The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

20. MBA Admissions Myth vs. Reality, with Duke Fuqua

April 07, 2020 Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
20. MBA Admissions Myth vs. Reality, with Duke Fuqua
Show Notes Transcript

The best way to learn what business school admissions officers are looking for is to ask them! So that's exactly what we did. In this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, we sat down with Lauren Sutherland, Associate Director of Admissions at the Duke Fuqua School of Business, and discussed a wide range of admissions-related questions including:

  • What differentiates Duke Fuqua from some of the other top business schools
  • How a school's ranking should factor in to your decision of which school(s) to apply to and other considerations you should weigh as well
  • The value of Duke's "25 Random Things" essay for enabling you to showcase what makes you a unique and desirable candidate
  • What makes someone stand out during the application process -- and dealbreakers to avoid!
  • The benefits of the 2-year, full-time MBA as compared to online, part-time, or executive programs
  • How to maximize your business school experience once you're on campus

And then one of the most enlightening parts of the interview is the "Myth vs. Reality" game we played starting around the 18:15 mark where Lauren debunks some common application myths and answers the following questions:

  • Do you have the best chance of being admitted Round 1?
  • Is there anything you can do to get off the waitlist?
  • Do you need a minimum of 2 years work experience before applying?
  • Do only the first and last paragraphs of your essays matter?
  • Should you always write the optional essay?
  • Is the GMAT preferable to the GRE?
  • If you can’t score over 700 on the GMAT, is it even worth applying?
  • If you have a family member who went to Fuqua, do you have a better chance at getting in?
  • Is it easier to get in to Fuqua if you went to Duke undergrad?
  • Is your GMAT/GRE score and undergrad GPA the most important part of the application?
  • If you can’t get in to a Top 20 business school like Duke, is it still worth going to business school?

If you're thinking of applying to Duke Fuqua, this episode will give you an opportunity to peek behind the curtain and learn what Duke is all about. But even if you're not targeting Fuqua, most of what Lauren shares is relevant for whichever top-tier graduate or business school you may be applying to. Enjoy!


  1. Learn more about the Duke Fuqua School of Business:
  2. Contact Duke Fuqua:
  3. Contact Dominate Test Prep:


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spk_1:   0:00
the purpose of a goal is not to get it. The purpose of a goal is who you become in pursuit of it. Tony Robbins. Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Dominate test prep podcast. I Am Bread, Ethridge, your host and I am super excited about today's conversation because I am going to be speaking with the associate director of admission at Duke. Few qua school of business, and that's near and dear to my heart, because there's a lot of you guys know I actually went to Duke now I went to Duke for undergraduate, but once you have ever been on that campus, it kind of gets in your blood and you bleed Duke Blue. And so I'm excited to connect with Lauren today as we talk about admissions in general, I'll be a little bit more detailed here in a moment about what we're going to be discussing. But first, let me let me just welcome you, Lawrence, say, a quick hello to the listeners.

spk_0:   0:54
Hi, everyone. And thank you so much bread for giving me the opportunity to chat with you and your listeners today.

