Monthly Archives: April 2017

Prepare for a masters in management

Figure out what you want from a MIM degree—is there a management specialty that interests you?  Have you researched MIM programs?  Does your undergraduate degree match the prerequisites for acceptance?  Do you need to take a prep course or other short-term course to fill in any gaps for the entrance requirement? Do you need to take exams, like the GMAT before you can apply? Make sure you have the right qualifications for the program of your choice before starting the application process.

This is particularly important if you are considering overseas MIM programs. Apart from academic qualifications, you’ll need to assess your language skills. Is the course taught in your native language or another?  If you need to brush up on language skills, now is the time.

Consider your academic starting point, too.  Make sure you take a diagnostic and figure out where you are academically before you start.  Knowing where your strengths—and your weaknesses—are will show you where you need to focus and where you need to improve.

This is the time to fill in those gaps.  Need some help?  Contact the admissions office for the various MIM programs you’ve selected.  Someone there will steer you in the right direction. Or check out this handy tool that helps you compare and choose the right school.

Gain Work Experience

Unlike the MBA, work experience is not critical to a MIM.  However, it certainly doesn’t hurt.  Between one and three years can increase your chances of getting into a program of your choice.  Don’t underestimate the power of the internship, either.  Strong internship experiences, obtained during or after your undergraduate studies, can be just as impressive as a year or two of work under your belt.

Top-Up Your Extracurricular Activities

This is your chance to shine, at least on paper—and to give an admissions committee real insight into your character.  Perhaps just as critical, if not more so, your extracurricular activities count.  Why?  They reflect your interests and passions.  What you do outside of work and school matters.

Are you interested in sports?  Showcase your interests and abilities on your resume.  If you were involved in academic or university associations, list them—and make sure to note whether you held leadership roles in those organizations.  Volunteer work is also a fantastic extracurricular activity to showcase. Even hobbies, like stamp collecting, yoga or woodworking will make a positive impression on the admissions board.  The key is to make sure your extracurricular activities give a sense of your interests and abilities, but leave an admissions counselor at your selected MIM program wanting to know more about you.

Prepare for the Interview

This is the time and place to show who you really are and what you care about—and what you can bring to a MIM program.  What made you choose a MIM?  Why did you select this school?  How will the program help you reach your goals?  What have you learned from your internship experiences?  How about work?  How do you handle difficult situations?  How are you helpful to your classmates.

Here’s the most important one: do your homework and make sure you ask at least one thoughtful question of your interviewer about the program or the school.  One caveat – in this case there are stupid questions. The answer to your question shouldn’t be obvious from the program’s website or marketing mate

Take the GMAT

The GMAT will give you the competitive edge you want—and a high score can ensure that you will have a variety of options when it comes to choosing a MIM program.

What does the GMAT test?  Analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning.  There are over 600 test centers around the world, but remember that the GMAT is given only in English. Non-native speakers, take note: if you need to brush up on your English skills, do so before the exam (see #1), and study with some professional assistance.

So, why is the GMAT important? The Graduate Management Admission Council, or GMAC, completed in-depth curriculum research and surveys of business programs and highly respected professors from around the world. And their research identified a quantifiable set of skills and metrics. Skills that business schools deem most important for successful students. Scoring well on the GMAT can’t ensure that you will become a business big-shot, but it’s a good indicator as to whether you’re prepared for the rigors of a MIM program.

In fact, one of the ways the GMAT helps to identify strong MIM candidates is through the preparation process.  Preparing for the GMAT requires study skills, self-motivation and the ability to seek out and utilize resources, like prep courses and software, tutors and study guides.  Go for a combination of guided preparation by professional instructors, working on your own, and practice.  If you work best on your own, consider individual tutoring sessions, which you can do in-person or online.  If you enjoy group work, opt for a small, individualized course.

