¿Primera o segunda ronda? Cuándo enviar la aplicación a un MBA

Por Claudine Vainrub, MBA

Buscar admisión para un programa de Master en Administración de Empresas (MBA) requiere de mucho análisis. Deberás congeniar varios elementos a la hora de seguir el proceso de solicitud. Una de las decisiones más difíciles es decidir cuándo presentarse. Muchos de los programas de MBA ofrecen tres fechas para aplicar, mientras que otros pueden tener dos o cinco. Sin embargo, la mayoría de los candidatos deciden presentarse en el primer o en el segundo llamado.

A continuación, esbozamos acerca de entregar la aplicación en la primera ronda.

En la primera convocatoria, es muy común que se presenten las solicitudes de los mejores estudiantes. Muchos de los que deciden aplicar en esta fecha son candidatos con altas calificaciones, excelente experiencia laboral y un buen nivel de organización en sus actividades.

Si te consideras un candidato fuerte, esta es la mejor oportunidad para presentarte. En el artículo “Timing Your Applications” (“Coordinando tus solicitudes”) del sitio web Accepted.com, Linda Abraham aconseja: “Presenta tu solicitud en la fecha más próxima, siempre y cuando esto no comprometa la calidad de la misma.”

Obviamente, esto no implica que si no eres un candidato estelar, te presentes en el primer llamado. Si tus resultados en el examen de aptitud académica para entrar a un MBA (más conocido como GMAT, Graduate Management Admission Test ) superan los 700 puntos, el primer round también puede ser favorable para ti. En la primera fecha, el número de postulantes es considerablemente menor. A muchas personas les ofrecen puestos, y rechazan los mismos en busca de mejores oportunidades. Dichas bancas pueden ser aprovechadas por ti. A pesar de que las universidades tienen un número de asientos disponibles, la realidad es que pueden haber más que los que ofrecen y puedes llegar a conseguir asiento en la primera ronda, aún cuando tus competidores sean estudiantes de alto calibre. Para ello requerirás una presentación prolija que incluya un compendio del detalle de tus competencias, calificaciones y ensayos bien redactados.

Algunas instituciones ofrecen observaciones a los estudiantes que no ingresan en la primera ronda. Éstas pueden ser utilizadas para aplicar nuevamente de manera efectiva. En el artículo “First Round Frenzy” (“El frenesí del primer llamado”) del sitio Business Week, Abraham explica: “Un postulante que se presenta por segunda vez y presta atención a las observaciones de su primera postulación, seguramente será admitido en la primera instancia el año siguiente”. Esta puede ser otra de tus opciones disponibles.

En referencia a la segunda ronda…

Es común ver que muchos postulantes se presentan en el Segundo llamado, y por lo tanto, son más los candidatos con los que se debe competir. Algunos programas de MBA reciben más de dos mil solicitudes durante esta etapa. Los estudiantes con mejores condiciones por lo general se presentan en la primera fase, por lo cual, los que se presentan luego son generalmente a quienes les va bien, pero presentan mayores debilidades –aunque esto varía año a año en las diferentes instituciones. En mayor o menor medida, estos serán los competidores que enfrentarás en esta ronda.

Si tu puntaje en el GMAT es menor a 600 y sientes que podrás hacerlo mejor si tomas el examen nuevamente, optar por el segundo llamado puede ser una alternativa conveniente para ti.

En resumidas cuentas, elegir en qué instancia te presentarás como candidato se relaciona directamente con cuál es la ronda en la cual tu solicitud se verá más favorecida, teniendo en cuenta que el único factor que no debe alterarse es la calidad de tu aplicación. Además, si hacerlo en la primera ronda significa que la presentación ofrecerá menos que lo mejor de ti, será mejor que pospongas tu presentación ya que tus chances de ser aceptados serán menores.

