Archive for January, 2012
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
You may have heard of a song from the early 1980s, “Video Killed the Radio Star”, by a one-hit wonder rock group called The Buggles. The video for this song was the first one broadcast on MTV when it launched in 1981 . The lyrics lament, as the song title suggests, that video “killed” the radio star. With the advent of music videos (and television in general), would anyone still listen to the radio? A point was made that now that people could SEE who was singing the song, a whole new connection could be made between the performer and the audience with a visual element. While listening was great, engaging additional senses in the musical experience helped amp things up.
So what does this story (one that certainly “dates” me) have to do with MBA admissions? We understand that our applicants are scattered all over the globe. We can’t easily meet them all at an MBA tour event or during a visit to the school. So how do we create the opportunity to allow our team to put a face (and voice!) with a name and application materials? The answer: the optional video.
The two minute video is not a requirement for applicants, but it will help us get to know you and bring your application to life. You don’t need to have a video worthy of an Oscar in cinematography, nor do you have to have a budget or a camera person. All you need is a little creativity and a webcam. Take those two minutes and tell us something that we can’t see in your application. Above all have some fun and give us the chance to get to know you better! In this case, be assured that “video” will NOT “kill” the MBA applicant!
(Some date information pulled from www.wikipedia.org on January 31, 2012).
–Stacey Dorang Peeler
Friday, January 27th, 2012
Although our MBA Students are constantly busy with their classes, studies, team projects, and internship/job searches, they also still find time to unwind on the weekends and because of Penn State’s location in proximity to major metropolitan markets, their options are endless.
Staying in the state of Pennsylvania, students are just 2.5 hours (by car) from Pittsburgh and 3 hours from Philadelphia. In Pittsburgh you could visit any of the many famous museums or take in the majestic views of Pittsburgh’s bridges from high atop the Monongahela and Duquesne Inclines. While visiting Philadelphia you can see the famous Liberty Bell, climb the Rocky steps or of course help settle the famous Pat’s vs. Geno’s cheesesteak debate.
You can also leave Pennsylvania for other great cities and not spend any more time in a car or bus. In 3 hours you could be in Baltimore, Maryland visiting their world-renowned National Aquarium or eating fresh Maryland crabs at the gorgeous Baltimore Inner Harbor. In just 4 hours from Penn State you can be in Washington D.C., the nation’s capital. Whether it is to visit the famous National Monuments, Houses of Government, The White House, or the Smithsonian Museums, Washington D.C. is truly a must see for all. Best of all Baltimore and Washington DC are just an hour from each other so you could do one on a Saturday, the other on Sunday, and be back for class Monday morning.
Any talk of travel in the Eastern United States would not be complete without mentioning the most famous of cities, New York, NY. The Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, Central Park, a show on Broadway, The Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, I could go on and on. Only a little over 4 hours from Penn State, you better go a couple of weekends to make sure you see it all.
Of course your options can then multiply if you choose to fly from the University Park airport to your destination, harder to do in weekend, but it opens you up to so much more of the United States to see.
The best advice I could give anyone who comes here to Penn State is to take advantage of our unique proximity to these cities and see them all. You won’t regret it.
Thursday, January 19th, 2012
Today at the Smeal MBA coffee BUZZ, the philanthropy committee kicked off another THON fundraiser. Once again this year, students, faculty and staff will be participating in JAR WARS. The rules are easy. Drop your spare change into your jar (there is one for 1st years, one for 2nd years and a third for faculty & staff). Each cent is worth a point. The jar with the most points at the end wins. However, the catch is that paper money is worth negative points. Thus if you have a dollar, you put it in someone else’s jar and it deducts 100 points from their total. JAR WARS have been a traditional fundraiser in the SMEAL MBA program, and is always lots of fun! Winning gives one of the groups bragging rights for the year, but of course the real winners are the kids.
THON began in 1973 and raised $2,000 that year. Last year THON raised over $9 million to aid in the fight against pediatric cancer. This year, the two day dance marathon will be held February 17th-19th at the Bryce Jordan Center on campus. For more information click here: http://www.thon.org/home. We wish our dancers and the philanthropy committee the best of luck with their fundraising efforts; and we are thankful for the opportunity to participate in such an incredible, community event! – Ann Mallison
Friday, January 6th, 2012
As we approach another admissions deadline the applications are pouring in, as are the questions. Here are some of this application cycles most frequently asked questions.
