Round 2/3 Testimonials: Monster Scholarships from Duke, Texas, and MIT

UVA Darden Admit

“I chose to work with Nate, Anna, and the team at Ivy because they clearly stood out from the competition. The team is small, the consultants are deeply focused on the client as an individual, and the narrative approach is unlike anything you will find elsewhere. I was very skeptical about the possibility that I'd be able to generate a cohesive story about my career, which has included three seemingly unrelated jobs. Through the Narrative Bootcamp process, Nate demonstrated an uncanny ability to draw connections between my past experiences. He helped me pinpoint genuine threads of similarity that I would not have identified on my own. Nate and Anna were extremely professional and responsive, and they were a pleasure to work with. Most importantly, they helped me prepare my best possible application, which means I can look back on the whole process with no regrets.”

- White, Male, Top-25 US University, Asset Management

Purchased: Complete School Package


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Duke Fuqua & Texas McCombs Admit

Ivy Admissions made all the difference. My consultants were there to support me throughout the entire process from getting my GMAT up into the 99% range to deciding between offers. I truly appreciated their professional and friendly approach. I felt comfortable with them instantly, and they proved to be an invaluable resource to me during this process. I would not have gotten the scholarships offers that I did if they had not been there to refine my story and push me.

- Engineering/Consulting, White, Female

Purchased: Complete School Package

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MIT Sloan & Berkeley Haas Admit

My work with Nate and Anna was super helpful. The industry I work in tends to be a bit insulated, and it was nice to have my story gutted from the outside. The feedback I received in the hourly service, pushes on my personal narrative, and the reflections I received on my interview answers were applicable across the schools I applied. Their support helped me present a balanced application to secure admission to my first-choice school with a named fellowship and some $$.

- Non-Profit, Small Private Uni, Black, Male

Purchased: Hourly Help, Essay Editing

MIT Sloan's MBA Early Admission Program

Rod Garcia, the assistant dean of admissions at MIT Sloan, announced the creation of a formal deferred admissions MBA program at MIT Sloan similar to other successful ones at HBS and Stanford GSB. In fact, MIT Sloan had for a few years operated a sort of “backdoor” deferred admissions program for college seniors, but this announcement is good news because it signals an expansion of the program, formalizes the process, and take a lot of the guess work out for potential applicants.

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Here are the details:

  • Applicants may come from any undergraduate institution (not just MIT)

  • Undergraduates may apply if they are graduating during the current academic year

  • Graduate students may apply if they are graduating during the current academic year and entered their program directly after leaving college (i.e. have no full-time work experience)

  • If admitted, students come to Sloan for their MBA after accumulating between 2 and 5 years of work experience (similar to how HBS and Stanford does it)

Here is the timeline:

  • Applications due: Monday, April 8, 2019, 3:00 p.m., EST

  • The admissions committee notifies applicants of their decisions: Wednesday, May 8, 2019

  • Admitted applicants must reply to their offers: Sunday, June 1, 2019

The Benefits:

We’ve long written about the benefits of applying to MBA programs while still in college, and all those arguments remain true for MIT Sloan, one of the most exclusive MBA programs in the country whose alumni have founded fortune 500 companies such companies as E*Trade, Hubspot, Zipcar, and Akamai Technologies. A deferred admission offer allows students to pursue much riskier opportunities early in their career, increasing their earning potential and limiting their downside with the MBA offer.

The Bottom Line:

Interested in applying? Fill out our “What are my odds?” link and we’ll chat about building your case for:

  • Why a deferred MBA program is right for you and why MIT can’t simply wait to admit you later

  • What compelling narrative you can write that will help you stand out in a an MIT Sloan applicant pool where 87% of candidates are rejected

  • What specific resources you need from MIT, such that you can’t get your MBA from anywhere else

  • Assurance you can give MIT that you’re not applying to them as a backup to HBS or GSB

The Pros and Cons of a Dual/Concurrent MBA Degree

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An increasing number of business school students are now completing their MBAs as part of a dual degree program that will award them another graduate school degree. Popular dual degree options include JD/MBA, MD/MBA, Master of Public Health/MBA, Masters of Public Policy/MBA, and all sorts of other MA and MS programs from education to electrical engineering. But what are the pros and cons of these programs? 

