Wednesday, 21 February 2018 | Login

MBA GraduateWe all know the drill by now: study your verbal and quant concepts, do lots of Grockit practice questions and tests, and review everything to learn from your mistakes.  But isn’t there anything you can do to improve your score without opening a book or turning on your computer?  Well, maybe.  Science seems to support these little tweaks to your routine, and they certainly can’t hurt!

1.  Chew gum while you study and while you take your exam

According to a study presented at the 2008 10th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, "An investigation into the effects of gum chewing on mood and cortisol levels during psychological stress," chewing gum can help to improve alertness, relieve anxiety, and reduce stress among individuals performing a variety of multi-tasking activities in a laboratory setting.  There is also evidence that chewing gum may significantly improve performance on “multi-tasking activities.”  All of these benefits have the potential to translate to a less stressful, more productive GMAT experience.  So go ahead and unwrap a stick—and make it peppermint, because…

2.  Aromatherapy can give you a boost

There are many different scents that can improve your mental and physical state as you prepare for the GMAT.  One of them is peppermint, which can uplift the mood, relieve mental fatigue, improve alertness and enhance memory.  And who doesn’t need a little relief from mental fatigue while studying?  Once you put the books away for the night, try using some lavender or chamomile to help you sleep or relieve an upset stomach.  Like peppermint, eucalyptus is said to help with stress and fatigue, but according to some, it has the added bonus of boosting your immune system, helping to keep your healthy for test day.  Used in large amounts, eucalyptus essential oil can be toxic, but in small doses it can be beneficial.  And finally, to reap all of those benefits, look to rosemary, which is said to improve blood circulation, relieve a sore throat, improve digestion, improve mental alertness, memory, and mood, and relieve mental fatigue.

3.  Have a cup or two of java, but don’t go overboard

Drinking coffee is known to increase short term recall and boost performance on a variety of mental and physical tests.  Studies have shown that both regular and occasional coffee consumption can boost memory, reasoning, and other cognitive skills.  Too much of it, though, can make you jittery and paranoid, which can have negative implications for your studying and test day performance.  So know your caffeine limits, and don’t push past them—but if coffee is something that you enjoy, by all means, take advantage of its benefits!

4.  Get off the couch and move!

Studies have shown that regular exercise is not just good for your body; it can also help to relieve mental and emotional stress, plus neutralize some of the physical effects of that stress.  One study, reported at the 2001 Society for Neuroscience conference, found that, young adults who followed a 12 week regimen of jogging for 30 minutes two to three times a week significantly improved their performance on a number of cognitive tests. The scores fell again if the participants quit their running routine.  Researchers suggest that the increased oxygen flow to the brain may explain running’s beneficial impact on test scores.  Even if it’s just a quick walk around the block, getting your body moving can be a big help to your mental and physical condition, and that can translate to improved numbers on test day!

Overall, there’s no substitute for knowledge and preparation when it comes to your GMAT score.  But these little tips can give you an extra boost, and might just be the difference between a so-so score and one with which you’ll be satisfied.  What’s your favorite way to relieve stress and improve your mental and physical condition as test day approaches?

Get a Great GMAT Score – Study Online with Grockit.

About Grockit: Grockit is an educational technology company that licenses and distributes a cost-effective, collaborative and social learning and test prep platform built on adaptive learning algorithms and analytics. Students love Grockit because it is social, engaging and incorporates youthful technologies such as, smart phones, social games mechanics, online group chat, screensharing and YouTube.

Published in MBA Studies

Labour legislationWhile the proposed amendments to labour legislation have attracted significant media attention, many refinements can still be introduced before the amendments reach the statute book. Even so, employers should be mindful that they will be facing far-reaching changes to the current labour law dispensation. So what could and should employers do at this stage to be better prepared for these changes?

Amendments to the Labour Relations Act (LRA), the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and the Employment Equity Act (EEA) will come into effect in the not too distant future. A new Employment Services Bill contains provisions that regulate the activities of labour brokers. While it is unlikely that we shall see the total demise of labour brokers, there will most certainly be extensive debate about the issue before the Bill is enacted.


Of the proposed amendments to the LRA, BCEA and EEA, several are cosmetic, others are technical, but some are of a more substantial nature. Of these substantial amendments, there are those that employers can do something about at this stage. Below are some of the steps employers can take in anticipation of the amendments..


