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Amerasia MBA Blog

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Get Moving!  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2018, 19:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Get Moving!
If you have struggled over the years about whether or not you should get an MBA, now might just be the ideal time.Particularly if you have a profile which is challenged in some way, you will find that there’s never been a better time to apply to b-school.  Why?  Applications are down.  Way down.
Whenever the economy is humming, applications to business schools take a nose dive.  Essentially, people are doing well and getting promoted and getting raises, and the last thing they want to do is drop all that and pay $100K or more to further their education.  There’s a bid of herd mentality going on here, with everyone flush and employed thinking, “Maybe I’ll go back next year.”  The problem is, everyone is thinking this simultaneously, so when the economy ultimately crashes, as it always eventually does, hoards of b-school hopefuls crash the exits.  What’s happening right now is the opposite.
Compounding the diminished US application rate, applications from international students to US schools are also way down.  The political situation in the US coupled with global prosperity and a bevy of increasingly good MBA educational options overseas and online have all contributed to a dearth of international applications.  When added to the drop in domestic apps, what we have here is an unprecedented opportunity to potentially get into the school of your dreams. 
Scholarships and Fellowships are more easily had as well.When the supply of students goes down, the demand for good students goes up.  This creates a frenetically competitive environment for the schools, not for the applicants.  Remember, to a b-school, you are the product they desperately need to buy.  Yes, the school is the product you want to buy as well, but you have more supply than they do right now because you can go anywhere---the number of good b-schools is essentially fixed.  Schools only have access to the current pool, and the current pool is anything but fixed.  In fact, it fluctuates wildly.
Now all you have to do is muster the courage to leave your high-paying job and pull out of the lowest unemployment in 50 years to go get that MBA!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 Growing Student Loan Debacle  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2018, 18:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Growing Student Loan Debacle
One of the last things you probably want to think about as you prepare your MBA applications is how you are going to pay for it. If you are already carrying undergrad student loan debt, it’s even worse.Over the years, it’s no secret that college has become astronomically more expensive.  Outpacing inflation by a large margin, the cost of higher education has even outpaced healthcare costs.  In fact, the price of a college degree has been the fastest rising and most inflated area of the economy in the modern era.  It’s downright depressing.
For students with an undergraduate degree in Art History from an expensive, private college, the pain is probably palpable.  But even those who have a more marketable degree, the daunting payments can sometimes be a main deterrent to undertaking yet another loan for an advanced degree.
What to do?Certainly accelerating your undergraduate loan payments is a good option if you can pull it off.  One way to make this easier is to refinance your loan with a lower interest rate, but the opportunity to capture a low rate is quickly vanishing in an ever-shifting, upward-trending economy. Ideally, you would not take on MBA loans while you still have undergraduate loans looming, but if you can’t refinance and don’t have the cash on hand, you might find relief from parents or other family who can either help you pay loans off early, or at least loan you money at a favorable rate.  The IRS allows up to $15,000 to be given to any one family member per year without tax consequences for the giver or receiver, so if you have a generous uncle, aunt or grandparent, make sure they know this. 
Ultimately, you should try to avoid letting undergraduate loans guide your decision to go back to graduate school.  Every year you delay, it’s another year you put off what should become a dramatically better income environment for you.  Plus the average top tier MBA graduate gets at least $10,000 in signing bonuses from most top employers these days, so if you are disciplined enough to use that money to pay off your highest interest rate loans, you will thank yourself later. 
Fellowships are also a good option if you can’t pay off your undergraduate loans, since not having to pay for your MBA is just as good as getting money to pay off your existing loans.  Start early seeking out schools with a good track record for handing out Fellowships (look for private schools with large endowments, which is often searchable on the internet).  Schools typically consider every applicant for Fellowship funds, so you often don’t have to make a separate application for financial help.  There are also plenty of good research assistantship slots at public MBA programs, so if you don’t mind working 10-15 hours per week, you can get tuition waivers from these schools to defray costs.
