You might have seen my tweet last week, but I wanted to post a blog explaining what is happening with MBAchic and Beat The GMAT. I’m happy to announce that going forward, MBAchic articles will be syndicated on BeatTheGMAT.com. If you are already a reader of MBAchic (you can subscribe in the sidebar!), not much will change, but this provides an opportunity to reach a larger audience of MBA applicants. As always, your Facebook posts and retweets and shares are much appreciated, All that will happen is that any articles that Beat The GMAT finds relevant will be reposted to the BTG homepage.
On that note, I have been in touch with Eric Bahn, the founder of Beat The GMAT, and he has shared some new things they are putting together. MBA Watch is a new tool developed by the BTG team. I asked him some questions about the new tool:
MBAchic: What is MBA Watch?
Eric Bahn, founder of Beat The GMAT: MBA Watch (www.mbawatch.com) is a free service that makes researching MBA programs easy. There are three main features of MBA Watch as of today:
- Ability to compare yourself against this year’s applicant pool – We have built the very first tool that allows MBA applicants to preview their competition for the current application cycle. We have built cool reporting capabilities that allow you to compare your stats to those of other people applying to your target schools. Thousands of applicants are already sharing their stats on MBA Watch right now.
- Social news aggregator – We have built the first social media aggregator for schools. Today, it’s common for business schools to have a Facebook page, multiple Twitter accounts, and multiple blogs. Instead of tracking information in all these places separately, we’ve rolled up all that information into a single stream of information for each school—saving applicants time.
- Social network for applicants, students, and admissions people – MBA Watch makes it easy for applicants, students, experts, and admissions officers to connect with one another. In the past two months, we have hosted over 20 live chat and video events on MBA Watch to help applicants connect to real people for advice on their applications.
MBA Watch currently exists as a service within the Beat The GMAT Social Network.
MBAchic: What does this do for MBA applicants? For MBA programs?
Eric of BTG: The value prop for MBA applicants is pretty clear: the features in MBA Watch allow MBA applicants to make more informed choices about where they should apply. Today, too many applicants target schools solely on rankings or perceived brand. With MBA Watch, applicants can go one-click deeper in their research to understand whether a school is actually a good fit.
MBA programs see a clear value prop with MBA Watch as well—we know this because we’ve been flooded by phone calls of encouragement from various business schools since we’ve launched. In MBA Watch, schools have their own miniature social network to attract prospective students to their programs. Unlike other social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, participating schools have a lot more control over the experience they want to create for their pages on MBA Watch—because they are in direct contact with me and my team. It’s a really effective platform for schools to educate people about their programs.
MBAchic: Why did you create MBA Watch?
Eric of BTG: We created MBA Watch because applicants need this service. It’s the site that I wish I had when I applied to business school.
When I was applied to business school a few years ago, I felt like applicants had two big problems:
- Researching schools is hard—REALLY hard. How the heck do you even start this process? And how can you discern the useful information from the garbage for each school? The Internet is an awesome place to do most of your research on schools, but it’s the Wild West. I really could have used a service like MBA Watch that consolidates the high-quality info in one place.
- Applying to business school is lonely. When I was in the application process, I didn’t want to tell a lot of people that I was applying. So like many other applicants, I decided to keep my application process to myself, and I struggled by not having an applicant support group to get through the process. MBA Watch is an anonymous support group with thousands of people who are eager to help one another. I think that MBA Watch makes the applying to business school a little easier, more social—and dare I say, fun?
MBAchic: What are you most excited about for MBA Watch and Beat The GMAT?
Eric of BTG: I started Beat The GMAT from a Stanford dorm room in 2005. Over the course of the last six years, Beat The GMAT has grown from a simple GMAT blog into a full social network for MBA applicants. We have been traditionally a very strong site for people while they are preparing for the GMAT test, but in the last few years, our members have been begging our team to start solving their post-GMAT needs as well (all parts of the application outside of the GMAT).
MBA Watch is our big step forward in helping our community with their entire MBA admissions needs. I’m really excited because I think that with MBA Watch, Beat The GMAT has truly become the one-stop shop MBA social network that serves all the needs of an MBA applicant, from GMAT to MBA admissions.
MBAchic: What’s next?
Eric of BTG: We launched MBA Watch initially with only 20 schools and a minimal feature set. When we released this service, we knew that we didn’t have all the features refined yet, but Beat The GMAT is a startup and we take a ‘launch and learn’ approach to our features.
Needless to say, in the last two months, we have learned a LOT. Starting next week we are going to be rolling out a series of major feature enhancements as well as more schools in our directory. The MBA Watch you see in the coming weeks will be dramatically improved from what you see today.
We are also in discussions with several business schools to have admissions teams participate even more in MBA Watch. We think that MBA Watch will eventually become one of the few places on the Internet where any applicant can get an easy answer from a real admissions officer.
I can’t emphasize enough how excited my team and I are about the future of MBA Watch!
Thanks for reading! Have you visited the site? What do you think? If not, go check it out!