Fixed-term contracts: The Labour Relations Amendment Bill proposes that an employer should only employ someone for a fixed term if the employer can justify it. If not, the employer should employ the person permanently. Employers should therefore be very particular about the operational reason for a fixed-term contract and to specifically include these in fixed-term contracts, for example linking it to a project of a temporary nature. Meaningless provisions such as “fluctuating operational needs” are unacceptable..


High earners excluded from protection: Employees earning more than the threshold determined by the Minister in the Government Gazette (presumably the current threshold referred to in the section 6(3) of the BCEA) will be excluded from referring dismissal and unfair labour practice disputes to the CCMA and Labour Court (with the exception of automatically unfair dismissals). When appointing senior managers or highly-paid staff, or renewing or extending their contracts, employers should pay more attention to the termination, breach and dispute resolution provisions in the contract of employment.


Liability of client company: Where an unfair labour practice is committed by a subcontractor, both the subcontractor and the client could be held liable. This means that a “client company” should be mindful of the labour practices of those who provide services to it. If not, the client company could be held liable. Employers should therefore give consideration to obtaining appropriate assurances/ indemnity from the service providers they contract with.


Benefits of equal value for fixed-term employees: The Basic Conditions of Employment Bill proposes that employers must contribute benefits of similar or equal value to employees employed on a fixed-term contract. They cannot be treated less favourably than permanent employees. Where it is not practicable to afford employees on fixed-term contracts certain benefits (e.g. pension and medical aid), the employer will have to pay them the cash value thereof. This should be taken into account in the financial planning of employers that make extensive use of employees on fixed-term contracts.


Enforcement procedures: Several of the current enforcement provisions (labour inspectors securing undertakings, compliance orders, objections and appeals against compliance orders) will fall away. While this might appear innocuous at first glance, it seems that, consequently, non-compliance issues can be referred directly to the Labour Court. Employers could therefore lose the opportunity they have at the moment to become compliant. In addition, non-compliance with most of the provisions of the BCEA that are currently not criminalised will become criminal offences. Furthermore, the penalties, even for minor transgressions, will include minimum fines and possible prison sentences. Employers are therefore encouraged to ensure that they are fully compliant with the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. Otherwise they could suffer costly embarrassment.


Work of equal value: According to the Employment Equity Amendment Bill it could be regarded as unfair discrimination if there is a difference in terms and conditions of employment between employees of the same employer who perform the same or substantially the same work or work of equal value. The discrimination would be regarded as unfair if the differentiation is based on of the grounds of unfair discrimination listed in Section 6(1) of the Employment Equity Act or any of the additional grounds added. It is possible that some exceptions will be provided for in the proposed code of good practice referred to in the Amendment Bill. However, employers should re-evaluate their conditions of employment so that they do not fall foul of this form of discrimination.


Assessment of compliance with employment equity requirements: Currently the Employment Equity Act lists several factors that must be taken into account in assessing whether a designated employer is implementing employment equity in compliance with the Act. In terms of the proposed amendment, it is now stated that certain factors may be taken into account, but several of the existing factors have been left out and new ones added. The new ones are “reasonable steps taken by an employer to train suitably qualified people from the designated groups” and “….. to appoint and promote suitably qualified people from the designated groups”. Although the implication is that there may be several others factors (not listed) that the Labour Court can take into account, employers should at least take note of the (new) listed factors when drafting and implementing their employment equity plans.


What is of some concern is the removal of the words “national and regional” where reference is made to the demographic profile of the economically active population. The implication is that, when assessing compliance, the national (rather than regional) demographic profile will be taken into account by labour inspectors. The problem is that the regional profile can in some cases differ to a great extent from the national profile. It is our view that employers, when drafting their employment equity plans, should in fairness be able to argue that the regional demographic profile is a more important consideration than the national demographic profile.


There are other important changes that have not been discussed, as there is probably not much that employers can do in response to those at this stage -we shall have to wait until the proposed amendments in the Bills have been further refined and implemented.


Jan Truter of is an on-line labour relations service aimed at assisting employers with the implementation of effective labour relations. They can be contacted via the website or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Published in Human Resources

QS MBA World Tour

  • International survey found that Europe is increasingly popular among African and Middle Eastern MBA candidates
  • Germany displaces France to become 5th most preferred MBA destination.
  • Top European business schools arrive in Johannesburg to recruit African candidates

According to the latest QS Applicant Survey 2010, there has been a 19.9% rise in the number of MBA candidates from Africa and the Middle East selecting UK, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland as their preferred study destination from 2009-2010. In the same year, the number of candidates choosing the US as their preferred study destination dropped considerably from 71.1% to 60.4%. Germany has also become the fifth most preferred destination for the region’s MBA candidates, displacing France.

