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.

August 30, 2010

Brief Report on CBS Tokyo Event August 30, 2010

You can find my Twittercast for the Columbia Business School Tokyo Event at http://twitter.com/adammarkus. The date would be August 30, 2010 from about 7pm-8:30pm Japan time. Main takeaways of interest (at least to me):

1. I had a chance to ask the admissions officer if much had changed since the former Director of Admissions, Linda Meehan, had moved on to a non-admissions position at CBS.  The answer I received was "YES!" Delivered with a smile.  She confirmed that much was changing in admissions and that the introduction of the personality essay reflected that change.  See my analysis of CBS essays for 2011 admission here. Actually, the only reason I came to this event was to ask this question.  I was very satisfied with my answer. :)

2.  It is possible to apply for Regular Decision even now without the onus of Early Decision.  That said, I can't see this as great strategy because essentially it says you are not really that committed to CBS.  Better to just wait until after the ED deadline has passed.  By the way, CBS will be taking RD applications until APRIL 13, 2011!  Though, I can't imagine there will be many places left at such a late date.

Like all CBS events I have been to in Tokyo, a bunch of alumni showed up and the event was very well attended.


MIT Sloan MBA Essays for Fall 2011 Admission

I had the pleasure of working with six clients from six different countries who were admitted to MIT Sloan for Fall 2010. This was by far my best year ever for MIT.  I lucked out as I had the great opportunity to work with some incredibly smart and thoughtful people who also had all demonstrated high levels of leadership in their professional and/or extracurricular endeavors.   You can read testimonials from some of them here.  Based on their results, I have not felt much reason to change much of my analysis from last year, except for some edits and the analysis of the one new essay question, the topic of Essay 2.

Before analyzing MIT Sloan School of Management MBA Essays for Fall 2011, I think it is important to take a look at MIT Sloan's core values:

Mind and Hand

MIT is well know for transforming theory into practice and this is certainly true of its business school. In my experience those who can effectively demonstrate how and why they share this "core idea" are most likely to be accepted. (For those who can read Japanese, I suggest looking at http://web.mit.edu/sloanjapan/101/index.html and Kaz's MIT MBA留学日記 blog. My English language interview with Kaz is here). For those interested in the LGO Program, I suggest taking a look at this blog by a member of the Class of 2012.

If you are able to, I suggest visiting campus or attending a Sloan-on-the-Road event. Click here for the full list of admissions events.

Sloan's application process is, in fact, very much focused on determining whether you share and can contribute, based on your own unique background, to their "core idea." This does not mean that there is only one way to write great essays for MIT Sloan. Nor does it mean that they are only looking for one type of student. That said, I think you can say that there are some right ways and wrong ways to approach their questions.
All questions are taken from the website.
Cover Letter
Prepare a cover letter (up to 500 words) seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Describe your accomplishments and include an example of how you had an impact on a group or organization. Your letter should conform to standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Director of MBA Admissions.

Keep in mind that great cover letters result in job interviews. The purpose of a cover letter is accompany a resume.  In MIT's case the cover letter does not only accompany the resume (Limited to 1 page and 50 lines), but the whole MBA application.   Still assume the point of this cover is to get you an interview!  How will your cover letter standout? If you don't know how to do a US-style cover letter, you need to learn. Here are two good sites for that purpose:

If you have attended Sloan-on-the-Road event or visited the campus, you probably heard from admissions that MIT does not ask for the sort of standard goals essays that almost all other schools ask for. Honestly this one of the things I love about this school. Admissions knows applicants are going to figure out what they want to do after they start an MBA program, so they think the question is absurd.

Having seen what happens to my clients once they graduate, I can say that MIT is often right about this: Many never do what they write in their essays. This is in no way intended as a criticism of my past clients. I tell this to all my clients so that they can relax and just simply concentrate on making sure that their goals are solid without having to think that these absolutely must be their real goals. Just as long they are comfortable with their goals as one possible future and can be convincing both on paper and in an interview, that is enough.

Still, goals questions are useful if you are trying to determine someone's vision and their ability to actually put together a plan (think business plan). Of course, a goals essay is simply the standard sort of essay that all kinds of graduate programs require. For other schools, think of them as a formal requirement that simply has to be met.

