100 episodes

Admissions Straight Talk is a weekly discussion of what's new, thought-provoking, and useful in the world of graduate admissions. Linda Abraham, leading admissions consultant and author, covers the application process for MBA, law school, medical school, and other graduate programs.

Admissions Straight Talk Linda Abraham

    • Education
    • 4.4 • 39 Ratings

Admissions Straight Talk is a weekly discussion of what's new, thought-provoking, and useful in the world of graduate admissions. Linda Abraham, leading admissions consultant and author, covers the application process for MBA, law school, medical school, and other graduate programs.

    No Med School Interviews: What Now?

    No Med School Interviews: What Now?

    What to do if you have no interviews [Show summary]







    What do you do if you still haven’t heard back from medical schools by Thanksgiving? In this episode, podcast host Linda Abraham shares how students can pursue parallel tracks to expand their opportunities.







    Linda Abraham's advice for med school applicants who still haven't received interview invitations [Show notes]







    Welcome to the 445th episode of Admissions Straight Talk, Accepted's podcast. Thanks for tuning in. 







    I decided to do a solo show today. This is my second in a row, but don't worry we're going to go back to normal interview programming next week. This show is aimed at our premed listeners, but I think there is value to other applicant groups as well in listening in. But the focus today will be on medical school this time. 







    As I mentioned, this is Thanksgiving week, a short week, and I have something timely to discuss, so I'm going to share it. I'm also going to keep this podcast a little shorter than usual in honor of the short week and also because I think I can cover the topic in less time and I'm not going to keep you on the podcast for no good reason. I'm going to dive into our timely topic in just a second. 







    The freebie we're offering with today's show couldn't be more relevant to today's topic. One common reason for no interviews or ultimately rejection for medical school applicants is that they simply aimed too high. And you have to ask yourself, were you really competitive at your target programs? If you're aiming ahead, are you competitive at your target programs? Accepted's Med School Admissions Calculator can give you a quick reality check. Just go to accepted.com/medquiz, complete the quiz, and you not only get an assessment, but tips on how to improve your chances of acceptance. Plus, it's all free.







    Recent admission stats [2:38]







    Now, let's face it. It's hard to get into medical school. The process is long, difficult and grueling. In my opinion, of all the graduate and professional programs, it has the most demanding process. One of the difficult parts of it, by the way, is the utter silence at this stage of the game. But leaving that aside for the moment, acceptance rates support my contention. The AAMC reports applicants aiming for the class that entered in 2020, where I strongly suspect acceptance rates were higher than this past cycle that entered in 2021, enjoyed a 41.9% acceptance rate overall. That means that most applicants were rejected. And the news from AACOMAS is even worse. The most recent data, which is only for 2018, shows that of 20,981 applicants to 20 DO programs, 7,415 were accepted. That’s a 35.34% acceptance rate. In other words, almost two thirds were rejected. Now, this data is all for the classes that applied before COVID. It is not for the class that applied through the pandemic when the so-called Fauci effect is believed to have contributed to a surge in medical school applications, the recession probably also had some role to play.







    What medical schools are looking for beyond grades [3:57]







    Most admissions directors whom I have spoken with are still seeing a high level of applications this year, but AMC data is not yet available for last year's cycle or for this one. Of course,

    • 16 min
    Create Compelling Round 2 MBA Applications

    Create Compelling Round 2 MBA Applications

    The best way to approach your MBA application [Show summary]







    You have your GPA and test score but how should you approach the actual application? In this episode Linda Abraham, Admissions Straight Talk host, shares Accepted’s DARE framework to help you confidently apply to your dream schools. 







    The essential ingredients that adcoms look for in an application [Show notes]







    Welcome to the 444th episode of Admissions Straight Talk, Accepted's podcast. Thanks for tuning in. 







    I decided to do a solo show today, just me and you. Because this is a particularly packed episode, we also have a worksheet for you. You can use it to take notes or use it later independent of the podcast to perhaps jot things down that you remember from the podcast and add to it. You can download your worksheet at accepted.com/444download. 







