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Amerasia MBA Blog

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5 Tips for Negotiating Your MBA Admissions Offer [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2018, 22:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: 5 Tips for Negotiating Your MBA Admissions Offer
Today's blog post is about negotiating your offer of admission ... except that it's not.  Because "negotiation" is not what you do when it comes to securing more financial aid from a business school.  The term of art for what you are going to be doing is "asking." Let us explain.Obviously, any discussion of an offer in this context automatically means we're dealing with some good news: you've been accepted.  So congrats on that!  However, with the news that a b-school wants you to enroll comes the sobering reality that they also want you to *pay* for that privilege.  Sure, offers often come with dollar signs attached, but the amount left in the "you" column is almost always going to be the bigger number.  And that fact tends to bring up the following question: "How can I negotiate my offer?"
Again, let's rephrase the question entirely. Don't think of this as a negotiation, but rather a request: "How can I request more aid?"  That is a much better frame of reference, especially in light of the the advice that follows.  Here's how we typically approach this process:
1. Be respectful. There are a lot of ways you might be able to get a little more scholarship money from a business school, but we know of one sure way that you WON'T get money and that's if you try to "hardball" them.  We have witnessed countless admits go from months of wishing and hoping to sudden arrogance and a "you better wine and dine me" attitude.  Ditch it.  Immediately.  If you call an admissions office and try to leverage another offer or you give them the "so what can you do to sweeten the deal?" treatment, you will inevitably find yourself on the line with a tired and supremely annoyed member of that school's staff.  Go in polite, grateful, and professional.  Always.  This is not an M&A deal and you are not "negotiating" with anyone.  You are "asking" a business school to grant you more free funding.  Big difference and on that is not lost on the schools themselves, we assure you.
2. Instead, go for the heartstrings. Okay, you have your hat in hand and you are determined to avoid acting entitled.  Now what?  Not to be too blunt about it, but in our experience, a good old sob story seems to work best.  So if you have authentic hurdles - and most of us do - to paying over $100K for your MBA, share them.  You don't have to impress anyone at this point with your huge salary or countless offers from heavy hitters; they've already decided they want you to attend their school.  And they are far more likely to try to work something out if they find you nice, respectful, and, yes, a bit needy.  A long-term career goal that eschews riches is probably best, but there are a lot of ways you can be honest about your situation and paint a very realistic picture as to how an extra $20K could make all the difference for you.
3. Never lie! If you don't have the "heartstrings" story, then don't go there.  Of even greater importance is that you don't make up offers or dollar amounts from other programs.  It damages the integrity of the financial aid process (which is designed to get money to those who deserve it and who need it most) and the school may ask to see proof in making a decision on revising your award.
4. Wait a beat. One of the keys to even getting yourself in the running for more aid is to wait a little bit so the dust can settle.  Sure, on the one hand, the money could be gone and the class full and the school might have no incentive to sweeten the offer.  I've heard people worry that if they wait, this scenario could result.  And they are right - it totally could.  But here's the dirty secret ... they always spend all the money!  When decisions go out, they throw out all the scholarship awards with them, hoping to entice and bring in the necessary yield.  It is only when people start turning down offers - and scholarship awards - that the directors and staff start to see where there might be A) enrollment needs and B) financial aid surplus.  In other words, if Booth gave you a $20K scholarship last week, don't call *this* week hoping for more.  They won't have any more - at least not on paper.  That spreadsheet is going to show every dollar spent.  Wait for people to turn them down and for some of that paper money to flow back into the Booth coffers.  Doing so will give you a better chance at there even being something to ask for, let alone get.  Plus, while this isn't necessarily likely, if you wait, you might also catch a school getting shorted a bit on enrollment, in which case they will be far more likely to help you meet your needs.  (Think of what is better for a program - going to the waitlist and thereby increasing their "admitted student" number in the process, or getting a 1-for-1 right off the existing list by spending a bit more money.  It's a no-brainer.)
5. Follow up. If you talk to someone and they say they will get into it (most likely scenario other than "sorry" is "let me get back to you" ... "here's more money!" is a distant third), don't be afraid to follow up.  The squeaky wheel can get the grease given that an admissions office is like a battlefield this time of year - it's not crazy that your request might land on someone's desk for a full week.  In that time, hundreds of thousands of dollars might funnel back and forth on paper, leaving you in the cold.  So wait a day or two and then call back to ask - respectfully, of course - if there has been any progress and if there is anything else you can or should do.  As long as you are really nice and polite about it, no one is going to fault you for being angst-ridden about your financial future.  And we should add here - since people seem to worry about it - you are not going to lose your offer by calling about this stuff.
We hope that these hints help you navigate that latest stress in this process.  Remember that you catch more flies with honey, honesty in the best policy, and patience is a virtue.  Armed with a few cliches, you'll do great.If you are in the midst of this process, congrats and good luck!   If you are just starting out on your admissions journey, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com for a free consultation. 
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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

_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

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5 Tips for Negotiating Your Offer of Admission [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2018, 16:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: 5 Tips for Negotiating Your Offer of Admission
Today's blog post is about negotiating your offer of admission ... except that it's not.  Because "negotiation" is not what you do when it comes to securing more financial aid from a business school.  The term of art for what you are going to be doing is "asking." Let us explain.Obviously, any discussion of an offer in this context automatically means we're dealing with some good news: you've been accepted.  So congrats on that!  However, with the news that a b-school wants you to enroll comes the sobering reality that they also want you to *pay* for that privilege.  Sure, offers often come with dollar signs attached, but the amount left in the "you" column is almost always going to be the bigger number.  And that fact tends to bring up the following question: "How can I negotiate my offer?"
Again, let's rephrase the question entirely. Don't think of this as a negotiation, but rather a request: "How can I request more aid?"  That is a much better frame of reference, especially in light of the the advice that follows.  Here's how we typically approach this process:
1. Be respectful.There are a lot of ways you might be able to get a little more scholarship money from a business school, but we know of one sure way that you WON'T get money and that's if you try to "hardball" them.  We have witnessed countless admits go from months of wishing and hoping to sudden arrogance and a "you better wine and dine me" attitude.  Ditch it.  Immediately.  If you call an admissions office and try to leverage another offer or you give them the "so what can you do to sweeten the deal?" treatment, you will inevitably find yourself on the line with a tired and supremely annoyed member of that school's staff.  Go in polite, grateful, and professional.  Always.  This is not an M&A deal and you are not "negotiating" with anyone.  You are "asking" a business school to grant you more free funding.  Big difference and on that is not lost on the schools themselves, we assure you.
2. Instead, go for the heartstrings.Okay, you have your hat in hand and you are determined to avoid acting entitled.  Now what?  Not to be too blunt about it, but in our experience, a good old sob story seems to work best.  So if you have authentic hurdles - and most of us do - to paying over $100Kfor your MBA, share them.  You don't have to impress anyone at this point with your huge salary or countless offers from heavy hitters; they've already decided they want you to attend their school.  And they are far more likely to try to work something out if they find you nice, respectful, and, yes, a bit needy.  A long-term career goal that eschews riches is probably best, but there are a lot of ways you can be honest about your situation and paint a very realistic picture as to how an extra $20K could make all the difference for you.
3. Never lie!If you don't have the "heartstrings" story, then don't go there.  Of even greater importance is that you don't make up offers or dollar amounts from other programs.  It damages the integrity of the financial aid process (which is designed to get money to those who deserve it and who need it most) and the school may ask to see proof in making a decision on revising your award.
4. Wait a beat.One of the keys to even getting yourself in the running for more aid is to wait a little bit so the dust can settle.  Sure, on the one hand, the money could be gone and the class full and the school might have no incentive to sweeten the offer.  I've heard people worry that if they wait, this scenario could result.  And they are right - it totally could.  But here's the dirty secret ... they always spend all the money!  When decisions go out, they throw out all the scholarship awards with them, hoping to entice and bring in the necessary yield.  It is only when people start turning down offers - and scholarship awards - that the directors and staff start to see where there might be A) enrollment needs and B) financial aid surplus.  In other words, if Booth gave you a $20K scholarship last week, don't call *this* week hoping for more.  They won't have any more - at least not on paper.  That spreadsheet is going to show every dollar spent.  Wait for people to turn them down and for some of that paper money to flow back into the Booth coffers.  Doing so will give you a better chance at there even being something to ask for, let alone get.  Plus, while this isn't necessarily likely, if you wait, you might also catch a school getting shorted a bit on enrollment, in which case they will be far more likely to help you meet your needs.  (Think of what is better for a program - going to the waitlist and thereby increasing their "admitted student" number in the process, or getting a 1-for-1 right off the existing list by spending a bit more money.  It's a no-brainer.)
5. Follow up.If you talk to someone and they say they will get into it (most likely scenario other than "sorry" is "let me get back to you" ... "here's more money!" is a distant third), don't be afraid to follow up.  The squeaky wheel can get the grease given that an admissions office is like a battlefield this time of year - it's not crazy that your request might land on someone's desk for a full week.  In that time, hundreds of thousands of dollars might funnel back and forth on paper, leaving you in the cold.  So wait a day or two and then call back to ask - respectfully, of course - if there has been any progress and if there is anything else you can or should do.  As long as you are really nice and polite about it, no one is going to fault you for being angst-ridden about your financial future.  And we should add here - since people seem to worry about it - you are not going to lose your offer by calling about this stuff.
We hope that these hints help you navigate that latest stress in this process.  Remember that you catch more flies with honey, honesty in the best policy, and patience is a virtue.  Armed with a few cliches, you'll do great.
If you are in the midst of this process, congrats and good luck!  If you are just starting out on your admissions journey, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com for a free consultation.  We are currently offering some great promotions (http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/fees/) for Round 1.  
If you are applying to INSEAD deadline, please download our complimentary INSEAD Guide (http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/mba-school-guides/guide-how-to-apply-to-insead/2012/10/22.)  
Additionally, you can download our free guides for applying to HBS, Columbia, and Wharton (http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/mba-school-guides/.)
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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

