Acronyms and Terms to Know (a work in progress)

  • 2+2- Pre-admission MBA program which allows undergraduate applicants to enroll in an MBA program 2 years after they work for a firm to gain work experience (essentially deferred admission). Undergraduate seniors should only apply if they are completely clear about their career objectives while in college. Popular programs include those offered by Harvard, Stanford and Yale.
     

  • Adcom- Admissions Committee. They review your essays and determine your MBA fate. Throughout the application process, you may communicate with one member (such as an admissions director) on the application process and school-related matters.
     

  • B2B- Business to Business. Businesses which sell goods and services to other businesses
     

  • B2C- Business to Consumer. Businesses which sell goods and services directly to consumers
     

  • BB- Bulge Bracket investment banks. Typically consists of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan
     

  • CPG- Consumer Packaged Goods.  A very popular post MBA industry for MBAs who want to pursue brand management opportunities with firms which produce the goods we consume daily. Well known firms include Proctor & Gamble and Coca-Cola.
     

  • Ding- not sure the exact reason why, but it is the denial of admission. Some folks will say you are dinged if you do not fit a profile or visit a campus or something along those lines, but in my opinion, the only true ding is if you are not invited to interview with a program that only interviews candidates under serious consideration. (yes you can be WL, but it is more likely to be a ding)
     

  • EC- Extracurricular activities. Things you do outside of work that demonstrate you are a dynamic and interesting person with interests. Ideally should show leadership as well.
     

  • EB- Elite Boutique investment bank. Typically includes Evercore, Lazard
     

  • FAANG- The 5 largest tech companies: Facebook Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google
     

  • FMCG- Fast Moving Consumer Goods. Arguably very similar to CPG, goods which are consumed frequently and produced at low cost. Well known firms include Proctor & Gamble and Unilever.
     

  • FT- Full-Time MBA program. Involves 2 years away from a steady stream of income (#OpportunityCost)
     

  • FP&A- Financial Planning & Analysis, a back-office role that provides financial analysis and projections for company operations.
     

  • HCOL- High Cost of Living city. Refers to where people live either during or after their MBA where their salary does not go as far especially in the context of student loan payments. Examples include NYC and San Francisco.
     

  • H/S/W- Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. The top three U.S. Business schools that are apparently always in competition with each other. The acronym is often used in forums when people request a profile review to see if their stats are good enough for H/S/W. From what I have read, people who attend H/S may believe they are superior to W.
     

  • IB- Investment Banking. MBA grads begin their careers at the Associate Title. Many people pursue IB after business school to quickly pay down their debt and are banking (pun) on the 'exit opportunities' into other industries such as PE and VC which often require candidates to have prior IB experience in financial modeling and valuation- skills you apparently don't perform as often as one would imagine as an IB Associate.
     

  • LCOL- Low Cost of Living city. Refers to where people live either during or after their MBA where their salary goes pretty far especially in the context of student loan payments. Examples include Chicago and Austin.
     

  • LDP- Leadership Development Program. Also known as a Rotational Program which provides employees with 2 years of general (or targeted) management experience with a company. Well known LDPs include Amazon and Microsoft
     

  • M7- The (self-anointed) Magnificent 7 Business Schools: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, (Chicago) Booth, (Northwestern) Kellogg, (MIT) Sloan, and Columbia. Depending on who you ask, sometimes other schools such as (Dartmouth) Tuck are added. Apparently, these schools meet and discuss their magnificence on a regular basis.
     

  • MBB- The three most prestigious management consulting firms: McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain
     

  • MM- Middle Market investment banks. Typically only pursue deals under $2B includes Baird, Jeffrey, etc.
     

  • OCR- On-Campus Recruiting. Perhaps the single biggest reason people pursue a full-time MBA program instead of part-time or online as OCR is usually exclusively for full-time students. Companies and firms visit MBA programs in a structured format and host information sessions, resume drops, on-campus interviews, coffee-chats and more. Most MBA candidates receive their summer internship offers (and subsequent Full-Time offers) through this process.
     