While I have written elsewhere about goals essays and recognize their importance, I have been wondering why other business schools don't simply copy MIT. In fact, HBS has done so. While an applicant to HBS would certainly need to say something about their motivations, they need not write a goals essay. Like MIT, HBS has recognized the standard short-term/long-term goals essay is often simply a formal exercise that can be dispensed with unless someone has something really important to write about that topic.

Unlike HBS, MIT specifically requires that you write a 500-word essay in the form of a cover letter that will convince them why you belong at MIT Sloan. Focus on your passions, values, and interests to show why you belong at Sloan. If you can answer the following questions in a convincing manner you will be on the right track:

1. Why do you fit at Sloan?
 2. What do you want to learn at Sloan? Why? The more specific, the better.
3. What motivates you and how does this relate to what you can learn at and contribute to Sloan?
4. Can you briefly state what your values are? That is to say, what are your core beliefs that are likely to provide Rod Garcia and his colleagues with a better understanding about what kind of person you are?

In the process of answering these questions, you need to briefly tell a story about you had impact on a group or organization. My suggestion is to use that story as way of expressing something very important about you in terms of your values and fit for MIT Sloan. I would not suggest making this example, the principle topic of the cover letter, it is just one topic. The words "include an example" clearly indicate that this is just topic that you should address in your cover letter.

These topics are not easy to get into 500 words, so you really need to think very carefully about the most important things you want Rod and his colleagues to know about you.

I think it is critical that you really are well-informed about Sloan, so in addition to making full use of standard admissions information, please take a look at MIT Sloan Management Review and listen to the MIT Sloan Management School of Management Podcast (available on iTunes).

We are interested in learning more about you and how you work, think, and act. For each essay, please provide a brief overview of the situation followed by a detailed description of your response. Please limit the experiences you discuss to those which have occurred in the past three years.
In each of the essays please describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did.

This distinctive style of question that MIT asks is based on an interview method that I will discuss below. Before reading the rest of this post, I strongly suggest downloading a copy of MIT's excellent guide to behavioral interviews, The MIT Sloan Interview Guide, because reading it first will maximize the value of my comments below. In addition to the MIT SLOAN Guide, I suggest also taking a look at the  guide to the Star Technique that MIT Career Services provides.

The behavioral essay questions that MIT (and now Stanford) ask have their origins in behavioral interviewing. This method is not old:

In fact, the STAR technique outlined in MIT’s guide was developed by Byham as THE WAY to answer behavioral questions:

The STAR technique is really the core method you need to use for answering behavioral questions in MIT essays. It is simply this:

• Situation: define the situation or “set the stage.”
• Task: identify the task/project performed.
• Action: describe the action you took.
• Result: summarize the outcome

Just keep in mind that you need to be introspective as well, so write what you thought as well as what you did. Don’t just present “the facts” but actively interpret your actions. There is really nothing overly complicated about this as long as you understand that you need to tell a DETAILED story. Pure abstractions disconnected from a concrete set of action steps are highly likely to result in a weak answer. Similarly, grand actions not told in any depth are also likely to be weak. Identify specific actions that contributed to the result so as to establish a clear link between cause and effect.

As when answering any kind of question, another important consideration is to think very critically about what your story selection, understanding of the task, actions taken, and results say about you. Keep in mind that the whole point of asking behavioral questions is to determine how someone acts and thinks as a basis for selecting or rejecting that person. It is obviously critical to be aware of your own message.

MIT Sloan 
specifically requires that these experiences come from the last three years. This time constraint is important to remember. Also keep in mind:

1. You need to show the capacity for analyzing and acting in different ways, so, while all three essays should utilize STAR, don’t tell them in the same way. Make sure you are presenting different sides to who you are by telling your stories differently.

2. If at all possible discuss different situations in these essays, not two different stories from the same situation because you are trying present as wide a spectrum of events and qualities about yourself as you can.

