On the Record: Q&A with BC Alumnus Rhomaro Powell

Recently, we thought that many people out there battling through the business school application process might benefit from some thoughts and insights from others who went through the experience. To that end, we started On the Record: Q&A with BC Alums. Last time around we spoke with Radina Russell. This time around, we got insights from the funny and talented Rhomaro Powell.

BC Alumnus Rhomaro Powell

Rhomaro graduated from the S.C. Johnson School of Management at Cornell University, and currently works in the financial services sector.

Why did you go to business school?

Business School was the next logical step for my career progression.  My ultimate goal is to operate my own private equity firm; however I felt I was lacking some core skills, i.e. finance and accounting. Additionally, I felt I needed the proper brand and network that would provide me access to enter the private equity universe.  Johnson at Cornell University gave me the brand, network, and knowledge I needed.

How has business school impacted your career?

Business school as accelerated my career tremendously, mainly because it has helped me grow as an individual, expanded my network, and provided opportunities that I would not have had otherwise.  For example, I went into business school with the main goal of improving my technical skills, but learned that the softer skills were at least as important – and perhaps even more important – to my career.  I learned that knowledge only gets you so far, but being able to lead, influence, and build relationships with individuals will get you farther.  In regards to expanding my network and opportunities, I was able to do so through organizations such as Management Leadership for Tomorrow and The Robert Toigo Foundation.  These organizations have expanded my network from outside the business school I attended.  Additionally, I studied in Madrid, Spain for 5 months.  My network now spans all the top business schools and companies around the world.

On the Record: Q&A with BC Alumnus Radina Russell

Recently, we thought that many people out there battling through the business school application process might benefit from some thoughts and insights from others who went through the experience. To that end, we present On the Record: Q&A with BC Alums. Over the next few months we’ll be sharing stories in Q&A format from some of our favorite Bell Curves alumni.

Today’s featured Bell Curves alumnus is Radina Russell.

BC favorite and all-around superstar Radina Russell

Radina graduated from Columbia Business School and now works as an Investor Relations and Financial Communications consultant. Here is what she has to say about her business school experience, the GMAT, and more:

Why did you go to business school? My family was always trying to get rid of me as much as possible when I was a kid. When I was 16, all the cool kids got to go to fun camp, but I attended LEAD Summer Business Institute at The Darden School of Business at UVA (aka business summer camp). Ever since then, I’ve known I wanted to attend business school.

How has business school impacted your career?
  I was able to completely reinvent myself. I made the switch from technology to finance and developed a brand new set of skills in b-school.

How to Choose: GMAT versus GRE

With the GRE changing on August 1st, 2011, and an increasing number of business schools accepting the GRE for the application process, we thought it might be a good time to discuss the two to help people make a decision about which test to take.

There are a number of factors that should influence your decision about which test to take. Before we get into those, we’d recommend that your first order of business should always be to contact the admissions office(s) at the program(s) you’re interested in to gather information on how each test is weighted in the admissions process. At present, very little information is given about how the two tests stack up in the admissions process (for example, Columbia provides a link to the GRE Comparison Tool on their admissions website, while Darden at the University of Virginia simply says the GRE is accepted in lieu of the GMAT; neither school, it should be noted, gives any specific info on how the tests are weighted). Given this circumstance, any information you can gather from the programs you’re interested in would be beneficial in informing your decision on which test to take.

So, here are some considerations in deciding which test to take:

What is “The Consortium?”

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Each year about this time I travel to several universities and speak to undergraduates about B-School and the GMAT, and each year I’m surprised by how much people don’t know about existing graduate school opportunities. So today’s blog is dedicated to shedding some light on an organization that every aspiring B-School applicant should investigate: The Consortium.

The Word on the Street

First, let’s look at the word on the street about the Consortium. This is what a few of my GMAT students had to say about it:

The PHD Project’s 1000th PhD and 15th Anniversary

As I’ve done the last 5 years or so, this past November I went to Chicago to speak at the PhD Project Annual conference. Each year this organization inspires and fascinates me. Its mission is profound and its reach is broad. While some elements were “business as usual” the event brought together about 400 potential doctoral candidates from around the country (and indirectly the globe)  there were two significant milestones: the 15th year of the program and the 1000th doctoral candidate.

For anyone considering a PhD in business it’s a must that you check out this program!

My small contribution to the program was a presentation on how to prepare for the GMAT.

Yale School of Management (SOM) Explore Diversity 2009 Event

This past Sunday and Monday (the 8th and 9th of November), the Yale SOM hosted it’s annual Explore Diversity event. I was invited to attend and give a GMAT Presentation, and had a chance to meet many of the people directly involved in selecting candidates from the large pool of SOM applicants.

I have to say, first off, I was pleased to find that when Yale’s SOM touts a diversity weekend, they mean more than just ethnic or racial diversity. Their notions of diversity extend to include a great many parameters that would distinguish candidates, including career choices, country of origin, undergraduate education, and employment history, among others.

I also have to say I found the members of YSOM Admissions Committee to be a great bunch of people. Smaller, more intimate events such as this one give attendees a better opportunity to meet the people behind those the email addresses. The Admissions Committee seems as committed to diversity as the school is, with members clearly expressing very different personalities and perspectives. I imagine committee discussions about applicants are always interesting, and probably quite often heated. If you’re considering Yale, you should definitely meet some of these folks, and if they are any representation of the YSOM, it seems a great place to be!

Sitting in on the various events and talking to other people there, I got a few insights about the Yale SOM application/selection process.

MLT, a Bell Curves Partner, featured on CNN online

A recent feature on Management Leadership for Tomorrow Founder, John Rice. Watch for the Bell Curves mug at 1:47 into the video.

B-School Profiles – The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Buiness at Rice University

In this installment of our MBA school profiles, we will be looking at the Jesse H. Jones School of Management at Rice University. Established in 1974, the Jones School has consistently ranked in the top 30 business graduate programs in the United States. Rice University, a highly regarded undergraduate institution, is located in Houston, Texas. Houston is home to a large number of Fortune 500 Companies (second only to New York in the category), which has helped Jones graduates find jobs on par with many top tier b-schools.

Admissions at Jones are competitive, with students scoring a GMAT mean of 667 and Jones accepting 31% of their most recent round of applications (according to BusinessWeek). Application deadlines are November 10, January 12, February 23, and April 6.

To find out more, visit business.rice.edu

A feel good story to start off your Tuesday

We’ve chronicled the current anti-MBA rhetoric, but what about the good guys? There must be some. The Economist chronicles a few MBA do-gooders that don’t get quite as much press as everyone else.

Check it out here - http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/businesseducation/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13892606

The MBA bashing continues, sorta…

Newsweek recently published an article discussing everbody’s favorite recession activity – bashing MBAs! Check it out here. The article makes several interesting points and does a nice job of discussing the overall phenomena of MBA bashing without taking much of a stand on the issue.

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