  • PE- Private Equity (#DreamJob). Firms which work to purchase entire companies often as part of a restructuring or a merger. Firms often focus on a particular industry such as retail or technology. When companies you now own can be turned around and do well, you do extremely well. Well-known firms include Blackstone and KKR.
     

  • P&L- Profit and loss, a document (usually excel based) which tallies revenue and expenses tied to a product or service. In roles such as brand management, there is often mention of 'owning' a P&L or owning responsibility for the tally and improving/maintaining the output.
     

  • P&Q- Poets and Quants. An excellent resource for anyone looking for articles on various parts of the MBA process.
     

  • PT- Part-Time MBA program. A program which can be completed after work, on weekends or in some other fashion.
     

  • PWM- Private Wealth Management. Managing the assets of those who have accumulated wealth through portfolio management, financial planning and the provision of other financial services.
     

  • R1- Round 1. This is the first possible round of admission to MBA programs, usually, the deadline is in the fall and you would hear back about admission decisions in the winter. Ideal if you have a top choice program. Usually chock full of traditional MBA candidates.
     

  • R2- Round 2. This is the most popular round of MBA admission. Applications are due in January and decisions are released during the early spring (This is when I applied!!).
     

  • R3- Round 3. This is traditionally the final round of admission with applications due in the spring. Not many applicants because the odds of admission are lower UNLESS you are an exceptionally unique candidate. Apparently many Silicon Valley types apply during this round. By this time, admission would be contingent on who from R1 and R2 has already accepted admission.
     

  • R4- Round 4. Not many programs have the fourth round of admission which would probably imply an early summer deadline. Assuming you are admitted you are going to have to drop a deposit as soon as you hear back and make some quick plans to move and enroll!
     

  • ROI- Return on Investment. The outcome for all of the time and money put into a venture.
     

  • T10/T20/T30- An MBA program in the top 10, 20 or 30 as per the latest US World News Report (usually as on occasion some refer to other rankings, but this is the bible). Rankings are comprised of numbers variables depending where you turn: GMAT score either the mean or median (the higher the better), Acceptance rate aka the number of students who are admitted out of all those who apply (the lower the better), Yield aka the number of accepted students who enroll (the higher the better), Post-MBA salary increase (the higher the better), Alumni feedback (should be good) and Employer/Recruiter feedback (should be excellent)  
     

  • URM- Underrepresented Minority. Groups that typically fall into this group include queer candidates, women and people of color. As these groups are under-represented there is an effort made by MBA programs and many firms to recruit members from these groups. Many sources suggest Asian and Indian applicants are an ORM or over-represented minority at business schools- this is commonly used and discussed in forums.
     

  • VC- Venture Capital (#DreamJob). Firms which invest in startups at various stages and have equity in companies they believe will have phenomenal growth aka the unicorns. When startups you invest in do well you do extremely well. Well-known firms include Sequoia Capital and Kapor Capital (big shout out to their incredible efforts to diversify their staff and invest in diverse companies)!
     

  • WE- Work Experience. The number of years and the type of work experience you have before enrolling in business school. Most MBA programs will only enroll applicants with at least 4 years of work experience to ensure they have experience which can be shared in the classroom and so that they are hirable once they graduate. Work experience should include promotions or other indications of increasing responsibility. 
     

  • WL- Waitlisted. you have not been dinged outright! There is still hope for you to gain admission! Often schools are waiting to see how the next round shakes out, they feel your candidacy may not be strong enough and may even suggest you improve your GMAT score or enroll in an undergraduate math class to reassure them. Some argue that schools will waitlist excellent candidate to protect their yield. Yield is the number of admitted applicants who actually enroll in a program. Schools want to have high yields because this would imply they have a desirable program. If you applied to T50 program with a really high GMAT excellent letters of recommendation and great essays but were waitlisted, it is probably because the school knew you also applied to T10 schools and if they admitted you, you wouldn't attend thus hurting their yield and negatively impacting their rankings.
     

  • YMMV- Your mileage may vary. An acronym especially common in forums to acknowledge that everyone has a unique experience or opinion. Often noted after a detailed breakdown of a process or experience.

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