HBS Accept – Great Resume Tips

  1. One Page!  You can maximize space by reducing your contact information, which will already be included in the application forms.
  2. Make a new resume for the MBA application. Your application resume should be easily understandable for someone outside your function and your industry.  This will take more work than you might think.  Ask someone outside your function and industry to review your resume to eliminate jargon, acronyms, etc.
  3. Create a resume with 2-3 sections.  If you have enough work experience include college internships in your education section.  I was told to include education first (not sure how important that is, but I took the advice).
  4. Always be thinking what makes you special. Were you given international assignments? Did you prepare deliverables for executives or board members? What have you accomplished that someone else in your role would not have? Action verbs are your friends. Your resume should not read as a job description for your replacement.

 

Source: My Top 4 Tips and Tricks for a MBA Resume

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GMAT Retake

GMAT Round 2

Yesterday was the big day. I practiced for 4-6 hours a day over the last month. I was sure I was going to improve my 610 from round 1. Data Sufficiency was still a struggle but I knew the basics and had  solid practice tests. I had geometry, probability, stats, coordinate geometry, and counting down. Then the exam happened.

Time management is still a problem. I got caught up on two problems that put me two minutes behind. I was able to make up some time on a question I had little idea how to answer. I finished within time even though I was rushed on a couple questions towards the end. Data Sufficiency was a pain but I went into the questions with a good mindset. It seems the GMAT is really good at honing in on where your weak points are and exploiting them. I didn’t have a single probability question and maybe 1 or 2 geometry questions. All in all I thought the effort was solid. Not 49 solid but at least 44 solid. As usual, verbal was easier for me. I did get caught dozing off on a couple reading comprehension questions. More coffee or granola bars next time!!

Final Results:

Overall: 690 (86th percentile, up from 63rd)

Quantitative: 41 (48th percentile, up from 29th)

Verbal: 42 (96th percentile, up from 91st)

Yes, it’s an improvement but I am not happy with the quant results. Damn those engineers and quant whizzes who skew the results 🙂

I am registering for one more shot before submitting my applications. My reach school, Columbia, is due October 7th for Early Decision. Most of the others are due by the end of September. My goal is to hit a 48 in quant and 45 in verbal. I have read that perfecting the GMAT is frowned upon but I have lots of room for improvement. If I can push into the low to mid-700s I will be happy. I always told myself I could do anything as long as I dedicate time to it and don’t give up. This is just another personal challenge.

Stock Market Meltdown

I was watching the stock market implode yesterday morning and one thought crossed my mind: How will this benefit my business school applications? If the market and economy really slows down will less people apply for school? Is everyone already set on their path, making it irrelevant?

Some of the books I have read note that during the financial crisis fewer people entered MBA programs due to a fear of not finding a job in the uncertain economy. I work in the tech sector and my MBA focus is going to be Entrepreneurship. I don’t have ambitions of working as a consultant or in investment banking when I finish school. If a slowdown in the economy means less people apply to school then I welcome it. However, I would also have to worry that as VC reserves dry up and firms take less risk, I might have to look elsewhere for funding if needed. These are interesting times and the challenges are plenty. Back to GMAT prep… 🙂

Organization

I am attacking this on several fronts. Most of the blogs I have read have a ramp of about 4 months before application time. I have just about 2 months so the only way to succeed is have an organized and detailed approach. I am coming at this fresh so these are the main areas I need to focus:

I will set up a separate page for each and maybe drop posts as I work through the challenges.

Starting Late: GMAT

From what I have read the GMAT is the single most important piece in the application process.

Since I am starting late I will recap where I am so far. I took the GMAT a couple of weeks ago. Prior the the GMAT I had an intense 2 week study session where I thought I had a solid understanding of the requirements. I have always been decent at standardized tests so with a little review I figured I could do decent and gauge where I needed improvement.. First, I ran out of time on the math section. I have less than 5 minutes left with 6 questions to go. I read somewhere that it’s better to answer questions than to leave blanks. I guess on a couple and chose the best looking answer on the others. The results were an eye-opener. Verbal: 91st percentile, Math: 29th percentile. Overall score a sad 610. Not elite MBA results.

I am registered for August 28th and have time to study between now and then (small benefit of being between jobs). That gives me a month to get my quantitative in order and pick up a few points on the verbal. Most of the math covered makes sense to me so it’s just practicing and working on mastering data sufficiency. I have a realistic goal of 740. At least it’s realistic in my mind 🙂

Materials I will be using for GMAT study:

Manhattan Prep Quantitative Book Series (6 online practice tests)

Magoosh Online GMAT Prep (customized practice tests – at least 2)

Official GMAT Guide 2015 (of course) (2 practice tests with additional question banks available)

 

If I have time I will review each product. So far the Magoosh product has been the most useful.

Beginnings…or Where to Begin?

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…

OK, so maybe it’s not that epic but I am hoping for this to be an amazing journey. I have never managed a blog before and I am a little intimidated. The reading I’ve done says that it’s important to just get content out there. It will form and evolve as I evolve as a writer. So this is my blog about my journey to business school.

About Me:

I will have a more detailed “About” page as I get going on this. If I ever get any followers I hope they ask questions and are interested in learning more.

To start off I am an older applicant at 34. I have spent the last 4 years working up the food chain in risk management/information security. I just finished my second bachelor’s in Management with an IT concentration from Golden Gate University. GPA is at 3.55 and I think I did OK while working full time. I have worked many different positions in the past and spent 8 years in the military. I am really going to use my work experience post-military for my applications. The military will also help me address leadership questions when they come up.

My Goal:

Competitive MBA. This will allows me to work with entrepreneurs and startups throughout the world. Great ideas can come from outside of Silicon Valley (where I currently live and work). My goal is to be able to help those people with great ideas build a business and let them focus on their product. I can address the technical and business needs as a sort of one stop shop. If I happen to have some great ideas that turn into businesses along the way, even better. This mission statement will be refined as the blog is.

More to come. I will try to write at least every other day. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with everyone and hopefully set the stage for much bigger things. My biggest fear is that I will feel like Rodney Dangerfield (or Billy Madison for that matter):