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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003
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Former Investment Bankers, Current Admissions Experts [Episode 227] [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2017, 16:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Former Investment Bankers, Current Admissions Experts [Episode 227]
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Read Time: 6 minutesImage

About a year ago I received an email from someone interested in working for Accepted. She had admissions office experience, an MBA from a top business school, and investment banking experience on Wall Street and in Hong Kong.

About a week later, I received another email from another potential consultant who attended a different top MBA program, but also had admissions office experience, an MBA from a top business school, and had worked in investment banking in both Wall Street and Hong Kong. And their first name was the same, though spelled slightly differently.

They both joined Accepted and have been doing an outstanding job for our clients ever since.

Madelaine Baker and Madeleine Wang, welcome to Admissions Straight Talk!

Can you each tell us about your background prior to joining Accepted? [1:50]

M. Baker: My first experience in MBA admissions was working at MIT Sloan in 2002. Then I decided to go to business school – I went to Columbia. After b-school I decided to work on Wall St. I worked as a banker off and on for about ten years in New York and Hong Kong.

At CBS, I was always involved in admissions. When I decided I didn’t want to be in investment banking anymore, I contacted Yale SOM and worked as an outside admissions reader there. Then I joined Accepted!

M. Wang: After my undergrad, I worked in investment banking in New York and Hong Kong before business school. While I was in business school at Wharton I decided that I wanted to take on a part-time job as a grad member on the admissions committee – I really enjoyed it, and it was an important part of my b-school experience.

After I graduated I worked in management consulting. I was an active Wharton alum, interviewing candidates, etc. I also worked with people in my firm who were applying to business schools, and I really loved that process. Over the last few years I decided to take my work in a different (more flexible) direction, and that led me to Accepted.

You both spent a lot of time in financial services. What are critical qualities that investment banks and top financial services companies look for in applicants? [5:32]

M. Wang: I would say that I would look for strong quantitative skills. From a resume perspective that can be demonstrated by statistics, a high GMAT, and work experience that shows strong quant ability. From a personal perspective, they look for very hard workers – investment banking is very demanding. So banks are looking for candidates with drive and resilience.

M. Baker: They’re looking for smart, motivated candidates that have the grit and determination to succeed. And somebody who’s willing to play well on a team. I think that’s what b-schools want to see, too.

That’s just what I was going to ask next – do you see b-schools looking for the same qualities? [8:25]

M. Baker: Absolutely – very similar qualities. Quant skills will get you in the door, but they’re not enough – you need to be a team player. You need to be resilient and persistent.

M. Wang: I think some qualities are the same – being smart, having perseverance. But when you’re building a class for business school, you’re also looking at different things because you’re looking for a diverse group that can teach each other – so you’re looking for a diverse range of interests and leadership skills.

Were the criteria different for consulting? [11:45]

M. Wang: They’re similar in that you’re looking for highly intelligent people, but they’re also a little more diverse than banking. There’s more emphasis on problem solving, and more emphasis on someone who presents very well, because of the level of client interaction.

In looking at b-school admissions, do schools take into account a student’s goals and what employers in that industry will look for when they consider an applicant? Or do they consider the applicant’s skills more broadly? [13:15]

M. Wang: In looking at an applicant, you want to make sure what they’re saying makes sense and that it’s a logical/realistic path for them. In b-school people often discover new interests. So you’re looking broadly at whether someone has the qualities to be successful post-MBA.

M. Baker: That’s true and schools understand that people change paths. But schools look closely at the goals people describe in their applications with the idea that those goals should be realistic and achievable.

You both worked in Hong Kong, Are there elements in the admissions process that Asian applicants tend to be unaware of or underestimate? [16:05]

M. Baker: The number of applicants coming from Asia is so much greater than the seats available. The GMAT scores from Asia tend to be higher – so applicants have to be sure they’re not just planning to stand out through high scores. They need to stand out through a unique story, not through their stats.

M. Wang: Highlight your achievements without being overly modest.

What surprised you working in the admissions office? [20:40]

M. Wang: It was eye opening in a good way to see the sheer diversity of people who apply and go to business school. The diversity of backgrounds was something I learned from. Wharton is known for having strong finance, but there’s a huge diversity in terms of people’s experience. The negative that surprised me as someone who’s very detail oriented – there were apps that came in that weren’t proofed. (Language errors made by native English speakers, sloppy mistakes such as leaving in the name of another school – easy things that applicants could have addressed.)

