Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3D Printing for MBAs and MEDs

Facebook Twitter Google Digg LinkedIn StumbleUpon Email

 Applying to medical school or looking for a startup opportunity in the medical devices field?  3D printing offers a range of possibilities.

 By Ben Feuer

Surgery is just the beginning. 

 Advances in 3D printing, an automated process of printing 'layers' of a material until a complete model is formed, have allowed small medical device companies to forgo the usual costs associated with outsourcing manufacturing. 

This is great news for MBA candidates with an interest in medical devices -- companies are already saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on specialized parts and tools through the use of these devices.  But the potential for 3d printing is nearly limitless -- they're talking now about printing the thumbprint of your dreams on coffee mugs.  How would you like to wake up to that every morning?

 Of course, as with any new technology, there are potential pitfalls.  One of the big ones is copyright -- it is more or less the wild west out there for the moment, but once serious money begins to enter the field (as it is already doing) lawsuits and battles for control of '3d representations of everyday objects' can be expected to follow.  Bad news for MBAs and MEDs -- good news for law students.

----

Don't be shy! Schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you.


Facebook Twitter Google Digg LinkedIn StumbleUpon Email
If you are an MBA applicant looking for the next amazing entrepreneurship opportunity, forget Silicon Valley -- Beantown's where it's at.

By Ben Feuer

As someone currently living in Boston, I may be a little biased when I say this, but this city deserves more credit.  And perhaps it's finally getting it.  According to a new BBC article, Beantown may well be taking its rightful place beside New York City and Silicon Valley as an innovation hub. Not that that would be news to famous Boston innovators like Ray Kurzweil, innovator in OCR and music.  For them, this is merely an acknowledgement of what has long been true -- Boston is one of the most educated and intelligent cities on the planet.

Now, new tech companies like Spritz are choosing to make their home in Boston rather than flee to the West Coast.  Spritz, which promises to increase reading times by saving your eye the effort of scanning a page of text, has a cool tech demo on their homepage, and if it works, it could be particularly useful for our law students, who seem to spend half of their waking hours reading and taking notes.

Spritz, by the way, is from MIT.  MBA applicants take note -- if you have entrepreneurial ambitions and you have even a passing interest in tech, how can you NOT love this school?  And if for some reason you don't, you have more than 100 other options available to you.

Yeah, New York and LA are great.  But don't forget about Boston!
----

Don't be shy! Schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you.


Facebook Twitter Google Digg LinkedIn StumbleUpon Email


Virtual reality entertainment, education and interactivity open up new possibilities for graduate school applicants. 

By Ben Feuer



The Oculus Rift, headed soon to a living room near you, is more than just another screen.  It is a virtual reality headset that also tracks your body movements.  In other words, it's interactive entertainment brought to a whole new extreme.

Of course, this immersive medium is a natural fit for film (MFA applicants, take note), and MBA students should always be hip to exciting new potential business ventures (VR streaming services, anyone?).  But if you do not see a potential for your future career in this, you're just not thinking inside the box.
Going to earn your architecture M.Arch?  You might wind up designing virtual environments in CAD that people can walk through from the comfort of their own homes.  Medical school?  How about immersive long distance video checkups on patients with limited mobility?  Journalists?  Maybe your next news piece will walk us through the middle of a conflict zone, sensing gunfire erupting all around us.  Psychologists?  You'll probably be stuck comforting the rest of us after we realize that we have no actual in-person experiences anymore.

The future is now!  Bottoms up, and when it comes time to write your personal statements and goals essays, take your blinders off, unless, of course, your blinder is an Oculus Rift.

----

Don't be shy! Schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you.


Facebook Twitter Google Digg LinkedIn StumbleUpon Email

 Chipotle is adding its first new menu item in eight years: tofu sofritas.  What does that have to do with b-school?  Everything.

By Ben Feuer

Bloomberg Businessweek reported this week that Chipotle will be sprucing up its menu with its first new offering since 2005 -- and it's going to be tofu sofritas.

Excuse me?

Tofu?  Isn't that that mushy paste you feed to people who lost all their tastebuds in a tragic chewing accident?  (full disclosure -- this author is a former vegetarian). Quiznos is offering me "Toasty Mac and Cheese Pasta". Taco Bell is selling something called "XXL Crispy Steak".  And you're bringing nothing to the table but overpriced soybeans?  What kind of sense does that make?