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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Managing Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2018, 19:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Managing Deadlines
Business schools desire to see many key traits in their applicants: Leadership, teamwork, solid work experience, good grades.  One often overlooked but very important skill for b-school is time management.  Are you using this skill now to manage your application deadlines?If you’re a savvy business school applicant, you are applying to multiple schools.  The more competitive the target school, the more schools you need to add to the mix.  You’ve likely been coached to choose a diversified basket of schools ranging from aspirational schools to safety schools, to those in-between.  With all these schools in the mix, you are likely to face different due dates for each and every one.
The first thing to do once you choose your schools is to make a calendar of application due dates. Of course the actual due date is not the only deadline you will face in this process, but it’s the most important one, since missing it will force you into a subsequent round.  While it’s generally considered good advice to defer an application versus submitting one that is not ready, if you can hit your targeted deadlines within your desired rounds, it’s obviously ideal. 
While it may seem logical to attack the school with the earliest deadline first, that may not be the right approach.  Some applicants like to attack their dream school first, no matter what the deadline, so they can end up working on it the most, and begin while they are still fresh.  Other applicants like to cut their teeth on a safety school or two, under the theory that their story will become more refined after a couple of applications.  Whatever your strategic approach to the batting order becomes, you must realize that it’s not just the application deadline that you must focus on.
Besides the final submission date, the most important timeline to manage is your recommendations.   These are the only parts of your application that are essentially out of your control, so start early and give your chosen recommenders plenty of buffer before things come due.  Start a chart on your calendar and set follow up dates for yourself to double check that your recommenders have completed their tasks.  To this same chart, you can also begin to fill in other deadlines.
I have always felt that giving yourself artificial deadlines is helpful when managing any project to successful completion.  If you’re writing a personal statement, give yourself a goal by which you want to be finished. Do the same for essays, fetching your transcripts, and visiting schools.  By loading your calendar with deadlines, you can stay organized and prevent things from stacking up on you.  If you let yourself get behind, you can become overwhelmed and end up dropping schools from  your list, thus decreasing your potential choices and causing unnecessary stress. 
If you have chosen your consultant, they can guide you as you manage your deadlines and can be very helpful in keeping you on task by asking for deliverables and sending you feedback on a schedule.  If you manage all your deadlines well, you will have a much smoother application experience than attacking things when the mood strikes you.  While it’s great to respond to inspiration or creative bursts, doing things only when you feel like it is almost always a risky approach, and is not how the business world works, so you better get used to it!
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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Stay Motivated  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2018, 15:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Stay Motivated
As the end of round two approaches, are you feeling like you’re running out of gas?  Here’s a few things you do to stay motivated and finish well.The competitive increase over the years in MBA admissions has driven even the most confident of applicants to cast a wide net when applying to top schools.  While the odds are slightly better than winning the Mega Ball, it’s still heated enough out there to get everyone a little stressed. How can you stay cool?
One thing to remember above all else is that you never know which application is going to resonate best with the adcoms.  These are real people out there reading your essays and resumes, not machines and human nature varies so widely that it’s virtually impossible to guess sometimes where your story will click in any given year.  From this perspective, every application is equally important.  When thinking that the last application is as important as the first, it will perhaps help you to muster some of that enthusiasm you had back in the summer when the whole process began.
Don’t “mail in” your effort on those last few essays.By now, you may be tempted to copy and paste something that sounded good for HBS a couple of months ago, but may not work quite as well for Cornell or NYU, whose deadlines for whatever reason fall later in the season.  Don’t let your guard down.  Take a fresh look at each and every school’s questions and seek out the subtleties which articulate what they are really asking for.  If you put a square peg in a round hole, the question never really gets answered and schools will smell it a mile away.  The last thing you want to ever to is to make a school think you don’t truly care about going there, and you are just using them as a safety or backup plan.
Time your visits strategically.Nothing will put wind in your sails like a crisp fall visit to your target school.  If you can time your visit to coincide with the window in which you plan to work on that school’s admissions package, you will likely achieve a much better result than you would if you cranked them out before your visits.  If you did have to visit schools outside this window, you have hopefully been putting your applications on ice, so you can tweak them after you have visited.  You can also go visit schools again.  There’s no law against two visits to the same school, and you are guaranteed to learn or see something new each time you go.
