Betsy Massar interviews Alison Levine, Fuqua MBA and author of the best selling book On the Edge: The Art of High Impact Leadership and learns some interesting lessons for applicants, MBA students and graduates.
In connection with Harvard Business School’s celebration of “50 Years of Women at HBS” (HBS W50), the HBS Association of Northern California honored 100+ alumnae leaders in the Bay Area. The honorees, nominated and chosen from more than 1,200 female graduates of Harvard Business School who reside in Northern California span six decades of Harvard graduates. These women, who are profiled in a new book titled “Inspiring Women: Celebrating Harvard Business School Leaders,” have made an impact through their leadership roles in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, while also volunteering time to give back to the broader community.
It is “98% confirmed” that Wharton will make a team-based discussion among applicants a new part of its admissions process. The change occurs just as Wharton rolls out a newly revamped MBA curriculum this fall that offers students greater customization of their MBA education based on their earlier education and work experience.
“In a U.S.-centric sense, students will get the best of both worlds: east and west,” said Betsy Massar, founder and president of Master Admissions, an admissions consulting firm. “A whole semester is more effective for potential business launches and full-time careers than a week long trek. As virtual as we are these days, there’s nothing like being in the heart of it all.”
An MBA application is like any sales pitch. Your audience will not only determine what you have to say, but how you are going to say it.
“Most women want an MBA for one reason — to enhance their careers,” maintains Massar, who now helps men and women get into Harvard and other business schools as the founder of Master Admissions. “Still, business school is fun. You’re ‘on’ 24/7 — working hard and playing hard are expected. If women and men hope to come out of the experience with a life partner, why not? If we cannot laugh at stereotypes of ourselves, as women, and as business students, then what’s the point?”
You can (and should) use LinkedIn to do deep research on the schools and career paths that interest you. And prospective programs will expect that you’re on it; the MIT Sloan School of Management requests your LinkedIn URL on its application in addition to your resume.
Some experts, such as Betsy Massar of Master Admissions, a consultancy in Berkeley, Calif., question the likelihood of an increase in MBA applications in 2013.
“I think the biggest drivers will be the economy and financial industry opportunities,” Massar says. “I cannot in my heart of hearts predict that those two will magically reverse themselves. Hence, no real boom.”
Two business trends that Massar has observed are the growth of entrepreneurship”which she calls “startup fever” and a decline in finance jobs with the tarnishing of Wall Street’s glamour. “I don’t see a huge turnaround [in MBA applications], especially as the price tag to attend, plus lost income and perhaps lost traction, take their toll,” she says.
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