Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sucks to Be These People

I just read in the Wall Street Journal that Wharton, Chicago, and Stanford all have students or alumni who had their GMAT scores cancelled because of their links to Scoretop.

Just 84 people had their scores cancelled, but it looks like at least some of them actually found their way into top business schools. Chicago has two newly enrolled students who had their scores cancelled and Stanford has one alumnus with a cancelled score. Wharton just said they have three "current and past students" have had their scores cancelled.

I bet the schools will go out of their way to teach these people a lesson. Sucks to be them, although it sounds like they deserve it, if they were actually some of the ones providing GMAT questions to the site.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

All This Work Experience Makes a Girl Tired

I know you're supposed to get a lot of good work experience before applying to business school, but now it's like my job is getting the way of my applying to business school. I still like my job in sales A LOT, but I've been so busy this past month that I've only had a few hours on weekends to study for the GMAT. The good news is that this recent project will almost certainly mean a promotion, but the bad news is that I've had no life since it started.

Fear not. This huge project is now 99% done, and I plan on doubling my GMAT preparation pace from this point forward.

At least I have started research schools. Some early contenders are, in no particular order:
  • Columbia - because I like NYC
  • Harvard - tops in leadership, etc., etc.
  • Kellogg - no one is stronger in marketing
  • Wharton - actually a pretty strong marketing department
  • Michigan - know a few people who went there and loved it

I refuse to just chase fancy names, but it's honestly hard for me to get excited about lower-ranked schools, and I don't think I want to move any further west thank Chicago (that may even be a bit of a stretch).

Any other ideas on where I should apply? Tell me! Also, I'm especially interested in schools that may be more liberal with scholarship money...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Take the GMAT, Get a Free Palm Reading

The people who run the GMAT have announced that, starting this month in select locations, GMAT test takers will have to have their palms scanned. The site explained all of this in the warmly titled "Vein Recognition: Frequently Asked Questions."

I get it. They don't want people faking their identities and taking the GMAT for other people. But it's sad that there's a cottage industry for this trickery, and that they have to resort to this Big Brother machinery to stamp it out.

It's interesting that, if you refuse to have your palm scanned, you can't take the exam. What it you lost your hands in a tragic farming accident...?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

GMAT Data Sufficiency!!

I'm working on GMAT prep now. Okay, can someone please tell me what the deal is with data sufficiency questions?

A typical question goes like this:

How old is Kay?
1. Kay is fifteen years older than Michael was two years ago
2. Michael is half as old as Kay was two years ago.

A) Statement 1 alone is sufficient but statement 2 alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
B) Statement 2 alone is sufficient but statement 1 alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
C) Both statements 1 and 2 together are sufficient to answer the question but neither statement is sufficient alone.
D) Each statement alone is sufficient to answer the question.
E) Statements 1 and 2 are not sufficient to answer the question asked and additional data is needed to answer the statements.

This one that I just made up isn't that hard, but there are many where I get stuck. Or, I fall into the trap of choosing B when Statement 2 alone isn't sufficient, but I read Statement 2 with Statement 1 still in the back of my mind, and I wrongly think that Statement 2 is sufficient.

GMAT prep makes my brain melt. Arrrgghhhh!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

GMAT Progress

Okay, so I haven't done a ton of studying for the GMAT yet. But, I did order two books to get started: the Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition (got a new copy for $10 here). This thing is the bible of GMAT preparation, they say. I also bought Kaplan GMAT 2008 Premier Program (bought at Amazon). After going through those two books I will see where I stand, and maybe buy some more if needed.

The books have arrived... Now, it's time to actually crack them open. :-)

I have casually started researching schools. I'll probably attend the local MBA Tour event and school events when they come to town, but by then I will hopefully have my top 4-5 schools nailed down.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Here's My Plan

Here is the plan so far, after reading some good online resources about ideal MBA application timelines:
  1. Study for the GMAT
  2. Begin researching schools (simultaneously)
  3. Take the GMAT
  4. After my first (and only?) GMAT, use my score to help narrow down my school choices
  5. Take GMAT again (if needed)
  6. Finalize my list of target MBA programs (no more than five)
  7. Identify who will write my letters of recommendation
  8. Starting working on my essays
  9. Complete and submit my applications

Easy enough, huh? With any luck, I will take the GMAT right after Labor Day, and then go from there. Still targeting round one, although we'll see how I feel after I take the exam!

As for target programs, conventional wisdom seems to say that you should apply to no more than five. I think I can get that focused (and don't want to spend the money on ten applications0, but I need to decide if I want to make one or two or those five a safety school.

Now, I just need to study for the GMAT... Knowing myself, I think this will be the hardest part of applying to business school!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Applying to Business School This Year

Hello cruel world! I plan on applying to business school this fall, for entry in the fall of 2009.

Right now I work in sales for a small company on the East Coast. I would like to earn MBA and go into marketing, but not necessarily traditional brand management or product management. I may want to try marketing consulting, if there really is such a thing for new MBA grads.

Right now my plan is to take the GMAT in September, and then apply to my top schools in round one in October. I have not yet narrowed down my list of three to five top-choice schools. I am just checking out resources and trolling all of the MBA admissions blogs.

With any luck, I will be successful, and will blog about it here!