Cualquiera sea la instancia que elijas, pon tu mayor esfuerzo en describirte profesionalmente y personalmente y cómo aportarás un valor agregado al programa de tu elección. Sin importar cuál sea la ronda, toma este momento para hacerte cargo y acechar tus aspiraciones más ambiciosas en la admisión a programas de MBA.

Links de Referencia:

http://www.mbaprograms.org/mbaadmission/7criteria3.asp

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/dec2005/bs2005127_7505_bs001.htm

http://www.accepted.com/newsletter/2004/1004news.aspx#essay

http://accepted.mbablogs.businessweek.com/archive/2005/12/08/1byqs44pwf3vy

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Aplicaciones exitosas a Universidades en USA:

Cómo encarar el proceso de admisión universitaria en USA

Por Claudine Vainrub

Este es el momento del año para ocuparse… ¡Es el tiempo de presentar las aplicaciones a las universidades! A los estudiantes de los últimos cursos del colegio secundario les cuesta mucho decidir cuál institución será la más adecuada, cuál presenta la combinación perfecta entre nivel académico, vida social, ayuda financiera, y posibilidades de crecimiento en la carrera a futuro. Los asesores universitarios ofrecen talleres para la redacción de ensayos, seminarios acerca de la solicitud gratuita de ayuda federal para estudiantes, y orientación vocacional, entre otros. Sin embargo, el foco en la mente del estudiante es en qué forma sobrepasar las dificultades para realizar la más correcta selección de sus opciones educativas. Lo que más preocupa a los estudiantes es presentar una correcta aplicación universitaria.

Todos los años, miles de aplicaciones son enviadas a los diversos comités de admisión de las universidades en los Estados Unidos, buscando que las mismas sean juzgadas correctamente basándose en diferentes factores. ¿Cuáles son estos factores? ¿Cuáles son las características más importantes? ¿Cuáles no tienen tanta importancia?

Si bien muchas solicitudes son aprobadas, algunas de ellas son rechazadas, y aquellos estudiantes se quedan con la duda de por qué ocurrió eso. ¿Qué hizo que su solicitud fuera menos efectiva que el resto? La respuesta a esto es que actualmente, los encargados de admisiones no buscan solamente estilo e intereses personales en las solicitudes.

Una solicitud de ingreso a la Universidad debe reflejar inteligencia, personalidad y por sobre todo, pasión por aprender. Como estudiante, deberás dejar ver tu ser interior y no exagerar tus cualidades para causar una impresión y lograr la aceptación. Algunos trucos como inscribirse en clases extracurriculares o participar de programas especiales de aprendizaje son recursos que conocen bien. Por lo tanto, no resultará efectivo que te muestres como diplomático para obtener la admisión.

Las universidades orientan su búsqueda al “interés demostrado” o atracción verdadera hacia las universidades en las cuáles solicitan ingreso. Esto debe ser presentado de manera verídica y genuina. La verdadera razón por la que ocurre, es que las universidades ya no buscan estudiantes que sumen en cantidad, sino que esperan sean los estudiantes quienes busquen las instituciones con una idea de aprendizaje en mente y poder colmar sus expectativas enfocándose en sus necesidades. En resumidas cuentas, lo que ellos desean son estudiantes que puedan hacer valorar su institución y metodologías de aprendizaje.

En primer lugar, comienza demostrando cuán valioso puedes ser para la universidad, argumentando cuál puede ser tu devolución para la misma, y cómo crecerás en esa institución para convertirte en un miembro ejemplar de su grupo de ex alumnos. Podrás describirlo en tu ensayo dentro del paquete de admisión.

En este ensayo, deberás resaltar tus cualidades de forma casual, sin sonar como cliché. A los comités de admisión les gustan los estudiantes que se proyectan a sí mismos de manera abierta con un nivel de madurez intelectual. Asegúrate de presentarte como un estudiante serio con buenas calificaciones académicas, o logros en deportes, o menciona cualquier otra actividad de liderazgo en la que hayas sobresalido. A su vez, si en algún semestre en particular no te ha ido muy bien, menciónalo. Por duro que parezca, ser honesto en esta instancia cuenta, aún más que esperar a que el comité de admisión no lo note.

