Posts Tagged ‘admissions’
Friday, February 1st, 2013
Today we welcome guest blogger Michael Brown, who is the Director of our Penn State Smeal MBA Career Services team. Mike has allowed us to share with you his suggestions for successful Skype (and other webcam) interviews. This messages was sent to our current students this week, but anyone can apply these suggestions to any upcoming interview they may have in the future.
We are full swing into the spring recruiting season and many companies are conducting first and second round interviews using the virtual power of Skype. While the technology allows you to interview from the comfort of home, it also presents some challenges that, if overlooked, or not anticipated, could adversely affect the positive impression that you want to make. Take a look at these strategies for successfully utilizing Skype video conference technology.
Ensure proper lighting
Lighting is very critical. Be sure lighting is positioned in front of you to illuminate your face rather than cast a shadow. We’ve all seen photographs where the subjects’ faces are dark due to back-lighting conditions. Be careful of overhead lights that are very bright or fluorescent lighting that tends to wash out your face.
Test audio and video settings
If you haven’t used Skype before, take a “test drive” well before the interview. Pre-test your computer’s audio and video settings to make sure they work. Use Skype’s testing wizard to pre-record and playback your audio. Position your camera so it looks down on you and slightly above your hairline. This will help you maintain good posture while giving you a complimentary camera angle. Pre-position the camera and your chair so it frames you from mid-chest level up.
Business professional will still be the order of the day for most interviews. Solid, dark colors are best. Whites and light colors tend to wash out your face. Avoid busy stripes and patterns, since they tend to look wavy on video.
Although you might be in the comfort of your home, the interviewer can see you in his or her office. Maintain a confident posture with shoulders square, head erect and chin up. On video, avoid hand gestures, as they can be distracting.
Direct your eye contact to the camera not the image of the interviewer on the screen. Just as we make direct eye contact in person, it is just as important for the interviewer to see that you are looking at him or her rather than your screen.
Manage your background
I once conducted a Skype interview with a candidate who had a very ornate wall hanging directly behind her head. It was very distracting and it made her look like she was wearing a headdress. Control the image that the employer sees. Position the camera toward a simple wall background with warm or neutral colors and frame yourself in the shot. You should be the focus of the image, not bookshelves or wall ornamentation.
Set-up a quiet zone
If you are conducting the interview from home, take precautions to ensure that potential noise such as TVs, loud stereos, barking dogs, ringing telephones or outside construction noises are eliminated.
Turn off email and pop-up applications
Additional applications, when running, tend to slow down your computer and could be distracting, especially if you receive an incoming email. Make sure that your video conferencing software is the only application running.
Prepare for contingencies
Skype is not foolproof and audio and video connections on either end of the connection can fail. Be sure to have the interviewer’s telephone number and email address handy. Having a Plan B demonstrates that you are proactive and can save an otherwise disastrous interview.
Delay responding by one-one thousand
The most common Skype or video conferencing pitfall is talking over the interviewer by starting a response before they are finished. It leads to the interviewer repeating his or her question or clumsy apologies. Develop a habit of delaying your response by a count of “one-one thousand.” It might feel funny at first but once you develop the timing, it will seem natural in “Skype space.”
In reading these 10 strategies, there is nothing complex about any of them but failure to prepare for just one of them could dash a promising job or internship possibility. Be prepared!
Michael J. Brown
Director, MBA Career Services
Tags: admissions, business school, Career Services, Community, Interviews, job search, MBA, MBA application, MBA Interview, Penn State, Penn State MBA, Smeal, Smeal MBA
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Friday, December 7th, 2012
Last evening the MBA Association held elections to name the officers for 2013. It was a great night of speeches, questions and celebrations. The MBAA is the governing body for MBA students, and works closely with the administration to enhance our Smeal MBA Program.
A big thank you to the 2012 officers for their hard work and dedication to the program.
- Stephen Dil, President
- Shivani Agarwal, VP of Communications
- Mark Bushey, VP Recruitment
- Joey Ly, VP Corporate Relations
- Meagan Gallagher, VP Finance
- Saloni Asthana, VP International Affairs
- Pat Mazur, VP Marketing
- Stuart Shapiro, VP of Philanthropy
- Peter Wolkowski, VP of Academic Affairs
Congratulations to our new officers!