3. You should ask yourself “What does this essay reveal about me?” If you can’t answer that clearly, you need to clarify your message. When asking this question, think about both what you intend the reader to think and what you might also be revealing. Control for the possibility of sending out unintended signals. One of the best ways of handling this issue is to have a very careful and intelligent reader review these essays. If you are working with an admissions consultant, they should be able to do this. Getting multiple perspectives on what you wrote will help you better understand your likely impact on an admissions' reader.

Depending on your selection of topics for Essays 1-3, you will be likely writing at least one, if not more, leadership focused essays. I have developed the following grid to help you outline leadership stories. The categories this grid employs may go beyond any particular school's essay requirements. Filling it out completely will help you write about your leadership in a way that will convince admissions of your leadership potential.

How to use the grid:
1. Decide on a specific story.
2. Identify the most significant things you did in the situation- these are you action steps.
3. For each action step identify:
  • What skills or qualities you demonstrated to complete this step
  • The strengths you demonstrated to complete this step
  • The kind of leadership you demonstrated
  • What you still need to learn about leadership
4. Think about the results and identify how they relate to your action steps. So at minimum, you should be able to state the impact on others and/or yourself.

5. After completing the chart you will see that some aspects of your action steps may be repeated. If there is a total duplication and nothing new is shown, either you need to redefine the action step or you may decide not to focus on it very much.

6. Once you think you have two to four fully worked-out action steps, write your first draft.

7. Next, start re-writing. Eliminate duplicate points made between action steps. Make choices about what parts of each action to step to highlight. Given that there are usually word limits, you will have to make some decisions about what to include.

Simply providing a description of your actions, is not enough. Think about what it signifies about you. Think about what your actions reveal about your leadership potential.

Finally, thinking and writing about leadership is an important part of preparing for interviews because you can be certain that you will have to talk about leadership. So, you might find that the parts of the outline you jettison now will become valuable when you will want to have alternative stories for your MIT interview.

Essay 1: Please describe a time when you went beyond what was defined, expected, established, or popular. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

This question is almost the same as Stanford Essay 3 Option D. The only difference is that MIT includes the word "popular" and Stanford does not. Actually, I have to say that I love this question. Going beyond something defined, expected, established, or popular may involve breaking the rules. Both MIT and Stanford are places for those who are not traditional and are flexible in their thinking. If you are a maverick, a risk-taker, or simply unconventional in your approach to adding value, this essay option is for you. Show how you alter the very rules of something that you have been a part of and have a positive impact as a result. Leadership is often tested most profoundly in situations where one has to go against "common sense," organizational tradition, and/or the interests of others. In one way or another show how you possess the courage to act in the face of opposition.

Essay 2: Please describe a time when you convinced an individual or group to accept one of your ideas. (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)
This is the only question that changed in this year's application. It is quite similar to Stanford Essay 3 Option C.  Compared to last year's question on mentoring someone, this is a rather open-ended topic.  I also consider it very close to the heart of MIT as the subject matter really is about a very practical aspect of ideas: Convincing others to take yours seriously.  The idea might be large or small, those who are convinced might be an individual or a group.  A group might be a team, it might be a client, it might be your friends, it might be senior management of your organization. What you want to do is explain what the idea was and then how you convinced the individual or group to accept it.
Provide a simple, clear, and concise explanation of the idea. Keep in mind that discussing the idea in too much detail is likely to interfere with focusing on the key point: Your ability to convince others about an idea.  Focus on the methods you use:  Did you convince others based solely on logic?  Did you appeal to them emotionally? KEY QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF: Why was it hard to convince them?  If it was not hard to convince them, this essay will likely be very ineffective because it will be a poor test of your ability to convince other people.
Essay 3: Please describe a time when you took responsibility for achieving an objective. (500 words or less, limited to one page)
DO NOT WRITE ABOUT YOUR PLAN TO APPLY TO MBA PROGRAMS! Hopefully no one will do that, but I know someone will. If there is one essay in the MIT set of questions that is well suited for a big story, this one is it. You can, of course, tell a small story here, but if you want to write about your biggest accomplishment that involved a significant amount of responsibility that is great. Simply state why you took responsibility. Focus on the execution of the objective, not its initial conceptualization. While there are no hard and fast rules, I would try to expend at least two-thirds of your word count focused on showing how you realized your objective. Make sure that you clearly state the result. An effective answer here will most likely be about an objective that has been effectively executed and has clear results.

