School selection

Tech Companies Seek MBA Hires Who Excel in Entrepreneurial Culture

Technology companies have taken a large hold on MBA recruiting, with a particular interest in those students who can thrive in ambiguity and have a proven track record of creative problem solving. In turn, students are attracted to these companies for their generous compensation packages, the opportunity to take ownership over popular products, and the culture of innovation.

Liz Arnold, associate director for tech, entrepreneurship and venture capital in the Career Management Center at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management, said “I encourage all students interested in tech to build their entrepreneurial skill set, to really understand how to take the initiative on their own to go from idea to launch. I think that particular skill set is valued at most tech companies, because the tech companies want students to be autonomous and take projects and run with those ideas and move them forward.”  Similarly, Sarah Eytinge, MBA University recruiter at Microsoft, describes the company as having an entrepreneurial culture, and as seeking MBA recruits who can thrive in ambiguity, learn and adjust their course, and take creative approaches to complex problems. We have a lot of teams in an innovative culture trying new things and failing fast,” she says. “They have the benefit of working for a large company like Microsoft so we have the resources to make those investments and take those risks. For those MBAs who are interested in entrepreneurship, they are surprised by what they have access to – they thought it was just a big company.”

Recruiter Insights on Top-Tier Programs for Entrepreneurship and Creativity

The Recruiter Insights Rankings, a component of the 2018 Bloomberg Businessweek Best B-Schools ranking, include deep-dives into recruiters’ views of the best programs based on entrepreneurial reputation and training, as well as the most creative and innovative graduates. The rankings include the responses of 3,698 employers that recruited MBA graduates, and focus on specific survey questions. Bloomberg Businessweek analysts then assigned scores to the top 30 schools with a score of five being the highest and one being the lowest. Below are the top ten for the three categories relevant to entrepreneurship.  

What schools have the best reputation for entrepreneurship?

Rep_Entre_Sh.png

What schools provide the best training in entrepreneurship?

Training_Entre_Sh.png

What schools are producing the most creative graduates?

Creative_Sh.png

Prospective students interested in expanding their entrepreneurial skill-sets for an interest in a technology career or who are among the 27 percent of prospective full-time two-year MBA students who listed entrepreneurship/self-employment as a primary career goal post-graduation in GMAC’s Prospective Students Survey 2018, should carefully consider the top programs listed above. Additionally, during the school selection or interviewing period, prospective students should proactively engage with administrators and professors from specific MBA programs to see how they support students in achieving these strong outcomes.

See full listings for each of the categories below:

What schools have the best reputation for entrepreneurship?

Rep_Entre_Full.png

What schools provide the best training in entrepreneurship?

Training_Entre_Full.png

What schools are producing the most creative graduates?

Creative_Full.png

Medical Schools Focus on Student Wellbeing and Mental Health to Reduce Burnout

In our recent newsletter, we highlighted the topic of burnout among today’s working population. Burnout, or the experience of chronic stress which leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment, remains a pressing issue within the medical student population. A literature review published in late 2018 “confirmed that suicidal ideation in medical students remains a significant concern” and cites studies showing that “medical students in their first year of studies have similar rates of psychological morbidity to the age-matched general population, but experience a worsening of their mental health as they progress through medical studies.”

Medical students and residents, who are often under intense pressure physically and emotionally, suffer from a lack of sleep, extremely long hours of work and study, as well as the emotional, life and death decision-making involved in the work. This is often compounded with a subconscious need to avoid seeking mental health professionals for fear of negative judgment from those around them or even endangering their medical licenses.

The accumulation of data on the mental health of medical students, coupled with the recent high-profile losses of medical students in New York City and California have spurred action and a recognition of the need for additional support for physicians in training. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is promoting the importance of wellbeing, which goes beyond addressing burnout, and has compiled and posted a tools and resources page on its website: https://www.acgme.org/What-We-Do/Initiatives/Physician-Well-Being/Resources.