How has your perspective changed since becoming a consultant? [23:15]

M. Baker: I remember reading applications for Yale – it’s easy to forget how much work goes into preparing these applications. To me that was eye opening – how much time and work is involved.

M. Wang: Post-MBA I’d worked with applicants before joining Accepted. I really realized how much being able to write reasonably well matters. When you’re reading applications on the adcom, all you have to get to know an applicant is on the paper in front of you.

To be able to present yourself well really matters, and I see that so much as I review early drafts.

What would you say about the different cultures of the business schools you’ve experienced? [28:00]

M. Wang: Wharton is one of the larger schools – the sheer diversity of the offerings stands out. The size of it allows it to have a great set of resources, and it was a great benefit. There’s also a great alumni network. I felt that the school was very collaborative and teamwork-focused – possibly more than I even expected. It’s constantly improving itself – it’s very responsive to student feedback. It’s a very dynamic program.

M. Baker: My first experience was at MIT Sloan. I remember it as an extremely smart, tight-knit community. Students are so energetic – they’re always organizing and doing things. It’s a tight-knit, nice community.

CBS, as part of NYC, is a much bigger school. There’s a big emphasis on teamwork, and it has an excellent network (which is instrumental in organizing trips downtown). The cluster system breaks down the large school into smaller communities. And the women’s network is really strong.

Yale is completely different. I wasn’t as involved in the student community since I was reading applications. But the campus is collaborative, international, and places a big emphasis on teamwork.

Did you also review the Yale video? [35:00]

M. Baker: They’re really revealing. You get a sense of who the person is and how they present themselves.

It’s insightful into how prepared applicants are – how did they dress? Did they check the lighting?

How can you prepare for a video question? [37:20]

M. Baker: First of all, you do have to prepare! Some people think you can wing it. Record yourself and review the recording (and have someone else review it and give you feedback). You really, really want to practice it.

M. Wang: You want to practice enough that you can relax in front of the camera so you come across as personable.

Madelaine Baker, any tips for European applicants? [41:00]

Coming from Germany, the grading is pretty straightforward.

If English isn’t your first language, then proofreading is important. And it can be helpful to get advice on content in letters of rec to see how Americans read letters of rec.

Can you share some tips for people applying this year? [42:15]

M. Wang: Get started right away, if you haven’t already. Early planning requires getting your test scores and list of schools together so you have enough time to work on your application materials.

M. Baker: If you haven’t started, you need to get on it as soon as possible.

Have someone proofread your application – even if you decide not to work with a consultant. There’s nothing worse from a reader’s perspective than a sloppy application.

Think about the story you want to present to admissions, then sit down and write.

Do you have advice for people planning ahead to next year or later? [45:10]

M. Baker: Think about what the gaps are in your resume – volunteer work, leadership, etc. Take a step back and think about what you can work on over the next year to strengthen these soft spots.

M. Wang: You should also think about – if you’re moving toward a career change – starting to explore the new career, so that you can be sure about the choice you’re making and have knowledge and experience you can point to when you apply.

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Related Links:

Madelaine Baker’s Bio

Madelaine Wang’s Bio

MBA Admissions Guidance

Related Shows:

• Wharton Lauder: An MBA/MA that Prepares You for Global Business

• A Lot About Yale SOM’s EMBA Program

• Insights into MIT Sloan MBA Admissions with Dawna Levenson

• The MBA Menu at Columbia Business School

A 20-Year MBA Admissions Veteran Shares Hhs Insights [Episode 163]

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, MBA Admissions

The post Former Investment Bankers, Current Admissions Experts [Episode 227] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
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6 Tips for Talking About Your Weaknesses [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 6 Tips for Talking About Your Weaknesses
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How do you react when you read/hear the weakness question? With this question, schools are assessing how well you self evaluate. Like a business problem, they want to hear your plan of action, your implementation, and your success rate.

Here are some tips to help you a) think about and evaluate your weaknesses, and b) be prepared to write about them in an essay or discuss them in an interview.

1. Prepare answers in advance.

When an interviewer asks, “So Natalie, tell me about your weaknesses and what you did to overcome them?” you don’t want to be left silent drawing a blank, or worse – caught off guard and say something crazy like, “Gosh, there are so many, I don’t even know where to begin.” Ding!

2. Be honest.

If you have been let go from a position, you need to discuss the lessons learned from this negative experience and how you overcame the situation. If you have a procrastination problem, you need to talk about ways in which you’re working on boosting your time management skills.

