycle.  Below are a couple of details about the call:

* Date and Time (in India): Saturday, April 16 at 9:30 am IST
* Date and Time (in USA): Friday, April 15 at 8 pm PST / 10 pm CST / 11 pm EST
* Duration: 1 hour
* Host: Kaneisha Grayson
* CLICK HEREto read all the details from Kaneisha’s webpage

Here is some additional information on the Webinar taken directly from Kaneisha’s website.

* The webinar has been postponed to Saturday, April 16 at 9:30 am IST. Since so many people requested that the webinar be free, I have to move it to after R3 applications are finished. I’m willing to work for free sometimes but not during peak season!
* For all of you living outside of India, that’s Friday, April 15 at 8 pm PST / 10 pm CST / 11 pm EST.
* Don’t worry if you can’t make it live! The webinar will be recorded.
* Remember – the webinar is limited to 100 people! Be there – or be . . . sad.

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 Admissions, Business School No Comments

Job Opportunity: Spark Seeks Managing Director in Chicago

Dear Friends, I got this in an email about a job opportunity from a friend of mine and thought some of you might be interested. While I don’t typically use my site to post job opportunities or for promotional reasons, I do like to use it to help non profits and other social ventures, especially ones that I have some connection to. In this case, that organization is Spark, a noprofit dedicated to educational reform.

Spark is an organization that helps 7th & 8th graders find apprenticeships in their dream job which helps them think about their career and relationship to education.  A good friend of mine sent me a note about the organization and recently passed the word that Spark is seeing a new Managing Director in Chicago. Specifically, the organization is seeking an entrepreneurial leader to help launch the Chicago office in 2011

Take a look at the rest of the post if you are interested and feel free to pass along the attached job description to others you think may be interested. See below for a few notes on the organization and role. And click here to see the full job description.

Spark is an award winning, growing youth apprenticeship program. Spark works to reduce the high-school dropout rate with a unique apprenticeship program, focused on at-risk middle-school students. In partnership with district and charter schools, Spark creates one-on-one apprenticeships in real workplaces, where youth explore careers and develop the skills and motivation to succeed academically. Funded by a number of major foundations, including the Packard Foundation, Cowell Foundation, as well as leading companies like Genentech and Gap, Spark is demonstrating a powerful new approach to addressing the high-school dropout crisis, one that draws in new resources by turning workplaces into learning places.

Provide leadership to ensure overall success in Chicago:
• Build, manage and develop an exceptional local team to accomplish three core goals: (1) successfully manage relationships with Spark’s schools partners, including training and ongoing support, (2) build a sustainable Chicago fundraising base, and (3) cultivate a network of corporate/organizational partners for apprenticeship placements. The Chicago team will grow to 3-6 full-time staff by end of 2011.
• Develop and leverage a Chicago Executive Board and a Chicago Advisory Board to support fundraising initiatives, guide strategic planning, enhance local networks of supporters, and contribute to overall external communications and publicity for Spark in Chicago. By the time of this hire, we expect to have 2-4 Chicago Executive Board members and 6-8 Chicago Advisory Board members already confirmed and active in Chicago.

Lead Chicago Fundraising & Financial Management
• Create and lead a local fundraising strategy for Chicago, in collaboration with Spark’s Development Director and Development team in San Francisco, ensuring that Chicago programs meet a 2011 fundraising goal of approximately $250,000, drawing from foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donors.
• Effectively utilize and manage the local site budget to implement the program and sustain the Chicago office.

Oversee Successful Programming & School Partnerships
• Work closely with Spark’s national team to support implementation and growth of Spark’s Chicago apprenticeship program, focusing on training school partners and supporting their implementation of the program.
• Leverage and build alliances in the private, government, and non-profit sector to establish a network of individuals in diverse fields to draw upon in Apprenticeship matching.
• Work in partnership with initial school partners to develop and grow Spark’s programs, beginning with 2 locations in Fall 2011 and expanding in 2012. Develop a strong system of communication with school partners to support their successful management of program operations.
• Cultivate new middle school, after school, and summer program providers to meet established program growth goals.
• Facilitate the compilation of evaluation data, including students’ academic performance data.