Every kind.

7.3 million Americans are now vegetarians.  That's 3 percent, up from 1 percent in 1971.  22.8 million, or ten percent, are vegetarian inclined (including yours truly).  Of that 7.3 million, over 40 percent of them are 18-34 years old, AKA, the demographic that is currently forming lifelong buying habits.

So there's that.

Then there are the dieters.  20 percent of America at any given time, according to HuffPo.  Any veteran dieter will tell you vegetarianism is a great, healthy way to shed excess weight, if you control your portion sizes.  Oh, and by the way, dieting is a $50 billion a year industry.

Chipotle is a smart, forward-looking company.  They're replacing conventional "attractive people eat our products!" advertising with hip short films by up and coming filmmakers.  They're avoiding cluttering up their menu with silly seasonal promotions and 'limited time' offers, focusing on what they do well.  Attention, goals essay writers -- this is what leadership looks like.

If you're a prospective MBA candidate, this is the way you should be thinking.  Forget what's mainstream at this moment.  Be courageous.  Be a visionary.  Lead your market in the direction you think it should go.  And above all, write great essays.

----

Don't be shy! Schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you.


No MBA applicant should be without a clear professional goal for their essay or application.

Every top MBA program, with the notable exception of HBS and MIT Sloan, has an essay that requires you to discuss your future professional goals. Unfortunately, a lot of business school applicants don’t yet know what they want to do (around 50% of the b-school candidates we see at Forster-Thomas—and 70% of those from finance backgrounds fit this mold). All they know for sure is that they no longer want to be doing what they’re doing right now. And since we all have friends who got into top business schools with ambiguous goals, you might ask: why can’t I just say that?

You can – but it would not be a good idea. Specificity is one thing that can distinguish your candidacy and set you apart in everyone’s eyes—especially admissions officers. When applying to business school—ANY b-school—there are bound to be successful applicants who buck the trend (those who have a perfect GMAT and whose last employer was David Loeb) and do just fine. You know, people who ignore every piece of advice out there and somehow still get that coveted Stanford admit. We here at Forster-Thomas like to call them “Easy A’s” (for easy admits, of course). Actually, we call them the exceptions that prove the rule. And the other thing, when they’re not looking.

The good news is that that's OK; b-schools don't necessarily expect that you're going to have the same goal going out as you do coming in. However, they do want to see vision, passion, and direction. And that’s pretty tough to demonstrate when saying, “I’m not exactly sure what I want to do.” So yes, you do have to have a specific professional goal. Here are three points to help you get there.

1. Don’t worry—you’re not signing a contract with the future. This isn't a business plan, and you're not going to be forced to sign in blood (with a few exceptions, like Wharton's Healthcare Management program—read the fine print!). This means that you should feel free to write about a possible goal you might pursue, as long as you’re genuinely interested in it and can write articulately about it.

2. Your goal must demonstrate a specific direction and vision for your career. Like Christine Sneva, director of admissions at Cornell’s Johnson School, says (along with just about every other admissions director at every other top school): “Please show you have a clear direction for your goal post-MBA.” In other words, even if you aren't 100% sure what you’re going to be doing 10 years from now, you need to show that you know how to get there. Say it’s you’re Sarah Jessica Parker, and you’re going in for an audition for the role of Carrie from Sex & the City. You wouldn’t stroll into the audition and say, "Hey, I'm really good. Take my word for it!” No, you would do an audition to show off your acting chops. Even if you had never seen a word of the script, you’d have a some other monologue memorized and prepared. If that monologue blows everyone away, the director will hire Sarah because if she can do that well, she can do his script well. The goals essay is an audition for your vision—can you conceptualize and plot out a long- and short-term career arc? Top B-schools want to see you think in concrete career terms.

3. Your goal has to make sense and be organic with who you are as a person. Sticking with our acting theme, Chris Colfer (the gay kid from Glee) would NOT be auditioning for Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire. You got that, Stella? If you're a Quant Jock who has never cared about the triple-bottom line, don't rhapsodize about social entrepreneurship—your goal should inspire real passion in you. You need to love the concept of your goal and be able to talk with passion and persuasion about it—both in your essays and your interviews.

The goals essay is nothing to fear. In fact, once you write it, you may find yourself liking it so much you want to build your whole candidacy around it … an approach we heartily recommend.

--Ben Feuer

Twitter icon