Durante la entrevista, intenta proyectarte como una persona tranquila, confidente y capaz de asumir sus responsabilidades con eficacia. Esto puede sonar difícil, pero es muy sencillo si te organizas de manera correcta.

Luego de conocer esta información, la mejor recomendación profesional que puedo hacer es que ¡seas tú mismo! Represéntate a ti mismo de la manera más cercana a la realidad posible, dejando que tu personalidad, tus preferencias y aspiraciones se reflejen en tu solicitud. Los encargados de admisiones podrán evaluarla luego y decidir si eres un buen candidato para esa institución o no. Si no lo eres, de todos modos no querrás ir allí, ya que generalmente te sentirás abatido – esto ocurre desafortunadamente. Pone tus mayores esfuerzos en ofrecer la mejor descripción de tú mismo, creado con excelencia y dedicación. La decisión será positiva si eres correcto para ese lugar – los responsables de admisión son expertos en evaluar candidatos, y ellos lo sabrán.

Elige la institución no solamente por su nombre reconocido, sino porque la misma sea capaz de proveerte el tipo de ambiente en cual puedas prosperar, y además, porque ésta agregará un inmenso valor a tu vida. ¡Esto es lo que significa lograr el éxito en el proceso de admisión universitaria en los Estados Unidos de América!

Which Job Search Methodology is Right for Me?

A look at the many means of finding a job today

Today’s job market offers a wide array of job search opportunities. Long gone are the days when jobs were sourced mostly by newspaper ads or recruiters. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of July 2008, there were 3.4 million job openings available across the United States. With so many opportunities available, you need to use the right methods to find one that suits your career aspirations.

When the time comes for you to conduct job search, think about the many possible ways of securing a position. It is not enough to choose just one means of job search, your chances of finding a suitable opportunity will increase when utilizing various job search methodologies.

Here is an overview of some of the most useful job search methods available:

Online Job Boards – This is by far the most popular means of finding a job today. Recently, Beyond.com carried out a poll involving more than 6,000 business professionals across thousands of sites. Their findings revealed that 47% of these professionals posted their resume to three or more job boards. This statistic reveals the popularity, and in a way, the effectiveness of finding a job through this method.

If you want to post your resume on a job board, you will need to create an account and post a text or ASCII version of your resume. Sorting out industries, experience level, salary requirements, job location and many other categories is possible. Post your resume in sites such as Monster, Dice, CareerBuilder, Jobing, Nettemps, Computerjobs, Telecomcareers and you will find jobs suiting your qualifications coming right into your mailbox. It’s a quick way to find numerous job opportunities that you will be able to sort out later on.

Employment agencies / Recruiting Firms / Headhunters – Finding employment or recruiting agencies in your locality, and even ones that service the entire U.S. is easy through the internet and also through textbooks available at your local bookstore. These agencies will do all the peripheral work for you. They will provide advice on how to enhance your candidacy. They will give you tips on handling salary negotiations, and completing the formal contract once an offer is extended. However, you need to check out the reputation of any agency before taking up services with them. This way you will be sure of getting professional services. Beware also of reverse recruiting firms that offer to find jobs for candidates – usually their fees are steep and candidates are responsible for them (as opposed to employers) – these firms could be making promises that are hard to deliver – borderline impossible (and you might be getting into a large financial commitment.)

Job Fairs – This is a very interesting means of job searching because you will come face-to-face with your prospective employers. You might also find surprising the kind of job opportunities available through fairs.

Before you attend a job fair, make a list of employers recruiting at the fair. From this list identify those you wish to apply to. When going to the fair, look your most professional and be prepared for a short discussion / interview. Provide a professional resume printed out in 32lb. resume stock and ask for the employer’s business card. After you complete a round with all the employers in your list, talk with those not in your list. This might open unexpected job opportunities you might have not envisioned to find, and it could help you with your networking.

