Aringo helps MBA candidates prepare outstanding applications (essays, resume/CV, recommendations) for the world's top MBA programs.

Friday, April 17, 2015

How The GMAT AWA Prepares You For the Real World

Novelists write. Poets write. Why does the GMAT make business students write? Well, most business people will not write poems. Admittedly, the poet Wallace Stevens was an insurance executive, and T.S. Eliot was a banker with Lloyd's of London, but that's the exception, not the norm.

Winning over customers
So what is the point of making potential business students write in the GMAT AWA section? Think about the business world you are entering -- the postmodern, electronically interconnected world. In some rare businesses, you still have the opportunity to meet potential new customers face-to-face, but in most scalable internet businesses, such immediate personal contact is simply not sustainable. New customers will most likely find you through words -- through advertisements at first, and then more detailed writing.  If people click on your ad to learn more, presumably, they will be directed to the website of your business, which may have some illustrative pictures that can prove helpful in establishing lasting connections. Undoubtedly, though, the website will have to contain words somewhere within it to answer the more obvious questions potential new customers will have. There, your potential new customers will encounter your words as part of their initial contact with your business. That's precisely why your words need to be impressive and persuasive.

Fine-tuning the sales pitch
The GMAT AWA focuses on argument, as do the GMAT Critical Reasoning questions. Fundamentally, every sales pitch is an argument. A successful sales pitch is a highly persuasive argument designed to consistently elicit a specific behavior -- purchase -- from as many people as possible. No sales pitch is going to be successful if the folks hearing it see obvious logical flaws in it or if some commonly experienced circumstance gives rise to a credible objection to the argument. Before you send out words in the hopes of persuading people, you have to have a keenly honed sense of whether any reasonable person could muster a serious objection to your argument. This has direct dollar-and-cents implications in terms of marketing. Your arguments need to be sound if your advertising is going to be successful. That is the reason why business schools value these analytical skills, and why the GMAT tests students on them.

Takeaway
Of course, the GMAT AWA is not folded into your 200-to-800 GMAT score. Your full GMAT score report will give you a Verbal subscore and a Quantitative subscore, and both of these contribute directly to the aggregate 200-to-800 score. The GMAT AWA and the GMAT Integrated Reasoning have separate scores that are not factored at all into the aggregate score. To get into a top business school, it certainly helps to have an impressive aggregate score, ideally 700+. You do not need to ace the GMAT AWA section; the GMAT AWA is graded in half-integers from 0 to 6, and anything over a 4 is perfectly acceptable. A grade under that, though, would raise red flags. As long as you muster a 4+ score on the AWA section, that demonstrates a basic competence with writing, which is all that business school requires. You don't need to be T.S. Eliot, although that doesn't hurt either!

This post was written by Mike McGarry, resident GMAT expert at Magoosh and a leader in GMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’s GMAT blog.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Congratulations!

Another Aringo client got accepted to HBS (MBA).
Two additional Aringo clients got accepted to Wharton (MBA).
Two additional Aringo clients got accepted to Chicago (MBA).
Three additional Aringo clients got accepted to Kellogg (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to Darden (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to Cornell (MBA).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Congratulations!

Another Aringo client got accepted to INSEAD (MBA).
Two additional Aringo clients got accepted to UNC (MBA).
Two additional Aringo clients got accepted to UCLA (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to Michigan (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to McCombs (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to HKS (MBA).
Three additional Aringo clients got accepted to Georgetown (MBA).

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Is it Worthwhile to Apply to HBS Round 3?

Harvard posted on its admissions committee's blog a few tips and guidelines for applicants considering applying to Round 3 (till 4.6):

“For those of you thinking about Round 3, here are some of the FAQs we field once application anxiety kicks in:

FAQ #1: Do I have to wait for my recommenders to finish before I can submit my application?
That's an easy one to answer: no.
We hope that all recommendations will be received by noon on April 6. Of course, that rarely happens. Our advice: don't wait until you get the notice that your recommendations have all been submitted before you hit the "submit" button for your application. "Late" recommendations received within a day or two after the deadline will be added to your file.  It's your responsibility to make sure that both recommendations have been received - and for you to understand that we may render a decision based on whatever recommendations have or have not been submitted.  