3. Remain professionally focused.

Don’t discuss your addiction to video games or your weakness for chocolate. It’s also certainly not the time to talk about anything inappropriate. We’re talking about work-related, professional weaknesses.

4. Focus on your own weaknesses.

Don’t talk about your cousin’s attraction to arson or your mother-in-law’s conspiratorial behavior. Don’t discuss how your boss is a jerk or how you can’t stand your coworker’s habit of nail biting or how your desk is unorganized because the guy you share your cubicle with always throws his garbage your way. This question is about YOU and your weaknesses – don’t shift the attention or blame onto someone else.

5. Proactively address the issues.

If you have a quantitative weakness, take courses that address the weakness (accounting, statistics). Don’t wait for the admissions committee to ask you to take a course. If you are uncomfortably shy, getting involved with an organization like Toastmasters can help you and show the committee that you’re taking steps to overcome that challenge.

6. Avoid clichés.

“Gee, I guess I just work too hard sometimes” is a copout – the adcom/interviewer will know that deep down you’re proud of your intense work ethic. It is the life of a student to work hard – don’t use that as your “weakness.”

If you need help drafting your essay or framing your answer for your interview, Accepted is here to help you. Contact us for assistance.

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By Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, an accomplished Accepted consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey. Want Natalie to help you get accepted to business school? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws To Avoid In Your Grad School Statement of Purpose, a free guide

5 A’s for Your Low GPA, a podcast episode

How Personal is Too Personal?

Tags: Admissions Consulting, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

The post 6 Tips for Talking About Your Weaknesses appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
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Reasons to Take the GMAT (Beyond Getting into B-School) [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Reasons to Take the GMAT (Beyond Getting into B-School)
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Let’s face it: very few people actually take the GMAT unless they’re applying to business schools that require it. The GMAT is notoriously difficult, and no other type of grad school uses it for admissions practices. If you are filling out b-school apps, you already have a pretty compelling reason to take the test! But if you’re pulling out your hair wondering why you’re spending so much time on your GMAT prep, take heart: the work you’re doing now will benefit you far into the future. In fact, there are some pretty compelling reasons to take the GMAT other than just getting into business school.

The GMAT polishes your communications skills.

Think about this: every single question on the GMAT exam is directly related to the business world. This can confuse and frustrate students working on the verbal reasoning sections of the test. While a lot of the scenarios you’re reading about are about business, they may be unrelated to any business scenario you’ll ever face (but then again, they may be…).

On the other hand, what studying for GMAT verbal reasoning helps you to do is to improve your communication. It doesn’t do this by inundating you with flowery vocabulary you need to learn; instead, GMAT verbal is testing how efficiently you communicate: how well do you absorb information? How well can you analyze an argument? And because this is what the section tests, you’ll see your skills in these areas improving as you continue your GMAT practice. This will pay big dividends, not only during your MBA, but as you go on in the business world, as well.

The GMAT prepares you to work with both details and patterns.

In other words, prepping for the GMAT trains your mind to work on both small and large scales. As you study for GMAT quant, you’ll find that you need to sharpen your skills in picking out relevant details without getting overwhelmed by extraneous information. You’ll get better at organizing information and making precise distinctions. If you’re studying well, you’ll also improve your skills in pattern recognition.

Why are these valuable skills? Think about a day in the life of the average manager. He or she encounters huge amounts of information and has to sort through it to pick out what’s germane to the issue or problem at hand. The ability to identify patterns is key to recognizing progress or lack thereof; and being able to work with information on both small and large scales is vital.

The GMAT trains you to ask the right questions.

The LSAT. The MCAT. The GRE. Not a single one of them has Data Sufficiency questions. Yet the GMAC (the test-makers of the GMAT) obviously find these questions important. Why is that? Because managers are constantly evaluating what information they need to answer a question and what information they have.

The GMAT prepares you for high-stakes experiences.

At the end of the day, taking GMAT practice testsand preparing for the exam in effect prepares you for the business world—not just in the content of its questions, but also in their form. But perhaps the most valuable aspect of the exam is that it is, in itself, a high-stakes experience. You know, the kind that managers deal with all the time: experiences where a lot rides on your performance.

It may be stressful now, but use that stress as a springboard to the world of business. By acquiring these skills during your GMAT study, you’ll be far better prepared for the working world on the other side of your MBA.