spk_1:   1:00
Absolutely. I'm excited about it, and I'll tell you a little bit more about Lauren, but there are really three goals of this episode. You know, I did mention that I went to Duke, and so, you know, I always love shining a spotlight on Duke, but the reality is Ah, lot of you are listening and maybe some of you are my students, and I know a lot of my students. A lot of people who reach out to me are interested in applying to Duke. And so I know a lot of you are probably interested in learning about Duke specifically, and you'll definitely get that opportunity as you hear from Lauren. But I also want to make sure that we're talking about stuff that will apply to whichever business school you may be applying to so well, it is kind of the three major focuses for today, a sneak peek behind the curtain off the admissions process in general, you know, I know a lot of times it seems like admissions officers are like the's thes unicorns, thes these phantom people behind the application and, like, who are these real people and and I want you to have the opportunity to actually hear from one, and I wish you could actually have the opportunity to ask her questions yourself. But I'll do the questions for you, and I think we're going to get at a lot of your common questions. And in fact, that's the second thing we're gonna do. We're gonna do a fund section called Myth versus Reality, where we're going to debunk some of the common application myths and maybe even confirmed some of the realities of the admissions process on again. We'll just talk about the business, education, landscape and different facets of the admissions process. So I hope you're excited. I have definitely excited a little bit more about a Lauren. As I mentioned, she is the associate director of admissions at Duke Fucka. She's been part of the admissions team since 2015 with a focus on the Latin America region. She got her undergraduate degree from the college William and Mary and her master's and higher education from NC State University in North Carolina as well. She kind of cut her teeth teaching middle school through Teach for America, which is also near and dear to my heart. I I consider that myself. I ended up going to the Peace Corps. But my cousin got into education through Teach for America. So I hold that organization in high esteem. So I am excited to learn more from Lauren, and I guess almost kind of throw this out is the very first question. Is college basketball the rest? Best reason to attend Duke University?

spk_0:   3:15
It's certainly one of the top on. If you're going to come to school in North Carolina, you should absolutely come to Duke University for that experience. But isn't the main reason for students coming and deciding to get their MBA of you?

spk_1:   3:30
Probably not. So what are some of the things? Let's talk about Duke specifically, you've been there for a while on DDE. What are some of the things that in your mind, really differentiate Duke from some of the other top business schools?

spk_0:   3:42
Sure. So at any top business school in the U. S, you're going to get a great education. The environment in which you're studying is where things start to break down and start to become really different. So I'm studying in a place like Durham. North Carolina is really different than being in a New York or Boston or Chicago. If you know you want a collegiate Syrians for two years, coming to a place like Fuego will provide that for you. It's very much the quintessential college student experience while you're here knowing that our grads will end up in major metropolitans. Post N B A. So you're not putting yourself at a disadvantage there but at the environment is really unique. I think I'm wanting to be in a place where the weather is great, is also a big plus for coming toe fucka and being able to enjoy the outdoors and the different things that the durn area has to offer when you're not in class. And then the last major differentiator from Yuko versus the other top business schools is our collaborative community. So our students at Fuckwad are genuinely happy people, which doesn't seem like it should be such a differentiator with business programs, but they are competitive but collaborative at the same time. So it's not a cut throat, ext Syrians that you'll get in some places, which is really attractive to some perspective students. But also I'm not what everyone is looking for in their business education, so I'm really being self aware and knowing what you want to get out of it will help you decipher what type of business will you be looking for

spk_1:   5:21
in terms of the classroom experience? I know some schools put more emphasis, maybe on entrepreneurship. Some schools focus on finance. Would you say that Duke has a particular niche, and if so, what is it?

spk_0:   5:34
We are very much a general management curriculum. Not that most of our students go into general management, but that we are setting you up to really be able to go into any industry and be successful. We are putting a larger focus on entrepreneurship now because that's been a growing interest area from our students in the past few years. We've just redesigned our summer institute to incorporate more courses around entrepreneurship and technology, which is how you start off your MBA experience. So we feel like it really sets the tone for the things that are important. Who candidates right now. But there are three different certificate programs and six in concentrations that you can use to customize your MBA. But core of a fuckwit MBA is going to be a general manager.

spk_1:   6:24
You talked about some of the things that differentiate Duke in terms of the student experience. I know a lot of applicants and candidates for business. School care a lot about rankings. Now Fucka is always in the top 20 off in the top 15 and most of the time, the top 10 in terms of worldwide business school. So you guys are highly ranked, but in your mind, Where should rankings fall into a student's consideration in terms of which business schools to apply to

