Student Case

What do you say if someone asks you for a job reference, but you only have a bad reference for them?


Kate:
"Keep it classy folks!
Think Southern.
I was put on the spot for a staffer who had left almost 10 years prior and sadly I not only remembered him, but remembered him WELL. Could not wait to get rid of him back then, even subtly put career expanding opportunities in front of him.
The interviewer should have known better than to ask the questions he was asking. He got into some tricky areas that as a former employer would get me in trouble just for answering positive or negative. In some cases I just had to say, “I’m afraid you know I cannot answer that.”
This job was also a really big deal company and seemed like a good fit for him. Enough space to hide and learn if he decided to. I still believe people can grow. Most days…."


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Tips for Applicants

Test tip

With 10 weeks before Round 2 applications drop, you'd better be finishing your GMAT prep. If you still haven't nailed the test, you have 3-4 weeks left before either panic or push to round 2 becomes your reality .. unless of course you are naturally gifted with tests such as the GMAT.
If you are in the final days of prep, do you have a plan for when everything goes wrong on test day? Sound silly? I've had students get locked out of the building mid-test, locked into (INTO!!) a public restroom, lose the mid-test sandwich and even be verbally attacked by a fellow test taker during the test. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face - Mike Tyson. It's super rare to have a problem of that magnitude - thank heavens, you have enough to deal with - but you should be ready with backup plans and a strong way to calm yourself in case of extra drama. If you think it through in advance, there's no need to panic when disaster strikes. Prepare wisely. While you're at it, see my response on a student's question about re-taking the GMAT.

Weird Year?

If you’re feeling down, choose a small project. It could be as simple as cleaning the kitchen or doing yard work, or even washing your pillow cases. Maybe you set a 10-minute timer and go for a short jog, or try a one-minute meditation. Completing a simple, impactful task can build toward a sense of accomplishment.

Application tip

BUSINESS SCHOOL TIP - For Round 2:
Last week you asked for the letters. If you haven't already given your writers their packets, get that done before mid-November if you can.

For everyone:
The schools are experimenting with different essays and short answers again! I like this old one from Columbia. Most schools have something similar. If it isn't on the application, you'll definitely need it for the interview.What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum). Send me your response!

Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a strategy consulting firm.”
“Launch a data-management start-up.”

Extra

Most of us have heard the phrase, "smarter, not harder". It means to evaluate your tasks, and finding ways to simplify them, to make them more efficient. This in turn makes a stronger system, and less work for you.


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