Monday, December 27th, 2010 Careers, Job Opportunities No Comments

Applicant Question: Tips for MBA Admissions Interviews (Continued)

December is the season where a lot of MBA applicants are looking for that one special gift. A call from admissions committees telling them they’ve been admitted to their favorite MBA programs. As such, applicants begin to focus more on their applications and prepare intensely for interviews. Unfortunately, executing a good interview is a difficult task.  Like just about every meeting you’ve ever had, an MBA interview can take an innumerable number of twists and turns, so it’s imperative that you go into your interview prepared.

In a recent post on MBA interviews (click here to read the post) I wrote a bit about what it means to be prepared, discussing “research” and “fit”  This post is an extension of the first post. And here I not only emphasize how to prepare for questions that might come up, but also how to stay prepared for the twists and turns that the interview might take.

Below are two additional tips that will help you to successfully navigate the interview process.

1.  Know Your Application. Part of proving fit in the application process is being consistent with what you wrote in your application – what you included on your resume, the information you wrote in the data form, the high level content of your recommendations, and the stories you described in your essays.  Generally, be ready to discuss every line of your resume and to elaborate on the important pieces of everything else.  Specifically, focus on the high-impact issues, which can be critical in shorter interviews because time is limited, the stakes are high, and in many cases those issues add more value to your candidacy.  Similarly, focus on issues that may appear to be inconsistent on the surface as these subjects tend to catch the attention of interviewees right away. And remember that anything you wrote in your application is fair game; so never be caught off guard.

2.  Don’t Memorize. Because time is limited, in most cases it doesn’t make sense to try to memorize details of your application. First, it won’t do you much good if you invest time in areas that never come up, which is likely in a 30 to 45 minute MBA interview. Second, even if it does come up, you don’t want to appear to be robotic or be too strongly convinced that the interview should go in a certain direction, especially if the interviewer is steering you otherwise. On the other hand, not memorizing also means that you won’t have time to think about every possible answer that may arise. But that’s fine. It’s more important that you think critically about the issues and provide thoughtful and organized responses, in place of memorized ones. So think about all the issues ahead of time and be prepared to discuss them analytically. The best way to prepare for that is to practice. But once again, don’t memorize.

If it’s any consolation, I’ll be employing many of the same methods during my MBA recruiting process too. Not only do many of the tactics will overlap but the timing does as well, as many MBA interviews also happen in January and February.

Best of luck everyone with your upcoming interviews!

Friday, December 24th, 2010 Admissions, Business School, Careers 1 Comment

2011 Summer Job Hunt Begins

Although we’ve been taking part in lots of recruiting events over the past few weeks, the summer job hunt seems to finally be picking up now that ski trip is over. How important is it to find the right summer job, you ask? Well, that answer depends on who you ask. While some people are okay recruiting again going into their second year, others are dead set on that coveted consulting, banking, or brand management job they’ve been seeking for years now. For them, the hunt is on.

Ever since the end of the quarter, most of the first year students have re-engaged with the recruiting process again. During ski trip, a number of job applications were due, especially in the consulting industry. A number of students, myself including, had to take time away in first few days of the trip to finalize cover letters, fill out a few data forms, and submit applications not only on the firm websites but also on the Kellogg CMC website.

Filling out applications during Ski Trip was definitely not the highlight of the post finals celebration in Aspen. In fact, many students still aren’t sure why the deadlines fall during this period. Some students did a good job of submitting their firm applications before they took off for the trip, since most of the application deadlines had been set well before the trip. On the other hand, most students didn’t have much time to finish the applications in advance given the tight schedules between final exams and departing for ski trip.