One issue that will arise here is the meaning of the words "
when you took responsibility" as this clearly indicates that someone actively wanted the responsibility in question and was not merely given it. Good workers are given responsibility all the time, but leaders take responsibility. If you are given a responsibility, you are merely carrying out someone's orders. If you take responsibility, you are showing initiative. I suggest you make sure that you are showing initiative and not merely a good worker doing a job someone has assigned to you. 

Supplemental Information
You may use this section to address whatever else you want the Admissions Committee to know. (250 words or less, limited to one page)
What part of you that Rod Garcia really should know about is missing from or not emphasized enough elsewhere? Use this essay to give him a more complete perspective on who you are. My suggestion is to make sure you are comfortable with the content for your other essays before deciding what should be discussed here. Unless absolutely necessary, you should avoid using all of this space to discuss something negative. Instead use this question as another way to help MIT understand you and to become convinced that you belong there. I suggest reviewing MIT's admission criteria to help you determine what topic you should write about here.

This essay is an opportunity to explain the strengths and/or weaknesses of your academic background. 
You don't need a high GPA to get into MIT, but they are looking for applicants who have demonstrated intellectual curiosity, so utilize this space to help convince them of that. If you have to explain a weakness feel free to do so. It is better to provide an explanation for why you had a bad GPA in your second year of university than to make Rod Garcia and his team try to guess why. While you can use this space to explain something negative, the wording is such that I would try and use at least part of this space to write about something positive.

Given that MIT does not require the TOEFL, it is safe to assume that receives many applications from those with limited English speaking and listening skills since many international applicants can obtain a much better GMAT than iBT TOEFL score. If you have a strong iBT TOEFL, I suggest submitting it so that Rod and his team know you have strong speaking and listening skills. Especially anyone with at least 105 and a 25 in each section should submit their TOEFL score. While such a submission is optional, I think it can only help you.

MIT accepts both tests.  The disadvantage of taking GRE is that MIT does not use ETS's official concordance table and does not seem to have an actual guide for what constitutes a good GRE score.  I asked about this subject at the Tokyo Event in August 2010 and got the impression that they fully accept and are in no way biased against those who take GRE, but was told that there is no concordance table, so it is really clear what sort of GRE score they want, aside from the obvious- a high one!

My analysis of MIT interviews can be found here.  

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 interested in my admissions consulting services, please see here.
-Adam Markus
アダム マーカス

ビジネススクール カウンセリング MITスローン コンサルティング 大学院 合格対策 エッセイMBA留学

August 27, 2010


The Military to Business blogger  (HBS, Class of 2012) has done an exceptional job analyzing the age of admission situation at HBS.  Here is his key takeaway:

"For those wondering about the best time to apply, let's look at percentage of students matriculating by age groups at time of application:
  • Age 23 and younger: 10%
  • Age 24-26: 78%
  • Age 27-29: 12%
  • Age 30+: 1%
The numbers definitely speak for themselves and probably don't need any added insight."

I recommend reading the rest of his analysis.

For any current military men or women applying to MBA programs, and HBS in particular, his blog is worth your attention. 

-Adam Markus
アダム マーカス

August 17, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated August 18, 2010

Both to answer and to anticipate some likely questions, I have prepared the following FAQ:

1. What is the point of this blog? Are you selling something?
Yes! I am selling my ideas on graduate admissions. The price is reading what I write. I am a professional graduate admissions consultant with a strong belief that all applicants should have access to great admissions information. I try to provide insight into the graduate admissions process based on my experience. As a sole practitioner, I can't possibly provide the scope of coverage that admissions consulting company blogs provide. I focus on what interests me and what my clients need.

My blog is certainly a marketing device for my paid services as a consultant, but I don't make any assumptions about the vast majority of my readers necessarily buying anything from me. I do have an Amazon A-store, where I get a 4% commission on anything sold. If I recommend a book it means I actually think it is good. The A-store is there as a service to readers. You will likely buy from Amazon anyway, I am just focusing on likely categories of books that you may be interested in. After three years, I have gotten a couple of $10 gift certificates out of it.