Take a beat and remember why you are doing this.Recapturing the foundational drive which propelled you to go back for your MBA in the first place can often be the spark which stokes the fire once again.  Try to hang on to this core motivation and put the same spit and polish on those last few schools that you would have if you had done them first. 
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

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

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Drinking from the Fire Hose  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 08:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Drinking from the Fire Hose
If you have never heard the phrase “drinking from a fire hose” in the context of getting your MBA, you will. It’s perhaps the best comparison for how intense it can be. Right now, you’re probably more worried about getting into b-school than you are about managing b-school, but as you prepare your applications, it’s a good idea to go ahead and begin thinking about this phenomenon.
Being ready to handle rigorous, quantitative analysis is paramount.One reason why b-schools like to see good quant scores on the GMAT is because they don’t want you to be miserable in their program. While you will receive support from colleagues and professors, there is simply not enough time to slow the pace of the coursework down to let students catch up. If you are at all worried about your ability to dive in and quickly assimilate your math skills, I highly recommend you bone up over the next year by taking refresher courses at a local community college or online (hint: go for the in-person class if you can, as it will better help you get back in the saddle than online will).
Classes in b-school move very quickly and you cover voluminous amounts of information in a very condensed timeframe. Schools like Fuqua and others even cram two “mini-mesters” into each semester, which gives you literally half the time in a class as you might have in other graduate programs, or like you had as an undergraduate student. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being the only one in the room who doesn’t understand something and the pressure to avoid outing yourself as that person is palpable. Do yourself a favor and arrive ready.
But it’s not just the academics that challenge you in an MBA program.You will hear it over and over, but time management is critical to success in any MBA program. Schools expect their MBA students to take a very active roll outside the classroom and run all the various clubs and organizations. They will expect you to carry the same extracurricular load which was carried by others before you, examples of which include mock interviews for classmates, hosting guest speakers, running the annual golf tournament or leading trips-in-cities events. You could literally spend your entire week in outside activities, so managing time in and out of the classroom will determine your ultimate success.
Additionally, companies will descend upon you practically from day one. Most MBA students interview for and accept their summer internship offer within six-eight weeks of landing on campus. This means you are dressing up and attending company presentations on almost a nightly basis from your very arrival on campus. In the next post, we’ll address this gauntlet in more detail.
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

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

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The Gauntlet  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 19:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Gauntlet
An often under-reported trial of business school is the period during the first six weeks of classes known as the Gauntlet.  This is when companies descend upon the campus like vultures, trying to woo internship candidates.  You must be ready, or else…Most b-school applicants are so thrilled to start their MBA classes that they don’t realize how quickly the offers for summer internships start rolling in.  Literally from the very first week of classes, top business schools play host to dozens and dozens of companies whose corporate recruiters swoop in with free beer, free food, and more SWAG than an insurance convention.
One important tip for handling the Gauntlet is to have an idea of what you want to do with the rest of your life.You only get one shot at an internship, so choosing something in the same area (or even with the exact company) you hope to land in after you graduate is critical.  If you start business school with little or no idea about what you want to do, you will inevitably get sucked up into the tornado of opportunities and quickly become disoriented.  Plus, you simply cannot go to each and every corporate presentation.  There’s just not enough time in the week.  Remember the warning about drinking from the fire hose?  Your main focus is your education, so you must balance your evenings with company dinners, corporate presentations and group projects, not to mention the studying.
In addition to arriving with a plan in mind, make sure you also have a nice suit.This is a tip that is often overlooked, since b-school students will wear very casual clothing to class.  Before you even begin your program, get fitted with a fine set of clothes, both business formal and business casual, because you will not only be attending these corporate presentations, but you will also very soon be interviewing for your actual internship opportunity.  And there won’t be time to go to the mall!
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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What's Up with the Bonus Sections of the GMAT?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2018, 18:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: What's Up with the Bonus Sections of the GMAT?
