Go to a better blog!

You can find a better version of my blog at http://www.adammarkus.com/blog/.

Be sure to read my Key Posts on the admissions process. Topics include essay analysis, resumes, recommendations, rankings, and more.

April 05, 2008

Good iBT TOEFL Speaking Section Preparation?

This is an open question for my readers: Does anyone know of any particularly good iBT TOEFL Speaking Section preparation courses? At least here in Japan, I have not received very favorable comments from my clients about the iBT TOEFL Speaking courses that are available in Tokyo (perhaps, I am unaware of a good one, I hope). If anyone has had good experiences with any form (live classes, one-to-one sessions, and/or internet-based) of iBT TOEFL Speaking test preparation available in any country, please email me at adammarkus@gmail.com.

-Adam Markus
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April 03, 2008

School Selection: Higher Ranked Program or A Huge Scholarship?

See here for my other posts on school selection.

A reader of this blog poses the following problem: He has been admitted to both Chicago GSB and Indiana University Kelley MBA programs. Kelley is offering him a very huge scholarship that completely pays for his two year MBA. Chicago GSB is offering no scholarship. He wants to know where to go. Should he sacrifice his scholarship for Chicago GSB, his dream school, and get a free ride at a Kelley?

What is interesting here is my reader clearly prefers Chicago GSB, so it is not all a question of his personal preference, but rather a hard economic choice.

One core consideration is the average starting salary post-MBA at Chicago ("Adam's 98" ranked 6th) is $155,938 and at Indiana it is $105,547 (55th). There is a $55,391 salary differential in overall average market value between the two degrees. Your scholarship is great, but unless there is no significant difference in your likely post-MBA salary, it seems to me that in the short to medium run, Chicago GSB will be the better financial investment.

Have you plugged your numbers into the Businessweek ROI calculator or something similar? Assuming you have, what was the result? I think looking at it as objectively as possible would really help you decide. Since you have a finance background, my advice is actually to apply what you know to your own situation. Since I don't know your background in any detail or your goals, there maybe other factors that would be worth considering.

Beyond the more immediate economics of this, you really do need to consider the potential value of a Chicago pedigree (You might not be a school snob, but the guy/gal hiring you might be), the network, and given your field, Chicago's reputation in finance. Don't get me wrong, Kelley is a good school, but it is not Chicago GSB. Unless I had additional facts, stating otherwise, I would go into debt, go to Chicago, and treat it like the lifetime investment it is. Since, it is your dream to go there, even without the financial considerations, I think it is highly likely you would regret not going. You asked, so that is my answer.
Best of luck and congratulations on your killer results.

UPDATE: My reader has informed me that he is going to Chicago.

Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to. If you are planning to apply for an MBA, LL.M., Ph.D., or a Masters and would like to learn more about my consulting services, please visit http://adammarkus.com/. I offer a free initial consultation.

-Adam Markus
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April 01, 2008

Changes at HBS for Fall 2009

For all my real posts on HBS, click here.

This is my April Fools' Day Post:

I have heard through an exclusive source that earlier this week, Harvard Business School has made the following changes to its requirements for Fall 2009 admission:

1. HBS will no longer admit applicants with any substantial work experience beyond part-time jobs. While not stating anything specifically about age requirements, it is pretty clear that HBS will no longer be admitting applicants over age 23. Of course, older applicants can continue to apply, but they will be rejected.

2. HBS will begin its "10 plus Zero Program," targeting promising 12 year olds. If accepted by HBS, they will be offered a personal mentoring system guaranteeing admission into the MBA program after completion of their bachelors degree. (I have heard a vague unsubstantiated rumor that Stanford GSB will begin a prenatal admissions program, but only for legacy applicants.)

3. HBS will require that all applicants make full use of application re-writing services to insure that applicants provide essays of uniform quality so that differences in applicant background can be used as the basis for admission.

4. Those with GMATs over 740 need not apply because HBS has determined that leaders should not be brilliant.

For those of you who are over 12 years old and college graduates with work experience, you can still buy the Harvard Business Review or better yet, read most of it for free online. While there is a rumor that HBR will be launching a new animated cartoon in partnership with Marvel Comics, I could not get anyone to comment on it.

Other exciting news from HBS: Upon his retirement from the Office of the President of United States of America, George Bush (HBS, Class of 1975), will become HBS's first Honorary Professor of Leadership Failure. Also a Financial Failure Institute will be established with former Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne serving as its Executive Director and Bridge Master.

I hope you have a happy April.
-Mada Sukram
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