Student Case

I just started an evening executive an MBA program. How early can I put this on my resume?

Kate: “You can put it on now. Be careful with your phrasing and how you add it as your current employer – particularly if sponsoring – may not appreciate learning of your job hunt. Even internally, departments …”

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Tips for Applicants

Test tip

When preparing for the GMAT it helps to know if you are a long haul student or an interval student.

Long Haul Student:
You like routines. You can handle the same work every day - the content of the work may be different, but the time and effort it takes is roughly the same. You work regular hours, even if those hours are extreme (7a-9p for example). You have tremendous discipline. You most likely have trained in a martial art or have done serious study - language, literature, science....

Interval Student:
You find routines a bit more challenging. Your day looks wildly different every day. It may seem as though planning a 2 hour session 3 days from now is impractical because you know your schedule will change. You find yourself rushing to finish before deadlines.

Neither student type is good or bad. But ignoring your type is perilous. If you are an Interval Student - which most of mine have been - you need to bring bouts of intensity to your studies with rest cycles in between. Rather than spend 2 hours a day every day, plan for burst of 3-4 hours once or twice a week. But those 3-4 hours have to be MAGICAL intensity for you to get the results you want.Similarly, a Long Haul student won't do well trying to cram in 8 weeks of study to a 3 week cycle. LH students need the time to let lessons sink in and to make the material a part of themselves.Know your style!

Mindset and purpose.

Our lives never stop running out of purpose, but sometimes that can be hard to see on a day-to-day basis. Do you feel like you're programmed to do the same routine, day in and day out? You may need to reevaluate your goals, and why you want them. Try this exercise. At the end of the workday, jot down approximately how much time you spent in each of the three following mindsets:

Job mindset. When someone has a job mindset, they resort to a “paycheck mentality,” performing their duties in return for compensation and not much else.

Career mindset. This mindset occurs when an individual is focused on increasing or advancing their salary, title, power, team size, or sphere of control.

Purpose mindset. Feeling passionate, innovative, and committed are hallmarks of this mindset, as is having an outward-looking focus on serving the broader organization or key stakeholders. Your professional purpose feels aligned with your personal purpose. Keep a log for a couple of weeks and see whether you fall into one of these mindsets more than the others. If the job and career mindsets total more than 50% of your time, that may be a warning sign that you should to restate or redefine your personal purpose.

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Application tip

Question received from a student this week:
I have GPA 1.9 in undergraduation as per conversion table on What minimum score is needed for top B-schools loke LSB, HBS, Stanford, Wharton, INSEAD etc? or the chances of admission in top B schools is completely vanished, whatever is the score in GMAT. I have 8 years of experience.

Given your GPA is well below average for any school in your list, your chances of presenting a strong application are very, very low. HOWEVER!! All is not lost. If you can put up a very strong GMAT and your resume points to your tremendous potential, you may be able to get an interview.

1) GMAT should to be 740+ but 720+ may still get you an interview (if you're a total rock star).

2) You will need to write the supplemental essay explaining why your GPA is so low and what you've done to prepare for the academic portion of business school. Have you taken a Statistics course? Have you taken Calculus? On average, business schools consider your previous academic experience as strongly as your GMAT score - both of which combine to comprise approximately 50% of the weight of your application.

Want my feedback on parts of your application? Add your request here by asking a question. Remember to tag it Ask Kate, MBA so I'll find!

3) 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.

Excercise and get whiter whites.

"Not having enough time to exercise is a common excuse — and the same goes for doing laundry. But a quirky new concept imagines a stationary bike that doubles as a washing machine, giving users the power to work out and clean their clothes at the same time."

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