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Thirty Days, Three Things: July

Last month, I kicked off a monthly series that will recap three things you need to know from that month’s MBA news. This month, we will continue with a look back at July.

It’s an important month in the B-school world, as rising first-year MBAs prepare to move to campus and a new class of hopefuls takes aim at fall application deadlines. Here’s what you need to remember:

Thirty Days, Three Things: July

1.  Smile for the Camera

Kellogg is the latest in a growing list of top MBA programs incorporating video components into their application process, including Yale School of Management in June.

In most cases, applicants will have about one minute to format their answers to a question and one to two minutes to record an answer.

These video components are aimed at providing a more complete, personal and authentic portrait of each applicant, and they also enable admissions officers to test students’ ability to think on their feet.

When approaching the video application, students should replicate the care taken with personal interviews and pay careful attention to appearance, diction, body language and enunciation.

2. Thunderbird continues to shake up MBA expectations

This month, the Thunderbird School of Global Management made worldwide headlines as it finalized a controversial new partnership with a for-profit education provider, and subsequently launched programs in Paris and Madrid.

The for-profit management company adds an interesting angle to the constant debate swirling around the structure of the MBA degree and the value that it offers students.

As the year continues, I and many others will be watching Thunderbird to see how the partnership fares and what this test case can tell us about potential future strategies.

3. It’s recommendation time

July (and the beginning of August) is a great time to meet with your mentors and begin lining up those crucial recommendation letters.

It’s important to remember that a recommendation is not something you simply outsource to others and then forget about.

You should provide your recommenders with resumes and samples of your work, and meet with them to discuss your achievements and goals.

Additionally, it is your responsibility to make sure that letter is complete by the due date, so make sure that you establish clear lines of communication with your recommender and follow up periodically to check on the status of your letter.

Indeed, don’t be surprised if you are asked to write your own recommendation letter- many students are.

With July wrapped up, we are nearing one of the busiest periods of the year for MBA applicants. I am excited to get started, and I hope you are too.

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