spk_0:   6:52
rankings come and go as any good business. Gloria, that's wait and salt understands. I'm so knowing the reputation of the school and the brand recognition for the areas in which you wanna work. Both industry and geography to me are more important than the ranking because the ranking may change from when you applied to when you graduate. So when you're looking for a job in five years, so making sure a school has agent in US track record of success and that you were able to get to those career goals that you have post NBA are really important. So dig into the career reports that a school puts out just as much as you dig into the rankings because that's really where the rubber meets the road when it comes to putting your education to use in terms of your career goals. So make sure that you can get to point A from point A to point B at the school in which you're like,

spk_1:   7:48
I'm curious from Duke's perspective, it our ranking, something that you guys were conscious off and you guys specifically try to do things, whether it's maintained, obtaining a certain average G Matt score, where all of the factors that go into a ranking is that something you guys are conscious and intentional about, or is it just something that just kind of comes along with being a top tier business school and doing things the right way?

spk_0:   8:12
That's a really great question in a time when I feel really fortunate to work a few club because we are conscious of the rankings. But don't change our approach to recruiting to engineer our ranking among other business schools so similar to how candidates need to take rankings kind of in the moment and know that they come and go. The methodology has changed pretty quickly for us as well, with different rankings. And so our focus has always been on finding students that feel like few KLA, and we know we're going to make an impact in their communities, not just on their companiesbottom lines s so we want to maintain a certain level of academic standard, but you'll notice our average G. Matt is, ah, lot lower than many of our peers in the top 20 in the United States. And we actually enjoy that about ourselves because we feel like it shows that the admissions committee really is about more than just statistics and cares about the qualitative components of an applicant just as much if not more than the quantitative. And as I mentioned, like Lucky and work a few quid for that regard that it really is from the dean down, that we are focused on finding the best. You don't and know that our faculty are fantastic. Career Center works really hard in admissions, works hard to make sure we're having the most diverse and well represented class to position us as well as we can for the rankings out fully catering.

spk_1:   9:43
Let's talk a little bit more about what you guys are looking for because it really is a two way street. These days, I feel like increasingly, candidates are evaluating the schools as much as they're evaluating the candidates, which is a good thing. And so you've talked a lot about what candidates can and should be looking for what they'll find at Duke. But let's look at it from the other direction. What? You guys are looking in applicants, and I'll actually kind of give you this. Kudos. I don't know how familiar you are with a jack. It's an organization of admissions consultants, and they do a survey every year of I guess their clients, and they call it the MBA Applicant survey. And every year I look at the results of that survey. And almost without fail, Duke is listed as the number one school that students feel like got to quote know them best. So you guys are doing something right during the application process. I guess my question to you is, Is that important to you and and how do you do that? How do you guys feel like you get to know the applicants? Quote best?

spk_0:   10:43
Sure, so we're always that is a ranking that we hold very near and dear to our hearts. Uh, is the perception that students get when they're working with our admissions office and with our students, and we absolutely prioritize getting to know the person behind the statistics in the application process. One of the ways that we do that is through our infamous 25 random things essay at This is something that's done on in Oliver programs of one of our long form essays is for you the applicant to tell us 25 things about you that you want us to know about your personality. It's not a professional focused, huh? I say it really is. What makes you you and what makes you tick. So I like it. It's a lot to, ah dating profile where the admissions committee is getting decide whether or not to invite you on that first date after learning these facts about you so off my favorite part of an application, because I feel like I really am sitting down with you and learning the things that are most important to you beyond your resume. Beyond your academic statistic, I think the other way that we focus on the applicant as a human is the process in which our admissions committee uses to evaluate applications. Every application submitted to our daytime program will be read in full by two different people and talked about in an admissions committee two or three different times. So all in all, about 10 to 15 people hear about your candidacy and weigh in before a final decision is rendered.

spk_1:   12:17
So what types of things are you looking for in an applicant?