With a fairly consistent test format for more than fifty years, the Graduate Management Admissions Council finally revamped the GMAT several years ago with a couple of assessment changes. Do they even matter?The Integrated Reasoning Section, a 30-minute portion of the GMAT made up of 12 questions, was designed to measure one’s ability to discern patterns and combine verbal and quantitative reasoning so solve problems. While the admissions committees at top schools seem to continue focusing on the traditional verbal and quantitative score combination (out of a possible 800), we may see an emphasis shift towards these new sections in the future (which also include a 30-minute writing analysis of a topic), since the skills they measure are critical to today’s business leaders. As for now, however, schools remain focused on the core 800 score.
Making sound decisions in business is perhaps the most important skill for the global business person in today’s marketplace. Even though they are often confronted with incomplete information, MBA professionals are still required to make choices on a daily basis which can impact organizations around the world. While the quantitative and verbal sections of the GMAT do a good job of measuring and predicting how students are likely to perform in business school, the fact that these sections separately measure these attributes, they are not necessarily a good indicator of how someone will combine these skills to make sound decisions.
The Integrated Reasoning section measures these skills in a format which requires test takers to quickly assimilate information from a variety of sources and evaluate that information to discern the correct answers. We can probably all agree that bringing complex ideas together and analyzing data in a variety of formats are necessary to succeed in today’s technology and data-driven global marketplace.
It was a massive survey of 740 business school faculty worldwide which resulted in the list of skills this section of the GMAT was designed to test. These faculty identified the most important skills they thought today’s matriculating students needed to possess as they embarked upon the next phase of their business careers. Over time, as the admissions committees and rankings boards come to share the view that these skills are important, the Integrated Reasoning score will provide a new measure for adcoms to find candidates who are the right fit for their programs, and it will also provide another way for you as an applicant to stand out .
In the meantime, if you happen to score well on this section of the GMAT, you may need to highlight your results to the adcoms yourself. Until the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT catches on in the admissions process, at the very least, you can rest assured the time spent preparing for this section and the extent to which you can develop your skillset in this area will only help you navigate a challenging business school curriculum. It may just help you shine on the job in your chosen post MBA career as well.
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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Playing the MBA Yield Game  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2018, 12:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Playing the MBA Yield Game
Business schools are a business.  They have budgets, revenue, expenses and most importantly, a target for the number of students they take into the program.  This time of year, the game is afoot. Will you be a beneficiary or a casualty of the yield game?It’s no secret that schools admit more students into their programs than they have space for, but the actual formula is a black box.  Especially at top schools, there is a fairly reliable percentage of students who say yes to the kind offer of admission, but on the margin, this number becomes tricky for schools to manage. 
The job of admissions director is not an enviable one, because if they admit too many, or if the yield is high, there’s literally no room for all those extra students in the program.  If hey admit too few, or if the yield is low in any given year, there are empty seats, and lost revenue.  Of course schools are non-profit (at least the legitimate ones are), so while there is no lost shareholder value, having a less than optimal class size can rob the program of necessary funding to make the budget work.
The best way to take advantage of the yield game is simply to submit the best version of your application that you can.  But this sounds easier than it is. Being competitive, compelling, interesting, impressive, and all those other positive adjectives will essentially make you attractive enough so they want to have you in their class.  Do you know what they’re looking for? Even if you don’t have the highest GMAT score, you want to polish up your story and couch your experience in a way that stands out.  Are you prepared to do this on your own?
This is precisely why your communication and writing is so important.  Having a message that resonates with the adcoms can consistently put you in the “yes” pile.  Once you are there, it’s up to you, not them.  Schools do not change their mind.  From the most qualified to the “barely in the door” applicants, everyone either says yes or no to their offer of admission.  Even if the school is not clamoring over you with fellowship or scholarship offers, just getting a yes from them will put you in the driver’s seat.  Let us help you position your story in a way that increases these odds.  That’s essentially exactly what we’re here for!