Newspaper Ads – The local newspaper classifieds is still a place where candidates search for jobs. You can find a good number of local opportunities here. When companies are in desperate need to source a position, they usually invest in a newspaper ad to get more visibility. However, the internet is becoming a more popular arena for finding the right job opportunities, thus, newspapers’ careers sections are getting thinner very fast. Do not be too quick in discarding this job methodology, though. About 10% of all jobs are still sourced through newspaper ads.

Networking This is the one method that no matter what, you need to make a must in your career. As a student just out of high school or out of college, you may find it easier to get a job through people you know, like your friends, your college professor or your school teacher. Just give each such person you know, your resume so that they are aware of your specialization and your skills. Follow leads given by any one promptly. When the time comes for contacting an employer, from any of your known sources, be sure to specify your source as this will work out for you in your favor.

As a seasoned professional, this can be a great weapon for career growth, new business ventures, and achieving favorable negotiations in almost any aspect of your work. Networking can help you not only when looking to develop professionally, but also when looking to excel in your job. This is the one constant you will need and use when well developed throughout your career.

With social networks online becoming increasingly visited by professionals, start registering and making new contacts to expand job search opportunities. Find associations with causes that you believe in, and become a proactive member. Take on leadership roles within non-profit organizations related to your industry or trade.

With all these different methodologies to conduct job search and career development, you will have your hands full of “to-do´s.” Not a moment to spare! Your next career opportunity awaits!

Referred Links:

http://www.rollins.edu/careerservices/jobsearchtechniques/jobsearchmethodsandresources.htm

http://www.employmentmetrix.com/blog/recruitment_trends_/

http://www.bls.gov/jlt/

Social Networks and Job Search – A Delicate Combination

A look at how social networking can help or hurt your job search

By Claudine Vainrub, MBA

Can social networks help you find job opportunities? The answer is a definite “Yes!” However, depending on your approach, social networks can also harm your job search process. There are many things to consider when meeting professionals online, garnering opportunities and presenting yourself as a candidate.

Getting access to optimum job opportunities when you are a job seeker largely depends on the places you search for them. It is vital then, to choose the right sources for finding jobs, or else it becomes increasingly difficult to come across career opportunities that suit your specific skill sets. One of the foremost tools used today for finding jobs is social networking. According to experts, about 80% of jobs are found today is through social networking sites.

Social networking sites can help you to find that dream job by bringing you closer to employers, recruiters and other job sources. This can mean encountering some of the best opportunities to meet the right people at the right place and the right time. Many times, when you search for a job posting in a job board, you can also have a hard time differentiating yourself from other candidates. You might also find it hard to identify postings that suit your specific skill sets. This is because most job requirements in job boards are not too specific, general in natural. This issue is solved through social networking sites.

Social networking sites are the places to find hidden job offers that don’t surface in your regular job boards. This is why social networking sites are more popular as they help employers to get across to candidates they would normally not have come across through other means of recruitment.

The main benefit in using social networks for job search is that you can post information about yourself and do it in an interactive way, to bring out the best that you know to the people looking out for your services. It is an informal presentation of your skills and experience to a prospective employer. Both beginners in the job market and experienced professionals could find social networking sites to work out for them.

Using social networks for job search, is not as cumbersome a process for job searching as sending in your resume, facing an interview, doing a test and in short going through the whole recruitment circle. When networking online, you might find you gained a head start by letting the recruiter learn about you and get interested in your profile. This is a big part of the battle – winning that “personal brand recognition.” You have one foot in the door.

If you are a professional with a specialized skill set, using social networks is the best way to find a job that requires your talents. There are social networks specifically available for certain kinds of professionals in specific industries. For example if you are a professional photographer, you would want to join flickr.com. When using social network sites for job search, take care to put in references as this gets you noticed quickly.

The drawback to using social network sites can be that your personal and professional information is accessed by random individuals. However, there are privacy settings in each site that you can use to protect yourself. Once you register, the networking process takes a while even if you are actively putting yourself out there. This can be a problem for the job seeker in a hurry, you may find this process too slow and passive for your needs.