Moreover, many medical schools are showing that they too are committed to changing the culture of medical education to improve students’ wellbeing. Prospective students should pay particular attention to the following when further evaluating the schools on their list:

  • Commitment to wellbeing: Many schools have codified their commitment to their students by creating wellbeing mission statements and making significant investments in wellbeing resources. At the Icahn School of Medicine in NYC, a wellbeing task force was created in 2016. In addition to creating a mission statement to focus momentum and drive steady action, the school has renovated student housing to include a wellness center.

  • Accessible, confidential, and judgment-free mental health resources: This may include access to psychologists or psychiatrists, confidential check-in surveys or interviews, and/or counseling sessions during hospital rotations. At USC Keck Medical School and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, mental health teams have been put in place to ensure the schools do not lose sight of the mental health and wellness needs of their students. Both are working to decrease the stigma around using mental health resources as well as increasing confidential mental health evaluations and services.

  • Culture promoting a healthy academic environment: Some schools are taking tangible actions to create an academic environment that promotes rigor but not burnout and depression. Many programs also encourage collaboration, provide wellness curriculums, and promote comradery within the classes through social activities (appropriate for various personality types) and occasional days off. Examples include Duke School of Medicine’s wellness curriculum starting with a resiliency course at orientation, USC’s requirement for students to take several “mental health” days to combat burnout, and Icahn’s assessment and restructuring of grade distributions.

In September of this year, Weill Cornell is partnering with AAMC, AMSNY, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to put on the National Conference on Medical Student Mental Health and Well-Being. It is billed as being the “first comprehensive, multidisciplinary forum to examine the mental health needs of medical students.” Change is underway and it is an exciting time to be considering medical school. However, prospective and current students must engage in the dialogue, stay informed, and ultimately commit to making their wellbeing and health a priority.

12 New York Law Schools See Decrease in Bar Pass Rates

For first-time test takers in July 2018, the New York State Bar pass rate decreased at 12 of 15 New York law schools compared to July 2017. The decreases ranged from a minor 1.6 percentage points at Cornell to 16.2 percentage points at Touro. Nine of the programs’ pass rates fell below the statewide rate of 83 percent, which also decreased by three points from 2017. Graduates from just three New York law schools, NYU, Columbia, and Albany, increased their pass rate.

When asked about the pass rates by representatives from the New York Law Journal, law school deans spoke about the programs they are implementing to support students taking the bar, as well as interventions they’ve put in place for students perceived to be at-risk for failure.

"The faculty and I have been implementing extensive reforms involving changes in the classroom, curriculum and culture of the school. We expect these changes to be reflected favorably in future results. Some of the changes are still being implemented. We intend to accelerate their implementation effective immediately. We will be re-examining in minutest detail everything we do, in and outside of the classroom, to assure that the continued implementation of reforms, from evidence-based teaching to curricular reform, is successful." Harry Ballan, dean of Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

“As dean, my leadership approach is to think in terms of a multi-year strategic plan, and one of my very highest priorities remains to increase and maintain the bar passage rate. We have also had many successes across all areas of the law school in just these last two years — job placement, building enhancements, our medical-legal partnership and veterans clinic—and I believe that we have a comprehensive Raising the Bar program and an extensive plan in place for future bar successes,” Gail Prudenti, dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

 "I won’t be satisfied with Cornell’s performance until we achieve a 100% pass rate.  And we have taken steps to provide academic support to law students we perceive to be at risk for failing the bar." Eduardo M. Peñalver, dean, Cornell Law School. 

Take-aways for Current and Prospective Law School Students--

For current students:

  • Speak with recent graduates of your law school to find out how prepared they felt taking the bar exam. Ask how they would have changed their preparation method and if they have recommendations to share.

  • When interviewing with firms, find out how they support associates who are taking the bar. Also, take advantage of your summer position to speak with new full-time hires who are preparing for the bar to learn from their experiences.

  • Familiarize yourself with programs your school offers and seek outside programming, if necessary, to ensure you will be prepared. The American Bar Association bar prep page includes resources and discounts for bar prep courses.

