The September 1 Technology Management MBA application deadline is fast approaching! With that in mind, I want to share some really good tips on the application process that you might have missed in the TMMBA blog archives.
1. Preparing for the GMAT
Last year a TMMBA staff member took the GMAT so she could share her experience first-hand with applicants. To simulate the experiences that many applicants go through, she studied during non-work hours for less than two months and used many of the study techniques that we recommend at TMMBA. Here’s a post from each week of preparation:
2. Tackle the Essays
As part of the TMMBA application, you are required to submit three essays, each 500 words or less.
- Why have you decided to apply to the TMMBA Program? What are your career goals in the next 5 to 10 years and how will an MBA help you reach these goals?
- In essay format, evaluate and describe your career using the four factors of the SWOT analysis framework.
- Where in your background would we find evidence of your leadership capacity or potential? Describe the situation and the impact you had on a person, group or organization.
If you’re having a hard time getting started and are suffering from writer’s block, read our 5 Tips For Your TMMBA Essays.
If you’re not sure what a SWOT analysis is or how write one for your career, don’t miss this post: The SWOT Analysis Essay and the Four Questions We Are (Really) Asking.
3. Acing the Admissions Interview
The admissions interview is the final step in the process of applying to the TMMBA Program. Our Program Director, Tracy Gojdics, has done a lot of these over the years (461 and counting!) and has learned a lot about interviewing and engaging with applicants. She wrote this post to shed light on the TMMBA interview approach and what you can expect.
Do you still have questions about putting together your best possible application? Check out these additional video tips and sign up for a TMMBA Application Workshop.
461. This is how many TMMBA admission interviews I have done over the years! It’s safe to say I’ve learned a few things about being an interviewer and how best to engage with an interviewee. My intention for this post is to shed light on the TMMBA interview approach and what you can expect.
First, let me say that I recognize the “interview” can be a bit nerve-wracking. After all, it is the last stop before a decision is made on whether or not you will be offered admission. The nice thing is that there are a lot of articles and advice in the cyber world on the MBA interview. One of my favorites, 10 Tips for Acing the MBA Interviews featured on Forbes (Jan, 2013), is a great, practical overview on how to prepare and what to expect. However, most of the articles are for full-time MBA program interviews and not for a program like TMMBA.
So what is different about the TMMBA admission interview approach? It’s a conversation. It’s a dialogue. No panels. No litany of canned questions. No right or wrong answers. It is simply getting beyond what is contained in black and white as part of your application file and to validate you meet areas of the selection process. It’s as simple as that!
There are three of us on the TMMBA Program team who interview applicants, and while we all have our own interview style we all approach it as a conversation. So what are some things we might talk about during our conversation?
Here are 10 possible topics for a great conversation:
- Your current job and company. What you like, dislike and how an MBA fits in to the big picture.
- If your company has been in the news or has released a new product we might chat about that.
- There is a lot of literature out there about the pros/cons of MBA degrees. What are your thoughts and why do you want to do this?
- How do you anticipate the first quarter going for you?
- Working in teams has its ups and downs. What is the secret sauce for successful teams?
- What are you most excited to learn while in the program?
- How has the application process been for you? What was your favorite and least favorite aspect of the application?
- If you came to a class visit we might talk about the course and what impressions you had while visiting.
- Mentors and role models and how they have influenced you.
- An international experience (work or vacation) and your impressions of the culture, people, etc.
Additionally, there will be time for any questions you have that have gone unanswered. My biggest piece of advice on questions is that if you don’t have any don’t feel compelled to ask something and certainly do not ask something you should know by the time you reach the interview stage (class schedule, courses, etc.).
Lastly, we’ll wrap up our conversation with next steps.
If you have read this blog and you interview with me, let me know and I’ll throw in a bonus question!
Tracy Gojdics is the Director of the TMMBA Program and an alumna from the Class of 2007. Outside of the office you might find Tracy out hiking, running, reading, or spending quality time with her family. Tracy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 206-616-2610.