    Before we explore today's topic, I want to invite all Admissions Straight Talk listeners to take advantage of a fantastic special that Accepted is offering this week: up to $1,000 off our services purchased by November 19th, which is Friday. The coupon code is SAVENOW. Whatever graduate program you're considering, the time to buy and save is really right now. Go to accepted.com/services to find the right service for you. Get details about the special, and then use the coupon code saved now on this investment in your future.







    This, our last special of 2021, also relates directly to the topic of today's show, Creating Compelling Round 2 MBA Applications. Now, dear listener, if you're not an MBA applicant, you may still find relevant nuggets in this show, which really is focusing on strategy and maximizing your application. All the examples will be related to MBA applications. I recently delivered a webinar on this topic, and frankly, it was very well received - so well received that I decided to provide much of the content from the webinar here. If you attended the webinar, you're certainly welcome to stay for a review and also for a few tidbits that weren't in the original. 







    Now, let's start with some basic assumptions: you're dreaming of a career that excites you, you're aspiring to MBA programs that will launch you towards that career, but you face obstacles. You have a problem. 







    How do you build an application that portrays you at your best and is a perfect match for the schools you're aiming for? How do you move your application reader from your stats to your story? [2:51]







    I'll tell you, you use a framework that allows you to use your application strategically making the most of every inch of application real estate available to you. That part of the strategy that I'm going to outline is something that is true of every single applicant to any graduate school. Whatever program you are applying to, you want to make the most of every inch of application real estate available to you. So, part of implementing this strategy is going to start right now.







    You can download the worksheet, if you haven't already,

    • 22 min
    Testing, Testing, 1-2-3: What’s the Right Test Prep For You?

    Testing, Testing, 1-2-3: What’s the Right Test Prep For You?

    Are you thinking about taking a standardized test for undergraduate or graduate admissions? Read on for must-know test-prep information! [Show summary]







    We’re calling in test prep leaders and co-hosts of the Tests and the Rest podcast, Mike Bergin and Amy Seeley to discuss tips and strategies for choosing the right test prep for you as well as the best approach to test taking all the way from SATs and ACTs to GMATs and LSATs.







    Test-prep pros Mike Bergin and Amy Seeley share their expertise and advise [Show notes]







    Welcome to the 443rd episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for joining me. 







    Today's show is all about test prep, and I'd like to start with a one question quiz for you. What is the paradox at the heart of graduate school admissions? You have five seconds, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. I'll tell you. You have to show that you belong at your target programs and that you stand out in this applicant pool. Doing so is a paradox, and it's a challenge. Accepted’s free download, Fitting In & Standing Out: The Paradox At The Heart of Admissions will show you how to do both simultaneously. Master this paradox and you are well on your way to acceptance. Download your guide at accepted.com/fiso as in fitting in, standing out. 







    I want to thank Alex Levenger for leaving a review on our July 20th episode. I'm going to quote excerpts from it. He wrote, "I gained some excellent bits from the July 20th episode. Number one, there really are two disparate attitudes that can make the GMAT tough: thinking you're better than the exam and freezing into paralysis." And his second point was, "The GMAT is a metaphor for a study or general work tasks. My main quibble is with the initial assessment test. I think it's faulty to gain any useful granular info into a student by using this test." Lots of people agree with you, Alex. 







    Our guests today are test prep experts and fellow podcasters, Mike Bergin and Amy Seeley. A word about each of them. 







    With over 27 years of intensive experience in every aspect of standardized test preparation, Mike Bergin knows what works in test prep and what doesn't. A nationally recognized leader in test prep, Mike founded Chariot Learning in 2009 to deliver on the promise of what truly transformative individualized education can and should be. Mike is also the founding president of the board of directors of the National Test Prep Association, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the highest ethical standards and best practices in the test prep industry, while advocating for the appropriate administration and use of standardized tests for admissions and assessment purposes. Lastly, Mike is also the co-host of Tests and the Rest, the college admissions industry podcast and creator of the Facebook industry group for test prep professionals, Test Prep Tribe. He and his podcast co-host Amy Seeley even run the nation's leading test prep conferences and online summits. 







    Turning to Amy. Amy Seeley began her career in test preparation over 28 years ago, working for Princeton Review after gaining valuable knowledge and experience as a part-time tutor, she turned that passion into a career with Townsend Learning Centers. She quickly assumed the role of director of test preparation services, creating, managing, and administering all aspects of Townsend's test preparation programs. After leaving Townsend in 2006, Amy began Seeley Test Preparation services, meeting the test preparation needs of several hundred student...