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 Interview Basics  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 11:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Interview Basics
 
It’s a great time of the year to express gratitude, so if you’re one of the lucky few to be invited for an MBA interview, be thankful.  Are you ready?The most important thing to remember when interviewing for a slot in an MBA program is to be yourself.  Schools are mostly looking to diversify their incoming class with a wide variety of individuals and there is nobody just like you. There are however, other people who may appear to be similar to you at first glance.  For this reason, a good exercise when trying to be yourself is to think about what differentiates you from others from a similar background or experience base.  Sure, you might be “just another banker,” but there are probably other things in your personal or professional life which make you unique.
Personal is the key word here.Don’t just position your story from a professional angle, which increases the odds of sounding like someone else, but rather include personal details from your life which nobody else can likely mimic.  You are the collective experiences of your entire life, not just what you have done for a living.  It’s the personal details which will add the herbs and spices to your career experience and provide a perspective that is at least in some way, different from anyone else’s.
Another basic process to remember in any MBA interview is to focus on how your uniqueness is a perfect fit for your target school’s offering.   Schools like to understand that their offering and your offering will dovetail together in a happy, symbiotic mesh.  When students are happy, they do well and when they do well, the school benefits.  Don’t just research a school’s website; also go on a visit or chat with alumni to get a really deep view of how they operate, their personality traits and their culture.  If you show up with a very thoughtful view of why you think you would fit well within a school, you will make a lasting impression.
Speaking of lasting impressions, the other basic rule of thumb for MBA interviewing is to be courteous.  This encompasses everything from dressing appropriately, to being on time, to being courteous when answering questions and being respectful.  Also, make sure you follow up with a thank you note, either via email or snail mail, to remind your interviewer of your appreciation and also perhaps, of how you demonstrated a good fit!
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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Post MBA Application Must Do's  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2018, 10:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Post MBA Application Must Do's
Ok, you’ve submitted your Round Two applications and can now relax, right?  Not before you do a few key things!For the motivated and ambitious MBA applicant, there’s always more to do. Granted, the heavy lifting is over once you have submitted, but before you slip off into a post-Turkey day coma, make sure to take care of the follow up.  Firstly, you need to take an inventory of where you are in the process.  If you are planning to throw in a few more applications in subsequent rounds, go ahead and set up a schedule.  The holidays are far too hectic to try and manage round three applications without a plan.
It's also a good idea to read through your submitted applications and make any notes which will help you in round three, while things are still fresh in your mind.  Some applicants feel like each subsequent application effort improves their overall package incrementally, so leverage the experience you have garnered from round one and two to make round three efforts fruitful. 
Do you need to schedule any round three school visits?  Remember, schools take their breaks from anywhere between late November to early December, so reaching someone to schedule time on campus needs to be done now.   It’s always a good idea to log visits before you write applications, and coordinating all of this with school slots as well as your own personal work schedule can be tricky. 
Another important thing to do is to prepare for potential interviews.  While some may feel the need to relax after hitting send on their applications, the wise applicant will begin to study up on typical interview questions and working on their elevator pitch for why b-school is right for them, why now is the best time to go, and why that particular school is the best fit.  The more the answers to these questions flow naturally from your heart, the better prepared you will be for your interviews.
Working on your Plan B is another critical move.  Whether it be going to an alternate location for b-school, or riding it out in the workplace for another year, knowing what you would do if you happen to get the dreaded rejection from your early rounds is important to prepare for.  No matter how confident you are in your MBA application approach, a good business person is always prepared for a disaster when and if it strikes.  Being mentally prepared for a negative outcome will also make the eventual acceptance letter feel that much more pleasurable.  Call it cognitive dissonance management.
Of course it’s also a good idea to do a bit of resting and relaxing.  You have worked very hard to this point and you deserve a break.  Enjoy time with ones you love, soak in the sights, sounds and smells of the season and dream a little about next year and going to the school of your dreams.    
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 Resume Basics  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2018, 12:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Resume Basics
Resumes are boring.  Everybody has one and most sound the same.  Unfortunately, it’s a critical part of a winning MBA application. Don’t let the banality of resume crafting lull you into missing this important part of the MBA application puzzle.  Given the eternal shrinking of the application process, with fewer essays and more stringent word count restrictions being standard, the resume has taken on more prominence.  Plus, the resume is essentially the road map to your entire application---it’s literally the key to which admissions committees refer to remain oriented on your career progress and what makes you tick.
