Posts by Metro MBA

May 18, 2017 by

Admissions Tip: Volunteer Experience

Admissions Tip: Volunteer Experience

It’s the time of year when MBA applicants aiming for fall 2018 intake are beginning to think about the admissions process, which is why we wanted to focus this week’s admissions tip on one element of the application that candidates often underestimate: volunteer experience.

In order to understand why this category is important, candidates should keep in mind that the adcom is responsible for crafting a dynamic class each year. The aim is to admit individuals who will support a vibrant campus community and step into leadership positions. In other words, as admissions officers consider each applicant, they ask themselves “what’s in it for our school?” An applicant who has previously demonstrated a talent for writing, for example, by contributing to a nonprofit’s newsletter, will really catch the adcom’s attention if she also expresses her intent to contribute to a specific publication on campus.

Schools are also interested in admitting well-rounded candidates, not simply candidates that have performed well at work and in their academics, but have expanded their involvement in other activities. They seek students with good values and those who volunteer in their community demonstrate their good citizenship.

Volunteering is of course a great way to expand one’s extracurricular involvement. While, many applicants participate in the occasional fundraising walk or an annual corporate outreach day; those who demonstrate ongoing involvement in one cause or organization will be of special interest to the admissions committee, especially if it is related to their current or future career. A candidate who has contributed over a longer period is likely to have developed his or her responsibilities beyond ladling soup or stuffing envelopes. What’s more, this can be a particularly important opportunity for applicants who are currently living and working outside of their home countries; for example, an Indian applicant who works and volunteers in Africa will stand out as being particularly engaged and well adapted to his or her foreign environment.

It is also important to be involved in something about which you are passionate. Passion will help in a couple of ways, it will mean that you will commit more time to the endeavor, it will also mean that you will be more likely to take on a leadership role. Thus, if you are passionate about animal welfare then volunteering at an animal shelter, or lobbying in Washington, DC to help shape future legislation, will be far more interesting to the adcom than if you intermittently volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Candidates who are older or younger than the average applicant should recognize that their extracurricular involvement is particularly important. A younger applicant who lacks leadership responsibilities at work might demonstrate his talent for motivating others outside of the office. Meanwhile, older applicants can use their extracurricular involvement to reassure the adcom that, despite family responsibilities or distance in age from one’s classmates, the broader life of the community remains important to them.

The majority of candidates who apply to top schools are admissible, they have good work experience and strong academic numbers. Oftentimes it is what they do during their volunteer experiences and extra-curricular activities that help separate strong applicants. If you feel this aspect of your candidacy is relatively weak, then increase your involvement now. While it is never too late, you should also recognize that the adcom will be skeptical of a candidate who has no tradition for volunteering, but starts 6 months before the application is due. Remember that it is important that your volunteer work appears to be genuine.

Lastly, applicants will have a much easier time writing their application essays if they have a variety of experiences from which to draw. While applicants can certainly respond to most essay prompts by reflecting on their professional experiences, relying exclusively on one’s work is a mistake. With each essay, the applicant should aim to share a different side of him or herself—submitting five essays about electrical engineering or investment banking is not the most effective way to do this.

We hope that this sheds some light on the opportunities and value that activities outside of work provide with respect to one’s b-school candidacy and applications.

This article has been edited and republished with permissions from Clear Admit.

Posted in: Advice, Featured Home | 1 comment

May 16, 2017 by

Expand Your Career Opportunities With The Cal State MBA

Career Opportunities Cal State

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Experienced managers with an eye for sustainability should take note of the Saturday Master of Business Administration (SMBA) degree at the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) business school. Focusing on sustainable practices for both domestic and international businesses, the CSULB SMBA gives management students a more direct path towards future business success.

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Posted in: Featured Home, Featured Region, Sponsored Content | 0 comments

May 9, 2017 by

MBA Admissions Tip: Going Beyond School Websites

School Websites

As the 2016-17 MBA application season draws to a close, we now turn our attention towards admissions advice for those targeting 2018 entrance to business school. To celebrate this move, we are hosting a series of 10 chats that will be hosted on alternating Wednesdays at 10 a.m., beginning this Wednesday, May 10th. In the meantime, for today’s admissions tip, we focus on how to reach out to the b-schools in which you are interested beyond just visiting the school websites.

