Archive for March, 2012
Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Often when we speak about our Penn State Smeal MBA Program we include the word community. A few weeks ago, the 2nd year MBA students took that sense of community beyond campus and engaged in a week of Service Immersion. The concept is simple. The week before Spring Break each year, our 2nd year students are asked to find a service project and dedicate some time to helping others. Each year it amazes me how passionate our students are to reach out around the world, and lend a hand to those in need. From State College, PA to New Orleans, LA to Guatemala, this year was no exception. I am honored to be a part of this program, where we practice values of not only leadership, but Principled Leadership.
More about the various Service Immersion projects can be found here: http://blogs.smeal.psu.edu/mba/
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
MBA admissions is a pretty exciting place to be throughout the year in general, but one weekend stands out as being one of the highlights of the year—MBA Visitation Weekend. This year from March 29th-31st we will welcome our admitted students to a three day experience that will show them what it’s really like to be a Smeal MBA. For some, this will be their first trip to campus. For many, it will be a final trip back to Penn State before they officially move here over the summer to start the program in August. For the admissions team, we really look forward to meeting some folks we only had the opportunity to talk with via phone or webcam, and of course, we also can’t wait to see those who we’ve had the chance to meet earlier in the season back on campus again. If you are an admitted student and can’t make it to Visitation Weekend this year, please stay tuned on Facebook during the weekend as we will post commentary and pictures from the events in real time. If you are planning to apply next year, our Visitation Weekend Facebook page is a great resource for you as well. It’s never too early to get an insider’s view of the program!
–Stacey Dorang Peeler
Friday, March 9th, 2012
Monday all of our MBA students will make their way back to Smeal and to 220, after 2 weeks away and things just haven’t been the same without them.
Our first year students are returning back from their Global Immersion trips and Spring Break adventures all over the globe. We purposely coordinate our Global Immersion Week to precede Penn State University’s spring break for just that reason. We figure as long as our students are across the globe they should take their extra time (if feasible for them) and see other areas as well.
Our second year students are returning from Service Immersion Week and helping out not only the local community, but communities around the US and in other countries. After that they enjoyed what will likely be their final “Spring Break” as it is not something offered at most Fortune 500 companies.
Here in 220 it has been business as usual over the last 2 weeks only with quieter hallways and more available parking spaces. But we look forward to seeing everyone again, hearing their stories from break, and hitting the ground running on another semester.
-Scott R. Sylves
Friday, March 2nd, 2012
Each year as we review applications we come across gaps in applicants’ resumes, and often these gaps lead to questions in an interview asking for an explanation. Answers vary from family and personal issues, to professional decisions or training. Usually, these reasons are easily explained and acceptable to admissions committees and corporate recruiters.
Lately, we have seen an increase in the number of people who have told us that they decided to stop working for a period of time in order to prepare for their MBA application process. They used the time to study for tests such as GMAT and TOEFL, and to complete their MBA applications. The amount of time they choose not to work can last up to one year.
However, the Penn State Smeal MBA Program recommends that candidates do not quit working with the sole intent of preparing for the MBA admissions process. This recommendation stems from three main reasons:
1) The most important reason is that recruiters who hire MBAs look at past work experience when hiring for internships and full-time placement. Recruiter feedback says that the more work experience you have prior to your MBA, the more qualified you most likely are for their positions. Students, especially international students looking for sponsorship, are putting themselves at a disadvantage in the hiring process if they are choosing to lose out on months or a year of work experience prior to their MBA.
2) The ability to study and prepare for MBA admissions while holding full-time work shows the applicant’s ability to successfully multi-task and prioritize. MBA will be the busiest 2 years of your life. If you are unable to manage working and the admission process, it leads us to question your ability to handle the workload of the program.
3) Admissions committees compare the quantity and quality of work experience among candidates. Those who take a year off to study lose out on promotions, teamwork opportunities and leadership experiences. The quality of your application decreases when you chose to take a year off simply to study.
We hope this explanation helps candidates make informed decisions when planning for MBA preparation. We want to give every candidate the best chance of admission and placement. We wish you the best of luck, and we hope to meet you in the near future!
-Ann Mallison, MBA ‘02