2. Can you give me advice regarding my application?
I offer individual advice only to my clients.  The blog is the free advice that I offer.  Please visit http://adammarkus.com/. If you are interested in working with me as a client, I can certainly provide individual advice as that is my profession. While I do offer an initial free consultation, I don't offer free one-to-one counseling. Also I consider it unprofessional to offer advice to someone who I have not had a chance to talk with first, so emails that ask for an assessment based solely on the content of the email will receive brief replies referencing this FAQ.

3. OK, so what kind of questions will you answer?
 I will answer questions about my posts in order to clarify what I have written. I will also answer general questions about admissions issues that I think will be of interest to my readers. If you are looking for writing samples or that sort of thing, don't bother asking me because I don't have any.  There are plenty of books that provide essay samples. See here for the only one I ever recommend.  

4. Why should I listen to you?
You should not listen to me. You should not listen to anyone. You should think for yourself and consider what advice you have been offered. If at that point, you consider what I have written to be worth acting on, you will have made that decision yourself. I offer advice not be followed, but to be considered. There are multiple right ways to think about the issues I address. I hope to try to provide great advice, but ultimately the responsibility is yours whether you follow it or not.

5. Is there any structure or logic to how you decide which schools' essays you analyze?
I analyze the essays for (1) schools that my clients apply to, (2) schools that set the standard for their field such as Harvard Law School's LL.M. program, and/or (3) schools that have interesting questions.

6. Why are some of your posts so long?
My posts are as long as they need to be to cover the topic at hand. I realize that adding in the full essay questions makes some of my posts quite long, but I like to think about the whole before breaking it into parts and assume that is true for some of my readers. I can write very succinctly when appropriate, but I am more concerned with clarity and depth rather brevity.

7. Why are some of your posts all in Japanese? Why do you have Japanese in all of the posts? Who writes them?

I do some posting in Japanese because that the native language of my primary client-base.  Clearly Japanese keywords as well as my Japanese language blogs, MBA留学, LLM留学, and 大学院留学 are intended to bring Japanese readers to me. Guerrilla Marketing is fun!

8. Who are your guest bloggers?
In the case of Steve Green and Taichi Kono, they are collegues who trust and have known for many years.  In the case of Knewton, I think they have a great GMAT prep team and some useful advice.

9.  Why don't you write more consistently?
I wish I could, but there are times when I am simply too busy.

10. Sometimes I can't leave comments on your blog. Why?
There is a special place in hell that I hope all Spammers are sent to.  You can blame those parasites of the internet for my need to disable comment functions as I simply tire of reviewing random and disgusting spam, which is the necessary by-product of me needing to referee every comment.

11.  What do you mean "you sponsor" Japan tours and Japan clubs at MBA programs?

I contribute money to Japan tours and Japan clubs in order to (1) support the good work that Japanese MBA students do by improving an understanding of Japan to their fellow students and (2) I want to make it more affordable for MBA students to visit Japan.  My contribution along with that of other sponsors helps make travel to Japan a little cheaper.  

-Adam Markus
アダム マーカス
MBA留学, LLM留学, 大学院留学

August 10, 2010

ミシガンレセプション ~学校説明会と懇親会

A member of the Ross Japan Alumni Club asked that post information about the Ross Information Session that will be held on August 26, 2010. The session  will be followed by a cocktail party hosted by the Japan Alumni Club.  