Pros

Another brand name school on your resume

Attending the Tuck School of Business in Hanover, NH gives you all the access and prestige of Ivy League Dartmouth College. Attending as part of the dual degree program at Harvard Kennedy School, just a bus ride away on the Dartmouth Coach, would give you access to the resources and network of Harvard University as well. If you're only as good as the last school you attended, dual degree programs are excellent opportunities to pump your resume full of brand names and broaden the alumni networks to which you have access. One friend of mine completed the dual program at MIT Sloan and HKS and went to work in China, where his boss inevitably introduced him to clients as "our new hire from Harvard."

Diverse network in two career fields

Attending a world-class MBA program will give you a robust network of business leaders across traditional private sector industries such as consulting, finance, and technology. Adding in a dual degree program in public policy will also give you access to leaders across local, state, and federal government, as well as diplomats, non-profit leaders, and academics. As more of the world's challenges become interdisciplinary, individuals who can straddle the line between the public and private sectors will be the ones best able to capitalize on the opportunities. Or, if you plan on going into a technical field such as quant hedge funds, distressed equity, healthcare management, or hardware start-ups, having colleagues from programs in mathematics, law, medicine, and computer science will give you an incredible leg up against the traditional MBA competition.

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Efficient use of time (completing two degrees in 1 fewer year)

Almost all dual degree programs allow you to complete two degrees one year faster together than you could if you did them separately. For example, a JD from Yale Law School takes three years while an MBA from Stanford GSB takes two. Separately, it would take five years to complete, but together you can complete them in four. If you are gung-ho on attending two different programs already, completing them in a dual degree program is a much more efficient use of your time. You'll pay one fewer year of tuition, and get back into the working world making a good salary one year faster.

Balanced curriculum

Business Schools teach students how to lead others and develop processes that will make their organizations more efficient. Government Schools teach students where to lead and inspire them to spend their lives tackling the most difficult challenges of our times. Other graduate programs confer specialized knowledge that will prove invaluable in gaining the credibility to lead experts.

More opportunities for honors and scholarships

An often overlooked benefit of graduate school is that it provides you with the opportunity to apply for scholarships. These are ostensibly for money, but often come with great prestige as well -- the kind that would look good on your resume. Many scholarships, however, do not accept applications from MBA students, so a dual degree gets you around that. Also, if you apply to schools that confer graduations honors for GPA, theses, or other work, going to two schools gives you two bites at the apple.

Flexibility on when to apply

Not everyone knows exactly what they want to do when they arrive at business school. As you settle in for your MBA at MIT Sloan, you might decide that you actually are drawn less to the engineering, technology, and logistics disciplines of MIT and more to the pubic sector work of government and non-profits. Fortunately the dual degree program at Harvard Kennedy School lets you apply to HKS in your first year at Sloan. And vice versa. Say that you are going through the core curriculum at HKS and decide that you're much better suited to consulting. You can apply to MIT, add in an MBA, and then be better positioned to recruit for McKinsey or BCG.

Cons

Tuition cost and opportunity cost of work

Getting another degree is an amazing opportunity, especially if you can save an year of time and tuition when doing it in a dual degree program. However, when compared to doing a solo-MBA, the added cost of another year of school (in the case of a three-year program) can be daunting. You'll have to pay ~$60k of tuition and fees and forego one year of salary at the starting MBA rate ~$125k. That's a large chunk of money to make up over the course of your working career. Of course, MD and JD students who have already prepared themselves for the long-slog of school see the marginal cost as relatively lower and the benefits of the additional MBA on their future careers is great.

Unintegrated program means extra work of building your own path

Unlike integrated "joint degree" programs where academic deans have established well defined pathways for pursuing two degrees, often bolstered by a steady pipeline of concurrent degree students who can help show you the way, unintegrated programs mean that you have to fend for yourself. If you're not the kind of go-getter who can coordinate with two different sets of graduation requirements and two different registrar offices, this option may be a little stressful.