Ross Geraghty, managing editor of the TopMBA Career Guide says: “What is surprising about these MBA study destination preferences is the disparity between MBA applicants in different regions. The US is no longer dominant and more and more European countries are at the top of people’s lists. Germany has risen to prominence in recent years, especially among candidates from Africa and the Middle East.”

Nick Barniville, MBA director at ESMT European School of Management and Technology believes Germany’s high employment figures play a significant part in its popularity: "With its growing number of high-quality MBA programs, Germany is a prime destination for MBA candidates. The chance for employment after graduation is high. Over 90% of MBA students who graduated in December 2009 were in employment by March 2010. Over 60% of these graduates found employment in Germany."

To meet this growing demand for European MBA programmes, some of the world’s best business schools in Europe such as Vlerick, ESMT, IE, IMD and ESSEC Business School among others from around world will be travelling with the QS World MBA Tour to Johannesburg on Tuesday, 29 March 2011 to meet and recruit some of the country’s best candidates. Candidates can register on Registration is free.

For more information, contact:

Barak Cerff

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+27 (011) 867 3466


Published in South Africa
Monday, 07 February 2011 09:34

Planning Your Strategy Workshop

Strategy WorkshopThe more effort you invest in planning your strategy workshop, the more likely it is that your workshop will be successful. Here are some questions you may like to ask yourself (or your team) prior to briefing your strategy consultant.



  • A full strategic plan we can give to our board of directors?

  • A common vision to which everyone is committed?

  • A vision or set of goals?

  • Specific action plans to achieve our goals and vision?

  • A few creative ideas regarding new opportunities for our business?


Content benefits result from doing comprehensive strategic analyses: of your stakeholders, the external environment, your industry, your competitors and your business and then creatively developing a focused and comprehensive vision. Content benefits could include:

  • A clear competitive advantage.

  • A clear common vision.

  • A clear focus on a few priorities (80/20 principle).

  • A framework within which future decisions can be made.

  • Clarification of the target markets within which we will and won’t operate.

  • Identification of new opportunities from changes in our external environment.

  • An identification of our core strengths. Knowing what makes us special.

  • Creation of new value added products and services we could be offering.

  • Creative, ‘out of the box’ thinking.

  • A change of mindset or paradigms.


Process benefits are the ‘people’ or ‘team’ benefits you can get by cleverly designing your workshop. For example the way you select delegates, mix smaller groups, encourage participation, work with group dynamics and design workshop activities could result in the following benefits:

  • Cross learning between people from different functions.

  • Synergies between different areas.

  • Break down ‘silo’s between different divisions or between your company
    and the parent company.

  • Building of teams. Reducing conflict.

  • Greater creative out of the box thinking? (The more diversity in your teams,
    and the more you mix teams, the greater the creativity.)

  • Positive energy. (This results from the energy of the participants, the style of the facilitator, and what is actually achieved during the workshop.)

  • Commitment. (The greater the participation during the workshop, the greater the ownership and commitment – and the easier the implementation!)


There are often issues within the organisation that have the potential to sabotage your strategy workshop. Examples include:

  • Inappropriate timing.

  • An impending merger or takeover.

  • Impending structural changes.

  • Impending retrenchments.

  • Stress, or conflict within the top team.

  • A key player who is about to resign from the company.

It is important to identify and deal with issues like these before you hold your workshop. Otherwise you will find that delegates will insist on using the time together (at your workshop) to debate these issues! This will take valuable time away from working on the goals you wanted to achieve. Should you urgently need to develop your strategic plan before you are able to deal with these issues, talk to your facilitator about them up front. Then together agree on new goals for the workshop which include solving some of these issues.


When is the best time to hold our workshop? Consider the following factors:

  • Deadlines – do you need to submit your strategic plan to the board by a certain date?

  • Choose a time when issues that could sabotage your workshop will have been dealt with.

  • Choose a time that helps strategic implementation. E.g. there should be no operational deadlines straight after the workshop, so you can begin implementing your strategy immediately. Similarly don’t do strategy just before a major holiday period.

