Jeff Zelaya

5 Must Have MBA Apps

MBA Student in TrainingGraduate business school applications are up across the board, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council. If you want to gain the competitive edge in this crowded marketplace, high-tech resources including MBA apps, ebooks and online tools can help you get started toward earning an MBA.

1. The MBA App: Whether you’re just beginning the MBA application process or are trying to decide if an MBA will meet your professional needs, the free MBA Apps can help. Developed by the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, it offers a frank and honest look to determine if an MBA is right for you, suggestions on how to fund your education and launch a successful MBA application. Gain real insight from UNC B-school admissions officers and MBA students, who can help you make up your mind and apply.

2. The Ten-Day MBA: This book ($16.30 on Amazon) distills real-life MBA lessons from top-tier schools into a guidebook for business owners and would-be entrepreneurs. If you’re applying for an MBA, The Ten-Day MBA (tip: get it as an ebook to read on your device) can help you conceptualize what your education would be like and identify an area of specialty, as well help you write a compelling personal essay to accompany your application.

3. Clear Admit MBA Planner App: The free app helps you review MBA programs at different schools, stay on top of school deadlines and organize the ancillary information you need to provide (e.g. letters of recommendation, transcripts and personal statements). The MBA Planner provides detailed information on top-tier business schools, including demographics, application essay questions, job placement, student salaries, admissions office contact information and more. Narrowing down your applications list has never been easier.

4. Grammarly: This subscription-based web tool will help you ace the essay portion of any application. Sign in to the web interface from your PC or mobile device, copy and paste your text in the input box and receive an instant grammar check that runs through 250 rules. In addition, receive detailed grammar and spelling corrections, review contextual word choice suggestions to improve your writing style and avoid unintentional plagiarism by having your text checked against 8-billion plus webpages. Grammarly costs $29.95 per month; an annual fee of $139.95 lowers the monthly cost to $11.66. And don’t forget about high-speed Internet deals so you can check your grammar quickly.

5. GMAT Study Apps: While the GMAT is not required for all business schools, it is still required for many. With a GMAT app, you can study while you commute, wait for an appointment or are en route anywhere, anytime. Apps to use include the free Beat the GMAT, which offers 300 flashcards, the free GMAT on Demand from Veritas Press, which offers 12 free GMAT study videos, and the Official Guide for GMAT Review app, which runs from $4.99 to $14.99.

Thrilled to see this recent study on the business graduate job market!

Business College Graduate Looking Up

Lots of great opportunities for recent business grads!

The GMAC 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey found that 75 percent of companies around the world planned to hire MBAs this year, up four percent from last year. Both the U.S. and Asian-Pacific markets show strong growth in recruitment of all categories of graduate management candidates, and the European hiring outlook remains stable. In the United States, specific regions and industries show high demand for both MBAs and non-MBA business masters, with excellent salary compensation opportunities for qualified candidates.All signs point to an increase in the business graduate job market. Good news for students and those about to graduate!

Salary Projections

U.S. employers report paying new MBAs a median salary of $95,000 in 2013, up from $90,000 last year, according to the survey. Salaries vary regionally, with median salaries ranging from $92,000 in the South to $95,000 in the Midwest and West to $100,000 in the Northeast. These figures represent a significant jump over the average starting salary of $45,327 for bachelor’s degree holders, as reported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

In light of this significant salary increase, students interested in earning an MBA might find it worthwhile to consider a range of financing options. Students interested in these financing options should visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office to learn more. Options include both government programs and private loan sources, such as school-channel loans and direct-to-consumer loans. Students in specific situations may have other options available. For instance, students receiving a structured settlement can look into the cash value of their annuity to secure funds for educational use.

Regional Trends

The GMAC survey found that demand is highest in the Northeast, where 92 percent of companies reported plans to hire MBA graduates this year, up significantly from 83 percent last year. In the Midwest, hiring climbed from 87 to 89 percent since last year, while the West saw an increase from 80 percent to 85 percent. In the South, hiring of MBAs dipped by one percentage point—from 78 percent to 77 percent—but demand for non-MBA business graduates grew, with hiring increases of masters in management, accounting and finance.

Hot Industries in the Business Graduate Job Market

The survey identified the strongest surge in demand for MBAs coming from the energy and utilities industry, where hiring increased from 69 percent to 86 percent over last year, fueled by an aging workforce and the need for increased productivity and lower costs. Meanwhile the health care and pharmaceuticals business saw growth from 77 percent to 89 percent, motivated by the recent changes in federal health care laws.