To everyone’s surprise, one firm actually moved its application submission date forward. And even though it first listed a due date in early January, right after exams the firm changed its due date to be during ski trip. I suspect that doing this was a way to ensure applications came only from those who were most interested in the firm. Fortunately, though, most applications were due during a two day period so most people were able to get most of the work applications done in one to two sittings.

Since returning on ski trip, recruiting activity has increased again. Kellogg students have been flooded with emails from employers and the career center, they have continued spending time tweaking cover letters and resumes, and everyone has finally starting to prepare for interviews. Sounds fun, right? Well, fun or not it’s definitely going to be a lot of work over the next few weeks.

But in my view, nobody here at Kellogg can complain. After all, recruiting is the reason many of us came to business school in the first place. Further, we all have great access to an innumerable number of companies, not only that we can apply to in the short term but also that we can form relationships with in the long term.  It will be interesting to see how the recruiting process evolves over the next few weeks.

Stay tuned to hear how things shape up.

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 Business School, Careers, Consulting No Comments

Guest Post: Finding Employment In Any Economy

Finding a job in any economy can be a daunting task, let alone now, when the economy has been declining and people have been holding onto their current jobs longer than in recent history.  In business school, the job search process has always taken up a significant portion of the MBA experience as students invest dozens of hours, if not significantly more, to ensure they get a job they are happy with. But what about those who haven’t found their dream jobs yet? And what about everyone that’s not currently enrolled in MBA programs? Well, no matter which group you belong to, this guest post, by Mark Davies (from onlinemastersdegree)  may be helpful to you in your search.

It’s that time of the year again, where people are beginning to look for jobs. First year MBA students met lots of employers over the past few months and are gearing up to officially begin recruiting in January. First year law students are doing the same, where they’re starting to send cover letters and resumes to firms they want to interview for over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, many of those who are not currently enrolled in graduate programs are also continuing their job searches. The new year begins in just a few weeks, so for them, now is crunch time, as many companies do a large portion of hiring in January and February, at the beginning of the new year.

Since finding job opportunities is on the forefront of a lot of people’s minds, I thought it might be a good time to publish an article on finding employment.  The article below was written by a guest writer named Mark Davies, who approached me a couple of weeks ago about contributing an entry to the site. His website is focused on online education, but he’s also interested in a wide range of topics such as finding employment.

Given the relevance of the content, I thought it’d be a great chance to post the piece written by Mark here on my site.

See below for the article and below that for Mark’s contact information.

5 Tips to Find Employment in Any Economic Climate (Written by Mark Davies)

Education, employment and financial stability are all intrinsically linked together; each one depends in some way on the other, and that’s why we expend effort in gaining a quality education so that we’re able to find a job that leads to financial stability. The key to success in life is to hold a job that you like and which pays reasonably well – money is not the only thing in life, but it does make life a lot easier and more convenient. So finding and holding a job is essential, in any economic climate. And if you’re looking for ways to do this, read on:

1. Be confident in your abilities: Jobs come to those who radiate confidence without coming across as over-confident. The best thing to do to impress employers is to play on your strengths and tone down your weaknesses. So if you’re shy and reticent but an excellent programmer, then apply for a coding job that does not require you to interact with too many people. When you’re skilled at your job and confident about your abilities, you find that jobs are more readily available.

2. Keep up to date with the changing face of your profession: Change is inevitable in every aspect of life, so it’s inevitable that your profession goes through various phases based on environmental, societal and other extraneous changes. If you’re hoping to stay current and relevant and job-worthy in any economic climate, you must adapt to the changing face of your profession. If technology is the answer, then make an effort to learn how to use it at your job instead of eschewing it in favor of doing things the old-fashioned way because you’re frightened of change or don’t know how to handle technology.

3. Continue to hone your skills: On the job skills are very important when you’re hoping to avoid a lay off or find a job at any point of time. It’s good if you’ve proven yourself and have a track record that speaks for itself about your effectiveness on the job; however, it’s not great if you rest on your laurels and forget that continuously honing your skills is important to stay relevant in the changing job market.