ミシガンレセプション ~学校説明会と懇親会~

Ross School of Businessをより良く知って頂くため、来る8月26日(木)に

会のネットワークをぜひ体感してみて下さい! そして、大人数のセッション

◎本会 (学校説明会) ~入学審査官が来日し説明~
日時 : 8月26日(木) 19:15~20:40 (19:00より受付開始)
会場 : コンファレンススクエア エムプラス (10F「ミドル1&2」)
URL  : http://www.marunouchi-hc.jp/emplus/access/index.html
住所 : 東京都千代田区丸の内2-5-2 三菱ビル 10F
会費 : 無料

◎二次会 (懇親会) ~同窓会主催! 立食形式でざっくばらんにお話を~
日時 : 8月26日(木) 21:00~22:30 (20:45より受付開始)
会場 : メゾンバルザック (2F貸切)
URL  : http://www.impec-barsac.com/
住所 : 東京都千代田区丸の内2-5-2 三菱ビル 2F
会費 : 無料


◎ミシガン関連情報: 下記、ご参照ください。
日本人ウェブサイト : http://www.umich.edu/~rossjba/
日本人在校生ブログ : http://rossmbajapan.blogspot.com/



August 02, 2010

Guest Blogger: 河野太一のGMAT OG12解説 SC16

This is another post from Taichi Kono, author of two textbooks on TOEFL and one on TOEIC and a highly experienced TOEFL, TOEIC, and GMAT instructor. Most of his posts will be in Japanese. This post is on GMAT sentence correction. His other posts can be found here.


河野塾代表の河野太一です。年来の友人であるAdam Markusさんのご厚意で、"The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition"の解説ブログの内容の一部をこちらにアップさせていただくことになりました。オリジナルは河野太一のGMAT OG12解説でご覧いただけます。なお、オリジナルのほうは予告なく内容を変更することがあり、ここに上げたものと相違があることがありますのでご了承ください。私のこれまでの記事やGMAT以外の話題についてはこちらをご覧ください。

Retail stores (S) rose (V)からカンマまでが主節で、intensifyingからdoing副詞句が始まることはすぐに見抜ける。intensifyingの目的語である expectationsにthat節がかかっているわけだが、その主語がpersonal spendingであることから、that節はexpectations(予期、期待)の中身を述べているのではないか、ということはthatは「同格」 の接続詞ではないか、という予測が成り立つ。これが関係代名詞のthatであれば、たとえばexpectations that people had ...のように、人やそれに準じた主語が来るのではないか、という感覚があるからだ。こんなものは文法ルールでも何でもなく、ただの経験則のようなものだが、GMATのような試験では、「経験則から導き出された、まあまあ確度が高いと思われる予見」と「10%程度の疑い」を携えて、さっさか処理していくよりしょうがない。とはいえ、こうした「良い予見」を持つことは、実は一般的な英文の「速読」にも必要であるし、「熟読」する際にも予見が当たったりハズレたりすることが楽しみになる。

さて、thatが「同格」であると予測を立てたところで、選択肢を縦に見る。この時点でofを使っている選択肢はアウト。expectations of Nとしたときに、そのNは「期待をしている主体」なのか「期待をされている客体」なのかがあいまいだ。「主体」であれば人(またはそれに準じるもの)がN になるはずだが、ここではpersonal spendingという抽象概念であるから、その可能性はない。にもかかわらず、一瞬「主体なのかな」、と思わせてしまう時点で表現として劣る。 expectationsの内容を述べるにしても、それならthat節を用いて、きちんとSV形式で語ればよい。「抽象的なことの中身を語りたければ同格のthatを用いなさいね」という出題者のメッセージ。

(A)はthatが何を指しているのか不明。順当に考えればpersonal spendingだが、それでは後ろのof the 1.4 percent growthと意味的につながらないし、personal spendingという表現はinの後ろにもある。ではJuly-September quarterを指すのかと考えても、やはり意味的におかしい。

(B) ならthat節内がpersonal spending (S) ... would double (V) the ... growth (O) という構造になってスッキリする。doubleに「2倍にする/なる」という動詞の用法があることは、まあ基礎知識の範疇。「同格」の接続詞thatであ るから、節内は完全な文でなければならないが、この点もOK。wouldを見て気づくのは、expectationは「将来に対する予測・期待」なのだから、助動詞があってしかるべきということ。(A)はdoubledと過去形を用いてしまっている。この文は基準時が過去(rose)であるから、その過去 の時点に戻って考えれば、人々はその時現在形(doubles)を用いて「予測・期待」を述べていた、あるいは考えていたことになる(たとえばI think personal spending more than doubles ...のように)。しかし現在形の「断言感」は、「予測・期待」の内容としては不適切だ。wouldなら、過去の時点ではwillを用いていたことになる(I think personal spending will more than double ...のように)から適切。

