Category Archives: MBA

Mentorship can help you achieve the goal

In the previous post, I shared with you about SMART goals. This time, I want to explain how a mentor or coach can help you achieve your career-goals, part of which can be preparing and enrolling on Professional MBA program at Robinson.

A mentor, coach, trusted friend or maybe even your current boss who wants you to move up in your company – all can be called accountability partners (AP). Having an accountability partner increases the likelihood that you will do what you say when you say you’ll do it in terms of achieving your SMART career-goal. Why? Because of the following five benefits your accountability partner provides. 

1. Attention. When you get an AP, you get the essential attention to your goal. It’s like making a public commitment to something -­  you’re now not alone in your desire to succeed anymore (your AP desires your success as well). Making a public commitment to achieving a goal is a very powerful way to follow through.

2. Motivation. This is that extra push you need to get started. It is also that extra push you need when daily life happens and tries to take you back to the same old routine. You can reach out to your AP for that extra encouragement, so you can start and keep moving forward.

3. Information. AP can be a source of information for you when you lack knowledge or experience in some areas. Also, sometimes we just don’t really know what it is that we don’t know. Thoughtful questions from your AP can help you figure out what it is that you don’t know. Obtaining that extra information will help you stay clear, focused and relevant in achieving your S.M.A.R.T. goal.

4. Ideation. It’s nice to have an AP when you’re stuck and not sure how to proceed further. Brainstorming together can take your success in achieving your S.M.A.R.T. goal to the next level.

5. Inspiration. When you make a huge progress and are excited about the results you’ve achieved, your AP is a perfect person to share that excitement with. It will help you create even more inspiration for even greater future results.


Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals and finding a reliable accountability partner to help you follow through is a great way to differentiate yourself and achieve your desired career goals.


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Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals and Get Your MBA for Success!

You are a professional who has been working for at least 4  years. You’re at the point where you, probably, want more – you want to significantly increase your chances to build a dream-career and achieve success. Do you have a strong strategy? What exactly do you need to do to become successful? Why this? How will you accomplish it? All these questions can be answered with a simple method of goal-setting called S.M.A.R.T. goals, and obtaining your MBA can be a big part of advancing your career.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-­oriented, Realistic and Time-­bound. 

Specific answers the questions What, Why and How? Identify what it is that you need to accomplish to get where you want to be in your career. Outline the purpose and the benefits of achieving the goal. Focus on the tools and strategies you’ll need to achieve your career-goal (joining PMBA, for example). Don’t just ask yourself what job you want. Dig deep and discover where you want to end up in 5-­‐10 years. Start with the end in mind.

Measurable answers the questions such as How much? How many? How will I know when I progress?

Action‐oriented. Every time you set a goal, it has to start with a verb to identify the specific action that’s needed to be taken in order to successfully achieve your goal. Examples include: “obtain”, ”change”, ”create”, and “increase”.

Realistic helps you check with your reality-testing. The goal “Become the President of the US in two weeks and change the healthcare system” is very specific, measurable, action-­oriented and time-­bound, however it is not realistic. If a goal fails to be realistic, there is no chance it will be achieved. If you set unrealistic goals too often, that creates disappointment and frustration and discourages you from trying. It is essential for a goal to be realistic.

Time­‐bound. You have to set the time frame for accomplishing your goal (for example, “Join PMBA at GA State for Fall 2012, graduate within 24 months and land the dream-job within 6 months after graduation”). If you don’t, it may take forever and you will get tired and change your focus. Set a deadline by which the goal has to be achieved.

As you try to set your goal, remember to ask yourself: “On a scale from 1 to 10, how committed will I be to achieving this goal?” If the answer is lower than 8, you need a different goal with a different WHY, perhaps a more meaningful WHY.

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Overview of the first year on the PMBA program

Well, well, well…. One years has almost past since all of us entered the PMBA program. How has it been? What have I learned? How do I like it so far? What are my expectations of the next year? All of these questions will be answered in today’s overview of the first year on the PMBA program.

How has it been? The program itself has been a fun experience – nothing like I’d imagined a year ago 🙂 It’s not just boring staff you hear while sitting in your class for hours taking notes all day while listening to your professor. The classes for us are organized in a very interactive manner that is much more beneficial for our learning and expansion of out professional views. Professors only there to guide a discussion. The discussion happened between all the classmates, opinions are being supported by real-life examples, and at the end of each class you feel like WOW – that’s how much you learn in a very unique way.

What have I learned? I have learned more than was expected 🙂 Not only did I learn and was reminded some essential general business and other concepts that lay a foundation for success and sustainability in a business-world, but also I’ve learned diverse variety of subject-specific real-life concepts to grow my own business.

