AdmitMBA360 Blog formerly Journey to my MBA

Journey to my MBA

Sunday, October 08, 2006

One Woman's experience at Tepper's Women and the MBA 2 day workshop

I was asked to share one woman's experience of attending the Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business "Woman and the MBA workshop".

By the way, if you're not a Blogger and you have a B-School visit, info session or interview coming up or just came back from one, I'd be more than happy to provide you the same anonymous service by posting your MBA related experience on this Blog. Just e-mail me at to have your experience(s) posted. Pictures are always a plus. I'll do the utmost to respectfully present your experience as I have done in sharing my own experiences. The more people that do, the more we all benefit. Hundreds of Blogs started with the same motivation. But if you'd rather not start a Blog, which is a big commitement to keep up with, then please consider this as a place to post your experiences.

Many of you will certainly enjoy reading about her experience and viewing her pictures that I put into the slideshow format you see below. - Dave

What is the "Women and the MBA: A Workshop Hosted by the Tepper School of Business" event?

This was Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business first workshop for women interested in pursuing an MBA degree. This 2-day event was geared to women planning to apply for admission during the fall 2007 school year or who were gathering information for application at a later time. Sessions were held Thursday and Friday, Oct. 5-6 at the Posner Center on campus.

The workshop provided women with the opportunity to meet with the Tepper School's admissions group, learn what an MBA education includes and explore issues of how to balance school, work and life. Participants can attend classes and meet with current students, faculty, alumnae and prospective students.

The sessions began Thursday when women were invited to schedule interviews with admissions staff and visit classes. On Friday, the workshop included an alumnae panel, "The MBA Value Proposition;" a student panel, "Finding Balance;" and a keynote talk during lunch.

The keynote, "Bargaining for Work Flexibility and a Customized Career," delivered by Denise Rousseau, the H. John Heinz II Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy and recent winner of the Academy of Management's 2006 George R. Terry Book Award. Rousseau, who received the award for her book "I-deal: Idiosyncratic Deals Workers Bargain for Themselves," also earned a Terry award in 1996. She is the only two-time winner of the award.

The Tepper School is one of 27 U.S. schools to maintain membership in the Forte Foundation, which aims to increase the number of women in business by encouraging their admission into graduate business programs. The Women and the MBA workshop is co-sponsored by Alcoa, PPG and Union Pacific.

Now, onto Fani's experience of this event!

Hi, I'm Fani and I just attended Tepper's first inaugural Women and the MBA workshop. It's indeed a wonderful learning experience and a great way to meet Tepper students, faculty, and alumnae. The agenda was as follows:

Thursday, October 5th
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Optional Interviews/Class Visits
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Welcome Reception

Friday, October 6th
7:45 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Welcome
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. The MBA Value Proposition - Alumnae Panel
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. The Tepper Advantage
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Finding Balance - Student Panel
12:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Keynote Speaker over Lunch
"Bargaining for Work Flexibility and a Customized Career"
Presented by Dr. Denise Rousseau -
H.J. Heinz II Professor of Organizational Behavior,
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Tour of Campus/Tour of Tepper

Tepper provided hotel accommodations for the program participants and a shuttle between the hotel and the Tepper School. The host hotel also provided a free shuttle between the airport and the hotel. My fella and I bumped into four NHL Red Wings stars when we took the hotel shuttle. It's so cool to sit w/ the stars together.

CMU has such a large campus. The buildings all look alike (even the students say so) except the library.

I had an opportunity to engage in a variety of presentations and panel discussions focusing on the MBA experience, work/life balance for women, and the culture specific to the Tepper School. Some of the alumnae and current students are married and have children when they got into the program. I remembered one of the alumnae was an entrepreneur. She told us that she had given birth a few months before the program started. She was a Flex-time student back then. Her experience was quite interesting. The current students also gave us their peronalized Tepper's business cards so that we could ask them questions in the future.

The Assistant Director and her team gave us helpful hints for our MBA application. The participants had options of visiting a class and/or having an evaluative admission interview during the workshop. Dr. John Mather, Executive Director of Master Programs, stressed the importance of 3C (Community, Content and Committment). Krystal Ray, Assistant Director of Masters Admissions, provided the following tips:


Attire for the workshops/class visit is business casual. If you are participating in an admissions interview, the attire is business professional.

Laurie Stewart, Executive Director of Masters Admissions, also said that if the company you had worked for was no longer in business, you should also put that down on the Employment Record. If you can't remember the exact company address, you should at least write down the the City and the States of that company. It'll be easier for the admin/the background checking vendor to verify your record.

I sat in the Information Technology Management class and Entreprenuerial Thought and Action class. During the Tech Mgmt class, the students ran a "Google vs. Yahoo" presentation to debate whether people should invest in Google stocks. Dr. Denise Rousseau, the guest speaker (H. J. Heinz II Professor of Organization Behavior), gave an interesting presentation on the "Idiosyncratic Deals Negotiated for Flexibility and Career Development."

Afterwards, the students escorted us to the classroom and gave us a campus tour. We had plenty of time to mix and mingle with current students between the interview/class visit day and the reception.

The Tepper community is very friendly. The students even invited us to have drinks after the reception. The Tepper School offered a one hour tour of Pittsburgh via Molly's Trolleys.(See the pictures of the Trolley in the slideshow) I've never been to Pittsburgh. I was quite impressed after my visit. Oh... I also liked the package the admin gave to each participant. We received a free Tepper T-shirt, an MBA program information packet, snacks, cup and a WAIVER for the application fee :) I will probably use the waiver when I apply next fall.

Final Note from Dave: Please do not ask me for Fani's contact info. Her experience is provided as is. Nevertheless, please post your comments for Fani here as I'm sure she'll appreciate your comments as she visits. I'll forward all comments to her directly.


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