_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

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MBA March Madness [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2018, 20:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA March Madness
In addition to MBA decision season, this time of year is all about basketball. If you are one of the millions of hoops fans out there, you may be wondering where you can get a great graduate business education and also a seat at some great basketball games.  Here's a ranking of schools where you can have both.#1 DUKE--Fuqua School of BusinessBasketball at Duke is like religion and it's just as strong at Fuqua as it is with undergrads.  It doesn't hurt that Cameron indoor stadium is right across the street from the b-school, and MBA students have the added benefit of only having to camp out for tickets once for the whole season.  The annual Fuqua bball campout is a time-honored tradition where students team up with classmates to spend an entire weekend standing in line for season tickets and splitting them up with their team (undergrads must camp out for each game).  The defending 2015 National Champions are no strangers to atmospheric rankings in basketball, and with a total of 86 Blue Devils having been drafted all-time into the pros, their achievements are well-pedigreed. Hall-of-Famer Mike Krzyzewski took over as Head Coach in 1980 and has led Duke to 12 Final Fours and 5 National Championships in that time. In the past five years, Duke’s draft choices have included #1 Kyrie Irving (2011), #2 Jabari Parker (2014), and #3 Jalil Okafor (2015)
#2 UNC - Kenan Flagler Business SchoolJust eight miles down the road is the second-best choice for an MBA-basketball combo school.  The program that produced #3 Draft pick Michael Jordan (1984), perhaps the Greatest Basketball Player of All Time, has fallen on hard times as of late, but still remains a great choice for an MBA if you love basketball. Despite winning National Championships in 2005 and 2009, the Tar Heels under Hall of Fame Coach Roy Williams have not returned to the Final Four since. Still, the Heels have produced seven NBA draft picks in the last five years, including four players chosen in the Top 20 picks of 2012: #7 Harrison Barnes, #13 Kendall Marshall, #14 John Henson, and #17 Tyler Zeller.
#3 UCLA- Anderson School of ManagementIf you're keen on the West Coast for b-school and you can't get into Stanford (who also has a proud basketball tradition), you can't do better than UCLA, where you can get quality basketball and a top tier MBA at the same time.  When Hall of Fame Coach John Wooden led the Bruins to seven consecutive NCAA Championships (1967-73), he produced a slew of legendary talent including #1 overall picks Bill Walton (1974) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969). But UCLA fans have short memories and when Ben Howland couldn’t win a Championship despite three-straight Final Fours (2006-8), he was replaced in 2013 by Coach Steve Alford, himself a winner of a National Championship in 1987 as a player at Indiana. UCLA has had one sole Lottery pick in the past five drafts, #13 Zach LaVine (2014).
#4 Virginia - Darden School of BusinessSometimes known as the HBS you might just be able to get into, Darden also happens to have one of the best basketball teams  in the country. Virginia's Cavaliers can be a good break from the rigors of Darden's case method, with the Cavs winning record over the past several seasons continuing this year with a number one ranking as they headed into this year's NCAA tourney. Coach Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers were shocked, however, with  when his defending ACC regular season champions lost in a record upset to UMBC in the first round. So goes March Madness.  Of the 19 Virginia players drafted all-time, #1 Pick Ralph Sampsom (1983) is the best-known.
#5 Michigan - Ross School of BusinessThe Ross School of Business has flourished with a $50MM follow-on gift from their naming donor, Stephen Ross last year.  Despite the Michigan men's basketball team missing out on the big dance this year, the Wolverines had been flourishing the past few seasons under Coach John Beilein, narrowly losing to Louisville in the 2013 Championship game. They made the Elite Eight in 2014, losing to powerhouse Kentucky but stumbled a bit in 2015, finishing a mediocre 16-16, and missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. Still, the Wolverines have produced more than a handful of NBA talent, with #8 Nik Stauskas (2014) and #9 Trey Burke (2013) going in the Lottery.
#6 Texas - McCombs School of BusinessThe Longhorns hoped for big things under new Coach Shaka Smart, who led mid-major Virginia Commonwealth to the NCAA Tournament five times, including an amazing Final Four run in 2011. Under former coach Rick Barnes, the Longhorns were a roller-coaster team, but did produce two Lottery picks, #4 Tristan Thompson (2011) and #11 Myles Turner (2015).  They got knocked out in the first round of this year's tournament, but given their history and the high quality education at McCombs, you really can't go wrong.
#7 Indiana - Kelley School of BusinessHovering around the top 20 business schools, Kelley also has one of the most storied basketball programs in the country.  The Hoosiers boast the best average Draft position of any school in the top tier, and are the only team with all their players selected in the Lottery. Under Coach Tom Crean, Indiana is a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament fields. Notable lottery picks were #2 Victor Oladipo & #4 Cody Zeller (2013) and #9 Noah Vonleh (2014).
Since 2008, we've worked with more than 1000 applicants to top MBA programs. To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.