How do I like it so far? I like being on the program overall, and I like a few particular things, too, such as the location (only 8 min away from my home and so close to everywhere I go!), the latest technology available to us (such as printers for our i-Pads, video-conferencing, Tagrity to participate in a class remote when you travel or sick etc.), clean and modern environment to help us relax and concentrate on learning and many other little things that make a big difference.

What are my expectations of the next year? Next year I expect to be more challenging as we will take electives and be separates from our cohort partly, but also it should be very interesting. I am taking some great electives like Social Media Marketing, Negotiations etc. Of course, I expect to apply what I’ll learn in my business right away (I sure will tell you about it as we go).

This Summer I realized that in my mind I was still in May last year, when we just started enrolling on the PMBA program. Time fli

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During the open house last month, one of the most burning questions I was asked was about scholarships for PMBA candidates.

Scholarships are available. In fact, if you look at the website, there are 15 pages, 20 scholarship descriptions on each of them. So, there are many opportunities for you. For example, GLOBAL EXPERIENCE SCHOLARSHIP – available for students planning on studying abroad with a minimum GPA 2.75. Another one is BANK OF AMERICA scholarship which  is awarded by The Robinson College of Business graduate admissions office.  This one is interesting, too: COCA-COLA GLOBAL AMBASSADOR scholarship aimed to provide study abroad scholarships to students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at Georgia State University. I applied for Fredrick V. Sherwood and Daniel T. Sims scholarship which is aimed to provide scholarships to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale or be an entering freshman who has been accepted to GSU with an overall high school GPA of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

You see? There are many scholarship opportunities for you if you join our fabulous PMBA program!

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What is the interview like?

In my previous post I told you about what a great experience it was for those who are looking into an MBA at GA State to have the opportunity to attend an Open House, meet current students, the Dean, the Assistant Dean, the faculty members, ask questions and kinda look through the window into our MBA at GSU home.

I openly exchanged my contact information which prospect students, and some of them started calling me and asking me questions about the interview process. I thought you may benefit from hearing the answers. Let me share with you.

Interview for PMBA is a pleasant conversation

How many people will interview me if invited? I was interviewed by one person – LaTonya O’Neal. I wasn’t worried because I was prepared and it turned out to be a great evening and a nice, very pleasant conversation with an interesting, friendly person. I do suggest, however, that whether you’re being interviewed by one or five hundred people, just be yourself. For that, you absolutely  have to know who you are and what you stand for. What are your values, goals, your mission?

Do I need to know who J. Mack Robinson is? I’d suggest that you, sure, be prepared to answer simple questions like this. Learn everything about GA State, PMBA, other MBA programs and know WHY you see the PMBA as the most attractive program for yourself.

Will I be asked about my Resume? It’s very likely, so be prepared. You may be asked any typical job interview questions, so that’s the easiest part. Just ask yourself and answer questions like Why did you choose to …? Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your strengths and weaknesses? etc

What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know yourself well enough? Nobody is asking you to criticize yourself. However, it is interesting to see what leads you to the grad school, what areas of your professional and personal profile you’re working on. If you’d never asked yourself this question with an open mind, you may not be ready to respond in a constructive, professional way. Try it!

What are some other questions I may be asked? You can never guess, so my advice is know yourself, know your field, know your own story and be ready to tell it in an interesting way, make sure to use professional language and avoid, you know, this terrible phrases, you know, we usually, you know, try to say here and there, you know, when we’re worried, you know. 🙂

One thing for sure – nobody is there to put you down, but everybody there is to help you get accepted. Read some great magazines like Success Magazine, Wall Street Journal and others to pick up some great ideas and be able to articulate them well.

Hope it helps. Good luck!

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Open House was a success!

On Thursday, February 23rd, GA State hosted an Open House for its MBA programs at Grand Hyatt in Buckhead. It was a real success! Over 500 professionals from all different walks of life came to learn more about each GA State MBA program. They had an opportunity to ask current students any questions and find out all the details about enrollment, acceptance, and students’ daily life. They also got to meet our Dean Huss and Assistant Dean Toby McChesney.

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It was a high-end place, delicious food, interesting people and lots of fun!

I was there to support my PMBA program and hope that sharing my experience at Robinson made a difference for many candidates.

Regret that you didn’t make it? No worries! Next Open House is Thursday, May 17, 2012 from 6-8 p.m. Hope to see you there!

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Are you an Immigrant?

Are you an immigrant and scared to enter a graduate school because you feel like if you were DIFFERENT? Guess what? You won’t feel this way on our PMBA program! There is so much diversity! Everyone is DIFFERENT  here.