  • The best consultants get booked up months in advance. So book ahead to ensure the availability of the consultant you want to work with.


If we were to have the most successful strategy workshop ever, what would make it so special? What are the success criteria for our workshop?


Think of the worst strategy workshops we’ve ever attended. What made them so unsuccessful? What should we do to ensure that our workshop is successful?


Your choice of delegates can affect both the group dynamics of the workshop, as well as the level of commitment to your final strategy. So consider carefully whom you choose to invite as delegates. (See How to select delegates for a strategic planning workshop.) for more information.


How should we group our delegates into teams to help us achieve the process benefits we want? (When in doubt go for diversity. But ensure this is something you discuss this with your facilitator.)


  • What criteria are important in choosing a venue for this workshop?

  • How should the room be arranged?

  • The process benefits you want should guide your choice of venue. E.g. If you are looking for participation and creative thinking choose a venue that:

    • Promotes a feeling of informal relaxation. The ideal venue is away from the office and has space for groups to work both indoors and outdoors. Ideally it should be in a 'natural' environment.

    • Good lighting. Natural light.

    • Good air conditioning – especially in summer!

    • 3-5 round or square tables for small group work – arranged casually.

    • No distractions.

    • Good service.

    • Food that suits your delegates’ dietary requirements. (In a cross cultural environment, this is more important to group dynamics than you can imagine!)


  • What requirements must our facilitator meet?

  • Who can best help you to achieve the content and process benefits you want to achieve?

  • There is a shortage of good strategy facilitators. So book them well in advance.


  • What information will the facilitator need to know about our business, to design an effective workshop?

  • What documents contain that information?

  • Who will be responsible for briefing our chosen facilitator?

  • Typically an external facilitator will need information about your company/industry and about the participants of the workshop.

Company information.

Background information from annual reports, pamphlets, web sites, marketing material or research helps the consultant to customize the workshop to suit your organization. Anything that provides answers to the following questions would be useful:

  • What industry are you in?

  • What products and services do you sell?

  • How do your customers use these products/services?

  • Who are your customers or target markets?

  • Who are your competitors?

  • How has/is the industry changing? What issues is your company or your industry facing right now?

  • What technology are you using now? How is it helping you achieve a competitive advantage?

  • What challenges/issues are you currently facing?

Information about the participants

  • Who will attend the workshop?

  • How many delegates will be attending?

  • What are the delegates expecting from the workshop?

  • What could affect the group dynamics at the workshop? E.g. describe any conflict that occurs between individuals or between different groups.

Contact Ruth Tearle at +27 –21 712 2154 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to facilitate customised workshops to meet your specific goals and requirements. Original article posted at

Published in Strategy
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 08:46

How to Highlight Experience in a Resume

resumeThe experience or career history section of your resume is a vital ingredient in being selected for an interview. Recruiters and employers are not only looking for experience in specific roles but also what you were able to achieve while in those roles.

There are two aspects to describing your career experience in a resume; a description of the responsibilities that shows the scope and level of authority of the role you held and your key achievements while you were in the role. These two parts are not equal.

Role responsibilities

There are very few unique roles, so most require very little description. An accounts payable team leader for example does not need to describe what accounts payable is. A single paragraph describing the number of team members, volume of processing and size of budget accountability is enough to explain the role.

Key achievements

This is where your effort needs to be placed when illustrating your experience. For every achievement you need to think about the benefit that was delivered to the business and be specific about what that was. For example a statement that you improved the accounts payable process by converting 80 per cent of suppliers to electronic funds transfer is specific but it does not highlight the benefit.

Instead start with the benefit to the business. “Reduced costs by $50,000 by converting 80 per cent of suppliers to electronic funds transfer,” grabs the reader's attention in a way the earlier description does not. It shows the value you can bring in tangible terms that a prospective employer can relate to.

While an employer can work out for themselves approximately what value your achievements would have provided it is more powerful to identify and state the value of the benefit yourself.


You do not need to describe every job you have ever had. Limit the description and achievements to your last three roles or 5 years experience, anything prior to that is too old to be of much relevance.

These earlier positions should not be left out entirely. You need to show a complete picture of your employment history but you do not need to describe them in detail. List the title of the role, the name of your employer and the dates you were employed in the role.

