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from Accepted Admissions Blog
Here are two comments that I get all the time from applicants – two related MBA myths that absolutely require busting:
Myth #1: Once you attend an MBA program outside the Top 10, it doesn’t matter which school you attend, so you may as well go to the cheapest one you get into.
Myth #2: It doesn’t pay to get an MBA outside the M7/Top 10.
When asked my opinion of these MBA memes, I politely explained why I think they are utter nonsense, the product of lazy minds. Nothing more. The reality is much more complex.
Applying to Schools Outside the Top 10
Schools inside and outside the Top 10 vary in terms of their approach to management education and their strengths. Some schools outside the Top 10 may be excellent for a given specialty. For example, Smeal and Broad are generally not in any overall Top 10 ranking. However, both programs are in the U.S. News top five for supply chain management and logistics. They may be excellent choices if that’s your interest. Babson is renowned for teaching entrepreneurship; it is usually in the bottom half of the top 50 overall. For those specialties, these schools may be better programs than programs ranked overall in the Top 10.
Obviously there are a lot more schools outside the Top 10 than in it, and the differences among all the schools are many. Applicants need to understand those differences and seek schools with the curricular, extracurricular, and career management strengths to help them achieve their goals. Then applicants can compare costs and anticipated return. If applicants choose a school based on Myth #1 and without the analysis I suggest, applicants are simply basing a major investment in time and money on folklore.
Determining ROI & Career Satisfaction
Whether it pays to get an MBA at School X, regardless of that school being in the Top 10, Top 20, or Top 50, depends on both the school and on you. Here are a few questions that you need to answer:
1. How much are you making currently? (That will determine your opportunity cost if you are considering a full-time program.)
2. What is the typical salary of MBA grads from your target program who found a job in your area of interest? (School averages are much less worthwhile.)
3. Is there a non-financial benefit that you seek in addition to classic financial ROI? (Moving into a job you will enjoy, for example.)
While it is true that average salaries at different schools tend to decline as you go down the rankings, for the overwhelming majority of MBAs, ROI is positive and MBA alumni satisfaction per GMAC surveys is overwhelmingly high despite two recessions in the last 15 years. And that data includes survey responses from non-Top 10 schools.
Don’t trust myths about rankings to determine where you invest your time and money. Don’t rely on fable and fantasy to make a major life decision. Do your homework, learn about the schools, and don’t focus on their rankings.
Assess your needs. Determine your investment including opportunity cost. Evaluate probable return – both financial and non-financial – at schools that meet your needs.
Then, and only then, decide whether your MBA is worth the cost and which ones are right for you.
Do you need help choosing the best b-school for you, and then applying successfully so you get accepted? Our expert admissions advisors can guide you through every step of the MBA application process. Contact us and we’ll match you with your personal consultant today!
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
from Accepted Admissions Blog
An excellent letter of recommendation has several key components. On average, letters tend to be about three pages in length. Any more than that is simply too much, considering that each applicant submits at least three letters of recommendation and that medical schools receive on average 5,000 applications each year. That’s a lot of letters to read, so a letter longer than three pages may not be read all the way through or in much detail. On the other hand, a letter that is too brief – only one page in length – will hurt your application, as it will be too short to go into much detail.
The best letters of recommendation all have the following components:
1. They explain how well the letter-writer knows the applicant.
The first section of the letter explains how the writer knows the applicant – in what capacity, as a professor, mentor, supervisor, etc. – and the length of time they have known you. By establishing the background of the relationship, the writer is in the best position to describe you to the selection committee. The best letters are from people who have known you for a year or longer and who have worked closely with you on successful projects.
2. They go into depth about your accomplishments.
The majority of the letter should focus on covering what the writer has observed about the quality of your work and the characteristics that you have demonstrated. The longer this section of the letter is, the better. It is here that the recommender can help you shine as an applicant.
3. They provide details about the outcomes of your work and the impact you have on others.
Selection committees love facts, numbers, and data. Any outcomes that are emphasized as the result of your work will make the letter stand out from others. Information like the numbers of patients you have assisted as well as positive quotes from people you have worked with can provide convincing evidence of an exceptional character. Other examples of outcomes include publications, poster presentations, or awards.
4. They provide context for your accomplishments.
If you are the first person in your family to earn a college degree, this information makes all of your success even more remarkable. Including information about you like the number of languages you are fluent in or your knowledge of other cultures can also support your candidacy for medical school. A paragraph or two describing your background can really elevate a letter of recommendation and make it stand out to the selection committee!
5. They detail the reasons why you will succeed in medical school.
The best letters will use the unique characteristics that have already been used to describe you to explain why you will succeed in medical school. In convincing selection committees that you are well prepared and that you will excel in the next phase of your education can provide compelling support for your application.
I’ve read hundreds of letters of recommendation. In my experience, the five components described above are essential to making letters of recommendation stand out from others. If a letter writer takes the time to include all of these sections, it demonstrates a deep respect and strong confidence in the applicant. Contact Accepted for personalized guidance – for you or for your LOR writer.
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
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from Accepted Admissions Blog