4. Settle for a lower pay packet: While this is not a strategy that is recommended at all times, it’s wise to settle for a lower salary when all other aspects of the job are satisfactory and when the job market is not very forthcoming. Salary can be negotiated and raised at a later date, but a ready job, one that you like and which suits your convenience, may not be available at all times.

5. Never discount the power of networking: As much as possible, avoid making enemies on or off the job in your profession – every single person you meet could help you out when you need a job in times of financial difficulty. When your network is solid and strong, you have a support system to rely on during hard times.

* This guest post is contributed by Mark Davies, he writes on the topic of Masters Degree Online.  He welcomes your comments at his email id: markdavies247<@>gmail<.>com.

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 Business School, Guest Posts 4 Comments

First Set of Final Exams at Kellogg

Just before Ski Trip, the fall term ended with final exams in all of our first quarter classes. In just about all of our classes, exams are open book and last for a three-hour period.  In most classes professors told us that if you’ve been coming to class and put the hours in during exam period, that everything would be just fine. But the question on everyone’s mind was, is that really true?

In some cases, students took the professors up on their “offer” and did very little preparation for some of their classes, though in other cases students spent an innumerable number of hours in the QSR (i.e. the Kellogg library) preparing for upcoming exams.  For some that’s because they felt more urgency to do well, given firm they’re planning to interview at firms that will ask for grades. For others, it’s because they’ve done well their whole lives so don’t want to start performing below that standard now.

For me, the biggest hurdle felt like Finance. Ironically, I enjoyed the content of the class and I also thought pretty highly of the professor. But the content itself was challenging, especially since I come from an anthropology academic background and from a generalist professional background that had less pure finance material.  On the other hand, many of my classmates came from more traditional finance backgrounds. And others were looking to go into banking, so they had a bit of a head start on me in the class. So more than the other classes, I made sure to put time in studying, putting together templates ahead of time, doing practice exams, and going to review sessions. The exam was difficult, and I didn’t actually finish all the questions, but for those I left unfinished, I did put some notes down about what I would have done had I had a bit more time to work through the problems.

After the exam was over I didn’t talk to too many people, but the ones I did talk to confirmed that the exam was difficult not just for us but also for everyone. This was pretty different to my experience in law school, where hordes of people gathered after each exam during the first quarter to discuss how they answered the problem. Fortunately, my finance exam came at the end of the week, so once that was over I knew I was finished.

Logistically, most of us took our exams with our section mates and classmates. Usually, we’d split up into two rooms to accododate the size of the classes, while also giving us more room in the exam to put our notes, jackets and other things.  Before exams, most people preferred to chat rather than cram through material, a stark contrast with the way law school exams worked. Similarly, most students didn’t spend too many hours putting together nearly perfect outlines like my law school classmates did. Instead, they put together short, succinct note pages with the most relevant material and relied on exam performance during the three-hour period. The process proved to be the same for most of our classes – strategy, accounting, DECS (i.e. stats), and MORS (i.e. leadership class).

In the end, doing well on class and exams doesn’t have much bearing on how you will be as a business leader.  However, only time will tell how much bearing it has on job offers and professional opportunities that will be available. While many of us hear it doesn’t, I suspect it still may factor in to some jobs on the margin, again, a stark contrast to law school, where grades are king and where things like fit, professional background, management style, and leadership experience are all secondary.

But more important than how grades turned out, at least for now, was that exams were over, which meant that we could finally get ready for Ski Trip at Kellogg. And so nearly 800 Kellogg students would be jetting away to Aspen Colorado not only to ski but to celebrate the end of their first quarter with their new classmates.

Stay tuned to hear how Ski Trip turned out.