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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

_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

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Is the GRE Party Over? [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2018, 20:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Is the GRE Party Over?
For many years, GMAT-challenged MBA hopefuls flocked to the GRE as an alternative test considered by many to be more accessible and in some cases, easier to get a decent score.  Is this loophole closing?The GMAT has always been the bastion exam for graduate business school education.  Forged by the GMAC specifically to assess the potential of b-school applicants, there was hardly a school in the country which didn’t require it as part of their application process.  Several years ago, however, business schools reluctantly began to accept the Graduate Record Exam instead, which is taken by more than five times the number of people who take the GMAT.  This was welcome news for many who had taken the GRE only to decide later to apply to business school, thereby saving themselves the time and expense of sitting for yet another standardized test.  Many test takers also favor the GRE over the GMAT simply because they feel like they perform better on it.
Perhaps the most compelling reason folks were flocking to the GRE, however, was because schools were not required to report the scores to the rankings boards. This little loophole gave them some wiggle room for candidates whom they liked, but either did not have a favorable GMAT score or did not have a GMAT score at all.  For the past several years, in fact, schools have been able to admit students with a GRE-only score which, if converted to a GMAT score, would fall well below the school’s average.  It was really win/win for the candidates and the schools alike, since schools could maintain their GMAT average for rankings purposes while still admitting test-challenged students they deemed a good fit for their program in other ways.  This fact alone was attracting more and more students to the GRE.
Well, the party is largely over, because so many students were exercising the opportunity to take the GRE, that the rankings boards began requiring schools to convert GRE scores to GMAT scores and submitting them along with the other GMAT scores. Suddenly schools have found themselves right back where they had been before—having to tow the line on rankings rules and figuring every admitted student’s score into the total average.
If this news sends panic through your veins, you can find solace in the fact you may still do better on the GRE (converted) than you would on the GMAT.  There are plenty of official online calculators to see what your GRE score becomes once changed into a GMAT score.  Additionally, the fact that rankings boards are requiring the conversion means more schools will probably be accepting the GRE now.  While many schools had climbed aboard the GRE train in recent years, there were still some who would only accept the GMAT.  It’s likely that one would find very little resistance to the GRE now that they all become GMAT scores in the end.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

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Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

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Does School Choice Really Matter? [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2018, 06:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Does School Choice Really Matter?
Clients often go crazy trying to decide what business school to choose.  While I always advise people to go to as good a school as they can get into, there is indeed much merit in having a good fit.  On the other hand, when it comes to getting a job at the end, which can be argued is the real reason we all go back to b-school, how much does it really matter where you got your degree?Recently, a client and I were discussing their approach to the Harvard Business School application process.  This client was very excited about HBS and like many other applicants, saw himself as the perfect fit for Harvard for a variety of very good reasons.

As we began diving into his backstory and working together to organize an approach, it also came out that this person wanted to work for one of the top five investment banks after business school.  It seems part of his logic in applying to Harvard and assessing his fit for their program was that it would “look good” to these top investment banks who must of course think highly of HBS and enjoy hiring their freshly minted MBAs.

While I don’t disagree with this logic, and have certainly seen firsthand the impression HBS makes on recruiters, I also recalled a very interesting situation from my own experience being hired by a top five investment bank out of a top five business school, which reminded me of the “Big Fish in a Small Pond” idiom.

Not only was my summer internship class widely diversified across schools from the top 15 programs, my incoming hiring class was also similarly diverse across schools.  In fact, out of a class of around 50 new associates in my division, we had only one HBS grad who “made the cut.”   Now, this of course is not a statistical study of schools and firm yield, and perhaps my firm tried to hire more HBS grads who declined the offer for other opportunities, but from my own anecdotal observations, I saw no real trend or advantage for having gone to good school A vs. good school B when it came down to who was sitting in the orientation session in the end.  There was only a handful of schools who had more than one representative in the hiring class.

There a couple of interesting takeaways here.  One moral to the story is that firms are made up of people who hire people and it’s ultimately up to the candidate to stand out as a person—your school’s clout will only get you so far.  There is a short list of “target schools” from which top firms recruit new talent and beyond attending one of those schools, there is no real advantage in the hiring process.

The other moral deals with strategy and approach.  If you want to gain an edge on a specific firm or industry, take a look at how many graduates from your MBA program go into that industry and work for that firm.  If you go to a school where your target firm recruits but there are not as many trying for that job, you could have a simple mathematical edge vs. a school where you are competing against dozens for the same job.  Sometimes it pays off to be the big fish in the small pond.

In short, if you don’t get in HBS, don’t fret, you may end up having an advantage in the hiring process, which is really why you are going to b-school in the first place, right?
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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

_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

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Telling Your Boss about Your MBA Plans [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 21:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Telling Your Boss about Your MBA Plans
One of the biggest dilemmas for b-school applicants every year is how and when to break it to your employer that you are trying to go back to school full time.  Have you figured out your strategy in this area yet?For high performers in the marketplace, announcing to your boss or co-workers that you will be leaving to go back to school can really rock the workplace environment.   Often, the announcement doesn’t surprise the boss, since after all, you’re a high performer, so it makes sense you would want to move up, move on, and take every opportunity to advance your career.  Even though it’s no surprise, however, b-school applicants have seen a wide variety of responses when rolling out the news.  Some bosses are intimidated, especially if they don’t have an MBA themselves.  Others try to put uncomfortable pressure on, in an effort to convince you to stay. 
Perhaps the biggest reason people avoid telling their boss, is due to the risk of not being accepted. If you try and fail to get into your target schools, you may be glad to keep your current job, but having told them you want to leave can leave things rather, well…awkward.
For workers who are unhappy at work or who are under-performing, dropping the b-school bomb can also cause trouble, but in a different way. Firstly, employers can use your potential transition out of the job as an excuse to go ahead and let you go immediately.  Doubt often arises about your commitment and they assume you will become even less engaged in your job if you stay.  Keeping you on while you wait out b-school decisions makes little sense when they could spend that time training a new person who will be sticking around.  No matter how much you assure someone you will remain focused on your job, the message can sometimes fall on deaf ears if they draw conclusions on their own.
In either case, deciding what to do about telling your current employer about your MBA plans is tricky.Many business school applicants view telling their boss as too risky, and therefore end up missing out on one of the most important application components: getting a recommendation from your current employer.  Business schools like to hear from your boss because it’s generally considered the most current and unbiased view of your performance on the job.  Of course these recommendations can be very biased indeed, and only you know whether or not your boss would be a good source for recos. 
If you decide to keep your b-school applications a secret on the job, make sure you do so universally.Don’t tell co-workers or friends at work about your plans and make sure you also explain to your target schools why you don’t want to use your boss as a recommender. It’s not uncommon, so don’t fret, but it’s also not ideal, so do it as a last resort.  If you do decide to get recommendations from people outside your current employer and you do end up getting into b-school, make sure you plan out a departure strategy which will provide an acceptable amount of notice to your employer that you are leaving. 
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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Work Experience Is Not Created Equal [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 21:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Work Experience Is Not Created Equal
What you do after you graduate college can make or break your b-school application.  How have you been spending your professional time?  Will your career history impress the admissions committees?One of the most important profile characteristics for any b-school applicant is their work history.  Unlike Law School, Medical School and just about every other terminal degree or master’s level program, business school requires students to come with some kind of work experience under their belts in order to “qualify.”   In addition to being unique, therefore it’s also very important to have this credential, since much of what you learn in business school ends up coming from your classmates, and in turn, they learn from your perspective and experience.

This all comes in handy when using the case method, because pulling from the collective experience of your classmates proves invaluable in seeing problems in a variety of ways.  Hopefully you considered all this in the years leading up to your application, since it’s very difficult to build a compelling work history in a small amount of time.