    • 57 min
    What Makes Yale SOM Unique?

    What Makes Yale SOM Unique?

    Are you dreaming of a spot at Yale School of Management? [Show summary]







    Bruce DelMonico, Yale School of Management’s Assistant Dean of Admissions, returns and shares how the school has endured the pandemic and highlights updates in the admissions process. 







    What applicants need to know about this mission-driven, case-based MBA program [Show notes]







    Welcome to the 442nd episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for listening. Are you preparing to apply to your dream business schools? Are you competitive at your target programs? Accepted's MBA admissions calculator can give you a quick reality check. Just go to accepted.com/mbaquiz, complete the quiz, and you'll not only get an assessment, but tips on how to actually improve your qualifications and your chances of acceptance. Plus, it's all free!







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    It gives me great pleasure to have back on Admissions Straight Talk and introduce Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean of Admissions at the Yale School of Management. He has been on the admissions team at Yale since 2004, became the Director in 2006, and the Assistant Dean in 2012. He was last on Admissions Straight Talk almost exactly two years ago in October 2019. It seems like a lifetime ago, because that was, of course, before COVID. 







    Bruce, welcome to Admissions Straight Talk. It's a pleasure to have you back on the show. So much has changed in the last two years.







    We're going to do some review from the last conversation. I would actually recommend that all listeners also listen to Bruce’s previous interview which is at accepted.com/338 but let's start here.







    Can you please provide a basic overview of the Yale SOM MBA program for listeners who may not be that familiar with it, focusing on its more distinctive elements? [2:17]







    Sure, happy to. So here at Yale, we have a full-time, two-year MBA. Hopefully the listeners are familiar with the general structure of the MBA program. I think some of the things that make our program distinctive are the fact that we are very mission oriented. Our founding mission is to educate leaders for business and society. That's a very broad, multi-sector mission. I think that definitely does animate and influence just about everything that happens here at the School of Management. For students who are here, for those of your listeners who come here to Yale, that means a few things. The first year of your experience, the core curriculum consists of our integrated curriculum, which is different from what you would experience in other business schools. I think that's one distinctive aspect. And we can go more into that, but I won't bore you with all the details now. But it's a very integrated, as the name implies, a multidisciplinary approach, really trying to get our students to think broadly across disciplines and functions.







    We also are case-based, but we have our own case writing team, so we use raw cases,

    • 55 min
    Are you rushing to Attend Rush Medical College?

    Are you rushing to Attend Rush Medical College?

    Get to know Rush Medical College [Show summary]







    Built on the tenets of community service and community engagement, Rush Medical College strives to graduate empathetic physicians. In this episode, Dr. Cynthia Boyd, Associate Dean for Admissions offers a closer look into the program. 







    What makes Rush Medical College unique? A flipped-classroom model of learning and an unwavering dedication to community service [Show notes]







    Thanks for joining me for the 441st episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Will you be ready, next spring, to apply to your dream medical schools? Are you competitive at your target programs? Accepted's med school admissions quiz can give you a quick reality check. Just go to accepted.com/medquiz, complete the quiz, and you'll not only get an assessment, but also tips on how to improve your chances of acceptance. Plus, it's all free.







    Now, let's move to today's interview. I'm delighted to have on Admissions Straight Talk, Dr. Cynthia Boyd of Rush Medical College. Dr. Boyd earned her MD at George Washington, where she also did her residency in internal medicine, and later an MBA from Chicago Booth. She joined Rush Medical Center in 1998, and has served in a variety of roles, including Assistant Dean for Minority Affairs, Director of Medical Staff Operations, and Chief Compliance Officer. She moved over to Rush Medical College, full-time, in 2019, and is now the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, as well as Associate Dean for Admissions and Recruitment. Dr. Boyd, thank you so much for joining me on Admissions Straight Talk.







    Can you give us an overview of the Rush Medical College program, focusing on its more distinctive elements? [2:07]







    Sure, I'll be speaking primarily about the medical school. At Rush University Medical Center, we have four colleges dedicated to the health sciences: the College of Nursing, Health Sciences, Graduate College, and the Medical College. It has been in existence since about 1837. It was the first medical school established, actually, in Chicago. It is very focused on clinical care, outstanding clinical care, integrating that with education, research, and community partnerships.