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 Business School, Careers No Comments

The Weeks Before Ski Trip

At long last, the holiday break is finally here. But getting here wasn’t necessarily a piece of cake. Shortly before the holiday break, students began to disappear from Jacobs and started to focus much more on final exams.  And despite the fact that business school is often referred to as two-year vacation, many people actually spent a lot of time studying during the final couple of weeks,

As a result, the majority of people spent a lot less time hanging out in the atrium during the final two weeks. Likewise, there were not as many planned get-togethers or hangs at the local Evanston pubs. Instead, students spent more time getting organized, catch up on recruiting activities, beginning to study for exams, and in some cases simply resting from the quarter. And they relied more on weekends to relax and hang out with classmates and friends.

In terms of preparation, many people steered clear of their later finals and focused on the upcoming final exam, and maybe the one directly after that if they had extra time. Others started with easier subjects and avoided the harder ones, because it was a good way to procrastinate on the subjects they liked lease. And others did just the opposite – they focused on harder subjects, figuring they wouldn’t study much for the easier ones.

This took place up until the last week when we all had our final classes.  At the end of every course, each professor would try to provide us with a good lecture, before giving a brief personal pitch about the class and the department, in hopes we’d continue to take classes in the topic. In some cases the pitches seemed compelling, and in other cases, less so. For many of my classes, the pitches actually had zero impact on my classes, because most of my classmates had already made up their minds about the subjects and professors well before the final class.

One of the teachers that got rave reviews was Professor Julie Hennessy, who I previously wrote a post about (click here to see post on Julie Hennessy).  Unlike most professors that gave us a pitch about why we should take classes in their department (i.e. marketing in this case), she ended by discussing recruiting, and how we could do a good job at marketing ourselves to employers. And the class was especially fun and relevant because she was a hiring manager for years at some of the top brand management companies in the US, so she had a lot of interesting things to share with us.

Another professor co-taught a class with the Medill School of Journalism. The class was not only filled with MBAs, but also with masters of journalism students, some of which were part of the IMC program (i.e. Integrated Marketing Communications). And so his approach was probably a bit different than most classes. He told us his story about coming to Northwestern, and how it was his first time teaching at the university. He also talked more about the things we did in class and what his goals were for the class, rather than imparting us with the life lessons or grand takeaways that some teachers aim to do.

After each of the professors gave us their pitches, they always left the room for the final 10 or so minutes while the students filled out the evaluation surveys.  The point of the surveys was to gage how the students felt about the class, surveying students on teaching style, energy, content, engagement, and use of technology, among a large number of other things. And administration always ensures that we fill out the surveys before finals week, so that our grades don’t impact the reviews we give. While this makes sense for the most part, it also lack objectivity, because some of the questions on the survey ask questions around “fair grading procedures” and in reality, those can’t really be answered before the final exam.

The next week was the week we all took our final exams, which for most came with mixed results. For some, finishing the exams was a huge accomplishment, because they’d been challenging themselves all quarter, with hard classes. Especially those without traditional business backgrounds. For others, finishing was a sigh of relief because now it meant they could go on Ski Trip or head out of town to see friends and family. And for others, finishing exams meant they could start working on the job search process, which they may have neglected for the past few months.

For me, and for a great majority of Kellogg students, it was great to finally finish up the first quarter and eventually head to the Kellogg Ski Trip. Stay tuned to hear more how both the exams and the ski trip turned out.

Monday, December 20th, 2010 Business School No Comments

Merger Article: Halloween Week At Kellogg

Hi everyone, it’s been a few days since my last post. That’s because the past few weeks at Kellogg have been pretty hectic. With two weeks before the end of the quarter, Kellogg recruiting events picked up pretty significantly.  The week after that, classes ended. After that, we had final exams. Then this past week, nearly 800 Kellogg students headed out to Aspen for the Kellogg Skip Trip. And in between, we still had to attend classes, take part in any student activities we might be involved in, and continue to go to recruiting events.

Throughout this process a lot of interesting things have taken place at Kellogg. I’ve got a few articles I’m currently writing. But in the meantime, I thought I’d post a copy of the last article I wrote for the Merger, Kellogg’s on campus newspaper. The topic of the article is Halloween week at Kellogg, and it discusses a few things that took place at Kellogg this fall.