FAQ #2: Can I submit my application without an official GMAT or GRE score? What about the TOEFL?
The key word here is "official" -- you must have either a GMAT or a GRE score in order to submit your application, but your unofficial score (i.e., the score you receive the day you take the test) is perfectly acceptable. Please do have your official scores sent to HBS. We will verify scores of all admitted candidates later in the spring.
TOEFL scores are different. You can't wait until the last minute to take the TOEFL because you won't be getting a score on the test date.

FAQ #3: Is there any advantage to being "early" in a given deadline period?
No, not really. We don't begin to read applications until after the application deadline. On the night of April 6, we will begin to distribute applications to the Admissions Board. Contrary to lots of speculation, there is absolutely no correlation between when an application is submitted and when, or if, a candidate is invited to interview. Applications are not reviewed in the order in which they are received.
That said, I wouldn't advise waiting until 11:59 am to upload your application. We anticipate that server traffic will be high and you will be frustrated and anxious with the time it will take to have a successful submission.”

Harvard also recently responded to some common Round 2 myths:

Myth #1: There are no spots available.
Not true. We manage the selection process to ensure that there are always spots open for the candidates we want. Are there as many spots open as in Rounds 1 and 2? No. Are there as many applicants? No. Do I think a strong candidate has a fair shot? Yes.

Myth #2: We've run out of financial aid.
Not true. The very last person admitted to the class has access to the same need-based financial aid that the very first person received.

Myth #3: If I get dinged in Round 3, I can't/shouldn't apply the next season in Round 1.
Not true. There's absolutely no stigma in re-applying 5 months later. Happens a lot. Many people in our classroom today were successful re-applicants.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Congratulations!

Three additional Aringo clients got accepted to Duke (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to IESE (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to McComb's (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to Tuck (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to UNC (MBA).

Monday, March 16, 2015

US News Specialization Rankings

In addition to last week’s general ranking of the top U.S. MBA programs, US News also published specialization rankings of the best programs in different categories. Below are the top programs for each category:

Accounting
#1     University of Texas—Austin (McCombs)
#2     University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
#3     University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign
#4     University of Chicago (Booth)
#5     Stanford University

Entrepreneurship
#1     Babson College (Olin)
#2     Stanford University
#3     Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
#4     Harvard University  
#5     University of California—Berkeley (Haas)

Finance
#1     University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
#2     University of Chicago (Booth)
#3     New York University (Stern)
#4     Columbia University
#5     Stanford University

Information Systems
#1     Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
#2     Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
#3Tie     University of Arizona (Eller)
#3Tie     University of Minnesota—Twin Cities (Carlson)
#5     University of Texas—Austin (McCombs)

International
#1     University of South Carolina (Moore)
#2     University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
#3     Thunderbird School of Global Management
#4     University of Michigan—Ann Arbor (Ross)
#5     Columbia University

Management
#1     Harvard University
#2     Stanford University
#3     University of Michigan—Ann Arbor (Ross)
#4     University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
#5     Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Marketing
#1     Northwestern University (Kellogg)
#2     University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
#3     Stanford University
#4     Harvard University
#5     Duke University (Fuqua)

Nonprofit
#1     Yale University
#2     Stanford University
#3     University of California—Berkeley (Haas)
#4     Harvard University
#5     Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Stanford Tops 2015 US News Ranking

US News published its updated ranking of the best MBA programs in the U.S. for 2015, putting Stanford at its top. Harvard took second place with Wharton in third. This follows 2014’s three-way tie between these three schools for the ranking’s top spot.

Spots 4-9 in the ranking remained exactly the same as last year – Chicago, MIT, Kellogg, Berkeley, Columba, and Tuck – while Darden took tenth sliding NYU down to share 11-12 with Michigan.

The rest of the ranking:

13-14. Duke, Yale
15. UCLA
16. Darden
17. Texas McComb’s
18. UNC
19. Washington Olin
20. CMU Tepper
21-22. Emory, Indiana
23. Washington Foster
24. Georgetown
25. Notre Dame

The ranking involved the survey of 464 programs between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, of which 385 responded and 126 provided enough information to calculate the ranking according to the follow criteria:
-quality index (40%) composed of their evaluations of the different programs plus employers’ evaluations
-placement index (35%) composed of starting salary and bonus data for alumni and employment rates for alumni
-selectiveness index (25%)- composed of average GMAT/GRE scores, BA GPAs, ad acceptance rates to each program

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Congratulations!!