For prospective students:

  • During the school-selection process, be sure to consider the bar pass rate. Past bar pass rates are available from the Internet Legal Research Group and are included as a small component in the U.S. News and World Report Law School Rankings.

  • When you visit or communicate with program representatives, ask how they currently assist third year students and graduates in preparing for the exam and what new initiatives they may be implementing.

MBA Application Resource Roundup

For prospective business school students, we’ve created a short list of resources, including Apply Point blogs and information from external organizations, that will help guide you through the application process.

Apply Point Blog Posts

·       Deciding where to apply

o   MBA School Selection: Important Considerations When Building Your School List

o   MBA School Selection: What are the Alumni Saying?

o   Want a Career Abroad? Consider a European MBA.

·       Application

o   MBA Application Submission: Is There an Optimal Deadline?

o   The GMAT V. The GRE: Which Test is Best for You?

o   MBA Application Essays: Prompts Designed to Get Beyond Applicants’ Professional Experiences to Gauge Creativity and Assess Values

o   IQ is Important, but Don’t Forget About EQ

o    Using Recommendations to Strategically Enhance Your MBA Application

·       Interview preparation and tips

o   Top Ten Tips for the MBA Behavioral Interview

o   The Wharton Interview: Excel in the Team Based Discussion

o   MBA Interviews: When the Interview Requires More than an Interview

·       Use Social Media to Enhance Your Graduate School Application  

·       Unemployed and Considering Graduate School? Ensure This Time is Meaningful and Productive

·       Unconventional Applicants to MBA Programs Must Consider Abilities in Innovation, Leadership, and Teamwork

Online resources and social networks for prospective and current MBA students

·       Poets and Quants

·       Beat the GMAT

Organizations and Resources

·       The MBA Tour is an independent and high-quality information source regarding MBA admissions. Events emphasize personal interaction between prospective MBA students, business school admissions representatives, alumni, and other like-minded education enthusiasts.

·       The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is a continually growing and evolving alliance of some of the world’s leading graduate business schools and business organizations, supported by the strength of an extended network of students and alumni.

·       The National Black MBA Association is the premier business organization serving black professionals.  

·       Prospanica, formerly the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), emphasizes educational and professional development programs to improve the Hispanic community as a whole.

·       The Forte Foundation is a non-profit consortium of leading companies and top business schools working together to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities, and a community of successful women.

Make the Most of The MBA Tour: Create a Targeted School List

The MBA Tour presents an incredible opportunity for you, as a prospective MBA student, to gather information, make contacts, and advance yourself in the admissions process. But to make the most of the event, you will need to consider it a targeted mission rather than merely time to explore. The MBA Tour will have many booths distributing information, including school tables with admissions representatives expounding on their latest and greatest offerings. It is an easy environment in which to get distracted. As such, prior to the event, you should carefully consider your preliminary school list, the programs that are most compelling to you, and information you’d like to collect at the tour to help you finalize a sound school selection strategy. This preparation will help you to stay focused on your own priorities, rather than ending up overwhelmed with extraneous information.

We recommend utilizing the following three criteria to compile a list of ten schools’ tables that you want to visit at the event, and to prioritize your top choice schools (3-5), which you will likely want to spend additional time researching and networking with while there.

1.       Rankings/Prestige: While we would discourage you from judging schools on rankings alone, US News & World Report’s list of Best Business Schools, for example, is still important to consider when gaining an in-depth understanding of how potential employers will view your investment. Many rankings are also based on algorithms that incorporate various factors of interest to students such as quality assessments, placement success, and student selectivity. As such, you might want to research various rankings and find the one that most closely suits your interests.

2.       Geography/Network. The second, and perhaps somewhat surprising aspect to consider when putting together a school list is geography. Place will play a crucial role in your ability to network. Thus, we often encourage students who know they want to end up in a certain location to consider the top MBA programs in that city, or within the geographic region. Similarly, if your goals are related to a certain industry, it can be invaluable to attend a school near one of the industry’s hubs.

