Student Case

Is it worth paying 40k a year for an Ivy League level education if you can study for free in your home country?

Kate:Really depends on your objective. If you want to be a mechanical engineer, get your basics covered in Germany for free. If you later decide to do something revolutionary, you’ll join a specific program or firm and …"

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Tips for Applicants

Test tip

GMAT TIP - With 15 weeks before Round 2 applications drop, now is the time to optimize your scores. Remember, a strong GMAT will help your adcom get past a weak GPA or more limited career experience.

Pacing is incredibly important for maximizing your score. Use this guideline as you study and take the exam: 8 questions every 15 minutes. On verbal you should move a little faster if you have a chunk of Sentence Correction, but getting your body trained to feel 15 minutes and know that you must answer 8 (or more) questions in that time is a useful trick for test day. My students are asked to do all OG work with that pace.

Knowing and Understanding.

“Knowing” and “understanding” are related concepts, but they’re not the same. Each is a distinct mental state involving cognitive grasp: Knowing is static, referring to discrete facts, while understanding is active, describing the ability to analyze and place those facts in context to form a big picture.
understand = flexible
knowing = inflexible
critical thinking is the ability to understand
current school modes and reward systems push knowing over understanding.
A liberal arts education is supposed to push critical evaluation skills, but now, often, increases what students believe they "know" rather than their ability to understand.
This is more than simply context matters, though, clearly context does matter. Absolutes as they pertain to human choices are dangerous and the evidence of weak, childish minds.

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Your Stoicism Cheat Sheet.

People are not disturbed by events, but rather by their judgments about events.” Events are neither good nor bad; your interpretation of them is good or bad.

It's critical to know what you can control and what you can't. The only thing you ever really have control over is your deliberate thoughts. When you get frustrated over something you cannot control (which is most things) you're pretending you're God.

Marcus Aurelius wrote:

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness...

Don't want to be surprised, be prepared.

Application tip

Think you can manage a team well?
Try this exercise.

Focus on the ways your team members interact with each other, the boss and any guests. Who is confident? Who is bluffing? Who is a lot smarter than you thought? Who isn’t? The bigger the meeting the more information you can collect.It’s helpful to watch the other folks in the meeting so you can understand how to better work with them or work with people like them. You’ve got another 40+ years of work left; you’ve got 40 years of managing people and their sometimes crazy expectations.

Pay attention to the procedural aspect of the meeting. No kidding. You can tell a lot about how an organization runs by watching the way they conduct meetings. Are yours very formal? Everyone on time? Is there an agenda? Do speakers stick to it? Or do people comment whenever? Do they come and go from the meeting as though they’re trying to be in multiple places at once? Are people using their devices? Consider how you would run the meeting if it were up to you.Bonus points: once you have a feel for how meetings in your organization are run, develop your own plan and put it into play. Try your meeting style among your peers or with your boss. You should get permission from folks before you smack your meeting magic on them.How do they react to you? How would you conduct the next one? Do it again! Don’t wait until you’re called on to host the meetings, take some initiative, start driving the agenda and hosting the meetings. It’s the only way to begin to capture your time back from the meeting monsters. It’s easier and harder than oyu might expect to have solid, productive meetings. Start getting practice sooner rather than later.
Last but not least, try a subtle drinking game- coffee, tea or water please! Pick a word or phrase you expect to be over-used: “at the end of the day” even though we’re clearly not talking about the physical end of any particular day, “Out of the box” - hey the 80s called they want their phrase back, “Bleeding edge” because if we’re talking about it at a meeting, the body is already cold. You get the idea. Pick a phrase and take a sip every time it is used. If you can’t have a productive meeting, at least have an entertaining one.Be ready to race to the restroom when the meeting finishes.
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