- Do I need to submit my Official Undergraduate Transcripts before the admissions deadline or can I upload them electronically and submit after I am accepted?
Technically yes, we need your official transcripts for your application to be considered complete. We can, however, make an exception and use unofficial transcripts for a preliminary review, but, no decision of admission can be granted without all parts of the application. That includes 2 copies of official transcripts. So get those transcripts in as soon as you can! Also if you would like to upload copies for initial review you can only do so by emailing them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How do I check my application status?
Our materials are kept on separate servers for security reasons, therefore, there is no place for you to see where your application stands. You must email us and inquire.
- May I be granted a TOEFL Waiver?
We are sorry that the Graduate School at Penn State does not allow TOEFL waivers. International candidates may be exempt from the TOEFL only if one of the following apply:
1. The candidate has received a degree from a U.S. college or university. This does not include individuals whose international university instruction was taught in English.
2. The candidate has received a baccalaureate or a masters degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
3. The candidate is a U.S. Permanent Resident.
These are just a few of the more common questions out there, but there have also been many more. Please feel free to continue ask your questions via email@example.com.
Good luck finishing up your applications. We cannot wait to read them all!
- Scott Sylves
Friday, January 6th, 2012
Your application made it through the first cut and now you’ve been invited to interview. This is a great news—but also news that can produce immense anxiety. A few weeks ago our Operations Manager, Scott Sylves, posted some great pointers in his blog about getting ready for the admissions interview and the logistics around webcam and phone interviews. Here are some additional thoughts that will help you on your way to preparing to give the best interview possible and nip the nervousness before it can get the best of you!
1)Prepare: It’s important to know what kinds of questions will be asked in an MBA admissions interview, and more importantly, how YOU will answer them. Think about specific examples you can give for each potential question. If you do your research you are likely to get a good feel for what your interviewer will want to know. Most schools will be looking for detailed information that goes beyond what they have already seen in your application. You should be able to discuss why you want an MBA, what your career goals are, and why you think the programs you are applying to are a good fit. You may also be asked about team experiences, leadership, companies that interest you (and why), etc. If you can talk with others who have already been through the MBA interview process they are likely to be fantastic resources. (Like Scott said, plan a visit and observe a class if possible!).
2)Practice: An MBA admissions interview is not the time to just “wing it”. Whether it’s on your own in front of the mirror, or with a trusted friend or colleague, you must practice interview technique. A runner doesn’t just wake up one morning and run a marathon. They train, practice, and perfect their skill. Interviewing skills are developed in the same way. If you are inexperienced with interviews or you haven’t done a professional interview in a long time, the practice step is crucial. Think about things you might be uncomfortable answering—or things you might not yet know the answer to—and really hone how you will deliver the information you wish to convey. While you don’t want to sound rehearsed, practicing can make you feel more comfortable addressing questions that you may not have all of the answers to yet. Even the most experienced business professional could get tripped up by an unusual interview question if they haven’t gauged how to tackle the situation in advance. During your practice sessions, make sure to self-reflect. What do you think you did well? What could you improve? From a different perspective if using a practice interviewer, what do you think THEY think you did well or could improve on?
3)Polish: You’ve got an idea what will be asked and you’re confident you know how you will deliver your answers. What else is important? POLISH! Fine tune the little things as they make a huge difference. How is your posture? Are your clothing and grooming appropriate for the setting? Do you have a professional looking notebook to jot down notes and questions during the interview? Have you done a last check in a mirror before entering the interviewer’s office to make sure everything is in its place? (If you are on a webcam, it is STILL crucial to dress professionally and behave in the same way you would in person! If you are doing a phone interview, it is recommended you still “dress for success” to help better present your persona over the phone even if the interviewer cannot see you). While these things may seem little, you hear about them over and over because they are important.
By following these general guidelines and ensuring you are prepared, practiced and polished, you position yourself for a successful and positive interview experience!
–Stacey Dorang Peeler