Hiring also increased in the consulting industry, where there is demand for MBAs as well as specialists in business development, information technology and general management. Demand in the finance and accounting sector also grew, with a sharp spike in demand for those who hold a master’s degree in accounting, management and finance, as well as a steady strong interest in MBA-holders.


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Best Public Speaker Website Launches Today

Public speaking has been a passion of mine for the past 10 years. This website will give me the chance to better showcase my passion for it and hopefully will lead to more speaking opportunities in the future. If there is an event that you know I would be a good fit for please do not hesitate to contact me and please check out the site: Best Public Speaker

Negative invisible scripts

Blogger Ramit Sethi raises a point that I often battle with. Aren’t their times where you feel like you program yourself for failure instead of success? Many times we rationalize why we aren’t where we should be.

Instead of making excuses why don’t we just laser focus our attention in getting results? Let’s take action steps and set goals to help us take those steps to continue to reach the New Year’s resolutions, that hopefully we haven’t given up by 1/11/11.


There’s a game going on around you that you don’t even know about.

How many of us go through life without testing our theories? Here are a few of the most insidious:

SCRIPT: “I could make $160,000/year if I just had a law degree.”
REALITY: Going to law school is likely to leave the average student in crushing debt — and law schools are systematically deceiving students. This is why top performers know to only go to top 10 law schools, or they don’t go at all. (The same is true of business school.)

SCRIPT: “Why would anybody want to help me? What would they get out of it?”
REALITY: People LOVE to help people who take action. If some random emails me and tells me his delusional dreams, I’ll probably ignore him. But if he says, “Here’s my plan…I’ll email you back in 2 weeks with results. Then I’m hoping to get some advice after I’ve showed you that I can take action.” I’ll always respond. Who would be willing to help you?

SCRIPT: “I need to read more and more about investing before getting started.”
REALITY: You could set up your investment accounts by the end of the week and contribute $50/month to it — and be better off than someone who spent the next year “researching” their investments. (Note that I’m not saying you should just open up an account and dump your money anywhere. You need to do your research. But you can find out a basic place to invest, and “tune” your contribution amounts and asset allocation over time. I cover this in detail in chapters 3 and 7 of my book.)

Of COURSE there are exceptions to every one of these trends. There are huge successes that go to non-top-10 law schools and end up wildly successful, just as there are entrepreneurs who have hit it big without ever opening an investment account. But if you talk to most top performers, you’ll notice these trends time after time.

Do you have any of these negative scripts in your life?


College Students: Are You LinkedIn?

What’s that? You’re not?

If that’s the case, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity – one that might even cost you a job. In fact, recent studies claim that up to 80% of businesses are checking out potential hires on LinkedIn before extending an offer.

For example, let’s say you had a killer interview with a company you really want to work for. You’ve been meaning to set up your LinkedIn page, but haven’t quite got around to it yet. That shouldn’t matter, right? After all, you ACED the interview and are feeling good about your chances for a call-back.

In fact ALL of social media is important for college students.

Now, let’s say the company truly was (very) impressed with your resume and interview.

Actually, they’ve narrowed the search down to you and one other candidate. Good news! However, as a form of due diligence, they decide to Google you and that other loser to see what comes up. Under your name, a lot of white noise about high school basketball stats.

Under the other guy, a LinkedIn page that features more than 100 connections (some of which the interviewer knows personally), recommendations from former professors, as well as an in-depth narrative on specialties and real-world experience gained from a summer internship. Suddenly, all of those fond memories of your “killer” interview evaporate and candidate #2 gets the job.

Now who’s the loser?


To avoid this very real scenario in your own job search, here’s what you do:

1.) Sign up for a LinkedIn account. If you don’t know where to start, visit LINKEDIN FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS and take the tour. LinkedIn is free and, like most social media sites, once you get the hang of it – it’s really not that intimidating.

2.) Make sure your profile is 100% complete. Not only does this demonstrate that you are detail oriented, but complete profiles show up higher in search engine rankings. Also, bonus points if you have a professional headshot made (even if you just go to the mall) rather than posting a pixilated and poorly-cropped snapshot.

3.) Ask for recommendations. Don’t be shy about this. Assuming you’ve been a good student, most professors and former bosses are more than happy to say a few kind words about your work and employability. Note: Only those who actually have LinkedIn accounts can provide endorsements.

4.) Stay engaged. As with everything in life, you get out of LinkedIn what you put in to it. So be sure to jump on every once in a while and fill out the status update, find a cool new application to download (Amazon reading list, Slideshare, etc.), a great group to join, or just research jobs and businesses that interest you.

In other words, there are a million ways to use LinkedIn to put your best professional foot forward. So don’t trip up because you’re not in the game.

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