Commonly Asked Video Essay Questions in #MBA Application & How to Answer Them | Video #Essay EP2

Commonly Asked Video Essay Questions in #MBA Application & How to Answer Them | Video #Essay EP2

[Music] hi everybody and welcome we are so glad to be with you today for our discussion about commonly asked video questions my name is judith silverman hodara i’m a founder and principal at fortuna admissions and delighted to be with two very dear friends today brittany michelle who is x wharton x princeton and x hopkins um who is also one of our stellar fortuna coaches who’s going to be answering some questions for us today as well as sharon joyce who is expertly in addition to being a wonderful fortuna coach and a career coach extraordinaire well we had such a great time with you guys last week we thought that we would come back this week and do a little bit more conversation around video questions um abi sheet is going to put up some um [Music] files for us to look at and um we are really grateful again for our terrific partnership with the gmat club we’ve been working with them for a number of years they are just a wonderful partner great content great production and we’re really glad to be able to partner with with them and to reach out to our friends um through the gmat club today so again uh brittany michal is with me and uh dr sharon joyce and dr brittany michelle both of them um and i’m just delighted to spend some time with you today a little bit about fortuna which we can talk about on the next slide is that we are really dedicated to helping you all figure out this process um we have about 40 former gatekeepers which is hard to believe um to the world’s top business schools and you can see our list of schools represented we are located all over the world we are very much a virtual group of individuals and we are more than happy to speak with you about your interest in applying to business school and how we can help to support your journey so if you’d liked a free consultation you can sign up on www.fortunadmissions.com also just so you know we will be sharing a deck with you today but also encourage you to post any questions and comments in the comments section of your screen and we will be more than happy to answer those as we go through so without further ado we’d like to jump on and kind of get straight to our discussion topics so some of these questions are not going to be such a surprise for you um and what we’re going to do is sort of go back and forth and ask our panelists about how they might suggest that you think about preparing how you think about answering these questions and again friends feel free to jump in um this is really a conversation it’s not a lecture so would love um both brittany and sharon to kind of share their insights as we as we kind of go through some of the questions that our students are going to be asked um so brett i’m going to start with you a very common video question is why an mba and what kind of things do you think should be answered in that question thanks judith i’m happy to be here today and jump into some of these um so why nba is one that everyone should know pretty well um by the time they get uh to the process of doing an interview or doing a video interview um so this one’s really kind of a layup so in your mba research you should really be cultivating a very clear response to why you need an mba and so when you’re answering this type of question um you might even be you know heavily relying back on you know to your essays um what you’ve written in your essays and really you know helping the admissions committee understand um sort of your trajectory to the mba so not only why you need it you know what the gaps are in your skill sets um but sort of where you hope to go which kind of lends itself to some of the follow-up questions um that that come after sort of surrounding your career goals so sharon this is pretty much a general question right why an mba it’s not supposed to be very specific right and usually it’s about one of the first questions that you’ll be asked it’s a great kind of softball or a warm-up question and just to kind of dovetail on what brittany just said it should be expected right i mean i think part of leading up to applying is just having this iterative process of what really is guiding my intention to apply to an mba program and again i think it’s all about being able to recognize what you want to get out of the program and then thinking too and being self-reflective about some of the areas that are gaps for you and how the mba is really going to help you connect a bunch of dots in terms of what you’ve had in your previous experience leading up to this point in time where you’re really excited to go back to graduate school so sharon i’m going to kind of keep with you for a minute because you do so much work around career envisioning and career preparedness so how does this question the next question that we’re talking about uh why do you want to attend our mba program and and what are your short-term goals can you can you sort of talk about how you might approach that question i think that it’s really important i know when i work with clients and we prep for this i think sometimes they get a little flustered like it seems like it’s going to be really daunting when i say you have this we’ve been talking about this for months right and so i think before you even go into doing the actual video like have some bullet points ready to address these topics so that you can stay on point it’s sometimes really easy to get flustered once the camera countdown starts so have your thoughts collected and you really should know this right as we’ve mentioned so think about some of the things that you want to share with that school that really demonstrates your research and your knowledge outside of just doing a rudimentary web search i’ll find sometimes clients completely