Since the meetings in social networking sites are informal in nature, make sure to stand out by being very professional and making the best impression from the get-go. Some job seekers fail to read on this point and when they become informal, they risk losing opportunities for productive networking. A professional and formal online identity and behavior is essential when participating in LinkedIn, and even Facebook. Be aware of this before joining a social network – if you are looking for a job, refrain from having an un-professional online brand.

For social networking to show you the best results, you should be informed on which sites to register with, which ones you will gain most benefit from. Some of the most popular social networks that can take you across to the right employers are Linked.com, MySpace.com, Facebook.com, Plaxo.com, Meetup.com and Orkut.com.

So, what are you waiting for? Put forward your most professional image, achieve the process with formality and energy, get empowered to communicate effectively. Complete the registration process, and start getting closer to your aspirations of achieving a successful career move.

Referred Links:

http://www.vicinityjobs.com/tips/using-social-networking-websites-such-as-facebook-and-myspace-as-a-job-search-strategy/

http://ezinearticles.com/?Benefits-of-Using-LinkedIn-for-Your-Job-Search-and-Career-Networking&id=1052139

http://ezinearticles.com/?Job-Search-Strategies—Using-Social-Networking-Sites&id=1411167

http://bhopu.com/2008/07/03/Hiring-Through–Social-Networking-Sites

http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/networking/Will_Social_Networking_Get_You_a_Job__20060911-082016.html?subtopic=Networking+Tips

http://www.rileyguide.com/network.html

First Round or Second Round? Tips on timing your MBA applications

Applying to a top MBA program requires a lot of thinking. You have to put together many components in this arduous application process. One of the tough decisions to make is when to apply. Many MBA programs have three application periods. Some have five, some have only two. However, mostly the choice is between applying for the first round or the second round.

Let’s see what the scenario is like in the first round.

The first round sees some of the best student applications. Those who apply on the first round are candidates with good grades, great work experience and a high level of organization in their activities.

If you are a strong candidate, applying in this round is the best choice. In the article “Timing Your Applications” on Accepted.com’s site, Linda Abraham says “Submit in the earliest round possible provided you don’t compromise the quality of your application.”

This does not imply that you should not try if you are not the stellar candidate. If your GMAT scores are above 600, the first deadline applies also to you. In the first round, the numbers of applicants are fairly smaller. Some people, who are offered seats, reject them for better seats. Such seats can come your way. Though colleges put out a certain number of available seats, reality is that they have many more available. You can get into the extra seats in the first round itself, even if your competition consists of extremely high-caliber students. You will require a neat presentation of your core competencies, decent scores and well-written essays.

Some schools provide feedback to students who don’t get in on the first round. This feedback can be used for effective reapplication. In the article “First Round Frenzy” on Businessweek’s site, Abraham says, “a re-applicant who heeds a school’s feedback becomes an obvious round-one admit the following year”. This is yet another option available for you.

Now, going into the scenario in the second round.

What you see in the second round is a lot of applicants. There are more candidates to compete with. For some MBA programs, they are receiving over 2,000 applications together during this round. Students of the best caliber usually submit during the first round. The kind of applications seen here are of students who generally do well, but could present more weaknesses – although this does vary from school to school and from year to year. More often than not, these are the kind of students against whom you would be competing during this round.

If you have a GMAT score that’s lesser than 600 and you feel strongly that you will do well in taking this test again, opting for the second round in MBA application might work the best for you.

In short, it is choosing which round is best for you as a candidate that works out to favor your application. The one thing that cannot be compromised is the quality of the application. Thus, if applying earlier means sending out an application package that offers less than the best of you, you might as well postpone your submission since your chances to be accepted will be slimmer.

Whatever round you choose, put in your outmost effort in expressing who you are professionally, personally and how you will bring an added value to the programs of your choice. No matter what round you choose, it is your time to take charge and pursue your most ambitious MBA admissions aspirations.

