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Tag: "MBA application"

Targeting a Spring Application Deadline – Tips for Success

We get many questions from spring applicants wondering if it’s “too late” to apply or worrying about coming in after several rounds of applications are under review.  Many express concern that some of our spots are already reserved and wonder how competitive it will be for remaining spots.  Don’t worry – if you are a top candidate, you will be competitive, regardless of which application cycle you target.  Try not to over-think the situation as most top schools operate a waiting list to save some spaces for top candidates across each application round.  The Simon School also offers scholarship consideration across all of our application rounds, which is a huge benefit.  A few tips to keep in mind to help you put your best foot forward in the application process:

• Regardless of your reason(s) for applying in the spring, you should be confident and put your best foot forward in all of your application requirements – show how you expect to be an asset to your target school as a student and future alum.

• Be thorough in researching your target B-school and express clearly why you are a “good fit” for the program.  Typically the essay and interview components are good opportunities to express this to the Admissions committee.

• The Simon Admissions Committee will not ask you to address “why” you are applying during the spring.  It’s your decision on if/when to provide this information to us. • There will be little time to retake test scores or update items in your application after submission, so make sure you are really satisfied with your application items before submitting them for review.

• The interview timeline will likely be compressed given the time of year so be prepared to quickly respond if/when an offer is extended.

• Similarly, if admitted, the timeline for your response to our offer will likely be 3 weeks or possibly even less, depending on how late in the year you are admitted.  Make sure you ask critical questions up front, so that you are prepared to commit and enroll if you are admitted!

Each year, we admit some great students in the spring and we look forward to seeing you apply this year! Final application deadlines are as follows and rolling admission occurs in between the deadlines

March 15, 2013 – Final deadline for International candidates and 1-year MBA candidates

May 15, 2013 – Final deadline for Domestic 2-year MBA and MS candidates

To finalize your Simon School application: www.simon.rochester.edu/applynow

Rebekah Lewin
Executive Director of Admissions & Administration

Simon has joined the Beat the GMAT community

You may not be aware, but Simon Admissions has just joined the “Beat the GMAT” community.  Despite the name, “beating the GMAT” is just one component of this online community of MBA aspirants.  It is a great resource for you the applicant to connect both with Simon School MBA/MS Admissions officers for our full-time programs, as well as with your peers who are going through the MBA application process.

Once you join the Beat the GMAT community (basically create a short user profile) you will have additional access to many great features:

  • You can post a comment on the Simon profile page
  • Connect with me when I host upcoming webinars
  • Exchange tips or information with other applicants
  • And of course, there are a number of GMAT prep resources for your use as well
  • Follow ”Beat the GMAT” on Twitter: @beatthegmat

So take the next step and Beat the GMAT – “Follow” Simon, and let us help you get to know us and ultimately best prepare for success in your MBA application journey.

Rebekah S. Lewin

Rebekah S. Lewin, MBA ’02
Executive Director of Admissions & Administration
Univ. of Rochester, Simon Graduate School of Business
Rochester, New York 14627-0107
Phone – 585-275-3533
Fax – 585-271-3907

Mom: Your biggest fan, but not the right choice for a letter of recommendation to business school.

By: Dana

We have discussed the importance of the campus visit, how to make a good first impression, and tips for a successful business school essay.  What’s left?  For many people, the most challenging piece of the application puzzle is securing a positive letter of recommendation.  Not because you aren’t brilliant, or because nobody wants to write one for you, but rather because you don’t know who to ask, when to ask them, or even how to approach asking in the first place.

What is important to remember about the letter of recommendation is that it is the one component of your application that you are leaving in the hands of someone else.  You earned the degree and grades on your transcript, you studied for months to achieve that score on the GMAT, you spent hours writing your essay, and you traveled all over the map to visit schools and meet with admissions representatives.  Now you are left to the opinions of another in completing a work of art that you have, to date, been meticulously crafting, perhaps even at the expense of spending time with your friends and family.  So before you begin frantically hitting the send button in your email, mass mailing requests for a letter of recommendation from everyone in your contact list (although I am sure your mother could write pages about how wonderful you are), here are a few things worth considering to ensure that the recommendation you submit is a complimentary and professional supplement to your already well-crafted business school application.

1.)    Plan ahead.  Begin thinking about the people in your life who could say positive things about you relevant to the world of business.  Asking a best friend seems like a good idea at first, but aside from the fact that this person likely cannot speak to your professionalism in the work place or how you have performed as an employee, and are typically the harshest of critics because they know you so well…almost too well.  Rather, you want to ask someone who can objectively speak to your success in the business setting; someone who always sees you putting your most professional foot forward.  Someone who will give an accurate, honest, and positive overall account of your work ethic and value you add to the company, and even in noting your areas for improvement, can discuss your progress and willingness to work on your shortcomings.  To accomplish this, most business schools will suggest asking your supervisor to serve as a recommender.  In the event that your current supervisor is unaware of your plans to leave for business school (or you are hesitating to mention it because you are afraid it will hurt your chances at that promotion you are up for), asking a former supervisor or a client is a perfect alternative strategy that can position you for success in achieving the same end result.  While we are on the topic, and in keeping with the theme of planning ahead, it is also worth mentioning that when leaving any position during the course of your career, it is best to part on good terms.  Don’t burn bridges.  Keeping in touch with supervisors from previous jobs is not only a wise networking move, but also one you might be thankful  for later in life should you find yourself considering masters or even doctorate level study, and wondering who to ask for a letter of recommendation!