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Rachel Kapelke-Dale blogs about graduate school admissions for Magoosh. She has a BA from Brown University, and did her own graduate work at the Université de Paris VII (Master Recherche) and University College London (PhD). She has taught and written about test preparation and admissions practices for eight years.

Related Resources:

MBA Action Plan: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply, a free guide

Affordable Online Test Prep, a podcast episode

The GMAT and Your MBA Admissions Profile

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Reasons to Take the GMAT (Beyond Getting into B-School) appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

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Paying for Your MBA as an International Student [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Paying for Your MBA as an International Student
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If an international MBA has crossed your mind, you’ve probably taken a minute to look at the price tag of a programme or two.

Now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor and still can’t manage to shake your desire to pursue this amazing experience, you’ve got the difficult task of figuring out how you’ll fund your education.

It’s hardly the only challenge you’ll face as an international grad student. There are also study visas and accommodation to secure – and that’s before considering how much effort goes into every application and the dreaded GMAT exam.

But, you won’t be able to get your visa without having your finances in order first. So it’s not even worth worrying about accommodation yet. You can (and perhaps should) worry a little about GMAT preparation, but MBA financing also takes some time, and you can’t start on it too soon.

How do international MBAs finance their education?

There’s no simple answer to this question. Every student pulls together a unique financing package, and yours is going to be inherently different from everyone else’s.

Generally speaking, however, MBAs pay for their education using the same basic sources:

• Personal (and/or family) savings

• Scholarships and bursaries

• Personal sources of unsecured credit (such as credit cards)

• Family or personal loans

• Private or government loans

While it is possible for many international grad students to work in their host countries, the demands of an MBA programme are intense, and it’s not always possible to manage working and studying at the same time. Most MBA students can’t factor simultaneous employment into their budget, and it’s not advisable if you can avoid it.

Instead, it’s best to focus on funds you can obtain before leaving for your studies.

And the reality is that you’re probably going to look at all of the potential funding sources and make use of a combination of options.

Which sources should you consider first?

Scholarships and bursaries should always be your first port of call. This is free money for your education; you need never repay it (unless you do something that causes the provider to rescind the package).

Many universities, especially American ones, place you within their financial aid system as soon as you’ve accepted a seat at their institution. Some provide you with an aid package along with your acceptance letter (perhaps helping you to choose their institution over another). But there are plenty of other options, and it’s worth it to investigate as many as you can.

Then, it’s time to consider your personal savings, and depending on the cultural norms in your country – your family’s financial assets. But, you shouldn’t start trying to squeeze for the last tiny coin from your family – it’s really only a matter of noting what’s available if nothing else comes through. After all, not everyone has a small personal fortune that they’re willing to dole out.

Family loans, on the other hand, are becoming a norm in many parts of the world. Whether it’s a small amount or a large amount, it’s critical to have everything in writing. Not only are their legal frameworks for personal loans in most countries, but you’ll need to demonstrate how you received whatever money you have to receive a study visa.

If you live in a country where the government offers or subsidizes study loans, you will also want to investigate these before you approach private lenders; usually, their interest rates and repayment terms are favourable.

And then there are private study loans

As an international student, there are three different private loan sources that you should investigate:

• Private local banks

• Private banks in your host country

• Private loans from international providers, like Prodigy Finance

Your first stop is likely to be a private bank in your home country. Logic would tell you that these institutions are best placed to provide you with a loan – they have access to your financial history and your credit records. But, you may want to brace yourself for a bumpy ride.

Local banks, especially in emerging economies and developing countries, often aren’t in a position to lend to international students. They’re unable to price the risk on those that are leaving the country as soon as they receive their loan – and many can’t fathom that an education could cost that much (remember how you first felt?).

There are other challenges that you may need to tackle as well, for example, loan disbursement in local currencies which then require you to pay the transfer and exchange fees. And, depending on the level of bureaucracy, it could take months to finalize your loan and secure the proof needed for your visa application.

Believe it or not, you may have access to loans in your host country. But, don’t start jumping up and down yet, these aren’t always as easy or as straightforward as you may like.

Banks in your host country are almost always going to require a local cosigner with strong financial standing. That’s perfect if you have family in your host country that are willing to back you up – or if your university is willing to act as a cosigner for you (though, you shouldn’t expect that as a norm, only as a bonus).

It’s at this point that many accepted students throw their hands up in frustration. Some loans are unavailable, others don’t cover enough of the expenses, and then there are those with prohibitively high interest rates.