spk_0:   12:21
We are looking for people who want to use business for good. So I mentioned that earlier that it's not just about the bottom line, but we put an emphasis on people being involved in their communities. And if you go, that's actually an evaluative part of the application just as much as your work experience or your academic background. ISS. So we want to know that you were involved in clubs and organizations when you were an undergrad and that you've stayed involved in your community. One where the other ah post Brad, because that type of person makes for a really great student. When you're here in Durham and Brent, as you know, endure of you sometimes have to create your own community because we aren't a major metropolitan area and so we don't want Well, they're only gonna be consumers of what's going on if you go. But we do want people that will also be contributors. And so when we can see that come through in your application, it sets you up really well with the admissions committee. We're also looking for, ah, humble ambition to show through in a lot of applicants. We can see when you are really driven and you care about others. And that comes through in your essays, in your interview and in your recommend,

spk_1:   13:32
I think this is gold. I wish I had had this kind of perspective when I was applying. Not that you know, not that you can just automatically give the admissions officers exactly what they're looking for, but to at least know Hey, what type of person should I try to become? What types of things should I be intentional about being active in in my community now and and maybe if you're listening to this and you're currently an undergrad, keeping this kind of filed away in the back of your mind and kind of moving your life in the direction. That will make you an appealing candidate when you do apply. So that's awesome. Ah, few more questions along these lines. I'm sure you've reviewed thousands of applications at this point. Are there are a few things that you have seen that really makes somebody stand out maybe specific stories from some applications. Like what? What makes an application jump out at you and say this person is a little bit different?

spk_0:   14:21
Yes, well, every member on the admissions committee will have a soft spot in their heart for a different type of applicant. Mine happens to be from people coming with an education background off. There's a lot of different ways that people come at the MBA admissions process, and most are not from typical business backgrounds and so on things that really stand out to me or when you can demonstrate leadership and impact in any industry that you're working in. And you have to work a little harder and doing that if you're not from a consulting or a finance background. But it does stand out to the admissions committee, and you never know who is gonna gonna follow in love with your story. Um, showing us that you have travel of some sort of distance in your life also stands out. So one of my favorite applications that I read this round was about a student of an international student who had to work through undergrad to support their family and the way they did that was as a professional magician. So he perf form for Children's birthday parties, different types of events in order to support his family while he was working through undergrad and taking a lot longer to complete his undergraduate degree, Of course, but that really stands out when you're reading 1000 different applications in a year. Knowing like falling in love with those really makes a difference. And that's where those 25 random things really comes in handy for applicants. But make themselves, you know,

spk_1:   15:52
that's really cool. I would like to be one of his classmates, e.

spk_0:   15:56

spk_1:   15:58
think something you said there is important as well, right? Sometimes a student like and I don't know the rest of that person's application. Maybe that candidate had slightly lower G p A. Well, it's because he's working like crazy to support his family. So sometimes really cool stories like that can help explain your situation. Maybe help explain why certain aspects of your application might not be on par with some of the some of their peers. And yet they bring so much more to the table because of the richness of what they're doing toe help like in this case, provide for the families. That's really cool.

spk_0:   16:28
And if you do have a situation like that in your application, make sure it's clear to the admissions committee. If we have to piece together a story about a red flag in your application, it won't be as compelling as you being up front about it. So most schools will give you a place, either in an optional statement or an optional essay to address those things. If it hasn't come out in the other parts of your application, be forthright and make sure that it's it's brought to the top of the admissions committees.

spk_1:   16:56
Let's talk about red flags a little bit more, though. Are there any red flags? Anything that would be a deal breaker that just can't be explained away that a student couldn't make up for anything that you absolutely are not looking for in an applicant.

spk_0:   17:12
Another great question. And, um, the the biggest red flag, which might sound like a cop out, is plagiarism in an application. We cannot overlook that on most schools will run applications through a plagiarism software to catch. If you've found Resource is from online or suddenly in your essays, match another student who's applied in the past essays, even in the slightest bit. So make sure that it's your voice coming through. That's honestly, though the only red flag that I know we cannot overlook. Another difficult one that is tough is if you use the wrong school's name throughout the application. So if you do, ah, sloppy copy and paste job for essays, it will show, and you don't want to give the admissions many any reason to deny your application on something small in your eyes, but meaningful to them when it feels like you're not committed to their stay,

