NEE was held in Jan. 2013 on Gulou Campus, NJU, really a chilly winter and unfortunately the air conditioner in classroom did not work. Desks in room are so narrow even less than the length of a piece of A4 sized paper and if you wore thick cloths, it would be extremely inconvenient for you to write swiftly and rapidly. Thus I had to take off my thick coat to balance. The scene comes to my mind clearly by now that how fiercely I shivered unconsciously while wrote answers. So don’t forget to wear suited cloths to keep balance between warm and swift.
One more point I would like to emphasis here is simulations before are very very important for you to gain ample experience on how to allocate time on three sections in Integrated subject and to deal with every question. I did not do well enough that I only had less than 55 min. to accomplish two writing tests and left several logic questions with random choice.
However, I was a lucky dog, deserved my pay. I got to know my scores of Integrated 149/200 and English 77/100 in Feb. this year, ranked 8 juxtaposed in total among all attenders.
With the confidence gained from NEE scores, I began to prepare for final interview materials. Generally speaking, materials were easy to settle down and for me, the problems existed in my spoken English, or how to express my opinion in English, for the interview is English speaking required. As suggested in above section, I actually did not do well in speaking practice myself, which once made me a little nervous. So I focused on this section.
In order to get more practice, I prepared a job description required by application in both Chinese and English edition. During the composition, I managed to figure out how to express my work properly, which then helped me develop to express management theories involving and my opinions on them. It was really one of helpful activities.
The other but the most helpful activity I am to mention is simulating interview. I hereby must appreciate some initiators, organizers and attendees of simulating interviews: they are Peng Ying, Wu Fan, Kai Xin, Ao Xiao, Xia Wen, Jenny Yang and other excellent partners. By simulation, we got used to the process and methodology of non-leading group discussion (NLGD), learned how to understand, analyze and solve questions in NLGD, which helped our group greatly in later real interview.
From simulating, I have derived some rules on NLGD based on textbooks’ instructions in different angles. I think a combination of referred two before helped me deal with all kinds of team conditions and communicate with members of different styles. Different with the doctrine point that an NLGD team should clarify each one’s role and pick up a leader, I think it will be better if anyone perform any role’s task simply according to the specific needs in discussion. This is the true NLGD and everyone could perform him/herself sufficiently and elastically with less restriction, and interviewers would make better evaluation. However it requires more co-work and trust among each other and familiarity to discussion disciplines than the doctrine form and maybe a higher level of personal capability. You’d better make a good use of waiting time as soon as you know who are your team members, and come to the consensus before entering in the interview room. Also it bears some risks in practical surroundings, for example, one member rebels and breaks all rules you follow. If you encounter this condition unfortunately, do not hesitate to beat down this traitor and defend your common rules. I am sure the other members will support you. What’s more, NEVER wait for others to do what you expect to. Otherwise, it would become a huge tragedy.
Next, I shall give a simple thought on dealing with cases discussed. When we were in the interview room, after personal interview section, the NLGD began. We sat in a circle and were given the case. We had 7 minutes to study the case and wrote our own opinions and answers to questions asked about the case on draft paper. Then we started a 15 minutes long discussion. Whatever case story and questions you may get in the study section, I suggest first you should target at least 3 problem points you may cut into the case, and recompose them on your draft paper or highlight them out in the case context. Secondly, you should make a judgement on what one or more manage realms these problem points may be involving in respectively. The main realms are PEST analysis, SWOT analysis, Organizational Behavior, Plan-Organize-Execute-Control and so forth. Thirdly, try to give out your thoughts on how to solve questions behind the case by analyzing these points, so you may have something to raise discussion among the team later and that will be better to you. Don’t forget to make memorandum on draft paper. Try your best to finish above activities in 5 minutes and you may have some minutes to recheck what you miss and formulate your expression.
Finally, during the discussion, I think it is better to divide the 15 minutes into at least two part. in the upper 5~7 minutes, every member speaks out his/her own points and opinions by turn rapidly and members after do not duplicate points been expressed unless he/she has nothing else to say. Take notations if you think is important or critical to you and may help you perfect or enrich your speech or avoid unnecessary repeat. In the down 5~7 minutes, you may develop a completely discussion, to remain points you all agree and drop ones you think improper. Try to draw a conclusion to given questions before deadline even if were not asked to.
Last but not least, avoid debating on trival matters or straying from the main topic, and avoid personal attack when debating diverse opinions. In case happened, break off to remind the team and draw the topic back as soon as possible. Control everyone’s speech length to ensure everyone has at least two speech chances.
Once more, I was a lucky dog. Thanks to my team members: Amena, Xia Wen, Li Zhi and Hu Xiangqi. Without your trust and team work, we could not perform so well or gain interviewers’ praise.
At the end of this review, I hope everyone who is preparing to apply an MBA program succeed in entering your dream business school. Appreciate your reading.
Alex at home
Apr., 14th., 2013