Another Aringo client got accepted to MIT with $186,000 scholarship!
Another Aringo client got accepted to Stanford.
Another Aringo client got accepted to NYU.
Another Aringo client got accepted to Emory.

Crossing Fingers!
Three Aringo clients were invited to interview at MIT.
Aringo client was invited to interview at Berkeley.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Congratulations!

Another Aringo client got accepted to MIT (MBA) with a $55,000 scholarship.
Another Aringo client got accepted to Tuck (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to Columbia (MBA).
Another Aringo client got accepted to Cornell (MBA).
Three additional Aringo clients got accepted to Oxford (MBA).

Crossing Fingers!!
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Darden (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at UCLA (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Stanford (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Tepper (MBA).

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Congratulations!

Two additional Aringo clients got accepted to IE (MBA).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Congratulations!

Another Aringo client was accepted to Columbia (MBA).
Another Aringo client was accepted to CEIBS (MBA).
Another Aringo client was accepted to ESADE (MBA).

Crossing Fingers!!
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Stanford (MBA).
Three additional Aringo clients were invited to interview at Wharton (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Duke (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at INSEAD (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at NYU (MBA).


Monday, February 09, 2015

Congratulations!

Two additional Aringo clients got accepted to Berkeley (MBA).

Crossing Fingers!!

Two additional Aringo clients were invited to interview at Harvard (MBA).
Four additional Aringo clients were invited to interview at Chicago (MBA).
Three additional Aringo clients were invited to interview at LBS (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Darden (MBA).

Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Columbia (MBA).
Five additional Aringo clients were invited to interview at Duke (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at NYU (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Oxford (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Tuck (MBA).

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Congratulations!

Another Aringo client got accepted to INSEAD (MBA) and ESADE (MBA).

Friday, January 23, 2015

Congratulations!

Another Aringo client got accepted to INSEAD (MBA).

Crossing Fingers!
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at UNC (MBA) and Georgetown (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Michigan (MBA).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Most MBA Programs Will Not Reduce Essays

A Kaplan survey of the admissions committees at U.S. MBA programs shows that most programs do not plan to reduce their number of application essays as Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, and Yale did recently. Only 13% of the 204 schools that participated in the survey responded that they requested fewer essays this year, and only 3% said they planned to limit their essays for the coming year.

The survey’s results show us that most MBA programs put great value on essays that allow candidates to share information about themselves, though some of the top programs reduced the number of required essays or their word counts in an attempt to streamline the admissions process and receive the necessary information from candidates in a more focused manner. This is not necessarily beneficial to candidates, some of whom find greater difficulty when given less room to express themselves.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Crossing Fingers!

Another Aringo client was invited to interview at McCombs (MBA).
Two additional Aringo clients were invited to interview at Georgetown (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at IESE (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at UCLA (MBA) and UNC (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Carnegie Mellon (MBA) and UNC (MBA).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

MBA Salaries Expected to Rise

A Businessweek article reports that according to a report released earlier this month most employers plan to offer higher salaries to new MBA graduates in 2015.

The report is based on a GMAC survey of 169 employers, with half of them responding that they plan to offer higher salaries to match the rate of inflation, while 18% said they would raise salaries even higher. The remaining employers plan to keep salaries identical to those of 2014.

The future looks less promising for graduates with B.A.’s and M.A.’s (not MBA) – only 15% of companies that plan to hire B.A.’s with business degrees, 15% of companies that plan to employ graduates with Master’s in Management, and 14% of companies that plan to employ those with Master’s of Finance responded that they plan to raise starting salaries by more than the rate of inflation.

The chances for MBA graduates to find employment this year also look good according to the survey – 72% of employers plan to employ MBA graduates this year, as opposed to 69% in 2014, and 88% responded that they plan to employ an equal amount or higher of MBA graduates as opposed to last year.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Congratulations!

Another Aringo client got accepted to Berkeley (MBA).