If your resume doesn’t scream loudly about who you are as a person, you have done something wrong. Although the typical job resume is more like a CV containing a sterile log of past professional achievements, the MBA application resume should be more revealing.  Choose action verbs to begin each bullet point and provide support for why you have those achievements, not just “that” you have them.  Certainly a straightforward, chronological walk through your career is vital, but you should add color to your descriptions which take the reader one level deeper than an employer might want to go. 
While you should definitely be exploring the why behind the what in your essays, the resume is a great place to unpack personal details as well.  The key thing to keep in mind is that this should be a different resume than the one you might submit for a job.  B-schools will want to see more evidence on the resume, for example, for how you have worked well in teams, particularly in diverse teams across various divisions or other areas.  While playing well in the sandbox might seem too wishy-washy for a potential employer, it’s key information for a business school.  Another profile trait that is often skipped when writing a resume is leadership initiative.  Remember that “leading when you’re not in charge,” is a great thing to highlight.  Think about how you can demonstrate your influence or impact through your resume.
A hearty section for additional information is also paramount for an MBA resume.While employers might find it interesting that you like to travel or that you volunteer at your local Red Cross, the “additional information” section of your MBA resume should unpack your activities beyond the workplace in more detail.  This section more than any other can reveal your personality and what makes you tick, all of which is critical insight for schools looking to add you to their permanent alumni roles.
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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Weighing Your Options  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2018, 18:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Weighing Your Options
Decisions, decisions.  With admissions offers coming in (or possibly not), it’s a good time to figure out your move-forward MBA plan.  What to do?Most applicants don’t get into their dream school.  This is the straightforward reality and simply means that you probably chose wisely when you picked schools to make application, with some reach schools, some safety schools and some in-between.  Still, it’s the time of year when offers begin rolling in, so it’s time to make some choices.
The first thing to assess is whether or not your frame of mind has changed since you submitted your applications.  Perhaps you went on a late-stage visit or did some deeper investigation into your target schools’ career centers to discover that what once looked like a top choice has since dropped into second place.  Even if your dream school comes through, you must be certain that it’s still your dream to attend there.  Myriad life changes can alter your outlook, so before you commit to something you once thought was certain, you need to, well, be certain. 
Of course most applicants who get invited to attend their top choice schools say yes, so it may be disingenuous to imply anything outside of instant acceptance would be improper.  The tougher decisions come when you are admitted to a backup school but are not sure it’s really where you want to not only spend two years of your life, but where you want to claim as your own forever more.  An MBA is a terminal degree, after all, so you will be wearing that sweatshirt for a long time, and will someday be telling your kids about your experience there. 
For many applicants, the words “don’t settle,” are beginning to haunt them.  Before you are wooed by the schools who are courting you with a “yes,” ask yourself if it makes sense to throw in yet another round of applications just to see what happens.  Perhaps there’s a school which was not on your radar, but you have since decided may be a good fit?  Despite all the hullabaloo around submitting an application in the 3rd or later rounds, if a school is truly a good fit, you might just have a chance. 
If a school where you have been accepted is giving you a hard time about making a decision, don’t let the pressure get to you.  Having an acceptance puts the advantage in your hands, and most schools don’t get upset if you decide to defer your decision.  Sometimes, pausing before you tell them yes or no can result in scholarship or fellowship offers as schools begin to play the yield game.  It’s anybody’s guess where they are in filling their slots by now, so maybe you can get lucky and sweeten the offer simply by putting off your decision. 
Whatever you are leaning towards, it’s never a bad idea to seek advice.  Reach out to alumni contacts, family, friends, or any confidant you trust who also has your best interests at heart.  Your MBA admissions consultant is also a good resource for helping you weigh your options.  Remember, it’s your future, so spending some thoughtful time on the decision is warranted.
