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The business school application scares most people. It looks simple enough - take a standardized test, send transcripts, answer some essay questions, get recommendations, and voilą, you're in.

If only. But there's an imbalance; you spend days or months wondering whether to interrupt a successful career to spend huge sums on a business education. You study for a standardized test that tries to outsmart you. You visit campuses, cold call alumni, and corral at least two, maybe three people senior to you to write thoughtful, specific recommendations about your excellence.

To add to the indignity of it all, you have to write a set of personal, soul-wrenching essays that justify your decision to attend the program of your choice. Then, there's the probabilistic evidence that less than 10 percent of applicants to your favorite school are admitted. So, why bother?

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Table of contents

introduction vii
chapter 1: preparation 1
start early 1
there's more to do than you think 2
why business school? 4
reservations 5
applying to the right school - for you 8
differentiating programs - creating your own checklist 11
starting the campaign - go on a listening tour 15
networking 15
campus visits 18
ambiance 20
for those unable to visit campus 21
chapter 2: filling in the gaps 25
stuff you need 26
courses that work for you 29
some relevant links 31
brainstorm with yourself 32
gmat/gre 32
choose the right course 34
chapter 3: work experience 37
career progression: warm-up 38
career progression: why you do what you do 42
career progression: the hero's model 45
how to talk about your career goals 47
reading list ideas 48
educate yourself 49
the resume template 51
chapter 4: extracurricular activities: mining your history for the out-of-the-ordinary 55
outside-the-box hobbies 58
using your experiences to strut your stuff 59
breaking the rules of gender 61
ways to fill in the gaps 62
community activities: giving back 63
chapter 5: the essays 67
character 69
a. decisions 70
b. motivations 72
c. attitudes 74
d. aspirations 77
e. creativity 78
influence 79
a. influencers 80
your influence: demonstration of key strengths 85
a. demonstration of flexibility, poise, and/or maturity 85
b. the skill of persuasion 87
c. mastery 89
leadership 94
relevant links 95
emotional iq 95
a. self-awareness 97
b. self-regulation 98
c. motivation 99
d. empathy 100
e. social skill 102
managing yourself through change and disappointment 103
resiliency 106
michael jordan's last word on failure 107
risk management 110
teamwork 113
followership 120
giving and receiving feedback 122
chapter 6: recommendation wrangling 125
choose carefully 126
leadership story template 128
teamwork characteristic template 130
why business school? 131
chapter 7: prep for the interview 135
practice, practice, practice 136
interviewing the interviewer 142
nuts and bolts 143
get feedback 144
mock interview evaluation form 144
chapter 8: conclusion: what to do while you are waiting 147
network in industries that appeal 148
making the choice between two or more schools 149
acknowledgements 151
about the authors 153
betsy massar 153
francesca di meglio 153
© 2008-2018 Betsy Massar, Master Admisisons, Berkeley, CA. All Rights Reserved.