3.       Career Placement. The last, but perhaps most critical component, is to develop a thorough understanding of which companies are recruiting and hiring employees from the MBA programs you are interested in. We suggest prospective students gain a thorough knowledge of the information contained in each school’s career placement report and engage with the school’s counselors in the career center to learn more. It can also be helpful to look for student clubs or associations within a business school relevant to your goals (e.g., Finance Club, Luxury Goods Club, Marketing Club), as they will often host events connecting potential employers with interested students, as well as providing other resources.

Enjoy The MBA Tour!  If you’ve thought through your goals and school selection priorities, it will likely be a memorable experience.

Selecting a Law School that Values Student Well-Being

When selecting a law school, prospective students have many things to consider, including rankings and prestige, program specialties, and job placement rates. Another, however, is garnering a great deal of media attention in the wake of last week’s International Mental Health Day: student wellbeing and the availability of mental health support programs.

According to the Dave Nee Foundation, depression among law students is 8-9 percent prior to matriculation, then jumps to 27 percent after one semester, 34 percent after the first year, and 40 percent after three years[i]. Two studies, conducted by the American Bar Association and Yale Law School in 2014, also showed a high percentage of law students indicating that they needed psychological assistance. In the ABA Survey, 42 percent of students reported that in the past year they needed help with a mental health or emotional problem. [ii] And in the Yale Study, 70 percent of students reported experiencing mental health challenges while in law school[iii]. These studies and others like them, have increased awareness of the mental health challenges faced by both law students and the legal profession.

A report released in August 2017, by the American Bar Association’s National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, made recommendations for sweeping reforms that stakeholders throughout the legal profession can make to improve well-being and ultimately the competence and dependability of the profession. Specifically, the task force calls upon law schools to[iv]:

  • Create best practices for assisting students experiencing psychological distress;
  • Assess law school practices and offer faculty education on promoting well-being in the classroom;
  • Empower students to help fellow students in need;
  • Include well-being topics in courses on professional responsibility;
  • Commit resources for onsite professional counselors;
  • Facilitate a confidential recovery network;
  • Provide education opportunities on well-being related topics;
  • Discourage alcohol-centered social events; and
  • Conduct anonymous surveys related to student well-being.

The report also highlighted examples of law schools that offered programming to meet the recommendations:

  • Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law: created a well-being curriculum including workshops, mindfulness and resilience courses, and meditation sessions
  • Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center: established a student-volunteer program to train students on recognizing mental health problems and referring them to assistance
  • American University Washington School of Law: implemented random “check-in” outreach, which invites students to a brief conversation with the Student Affairs office

As a prospective law student, you may be wondering how this information can help inform your school selection. First, we suggest that you keep the task force’s recommendations top of mind as you research schools. Let their advice guide you as you’re learning about the culture of a school and the student body. Ensure that the schools you are applying to are taking the lead in breaking down mental health stigma through informative discourse and are proactively assisting students to seek help when they encounter problems. Be sure to ask administrators and faculty how they are working to address student well-being challenges. Then gather students’ opinions on the efficacy of these actions. Are current students aware of existing resources, clubs, and programming the administrators mention?  If so, how are the students engaging with the programs? And are student social and networking events promoting healthy, productive behaviors or do events center around alcohol or other potentially harmful ways to reduce stress?

Your law school experience will be pivotal. Ensure that you are selecting a school that values and promotes your wellbeing now, as much as it values your job placement.

 

 


[i] http://www.daveneefoundation.org/scholarship/lawyers-and-depression/

[ii] http://www.ncbex.org/pdfviewer/?file=%2Fassets%2Fmedia_files%2FBar-Examiner%2Fissues%2F2015-December%2FBE-Dec2015-HelpingLawStudents.pdf

[iii] https://law.yale.edu/system/files/falling_through_the_cracks_120614.pdf

[iv] http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/files/lawyer-well-being-report.pdf

MBA School Selection: Important Considerations When Building Your School List

According to the 2017 AIGAC MBA Applicants Survey, 39 percent of MBA Applicants reported that their admissions consultant advised them to apply to a school they would have otherwise never considered.