spk_1:   18:15
let's transition and have a little bit of fun, I hinted at the beginning at a segment we're going to do called myth or reality. So let's go ahead and dive into that. You can think of it like a two minute drill, so it's kind of rapid fire, some common questions that I get from my students from people who are just curious and inquire about the application process. Some of these things, maybe myths and if so, would love you to revise them a little bit and tell us the reality. If some of these things are indeed reality, maybe can confirm that because I think students are curious, so we'll get through as many of these as we can and just kind of rapid fire through them. 1st 1 Myth or reality, You have the best chances of getting in. If you apply around one

spk_0:   18:59
NIF, you can apply any round. We admit students and every round. But if scholarship money is important to you, apply as early as you can with a strong application, because that does have a limited number of funds, so apply early in that regard. It's also helpful if you find yourself on the wait list to give yourself another round of opportunity, as opposed to waiting until round to earth reso benefits found one. But your chances of getting in or not any.

spk_1:   19:28
I'll go ahead and go to this one next, and you just mention it myth or reality? There's nothing I can do to get off the wait list other than hope and pray.

spk_0:   19:37
Huge myth. I manage the weightless process at Fuego, and it's very much a dynamic process with us. We want to hear more information from you while you're on the wait list and admit students and subsequent rounds every round after our 1st 1 So it is dynamic as long as you are communicating with us and reiterating your interest. Over 10% of our class last year was admitted from the wait list. So not a black box, definitely an important part of our admissions process,

spk_1:   20:08
myth or reality. A student needs a minimum of two years work experience before applying

spk_0:   20:15
nous. We do not have a minimum years of work experience at fuckwad, but if you are on the lower end of work, make sure that the work you're demonstrating in your resume is impactful in that it's very clear why this is the right time for you to get it.

spk_1:   20:30
Myth or reality, you have way too many applications, so you don't actually read every word. So, in an essay, for example, just as long as you have a good, strong opening paragraph in conclusion, that's what's most important

spk_0:   20:43
myth and reality way. We do read your essays that, like in full, having a strong opening in a strong closing paragraph is a really important part of fighting in an important part of catching the admissions committees. I So I like that part of the comment is a reality, but it is a myth that we are going to read, and we're gonna or a lot into your essays to make sure you're doing this.

spk_1:   21:07
Myth or reality should always right. The optional essay

spk_0:   21:12
Myth on Lee. Use the optional essay If you need Thio. We have 30 pages of your application to read and don't want to see your essay from another school or superfluous information. It is critical for the people who need the optional essay to use it, but can be detrimental if you're just writing to refight.

spk_1:   21:31
Ah, here's one. I get a lot, obviously kind of the G. Matt versus G. R E. Question. I know Fuckwit accepts both the gee Matt or the G R E. So here's the question. Myth or reality. The G Matt is really preferable to the G R E When applying

spk_0:   21:45
MS, we want you to take the test. That's best for you with another caveat. If you're going to need the G Matt for recruiting purposes. So there are some companies that would prefer to see a G. Matt, make sure you're doing your due diligence that's in that regard to take the test. That's best for you in the long run, but for admissions, we want to test that Best showcases your abilities if you haven't taken either start with the G. Matt, because it is the business school test. But if you are not performing as well as you know, you can feel free to try the g r E and submit both scores to us. If you do take

spk_1:   22:22
Met the reality. If I can't score over 700 on the G. Matt, it's not really worth applying.

spk_0:   22:27
Mitt. Our average G met at Fuckwit is a 705 s o. Almost half of our replicants are under or half of our admitted students are under that 700 marks. So set yourself up for the best success you can academically and take the test again. If you feel there are points on the table, But don't be the strike from applying just because of it.