Crossing Fingers!
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Kellogg (MBA) and Columbia (MBA).

Monday, January 12, 2015

Update from Harvard for Round 2 Applicants

Harvard published an update on its admissions committee’s blog for Round 2 candidates. The deadline for Round 2 was on January 6th but HBS allowed recommendations to be submitted for a few days after.
Invitations for Round 2 interviews will be sent out on 1/28 and 2/4. The interviews will begin on 2/12 and continue until the beginning of March. They will be conducted at a number of spots around the world – Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, London, Paris, Menlo Park, and New York.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Monday, January 05, 2015

MBA - Additional Options, Late Deadlines

Dear all,

Here is an option that many candidates aren't aware of - we decided to update you about this:

From Mid-January, there are about 40 deadlines (that are not last rounds deadlines!) for some of the world's top MBA programs (Top 25 programs, including Columbia, INSEAD, and others).

These deadlines are for school start dates in September 2015 or January 2016.
The admission chances in these deadlines are similar to second-round chances.

Please see these options here:
Hope you find this info helpful, good luck!
 


Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year) 
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Congratulations!

Another Aringo client was accepted to UCLA (MBA).

Crossing Fingers!
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at MIT (MBA).
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at NYU (MBA).

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Kellogg Explains What They Are Looking for in MBA Applicants

Kellogg published on its blog a series of six articles written by Beth Tidmarsh, director of MBA admissions, explaining what the admissions committee is looking for in candidates and the six categories used to evaluate them:

1.Intellectual ability - "Our goal is to be sure you can handle the rigor in the Kellogg classroom. Your undergraduate GPA, course selection and GMAT score help us assess your readiness. But we’re also invested in finding creative thinkers who can solve problems. Qualitative evidence of intellectual ability is going to come out in your essays, your interview and your recommendations. We truly take a holistic look at our applicants rather than relying only on a number."

2.Work experience - "One thing that makes the Kellogg experience so rich is the wide variety of backgrounds — both personal and professional — in our student body. We admit applicants from diverse fields, with varying years of experience. We also analyze each applicant within the context of his or her own career path, rather than against each other. Our admissions officers are looking to understand how you’ve progressed and why what you’ve done is significant. Are you progressing faster than others at your same level? Did you get promoted more quickly? Have you taken on additional responsibilities?

The quality of your professional experience, regardless of where you are in your career, is what will stand out. A great way to make your application pop is to help us understand what the standards are within your industry and your particular company or organization. Some workplaces or careers are very structured about how someone can advance through the ranks, while others provide opportunities for leadership in other, less formal ways. One tip we will share: Think about how you would explain your job to a 10-year-old or your grandmother. Jargon and acronyms will often create confusion, so avoid them whenever you can. This is a great place to show us how you can communicate ideas across fields and disciplines.

By including your resume, you’re giving us a quick overview that highlights a few significant achievements of your work experience. Within your application, you can specify more about your day-to-day responsibilities, the nitty-gritty of how you operate in the working world. Capitalize on that extra space and don’t just copy your resume into the input fields! You have many chances to tell more about your career, so seize every one and make each part count in its own way."

3. Professional Goals - "Ask any alum, and they will tell you that Kellogg was a pivotal point in his or her career. With your work experience, you’ve told us what’s led you to Kellogg. Outlining your professional goals will help us understand how a Kellogg MBA will bridge your past and future together.

The MBA program will expose you to a lot of great things to help you crystallize that path, but due to the nature of our programs, a lot starts happening very fast. (Have you heard about pre-term? We don’t waste a day getting you engaged.) Your time at Kellogg is going to fly by – and you are going to want to make the most of it by giving some serious thought for your reasons for pursuing an MBA. If you arrive without a clue what direction you’re headed, you’ll get overwhelmed pretty quickly. Knowing that our applicants have thought about the deeper reasons behind pursuing this degree — why they’re doing it, where they’re trying to go, how this education and their career fit together — helps students to hit the ground running once they arrive on campus.

We want to see a clear narrative that explains why you want this MBA. No answer is wrong, so feel free to talk openly about how this program and community will help you achieve that goal."