Communicating with b-school insiders can be beneficial for a number of reasons: In addition to researching a business school and your potential fit, you’ll also generate material for your essays, demonstrate your interest in the program, and perhaps even make an ally or two. In your efforts to go beyond the schools’ websites and promotional materials, we recommend reaching out to individuals in a few key groups:

Current Students

People who are currently enrolled in a given program can obviously provide the clearest picture of the present state of the school community. They are often more capable of evoking their school’s overall culture than brochures put out by the admissions offices and can describe to prospective students the ins and outs of academic and extracurricular options. In addition to reaching out to friends and acquaintances who are studying at a given school, it’s also wise to get in touch with the leaders of clubs and programs in which you are interested (their contact information is generally available through the website). This will help you to understand the impact you could make while on campus and provide a sounding board for the ideas you plan to share with a certain student group or organization.

Alumni

While students offer a great view of the program itself, a school’s alumni can often provide the best perspective on just how far an MBA from a given program can get you in a certain field. Meeting with alumni working in your target post-MBA industry (tracking them down either through your own network or school-sponsored events) may help you anticipate the program’s strengths and weaknesses in setting you on the right professional course. You might also gain some valuable insight that will help you to refine your career goals and better understand what short-term position would best prepare you for your long-term plan.

Faculty

The professors at business school tend to be a bit less accessible than students and alumni, but if you’ve identified someone whose research interests match yours or sat in on a class that you found particularly intriguing, there’s no harm in sending a note to let the faculty member know that you find his or her work appealing and would like to speak if possible. The individuals responsible for designing and teaching the curriculum can offer great insight into the specific skills and lessons you would learn from one class to the next and help you to refine your understanding of the ways that an MBA would bridge the gap between your current skills and those you will need to achieve your goals.

Aspirants to the Class of 2020 should consider each of these options in the months ahead. Not only are many individuals quite pleased to discuss their experiences with prospective students, admissions committees also like thoroughly informed applicants (of course in all cases, patience and manners are of great importance).

For more tailored guidance on what sort of programs you might consider, please fill out this form for a free initial consultation with our partners over at Veritas Prep. As experts in the field for more than a decade, Veritas Prep is uniquely equipped to help you become a ‘Clear Admit’ at your dream school. Also, consider reading the Clear Admit School Guides. If you’re just getting started, save time navigating schools’ websites by downloading our free School Snapshots for objective overviews of top programs.

This article has been edited and republished with permissions from Clear Admit.

Posted in: Admissions Tips, Advice, Featured Home | 0 comments

May 1, 2017 by

St. Thomas Is Transforming Healthcare Business Education With The MCTM

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At first glance, a career in medicine—whether in a laboratory, clinic, or hospital—and a career in business appear to have little in common. However, that’s not the case. According to the most recent 2016 mba.com Prospective Students Survey completed by the Graduate Management Admission Council, 8 percent of MBAs ended up with a job in Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals.

There’s just one problem with that. An MBA is a large commitment, and the cost can be too high for many potential candidates who have already gone through years of schooling to earn their MD or Ph.D. For others, the potential ROI of an MBA isn’t worth the time required to be spent outside of work.

The good news is there’s another option available from the University of St. Thomas Cameron School of Business: a Master’s in Clinical Translation Management (MCTM).

Master in Clinical Translation Management (MCTM)

“The MCTM program offered at the University of St. Thomas is truly one-of-a-kind,” said Dr. Beena George, Dean of the University of St. Thomas’ Cameron School of Business. “It is a technology commercialization program focused on the life sciences and is managed by a business school. Students get deep exposure to all facets of the clinical translation process because of our close collaboration with Houston Methodist Research Institute.”

What Is Clinical Translation Management?

So, what exactly is a Master’s in Clinical Translation Management? First, you need to understand clinical translation, which is the process of turning basic discoveries that occur in laboratories into usable drugs, medical devices, or clinical processes.

“This commercialization process is highly regulated and capital-intensive, and requires business expertise to achieve the desired goals,” explained Dr. George. “As an example, drug development can cost upwards of one billion dollars and take over ten years to reach the market, representing staggering investments in capital and human resources. Many of these development projects fail along the way, and pharmaceutical companies are raising the price tags in return for taking on higher risks. To avoid such failures and bring therapies and products to clinical use faster, a combination of scientific knowledge and business expertise is necessary.”

It’s a quickly growing field that requires a deep knowledge of biotechnology as well as business and regulatory savviness, all necessary to assess a product’s commercial potential and to navigate the pathway of clinical translation. “The MCTM program endows students with a solid understanding of the unmet needs of the biotech sector,” said Dr. George.

Where do Clinical Translation Manager’s Work?