spk_1:   22:51
But the reality. If I have a family member who went to Fucka, I have a better chance of getting in,

spk_0:   22:56
ms. But you should let us know about that. So we want to know the fuckwit connections that you have because that gives us intel on what you might know about the community and that your experience as an applicant should be a little bit different than someone who doesn't have any fuel connections. So that is a part of our application that we ask you to to complete. And your family member or close friend should write an endorsement for, you know, an official letter of recommendation, but a peer endorsement on your behalf.

spk_1:   23:27
Okay, myth or reality? It's easier to get into fuckwad if you went to Duke. Undergrad

spk_0:   23:34
Miss. I was racking my brain a little bit to think on statistics there. Duke undergrads have a great education of background, so you have that going for you. But there are six different components of the application that you need to be successful in in order to be admitted and so just shining, and one of those won't be enough toe. Make that happy here.

spk_1:   23:57
Perfect follow under that myth or reality, your G, Matt or G R E score and your undergraduate g p a r The most important parts of your application.

spk_0:   24:06
Never. They're just one component of at Fucka. We average those together along with the strength of your undergraduate institution, to give you an overall academic rating. But the G matter, the G R E, is the one piece of your academic profile that's in your control now and that you can make improvements to. So if you're out of 100 bread, don't fret on your undergraduate g p a butt juice and time on your test score. If you're worried that the admissions committee might be worried about your ability,

spk_1:   24:37
okay, Final one Myth or reality? If I can't get into a top 20 school like Duke, it's not worth going to business school

spk_0:   24:43
nous. You need to evaluate the your personal return on investment for an MBA program. For some people, doing a part time program or an online program might be the best situation for them and their their current life stance. But if you know that you want to get into a top MBA program, and that's best for you with your career goals. Fight for that, really prepare. And if it doesn't work out for you the first time around, don't be afraid to reapply. Many schools look favorably upon their re apparitions. Fuckwit is blood of them. The Miller to our wait list process on between 10 and 15% of our class every year or re applicants. So don't give up on that dream, especially one that for you.

spk_1:   25:26
All right, there we have it. The conclusion of our very first myth or reality segment. And we batted 100% about it. 1000 so to speak, on all myths. So I feel like maybe I should come up with a question that would be a reality. But I know you've talked about a lot of the other realities of the application process. So I appreciate your help with that And your insight. I'm sure. I'm sure students found a lot of your answers interesting. And I really liked your elaborations. So transition a little bit. Just a few final questions about maybe the business education landscape more generally so and you actually touched on it in your final answer there that a lot of schools are putting a little bit more emphasis into their online offerings there part time or executive MBA programs thinking about kind of Duke, few qua. Is the two year, full time n b a still king, or are there benefits to some of those offerings? And kind of where does Duke fall in terms of where they prioritize their business school offerings

spk_0:   26:34
when it comes to an MBA program right now, if you go on, Lee has a full time daytime program or one of our executive programs, and daytime is King, especially if you're looking to make big career transitions. If you know you wanna work during the MBA and that's an important component or your company really wants to have you working while you're studying, then our executive programs will be king. But for people who know I'm there, ready to take this cause and their professional life to really invest in their future career goals, then the daytime MBA program gives you the most flexibility to do that because you don't have competing priorities of work. Ah, you really are focused on academics and future career up.

spk_1:   27:20
And I know you mentioned this earlier about how Duke really focuses on collaborative, you know, interactions in the classroom and in business school. What other benefits do you see in the full time on campus programs opposed to an online MBA?

spk_0:   27:36
Full access to the career management center all the time? I think that I can't be underscored for an MBA program. If you are looking to make a big career jump, if you're a career changer or you know that you're looking Thio, get into a new functional area or industry. Having full access Thio on campus recruiting and our career management center is an important piece. I'm also the bonds that you create with your classmates for for what, for most people, is a terminal degree of most people like end their education with an MBA program. If you want that to be a fully immersive experience, it's do that. It's not a residential program.

spk_1:   28:18
Let's elaborate on that a little bit. What can a student just thinking more broadly and maybe even just beyond Duke Fucka. It's a big decision, obviously, to go back to business school. It's two years of their lives. What can a student do? What should've student be thinking about in terms of maximizing that two year experience taking full advantage off their MBA experience?