So, what’s this about Prodigy Finance?

Prodigy Finance is a lending platform that provides postgraduate loans to international students from 150 countries attending the world’s top universities, who would otherwise have no alternative access to finance. The loans are collectively funded by a community of alumni, institutional investors and qualified private investors who receive both a financial and social return. Since 2007, Prodigy Finance has provided more than US$323 million in funding to over 7,100 students with exceptionally strong repayment.

Take a moment to learn more about Prodigy Finance loans and which schools are currently supported. After all, funding shouldn’t be a barrier to education – nor should it keep you up at night; your GMAT prep will do that all by itself.

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Katie studied human rights and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University while working with NGOs in Geneva, Switzerland. Although she has since settled in South Africa, with work towards a Masters in Forced Migration through the University of the Witswatersrand, nothing stops her from being a proud American. Although writing is often solitary work, Katie has been part of the Prodigy Finance Team as the Content Specialist since 2013. She also loves rugby, sloppy Mexican food and Tudor history which means you could find her in any section of a bookstore.

Related Resources:

How to Fund Your MBA Abroad, a free webinar

MBA Scholarships: How do I Apply and What Should I Emphasize?

Having Trouble Securing a Loan for Your International MBA?

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Paying for Your MBA as an International Student appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
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Encore: Your Past Doesn’t Define You [Episode #228] [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Encore: Your Past Doesn’t Define You [Episode #228]
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This week we are airing an encore of one of the most populars shows of 2017.

Many applicants focus on the past – both the good and the bad – to the detriment of their applications. Find out the role your past plays in admissions and what you should focus on in your applications when you listen to Your Past Doesn’t Define You.

To see the original detailed show notes, click here.

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Related Links:

Resources for Law School Applicants

Resources for Medical School Applicants

Resources for Law School Applicants

Resources for Grad School Applicants

Related Shows:

• The Unbelievable Story of an Orthopedic Surgeon

• What to do About a Low GPA

• Wharton MBA Student, Single Mom, Entrepreneurhttps://blog.accepted.com/wharton-mba-student-single-mom-entrepreneur-episode-152/

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

The post Encore: Your Past Doesn’t Define You [Episode #228] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

Kudos [?]: 581 [0], given: 74

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User avatar
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003
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Six Must-Know Steps for International Students [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Six Must-Know Steps for International Students
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If you’re an international applicant preparing to study in the abroad, you may be asking yourself, “How will I pay for my degree?” Well, we can’t pay for it for you, but we can help answer your questions about how to navigate the funding process.

To do just that, we’ve partnered with our friends at Prodigy Finance to bring you a webinar dedicated to the international student loan process. Prodigy Senior Relationship Manager Molly Dineen will answer your questions about international student funding and help you understand how to secure a loan as an international student. There’s still time to register for The Six Steps to Understanding International Student Loans!

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Don’t miss it!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Six Must-Know Steps for International Students appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
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What are Interest Rates and APR? (And Why are They Important?) [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What are Interest Rates and APR? (And Why are They Important?)
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Let’s face it: education is expensive. And that’s before adding in an international component.

Few students can afford the cost of attendance with the money that’s sitting in their bank accounts – their bank, their parent’s bank, and the accounts of half a dozen close friends and family members.

The chances are good that you’ll need an educational loan. (And, hey, if you manage to secure a full ride scholarship or you happen to stumble on the funds needed, we’ll happily celebrate with you.) And even though it may not appear that way at first, there are options out there.

But, you should never accept the first loan that comes your way; that’s not financially responsible.

It’s always a good idea to compare financing offers – whether you’re buying a home or pursuing a master’s education abroad. To do that, you’ll need to know what you should be comparing.

What goes into an educational loan?

At the very heart of any loan is the principal – or the amount you receive from the lender (or, in the case of Prodigy Finance loans, the amount disbursed directly to the university).

Unless you are borrowing money from personal friends and family, you should expect to pay something for the privilege of borrowing these funds – this is known as interest. (And, we should note that some countries also regulate interest rates personal loans; wherever you borrow money, be sure to stay on the right side of the law to avoid stiff penalties.)

Loans provided by banks, private lenders, or governments usually attach an interest rate to the principal amount rather than a flat fee. The interest rate is the money a lender makes for providing you with the capital you need.