4. Leadership - "Many people pursue an MBA to gain experience and improve their management and leadership skills. The Kellogg admissions team is looking for both demonstrated leadership in the past and an applicant’s leadership potential. Given the scope and range of our community, this means many different things. Someone with a military background will present different accomplishments than someone with a few years as a junior analyst, or a teacher. What showcases your leadership is going to depend on the path you’ve had and the organizations that you’ve been in, and we take that into account.

A few things will be similar, though. We look for those who have taken up new responsibilities and opportunities in whatever way they can, however their career path has allowed. Maybe this means you’ve led an initiative within your company, or it could mean that you’ve secured promotions quickly, or that you’re deeply involved with a volunteer commitment. Your roles don’t have to be formal, just indicative of your drive. The better you can help us see how these activities fit in with your overall career narrative, the more clearly we can think about how you might fit in with the Kellogg community."

5. Impact - "Our team understands how demanding work can be, but pursuing interests outside the office helps maintain a balanced and engaged life. Our admissions committee wants to understand what fulfills our applicants outside of work, and how they’ve made an impact within an organization or a community that matters to them. In the United States, we think of that as “extracurricular activity,” but it applies all over the globe.
What matters here is quality of experience over quantity; two years of involvement with one activity means a lot more than eight brief commitments in eight different places. We like to see our applicants involved with something they’re passionate about. If it fits in with your personal career narrative — say you volunteer with a literacy organization, and you want to pursue education policy after Kellogg — that’s great. But for plenty of applicants, a personal passion or commitment is not directly connected to the career goals at all."

6.Interpersonal skills - "Our community values collaboration, involvement and giving back, and we look for that in our applicants as well. A significant part of the Admissions process is ensuring a good fit between student and program. If you thrive in team-based environments, Kellogg might be a good fit for you.

The ability to work in teams doesn’t mean agreeing all the time, nor is it an easy approach. Team-based learning means you can push ideas, disagree respectfully and challenge each other, but also that you’re doing so in a way that’s both productive and conducive to a better outcome. Our ideal applicant likes to hear different viewpoints, respects others, can voice and challenge opinions and isn’t afraid to speak up, but can do so in a way that’s collaborative and would help further a group or a classroom conversation.

If everyone came from the exact same environment and was used to working in the exact same way, no one would learn much from each other. The diversity of perspectives and opinions in our community creates a rich arena for debate. Bringing together all those different perspectives enhances everybody’s experience. Learning to synthesize and negotiate those differences is a vital component of the Kellogg experience, too."

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Poets & Quants Publishes Rankings for 2014

The site Poets & Quants published its annual ranking of the top U.S. and non-U.S. MBA programs for 2014. The P&Q ranking incorporates the five most influential rankings weighing them differently according to their individual reliabilities – U.S. News & World Report 35%, Forbes 25%, Businessweek 15%, The Financial Times 15%, and The Economist 10%.

The incorporation of the five rankings helps achieve a more stable ranking that overcomes the weak points of each individual ranking and combines various factors such as employer and alumni evaluations, quality of faculty, B.A. and GMAT scores, and employment and salary data.

The top ten U.S. programs:
1- Stanford
2- Harvard
3- Wharton
4- Chicago Booth
5- Columbia
6- Kellogg
7- MIT Sloan
8- Tuck
9- Duke Fuqua
10- Berkeley Haas

The top ten non-U.S. programs:
1- LBS
2- INSEAD
3- IMD
4- IE
5- IESE
6- Cambridge
7- SDA Bocconi
8- HEC Paris
9- Oxford
10- ESADE

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Congratulations!

Two additional Aringo clients were accepted to Duke (MBA).
Another Aringo client was accepted to Georgetown (MBA).
Another Aringo client was accepted to Babson (MBA).
Another Aringo client was accepted to Cornell (MBA).
Another Aringo client was accepted to Carnegie Mellon (MBA).
Another Aringo client was accepted to Emory (MBA).
Another Aringo client was accepted to IE (MBA).

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Congratulations!

Another Aringo client was accepted to Kellogg (MBA).
Another Aringo client was accepted to Wharton (MBA).
Two additional Aringo clients were accepted to MIT (MBA).

Crossing Fingers!
Another Aringo client was invited to interview at Berkeley (MBA).