See below for the article:

Halloween Week at Kellogg

By: Jeremy Wilson

Poets 2012

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Every year, people dress up in ridiculous costumes and take part in the most ridiculous activities, no matter how old they are.  Well, as it turns out, so do just about all of my Kellogg classmates.

My Kellogg classmates celebrated Halloween Week in style, not that anyone on the planet would expect anything less from Kellogg’s festive student body, especially in a college town like Evanston.

One celebratory event included Hoot for the Homeless hosted by the MMM students at everyone’s favorite local hangout spot, the Keg.  At no surprise to Kellogg students, the event offered an open bar, a number of provocative costumes and some pole dancing as the Rocket Pockets and Captains of Industry provided musical entertainment. And despite the fact that it was midterm week, the Keg was packed from wall to wall with first and second year MBAs, not to mention with a couple of the Medill students that always manage to sneak their way into Kellogg events.

Meanwhile, Drag TG fell on that Friday and students came out after finishing their first set of midterms at Kellogg.  In addition to the stampedes to the beer corners from students anxious to kick off the weekend, TG also offered a drag dance competition where teams from just about every section squared off.  The team of 1Ys put on a show, as did the Highlanders, and the Poets. But in the end, the first place trophy went to the JD-MBA team, mostly because of the one man dancing machine known as JW Victor (note: he also brought victory to the Jive Turkeys during CIM Showcase).

A third pre-Halloween celebration came just a few hours after Drag TG, as my two roommates and I hosted one of the bigger bashes of the school year in our Park Evanston apartment.  The place was packed with students, leftover candy we literally stole from children at TG and, again, more interesting costumes. Whether it was the Shermanator dressed up in green tights as Peter Pan, Jon Greer as a clown, Jeff Zens as the Jolly Green Giant, Diana Ricketti as a police woman or even Dan Balcauski as his Facebook Page on which people were able to handwrite comments, poke and “like” posts, the first years never ceased to amaze. And who could forget Bridget Mollner dressed up in a white Cleopatra costume – well, until one of her ‘nameless’ classmates spilled a full cup of red jungle juice on it. Whoops!

Either way, everyone had a pretty good time and once again made our way to the Keg afterward, where we ran into another group of classmates. And for those of us who survived the shenanigans on Friday, we headed downtown to Chicago the following night. Wicker Park and Lincoln Park were two of the most popular venues, where the dancing continued and new costumes emerged.

Looking back, Halloween Week was definitely one of the highlights of the first quarter.  But if you thought Halloween Week was good, just wait until another week until those crazy costume parties at Ski Trip take place.  While the venues and costumes may change, I think students will be celebrating in style just like we did in October.

Something tells me that there is going to be a lot more “tricking and treating” going down in Aspen than many of us at Kellogg have seen so far.

Saturday, December 18th, 2010 Business School No Comments

Applicant Question: Tips for MBA Admissions Interviews

Every person applying to business school has both good and bad parts of their application. So as an applicant, it’s in your interest to not only to formally submit a strong application but also to submit one that both highlights the good parts, while also mitigating the bad parts. One way to do that is by delivering a strong interview, especially at schools, like Kellogg, where everyone gets a chance to interview with the admissions committee (or alumni/students who represent the admissions committee).

Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a pretty large number of questions about interviews from aspiring MBA and JD-MBA applicants at Kellogg. Given the applicant pool for top MBA programs is highly competitive, filled with applicants applying with perfect GPAs and GMAT scores, not to mention rigorous analytical work experience, my belief is that you should always be very well prepared for interview.

Below, I’ve listed a couple of tips that I’ve provided to applicants. While they are general pieces of advice that many of you have heard before, they’re things are sometimes still easy to forget, so I’ve provided them here for reference.