Target your employment history to highlight the benefits you have delivered to previous employers and your resume will stand out from the crowd of other resumes clamoring for attention.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 15:12

Want an MBA? Log Onto Facebook

Facebook MBAOver 30,000 enrollments in just a month - few MBA programs can boast of such enthusiastic participation. But this is reality today for one of the most innovative approaches to online MBA education in recent times

A little over a month ago, The London School of Business and Finance announced its new course - the LSBF Global MBA - that has made high quality MBA course material accessible at just a mouse click away. The program, available on popular social network platform Facebook, enables participants to access lectures, case studies and videos online from faculty and panel discussion groups at the School, including industry highflyers. The LSBF Global MBA application on Facebook has been developed by former Google employees, as revealed by Aaron Etingen, founder of the School who also conceived of this first-of-its-kind program.

What's more? The entire course content - spanning approximately 800 hours of multimedia material - comes free and students only have to pay at the point at which they opt for accreditation, if they do. Once exam requirements are met and accreditation fees paid, participants will receive an MBA degree from the University of Wales.

Till date more than 30,000 people have joined courses in corporate finance, accounting, ethics, marketing and strategic planning, indicate the latest reports.

Given that Facebook has now become a part of life for a mammoth 500 million plus users, the unique program offering is likely to continue attracting more and more students; however, for it to break barriers of skepticism and herald a truly revolutionary and cultural shift in the format of online education as well as industry acceptance might take a slightly longer time.

Find the LSBF (London School of Business and Finance) Global MBA here



Published in MBA Studies
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 15:06

5 Criteria for Selecting an Online MBA Program

online mbaAs a result of the current economic climate, many professionals are going back to school to acquire a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree, in order to give themselves an advantage in the ultra-competitive job market. Recently, online MBA programs have been popping up all over the internet, claiming to offer the correct pathway to an MBA degree, and subsequently, to a more successful future. With a vast selection of programs to choose from, how does one navigate through all of the clever marketing and advertising to find the program that is right for them?

Published in MBA Studies
Sunday, 12 September 2010 19:30

Welcome to MBA Network - Your MBA Community

How to start Networking on MBA Network

Thank you for completing your registration - You have logged into the site for the first time. On the left you will see the new "network menu" please start by updating your profile and adding a photo. In the menu you will see some of the services on offer. To communicate with another member just click on their profile in the "Member Directory" section. You can use the "shoutbox" to update other members. On the right bottom you will see the chat facility. It is private - you have to be connected to another user to chat. To send someone a message - click on their profile and "send a message". Please visit and introduce yourself in our forum.

Who are we: MBA Network started in 2006 with a very basic website that very quickly grew to a network of business professionals. Recently we completely relaunched this website to include a community and various other services on offer. We are dedicated to developing networking opportunities globally and supply you with relevant and interesting information.

MBA Network is an online business and MBA network that aims to connect business professionals as well as MBA students, alumni and prospective students. One of the main benefits of studying your MBA is networking with likeminded people. We aim to supply you with an online network of business contacts. We also provide you with business information. Some information are aimed at MBA students and Alumni where other articles are aimed at prospective students and entrepreneurs.

A quick overview of our services.

- Network of Business Contacts

- Real time chat facility

- Private messaging service

- Business Forum

In your personal profile you will find the following

- Your personal profile - Mini CV

- Article submission section

- Personal Blog

- Personal Wall

Let us be your online MBA study group and Alumni network.

Your privacy is of utmost importance to us and all members will be required to comply with the community spirit.

Be on the lookout for our next online community event


Published in MBA Net General

Startegic AllianceThere are three types of strategic alliance; direct cooperation, joint ventures and minority investments. Every joint venture is always a strategic alliance but not all strategic alliances are joint ventures.

What is a strategic alliance?

Strategic alliances are agreements to operate collaboratively between otherwise arm’s length organizations to accomplish a strategic purpose. Alliances can be either equity or non-equity alliances but all are formed to achieve benefits for the organizations that would not be achieved by operating individually.

Published in Strategy
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 09:41

South African Business School Expo hits Sandton

Our future leadersWhy embark on an MBA? Does it add to your professional development or is it an expensive way of multiplying your stress levels? Crucially, how do you choose the institution that best fits your interests, your career objectives, and your budget? On September 9th prospective MBA students were able to ask these questions themselves and sample the offerings of some of the best business education institutions at the SABSA MBA Open Day at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Business School Expo Photo Gallery

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