2.)    Once you have determined who to ask, invite that person out for coffee or lunch.  Spend some time with him/her discussing your plans for the future.  Explain why business school is a logical next step for you, and inform your recommender of your goals for the future.  Give this person every reason to believe that investing a recommendation in you is worthwhile because you have given this a lot of thought and will be successful in your plans.  Bring a copy of your most up to date resume, displaying the progression you have experienced in your career thus far, and mentioning how a business degree will assist you in meeting your future objectives.  At the end of your conversation, ask this person if he/she would be willing to write you a positive letter of recommendation.

3.)    If your recommender agrees to write you a letter at the conclusion of this meeting, be sure to provide him/her with a copy of your resume, as well as any additional forms that he/she will need to complete the letter on time.  Discuss with him/her a reasonable time frame in completing the letter of recommendation.  While you are certainly being cognizant of your own deadlines, you must also be aware of the deadlines and workload your recommender may be experiencing as well.  The more time you allow your recommender to complete the letter, the better off you will be.  Rushing a quick turnaround doesn’t leave your recommender with a good impression of your time management or planning abilities.

4.)    Last, but certainly not least, thank your recommender!  The things that he/she says about you in that letter could be the deciding factor on whether or not you are admitted to your dream school!  Also, let him/her know how things pan out for you- where you end up going to pursue your studies, what your next steps will be in your career.  Maintain communication with your recommender beyond that coffee or lunch meeting.  You never know when you might need to call on this person again in the future, or perhaps where you might bump into them as you progress along your career path.

Good Luck!

Two Letters or Three? Differences between the MBA and the MS.

Making tough decisions...MBA or MS?

By: Lilly Testa

As many students make the career-altering decision to either continue with or return to school for a master’s degree, many encounter a crossroads determining the best degree option for their goals.  This becomes particularly relevant as a prospective student evaluates the Master’s in Business Administration against the Master’s of Science (whether in Finance, Accounting, Marketing, General Management or another field).  There are many strengths and similarities between both degrees, but there are also differences to consider including the time required for the degrees, the content itself and the projected career path.  In the next few bullet points, I will provide some points of difference between both programs to help you better understand and classify which program you may have an interest in pursuing. 

*Difference One: The time required to complete each program.

The MS programs we offer here at Simon require only one year of full-time study to complete the degree in its entirety.   The full-time MBA takes two academic years to complete, with students occasionally finishing in a year and a half (either because they start in January or as a result of graduating early).  This means those with the MBA typically pursue MBA-level internships between the first and second year, while those in the MS programs are pursuing an internship that would lead to full-time hire or a full-time position on its own at the conclusion of the program.  An additional point to consider when evaluating a projected start date is that our MS programs begin before our MBA program.  Our MS programs begin orientation and programming in late July or very early August well before the start date for our fall MBA program, which begins in September each year. 

*Difference Two: Course content.

The purpose of the MBA itself is to provide the candidate with a generalized business education.  This includes an understanding of a variety of subjects that shape a future manager’s ability to successfully manage either her own enterprise or serve in a managerial role in another company.  Topics ranging from business communications, accounting, marketing and operations are shared with elective material that can be taken on a one-by-one basis, or toward one or more concentrations.  The concentrations at Simon are similar to undergraduate college majors.   When one is pursuing the Master’s of Science, the academic coursework is more concentrated in the specific field that one is pursuing for the overall degree.  Students in the Master’s of Finance program will take mostly finance coursework, Master’s of Marketing will take mostly marketing coursework, the Master’s of Accounting will take mostly accounting or the relevant finance coursework, et cetera. 

However, many classes taken for the MS programs are also taken by MBA students.  It is this, in part, that allows graduated MS students to apply their coursework for credit directly to the MBA if they choose to pursue that additional degree here at Simon.

*Difference Three: Post-graduation employment.

The program that you select will also affect the type of positions you will target for full-time employment post-graduation.  Pursuing internship and entry level positions that require more in-depth industry knowledge are most suited for those who have gone directly from their undergraduate study to the MS programs.  Those who have previous full-time work experience in a particular industry and pursue the MS degree to deepen their knowledge base often pursue mid-level roles.  Some students pursue the MS degree as a starting point for their business education also with the knowledge that they will return for the MBA at a later time when they have gained additional work experience.  For individuals pursuing the MBA it is used as a tool to assist with a career change, or to jump start a position in the mid-management level of a targeted company.  Many students seek employment from the company that sponsored their summer internship, or use that experience as leverage within their targeted industry.   

Applicants should be well-informed when applying to a particular program.  At Simon, we only allow students to apply to one program at a time; you cannot submit two applications with the hope to get into one program or another.  Additional resources (brochures, statistics, and current student and alumni profiles) help to compare and contrast further if you require more insight.  Regardless of the program you ultimately apply (and hopefully) are admitted to, an education from the Simon School at the University of Rochester will be one of the best decisions you can make for your career.