- Matthew Marshall, President
- Mayur Aras, VP of Communications
- Nate Brodman, VP Recruitment
- Mike Bassani, VP Corporate Relations
- Joshua Mathis, VP Finance
- Ipsa Mohanty, VP International Affairs
- Elizabeth Combs, VP Marketing
- Mallory Meehan, VP of Philanthropy
- Dave Kubiak, VP of Academic Affairs
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
We have received information that some of our international candidates are facing challenges in booking TOEFL test dates. We are aware of the issue.
If you are having difficulty scheduling your TOEFL exam before the first application deadline you can still apply, but if your exam is not taken within 2 weeks of the deadline you may be moved to the next deadline. We will do our best to evaluate your materials as soon as possible but cannot guarantee further processing without a complete application. Even if we are able to process your application we will not be able to make an admissions decision until the exam is taken and score report received. Also please remember we also do accept the IELTS exam if you are able to schedule it instead.
For anyone planning to apply by our 2nd deadline, January 11th, please take this into account and book your TOEFL test (and your GMAT or GRE) early. All international applicants and anyone who would like to be considered for financial aid, must apply by January 11th.
Additional information about testing can be found here:
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
There is a general feeling of stress amongst our students at the moment. Career fairs have started. Recruiters are in the building. Midterms just finished for Mod 1, and the end of the Mod is creeping closer. Projects, presentation, papers and quizzes are occurring each day. As one 2nd year told me this morning, “ I have 4 classes, 4 teams, 2 first-year teams to facilitate, a job search, a GA, a wife and 2 kids. There just isn’t enough time in the day right now.” I think everyone can relate to the “not enough time” problem, but until you are in an MBA program you can’t really understand.
The good news is that our students will get through it all, and do it well. How do I know? Well, I’m sure because it has all been done before. All of the hard work pays off and at the end of the day our students can be proud of all they have accomplished. As the Penn State Smeal MBA Program and the Smeal College of Business, we have lots to be proud of as well. Just a few of these things are mentioned on signs hanging in the Atrium. The #1 ranking by corporate recruiters, top 10 in public business schools (undergraduate and MBA), and our loyalty to our honor code are all indicators of how hard our students work, and the success that brings to them.
Monday, August 13th, 2012
We have officially entered into event season here at the Penn State Smeal MBA Admissions office. Fairs, Tours, Visits and MBA for a Day Events have either started or are just around the corner. Would you like to meet with us in person? There are several ways to make that happen. First, you can attend one of our MBA for a Day sessions. One Monday a month, we host prospective candidates for the day, allowing them to meet the program staff and faculty. During the day you will sit in on a class and eat lunch with our students. Another way to meet with us is to schedule a visit. Our office is happy to coordinate a personal visit for you, during which you may be able to sit in on a class, meet with Admissions and have coffee or lunch with a student. Finally, you can meet with us at one of the many events we are travelling to this season:
8/13 Road to Business School in Boston, MA
8/15 Road to Business School in New York, NY
8/16 Road to Business School in Washington, DC
8/28 MBA Admissions Meet and Greet Dinner in Salt Lake City, UT
8/29 Forte Forum in San Francisco, CA
8/30 Forte Forum in Los Angeles, CA
9/4 Forte Forum in New York, NY
9/4 Admissions Director and Alumni Meet and Greet in Miami, FL
9/5 QS World MBA Tour in Miami, FL
10/10-10/11 GMATCH Virtual MBA Fair
11/10 Inside the MBA Diversity Event in New York, NY
11/12 Inside the MBA in Philadelphia, PA
11/13 Inside the MBA in Pittsburgh, PA
11/15 Inside the MBA in Washington, DC
To learn more about these events and visits, or to register please visit our website: http://www.smeal.psu.edu/mba/related-links/admission/visits.html
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
When applying to business schools, there are many things to consider. One important area of concern is financial. Taking two years out of your working career to return to graduate school is a huge financial commitment. Not only will you be giving up 20 months of salary, you must also consider tuition, books, housing, food and other expenses. Applicants should consider how quickly the cost of earning an MBA can be recouped.
According to Forbes’ 2011 rankings, a Penn State Smeal MBA will pay for itself within 3.2 years. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/95/best-business-schools-11_rank.html
Investopedia lists the Penn State Smeal MBA Program as one of the top schools for MBA ROI. http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0911/Which-MBAs-Offer-A-Good-Return-On-Investment.aspx#axzz1xhLBPmHp
Another part of the financial consideration should be financial aid. The Penn State Smeal MBA Program offers two forms of merit based financial aid awards. Graduate Assistantships are given to 20-30% on an incoming class, and include a full tuition waiver, subsidized health insurance and a monthly stipend. In return, the student works for the Smeal College 10 hours a week, with the possibility of increasing to 20 hours per week in the second year. Scholarships are given to approximately 20% of an incoming class, and are one time monetary awards which are applied to first year tuition. All in all, well over 40% of each incoming class at Smeal receives some sort of financial award.