The ideal candidate arrives at application season with a well-rounded and impressive professional experience.  While colleges will certainly consider internships and other “alternative” work experiences, these will generally be discounted vs. full time, professional work that was logged after you graduated from college.  Ideally, you have some international experience, or even multi-national experience to tout, which will make you more competitive to be sure especially when you are compared against the “average” applicants, who have only some international personal travel to reference.  Clearly having worked internationally or with international teams will have provided you with a much deeper understanding and more valuable perspective.

Additionally, you will need to show how your role has been progressively responsible and impactful to your employer.  Both quantitative and qualitative impact is useful to demonstrate and if you can measure your impact, even better.  Some examples of measurable impact might include an increase in growth or revenue statistics, sales, turnover or other hard numbers to which you can associate your contributions.

As you have advanced in your role, how have your responsibilities increased?  More importantly, have you been asked to lead others?  Leadership is one of the most important traits to show the admissions committees.  Past and present leaders usually make good future leaders.  Don’t forget about peer leadership either—it’s not only managing others which can show you have strong leader potential.  Thought leadership, persuasive skills, leading from below, and servant leadership are all great examples of how you have what it takes to leverage an MBA to be a thoughtful leader going forward.

Giving specific examples in your essays or on the application goes a long way. 
Tell them about how you got your coworkers on board with one of your ideas or how you took the initiative to make a change which resulted in a more efficient operation.  Finally, don’t forget to paint a picture of teamwork and collaboration in your work history.  Team work is a huge component of business school and those who have done this in their careers will appear more prepared for the b-school experience.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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Apply Now or Punt? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2018, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Apply Now or Punt?
You may be debating right now on whether to cram in a round three application or wait until later in the year when round one starts up for next year's class.  Before you rush into your decision, consider three important things:1.     Are you Short on New Experiences?

Firstly, you should be considering your personal readiness to submit an application no matter what strategy you employ for timing.  Do you have the best GMAT score you can achieve?  Do you have the appropriate amount of progressively responsible work experience logged?   What if there is a pending promotion in your near future, and by delaying your application a few months, you will be able to experience something extraordinary which could impress the admissions committees?

I know of an applicant who was on the verge of receiving a new international assignment and decided to wait until round two so they could add it to their resume where before they had no international experience at all.  These kinds of opportunities are not only good for the resume, but can also provide great fodder for the essays themselves and will position you as a more mature, seasoned employee.

2. Have you Conducted Your School Visits?

Another reason to wait until next year's process might be to give you more time to visit individual schools.  The personal visit is one of the most important components of the due diligence process, as there is simply no substitution for sitting in an actual class and meeting real, live students in your target program when it comes to deciding where you fit in.  Some schools will even give you brownie points in the admissions process for visiting in person.  Look for schools with a historically low yield number (yield being the number of students who actually accept an offer of admission), which assume that an in person visit indicates you are truly serious about coming there.  THere's still time to get this done before school is out for summer.

3. Do you Have the Time  You Need to Prepare?

Finally, the most important reason you might want to delay your application is because it is simply not its best yet.  If you feel you are rushing things and not spending an appropriate amount of time on introspection, you shouldn’t submit in round one.   Submitting an application that is incomplete or sub-standard, especially one that has not been vetted by either a consultant or confidant who perhaps went through the process themselves, you should delay.  Statistically, your chances of admission in either round is similar, so don’t let application strategy tempt you to submit an application that is not fully ready.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.

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Finding Time to Apply [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2018, 21:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Finding Time to Apply
Inevitably there are applicants each season who decide rather late in the game to apply to business school.  While it’s hard to believe for those who spend months or even years preparing themselves specifically for a run at top schools, due to career focus or simple procrastination, some applicants find themselves with a short window before due dates pass.I have even had clients contact me just mere days before a second round deadline, asking the most basic questions about preparing and then planning to apply just in time.  Alternatively, I get emails from prospective applicants who are still in college and yet trying to plan their journey to b-school and prepare themselves for “ideal” positioning with the adcoms.

While the amount of time applicants put into preparing their package for submission varies widely, we find that the most successful candidates are the ones who spend several months getting ready. 
Even if you are very organized and introspective, there are still components of the process which are out of your control and can take considerable time, such as getting your recommenders oriented and ready to submit recommendations, and getting bursar’s offices from your undergraduate institutions to release your official transcripts.  Since applicants must submit all transcripts, even from that one class you took when you went back home for the summer, navigating the paperwork takes time.

There is also no substitute for a leisurely and thoughtful reflection period.  Memories are often buried deeper than you realize, so taking the time to revisit your work history and community activities mentally (even physically, if you are able to go visit with past co-workers and organization leaders in person), can provide the stimulus and associative cues you will need to conjure up the best stories from your past—the ones which reflect who you truly are, and how you came to be that person.  The effort you spend doing this comes across not only in your essay work, but also in your interviews.

Applicants who have taken a bit of extra time revisiting their past rarely find themselves stumped by an interview question, and in general feel more confident in the entire process.  Never underestimate the power of confidence (see my post on confidence—the silent killer app).  Knowing who you truly are also exudes maturity, a key attribute admissions committees look for when reading applications.

But I realize many readers of these posts are looking for specific, tactical advice.  To those I will say plan on at least a month for reflection time, school analysis and visitation, and career research, not to mention reaching out to potential recommenders and your undergraduate institution.  When starting the writing process, you should allocate at least a week per essay, and if you have a consultant or someone else helping you draw out the best stories and help you with editing, you can even double that amount of time.

Assuming a school has four essays, you can count on a start-to-finish process of at least two months, and always give yourself a week buffer so you can target finishing one full week prior to the school deadline.  If you don’t have enough time for round three and are thinking about applying in round one, schools release the application questions in July, which is a good trigger to begin the process in earnest with a consultant.  You will thank yourself if you are not one of those who ends up submitting 15 minutes to midnight on the deadline day.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.

