Monthly Archives: February 2009

Business Schools See Drop in International Applications

An article in last week’s Cornell Daily Sun described what may initially seem like a surprising trend, but one that more than one top business school has described. Despite the sagging economy, overall business school application numbers have dropped this year as the financial crisis has discouraged international applicants from applying because of the difficulty they will likely face in getting student loans.

According to the article, while Johnson has seen a 10-15% in domestic applications vs. last year, that has been more than offset by a 30% decrease in applications from international applicants, resulting in an overall 14% decrease in the number of applications that Cornell has seen so far this year. The school’s academic dean, Joseph Thomas, attributes this decline in international applicants to the tightening credit situation for international students at U.S. schools.

Domestically, not surprisingly, the school has seen a surge in applications from the financial sector. According to Randall Sawyer, director of admissions and financial aid at Johnson, the school has seen more laid-off applicants than it has seen in many years. This trend is consistent with what all of the other top business schools have described.

On the flip side, while Cornell’s overall application numbers are down, the school’s yield (the percentage of admitted students who matriculate) from the first round is near 70%, which is pretty strong. It seems that those who are lucky enough to get into a top MBA program this year aren’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Wharton Admissions Interviews – Round 2 Invitations

Attention Round Two Wharton applicants! Yesterday the Wharton admissions office posted an update on its blog to let applicants know that the school will release all Round 2 interview invitations by tomorrow (Feb. 19).

The Wharton admissions office writes:

The Admissions Committee has already begun releasing interview invitations and will continue to do so daily until 5:00pm EST on Thursday, 19 February 09. Due to the nature and complexity of the admissions process, there is no particular order in which invitations are released. Complete details on how, when, and where to schedule an interview will be provided at the time of invitation. Candidates who are not invited to interview and are no longer being considered for admission will receive a “Deny” decision on 19 February 09.

So, the main takeaway i: If you applied to Wharton in Round 2, but still haven’t heard about an admissions interview, there’s still hope!

For help in preparing for your Wharton interview (or any other MBA admissions interview), read our blog entry titled MBA Admissions Interviews – What to Expect. Good luck!

Harvard Business School Employment Update

Last Friday Harvard Business School’s Dee Leopold gave an update on the HBS Class of 2009’s job prospects. This news is especially interesting for anyone who will soon leave a steady job to enter a full-time MBA program.

According to Leopold, 77% of second-year HBS job seekers (this excludes anyone who will continue academic work or who will return to their pre-HBS employer) have found jobs. She goes on to write:

I don’t have any more details to offer at this point, but we are proud of both our students and our Career Services team who have helped many of our students discover and pursue their dreams and find new opportunities in the midst of great uncertainty in the market. It is still months from graduation and companies and organizations continue to be a big presence on campus – spring will be lively here at HBS. We will provide updates as the season progresses.

We hope that she’s right, and that spring will prove to be a lively recruiting period for all MBA students.

If you are applying to HBS now or plan on applying next year, see how Veritas Prep’s MBA admissions experts can help you improve your chances of admissions success.

Job Prospects for MBA Grads Grow Dimmer

To almost no one’s surprise, this week the Wall Street Journal ran a story about how business schools have seen a record drop in recruiting for internships and full-time jobs.

According to a survey conducted in January, 56% of career services offices said that on-campus recruiting was down more than 10% this winter. While that’s not necessarily surprising, the trend seems to be accelerating: last fall only 12% estimated that recruiting was down vs. year ago. And activity on the schools’ jobs boards is sluggish, with 50% of career offices reporting that activity was down more than 10%, and 20% saying that job-posting activity was down more than 20%.

Compared to surveys conducted in the fall, this report suggests that the economic slowdown caught all but the most pessimistic business school students and career-services officers off guard. While all schools were bracing for bad news and rough job prospects in the financial sector, the economic downdraft caused by that industry’s troubles has affected every sector where business school graduates normally find jobs.

If you’re applying to business school now, or are getting ready to apply soon, the obvious question is: What does this mean for you? As we always tell our admissions consulting clients, going back to the school (or NOT going back to school) just because of the economy doesn’t make sense. And, if you have a good job right now, the thought of leaving it for an uncertain future can be intimidating. However, know that these downturns typically last no more than 2-3 years, meaning that, by the time you would graduate in 2011 or 2012, chances are pretty good that the job market will once again return to form.

