Posts by Max Pulcini

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Nov 7, 2017 by

What Should You Study? Finance Vs. Accounting MBA

finance accounting mba

Most MBAs pursue one of the FAME subjects in their graduate studies—No, that’s not acting, modeling, or songwriting—it’s finance, accounting, management, and economics. Of those four subjects critical to business, finance and accounting are the most popular among MBAs thanks to the high demand and highly specialized nature of many finance and accounting careers. Continue reading…

Posted in: Featured Home, MBA Jobs, News | 0 comments

Nov 2, 2017 by

How To Avoid Costly MBA Résumé Mistakes

mba resume mistakes

Submitting a résumé is perhaps the most crucial part of every prospective MBA’s application process. A good résumé provides insight into who an applicant is, and what they’ve accomplished. A well-crafted, attention-grabbing résumé that captivates an admissions team can bring an applicant much closer to an acceptance letter.

But aside from a name, contact info, and educational and professional details, what should a slam-dunk MBA resume include?

What Are The Résumé Basics?

Starting with the principle basics, résumés should be short, sweet, and concise. Ideally, they should fit on one page—maybe two. Stephan Kolodiy, an admissions officer at Rutgers University, told U.S. News & World Report that long résumés are a common issue with many MBA applicants.

“Sometime we get a résumé that’s five to six pages long, and that’s way too much information,” he says.

That one-to-two pages of concise information should also be 100 percent accurate—one should never lie on a résumé. Because credibility plays a big role in the application process (MBA or otherwise), it is unwise to fabricate work or school experience. Deceitful, even exaggerated, résumés are always rejected by business schools, and admitted students who submit compromised résumés are at risk for expulsion. This is serious stuff, so don’t lie!

Carrie Marcinkevage, MBA Managing Director at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University, told U.S. News that honesty is always the best policy.

“Authenticity allows you to find the right school and that school to find you,” Marcinkevage says. “Allow them the chance to find the real you.”

Perhaps most importantly, all MBA résumés should provide examples of success. Prospective MBAs should give admissions officers a reason to send an acceptance letter by showing concrete examples of career advancement, or of how an MBA candidate achieved results for a particular client.

“When applying to a top-tier business school, you’ll need to show admissions committee on a clear path of professional growth,”  U.S. News reports.

What Are You Forgetting?

There are also some not-so-basic guidelines that MBAs are encouraged to follow when crafting a solid résumé. Investopedia published a guide reviewing some of the best resumes for MBA applicants that outlines a few tips that many prospective business students may not have previously thought of.

Without sounding like too much of a graphic design nerd, it’s important to take typeface into account with a résumé. Yes, fonts matter. It’s best practice to rely on on two typefaces: A bold sans-serif face for headers, and a standard serif face for body type. For those of you who don’t know, a serif is the tiny extension on the termination point of an individual letter, the little “hat” at the end of a letter if you will.

Serifs exist to make smaller text easier to read, so they are the best friend of admissions offices who may read hundreds of résumés per day. Sans-serif fonts—letters that don’t include serifs—are cleaner and pop easier when bolded out. Résumés should avoid using fonts that are too common, such as Times New Roman, but also avoid ridiculous fonts like Comic Sans. Nobody likes Comic Sans.

Aside from listing relevant work experience, and showing how much growth took place at each job, there are other skills that every résumé should highlight. According to U.S. News, the three skills that can best help sell an MBA applicants résumé to a business school are:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Innovation

First and foremost, business schools want to see strong leadership skills as well as personal growth. All MBA programs focus on developing management skills, but schools wants to know that a solid foundation of leadership is already there. Good résumés provide evidence of an applicant motivating a team behind a common goal, figuring out the best use of other’s talents and skills, instilling a concrete vision, and prioritizing the needs of an organization above personal needs.

As for communication, a résumé is an applicant’s first line of communication to a business school, and should be chock-full of structured writing and thought-out word choice. U.S. News shows the different between a boring resume and beautifully worded one:

“Here’s a real example of a blah bullet point in a client’s first draft: ‘Helped with new software implementation.’

Now, a brilliant bullet point: ”Spearheaded software upgrade in the San Francisco field office by coordinating with software developer, leading training sessions, and facilitating implementation schedule.’ The second example offers a much more comprehensive understanding of the scope of the accomplishment.”

Some applicants may try to hard to impress admissions officers with technical jargon or fancy terminology. Lose it, and show that you can clearly, and simply explain headier topics in writing:

“One client listed this bullet point on his resume: ‘Created VA1 Business Acquisition.’

Once we translated that into something the MBA admissions audience would understand, the résumé said: ‘Devised and launched outbound communications plan for our premier voice activated product. Product was well received and became cash flow positive within 14 months.’

Much better.”

Lastly, a résumé that shows an applicant has helped innovate will go a long way. This piece of advice is especially handy for applicants with traditional pre-MBA jobs. All admissions officers know what a consultant or analyst is tasked with at an entry-level position. A resume is an opportunity to shed light on things that sets an applicant apart from other typical analysts. Things to keep in mind include: training a newly hired analyst, leading college recruiting efforts, or organizing an office volunteering or fundraising initiative.

Avoiding Deceptive Mistakes

Now, here’s where we can get a little dramatic: Résumés are the first impressions a prospective MBA job candidates has with a potential employer. Since no one gets a second chance to make that first impression, don’t mess it up!