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Deferring Your Admission [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2018, 18:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Deferring Your Admission
Plans change.  Sometimes the vision you had for your career takes a right turn and you simply need extra time to get things done.  Was the effort you put into your positive admissions decision a total waste of time?  Not if you can defer the decision.Schools understand that change is inevitable, but unfortunately, matriculation dates are set in stone.  If you find yourself in a situation where you just can’t start school as planned, you should open up a dialogue with your chosen school.  Immediately.
The sooner you start communicating your dilemma, the more options you will have. Schools won’t let you start late, but you might be surprised at the various options they provide.  Some schools have January starts, for example, which could buy you up to six months of delay.  Granted, this would put you in a different cohort, but you ultimately will remain on track with your original time schedule, so no harm, no foul.
The most common rip cord is the deferral. Deferring your admission is essentially a negotiation with the school to come back either next year, or in some future year within a reasonable timeframe.  The amenability of this suggestion to your target school will depend on many factors; chief among them will be your relative competitiveness.  If you were a highly desirable candidate, you will have more bargaining power in the deferral negotiation. 
Yield is another important factor.Schools must fill seats, because any empty seat is lost revenue.  If your chosen school has plenty of qualified applicants, you should have no problem getting a deferral, since schools not only are able to fill your current seat, but also have a “guaranteed” seat filled next year when you return.  Business schools hate playing the yield game, so any filled seats make them very happy. 
But you won’t know any of this until you pick up the phone and talk to them.The worst thing you can do when considering your deferral options is to stay quiet.  No matter what business school you are dealing with, they will appreciate your full disclosure as soon as possible.  Remember, your acceptance is generally not something that would be at risk if you chat with them about your options, so there’s really nothing to lose.  I have never heard of a school withdrawing an acceptance decision because someone wants to come later.  They may not guarantee your acceptance in the future (in some cases, they might require a subsequent reapplication), but you won’t be at risk of losing your current seat by talking to them.  One thing that could be at risk, however, is any potential financial offers you have received.  Schools may allow you to come back later, but they may not offer the same tuition abatement or fellowship money.  Only you can prioritize which is more important.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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New Rules For Negotiation [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2018, 19:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: New Rules For Negotiation
Negotiating your offer to business school used to be a fairly uncomplicated process, usually ending in a take-it-or-leave it situation for the applicant.  The times, they are a-changing.  Welcome to the new economy, where receiving incentives to go to one school over another has become the norm.Just a decade ago, MBA students were actually paying for business school, but not any more.  The “everyone gets a trophy” generation has fully descended upon the b-school process and schools have reluctantly accommodated.  Breaking their backs to raise philanthropic dollars for fellowships and scholarships, there has never been a better time to receive funding from not only the big schools, but the lower-ranked schools as well. 
As a matter of fact, lower ranked schools must be more aggressive with offers than the big schools, where the brand name and ranking are sometimes incentive enough.  Still, over $230MM in fellowship and scholarship offers were made last year, and that was just from the top 25 schools according to Poets and Quants.  In a strange environment where wage growth is down and employer-sponsored MBAs are at an all time low, the schools themselves are making up for the gap, it seems.
Whereas just a few years ago it was considered taboo to use a scholarship offer to up the ante at another school, this exact technique has become de rigueur in b-school world.  This means schools are now actually expecting you to negotiate your offer, just make sure you do it thoughtfully and never bluff.  Faking and offer from another school is a sure way to have your admissions retracted altogether.  If you are respectful and honest, you may be able to put a serious ding in what would otherwise be a six-figure tuition bill.
Tuition discounts or cash in your bursar's account is just the beginning.Many schools, especially the public ones, are offering full tuition waivers through GRA fellowships.  Graduate Research Assistantships are a great way to avoid paying tuition by working a few hours a week at your dream school.  GRA positions are limited, but plentiful, meaning not everyone can get one, but lots of people can.  Don’t be scared of working 8-15 hours per week either---often these positions are desk-jocky “jobs” where your responsibilities are low and you can sometimes even study on the job.  Positions are allocated all across the school, so you might find yourself assisting a professor, working in the career center, or even assisting the fundraising team.  The upshot is, you earn actual work experience you can put on your resume, which could make up for the one internship you have in a fulltime two year program.
Whether it’s a GRA offer, a fellowship offer or a research grant, the odds are best for your receiving something if you apply early.  By now, during round three and beyond, most of the GRA slots are filled and the philanthropic dollars expended.  If you are just now looking into b-school and have plans to apply in round one, however, you are very well positioned. 
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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The Changing Fellowship Climate for Internationals [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2018, 10:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Changing Fellowship Climate for Internationals
There was a time when international MBA applicants had a tough time finding financial support for their business school education.  The climate has shifted in their favor.Historically speaking, fellowship and scholarship support for applicants to US business schools was about as rare as an honest politician.  Driven in large part by donor restrictions on endowment funds as well as domestically ear-marked budgetary funding from federal and state scholarship funds left the lion’s share of available merit and need-based dollars for MBAs largely going to “locals only.” 
This kind of tough environment left international applicants scrambling and struggling to make things work.  In most cases, international applicants had to not only skip scholarship and fellowship opportunities altogether, but also had to demonstrate in many cases the ability to pay for the entire cost of their MBA education up front and in full (with vetted and verified bank statements in their own names, for example).
Today, however, we find a much friendlier scholarship and fellowship environment for applicants from countries outside the US.  The amount of funding for such students both merit and need bases is at an all time high, evidenced by an ever-increasing percentage of international students receiving generous financial rewards.  What makes international applicants particularly attractive is also the reliably high GMAT scores that come from this competitive pool of potential MBA students, something which appeals tremendously in the arms race for talent at top schools.  After all, rankings are still driven in part by average GMAT score.
Ironically, international applications are down across the board.Even when funding was difficult, the pool of international applications was plentiful, but the shift in the political climate of late to less-immigrant-friendly and emigrant-deterrent policies both in the US and abroad, coupled with the increase in quality and availability of international business education in countries foreign to the US, international applicants have been finding their MBA homes elsewhere.  Getting an MBA in the US, while beneficial in many ways, is also expensive, and business school applicants are typically pretty good at analyzing value. Now seeking new ways to diversify the applicant pool, US-based schools now have gotten more creative in how to attract quality international applicants from around the globe. 
The bottom line with international applicants, like any MBA applicant, is to do with reputation and dollars.For the top programs, brand name is often enough to keep a deep pool of top applicants from other countries flowing in, but this hasn’t avoided the need for them to offer financial incentives
If you are an applicant to a business school in the US, you can rest assured that there has been no better time to apply than now.  Let us help you position your application in the best possible way to not only gain the coveted “yes” from the school of your dreams, but also to potentially receive a financial incentive as well.  Check out our next post for some new trends in funding alternatives that could possibly leave you without any student debt at all at the end of your two-year MBA journey.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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Ever Heard of a GRA? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2018, 20:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Ever Heard of a GRA?
You’ve read for years about how tough it is for international applicants to find financial support for their MBA, but during the current downtrend in applications from foreign countries, US schools have found new ways to lure a diverse applicant pool with the GRA.The Graduate Research Assistant position, or GRA, has been around for a long time in the US, but only recently has it become a legitimate financial resource for international MBA students looking to defray the cost of one of the most expensive graduate degrees on the market.
A GRA position is essentially a position offered to graduate students who are willing to work a few hours per week for their school in exchange (in some cases) for a full tuition waiver.  While not covering all the costs of an MBA, avoiding the big-ticket item of tuition can eliminate the bulk of it, and for students who may lack the top-shelf profile to land a scholarship or fellowship offer, the GRA can be a great backup plan. 
GRAs can be assigned to a wide variety of roles, and are typically required to work between 10-20 hours per week.  Sometimes they work directly for a professor in an actual research support capacity, or grading homework assignments or projects like a teaching assistant.  Other assignment might be with the school or university staff team, either in the career services center, the marketing department, the accounting team or even in admissions.  Just as in a corporation, the network of employees inside a business school is robust and widely varied.  The larger the school, the larger the budget, and therefore more GRA slots are available. Admittedly, it can be a challenge to find GRAs in smaller schools, particularly in private institutions.  Often, public universities have state and federal funding to subsidize student research staff positions.
Being on the staff has other benefits as well, particularly for international students.  Firstly and foremost, GRAs are accruing bonafide, post-graduate, US work experience.  Albeit only part-time, having work experience on your resume from the US can be a real edge with US-based corporate recruiters.  Particularly in an era where the HB-1 Visa is an ever-elusive prize to achieve, demonstrating employability in America is helpful. Additionally, working side by side with staff employees offers valuable cultural opportunities.  It’s one thing to have classroom time or project-based interactions with classmates, but another thing altogether to assimilate into a functioning, regular office environment.  Depending on the assignment, GRAs gain a unique level of access and insight into the behind-the-scenes inter-workings of one of the highest quality products in the world, that is US higher education.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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Getting an MBA While the World Falls Apart (2018) [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2018, 17:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Getting an MBA While the World Falls Apart (2018)
There are times when things feel so crazy, out of control, and even hopeless that our own individual pursuits start to feel trivial, selfish, and even misguided.  

“How do you lock in your focus and devote everything you have to a task like “getting an MBA” when the macro problems in the world feel so seismic and crushing?”