Takes time away from your MBA cohort

Depending on when you sequence business school in your dual degree program, you may not graduate with your MBA class or spend much time with them after the core curriculum part of the degree is over. This can be a serious downside considering that the network is a key part of value proposition in MBA programs.

Shuttling between campuses

If you decide to do a concurrent degree at two different schools, it is likely that you will have to pack up your apartment and move at least twice in a three year period (notable exceptions include the dual degree program between MIT Sloan and Harvard Kennedy School). For ex-consultants, living out of a suitcase for three or more years might not sound so bad, but for the rest of us this can have a negative effect on quality of life. Even if you decide to pursue two degrees at the same university, graduate school campuses are rarely co-located and so even if you keep your apartment, you still will have to shuttle back and forth across as variable commute (notable exceptions include programs between Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, which are located just across a walking bridge from each other). Of course, if for some reason you would like to be in two different cities over the course of your study (e.g. to be close to two different sets of family, you didn't get into the desired program in your #1 city and are using a dual degree to form a back-up option), this can be a blessing. 

List of Best Joint/Dual/Concurrent Degree MBA Programs

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While a 2-year MBA program is the desire and envy of many a business school applicant, an increasing number of MBA students are now completing their studies as part of a "joint" or "dual" degree program. As far as semantics go, "joint" programs integrate two different degrees into a unified course of study, often housed within the same university, while "dual" degrees often span two different universities and are pieced together by the student.

Kellogg at Northwestern is pretty restrictive, offering only a 2-year dual masters program in Design Innovation, and its 3-year JD/MBA with their Law School. HBS is more open but still pretty restrictive, offering only joint degrees and only with Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical/Dental School, and (most recently)  Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. Stanford GSB is more open, offering concurrent degree options with Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Princeton Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Yale Law School, Yale Medical School, and any of Stanford's other graduate programs from Education to Electrical Engineering.

Top Concurrent MBA Degree Programs

The Best MBA Deferred Admissions Programs (to apply to when still in college)

College is a great time to apply to business school. Applying now gives you another opportunity for admission, a potentially less competitive peer group to compete against, and much greater flexibility on when to attend. An offer of admission from a top program also enhances your resume prestige and hedges your career risk. There really is no downside. Offers of deferred admission usually give students a guaranteed spot in a future MBA class provided they spend two or more years getting business experience (which you will need anyways to get the most out of business school). Here are the top programs that offer such deferred enrollment options: 

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Harvard Business School 2+2

Perhaps the most famous of the deferred admission MBA programs is Harvard’s 2+2, established by its famous former director Lee Leopold. Seen as a tactic to pluck out high-prestige students who might otherwise be attracted by the prospect of law school, 2+2 is now a leading feeder of STEM students, among others, into its rigorous case-based classes. 60% of 2+2 admits come from STEM backgrounds and 20% come from international students.

Students in college or graduate programs (attended directly after college, but not PhD programs, law school or medical school) can apply and defer attending the 2-year MBA program for between 2 and 4 years. To be considered for admission to the 2+2 Program Class of 2022 (entering fall 2020), you must graduate from your program between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018. 2+2 applicants save $150 on the application fee compared to regular applicants.

Stanford GSB Deferred Enrollment

An excellent way into the US business school with the lowest acceptance rate. Stanford actually offers direct enrollment opportunities for college students, however in almost every case this deferred enrollment option is more advisable. Deferred Enrollment is open to those graduating between October last year and September this year from either college or a graduate program you immediately enrolled in after college, as well as current law school and medical school students. In most cases the deferral requested by GSB for the student is 2 years. Candidates for this program can apply in any round, though Round 3 is slightly preferred, and the application fee is $100.

Stanford intimates that this enrollment option is aimed at college seniors who seek to work in post-MBA industries that either require work experience (consulting) or previous work experience in that same field (private equity, biotechnology).

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Wharton Moelis Advance Access Program

The newest deferred admission program on the market! Open only to undergraduate students studying at the University of Pennsylvania, the Moelis Advance Access Program is a deferred admission program that gives Penn undergraduates a guaranteed pathway to the Wharton MBA while they pursue quality work experience. Moelis Fellows access the Wharton network and resources during their deferment period and will be considered for a $10,000 per year fellowship during the 2-year full-time MBA program. Applications open in March with Round 3.