There are many different types of organizations looking for people to fill their clinical translation needs. Examples include:

  • Pharmaceutical and biomedical device firms such as GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and Medtronic, Inc.
  • Technology transfer offices at research organizations
  • Life sciences management consulting firms

As for the reason behind the program’s existence, “It responds to a global need to make the translational process faster and more efficient,” explained Dr. George. “It also addresses a regional need. Much research in the life sciences area is done at and near the Texas Medical Center and in Houston. The business/commercialization talent required to support the development of a life sciences industry in this region would contribute positively to the economy.”

Who Should Apply for the MCTM Program?

The MCTM Program is ideal for anyone currently working in a medical, research, or science position. “It’s for the individual who is committed to bringing therapies and products to markets faster and passionate about addressing the inefficiencies in the process,” Dr. George said.

And while undergraduate students aren’t barred from attending, admissions decisions are based on your work history, meaning that those who would receive the greatest benefit are those who already have professional experience. In particular, the MCTM Program would be highly beneficial to individuals who already have a post-doctorate degree—either an MD or Ph.D.

If you’re in healthcare and looking to expand your business acumen, then this is the program for you. “It allows students to bridge the worlds of science and healthcare in a way that is innovative and creative, allowing graduates to explore a range of careers spanning the management of clinical trials to various business roles,” Dr. George explained.

MCTM Program Outline

One of the greatest benefits of the MCTM Program is the fact that it’s completely online with the exception of 4 weeks of residency.

“Technology today enables educators to develop and deliver interactive and adaptive learning programs that maximize the learning outcomes for each student,” described Dr. George. “At the same time, it allows a level of convenience and flexibility that maximizes access for students anywhere.”

And the residency complements the online coursework, allowing students to reap the benefits of exposure to experts and technology in Houston and locations in Europe.

As for the coursework, it’s divided into easily digestible categories:

  • Clinical Translation Process
  • Marketing & Management
  • Financial Management
  • Ethical & Regulatory Issues

And at the end of the program, every student completes a capstone project that requires a completed business plan to shepherd research discoveries from the lab to clinical care. Some of these capstone projects have included: liver transplant assessment makers, wearable brain stimulators, and a bone regeneration device.

“Working under the guidance of faculty advisors with regulatory and business expertise, students will work on translational projects to develop the regulatory and commercialization strategies for the projects,” said Dr. George. “The program brings together coursework, practical experience, and opportunities to connect with the right networks to offer a learning experience that few programs would be able to match.”

MCTM Medical Partnerships

Many of the unique learning experiences available from MCTM are because of the Program’s partnerships with the Houston Methodist Research Institute as well as healthcare and biotech organizations in Europe. It’s through these partnerships that students have the opportunity to:

  • Access a global and collaborative network of faculty who are experts in their fields.
  • Attend seminars and didactic programs in areas of clinical and translational research.
  • Explore translational research strategies and infrastructure that move medical research from concept to cure.

“Our partnership with the Houston Methodist Research Institute gives our students the opportunity to hear from the most respected experts in the field,” explained Dr. George. “It also gives our students access to networks and resources that deepen their understanding of the field and helps build their knowledge and skills to enter this area of business. We also offer students exposure to the European life sciences industry by leveraging out connections with an exchange partner in France.”

Apply Now

If you’re interested in the exciting and growing field of Clinical Translation Management, the Cameron Business School is now accepting applications for their fall class. You can find the basic admission requirements are on the University of St. Thomas website. Your application will be evaluated as whole, with an interview allowing the school to judge your interest and commitment.

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Apr 25, 2017 by

Admissions Tip: Reapplying to Business School

Reapplying

With many MBA programs getting close to being ready to release their final round decisions, the application season will soon be coming to a close.  While we would like to hope that today’s topic isn’t apropos for too many of our readers, we wanted to offer some advice to applicants who’ve been rejected from their preferred programs and are planning on reapplying next season. While it’s important to take some time to deal with the disappointment, it’s never too early to begin thinking about the next season, and there are a number of steps you can take to improve your candidacy and move toward a stronger application.

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Apr 19, 2017 by

Admissions Tip: Welcome Weekends

Welcome Weekends

It’s April, which means that the majority of leading programs will be hosting business school welcome weekends for those candidates that they have admitted during their first two admissions rounds. These “sell” weekends are very important for the schools as part of their push to encourage those that they have admitted to enroll. They know that many of their admitted students have options to go elsewhere, or are now considering the financial aspects of the program and concerned as to whether it is an economically viable option.

If you were fortunate enough to gain admissions to an elite MBA program, this post is for you. We explain the importance of attending welcome weekends and what you should want to learn.

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