Thursday, November 20, 2014

Movin' On Up!

Rice MBA ranked No. 25 in US

Rice MBA program moves up 9 in
Bloomberg Businessweek's national ranking
HOUSTON – (Nov. 11, 2014) – The Master of Business Administration program at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business is ranked No. 25 (up from No. 34 in 2012) in Bloomberg Businessweek's new ranking of the best full-time MBA programs in the nation.

The rankings include 85 U.S. schools and 27 international schools. To determine which business schools offer the strongest education and best prepare MBAs for their careers, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked 112 full-time MBA programs on three measures: a survey of student satisfaction (45 percent of the ranking); a survey of employers who hire those graduates (45 percent); and the expertise of each school’s faculty, measured by faculty research in esteemed journals (10 percent).

The biggest contributor to the Jones School's rise in the overall rankings was the positive assessment by employers who hire the school's graduates, with employers and recruiters ranking the program No. 31 this year (up from No. 43 in 2012). Intellectual capital also rose to No. 12 (up from No. 21 in 2012).

The Rice MBA Full-Time Program provides students with a comprehensive MBA learning experience that combines specialized course work and real-world experience to improve and amplify their strategy, leadership and creative credentials. The program features innovative classes, expert faculty and a diverse group of candidates who often become colleagues for a lifetime.

The Jones Graduate School of Business is consistently recognized by several rankings publications for its programs, including the Rice MBA, Rice MBA for Executives and Rice MBA for Professionals. For more information on Rice MBA programs, visit http://business.rice.edu.

To view the complete Bloomberg Businessweek rankings and methodology information, visit www.businessweek.com/14/rankings.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

JGSB faculty research finds that "disgust may lead to unethical behavior..."

...but there's a way to wipe the slate clean.

Faculty Focus
At the Jones School, MBA candidates are taught by preeminent scholars who are fascinated by the ideas that help leaders become more thoughtful, strategic and effective. These professors are at the forefront of their fields and have an “open-door policy” for students, giving Jones MBA candidates direct access to some of the best minds in business research.

Faculty Focus is our new blog feature that highlights some of the latest research from these faculty members.

Vikas Mittal
J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing
Vikas Mittal, J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing and head of the Jones School’s Energy Initiative, has been studying the interplay between emotions and decision-making for much of his career. It’s an important consideration for business leaders and managers, who make decisions, small and large, that affect their company’s strategic direction and bottom line, while also leading decision-making employees and teams.

Mittal’s latest research explores how disgust influences ethical behavior. And though the results aren’t pretty, cleaning up the mess is possible.

It doesn’t take much to disgust people. Just watching a gross scene from a movie or thinking about products like diapers can elicit the emotion. And when people feel disgusted, they respond by doing things to take care of themselves, like moving away from the disgusting situation, for example. But can this disgust-triggered self-protection go too far?

It turns out that it can.

Mittal and team conducted various experiments that elicited disgust in participants and then explored their willingness to engage in unethical behaviors, like lying. Disgusted people were far more prone than their neutral counterparts to lie and cheat for personal gain. But the researchers didn’t stop there. They also showed that cleansing behaviors, even cleansing thoughts, could return the disgusted participants to emotional and behavioral neutrality, wiping away the negative impact of disgust.

The findings are important for current and aspiring leaders. Thoughtful leaders can use the information to become more mindful of their emotional states and their impact on ethical and unethical decisions and behaviors. They can also understand the power of environments on themselves and their employees.

More details of Mittal’s research can be found on the Jones School website. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Admissions Deadlines: What do they mean?

Katie Radcliffe
Associate Director of Admissions
With the Round 1 application deadline two weeks behind us, you may be wondering what to make of all of these dates.  Here are my answers to some frequently asked questions about deadlines:

Q: Are the application deadlines the same for all three MBA programs (Full Time, MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives)?
A: Applications to the Full Time MBA program are evaluated in four decision rounds. This means that, based on when you submit your completed application package, your application will be evaluated in the corresponding round.

Applicants to the MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives programs are evaluated on a rolling basis.  This means that the evaluation process will begin immediately when your application package is complete, regardless of when you submitted.

Q: What do the decision dates mean?
A: As Full Time applications are evaluated in rounds, each round comes to an end on the corresponding decision date.  All applicants to the Full Time program will be made aware of their admissions decision on the same day--the decision date--by phone call or email.  For example, if you have submitted your complete application package on or before Monday, January 5th, 2015, you will receive your admissions decision on Friday, February 27th, 2015 (and not a day sooner).

Applicants to the MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives program will be made aware of their admissions decision roughly 4-6 weeks after they have submitted all of their application materials.  
 