Yale SOM Silver Scholars Program

Truly unique among the “deferred admission” programs is Yale’s Silver Scholars. A three year program, Silver Scholars spend the first year completing the core curriculum at Yale, the second year in an extended internship, and third year taking elective coursework back at Yale before graduation. Extended internship placements include start-ups, government education departments, general management roles in large corporations, and investment firms. Though the Silver Scholar is different in character than the traditional MBA programs, it offers students a “first class ticket” at this prestigious business school that is rocketing up the rankings.

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Chicago Booth Scholars Program

Booth offers two programs aimed at college students. The first is the Booth Scholars Program, which provides fourth-year students studying at the University of Chicago a special opportunity to apply to Booth’s Full-Time MBA Program prior to graduation and defer enrollment for three years. During the deferment period, Booth Scholars are expected to seek substantive work experience that will position them to succeed at Chicago Booth and beyond.

Booth also accepts applications from college seniors looking to directly attend Booth after college. These candidate apply through the regular process, but their application fees are waived.

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BONUS secret program: MIT Sloan

Though MIT never explicitly states that it has a deferred admission program, it does! You can see implicitly from its FAQs, notably

  • "We offer fee waivers to the following applicants:... Current college seniors who are U.S. citizens and who will graduate from a U.S. university in 2018"
  • Q: "Do you offer deferrals?"
    A: "Our general policy is not to defer admission, except in the case of college seniors who wish to get work experience before returning to school."

Style tips for nailing the MIT Sloan "Video Statement"

MIT Sloan is one of the top MBA programs in the country and has caused a decent amount of anxiety among its applicants for the Video Statement required in its application. The instructions are as follows:

Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via a brief 60 second video statement.  (This video will be used for application purposes only and will not be shared.) Videos should be a single take (no editing) lasting no more than one minute and consisting of you speaking directly to the camera. We recommend using an application such as QuickTime or iMovie to record yourself. 

Upload the video file according to the detailed instructions within the application.  We support the following file formats: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv

Should you experience difficulties uploading your file, please ensure that you're using a modern web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) on the fastest wired Internet connection available. An intermittent or slow Internet connection can cause uploads to timeout. 

So how can you ensure that you nail this submission, given that you only have one take? Take a page out of the political campaign manual and study how political candidates sit for TV interviews. Here are a few stylistic tips:

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Set-up 

  1. Choose a plain background -- one in which no movement will occur. Ideally, your background would subtly connote a part of the personal narrative you will discuss in the video. 
  2. Raise your the camera up to eye level. You can do this by putting books under your laptop or using a portable camera. You don't want to be looking up or down at the camera.
  3. Make sure you have a soft light source aimed at your face (e.g. a lamp with a shade centered a couple feet behind your laptop). You don't want to be darkened or have sharp shadows over your body.

Posture 

  1. Lose any Apple earbuds, but ensure that whatever microphone you have can clearly pick up your voice and no ambient noise.
  2. It's fine to use hand gestures. If you do, make sure that they are visible on camera; you might need to bring your hands up a little higher than feels normal to accomplish this. What is critical is that in between gestures, you return your hands to your "resting position". We have the research on what focus groups say the best resting positions are and coach our clients to execute them flawlessly.
  3. Don't sit in a swivel chair. If you must, make sure to keep both feet planted on the ground and resist the urge to swivel.

Delivery 

  1. Speak clearly by enunciating every syllable, and speak a little slower than you think is just too slow. You'll be amped-up and will naturally talk faster than you think. Practice inserting pauses between sentences and remember to wait a beat after you click record to ensure that the video will not cut off the beginning of your opening introduction.
  2. Write in short sentences. John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address was written so that he could look down at his script, pick up six words at a time, and deliver them. This simplicity and clarity of his speech earned it rave reviews.
  3. Memorize the script and deliver it looking directly into the camera. This will feel awkward but it will help maintain connection with your viewer.  Maintain your gaze with the pinhole of the camera and don't break it except to blink. Practice this a few times in advance.

Use these tips and you should be able the make the most of your content by establishing an authentic connection with the viewer.