forget about mentioning something like wow i learned a lot on this webinar or i had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with the president of the consulting club so make sure you’re bringing in some of these different pieces that really show that you’ve thought about why this particular school is going to be a great fit for your professional goals as well as some of the interpersonal things that you want to develop while you’re at their program i always say it’s kind of like dating right meeting a couple different schools in this process and they want to know that they’re special to you that’s fair without sharing some of those pieces that you’ve had the opportunity to research in terms of short-term goals though too again getting kind of beyond the rudimentary web research think about with your short-term goals can you talk about gee you know i’d really love to do a summer internship with amazon particularly if you know that amazon is an active recruiter at that school i think that again it shows that your placement makes sense and that you really are being focused and targeted on what appeals to you about that school how you will be able to be a fit in terms of what you’re looking for in your career and i think it’s also though important to not just talk about the curricular pieces but talk a little bit too about sort of these fit pieces more of the the personal side as well for example if you would really like to take an active role in their uh women in leadership group you know say something about that as well i kind of talk about the three c’s right so making sure that you discuss something about the curriculum something about the co-curricular and then finally something about the community so that would mean the vibe of the place but it could also mean its location for someone who’s interested in technology maybe talking about the proximity to silicon valley and how that really uh appeals to and makes sense given what you want to do in the short term so short term for you can you kind of give a definition of of in your mind that’s internship and then immediately after graduation immediately after and some schools will be very um very targeted about that they want to know what is sort of your plan for the next three to five years and it really is important to stay focused on the question that is being asked i think sometimes you know there might be it makes sense or there’s a logical way to talk about the long-term goals but for that specific question they do want you to stay more targeted around the short-term goals thinking about what you want to do during those three to five years in terms of what kind of skills are you still going to be developing and again the type of company that you want to be in to help develop those skills and again if that company is an active recruiter or a particular school i think that’s the way to really kind of position yourself for responding to this question so brit i’m going to ask you about the follow-up question which is um you know why do you want to attend our mba program on what are your long-term goals and sometimes i’ll get students asking me like what does long term need does long term mean like five years 10 years what if i want to do something in politics which is totally unrelated to the job i’m going to have when i graduate so can you can you talk about how to best answer that question yeah so usually in in my work with clients um they come to me with kind of two different versions of their long-term goals and i think depending on what your sort of career narrative is what your story is and also even where you’re applying um it can really take one of two forms and so the first would be like a more traditional concrete long-term goal so exactly like the short-term goal um like sharon said you might mention you know longer term i see myself going from this place you know to this very specific place a specific organization a specific role um and you can tie it very closely to you know the concrete elements of what you need to get out of the program i think there’s also another version of long-term goal which can be more of the vision for your career um so sometimes applicants and i think this is kind of being like just genuine and authentic too they know really concretely where their short term might take them but the long term is a little bit more open-ended and so some applicants might speak more to a greater vision that they have for their career the type of work they want to do maybe the vertical the industry they want to be in but they don’t know specifically the company or even just the type of impact that they want to have in their career so i think depending on the school and the narrative that you’ve really set for yourself in your other application materials you’ve got kind of both paths you can potentially take for that long-term question well thank you both that’s a terrific answer and it’s a question that we you know these video questions are obviously very prevalent um and and we talk to students all the time like i don’t really know you know they they’re they have a hard time with the cut off in terms of short term long term so this is super helpful um we’re going to go on to the next slide and look at a couple of additional questions that are being asked um so sharon do you want to jump in and sort of talk about how to how to think about this question um what type of teams do you typically work in and what role do you play oh sharon i can’t we can’t hear you that’s okay for this question i think they want to dig in a little bit more deeply about how do you see yourself in your organization do you have some self-awareness um to to really think about what are your contributions and i think some of the these types of questions also are kind of like what are your strengths 101 um so thinking about you know are you a connector do you help bring