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 Early Admission Decision  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2018, 16:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Early Admission Decision
If you were bold enough, or savvy enough, or organized enough to have applied early in the MBA admissions process, you know by now whether or not you got in.  If you got in, you now have the luxury of extra time between now and matriculation.  What are you doing with it?Rolling the dice sometimes pays off, and if you are lucky enough to already know where you are going to b-school, you can really leverage the coming months to maximize your time and arrive next fall fully prepared for your b-school experience.
What’s in a year?A year is a long time, so the question  you should be asking yourself is, how can you best use the next year to not only arrive fully prepared, but also to take advantage of your last several months before the onslaught of graduate business school sucks you in. Once an admissions decision is offered, it’s rare that it can be retracted, so forget about all your prior preparation and hitting marks and think about your next year as what you can do for yourself.  
Options abound.Are there places you want to travel?  Personal responsibilities you need to attend to? Something you’ve always wanted to try?  I know someone who quit their job immediately upon accepting their MBA offer and ended up working at Goldman Sachs for 10 months as a temp, simply by reaching out and requesting an “informational interview” where they expressed interest in the firm.  You never know what’s out there if you don’t look, so instead of just logging a few more months at a job that’s already done what you needed it to do, why not think creatively about how you can really maximize the time you have left.
Once you start b-school, you’ll be treading water for two years.There’s barely time to breathe once you dive into your MBA curriculum.  In fact, most students are already interviewing for internships just a few weeks into the first semester.  Are you ready to do this?  Is there anything you can do to clear up doubts, answer questions, or secure extra work experience in a new area of interest?  Most b-school students undergo a career change after they graduate, so you need to be thinking about what your next employer will most like to see on your resume.  You can really supercharge your attractiveness to MBA employment recruiters if you add a half year of specialty experience. 
No matter what you do with the year of gap time between early decision and matriculation, make sure you enjoy it and make the most of it.  Life is about to change for you dramatically!
 
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's Dirty Little Secret  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 20:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA's Dirty Little Secret
Most applicants spend considerable time laying out a thoughtful career vision for their target schools, one that makes logical sense and often ties directly into their past experience.  But what if you change your mind?The Dirty Little Secret at b-schools is that you don’t have to pursue what you told them you would in the application. For some, this news will be a non-issue, since many applicants stick to their original plan.  Given the long time between application and matriculation, however, a lot can happen, and many MBA candidates alter their vision or become inspired in a different direction.  If this describes you, or if you are about to apply, yet think you might want to go another way, read on.
Once you accept your offer to attend a school, that school never looks at your application again.  By the time you show up next fall, anything you wrote in your applications will be long forgotten.  Even if someone happens to remember something from your application, however, there’s no crime in changing your mind.  Often in the application process, MBA hopefuls feel compelled to cast a vision that makes logical sense based on their background and experience (rightly so).  After all, admissions committees generally tend to be skeptical about far-flung fantasies about taking over the world.  If your plan includes doing so, however, there’s now nothing to stop you. 
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 Mad Scramble  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2018, 17:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Mad Scramble
This time of year is stressful for many reasons.  The holidays themselves are crushing.  Family time can be just as taxing as it is soothing.  Buying Christmas presents becomes a chore and like the song says, the traffic is terrific.  Worst of all, MBA deadlines and all the accompanying details loom large. One of the most tedious and unnerving aspects of the MBA application process is getting your recommendations submitted on time.  Since recommendations are the only parts of the MBA application that are out of your control, it only adds to the turmoil.  Particularly because MBA applicants are typically type-A people who like to control everything, not being able to execute this componentry of the application can be downright maddening.
It probably goes without saying, but if you chose wisely your recommenders in the first place, you won’t be facing a problem.Good recommenders will not only speak in great detail about your shining potential, but also will communicate with you when they have finished the process.  A good recommender will usually not wait until the last possible moment either, but we’re not talking about good recommenders here, we’re talking about the procrastinators.  How do you handle someone who goes radio silent?