If you have any questions about financial considerations, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
So, you’re coming to Penn State. Or maybe you’re THINKING about coming to Penn State. Or maybe you’re still doing some planning and thinking about when you might visit us to see if the Penn State Smeal MBA Program is right for you. In ANY scenario, outside of the Smeal program visit, there are some “must do” things that you, well… MUST DO to really experience and appreciate Happy Valley while you are here. Here’s my personal opinion on the “top 10” activities to check off the bucket list as a visitor (or student!) in Nittany Lion country:
10. Drive by the stadium and soak in the sheer size of it. Coming from the airport, it appears almost out of nowhere amidst the foliage. (Don’t miss the very special weathervane on the southwest corner).
9. See Old Coaly’s bones on display at the HUB (Hetzel Union Building). Coaly was a mule (not a person) that helped with campus work in the late 1800s. Although, one of the former university presidents, George Atherton, IS buried on campus. See if you can find his grave.
8. Have a “grilled stickie” at The Diner.
7. Observe the squirrels on campus–and be unnerved about how fearless they are when it comes to human interaction!
6. Climb Mount Nittany and learn about its legend.
5. Listen for the Old Main chimes every 15 minutes while relaxing on the lawn under the legendary elms.
4. Stop by the Berkey Creamery and have a tasty treat. Who do you think taught Ben & Jerry to make ice cream? Really– that’s where they learned how to make it!
3. Have lunch or dinner at The Corner Room or The Tavern—both are historic restaurants in State College.
2. Visit the Lion Shrine and get your picture taken—while you’re at it, swing by the Nittany Lion Inn and check out its beautiful and historic atmosphere.
1. Yell out “WE ARE…” anywhere on campus or in town and see what happens. If you don’t already know, it might surprise you!
Above all—enjoy your visit!
–Stacey Dorang Peeler
Friday, May 25th, 2012
We get a lot of questions from prospective MBA applicants about alumni mentoring here in the Penn State Smeal MBA Program. It seems most individuals interested in business are aware of the benefits of having a mentor, especially when they are in graduate school. That relationship is one people look forward to having, and one that people expect to be facilitated in an MBA Program. What seems to be lacking some of the time, is the understanding that a mentor/mentee relationship is one that needs to be nurtured, worked on and prioritized. A true mentor is someone who knows you well. A mentor needs to understand your history, your goals, and your value system. Often the connection in this type of relationship is made based on at least one of those three things. Thus, it takes an investment of time and energy to build a successful relationship with a mentor. Meeting with an appointed person and discussing your resume do not immediately entitle either party to the benefits of a mentor/mentee relationship. An atmosphere of coaching, feedback and networking usually builds over time. Thus my recommendation to anyone out there looking for a mentor, but especially to those working on your MBA, is to dedicate some time and energy into building a great relationship with at least one mentor. The benefits will be numerous if you dedicate yourself to the opportunity.
Monday, April 9th, 2012
For many of you, that is what you will be asking yourselves in the next few weeks. The pressure is off. You’ve enrolled in the Smeal MBA Program, or a program at another institution. You can take a deep breath and begin to plan your next few months. From the Smeal perspective, I can share what you can expect in the upcoming weeks and months.
First, be prepared for e-mails filled with important information. These messages will include dates, requirements, housing information and deliverables. Yes, I said deliverables. These will range from surveys collecting important information (Bringing a spouse? Special diet? T-shirt size???), to career services document that will begin the journey to your internship. It is worth the time and energy it will take to read all of these emails, and complete all of the deliverables.
Second, if you haven’t already done so, PLEASE find housing. It goes quickly around here, and the longer you wait, the fewer options you will have. Do you have a pet? Do you want to walk to campus? Look NOW!
Third, take advantage of opportunities to get to know your fellow classmates before you arrive. The transition back to school will be much easier if you come to orientation knowing a few people, even if you only know them via e-mail! Our Facebook App for admitted students and our discussion boards on the MBA Exchange are great places to start connecting.
Finally, give yourself some time to breathe, relax and get excited. Arrive early if you can to get to know the area. Enjoy the time before Orientation, because it is busier than you think. The first day of class will be here before you know it and the next two years will be a whirlwind!
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/