different sides of the house together you know if you’re straddling maybe engineering and sales so just really thinking about what is the value that you bring i think though too sometimes um there’s sort of this undercurrent that is really useful to make that connection though so if you think about some of the strengths that you bring onto a team a great way to kind of conclude responding to this question is how will you then bring it into the mba program and how will you be a valued player when you are on different team projects and group projects um just sort of thinking about that and how do you are you are they looking for examples of what kind of role you play or is this more sort of a descriptor like i am the mediator or i am the you know i think it can be both i mean i think that you know a lot of what we often say with fortuna is um you know show don’t just tell so if you can come in with a story about something like well recently on this project you know even though my title is x i find myself often in the role of doing y um and i think that that appeals to me because it gives me an opportunity to use my analytical skills or use some of my skills in problem solving so i think it’s a little bit of both juden so and brittany would you agree if you’re sort of thinking about what would you bring to the class and community at that pro at our program they’re looking for like examples that they can share yeah i mean i think that just to aid into believability and storytelling like you know you you want to give an example if you could give an example sometimes with video questions though you’re you’re sort of crammed for time though in space so it’s often a challenge um and this is why pre-planning for these things is so important like with everything that you’re going to do for your mba applications is really thinking through the stories that will work and the stories that will fit and how you can kind of present them really clearly and concisely um but i’m a big fan of the needing to balance um the the tell with the show so anytime that you can use an example um it can be beneficial to do so so it could be something like i really love um you know trying out new road trips and so have you know in my you know have gone across the united states with a backpack with like is this what you mean britney sort of like and i would love to introduce that to my my fellow classmates at schoolx or yeah i mean okay i even think you can do like i call it like the quick shot example which is just you know from from doing this to this to this so at least you’re kind of you know giving them those little tidbits of information you know you might not get to go into detail about all of them you know that’s one way to do it but some people might use you know 10 seconds to explain one example so i think you know just depending on the context that both ways of showing can work and i would add that just from what would you bring to the class and community at our program a lot of people are going to talk about academic prowess um my suggestion is that you don’t always talk about academic prowess you know like we understand if you’re a great quant person that’s wonderful and maybe that makes its way into your essay but this is a chance for you to really show who you are as an individual and what excites you and what lights up your your face you know when you’re talking about it who knows maybe it’s running regressions i don’t know but um yeah i think that you know this is to me having reviewed so many of these videos this is definitely the place where you want that personality that personal touch to shine um the next question is a hard one because it’s really asking you to think about where you might you know not be perfect quote unquote um and you want some support and this is always a balance because you’re trying to figure out how to show your hand like i want to learn about this and my program’s going to help me but you also you know need to do it with confidence um brittany do you want to talk i think if both of you could talk about this one that would be great so brit why don’t we start with you yeah so i think that like you said you know going off what you said about balance um it’s great to really show your value-add and all the positives and the things that you’re going to bring to the table whether it’s you know academic extracurriculars you know your whole you um but it’s also really important and again aiding in sort of believability and authenticity to um show your weaknesses and show that you are self-aware and even being a little bit vulnerable it’s also just on a very you know basic level you need to be you need to understand why you need an mba and that means there’s things you don’t know ultimately and you need to be able to own the things that you don’t know and there’s something really really refreshing about that um my biggest piece of advice for questions that are where you’re expected to talk to talk about or walk through constructive feedback or criticism is to not couch your weaknesses and strengths i think the worst offender is i work too hard i work too much right no that’s just does it you need you need to really find an area and it can be something very very very small you don’t need to have this big fatal flaw right you probably don’t want to have that um for this process but you need to really um you know target something that is an area of improvement for you own it and be able to even if possible explain how the program is going to help you work on it sharon you’re nodding i have a feeling you agree with this approach no no i um was just working with a client last week thinking about something you know relatively uh similar question that he was grappling with and he had a great story about really feeling like he failed at something at work there was a very contentious situation and he felt that he was just very poorly