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I am an immigrant from Russia, and things like being scared of cultural differences, language limitations etc are very familiar to me. I must tell you that in my cohort there are students from Canada, China, Nigeria, India etc. While networking, I met alumnus and current PMBA students from all over the world. So many people have an accent, may not be understood from the first time, and have to work harder, but guess what? In GA State everyone feels accepted and included.

This is my second semester, and I look back to December 2010 when I first thought about enrolling on PMBA program…. I remember that speaking English as a second language in a graduate school and possibility to not be understood and made fun of were my main fears. It’s all past. I feel very comfortable at school now, besides I met many people just like me, with the same obstacles. And we all can admit that yes, you will have to spend more time on readings and preparation for each class, but that is about all differences you will experience.

Do you have any other questions? Just post your comment here and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Good luck!

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This Week’s Happenings

This week has to be remembered for two significant events: GA State University Spring Career EXPO and Managerial Accounting Test.

The Career EXPO took place at the World Congress Center on February 17th. It was a valuable opportunity for students of all levels meet companies’ representatives from Atlanta, GA. Some of them were hiring for full time positions, some were looking for interns. There were Delta Airlines, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Ritz Carlton Buckhead, and many more famous names. I went there, too, and looked for interesting positions related to Social Media and Digital Marketing. I met two ladies who were hiring particularly for that! We talked face-to-face, and they  shared with me the information about some openings that are confidential and are not being advertised. Wow! Where else would you have such unique opportunity to find out about it? I gave them my Resume and they gave me their business cards. I look forward to explore the opportunities they have next week!

Managerial Accounting Test happened yesterday… It is not the most interesting subject we have to study, so it was not easy to prepare for the test (we’ll find out on Wed how well we did :-). Hopefully, I did ok). What I wanted to share is some advise on how to study from students who were less stressed than the rest of us.

How to prepare for tests with LESS stress:

  1. Commit to studying the subject EVERY day  for at least 2 hours.
  2. Do as many practice problems as possible and if still can’t remember the concept, ask your professor for more problems to solve before the test.
  3. Write formulas and terms and place them EVERYWHERE in your house and office where you’ll come across them multiple times daily FOR SURE.
  4. If can’t understand explanation in the book, Google the topic.

Well, I did not follow all of this steps – only a few of them. And on Saturday morning I was stressed. Can’t wait for Wed to find out my grade!

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Dialogue in a Deli Department

Today I went to Publix for my regular food shopping. As I was waiting for my cheese and ham to be ready at the Deli Department, its manager approached me “Hey, Anna! I haven’t seen you forever! Where have you been?” “Just busy with the school”, I said. At that moment, the other manager, who was getting my cheese and ham ready for me, turned around and asked “What school?”

In our further conversation, I came to find out he has been wanting to join an MBA program at GA State University for a long time, so he asked me for an insider prospective. Specifically he wondered if what I learn there is really valuable and applicable.

What a great point did he raise! I started thinking about it, and you know what, yes, absolutely yes: what I learn on my PMBA program is so valuable and applicable!

For example, in our IT class we learn a lot about Social Media and specific details about how it adds value to the bottom line as well as the risks associated with it. Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, you NEED to know this information. As a small business owner, I personally already apply the details about Social Media that I’ve discovered during my class. Another example that came to my mind was Managerial accounting – we learn HOW to make effective decisions by evaluating each alternative not just using out “gut feeling”, but actual tools that help you assess each opportunity cost and benefits. Also, we now study Law. We have learned so much with our amazing and funny Pr. Perry Binder! What if someone sues you? How  can you file a law suit? Where do you file a law suit? How to determine which court to choose? Which county? What are next steps? What can be an outcome? How do you prevent yourself from liability?

The manager in the Deli Department agreed that this information IS valuable and everybody can use such knowledge in their personal and professional lives. He said he will attend an open house to learn more about the PMBA.

Good luck!


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Would you like an iPad-2?

Our PMBA program is indeed “premium” and “convenient”. The school was so concerned that we as working professionals have too much to carry around, that they decided to make it easier for us and just give us iPads-2 instead of heavy books. We now are able to download all of the cases and books for reading and rather than lifting several pounds we only carry 1.3 pounds!

Also, there are several free apps that allow us to answer our professors’ questions on an iPad and all the data immediately gathered and displayed to the class. Besides, there is an app called Tegrity: if you have to travel for work, a professor will record the class for you and you can simply watch everything and hear the class discussion on Tegrity on your iPad-2.

Of course, there are many more valuable apps that we use for school and it makes it so convenient, I love it!

All PMBA candidates at GA State are given an iPad-2

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