Financial Times: Stanford Regains the Top MBA Ranking Spot

by Jonathan Moules

The business school’s all-round success is closely linked with that of Silicon Valley

Excerpt with Stratus Admissions Counseling expert insight:

The battle for places at Stanford means the school can exercise a degree of selectivity its peers can only aspire to match, according to Susan Cera, a director at Stratus Admissions Counseling.

“Stanford can hand-pick their class,” Ms Cera says, adding that it is easier to get a senior role at Google than a place at Stanford.

Top academic results are not enough to guarantee an approval from the admissions team. Those who succeed demonstrate an inquiring mind and prove that they can work in teams, which helps explain why the alumni network works effectively, according to Ms Cera. “Stanford selects students who focus on the ‘we’ over the ‘I’,” she says.

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Poets & Quants: Why EQ Matters In Your B-School Application

by Nathan Allen
Stratus Admissions Counseling is as an expert source in this article. 

It was 1990 when researchers from the University of New Hampshire and Yale coined the term “emotional intelligence.” About a decade later, Daniel Goleman, a Rutgers University psychologist, wrote about the importance of emotional intelligence (popularly known as EQ, which stands for emotional quotient) in business leadership in the Harvard Business Review, officially cementing the concept’s legitimacy and importance. And now, another two decades later, elite business schools are using the idea more and more to make admissions decisions.

“Research is showing that leadership is more than just management. It’s the ability to work with others and motivate others towards a shared set of goals,” says Susan Cera, director of MBA admissions at admissions consultancy Stratus Admission Counseling. “And EQ is instrumental to being successful in working with and through others.”

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Poets & Quants: Top MBA Schools Are On Sale

by Gregory Yang

Business Schools Battle Ghostwriters

Excerpt with Stratus Admissions Counseling is an expert source.

She tells Financial Times that admissions committees tend to cross-check written essays with GMAT verbal subscores. If a well-written essay does not match a GMAT verbal score, it raises a red flag.

“Admissions committees reach out to applicants with quick and easy questions via email and look at the writing in the email response to see if it matches what is in the essays,” Cera says.

Overall, it seems admissions committees have a zero tolerance for ghostwritten applications.

“We recently heard of a top MBA program rescinding an offer the month before the program was going to start,” Cera tells Financial Times.*

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*Clarification. The rescinded offer was in conjunction with admissions committees using Re Vera to do background verification of admitted applicants, not due a ghostwritten essay or letter of reference.  

 

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Financial Times: Business Schools Clamp Down On Ghostwritten Applications

by Jonathan Moules

New strategies seek to root out suspect references and admissions essays

Excerpt with Stratus Admissions Counseling expert insight:

“Admissions committees reach out to applicants with quick and easy questions via email and look at the writing in the email response to see if it matches what is in the essays,” Ms Cera says. She adds that the only effective policy is zero tolerance. “We recently heard of a top MBA programme rescinding an offer the month before the programme was going to start,” she says.*

*Clarification. The rescinded offer was in conjunction with admissions committees using Re Vera to do background verification of admitted applicants, not due a ghostwritten essay or letter of reference.  

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BusinessBecause: Why Emotional Intelligence Is Key to MBA Admissions Success

by Jonathan Pfeffer

A concept born in the 90s, b-school admissions teams are now reinforcing the importance of a high EQ among MBA candidates

Excerpt with Stratus Admissions Counseling expert insight

“Within the classroom, MBA programs are offering more courses on soft leadership that help students better understand the importance of EQ and the self-awareness required to improve it,” says Jeff Thomas, CEO of Stratus Admissions Counseling.

Another way schools cultivate graduates with high EQs is to intentionally mix up the teams, so students are forced to understand and implement ideas from a variety of perspectives.

“In some instances, these teams of 5-6 first-year students work together for all their core curricula, and must develop EQ skills to navigate assignments across multiple classes and functions,” explains Jeff.

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Chicago Business Journal: 5 Kellogg MBA application tips

by Jeff Thomas, Stratus Admissions Counseling CEO

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (Kellogg) experience is dedicated to transforming students into growth-oriented leaders who inspire growth in people, organizations and markets.

Located in the “urban suburb” of Evanston, Illinois, Kellogg’s Global Hub offers stunning views of Chicago’s skyline and Lake Michigan.

Familiarizing yourself with Kellogg is crucial to creating a standout application. Here are five key considerations when preparing your MBA application.

  1. Select the right program for you.

Kellogg features several distinct programs, each highlighted below.

  • Two-Year MBA: an immersive, full-time MBA
  • One-Year MBA: an accelerated program for those with an undergraduate business background
  • MMM: Earn a Kellogg MBA and an M.S. in Design Innovation from the Segal Design Institute at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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Noodle Pros: How To Maximize Your Chances Of Being Admitted To A Top Business School

by Jeff Thomas, Stratus Admissions Counseling

Originally published as an expert guest post on Noodle Pros

Multiple studies show that MBA holders earn significantly more than their non-MBA counterparts. There is also evidence showing that the newly-minted MBAs see their annual compensation increase immediately after they graduate and start their first job.