1. Research. In any interview, you should know the organization you’re interviewing with, in the case the MBA program (or dual degree program if applicable). Research the ins and outs, and not only of the organization itself, but also the industry and the school’s top competitors.  And you should also be prepared to demonstrate that knowledge by talking about it analytically, not just factually.  That means mentioning programs, people, events, clinics, culture, and recent program changes, and then discussing how that compares to other schools.

2.  Fit. Further, you should be crystal clear on how all of the research you’ve done relates to you and ties into your specific application. Talking generally about pros and cons of a school is easy, but figuring out where you fit in will take some additional work. Ultimately schools want to admit students who not only want to be there but also who will thrive in that specific environment. So it’s highly beneficial to understand how you can benefit from programs at the school. Practically, that means talk about the nuances that make it unique, why those nuances are important to you specifically, and why you would excel as a result of those things.

Be sure to check back for more interview tips over the upcoming weeks before round two interviews begin.

Good luck!

Sunday, December 5th, 2010 Admissions, Business School 6 Comments

The JD-MBA Revolution

There is a new movement taking place in the world of business education, which seeks to combine some of the world’s most challenging business problems with other problems in the world. One way it’s doing that is by combining the challenging business and legal problems in JD-MBA programs. The JD-MBA program is an accelerated course of study that allows students to graduate from business and law school in three years. And it not only allows them to take courses in business and law, but also then also work in areas such as finance, entrepreneurship, business law, real estate and an endless number of other professions.

Top MBA programs, of course, will continue to thrive, and they will continue to enroll some of the most talented business people in the world.  But more and more these program will integrate with schools, such as law, public policy, education and others, as business continues to become more cross disciplinary and as teams become more cross functional to tackle today’s most important business decisions.

Meanwhile, everything in the JD-MBA program exudes that integration. Because it not only gives you the legal and business training but also the networks and resources from both schools. A network of diverse students and alumni, professional and academic resources, professors that you can call upon later in your career, and a mix of interesting classes to help you triangulate around your interests, both in business and law.

Sound like something you might be interested in?  If so, then you’re definitely not alone. People are increasingly starting to look more and more into the programs. And further, schools are also becoming enormously interested. This year Columbia and Cornell recently launched three year JD-MBA programs and last year, Wharton and Yale came out with accelerated programs.

  • Click here to learn more about Kellogg’s dual degree program. Launched in 2001, Northwestern had the first fully integrated JD-MBA program and today it continues to serve as one of the leading programs, given it’s size, number of alumni, and reputation with recruiters.
  • Click here to learn about Columbia’s new dual program, which will begin in 2011. Also, click here to read their press release from Wednesday. Given its NYC location, the Columbia program will be a good draw for many students.
  • Click here to learn about the Wharton program, which was launched in 2009, as the second fully integrated JD-MBA program. The creation of Wharton’s program was significant, as it helped spur Cornell and Columbia to recently to launch their respective programs
  • Click here to learn about Cornell’s new program, which began last year in 2010. Cornell was the first school to launch a program in NYC
  • Click here to learn about Yale’s program, launched in 2009. Given its unique application procedure – must apply and get into the Yale Law and then apply to Yale SOM as a 1L – the program will likely be a good draw for students more interested in law than in business

On the other hand, some top schools are still in decision mode.  Stanford, for example, has decided against the program so far. Just last year, the Dean of Stanford University Law School, said they also thought about creating a program (i.e. shortening its four-year program to three years) but decided not to create one. (click here to see the article). I’m interested to see if they change their mind over the next few years.

But more important than them, what about you?  Are you looking to join the revolution in the business and legal worlds? And are you considering a joint program in business and law? If so, then check out the programs above, and see if one of them sounds appealing to you.

Personally, I’m a big proponent of the Northwestern JD-MBA program, but I suspect different programs will work better for everyone, depending on what you want to get out of the experience. Best of luck in your choice and feel free to get in touch with me if you have any immediate questions.

Friday, December 3rd, 2010 Admissions, Business School, Careers, Law School No Comments

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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