equipped to try and bring these two groups to some sort of peaceful mediation and so i was like that’s a great story though although he was still kind of bummed out with the outcome but again that’s a growth area and then just to kind of echo with uh what britney just said though mapping it though you know to something specific that he could utilize or leverage while he’s enrolled in that particular school so maybe you know a negotiations class or leadership communications or something like that so i agree with brittany though 110 in terms of you know saying things like i’m a perfectionist and it’s hard to say no and things like that just does not win you any points it’s total fluff but really coming in and i think talking about something that you grappled with i think is really important i think sometimes too when thinking about what schools offer you know think about some of kind of the hard skills that you need to improve upon you know if you’ve never had a background in finance talk about some of those pieces but i think also you know a lot of this is around leadership development so i think if you show kind of leadership vulnerability that you recognize some other interpersonal things that you want to work on i think that goes really far with the admissions committee because there’s that authenticity that we’re always looking for and they also want to know that they can teach you you know i think that a lot of people feel when they approach this process that there can be no weakness and the truth is if you were 100 good at this stuff you probably wouldn’t need an mba right so i think that i love this question how will our program help you develop because essentially it’s asking you to be reflective about like well what how can we how can we lift you up how can we help you exactly with this exactly so abhijit we’re going to go to the next question um and and these are certain schools ask very specific kind of tell us about a time describe an instance um you know very reflective pieces sharon do you want to jump in on this one describe an instance when you worked on a team with different working styles and perspectives and how you dealt with it what would what would a setup for this question be i think a good setup would be again really bringing a true life example of something that has happened in your workplace again you have to be really concise and succinct um more than likely you’ve already had a conversation with your coach about kind of these different circumstances because a lot of that has helped inform some of your writing for the mba programs um i think though too a lot of of what’s happening here is also the nuanced understanding of what is behind this question which is that mba programs are attracting um students in incoming classes who are coming in with all sorts of backgrounds and so coming up with something that again is very authentic but talking about how have you had to maybe adapt sometimes your style or how do you know when it is the right time to advocate for something maybe a little bit more strongly so again in terms of approaching this question i think thinking of a situation thinking about you know what was the strength that you brought in terms of trying to bring a team together um and then i think also you know the other piece of this though is getting to the whole thing about being open to different perspectives right and showing how were you remaining respectful even if there were um even if there were conflicting ideas and thoughts within that team right this question is not about how did you get everybody else to agree with you it’s real it’s which i think is sometimes a little tricky but it’s how did you know how did you lean into this conversation it sounds more like like that kind of bridging the divide between the two and i think that also just being comfortable sometimes conflict um and and figuring out ways to manage through conflict in a way that you’re still true to yourself but there’s also still integrity and respectfulness within the team and being able to demonstrate that and so again i mean thinking of a good example where you can discuss that because it will then just make it more real to the person who’s going to be reviewing your video response right and again at the end of the day this is your opportunity to really come across as a real person um and so vulnerabilities and all i think is so important um in addition to if you remember last week’s conversation making sure you have excellent lighting and a uncluttered background note my gray wall um but um i definitely you know being being really true to yourself is so important we’re going to go on to the next question wanted to remind you everyone who’s watching we are live we’d love to hear your questions and comments so feel free to put them in the comment box um brittany we’re going to go back to you and and can you walk us through tell us about a time when you were out of your comfort zone and how did that make you feel i was trying to think of if i had an example that i could give for myself but i don’t have a really good wrong side of my head um but yeah these are all these are all behavioral questions um you know at their core and so you know when you’re asked a question like this they’re really getting at how did you work through a situation that you had to work through right that was a challenge um and i think that kind of piggybacking on one more chair and said you know if you’re not mba programs are a challenge it’s a challenge to apply there’s a lot of things that you have to go through but these programs should be challenging themselves because if you’re not challenging yourself you’re not learning and you’re not growing and that’s the point of you know going back to school and so when they ask you a question like this they’re really trying to get the sense of first do you put yourself in challenging situations