Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Join us for an Information Session!

We're hosting a Full-Time Terry MBA Information Session this Saturday, October 2nd, at 10am in Sanford Hall here at the University of Georgia main campus in Athens. If you're thinking about getting an MBA and/or planning to apply for our Round One application deadline on October 15th, you don't want to miss this opportunity to learn more about how a Terry MBA can help you achieve your career goals. I'll also be sure to cover our application process and offer a few tips. If you've got questions- bring them!

You can view our event schedule for the next few months on our website here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The 2-Hour Job Search

A note from Kerry: Today I'm excited to welcome my colleague, Shannon Caldwell, Director of the Terry MBA Career Management Center, as a guest blogger. Here's are Shannon's thoughts on an exciting workshop we are hosting today.

After seeing Steve Dalton speak this summer in Boston, I’m really excited to be welcoming him to campus today to speak to all of our students.

A Duke MBA and an associate director at the Fuqua Career Management Center, Steve developed this approach especially for the way the millennial generation likes to structure time and work. There is very little truly original in the field of job search advice. Steve’s approach is original. UGA MBAs will be hearing it before the public, since Steve’s book hasn’t yet been released.

Steve’s own words:

“Use your contacts.” “Have a powerful resume.” “Start your own blog.” With so much job search advice online, it is incredibly difficult to decide which advice to actually follow. Distractions and red herrings are everywhere, so it is critical to know how to separate what needs to get done now from what can wait a few days (or be ignored entirely).

The subject of an upcoming book, The Two-Hour Job Search is essentially a “quick start guide” for your job search. Instead of offering laundry lists of tips and leaving it up to you to decide which to try when, The Two-Hour Job Search identifies the most critical steps and provides exact instructions for completing them most efficiently. Spending any less than two hours on this process results in cut corners, but spending any longer is truly unnecessary.

The Two-Hour Job Search was created from scratch using the best practices from MBA disciplines like operations and behavioral economics. It reduces the off-campus search into its three main components – Prioritizing, Contacting, and Convincing – and optimizes each one, maximizing the effectiveness and minimizing the exhaustion of getting from career goal to interview.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Terry MBA Class of 2012 is here!

Yesterday was the first day of orientation and pre-term activities for the Full-Time Terry MBA Class of 2012. After spending a whole year selecting the class and preparing the students to begin their MBA it's always exciting to see them all here on campus in one room. To me it feels like a reunion, but they're actually meeting for the first time.

I'm so pleased with the makeup of this year's class- not only are they stellar students, but they come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Although the majority of students are from Georgia, we have other U.S. students from Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Tennessee. We also welcome international students from Canada, China, India, Nigeria, Paraguay, Sweden, Syria, and Vietnam. These students are going to learn a tremendous amount from each other.

For the next two weeks the students will be completing a Leadership Foundations week and a Career Foundations week. They'll be challenged in ways they could not have imagined. but they'll have a lot of fun in the process. By the time classes start (August 16th) they'll be prepared to jump in with both feet and get to work.

Watch for updates from our returning and new student bloggers to be posted soon, as well as some inside knowledge on the admissions process for this year. If you're not following us on Twitter, what are you waiting for? Get your daily dose of all things @TerryMBA.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shopping for an MBA

In speaking with prospective students on a daily basis, I often find myself educating them on what they should be thinking about when looking at MBA programs. I think people forget that this is a shopping process. Would you buy a $300 item without researching your options? Maybe you would. Would you buy a $50,000 plus item without researching your options? I sure hope not. Yet I often find people making uninformed, impulse purchases when it comes to which MBA program to attend. Yes, my job is to represent the Terry MBA program, but that doesn't mean it's the right program for everyone. We want students who are a good fit for our program; the relationship needs to be mutually beneficial. We want to know what you can add to the Terry MBA community, and you should want to know that you'll benefit the most from attending our program. So what should you be looking at to make that decision?

Academic Strengths Do not assume all MBA programs are the same. Do you want to focus your MBA education and career in the human resources area? Then you should go to a program that has a strong reputation and curricular offerings in that area. Just because a program says they have an accounting concentration doesn't mean they have a good one. Look at the courses they offer, the faculty teaching in that area, and the employers of alumni in that functional discipline.

Program Network You are actually in your program for two years, but you're a graduate of that program for the rest of your life. Many people choose the "best" name or the highest ranked program because they value the way it reflects on their own personal reputation. That reflection is most powerful as you look for your first job, post-MBA. Then its power wanes. While a name can sometimes get you immediate respect, if there's no support for you beyond that name, then you're on your own. Does the school have an active, engaged alumni group? Does that group reach beyond the area where the school is located? Are alumni willing to talk to students? Are alumni involved in the recruitment process? Is there a sense of alumni loyalty and pride? I know plenty of people who went to top schools and felt totally alone. Don't let that happen to you. A program's network is something you should be able to tap into for the rest of your life.

Job Search Assistance You'll notice that I didn't use the word "placement." That's because no program "places" a student into a job. You're not assigned an internship and handed the paperwork for your first post-MBA position at graduation. YOU have to get the job. A program's career services office is there to help. Look for personalized services. Will someone help you with your resume rather than just give you a sample to copy? Will you be able to meet with a career advisor? Are mock interviews available? Will you receive help identifying companies and/or positions to target? On-campus recruiting is great, and so are job postings, but if you're not prepared you're not going to land the job.