と ころで、(B)のmore thanが気にかかった人がいるかも知れない。thanは主に前置詞か接続詞で用いられるので、後ろに動詞が来るのは違和感があるからだ。このmore thanは、まるで副詞句のように動詞の前に挿入されている。動詞の意味がたまたま「2倍にする」と数値にかかわるので、このような使い方になってしまっている。厳密に言えば脱文法的ということになるかもしれないが、more than doubleとかmore than tripleという言い方で定着しているため、ネイティブにとっては自然に感じられると思われる。



Q&A with London Business School MBA Class of 2011 Student

My former client Ryuhei, London Business School MBA Class of 2011, was kind enough to email me his answers to some questions I had about the program. After studying international political science at KEIO University, Ryuhei worked for NTT DOCOMO in the telecommunications sector in a number of roles. These included brand marketing, intellectual property management, and business development in Amsterdam, Athens, Bucharest, Sofia and Tokyo.
Adam: So what did you learn during your first year at LBS?
Ryuhei: Obviously I learned a lot of things! But here let me summarize them in the following three points;
First of all, I learned a lot about myself. Paying an expensive fee to an MBA program, and learning about yourself? I know it sounds like a joke, but what happens every day is that I always rediscover my own capability. In a business school, you interact with people from different countries with different backgrounds. They will give a fresh insight into your personality, and accordingly you will learn “ The New You.” In my case, I realize that I am good at organizing a big group and therefore I joined the Student Association to manage many student events.
You cannot experience this in the monotonous environment where the students’ profile is similar. In other words; you can only do this in such a highly diverse business school as London Business School, where 403 students came from 58 countries speaking 45 languages: non-UK represent approximately 90%. At London Business School, I daily enjoy my own voyage of discovery.
Secondly, I relearned teamwork. It is not that simple to read dynamics and quickly find one's place in the team. One could easily do so in the group of same nationality, but under multinational circumstance, that's a different story.
A skill to find a delicate balance in a diverse environment and change one’s role flexibly is necessarily required to manage the international business, and London Business School gives you great opportunities to develop your multinational teamwork skill.
I have been learning this daily in a study group, classes, clubs, and teams for business competitions: in some cases, I play a role in leading the team, while assuming a role as a specialist in other cases.
Finally, I well learned an importance of networking. Surprisingly “business is business” does not work, but rather “who knows whom” really matters in business. This does not mean that network is all you need to develop, but the personal connection, especially global connection if you pursue international business, is obviously a key success factor.
Given the school’s diverse student body and highly active interactions in the student community as in MBAT, Summer Ball, Treasure Hunt, Santa Claus Pub Crawl and etc., London Business School is one of the best places to build one's international network of contacts. Personally I benefited from the school’s network when finding a summer internship!!

Adam: What part of the program have you liked the most?
Ryuhei: I liked my entrepreneurship class the most.
London Business School is famous for finance. This is absolutely right. The school has many world-famous finance professors. London Business School, however, is also strong in other business areas, especially entrepreneurship.
Most of the entrepreneurship faculty are/were entrepreneurs or venture capitalists, and accordingly they have very strong network in the area. In the classes, the professors actually give us opportunities to pitch our business idea to real angels (investors). Furthermore if the idea is attractive, then the angels seriously consider investment to the students. This is very exciting! The school also prepares a special entrepreneurship summer school for those who seriously pursue building business during two years MBA. This course is very popular and there's often a waiting list.
Should you have preconceptions that London Business School is designed for only those who are into finance, please throw off the prejudices and check the website (English: http://www.london.edu/programmes/mba.html and Japanese: http://lbs-mba.jimdo.com/mba/). You will see that London Business School asserts its strong presence in many business areas including but not limited to finance!

Adam: What has surprised you the most about your LBS experience so far?
Ryuhei: I was surprised that London Business School is a powerhouse of talent. There is no wonder that the students have multinational business experiences. Also does the school have an army commander, Olympic athlete, doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur…you name it. This is just amazing! For Japanese students, please see http://lbs-mba.jimdo.com/japanese-students-profile/mba-students/.