Finally, the GMAT is also a test of your ability to plan and manage your time.  You may have spent your undergraduate doing late-night cram sessions for exams, but the GMAT requires a time investment and dedicated study plan. How much time should you set aside?  Experts suggest putting aside 3-4 months of preparation time before taking the GMAT—and warn that a prep course by itself won’t prepare you enough. You can get an idea of what is in store by taking GMAT’s Mini Quiz.

Machine Learning

With the power of machine learning, says SAS, “it’s possible to quickly and automatically produce models that can analyze bigger, more complex data and deliver faster, more accurate results – even on a very large scale. And by building precise models, an organization has a better chance of identifying profitable opportunities – or avoiding unknown risks.” This leads to improved decision-making capabilities independent of human intervention with applications in a broad range of industries, including financial services, government, healthcare, marketing and sales, oil and gas, and transportation.

Machine learning is so promising, in fact, that Business Insider recently declared it to be “a revolution as big as the internet or personal computers.” With a track record of world-changing developments including everything from Amazon product recommendations to Google’s self-driving car, machine learning has already changed the world and how we live in it.

But that’s all just the beginning, according to experts like computer scientist and author of “The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake our World” Pedro Domingos, who told BI, “There were two stages to the information age. One stage is where we had to program computers, and the second stage, which is now beginning, is where computers can program themselves by looking at data.”

Meanwhile, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt forecasts that machine learning “will be the basis and fundamentals of every successful huge IPO win in five years.”

Machine learning is also lauded for its potential to improve customer care by automating certain tasks. Machines don’t always outperform humans — especially in matters of high-touch decision making — but in improving both efficiency and efficacy where technology prevails, machine learning can free people up to focus on what they do best.

And while we often think of machine learning as future terrain, it’s also happening all around us, including in the higher education space as a means of improving teaching and learning. Moving forward, it will support unprecedented personalized learning for use by everyone from students to advisors. In other words, with a background in machine learning, you can not only change the world, you can also apply what you know much closer to home

Of course, machine learning studies aren’t for everyone. But if you possess an interest in and aptitude for computer science fundamentals and programming; probability and statistics; data modeling and evaluation;  and software engineering and system design, you may be suited for an in-demand career in this red-hot field.

The reality is, however, that if you want to “future-proof” your career, these subjects may be the key.

Concludes The Atlantic on career planning for today’s college students, “Students who are embarking upon their college studies should embrace one of two possible career strategies. The first is to look for jobs that are likely to favor human capabilities over artificial intelligence—jobs that depend less on having great swathes of technical knowledge than on having creativity and strong interpersonal skills, such as the ability to empathize. The second career strategy is to aim to be directly involved in the development and delivery of these increasingly capable systems, for example as a systems engineer, a data scientist, an AI specialist, or a knowledge engineer. In short, students can plan to compete with machines or to build the machines.”

Turkish schools to stop teaching evolution

Evolution will no longer be taught in Turkish schools, a senior education official has said, in a move likely to raise the ire of the country’s secular opposition.

Alpaslan Durmuş, who chairs the board of education, said evolution was debatable, controversial and too complicated for students. 

“We believe that these subjects are beyond their [students] comprehension,” said Durmuş in a published on the education ministry’s website.

Durmuş said a chapter on evolution was being removed from ninth grade biology course books, and the subject postponed to the undergraduate period. Another change to the curriculum may reduce the amount of time that students spend studying the legacy of secularism.

Critics of the government believe public life is being increasingly stripped of the secular traditions instilled by the nation’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

The secular opposition has long argued that the government of is pursuing a covert Islamist agenda contrary to the republic’s founding values. Education is a particularly contentious avenue, because of its potential in shaping future generations. Small-scale protests by parents in local schools have opposed the way religion is taught.

There is little acceptance of evolution as a concept among mainstream Muslim clerics in the Middle East, who believe it contradicts the story of creation in scripture, in which God breathed life into the first man, Adam, after shaping him from clay. Still, evolution is briefly taught in many high school biology courses in the region.

The final changes to the curriculum are likely to be announced next week after the Muslim Eid or Bayram festival at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The draft changes had been put forth for public consultation at the beginning of the year.