spk_0:   28:41
You really need to come in with a plan. If you're going to stop, work it and you're going. Thio. Invest in yourself for two years. Haven't idea of what you want to be pursuing. Be open to changing that. But the question in an application about what your short term goals are is really important because two years goes by very fast, specially if you're swept away in the recruiting hustle and bustle. So come in with a plan and have an idea of where you want to be after these two years so that you can really make the most of your area will be totally consumed by recruiting. Know that the relationships that you're forming with your classmates with the faculty and staff at the school at last far beyond your two years and that is your alumni network that you're investing in and those relationships might help you along the way five and 10 years down the road. So take advantage of the clubs and the organizations that are on a college campus and make sure you're going to the distinguished speaker. Siri's toe really brought in your view and don't stay within your own in group. That is really easy to do because that's natural. But MBA programs especially, are carefully crafted to e a worldwide experience. So you're gonna have classmates from all over the world. Make sure you're taking time to get to know them from their different backgrounds, are different. Upbringings will just make you that much better of a person and therefore better. Professor.

spk_1:   30:09
So you hit. You talked a lot about some of the kind of ancillary benefits to getting an MBA. What, in your mind really is the value of the MBA today? I know for a lot of students looking at it, the cost of getting the n b a r rising, whether it's just tuition, you know, putting there their business, their careers on hold for a couple years. So they're definitely some expenses that students need to consider when going back to business school. But what is the payoff on the back end, both financially and some of those auxiliary types of benefits? What would you say is the value of an MBA today?

spk_0:   30:45
Thio echo one of the things that I mentioned earlier. It's important to calculate your own our ally on an MBA program. This is gonna vary from student to student. If you are coming from a non business background, which many people are, there will absolutely be a financial incentive to getting your MBA. If you're coming from a business background, I think the benefits to the MBA and the which run on your investment has to do with the leadership skills and the development of those as well as your long career outcomes. So look at career report salaries, air published there so that you can get a sense for the rial return on your investment and how long it might be before you see that actual return for a lot of our students, the loan repayment process is between three and five years, so you can really like think about that and whether or not the I'm out of work is worth it for you right now. But don't think about it as just a short sighted, like one next step. This is a degree that sticks with you for your entire career regardless of industry. So I think the return really continues to get back. No longer. You are out of the program.

spk_1:   31:58
What advice would you have for yourself if you could talk to yourself before going back to graduate school? And I guess just kind of a more general way to phrase that question is, you know, speaking you have an opportunity to speak to people who are on the front end of the process. Some people might just be thinking for the very first time he may be. An MBA would be right for me. Some people might be in the throes of studying hard for the G. Matt. They're trying to apply around three on this year. Some people maybe, are on the wait list, but But they're on the front end of their graduate experience. Do you have any final parting advice for somebody in terms of what they should be thinking about and doing right now?

spk_0:   32:37
Absolutely. If you're on the early end of that, take the G matter. The G R E. Now. Ah, you are never better at it than the closer you are to underground. So while you're still in that that mindset. Take the take the test. It's good for five years, either one. So as long as you think graduate school is on your horizon within the next five years, go ahead and start that. The application process will be so much more enjoyable if you're not having to focus so much on that. The other piece that's really important in a lot less enjoyable to talk about is save money. You don't want to be worried about taking advantage of different opportunities, different trips, different global experiences that you could have because of the cost. So as much as you can save a little bit for your your slush fund for Graduates school so that you can take full advantage of that and a network with people who have gotten the degree that you are considering pursue, make sure that you're looking at the right type of degree, the right type of school, and what do they love about their experience? What would they have changed? Do do that research ahead of time so that you are able to make the most of your application experience, and if you're in it, currently, I'm in touch with the admissions office. We love to hear from people, and it's great to be able to put AH face to a name to an email address. So offer up a Skype conversation with an admissions officer. Give them a call, visit campus if you can, so that you can get a feel for campus yourself. But also you can make sure that the admissions office knows you're more than just email address and an application that shows up, not any other communication.