I have walked in these shoes myself. I applied to business school in 2001/2002, right as the coming recession was compounded by the shock of 9/11 to create headlines about worsening job prospects and rescinded job offers for MBAs. By the time I graduated from Kellogg in 2004, the MBA job market was again humming along nicely, and we battle-hardened second-year students regaled jaded first-years with tales about how rough we had it back in the day. Fast-forward three years, and the Kellogg Management Center once again had to enforce rules to keep recruiters from not overdoing it on campus.

My point? The job market is intensely cyclical. While that’s no consolation for someone who is about to graduate with no job and a pile of debt, for someone who is applying now, the chances are good that the job market will bounce back. Just give it some

Admissions Webinar for MBA Applicants

On February 25 Veritas Prep and the Robert A. Toigo foundation will host an online seminar for anyone who is considering an MBA and a career in finance.

The Robert A. Toigo Foundation was founded to encourage more minority presence at senior levels across all areas of finance. Consistent with this mission, the Foundation recruits the best, the brightest, and the most committed minority students pursuing finance-related careers. Minority MBA applicants can apply to become Toigo Fellows who receive tuition assistance, but the grants are just one part of the Fellowship. The Toigo Foundation also provides mentors and coaches to advise, support and guide up-and-coming MBAs in finance. The organization also offers career counseling, leadership training, and a host of formal and informal networking opportunities for its members.

In the February 25 online event, Veritas Prep will provide an overview of the MBA admissions process. This is an ideal way for a new applicant to get a broad strategic overview of what it takes to get into a top business school. Then, a representative from the Toigo Foundation will provide an introduction to the Toigo Foundation’s mission, its specific programs, and the benefits it provides to its members.

This online seminar is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the MBA admissions process and what the Robert A. Toigo Foundation has to offer. Register here (scroll down to the bottom of the page) to reserve your spot!

Taking the GMAT with a Disability

As the world’s fastest-growing GMAT prep company, Veritas Prep often receives questions from test takers with disabilities. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the organization that runs the GMAT, has a page on its web site that contains most of what you need to know if you have a disability and want to take the GMAT.

GMAC is committed to making sure that anyone can take the GMAT, regardless of what disability they may have. GMAC’s site provides a general overview of how to register for the exam and request specific accommodations if you have a disability. Also, be sure to read this document: Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities. GMAC will accommodate you if any of these disabilities apply to you:

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Physical or Systemic Disabilities
  • Psychiatric Disabilities
  • Deafness or Hard-of-Hearing Disabilities
  • Blindness or Low-Vision Disabilities

If you fall into one of the above camps, GMAC and Pearson VUE (the company that runs the test centers where you will take the GMAT) can make a variety of accommodations. including giving you more time on the exam, extended breaks during the exam, a reader who can read test questions aloud to you, or enlarged fonts on the computer screen. All of these accommodations are made to help GMAC measure your true ability with the GMAT, regardless of what disabilities you have.

To see how you will do on the GMAT under the test’s time constraints, try Veritas Prep’s free practice GMAT exam.

GMAC to Recruit More Military Vets for Business School

The Graduate Management Admission Council has partnered with the Army Reserve to attract Army Reserve officers and senior enlisted soldiers to business school. Given President Obama’s stated goal of bringing home all of the 140,000 US combat troops from Iraq in the next 16 months, there could be thousands of military vets streaming through business schools in the next few years.

“We are excited and honored to join with the U.S. Army Reserve in this effort,” said David A. Wilson, GMAC’s president, in a press release. “Education can change someone’s life. No one deserves that opportunity more than those who serve our country. Moreover, officers and other leaders are among the very best candidates for business school. Their experience in managing resources and developing strategy enrich the dialogue in the classroom, a cornerstone of the MBA program. Their discipline prepares them well for the rigors of the program and for management upon graduation.”

The program, which has been referred to as “Operation MBA,” will give soldiers access to unique information and tools to help them prepare for the GMAT and the MBA admissions process. They will also have access to a list of schools that have agreed to waive the admissions fee for military personnel, make financial aid available, or grant deferments based on soldier’s service commitments.

If you are in the military and are considering business school, know that schools love the kind of experience and leadership you can bring to the classroom. As we write in Your MBA Game Plan, business schools are hungry for applicants with this kind of background!