Wharts and All: Blogging the Full-Time MBA Program at the Wharton School

Friday, January 07, 2005

Best MBA-Related Reads for the Week ending 2005.01.07 [Edit 3]

  • Flaunt the Rules of Grammer, But Don't Flout Them (Prospect Magazine via - The beat-down is laid upon an obfuscating writer. MBA students would do well good to take this to heart. My favorite quote: "We might wonder why she [the author being lambasted] has found it so difficult to say something so simple. But that surely is the answer: it is because the proposition is so simple that the expression is so muddled. If it had been put straightforwardly, we would have seen at once that it was hardly worth making. One of the reasons that this is bad prose is that it is dishonest prose: in each of these passages the writer is trying to hide the fact that she has very little to say."
  • What Do Women Really Want? (The Public Interest Magazine) - Compares the effects of various family-friendly policies on women with various goals: from traditional (nuclear family) to postmodern (DINC for life). The nut quote: "The case for rethinking what we mean by "family-friendly" policies is put forth not to advance one pattern of motherhood and employment over another, but to give equal consideration to the diverse values that influence how women respond to the conflicting demands of work and family life." All the women chasing MBAs are surely struggling with this.
  • The Coddling Crisis: Why Americans Think Adulthood Begins at Age 26 (WSJ) - MBA applicants are generally ambitious 20-somethings. Compare and contrast to these folks: "Ages 18 and 21 are no longer the true entry points into American adult hood, as more young people today take soul-searching breaks after college or put off starting their "grown-up" lives. A 2003 poll by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center found that most Americans think adulthood begins at about age 26."
  • Student Loan Scares (WSJ) - The following quote summarizes it nicely: "'Student-loan debt collectors have power that would make a mobster envious,' says Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and bankruptcy specialist."
  • New Blog Worth Reading: Panda CH (Blog: PandaCH) - A consultant and business school applicant (what's new?) who (I promise) was selected for this column before he linked to me. Honest. What makes it good is the custom lists. Making such lists requires creativity and I always appreciate that over another "Studied GMAT for 12 hours today. Bleh. Think I'll go do some more SCs before hitting the sack"-type blog.
  • Peter Drucker's Essential Tips for Managers in 2005 (CareerJournal) - Writes Drucker, "the following excerpt is a sampling of "The Daily Drucker," a collection of key statements from my writings, followed by explanation and comments, also from my work, on topics ranging across a great many fields: management, business and the world economy; a changing society; innovation and entrepreneurship; decision making; the changing work force; the nonprofits and their management; and so on.
  • Students Rank Recruiters (Stanford GSB Career Services Office) - More a press release and a bunch of butt-kissing from the Stanford GSB to recruiters and back again than anything really substantive, but still fun to think about it in the way that the Clear Admit blog put it: "the Stanford GSB students have potentially turned the rankings system inside-out by developing their own ranking of recruiters." If only! A ranking necessarily implies that someone's listed last. They'd never do that, but still fun to think about.
  • Stanford Director's Corner: Diverse Perspectives (Stanford MBA Admissions Newsletter) - Always required reading when it's published, and always well written. I love the quote Derrick selects for his riff on diversity:
    A great deal of learning occurs informally. It occurs through interactions among students of both sexes; of different races, religions, and backgrounds; who come from cities and rural areas, from various states and countries; who have a wide variety of interests, talents, and perspectives; and who are able, directly and indirectly, to learn from their differences and to stimulate one another to reexamine even their most deeply held assumptions about themselves and their world. As a wise graduate of ours once noted, ‘People do not learn very much when they are surrounded only by the likes of themselves.’ -- William Bowen, president of Princeton University from 1972-1988
    That is the essence of why I got annoyed at one applicant's suggestion that everyone in a school should have the same chipper personality or even necessarily get along. This is a basic tenet of every quality admissions process, but people need to keep being reminded of it.
  • Clear Admit Sucks (Business Week Discussion Forums) - A pretty thorough discussion of the dangers of relying too much on admissions consultants, and some good tips for how to deal with them if you've got more money than sense and do hire one. [Edit: This thread has now been deleted from the Business Week forums. Some suggest that it was deleted because Clear Admit is an advertiser on Business Week's website. I have not confirmed that they are, but would not be suprised. The thread was actually full of excellent discussion, and the applicant community is poorer for its deletion. Did Clear Admit ask Business Week to delete the thread? Judging from recent traffic analysis, someone out there is clearly concerned about Clear Admit's brand image: I had about four visitors click into this blog when they Googled "Clear Admit sucks."]

Edit 2: Fixed the link to the Stanford Director's Corner letter.
Edit 3: The "Clear Admit sucks" thread was deleted from the business week forums. I updated the last paragraph to note this.


Blogger Panda said...

ah, so you had also discovered my blog. thx for the plug :-)

"les petits esprits se rencontrent parfois aussi..."

1/08/2005 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Just a note... you might want to fix the spelling of "Grammar."

1/08/2005 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger bskewl said...


Don't you think this mistake particularly humorous, considering that it comes at the head of a paragraph that pedantically promotes clear writing? I should leave it to serve as a perpetual reminder of my own silliness. I am suitably embarassed by it, and just in time, because I have been getting far too many favorable comments left here.

Thank you!

1/08/2005 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Clear Admit said...

Zach, The decision by BW to pull the thread was not ours. I agree that there was actually some good discussion in there. In fact, we had posted in the thread ourselves. While I obviously wasn't keen on the title, this sort of thing happens all the time in the business world (see Our reputation goes beyond a single thread in a discussion forum (started by an anonymous poster, mind you). Keep up the great work with your blog and congrats on your Wharton admit! -Graham Richmond, Clear Admit

1/11/2005 04:19:00 AM  

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