At Apply Point, we work closely with our clients to create a school list that is both compatible with their interests and goals and also sound in terms of acceptance likelihood. We know we’ve succeeded when an applicant has the luxury of choice between multiple programs at the end of the admissions cycle. While there are numerous factors to consider when finalizing school selection, we believe the following three criteria are the most important.

Rankings/Prestige

While we discourage clients from judging schools on rankings alone, US News & World Report’s list of Best Business Schools, for example, is still important to consider when gaining an in-depth understanding of how potential employers will view your investment. Many rankings are also based on algorithms that incorporate various factors of interest to students such as quality assessments, placement success, and student selectivity.

Geography/Network

The second, and perhaps somewhat surprising aspect to consider when putting together a school list is geography. Place will play a crucial role in your ability to network. Thus, we often encourage students who know they want to end up in a certain location to consider the top MBA programs in that city, or within the geographic region. Similarly, if your goals are related to a certain industry, it can be invaluable to attend a school near one of the industry’s hubs.

Career Placement

The last, but perhaps most critical component, is to develop a thorough understanding of which companies are recruiting and hiring employees from the MBA programs you are interested in. We suggest prospective students gain a thorough knowledge of the information contained in each school’s career placement report and also engage with the school’s counselors in the career center to learn more. It can also be helpful to look for student clubs or associations within a business school relevant to your goals (e.g., Finance Club, Luxury Goods Club, Marketing Club), as they will often host events connecting potential employers with interested students, as well as providing other resources.

During the school selection period of the application process, we encourage prospective students to keep an open mind and fully explore the many options that exist. Speaking with professors, career placement professionals, current students, alumni, and admissions directors at different programs is a wonderful way to start.  Your personal MBA rankings may not look exactly like those in US News and World Report or Financial Times. And that is just fine.

When Deciding Where To Apply to Med School, Look Behind The Numbers

Learn Interesting Trends in the Medical Community. Consider Your Goals.

When deciding where to apply to medical school, there are numerous things to evaluate.  You will want to look at everything from admit statistics and geography to teaching style and grading systems.  But, what about your short and long term goals?  How important are they when it comes to choosing a medical school?  While it is far too early to get your heart set on a specific specialty, you may want to start thinking broadly about what you want to do long-term.  Are you set on primary care, interested in surgery, or committed to having a career in research?  Assessing your interests now is significant because, for instance, you won’t want to go to a school with a research requirement if you’re not interested in doing any. 

It is also important to dig deep and look behind the numbers schools report, so you know exactly what’s going on out there.  This is especially important when it comes to primary care.  If you’re interested in primary care, it is easy to just peruse the US News & World Report’s Primary Care Rankings and begin formulating a list of schools to which you could apply. However, the percentages of students going into primary care, that these schools report, are often aspirational to say the least.  Schools, such as the University of North Carolina, ranked 1st in the US News & World Report Primary Care Rankings, are finding that more than half of those who claim primary care actually end up specializing in something else. 

“About 10 years ago, our legislature passed a bill saying medical schools have to put 50 percent of people into primary care,” said Robert Gwyther, M.D. who advises students at UNC-Chapel Hill. “They count internal medicine and pediatrics and obstetrics as primary care, and it’s still a challenge for UNC to get the 50 percent.”

“And we know that 95 percent of the interns will end up practicing in a specialty,” he said.

Schools like UNC continue to combat primary care’s shortage of physicians, but it has proven to be a difficult task.  When Duke University School of Medicine experimented with what the school calls a “primary care leadership track,” several years ago, only three students out of Duke’s 102 graduates chose family-medicine residencies.  More recently, the Frank N. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, opened with a very specific mission: mint new doctors who want to go into primary care practice.  Bruce Koeppen, Quinnipiac’s Dean, says it’s important to admit the right students to the program, so he will interview 400 applicants for 60 spots.  He will be looking more closely at women, individuals coming to medicine as a second career, those who are first in their families to go to college and students who have come from medically underserved areas, as these are the individuals more likely to go into primary care. 