Often, interest rates are applied to the outstanding principle amount. So, if you owe $10,000 currently, your interest will be calculated using that amount multiplied by the interest rate. Next month, when you owe $9,500, your interest is calculated in the same way. And it continues to compound.

And, yes, it can be as complicated as it sounds.

Most loans also have additional fees built into the structure. In most cases, these are administrative fees which are applied once off at the time of loan origination (but not always as different banking systems have different norms). These aren’t principal amounts, but they’re also not interest amounts. All the same, they need to be accounted for in the cost of the loan.

There are also grace periods and repayment periods that affect the total amount you will need to repay. And that’s before working in the effects of interest as it’s applied to the principal amounts over time.

Comparing educational loans

In an ideal world, you would look at a couple of different loans with the same principle in the same currency. (Though, if you’re considering international study, that’s probably not going to be the case.) And, if it was a simple case of principle plus interest rate, you should be able to decide which loan to take rather quickly.

But it’s not an ideal world – and there are those fees, loan terms, and compound interest to consider. That’s where APR comes into play. The annual percentage rate (APR) takes into account all components of a loan so that you can compare apples to apples.

It’s critical to consider APR rather than interest rates because many banks advertise their margins (which are interest rates on top of base rates) and going with the lowest advertised interest rate can be a false economy.

Confused?

Don’t worry; it’s easier to understand when you’ve walked through an example of APR calculations. This video from Prodigy Finance explains it clearly.

Why does it matter?

As you can see from Carlo’s example in the video, there can be massive differences in the total amount paid on a study loan – in many cases, it amounts to thousands of dollars (or pounds, or euros) and your future self will thank you for saving that money.

Post-grad education is an investment in your future; if you consider only the principal amount disbursed or interest rates alone, you may be negating your success without realising it.

Of course, as an international student, you have to find available educational financing first, and that’s not always easy. Your options are tied to the country you come from and the one you’re going to – and your credit history won’t follow you across international borders.

That’s where Prodigy Finance comes into play. Prodigy Finance is a lending platform that provides postgraduate loans to international students from 150 countries attending the world’s top universities, who would otherwise have no alternative access to finance. Loans are extended according to the company’s predictive model rather than your past. Your loan amount is reflective of the amount you can earn post-MBA based on the salaries and metrics of students previously in your situation.

At some schools, loans may cover the full cost of tuition; at others, it’s possible to borrow 80 percent of the total cost of attendance. It’s a little more complex than the formulas banks use, but then, international educational financing is all Prodigy Finance does. Now, celebrating its tenth anniversary, Prodigy Finance makes it possible for students to register and see how much they’ll qualify for before applying to MBA programmes.

The loans are collectively funded by a community of alumni, institutional investors and qualified private investors who receive both a financial and social return. Since 2007, Prodigy Finance has provided more than US$323 million in funding to over 7,100 students with exceptionally strong repayment.

Take a moment to learn more about Prodigy Finance loans and which schools are currently supported. After all, funding shouldn’t be a barrier to education – nor should it keep you up at night; your GMAT prep will do that all by itself.

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Katie studied human rights and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University while working with NGOs in Geneva, Switzerland. Although she has since settled in South Africa, with work towards a Masters in Forced Migration through the University of the Witswatersrand, nothing stops her from being a proud American. Although writing is often solitary work, Katie has been part of the Prodigy Finance Team as the Content Specialist since 2013. She also loves rugby, sloppy Mexican food and Tudor history which means you could find her in any section of a bookstore.

Related Resources:

The Importance of Creating a Strong MBA Budget

Having Trouble Securing a Loan for Your International MBA?

• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment, a podcast episode

* This blog post is sponsored by our friends at Prodigy Finance

Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

The post What are Interest Rates and APR? (And Why are They Important?) appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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International MBA Applicants: You Can’t Afford to Miss This! [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: International MBA Applicants: You Can’t Afford to Miss This!
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There’s still time to register for The Six Steps to Understanding International Student Loans! Guided by our friends at Prodigy Finance, you’ll learn the terminology of student loans, how to compare loans, how to apply and qualify as an international student – and more. If you’re applying for an MBA or other master’s program as an international student, this is a must.

This is your chance to get a straightforward introduction to the loan process and how you can fund your international master’s degree – all in a free, one-hour webinar.

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Don’t miss it!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post International MBA Applicants: You Can’t Afford to Miss This! appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

Kudos [?]: 581 [0], given: 74

International MBA Applicants: You Can’t Afford to Miss This!   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2017, 10:01

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