spk_1:   34:21
That was actually my final question. What's the best way to get some of those answers? And what's the best way to communicate with you? That could have been another myth or reality. I know sometimes my students are they're a little hesitant like, Can I really call the admissions office? You guys welcome that. You actually welcome somebody calling your office. And so what is the best way to communicate with you guys? And what what is your contact information that I can put in the show notes below this episode? Maybe. What's the website? Where, since students go to interact with you guys

spk_0:   34:49
absolutely interactive theater missions Office Calling on the phone is a dying art. Nowadays, And so it really does stand out when people give us a call every day at Fuego, we have an officer of the day who is an admissions counselor. That's on call, ready to chat with people who just take up the phone and give us a call. You can always email if you have some questions or you need to make a further connection. You know, s you can come to events, whether that's near you or on campus. I'm the best time to visit a campus is when there's an actual scheduled campus visit going on, because that means students are around. If you don't show up, you'll get to chat with us. The admissions office. But you may not get as robust oven experience. So a register for those types of things register for a virtual session and know that admissions committees air keeping track of this kind of thing. So you do want a document. Your touch points with us through registrations through e mails, three phone calls so that we can look back and know just how engaged you were in the process. And if you want to come and visit us, a few cool we would have loved to have you during one of our campus visits or just see you in a city near you so you can find all of our contact information at a yukata dot duke that e d U. And we would love to interact with you and learn more about your your story. As you're looking at MBA programs,

spk_1:   36:15
that sounds like wonderful advice and a great place to just kind of wrap things up. I do encourage you to check it out. Once you step foot on campus, the Gothic Wonderland, you will be hooked. And if you're choosing between a couple of really good business schools and Duke is one of them, that may tip the balance in favor of going to Duke, it's a wonderful place to actually go to school. So, Lauren, I appreciate you spending your time and expertise with our listeners. Thank you very much for being on, and we'll catch up with you later.

spk_0:   36:41
Thank you for having me bread and good luck to all of your students

spk_1:   36:49
way Wrap up this episode of the Dominate Test Prep podcast. I have a quick action item for you and it goes back to one of the things that Lauren mentioned. I think it's really cool what she talked about. One of the essays that Duke Few qua asks of its applicants the essay where students are supposed to write 25 unique things about themselves that are supposed to be more personality based rather than business related or achievement related. And what a useful exercise that would be for everybody to do, regardless of whether that's an actual essay required by the schools that you're applying to. So even if you're not applying to Duke, even if those aren't the types of essays you are going to be asked to write, doing that exercise will be valuable, because whatever essay you are going to write as you are crafting your application, you are trying to highlight unique things about yourself, things about you that will make you an attractive candidate and attractive asset to that business school. And so starting to think about those things brainstorm those things. Listing those things out now can only help you in the future. Perhaps you don't need to flush them out quite as much as you would if you actually had to submit it as an essay, but beginning to get some of those ideas and thoughts and introspection really is what that is about down on paper will really serve you well, because you'll start to think about who you are and what you want to relate about yourself during the application process. So very cool essay and something that I think would benefit everybody. So there is your action item again. A big thanks to Lauren. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with her as much as I did, and I know there was a lot of useful stuff in there, especially the bit about the myths and the reality insights that she shed on some of those common myths. As always, please, like us, subscribe to us on whatever podcast platform you are using toe, listen to us and write

spk_0:   38:50

spk_1:   38:50
review would love to hear your actual feedback and input on the episodes that you are enjoying. And, of course, if you have any ideas for future episodes or questions or comments about any off the episodes that we have done so far that you have listened to would love to hear those as well. You can reach out to us as always, at support at Dominate test prep dot com For now, I am Bread Ethridge signing off and look forward to connecting with you guys again in the near future on the Dominate test Prep podcast. Take care, everyone.