Archive for the ‘ General MBA news ’ Category

GMAC announce major changes to GMAT

Sorry I haven’t posted for a few days. I’ve been at a conference in London where I learned a considerable amount about what business schools and other media (TV, print, web) are interested in. No short answers there.

Anyway, I turn my back for five minutes and GMAC, the organisation that created and manages the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) have announced a big change. They are including an Integrated Reasoning section from June 2012.

Says GMAC: “The GMAT exam will add a new section designed to measure people’s ability to evaluate information from multiple sources. The new integrated reasoning section will provide business schools with a window into how prospective students respond to the kinds of complex challenges they will encounter as managers in today’s information-rich business environment.”

Importantly, “the overall length of the GMAT exam (three and a half hours) will not change. The new integrated reasoning section will be 30 minutes long and replace one of two essays that are part of the GMAT’s analytical writing section. Admissions officers have stated and GMAC research has shown that performance on the essays is closely aligned, making a single essay acceptable for predicting performance.”

I’m going to look into this. If you have any questions for me to ask the President of GMAC, get back to me in Comments and I’ll make sure I ask. Here are a couple I came up with off the bat:
1) Why did GMAC see the need to include this new section?
2) Isn’t this going to make an already tough GMAT even tougher?
3) What are the expectations for MBA candidates in terms of how to get a good mark?


Interviewing techniques – recognise this?

>Back to the Future Here’s an interesting and amusing little look at interviewing techniques. A lot of the don’ts and some of the do’s of interviewing. Amazing to think that MBAs, or anyone else for that matter, don’t know this but, I suppose, everyone gets something small wrong in interviews; it’s minimising the importance of what you get wrong and focussing on what you get right that’s essential.

Only recently I interviewed a guy who turned up with a torn jacket, filthy fingernails, a collarless shirt (no tie) that was open to expose a nasty looking zit. The guy was a genius, a bit like a young Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd – above) out of Back to the Future, but could I put him in front of some of the world's leading business school deans? No.

MBA careers: the reality

Here’s an interesting article from Todd Rhoad, MSEE, MBA, an American who has spent time researching the expectations and the realities of MBA students and graduates.

He talks about expectations being too high, about accepting the transformative nature of the MBA, about having realistic expectations of what the business school can do to get you work, about the value of networking and the impact the economy has had on recruitment, states-side.

How much time should you spend studying for your GMAT?

Well, how long is a piece of string?

Ironically, some business school admissions people tell me that getting a score in the high 700s (let’s say, 760+) can actually harm your business school application. Why? Because business is not an academic pursuit, it’s a tangible, hands-on activity (usually, anyway) that requires myriad skills and experience. So if you’re getting 760+ on your GMAT you may want to think about taking a PhD and becoming an academic instead. Seriously. Why not? The money’s good. In fact, with the dearth of qualified, top-level business academics around the world at the moment, very good professors are able to command very significant salaries, research time, jobs in desirable locations and so on.

Am I suggesting that you do your best to NOT achieve the highest GMAT possible. No, of course not, but academics rarely make great business leaders. I recommend that you do your best, see what the results are and, let’s face it, the chances of you being 760+ are extremely slim anyway.

To answer the question in my title, here’s what the experts say:

European MBA recruitment bouncing back, surveys show

The job market for new business school graduates remains difficult, but there are clear signs that employers are becoming increasingly confident about the economy. Also they are more eager to hire, according to newly released data from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which owns the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). These figures are in line with the preliminary findings of the QS Salary and Recruitment Report 2010, scheduled for release next month.

According to the GMAC survey, the percentage of employers in the EU planning to hire new MBAs is up in 2010 compared with 2009. 45% of respondents to the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey (2,367 employers representing 1,960 companies in 57 countries) whose firms are based in the EU said they planned to hire new MBA graduates in 2010. This reverses a sharp drop in 2009, when the comparable figure fell to 36% from 44% the year before.


In terms of the sectors MBA graduates are being recruited into:

– The top industries in terms of predicted job opportunities for new MBA graduates in 2010 are consulting and health care.

– Worldwide, positions in marketing and sales are likely to be most plentiful, followed by finance-related slots in areas other than investment banking.

– Employers in the EU are most likely to recruit recent MBAs to work in business development roles, according to the survey.


Employers plan to pay a significant premium for MBA talent, particularly in Europe

– The average starting salary recruiters in the E.U. plan to offer new MBAs this year is €65,419, about 80 percent more than the €36,405 average salary people with only a bachelor’s degree can expect to receive.

– Worldwide, new MBAs can expect to receive a salary that averages €61,769.

Recruitment development

In a particularly positive development for job seekers, the survey indicates that employers are shifting away from cost cutting and retrenchment and paying more attention to growing their businesses. Overall, 60% of respondents said they planned to expand their customer bases in 2010, up from just 49% a year prior. Meanwhile, the proportion of respondents concentrating on cost cutting as a key organizational goal dropped from 66% in 2009 to 57% in 2010.

MBA admissions consultants. Is it cheating?

The temperature is rising. The competition is hotting up (that’s a weird expression, hotting up… I’ve never liked it and won’t use it again unless someone can come up with an explanation as to why we say hotting up instead of heating up).

Anyway, as a result, there has been a proliferation of MBA admissions consultancies in recent years, each claiming to make it easier, faster, better to get into the Harvard, Wharton, INSEAD or London Business School of your choice, followed by a lifetime of vast earnings, luxury and internal satisfaction.

But where is the line drawn between sound advice, which most reputable admissions consultants offer, and cheating, which some disreputable ones offer? There are those who employ a team of MBA experts to pen your essays for you, to get you into the school of your choice, and to doctor your application so that it is, for all intents and purposes, failsafe.

Do not go this route, honest reader. You will be found out. It may not be necessarily in the admissions process, though 95% of MBA admissions people claim to be able to spot a doctored application very quickly. It may not be at the job application stage, though recruiters are very savvy when it comes to spotting discrepancies in your applications. But it will happen. And then the name of the school at the top of your MBA certification won’t be worth the ink used to print it.

There are myriad business schools, catering for all kinds of backgrounds and skill-sets. This blogger recommends that the best route to satisfaction is the honest one, the one where you are the right fit for the right school, where the right professors develop the right skills. This school may be one of the absolute top-tier schools. But then again, it may not. And reputable admission consultants will be the ones that try and help you ascertain which of those schools are the best to suit you.