Time will tell whether or not Quinnipiac will succeed.  And time will tell whether you decide to pursue primary care, a highly sought-after specialty or a career in research.  In the meantime, arm yourself with knowledge, look behind the numbers and start to formulate a vision for your future.  It will make the process of choosing where to attend medical school that much more meaningful.

Want a Career Abroad? Consider a European MBA.

Paths to business school tend to be as varied and diverse as the careers that begin after graduation. Sarah is an economic development consultant who wants to expand her financial acumen; Michael is an engineer who aims to manage the operations division; and Matthew is an investment banker who plans to make a career change.  And they all have one thing in common. They all want to go to business school in order to gain a general management education, where they will be able to learn from the diverse backgrounds of their classmates and expand their perspective.

But the question is: where will they begin?  All are seriously considering MBA programs in Europe, but all are wondering if they should take the plunge and do something drastically different than their colleagues at work who are looking to pursue an MBA in the US.

For prospective MBA students like Michael, Matthew and Sarah, there are many options to consider when deciding where to apply. 

First, there is the question of rankings and prestige.  When you are preparing to embark on an academic program that will not require you to obtain a license upon graduating, as you would after completing law or medical school, the reputation of the institution is especially important.  This is because the most sought after recruiters have relationships with top schools and it is more likely to not only to secure a job, but to secure a highly competitive position when you emerge from a well reputed school.  And many European programs are at the top of their game.  London Business School, INSEAD, IE and IESE are all listed in the top 10 of The Financial Time’s Global MBA Rankings. 

Second, you must evaluate the quality of the Career Services department.  Where are recent graduates working?  Which companies recruit on campus?  What was last year’s placement rate?   As soon as orientation, you will be meeting with career services staff to get the ball rolling, so it is important to do extensive research.  Many American and European programs have excellent reputations in career placement, but many agree that European programs have an advantage for those who want to work abroad.  At top European programs, the opportunities are not concentrated in any one city, country or industry, so you have a lot of opportunities to evaluate, many located within a reasonable distance, and plenty of multinational employers to impress. 

Third, consider geography.  It seems so simple, but geography is one of the most important qualities to evaluate.  If you want to work abroad and gain an invaluable international perspective, there is simply no better plan than to pursue an MBA program in Europe, where you will be able to easily network with companies near where you study or in neighboring cities and regions.  In a European MBA program, you will also have access to greater diversity.  You will be sitting next to people in class who come from all over the world, have extensive experience in a plethora of industries and have diverse educational backgrounds.  While US MBA programs boast that 30% of their classes come from around the world, approximately 80% of top European programs are foreign students.  And many European programs are strict about a dominant culture emerging.  At IMD’s tiny 90-person MBA program, 35 nationalities are represented.  Your ability to learn and work in a global context will be vital to your career. 

If, like Michael, Matthew and Sarah, you are seriously considering a European MBA, it is also important to know that while European programs tend to be cheaper and their one-year format makes them shorter than their American counterparts, some programs, like INSEAD, require you to be able to speak another language fluently.  So, it is important to pay particular attention to the program’s requirements when evaluating different options.

When my clients begin evaluating their options, the first thing I advise them to do is independent primary research.  It is not enough to peruse websites, read brochures or rely on outside opinions.  Prospective business school applicants should be talking to as many admissions directors, career placement staffers, faculty members, alumni and current students as possible, not only to learn first-hand what distinguishes certain programs, but to also begin building a relationship with the faculty and staff at programs they may interview with in the future.   Even if you are now just beginning your MBA program research, I would recommend that you attend one of the many MBA fairs coming to a city near you, either The MBA Tour, QS World MBA Tour or Access MBA.

Prospective applicants will be able to have one-on-one meetings with school representatives and also attend panel presentations that will address current issues affecting the world of general management education.  At these fairs, you will not only be able to talk with representatives from many American programs, but you can also look into the European programs like IE, IESE and Hult International Business School you may be curious about.