Bloomberg issued a list of the “Ten Biggest Resume Blunders” that outlines exactly what not to do with an application résumé, which includes obvious items like avoid writing a bad cover letter and remove foolish typos and inconsistencies.

The list also features some gems, like how to avoid making your résumé a cluttered mess. Again, not to sound like a graphic design professor, but the look of a résumé certainly counts. Avoid using fancy graphics or designs, and provide a crisp, clean document that’s easy to read on a computer screen.

“The résumé should be presentable, not an information dump,” Chris Thomas, Global Recruiting Director of the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program at General Electric, told Bloomberg. “There should be some white space.”

A well-done résumé shouldn’t misfire on any points—bullet points, that is. Some schools offer formats for resumes, specifically on how to list past job experience. Schools like the University of Michigan Ross School of Business advise students to use the “Action Context Result” format, which describes an action they performed, where they performed it, and the results it garnered.

“‘Worked for XYZ Corp., 2008 to 2012’ says close to nothing,” Damian Zikakis, Director of Career Services at Ross, told Bloomberg. “’Led a review of supplier contracts for the technology division resulting in savings of $250,000 opens doors.”

Lastly, a résumé should never disregard an applicant’s worth, nor should it overshare information. As we mentioned earlier in this piece, a good résumé should demonstrate what an applicant has accomplished and what they can bring to a new employer. It should not feature information that, even if positive, is irrelevant to a desired position.

“Think of the résumé as a future-focused document and not an historical one,” Char Bennington, Director of Career Management at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, told Bloomberg. “Focus on what’s important to the people in the career that you want now.”

How Else Can Your Résumé Stand Out?

To help make sure a résumé stands out in the crowd, consider participating in some relevant volunteer work. David D. Schein, the Director of Graduate Programs for the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas, told MetroMBA that adding volunteer work to a résumé. With that said, not all volunteer work is equal.

For example, if you volunteer at the SPCA and play with puppies all day, that probably won’t your résumé or your application. Instead, find “responsible positions that deliver a lot of bang for the time commitment,” Schein says. Find a position that will allow you to spend time organizing a major fund-raising activity or event. It should be something that has a demonstrative impact on the organization and illustrates your leadership potential.

Including unique and interesting hobbies can also be a fun way to illustrate your skills and stand out. Schein recommends that applicants choose hobbies that “demonstrate drive and ambition. Some examples might include white water rafting or learning a difficult foreign language like Chinese or Farsi.”

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

Nov 1, 2017 by

Marshall MBAs Win Deloitte Human Capital Case Competition

usc marshall deloitte

Earlier this month, a team of MBAs from the USC Marshall School of Business won the Deloitte Human Capital Case Competition. The competition was hosted by Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and featured a top prize of $10,000, according to a press release. Continue reading…

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Oct 31, 2017 by

Alumni Gift Supports Chicago Booth Svider Private Equity Program

Booth Svider Private Equity

A University of Chicago alum recently gave back to the Booth School of Business in a big way: Raymond Svider, a Managing Partner at international private equity firm BC Partners, presented the school with a $5 million gift, according to a press release. The money will go toward establishing the Svider Private Equity Program at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

While the Polsky Center currently runs a variety of programs in private equity, the gift will help expand what is currently offered to better suit the increased needs and demands of students and alumni for both experiential and academic private equity learning opportunities. These enhancements include:

  • Expanded opportunities for students to connect with private equity insiders through additional Entrepreneur-in-Residence positions and programming.
  • Enhanced networking and educational opportunities for alumni.
  • Broader distribution of Chicago Booth’s thought leadership in the industry.

“Chicago Booth was an ideal complement—both academically and culturally—to my undergraduate engineering background,” Svider said. “An MBA from one of the top programs in the U.S. helped me gain access to the most attractive private equity jobs after graduation—my Booth degree was an ideal stepping stone, an entry ticket to my ideal career.”

Raymond Svider/Photo via Chicago Booth

According to Chicago Booth, the Svider Private Equity Program has three main goals:

  • Increase the resources available to students and alumni pursuing private equity careers.
  • Strengthen Booth’s private equity alumni community.
  • Build Booth’s national and global brand as a hub for private equity education.

“Raymond’s generous gift will allow us to better support our students and alumni in the private equity space across the globe,” said Steven N. Kaplan, Faculty Director of the Polsky Center and Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at Booth. “The Svider Private Equity Program will greatly expand our ability to offer innovative hands-on and academic learning opportunities to complement the fundamentals of the classroom.”

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Oct 31, 2017 by

Kogod MBAs Benefit from Educational Enhancement Fund

Kogod Educational Enhancement Fund

A group of MBA students from American University’s Kogod School of Business recently attended the National Black MBA Association’s (NBMBAA) conference and exposition in Philadelphia, according to a press release. The annual event featured top-executive speakers, educational sessions about leadership and financial prosperity, a career expo, and an opportunity to rub elbows and network. Continue reading…

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Oct 30, 2017 by

What are the Best Marketing MBA Programs in Baltimore?

Baltimore Marketing MBA

The Baltimore metro is home to over 2.7 million people, making it the 20th largest metropolitan area in the United States and the economic center of the state of Maryland. Best known for its top colleges and universities, hospitals, sports, and professional and financial services, Baltimore is also a popular meeting and convention destination, according to Visit Baltimore. Continue reading…

Posted in: Featured Home, Featured Region, News | 0 comments