Q: I will not be able to submit one or two parts of my application before the deadline.  Can I still be considered in the current decision round?
A: With rare exception, a Full Time MBA applicant will only be considered in the current round if their completed application, essays, resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, and optional video have been submitted on or before the corresponding deadline.  If you have an extenuating circumstance that will prevent you from submitting an application material by the deadline for the round in which you wish to be considered, please let us know.  We are more than happy to advise you on any unique situations regarding your application materials.  You can reach us at +1 (713) 348-6154 or ricemba@rice.edu.

Applications to the MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives programs are evaluated on a rolling basis, so it is not necessary for applicants to adhere to the published deadlines.  The application deadlines are there to provide you with some parameters when thinking about this process.

Q: Can I submit other parts of my application package before actually submitting my online application?
A: Yes.  You may submit your application materials in any order you wish.  When we receive a piece of your application (e.g. letter of recommendation, GMAT score, optional video), we will start a folder for you, which will be held until the rest of your materials are submitted and your application package is complete.  Your application will then be evaluated in the current round (Full Time applicants), or will begin the evaluation process immediately (MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives applicants).

Q: The application package requires several materials and feels a bit overwhelming.  Where should I start?
A: You may start wherever you feel most comfortable.  However, if you are looking for guidance, we recommend starting with GMAT or GRE preparation.  These entrance exams are given in a unique format and can be tricky if you are unfamiliar with them.  Start studying early (we recommend at least 100 hours of study) so that you can take the exam feeling prepared, and allow yourself enough time to retake it if you feel that your score does not accurately reflect your abilities.  Scores are valid for five years and we will only consider your highest score when evaluating your application.

Once you are satisfied with your GMAT or GRE score, decide who will write your letter(s) of recommendation and ask them.  Allowing as much time as possible for your recommender(s) to submit their letter will show that you respect their time, are serious about getting your MBA, and will generally put them in a better mood than if they were asked at the last minute. 

Q: I didn't apply in Round 1...do I have any chance of being admitted?
A: YES!  The Admissions Committee values fit with the Rice MBA Class of 2017 over any other criteria, including timing of submission.  Students are admitted and awarded merit-based scholarship in all four rounds.  We will never "run out of space" for qualified applicants who have proven that they will be an asset to their Rice MBA class.

Q: I am an international applicant...do I need to apply earlier?
A: Applications from prospective international students are accepted in all four rounds and are evaluated according to the same timeline as domestic applicants.  While international applications are still accepted and evaluated in the later rounds, we recommend submitting your application in the earlier rounds if possible.  Securing student visas, funding, housing, and generally adjusting to the idea of moving to another country can take longer for international students.  Applying early will ease the transition process, but only if you feel that your application represents the best and most accurate picture of your abilities.

Q: When is the best time to apply?
A: Whenever you feel that your application package best reflects your abilities.  Take the time to put together a quality application and then submit it as soon as you can.  Having a timely admissions decision can only help you get a jump start on planning the next two years of your life.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Build a Winning MBA Application for Fall 2016: Forté MBALaunch for Women

The Jones School is proud to be a Forte Foundation sponsor school.  Forte is currently accepting applications for MBALaunch, designed for women interested in applying to an MBA program in Fall 2015 for enrollment in Fall 2016.
 

Forté MBALaunch for Women is a 10-month program that will provide you with guidance, resources, and ongoing support in the MBA application process. The program includes a one-day launch event, monthly webinars, peer group meetings, and feedback from experienced advisors.

Forté MBALaunch for Women will give you a clear road map to help you navigate the MBA application process.

The 2015 program is hosted in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, London, New York, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
  
Program Benefits 

  • Attend a one-day kick-off event featuring intensive workshops with experienced speakers
  • A two-month intensive GMAT preparation with 13 webinars, 4 study sessions, and 2 practice tests facilitated by leading test prep companies
  • Gain insights and advice about the admissions process through 8 months of webinars, discussion groups, and assignments lead by experts and alumnae
  • Access to monthly Office Hours meetings to speak with experts about the questions that concern you the most
  • Attend monthly peer group meetings and gather application feedback from peers and your MBA alumnae advisor
  • Over 20 business schools will waive your MBA application fee

Application Deadlines
  • Round 1 Applications for Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C.: November 2
  • Round 2 Applications for Boston, Houston, London, and Toronto: November 9
  • Final Round Applications for ALL CITIES: November 16
Apply now  for this unique opportunity to be the best business school candidate you can be!