I can remember vivid moments over the past 10+ years where I had a distinct feeling of living the wrong life, given what was going on around me.  When the financial collapse took hold in 2009, I thought to myself "why did I leave corporate law - where I could be part of the solution - to instead help people apply to business school right in the teeth of a recession?"  I watched "Making a Murderer" on Netflix and kicked myself for not remaining a lawyer ... but this time not a corporate lawyer, but instead a constitutional attorney like the individuals portrayed early in that documentary series. And now, as police/citizen animus and race problems in America reach new heights, as the EU teeters, as a sitting US President remains clouded in controversy, and as [seriously, enter any of a dozen paralyzing issues] I sometimes am not even sure what I should be doing.  But I do know it doesn't feel like enough; it feels to insular and self-absorbed and small.  But then it occurred to me: I bet a lot of people feel that way, including my past and present clients pursuing an MBA.  So let's talk about that.  
How do you lock in your focus and devote everything you have to a task like "getting an MBA" when the macro problems in the world feel so seismic and crushing?  I think it's worth analyzing this from both the perspective of applying to and then attending business school, because they are different aspects of the same end goal.  
Attending Business School Amidst Chaos I'm starting here because attending business school is likely to be the phase of the process where these macro issues are going to flood your world.  Class discussions are going to center around issues like Brexit and Trump, hallways chatter will grapple with Black Lives Matter and the militarization of local police departments, and affinity groups will no doubt wrestle with social media nearly as much (if not as much) as real life.  Your MBA life will be surrounded and engulfed with real life, because the days of going off to a leafy campus to disconnect from Planet Earth for two years ... well, those days are over.  
What do you do with this reality?  My advice, honestly, is to take a step back from it.  It's great to be around other young, smart, driven, passionate people and to be on a college campus, where issues have a way of becoming causes.  However, you also invested two years and probably $150,000+ to get a professional degree that was part of a long-term plan of attack.  What was that plan when you started?  What does it look like now?  Be sure to constantly step back from the crowds and the emotions of your experiences to analyze your entire life, your interests, and your goals.  Make your moves - not just what job to take, but what classes to take, what clubs to join, how you spend your time, etc. - based on that big-picture plan and not what is spiking the blood pressure of people around you.  In a Twitter world, in a world where Donald Trump is the US President, in a world of protests, it is easy to pursue paths that "feel" right (whether because of your moral compass or the "street cred" points you pick up in the process), but aren't actually right for you. 
Others may disagree with me on this, but having gone to an elite graduate school and been swept up in such things myself (only to land in a hedge fund law group of which I never planned to participate in), I learned the hard way that grad school is not College, The Sequel - you are investing in your career.  Just don't lose sight of that. 
Applying to Business School Amidst Chaos Okay, so if my advice for attending an MBA program is to stay focused and to keep a cool remove from the waves on campus, surely I have the same recommendation for the application process, right?  Nope. 
When applying, it's essential to "read the room."  We know what that phrase means in the context of an actual room or a meeting, but what I mean here is you have to know the mood of the application process into which you are applying.  There are years where cold, hard plans to make a lot of money and be a super innovative genius are going to be passable.  This is not one of those years.  We live in a time where social injustice is streaming onto our phones everyday, where news media is transforming overnight, where "global business" means twenty different things, where the world is literally melting down environmentally, and where tech and business platforms offer some of the very best solutions to those problems.  This means two things when you talk about your goals, passions, interests, and why you want an MBA:
1. You will probably come across as cold, heartless, and out of touch if you write about goals that are focused on you.  This is pretty much true always, no matter what is happening in the world around you, but at a time like this, you will seem especially myopic if you aren't engaging with society on at least some level when you share your story.  Is that fair?  Probably not, but I'm just telling you the truth.  The person reading your file follows the same people on Twitter you do and they are going to bed every night thinking "geez man, things are falling apart."  They are also reading lots of files of people wanting to use their talents to solve problems.  If you want to use your talents to make money or satisfy your own internal desires, you just won't measure up very well.  
2. You are missing the dozens (hundreds?) of ways that business can be used to solve social issues.Profit-based business could be the solution to anything from the polar ice caps melting to kickstarting a new way of nominating presidential candidates to supplying water to third-world countries to advancing information technology in medicine.  I would wager that every person applying to b-school (at least every person that deserves to go) could dig deep and find A) an issue they care about, and B) a skill or experience they have that could potentially help address that issue in a business context.  Maybe that's not the case and if so, don't lie.  But my challenge to you, reader, is try to find that.  Make that your first challenge to yourself and then retreat back if you have to.  But start there. 
No matter what you do as it pertains to an MBA, don't just give up.  Action is what leads to changes, so keep charging ahead.
If you are applying to MBA programs and are looking for a coach to stand beside you and help you get the best results possible, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com

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Getting an MBA While the World Falls Apart | By Adam Hoff | MBA Admissions Consultant | Amerasia Consulting Group

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No Time Like the Present [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2018, 14:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: No Time Like the Present
Going back for an MBA is a multi-faceted decision.  Unlike Law School, Medical School or even regular graduate schools, where a master’s degree or higher is often tacked onto the end of an undergraduate degree, business school takes some planning.  Is now the right time for you to make the break?  The market may be saying YES.Perhaps the most nuanced decision for MBA hopefuls is when they should return for their degree.  With the work experience requirement for most top schools growing to five years or more on average, business school students often matriculate at a carefully and strategically planned period in their careers to fully leverage their achievements and to maximize their future trajectory.
One of the potential wrinkles in the plan is the condition of the general economy. Studies have shown that students at both the graduate and undergraduate level who graduate during a recession, for example, can have the impact of their timing follow them throughout their entire career.  That’s right!  Out of no fault of your own, your graduating in a down economy can negatively impact not only your initial job opportunity and salary, but also every single promotion or raise going forward.  Pretty harrowing to say the least, considering it’s almost completely out of your control.
I say almost completely, because as an undergrad, you can at least hang around for a semester or two (or graduate early if you’re one of those) in order to emerge in a better economic environment,  but in an MBA program, especially a top-tier, full-time MBA program, the timeline is rigid.  You can’t start late, you can’t graduate early, and you can’t tack on an extra semester.  The elite business schools are efficient machines, and the cohort treadmill is always running--in one direction. 
The good news is, now is a great time to consider going back for your MBA. Applications to b-schools have been dropping steadily for the past several years, which means there are fewer competitors in a rabidly competitive marketplace.  Bull markets mean productive work environments, big bonuses and retention payments, which translate into fewer top employees wanting to leave the workplace, especially for two full years. 
Of course there is no guarantee that by the time you graduate with your MBA that the economy will still be plugging along, but if you have concerns at all about the front end, that is, admissions, then you should definitely consider accelerating your plans to apply soon, while your chances to get in are as good as possible.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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Using the GRE to Avoid the GMAT [#permalink]