The subject of evolution in particular stirred debate earlier this year after Numan Kurtulmuş, the deputy prime minister,  the process as a theory that was both archaic and lacking sufficient evidence.

in Turkish media in recent weeks, based on apparent leaks of school board meetings, have also predicted a diminished role in the curriculum for the study of Atatürk, and an increase in the hours devoted to studying religion. Durmuş said that a greater emphasis would be placed on the contributions of Muslim and Turkish scientists and history classes would move away from a “Euro-centric” approach.

Many in the religiously conservative element of the president’s support base admire his piety and see his ascension as a defeat of the elite “White Turks” – a westernised elite that used to dominate the upper echelons of society and was accused of looking down with disdain on poorer, more religiously inclined citizens.

Children expelled from English schools

Of those, 1,185 were primary age children, including 475 children who were seven or under, and 50 four-year-olds.

Almost a third of primary exclusions were for assault against an adult, though the most common reason was persistently disruptive behaviour.

Figures released by the Department for Education show that the total number of exclusions went up by just under 1,000 in 2015-16 compared with the previous year – up from 5,795 in 2014/15 to 6,685 – which is the equivalent of 35.2 exclusions a day, up from an average of 30.5.

Teachers’ leaders, seeking to explain the increase, said more children were becoming disengaged from school as the curriculum narrowed, with a growing focus on testing, especially among the youngest children. They also warned about the impact of cuts to the number of teaching assistants, who often support disruptive pupils.

Pupils at secondary school account for eight in 10 of all expulsions (81%); 14-year-olds had the highest number of permanent exclusions at 1,715, with a higher exclusion rate among boys than girls.

Pupils with a black or mixed ethnic background were more likely to be excluded than their white counterparts who, in turn, were more likely to be excluded than children of Chinese and Asian heritage.

Overall, the rate of permanent exclusions is equivalent to 84 pupils per 100,000, up from 74 per 100,000 the previous year. Longer term there has been a generally downward trend since since 2006/07.

The DfE figures also show that the number of temporary or fixed-period exclusions has gone up from almost 303,000 last year to just under 340,000, with increases in both primary and secondary schools.

There was an increase in the proportion of children temporarily excluded in every age group other than among 17-year-olds. However, the rate of exclusion among those aged four and under grew at a faster rate than any other age category, rising from 2,350 in 2014-15 to 3,035 last y

Figures show that almost 25,000 children aged seven or under were temporarily excluded from primary school in 2015/16. More than 15,000 fixed-period exclusions in primary school were for physical assault against an adult. The average length of a fixed suspension was 2.2 days.

Commenting on the figures, Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “This is a concerning trend and the DfE must give serious and honest consideration to what is driving these rising numbers of exclusions.

“NUT members tell us that as the curriculum gets narrower and children’s experience of school is ever more focused on preparation for tests and exams, more students are becoming disengaged from school which in turn leads to problems with behaviour and mental health problems.

“Cuts to school and local authority budgets have led to pastoral and mental health support services being scaled back or axed. Some schools have had to reduce the number of teaching assistants employed. This clearly has an impact on the help schools can give to individual pupils as and when the need arises.”

A DfE spokeswoman said: “We want every child to have access to a good school place where they can learn without disruption and feel safe at school.

“The rules are clear that exclusion powers should only be used in particular circumstances and decisions to exclude should be lawful, reasonable and fair. Permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort, in response to a serious breach, or persistent breaches, of the school’s behaviour policy.”

A report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) this week suggested that half of all pupils expelled from school were suffering from a recognised mental health problem.

Kiran Gill, IPPR associate fellow, said“In the first year of Theresa May’s time in office, 35 children – more than an entire class of students – were permanently excluded from school each day. The majority were excluded just before their GCSEs, and stand a one in 100 chance of gaining the qualifications required by most employers.”

Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran added: “A permanent exclusion will have an irreversible impact on a young person’s life chances – and when this is happening to children as young as four, that is a national scandal. Schools need the resources and capacity to give children with behavioural problems the proper support they need.”