do you put yourself in situations where you’re outside of your comfort zone or are you always just you know sitting back and you know taking the easy path i have actually worked with a lot of clients who don’t having a good example for this for this question or it really takes them some time to kind of think back and reframe a situation um to be able to say you know i really was outside of my comfort zone you know when i work with people on you know applicants when they’re trying to you know plan to answer these types of questions i think it’s really important to you know again you have to be very clear you have to be very concise um and not get too bogged down in explaining the context and the results and really focus on the action which kind of you know you can go through these with like that star method um like a lot of people work through behavioral questions that way i i think of the car method too which is because my sometimes i can’t think through four things i can only you know i need to just think of three um especially when you’re nervous right right um so a lot of people are nervous you know in this situation so i think of the quick context heavy focus on your action your behavior what did you do and then you can touch on the results so so yeah these are these are tricky and really worth you know taking a lot of time to sit down plan them out and think back through you know pull out your resume go through your resume go line by line and think of when you know if i could be asked a question about this what would it be where did i struggle what did i have to go through you know what did i overcome what was the challenge and it’s a really good way to prepare and it’s it’s well worth this preparation really because you’re going to be asked these kinds of questions these behavioral questions in so many different kinds of contexts so you know the the the story behind prepping for this stuff is that you never want it to be coming out of your mouth for the first time when you’re in an interview situation i mean the same goes for us i haven’t been interviewed on any of these questions for probably 10 years but i probably you know would be really good for me to brush up on them because i’ve got examples i just haven’t organized them yet um and again brittany thank you for that going through your resume and remembering that what you put on your resume was not necessarily smooth sailing the whole way through it’s really really important um you know to consider and and sharon would you probably give the same advice for the most difficult challenge question about about how to approach it 100 and again just it’s okay to be raw i mean i think that’s what schools want to see and also that you’re reflective that you’re not defensive about anything um just you know i was thinking in particular a few clients who i’ve been working with um one person you know their challenge would be that they have been in a pretty hostile workplace in terms of some initiatives around diversity equity and inclusivity and so writing about that and trying to manage that situation in a really respectful manner but it can run the gamut as well i mean i think i have another client who would address this talking about being really disappointed that they didn’t make the varsity level golf team after playing for so many years and really thinking that they would be a shoe-in and so processing that and learning from that experience and so i think again you know the big takeaway and the nuanced piece is like what did you learn from that um and and how do you apply those life lessons moving forward how did that make you a stronger person uh and how did that show your resiliency in the face of obstacles so again behavioral questions um wonderful advice from you both this morning on this set in particular because these i i struggle with these a lot as well and how to kind of help people prepare for them um so this is great and i hope that um for our viewers currently and those that will look back on this that they’ll really you know pay a lot of attention to those behavioral questions and how we suggest you prepare for them we’re going to go on to the next slide and um see if there are any questions um that folks have based on what we’ve been talking about this morning there might not be i have this feeling that a lot of people are still in the throes of writing their application i haven’t quite gotten to this whole video piece quite yet excuse me but we are more than happy to meet with you to speak with you about your candidacy we do work with people last minute in the last couple of weeks you know less than two weeks until some of the big big schools are coming up we do work hourly of course and then also happy to talk with you about round two um again just such a delight to be with my colleagues dr brittany michelle and dr sharon joyce this morning uh our partnership with the gmat club has been a long one a very important one for us and we’re really grateful for the time that we have together um so without any questions that i see coming up um we look forward to hearing from you again i think abhijit is going to put up the next slide which might have a little bit more information about how to reach us um set up a 30-minute strategy session with our experts i am one of them i’m happy to talk to you judith silverman hodara or you can listen to more expert admissions advice on the youtube channel and again for those of you watching youtube or on facebook right now you can schedule those free consultations with us right now www or http fortunateadmissions.com thank you so much everybody for being with us and we look forward to being in touch have a great day thank you
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Commonly Asked Video Essay Questions in #MBA Application & How to Answer Them | Video #Essay EP2

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