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FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Using the GRE to Avoid the GMAT
For several years now, MBA applicants who dreaded the GMAT were rejoicing over schools increasingly allowing the GRE as an alternate entrance exam.  The rejoicing is still going on, but not for the reason you may think.We recently blogged that the GRE party is over because the news and media outlets who rate business schools are now converting GRE scores to GMAT scores when tallying school rankings.  While it may appear that this “loophole” has closed, the one thing you should know is that when it comes to individual schools, their GMAT averages still contain only GMAT scores. 
If you are thoroughly confused, you’re in good company, since this may be GMAC's greatest advantage. While GMAC, the creators and administrators of the GMAT exam, would love for you to think the GRE is a risky alternative, the fact of the matter is, schools still encourage the GRE for applicants who are otherwise competitive, but for whatever reason are not able to post a good GMAT score.   The reason for this is a nuance, but an important one. 
When a school publishes their official GMAT average, they are only required to use GMAT scores, not converted GRE scores. So, while the rankings boards are formulaically factoring in GRE scores, the schools themselves can still avoid averaging in your lower GMAT score by accepting your GRE score instead. 
The bad news is, the GRE has become so popular as an alternative, that the average GRE score has also risen. In fact, the test is so common now in MBA world, that you can even find the average GRE scores published for top schools.  Eventually, we may find everyone simply publishing both scores and using them interchangeably.  This could potentially end the advantage for keeps, as it wouldn’t matter which test you choose, because for either one you’d have a highly competitive score you’d be required to post in order to get attention.
So while the GRE party may indeed be over as compared to how things were in the early days of its acceptance, you can currently still use it to your advantage, depending on where you apply. If you are targeting a school with a small student body (and any ding to their GMAT score carries more weight), the GRE can take that problem off the table for you.  Of course the key is to be otherwise attractive in your application.  This is where we can help.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
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MBA Now or Later? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2018, 21:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Now or Later?
Even before you start narrowing down your school choice, you must decide when is the right time to return for your MBA.  Considering all the factors is critical to making the right choice.Some people always knew they would go back for their MBA.  Even as an undergrad, they were targeting and planning for their eventual return to the classroom.  Other MBA hopefuls never even considered an MBA until they worked several years and either met someone who encouraged them to get it, or perhaps worked for someone or with someone who had their MBA which somehow inspired them to go back themselves. 
The first think to consider when deciding when’s the right time to return to b-school is, do you have enough work experience.   Work experience is probably the single largest hurdle in the admissions process.  Schools will judge you not only by the number of years of post-undergraduate, professional experience you have, but also by the quality and rigor of that experience.  Leadership experience in the workplace can be a real asset, so if you haven’t managed other people in your job(s), you might want to wait a little longer before applying.
Working for a fortune 50 company can also work in your favor, but not always.Let’s break it down.  Say you have three years of experience (a little light vs. the national average for MBA applicants), but you work for a large, publicly traded company.  While this could look good to some schools, it really depends on the quality of your experience.  If you remained in the same role for those three years, you may not impress the admissions committee vs. someone who worked for a lesser-known company but had progressively responsible experience.  Moving forward in your career development is something schools will look for.  If your job progression feels stagnant, you may want to kick things up a notch before applying. 
Beyond work experience, there are myriad other things to consider including your financial situation, your personal situation and your post-MBA vision. Maturity is important to admissions committees, and nothing screams immaturity like the inability to articulate why you want the MBA and what you plan to achieve with it. 
If most of the factors seems to be falling into place, you’re probably a good candidate to at least explore going back now.  We can help walk you through the options and will always give you an objective, realistic opinion about your candidacy. 
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact
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MBA Career Services [#permalink]

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FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Career Services
Applicants spend considerable time figuring out which school is the best fit.  The career services center is perhaps the most overlooked, yet one of the most important factors.When it comes to choosing your targeted business schools for application, it’s important to analyze your fit in several key areas, which broadly speaking are: academic fit, cultural fit, and professional fit. Academic fit is pretty obvious and mostly deals with how well you have cut the proverbial mustard in your own background and test prep.  Another component of academic fit is the curricular offerings of each school and their areas of research expertise or general achievement—think finance at Wharton for example, or startups at Haas or Stanford.  But ultimately, if you don’t have the grades or the test scores to qualify (compared to the average applicant to that school), you probably will face challenges getting accepted. 
Cultural fit is a bit more nuanced and is to do with the general vibe of the school.  Cultural fit is what the school feels like to go there—the environment both inside and outside the classroom.  The best way (some would argue the only way) to truly assess fit is to visit the school and attend a class as a guest.  Many schools allow this, but not all.  You can imagine if 15,000 Stanford applicants tried to attend a class, they would quickly have more visitors than students.  Still, it’s possible to ascertain the broad community culture at popular schools by reading about them or talking to someone who went there or is familiar with the school (such as an admissions consultant).
The last general category of fit with a school is professional fit.
Professional fit is loosely defined as: will this school position you well to land the job you seek after you graduate. I find many clients spend so much time worrying about their academic fit (preparing for and retaking the GMAT), and cultural fit (whether or not they will like attending the school), that they totally skimp on the professional fit piece.  Similar to academic fit, where various specialties define the schools’ reputations, different schools are known for placing graduates in specific industry areas.  This, of course is widely known, but how much time have you spent figuring out if the specific companies where you’d like to work actually recruit at your target school.  Are you assuming the average salary and general industry area are enough data to take the leap? 
If I were applying today, I’d sit down with a member of the career center team and talk about these things. Explain what your goal is employment-wise, and see how quickly they can give anecdotal evidence of others having achieved the same thing with their MBAs.  Ask also about their process.  What kind of interview preparation do they offer?  Resume critique?  Job fairs and corporate presentations?  Some schools actually have a member of the career center interview applicants on the front-end to determine employability.  This is a good sign that the career center is deeply involved, but you need to do your own research as well.  In the end, you can’t make a final judgement based solely on reputation or employment stats.  Make sure you give the career center at your target schools adequate attention before you apply---you might just save yourself a tremendous headache when you graduate.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact

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RANKINGS: BEST MBA PROGRAMS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA JOBS (Updated  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2018, 00:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: RANKINGS: BEST MBA PROGRAMS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA JOBS (Updated for 2018) - USC MARSHALL, UCLA ANDERSON, NYU STERN
Ranking the best business school programs by the percentage of MBA graduates entering media and entertainment industries (2018)In prior years, we excluded USC Marshall from our entertainment and media ranking as it fell outside of the business schools generally regarded as "top 15" by US News and Businessweek. However, given the overwhelming strength of Marshall's strength within the entertainment/media, we've updated our 2018 entertainment and media ranking to provide a more relevant assessment. 

Best MBA Programs for Media & Entertainment Industry Jobs (2018)

Hands down, USC Marshall is best MBA program for jobs in the media and entertainment industry. It's not even close. With 13% of Marshall's graduating class entering entertainment/media, (as a percentage of all MBA graduates) the program sends more than double the number of students UCLA Anderson (6.5%) or NYU Stern (4.3%) does into the industry.
3 reasons why USC Marshall is the best MBA program for a career within media and entertainment.Besides Marshall's proximity to dominant players within entertainment and media, as well as the ancillary consulting and finance related firms that support these companies, the USC MBA program offers 3 primary advantages for students.
1. Graduate Certificate in the Business of EntertainmentMarshall leverages the strength of other graduate school programs at University of Southern California to bolster its course offerings within the business of entertainment media. In association with the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Marshall offers a formal Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment. The program provides graduate level courses in the business of film, television and new media. Notably, classes are taught by industry veterans, and are held off-site - outside of Marshall and even off-campus at studios or agency offices. This is an incredible way for MBA students to not only build their subject matter knowledge, but also industry relationships – which are absolutely paramount for successful career within entertainment.
2. Business of Entertainment Association (BEA)The Business of Entertainment Association at USC Marshall is the most robust entertainment and media industry club that we have come across at any MBA program. The club boasts 21 group officers, 227 group members, and 201 industry events on its homepage.
BEA's effectiveness and value to those seeking entertainment/media careers takes root in the organization's approach to mentoring and peer coaching. BEA members have "access to a robust professional networking wealth of varied entertainment and media experience", which is backed up by a rather impressive list of experienced student mentors for both the full-time and part-time (MBA.PM) programs.
3. Career management services/resources specifically dedicated to media and entertainment industry recruitingIn its guide for recruiters, Marshall's MBA Career Services specifically references a point of contact for Media, Entertainment, Technology recruiting. It seems that Marshall has picked the right person (Peter Campbell) for the job as well.