Adam: How would you describe the culture of LBS?

Ryuhei: In a word, it is “initiative.” The school will give you tools and opportunities, but will not help you grab at those chances. You are the one who must initiate actions to seize the moment and deliver!!

Adam: Do you actually have any time for clubs? If so, which ones are you active in?

Ryuhei: Yes I do! I am extremely active in extracurricular activities.
I am a treasurer of the Student Association, and a vice president of Japan Interests Club. Also, I was a committee member of MBA Sports Tournament, MBAT. I strongly believe that half of the learning comes from the extracurricular activities and this is a great opportunity to try one’s leadership and teamwork skills,

Adam: I know you were one of the organizers of the Japan Trip 2010. How did it go? Why do non-Japanese want to come to Japan?

Ryuhei: It was great success!! For a while, people only talked about the Japan Trip on campus. I strongly believe that we could step up presence of Japanese students in London Business School. I would really like to thank the trip sponsors including Adam!!
Admittedly most participants are mainly interested in Japanese culture, but not in Japanese business. Given that Japan has achieved the status of a great nation with economic power and has a lot of world-class companies, I would like the fellow students to have more interest in Japanese business. I will do my best to further boost Japan’s presence in the school community through the class participation and the school events in my second year.
To see more details of the Japan Trip, please visit http://lbs-japan.jimdo.com.

Adam: You mentioned to me that you were running for election as officer for the Student Association. What does the Student Association do? Why do you want to be involved in running it?

Ryuhei: Student Association provides the students with a vehicle to voice their interests and concerns and to work with the faculty, administration and alumni to improve the experience of every student life at the school. Obviously this is singularly unique opportunity to prepare for taking influential leadership at multinational organization in my future career.
Before coming to the school, I have some international business experience, “but not in such a diverse setting.” At the very beginning of the school life, I was definitely not in a position where I could stand in front of hundreds of multinational students. However thanks to the study group fellows, classmates, and many friends I have worked with at the school, I gained a little bit of confidence, and decided to run for the election.
I would like to thank my fellow students who voted for me, and will do my very best to make student life even better.

Adam: Are there any common characteristics you find amongst your classmates?

Ryuhei: Honestly I cannot really find any. But if I have to, I would say that the students are hungry for change in a good sense.

Adam: How has the financial crisis impacted life at LBS?

Ryuhei: Given that one third of the students still applied for exchange programs, I do not think that the crisis is having so much impact on students’ lives.

Adam: Do you have any specific advice for those considering application to LBS?

Ryuhei: I have three pieces of advice:

  1. Strong commitment: it seems that London Business School very much emphasizes applicants’ commitment. You should really, really, really show your strong will to study at London Business School in the essays and the interview.

  2. Fit: I recommend that you directly talk to the students and/or alumni and analyze whether you really fit to the school culture. If you think you fit, then sprinkle your essay with the “unofficial” information you collect for the appeal!! The more people you talked to, the better you will understand the school. I actually talked to four current students.

  3. Not too much focus on GMAT/TOEFL: the school equally emphasizes your business experience. Actually the GMAT score rages from 600 to 780 in MBA2011. To see Japanese student average/range score of GMAT/TOEFL, please see http://lbs-mba.jimdo.com/japanese-students-profile/mba-students/.

Adam: What are your favorite MBA related blogs (English or Japanese sites)?
Ryuhei: Please check the following three website to get more information of London Business School:
Japanese: http://lbs-mba.jimdo.com (London Business School Unofficial Site for Japanese Applicants and Recruiters) and http://london-twk.blogspot.com/ (経営コンサルタントのLondon留学)

Adam: Anything else you would like to tell us?

Ryuhei: Read my testimonial [See client admitted to LBS and Oxford at http://adammarkus.com/results.html#FALL_2009_Client_Results_and_Testimonials] about Adam! Good luck!!

I want to thank Ryuhei for taking the time to provide me with a very candid set of answers to my questions.

-Adam Markus
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