***

Gaining admission to one of the top business schools in the United States is no small feat. The “survival rate” – or admissions rate, as it is more commonly known – for applicants to top schools like HBS, Wharton and Stanford stubbornly hovers around a measly 10%. And this survival rate does not consider how broadly and deeply talented the applicant pool is.

Every applicant that we see seems to stand out in multiple areas, such as stellar GMAT scores, killer work experience and/or a fantastic undergraduate track record. In addition, they all seem to have great instincts when it comes to presenting themselves to admissions committees. Still, the AdComs must find a way to eliminate 90 percent of the applicant pool and admit a group of all-star future MBA’s.

At this point, as a business school applicant, you might ask yourself if all of this is really worth it.

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” For instance, multiple studies show that MBA holders earn significantly more than their non-MBA counterparts. There is also evidence showing that the newly-minted MBAs see their annual compensation increase immediately after they graduate and start their first job.

In addition, MBA holders report feeling better prepared and equipped to tackle their jobs, as well as increased job satisfaction.

So, if you want make more money and feel better while doing it, then go get that MBA!

Once on that road, there are several tried-and-true approaches, strategies and tips that can help get you there, including:

Start Early

We have seen a direct correlation with our clients between when they seriously engage in the application process and whether or not they are admitted to their top choice schools. B-school applications challenge candidates to offer deep insights into themselves within a very tight word limit. This is not easy – and it takes time to even decide what to reveal about yourself, and then figure out how you are going to say that in 250 words.

Go Deep

On the surface, many applicants look alike to the admissions committees – high GMAT scores, great work experience, and engaged community service. The best way to differentiate yourself is to really explore your passions, motivations and goals. Figure out who you are as a person, then convey that in a powerful, effective manner.

Recruit Recommenders

Your recommendations can tip the scales in these tight admissions decisions. Find recommenders who are appropriately connected to you, willing to take the time to construct a strong recommendation, and help the AdCom see how you stand apart from your peers.

Get Help

The application process should not be traveled alone. Navigating a first-time process solo where most people fail is not the best decision. Find a trusted adviser who can help you efficiently, effectively and successfully. You might already have someone in your life who has the time, experience and trusted relationship that you need to navigate.  However, if not, you can have a professional admissions advisor on your side throughout the process.


BusinessBecause: Is There A Cheating Epidemic At Business School?

by Jonathan Pfeffer

Some MBA students are cheating to get ahead

Excerpt: Susan Cera, director of MBA admissions at Stratus Admissions Counseling, elaborates on the idea that cheating can result from a discrepancy in cultural norms:

“In the US, elementary schools teach students how to research a subject, and middle schools and high schools drill into students the importance of citing your work and making it your own. This is not the norm elsewhere in the world. When you bring students together from 40-plus countries, there is a broad range of norms with respect to what cheating is.”

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NY Business Journal: 5 Johnson MBA application tips

by Jeff Thomas, Stratus Admisisons Counseling CEO

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management (Johnson) MBA program emphasizes intense collaboration and prepares leaders for global success.

Located in Ithaca, N.Y., four hours from New York City, the campus is surrounded by hiking trails and waterfalls. Ithaca also boasts more restaurants per capita than NYC.

Familiarizing yourself with Johnson is crucial to creating a standout application. Here are five key considerations when preparing your MBA application.

1. Select the right program for you

Johnson features several distinct MBA programs, each flexible, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary. Six of them are highlighted below.

  • Two-year MBA: traditional full-time MBA for those who want to hone their technical and leadership skills, differentiated by the opportunity to select one of eight immersions
  • One-year MBA: accelerated MBA for professionals with significant work experience and advanced degrees or certifications
  • Cornell Tech MBA: NYC-based one-year MBA degree preparing graduates for start-ups or management roles in technology.
  • Dual degree programs: Earn a MBA along with another Cornell degree in a compressed timeframe. Specializations include in real estate, law and health administration.
  • Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY: collaborative weekend program 12 miles from NYC
  • Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership: NYC-based two-year joint degree designed to prepare the next generation of healthcare leaders

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BusinessBecause: Hate The MBA Rankings? What Lower-Ranked Business Schools Can Do To Compete

by Jonathan Pfeffer

Outside the top-ranked elite, b-schools in the US are developing new strategies to stay competitive

There’s a feeding frenzy at elite business schools right now with every Stanford, Harvard or Wharton applicant—and there are plenty—sweating bullets that a name brand degree is their only ticket to ride.

Excerpt with Stratus Admissions Counseling expert insight:

In fact, at lower-ranked business schools, students can still get a world-class education at a fraction of the price and a sliver of the admissions headache.

Jeff Thomas, CEO of Stratus Admissions Counseling, sings the praises of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, despite a low USNWR ranking:

“[Thunderbird’s] overall ranking on USNWR is 88 (of 93). However, if you look behind the numbers, Thunderbird is ranked fourth in terms of its international program. If an MBA candidate knows that they want to work internationally after earning an MBA, they can receive a top-five international business education at the 88th-ranked business school!”