“Peter worked within the entertainment industry for over 20 years for some of the major studios including DreamWorks Animation SKG, Warner Bros. Studios, and NBCUniversal. His primary experience has been within human resources and recruiting, including extensive exposure to production and talent management.Most recently, Peter was a Human Resources Business Partner for the NBCUniversal Operations & Technical Services group and prior to NBCU, Peter worked for 13 years at DreamWorks Animation SKG, holding multiple HR roles, including the management of the DWA Internship Program. ”

https://www.marshall.usc.edu/career-ser ... meet-staff
In combination with the recruiting resources and network offered by the Business of Entertainment Association, Marshall has what we believe to be the deepest reach into and most well-established relationships within Los Angeles' entertainment/media industry - the epicenter of the world's entertainment and media industries.
UCLA Anderson is the 2nd best MBA program for jobs in the media and entertainment industry.No surprises here, primarily because of Anderson's Los Angeles location. While the MBA program has its fair share of industry contacts within entertainment media, the school's focus and strength lies more within technology, entrepreneurship, and finance.

Breaking Down UCLA Anderson's Entertainment/Media Hires

Percentages add up to 6.5% - the percent of hires entering the entertainment/media industry at Anderson.

NYU Stern remains a respectable 3rd best, maintaining its spot since our last entertainment & media career ranking.No surprises here either.
Unfortunately, NYU Stern does not break down their entertainment/media related hiring data and stats as granularly as UCLA Anderson does. This is why we are unable to provide you a more detailed analysis of their entertainment/media hires.  

Image

Source: NYU Stern Office of Career Development Employment Report 2016

Entertainment & media programs on the riseStanford GSB makes the biggest jump since our last ranking, rising from 13th to 4th place. This represents a change from 1% to 3% from 2015 to 2017. Not too shabby. 
MIT Sloan now leap frogs into 3rd place from its prior 4th place ranking. This is a bit of addition by subtraction. Last time around MIT Sloan had 4.3% of their MBA graduates enter the entertainment & media field. This time it was only 3.6%.
Wharton moves into 4th place from 7th, growing their percentage from 2.4% to 3.2%. 
However, a word to the wise - let's keep it all in perspective - the actual magnitude of change represents only a change in 1, 2 or 3 students.
Entertainment & media programs not on the riseHBS remains in 6th place, with the exact same percentage of graduates - 3% - entering entertainment and media this time around.
Haas drops out of the race this year with 0%, whereas 1.6% of graduates entered entertainment & media in our last ranking. Haas has never been the strongest with respect to sending graduates back into entertainment or media, but this did surprise us when we examined the numbers. Perhaps Stanford GSB's rise came at the expense of Haas. We can't say for sure right now.  
Michigan Ross - which was 3rd in our last ranking with 5.5% of grads entering entertainment & media - completely drops off the list.
Kellogg - which was 5th in our last entertainment & media ranking - drops from 4.3% to 0.6%. In our opinion, both of these drops (at Kellogg and Ross) are large enough to warrant further investigation should you chose to apply to these programs.
Final ThoughtsTo find out more about your options and how we can help you with your business school application, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.
For an overview of our MBA admissions consulting services, visit http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/mba-a ... ommitment/.
If you are looking to further your career in entertainment and media through an MBA, let's talk.Since 2006, we have worked with applicants from the entertainment media industry – from Hollywood studios to media technology firms, from stalwarts like Disney and Pixar to innovative startup entertainment companies.
What else?Read our thoughts on what it takes to get a MBA-level job in the entertainment industry.
"Working in the Entertainment Industry is the ultimate career goal for some. The Glitz, the Glamour, and the Gluttony beckon folks from far and wide to Hollywood, New York, Canada, London, and even Bollywood to work. It is a well-known truism that breaking into this super-fortified fortress of employment is not just difficult, it’s notoriously the most impossible industry in the world to catch a break and get your foot in the door. How can you find a way in?"Source: Getting a Job in the Entertainment Industry with an MBA | Amerasia Consulting Group Blog
Dig deeper into the rankings dataInterested in where we got our numbers? Want to do some further analysis or fact checking? Here is a list of MBA employment reports from top business schools in the US. Have fun.
USC Marshall https://gtscandidate.mbafocus.com/USC/DocumentDownload.ashx?qlpU6JR1tkRAq4E6gfZtNun0tbeFP4L_7OwWgNejy9g1
Berkeley Haas http://haas.berkeley.edu/groups/careercenter/hireanmba/employment-reports.html
UCLA Anderson http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/degrees/mba-program/career-services
Stanford GSB https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/organizations/recruit/employment-reports
MIT Sloan http://mitsloan.mit.edu/career-development-office/employment-reports/mba-current-report/
HBS http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/mba/data-and-statistics/employment-statistics.html
Wharton http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba/your-career/career-statistics.cfm
Kellogg http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/career_employer/employment_statistics.aspx
Chicago Booth http://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/
Columbia https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/recruiters/employmentreport
NYU Stern http://www.stern.nyu.edu/programs-admissions/full-time-mba/career/employment-statistics
Tuck http://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/careers/employment-statistics
Yale SOM http://som.yale.edu/yale-som-connect/recruiting/employment-statistics
Michigan Ross http://michiganross.umich.edu/our-community/recruiters
Duke Fuqua http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/mba_recruiting/recruiting_duke/employment_statistics/
Cornell Johnson http://www.johnson.cornell.edu/Career-Management/Employment-Report-for-Two-Year-MBAs
UVA Darden http://www.darden.virginia.edu/recruiters-companies/hire-an-mba/employment-reports/
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Round and Round [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2018, 18:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Round and Round
There’s always a struggle each year to decide which round to apply for your MBA.  It’s not helping that schools are adding even more rounds.There once was a simpler time when b-schools each had three application rounds and the deadlines were all about the same.  First round was generally done by October, second round by first or second week of January and third round, by March or April.  This helped applicants in several ways.  While sometimes causing late night cramming to finish school applications whose deadlines were similar, when it came time to receive offers, you pretty much had all your decisions in hand and could make a choice without risking the explosion of an earlier offer.  Working on several schools at a time also kept the proverbial juices flowing and allowed for easy transfer of information from one application to another without losing your creative flow. 
Things got complicated.In addition to adding additional rounds, many schools also began offering alternate program deadlines as well, such as a delayed submission deadline for January cohorts or separate deadlines for part time or executive programs.  The early decision phenomenon also wreaked havoc on applicant calendars, since you not only had to finish your target school’s application early, but you also had to commit in writing to accept that offer if it came through.  Early application deadlines, while offering favorable consideration on your profile, can sometimes add to the stress of application season, not to mention the acceleration of the entire process as deadlines crept ever earlier. 
There are several schools which now blow way past three rounds of applications and have six or more regular application windows in which you can apply. Gone are the days of early Spring round three terminations.  We now consistently see additional rounds with deadlines well into the summer.  Granted, these are most often schools who may be ranked a little lower in the tables and clamor each year to fill a class.  The top schools have in many cases stuck to the traditional three-round structure, because after all, they don’t need to clamor. 
If you find yourself vexing over when you should apply and especially if you are stressed out because you have decided you really want to go back this coming fall, don’t fret. There are good schools out there who are still actively accepting applications well after the “final” rounds of other schools.  Also remember that deadlines can be bent.  If you have a killer profile and think you can gain the attention of a school whose deadline has passed, you might try reaching out to the admissions office in person or via phone to see if they might consider taking an application after the deadline.  While most classes fill up quickly at top schools, they might make an exception for an exceptional candidate.  We can help you figure it out.
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact
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