By Claudine Vainrub with references from:

http://www.mbaprograms.org/mbaadmission/7criteria3.asp

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/dec2005/bs2005127_7505_bs001.htm

http://www.accepted.com/newsletter/2004/1004news.aspx#essay

http://accepted.mbablogs.businessweek.com/archive/2005/12/08/1byqs44pwf3vy

What is a successful college application?

How to approach the college admission process

Tis’ the time of the year to get busy… It’s college application time! High school seniors struggle in deciding which schools are right for them, presenting the perfect mix of academics, social life, location, financial aid and future career growth opportunities. College Advisors provide essay writing workshops, FAFSA seminars, career guidance, and all they can think of to ease the pathway towards higher education choices. But what concerns students the most is submitting a successful application package.

Every year, thousands of applications are sent to colleges all over the U.S. Admissions committees looking into them judge each application based on several factors. What are they? Which are more important? Which less?

While many applications are approved, some do get rejected and the rejected students are left wondering why this happened. What made their application less effective that the others? The answer to this is that now-a-days admissions officers are looking for a lot more than just personal style and interests in college application.

A successful college application is one that showcases intelligence, personality and above all a passion for learning. As a student you should bring out your inner personality and not try take up things just to make an impression and get into college. Gimmicks such as enrolling into some special extracurricular classes or taking up some special learning programs are something that professors see through very well. So, it isn’t effective to be tactful just to get admission.

Instead, what colleges seek is ‘Demonstrated Interest’ or real appeal as to why students like the college to which they are applying. This should be presented in a genuine and true way. The reason for such expectations is that colleges are no longer seeking students to join them in numbers. Instead, they want students to seek them out with specific learning purposes in mind and they want them to bring out such expectations in a focused and thoughtful way. In short, they want quality students that value their institutions and learning methodologies.

Start by showing how valuable you can be to the college, what you can give back, and how you will grow from within their institution to become an exemplary member of their alumni. You can portray this through the college application essay.

In your college essay, you need to bring out yourself in a casual way and not sounding clichéd. Professors instantly take to students who project themselves openly, and with a level of mature thinking. Be sure to project yourself as a serious student with good marks in academics, or achievements in sports, or other leadership-related activities where you have excelled. Extra-curricular activities are not as important. Furthermore, if you have not done well in a particular semester or you did mess up things, mention it. Hard as it may be, being honest here does count, rather than hoping the professor will let it pass by.

During the interview project yourself as calm, confident and able to handle your responsibilities well. This may sound like a big line, but it is actually very simple to do, if you organize yourself well.

So, after knowing this information, here is probably the most important professional advice I can give: Be true to yourself! Represent yourself as close to reality as possible, let your personality, likes, aspirations, and vision come through your application. Admissions officers will then be able to evaluate your candidacy and really assess whether you are the right fit for their school or not. If you are not, you will not want to be there anyway, since you will most probably be miserable – this does happen, and it is unfortunate. Put your out most effort in providing the best portrayal of yourself, created with excellence and dedication. The decision will be positive if it is the right fit – college admissions are experts at evaluating candidates, and they will know.

Seek a school not because of its “brand name” but because it provides the type of environment where you will thrive, and because it will add tremendous value to your life. This is what achieving success in the application process really means!

Scholarship for College Applicants and Students

As just published by the National Association of College Admissions Counselors, NACAC, a new college scholarship opportunity has opened.

Provided by The Journal of College Admission and NACAC, the organization will grant US$1,000 to the seven students selected for submitting student-written articles about the college-transition and admission process (the college search, application process, transitioning from high school to college, etc).

This contest is open to high school juniors and seniors, as well as college freshman and sophomore. The work of all finalists will be published in the Winter 2009 Special Edition of Journal of College Admission, entitled The Student Perspective: My Transition Experience.

For more information on how to be eligible for this special opportunity, please contact EduPlan at 1.888.661.8234.