Monday, September 29, 2014

5 Actions MBA Candidates can take to Avoid Student Loan Mistakes

Getting accepted to an MBA program is challenging.  So much so that by the time students are admitted to a program, many of them want to secure the first funding options available without pausing to thoroughly assess all the options.

Salomon Medina
Associate Director, Financial Aid
But under-thinking your education financing strategy can have negative consequences, according to Rice University Associate Director of Financial Aid Salomon Medina.  “I usually ask students to treat their student loan planning like part of their coursework,” says Medina.  “Take your time, pay attention to the details, weigh your options and make thoughtful decisions from day one – or you could be paying for mistakes later on down the road.

Treating student loans like an afterthought isn’t the only potential pitfall for incoming MBA students.  In his 4 years counseling prospects and students at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, Medina has seen more than a few mishaps that can cost borrowers both time and money.  Here, he shares five important actions you can take to avoid the most common mistakes.


Action #1: Be proactive in your education finance planning
“I take a holistic approach to advising our prospects and students about education debt, and I encourage them to do the same.  It’s about more than just picking a loan off a list and doing the paperwork – your loan strategy needs to fit into your total financial plan. A graduate degree is not an impulse buy. Financial planning a year or two (or even further) in advance, will offer considerable payoff in the future.


For example, before they’ve even applied for the program, I advise prospects to set up a budget spreadsheet and start making cuts to their discretionary spending where possible. Something as simple as cutting back on eating out can free up funding that can then be used toward gaining ones degree.  Because here’s the thing – everything you finance with loans during grad school has an interest charge attached to it.  If you can reduce your budget now, you can borrow less later, which means you’ll end up spending less on interest in the long run.”

Action #2:  Understand your loan options and terms
“In their rush to secure financing, I sometimes see students gloss over important loan information.  For example, they’ll hurriedly read some information about federal loans online, then mistakenly think that certain subsidized loan benefits (for undergraduates) also apply to their graduate level loans – Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Federal Graduate PLUS loans.  This is not the case, as terms vary considerably between undergraduate and graduate level loans.


As part of this, there is sometimes the misconception that federal loans are always the cheapest option.  Since many MBA candidates are relatively mature borrowers with a substantial credit history and financial foundation, they have private loan options available to them as well.  Sometimes those options can be less expensive – particularly if you have a strong credit score, which is one of the factors private lenders take into account when they offer you an interest rate.  Federal Graduate PLUS loans are currently at 7.21%, which is definitely possible to beat for some borrowers.”

Action #3:  Avoid focusing on the interest rate alone
“Interest rate is certainly important, but there are other factors that can contribute to the cost of a student loan.  For example, many borrowers may not realize that Federal Direct PLUS loans carry a hefty origination fee of 4.288% – and on October 1st it’s going up to 4.292%.  That’s a sizeable chunk off the top of your loans that you do not have access to, which, in addition to the interest rate, may make this loan type less desirable.  If you can qualify for a private loan with no or low origination fee at the same rate and term, that’s automatic savings right there.”


Action #4: Begin paying interest as soon as possible
“In most cases, interest begins accruing on the loan amount disbursed from the point of disbursement. In the case of Federal Student Loans, there is a repayment grace period for several months post-graduation.  At the end of that period, accumulated interest is usually capitalized (added to the principal) if you do not pay it off beforehand.  This means that, going forward, you’ll be charged interest on that interest, too.


A couple of thoughts here: First, paying some amount toward loan interest while you are in-school is always a good way to go. Second, if you can focus on paying off your accrued interest before capitalization occurs, you can cut costs considerably.  Many borrowers take advantage of their grace period by not making payments on their accrued interest.  But I see “taking advantage of your repayment grace period” much differently – because what the lender is doing is giving you a chance to get ahead on your interest.  If you have the means, take them up on it.”

Action #5: Talk to an expert sooner rather than later
“When is it time for you to talk to your program’s financial aid office?   I would argue that it’s rarely too early.  I think of it as a pipeline, and I’m there to help from beginning to end.  I frequently attend our events and speak with prospects about whether the program is the right investment of time and energy for them, as well as whether it’s financially viable and what steps they might take to assure they are on the most optimal footing to pursue their educational dreams.  When candidates are accepted, I help them look at their big financial picture and come up with a financing strategy that meets their needs in the most cost-effective way possible.  And at graduation, as needed, I help them craft a repayment strategy based on their changing financial situation.


The bottom line is that education is a partnership, and your financial aid office is an important element in that relationship.  We’ve seen it all before, and we can help you make good decisions as well as avoid the bad ones.  Because getting an MBA is a challenging thing – we try to make the financing part less challenging where possible.”

Source: SoFi Blog