    We are located on the west side of Chicago, about five miles from the downtown area, the Chicago Loop, as it is called. Our community is a very diverse community, ranging from very wealthy, to the very poor. More recently, our curriculum was changed to become what is described as a flipped classroom, where the students do the learning. The teacher is not in front of them doing didactics, students do the learning, and then they come to class in a group of their peers to share what they've learned, to ask questions. It puts the focus on them as their learners, versus the faculty putting out all of the information. That's changed within the last five years. Probably, one of the newest innovations has been our curriculum.







    What does the faculty do in a flipped classroom context? [3:45]







    There are specific courses, so to speak, that the students will learn and focus on for anywhere from four to six weeks like gases, nutrition, etc. But they are given readings and articles and videos, and a variety of ways to learn on that topic.

    • 47 min
    What’s New at Wharton MBA

    What’s New at Wharton MBA

    What makes Wharton's MBA program unique, and how to demonstrate to the adcom that YOU belong there [Show summary]







    Blair Mannix, Wharton’s Director of Admissions, shares the ways the admissions committee aims to reduce stress in the application process and offer a positive experience. She dispels myths about the Wharton admissions process and offers advice for students seeking acceptance to the MBA program.







    From the structure of a TBD to why standardized testing is here to stay: Your guide to the Wharton admissions process [Show notes]







    Welcome to the 440th episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for tuning in. Are you ready to apply for your dream business schools? Are you competitive at your target programs? Accepted's MBA Admissions Calculator can give you a quick reality check. Just go to accepted.com/mbaquiz. Complete the quiz, and you'll not only get an assessment but tips on how to improve your qualifications and your chances of acceptance. Plus, it's all free. 







    It gives me great pleasure to have back on Admissions Straight Talk Blair Mannix, Director of Admissions at Wharton. Blair first came to Penn as a graduate student where she earned her Masters in Higher Education Management in 2010. She joined Penn's undergraduate admissions staff in 2008. She's been at Wharton's since 2012 and became Director of Admissions in 2017. She was last on Admissions Straight Talk just under two years ago. And what a two years it's been. Let's catch up on life and admissions at Wharton. 







    Blair, welcome back to Admissions Straight Talk.







    Can you just start by providing a basic overview of the Wharton MBA program for listeners who may not be that familiar with it, focusing on its more distinctive elements? [1:56]







    Absolutely. It's difficult to put Wharton into five to seven sentences, but I will try. So, Wharton was the first business school in the United States, established in 1881. Wharton's first MBA class was in 1921 so this year it was actually the 100th class that Dean Erika James welcomed in August, which was really, really exciting. It is a perfect bookend in terms of 100 years of classes for me that this year's class is more than 50% women, which I'm sure we'll talk about. But it just feels like this beautiful bow. One hundred years, 50% women. That's great.







    What I think makes the Wharton education distinct is that it's very hands-on. It's very practical. It's very tactile. You're never going to look at a problem from 30-feet away. You're going to get right into the guts of it and try to figure it out. And that's what we teach because that's what we believe that businesses need.







    We're known for innovation across many disciplines. We are certainly known for finance, and we're really proud of that reputation. 100 years of the best finance education you can get, but we are many other things, and I think that's important for people to understand.







    There are two distinguishing centers that I really want to mention: The Stevens Center for Innovation i...

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

ShelbieJean ,

Very informative— A must listen

I first tuned in on the episode All About Duke’s Top-Ranked PA Program. There was various information presented that reached a good depth of understanding. Since that episode I have cycled back through other episodes and tune in on my daily commute to work. Thank you for sharing this knowledge!

megan@podcastingyou ,

Such a Great Resource!

Linda does such a good job covering a variety of topics. Her guests offer awesome advice as well. I would recommend this show to anyone looking to learn more about admissions!

CC_Babi ,

I wish this existed when I was younger!

Linda provides so much valuable information on the college admissions process. I just wish this resource existed when I was younger! So glad to refer this show to anyone who has a family member going to college soon because this show answers so many questions. -Valerie Zaric

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