Student Experience Do you want a cutthroat community or a collaborative one? Do you want a diverse student community? Do you want to be challenged by your classmates? Do you want to be involved in student clubs? What about social activities? Where will you be living? If you have a spouse/partner, what does that community have to offer him or her? This program is your life for the next two years- you want to enjoy it.

Financing Unless you are lucky enough that finances are not a concern for you, the cost of attending a program has to figure into the equation. Do want to graduate debt free? How much debt are you willing to take on? What kind of financial awards can a school offer you? I find many people rule out full-time programs due to perceived cost without even really looking at the actual figures. Full-time programs are generally far more generous when it comes to merit-based assistance (the kind you don't have to pay back). With an assistantship that covers tuition and a stipend toward living costs, it might cost a lot less to go back to school than you think.

These are certainly not the only things to consider, but it's a start. Here's another piece on this topic worth reviewing: http://bit.ly/c0ztJ3

Bottom line: make sure you get the information you need. Read the school's website and ask questions. You only get to make this choice once. Make it a good one.

Monday, May 24, 2010

GMAT Guidance

When I talk to folks thinking about applying to an MBA program the part of the process that I get the most questions about is the GMAT. People are downright fearful of this standardized exam. Mostly, I find people just don't know much about the GMAT, so here's your two minute primer.
  • GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test. It's a standardized assessment in a computer-adpative format you take in a test center on a computer. You can schedule an appointment online to take the exam whenever your local test center has an opening. It costs $250 to take the test.

  • There are three sections on the test: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing. You will also receive a "Total" score. This Total score is the number on a 200-800 scale that is most freqently referred to as your "GMAT score." You may not use a calculator while taking the GMAT. The test is timed, and the ability to answer questions both accurately and efficiently is key to your success.

  • This is a secure test. You will be fingerprinted and photographed (or other security measures). This sometime unsettles people, but it is completely normal. You cannot leave the testing area to go to the bathroom or get a drink other than at designated break times.

  • You'll find out your unofficial verbal, quantitative, and Total scores the day you take the exam. Your official score report, which includes your Analytical Writing score, will come within 20 days; it takes approximately the same amount of time for a school to receive your report (then it has to be matched to your application).

  • You can take the test once every 31 days.

  • You can download free test prep software for the GMAT if you register on mba.com.

If you think you want to apply to business school, you should plan to take the GMAT sooner rather than later, and you should plan to study prior to taking the exam. Ideally, you want to take the exam once and feel your score is a good representation of your abilities. I've seen many last minute GMAT takers over the years- this does not turn out well. I've also had plenty of people tell me that he/she "took the GMAT to familiarize myself with the exam" or "took it cold just to see how I could do without any prep". This also doesn't turn out well. There are plenty of materials available to help you familiarize yourself with test content and format without actually taking the test, and I've seen many people take it cold only to have the experience completely shake their confidence for a future re-test. Don't wing it. Keep in mind that many test prep services will allow you to visit a center to take a practice exam for free before deciding whether to enroll in a prep class; use that option instead. However you choose to prepare, please prepare.

If you're looking at deadlines and your busy, busy life and you're not sure how long you can wait to take the test in order to make a deadline but still allow yourself the maximum amount of prep time call the school and ask. This is not an uncommon question. We want you to do well, so we're happy to help.

Yes, the GMAT can be daunting, but if you take it one step at a time it doesn't have to be. I know you can do it!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I really meant to apply this year...

OK, so life is busy. Time gets away from you. That happens to me, too; you'll notice that my last post was in January. I've been busy working with the Admissions Committee to select the Full-Time Terry MBA Class of 2012. In fact, we're still not done.

Did time get away from you, too? Did you intend to apply to MBA programs this year but never got to it? Did life interfere? Job? Family? Finances? All of the above? What do you do now?

It may not be too late. Sometimes programs have passed their final deadline but still have space available in their incoming class for qualified applicants. Give the program you are interested in a call to see if you can still submit an application. Be polite! Realize that what you're asking is for an exception. Some programs welcome these calls, some don't. Many will want to get a sense of what qualifications you present before giving you the go ahead to apply at this late stage; be prepared to answer questions.

Plan to make the first deadline for next year. Right now you have plenty of time to prepare your materials for the first application deadlines of next year's cycle. Take the GMAT. Work on essays (you may want to contact the schools to which you plan to apply to make sure the questions will remain the same). Request transcripts. Talk to your planned recommenders. The early bird gets the worm, right? Be an early bird and maximize your chances for both admission and merit aid!

Whenever you apply, make sure your application represents you at your best. Here's hoping you meet with success!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good Advice on Essays

Hi Readers! I know it's been a while since anyone from Full-Time Terry MBA Admissions has updated- please take that as a sign that we've been busy. We just passed our Round 3 deadline- only one more round to go. If you want to apply this year, get your materials in by March 1st!

I saw this article on MBA admissions essays today and just couldn't resist sharing it. If you haven't submitted your application yet it's a must read. Take it from someone who has been reading admissions essays for 10 years- this is sound advice.