Just pickup the phone.Today’s email and texting world has everyone afraid to make voice calls.  Granted, voicemail can be horribly inefficient, but when someone receives a voicemail, they generally pay attention.  Voice calls indicate more urgency, which is exactly what you need to communicate when time is of the essence.  I can’t say coming up short on a recommendation will definitively ruin your chances for admission, but it certainly won’t help.  Unless your profile is well above average, you need to make sure your recommenders are holding up their end of the bargain.  At the very least, it can make you look like you exercised poor judgment in choosing a reticent recommender or worse, that no recommendation is a bad recommendation. 
A last resort could be to reach out to another recommender.Hopefully you have someone waiting in the wings whom you thought about asking but in the end, chose not to.  Even better, you informed this person they were an alternate.  Being the understudy for a recommendation is not exactly flattering, but you would be surprised how special it makes someone feel to swoop in and rescue your b-school application when someone else fails to come through.
Recommendations are one of the most important pieces of the MBA application puzzle, so don’t let the mad scramble of the holiday MBA deadlines distract you from finishing your application well. 
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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One Click Up  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2018, 19:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: One Click Up
This time of year there’s plenty of occasions to present yourself well.  As an MBA applicant, not only will you be going to interviews, but you will also be invited to various social events throughout the holiday season.  Practice the one-click up technique to always make a great impression.One-click-up is simply the habit of elevating your clothing and accessory choices one level above what others are wearing.  For example, if you’re going to a formal MBA interview, add a pocket square to your suit or an elegant necklace. If your interview is business casual where others will be donning slacks and a dress shirt, add a blazer or sport coat.  If a gathering is casual, wear some snappy shoes or a dress shirt with those khakis.  Sometimes, it’s even fun to wear a sport coat with your jeans. 
Anything you can do to raise the level of sharpness will begin to influence others’ perception of you as a sharp person. Before you go crazy with overdressing, however, know that there are some ground rules.  Anytime you are doing something a smidge better than the next person, you risk appearing as if you are trying too hard.  There is a certain subtlety to pulling off the one-click-up method of impressing others without overdoing it and ticking people off.  Understated elegance is what you are going for—not flashy or obnoxious. 
Being sharped dressed has additional benefits---it makes you feel impressive.Self esteem and confidence gets a boost when you feel like you are the adult in the room, and dressing like one is a great way to push off in a positive direction.  It’s remarkable the impression it makes on your psyche as it also makes an impression on your colleagues.  Experiment with the one-click-up method as you prepare to go off to business school and soon you will do it naturally, becoming that post-MBA success story one well-packaged outfit at a time.
 
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 Dreaded Waitlist  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2018, 15:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Dreaded Waitlist
Being placed on the MBA waitlist at your target school enters you into a fresh hell of never-ending speculation about how things will end.  What are you doing to remain sane?The holidays are stressful enough without the added distraction of limbo with your MBA target school’s waitlist.  Being on the waitlist is like proposing marriage only to be told, “maybe,” but without any details or definitive timeline from your would-be fiancé.
Recently, schools have shied away from the waitlist. This was after a backlash of negative feedback from applicants who would rather just know up front that the ultimate answer is going to be “no,” versus riding out the list for months on end only to be told “no.” Apparently the months of uncertainty was driving everyone crazy, which is understandable.  Still,  many schools use the waitlist because having an empty seat in their program is lost revenue, and every dollar counts. 
But there are some practical things you can do if you find yourself sitting on a waitlist.First and foremost, relax.  If you are half the b-school student your application says you are, then you have a backup plan.  Rest assuredly in your plan, knowing that if you never come off the waitlist, there’s a different direction you can take.  Secondly, remain in contact with your waitlist school, certainly updating them on any changes to your situation or profile, but in general, touch base with someone in admissions about every month or so. 
Staying top of mind never hurts when slots begin opening up.  Finally, consider crafting a third round application to alternate schools if you are worried about your backup plan.  If a school is telling you “maybe,” then you likely have a good application to offer someone else, hopefully someone who will say “yes!”
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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Empty Halls  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2018, 21:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Empty Halls
Visiting your target MBA program is a necessary and extremely helpful tool when crafting a winning application, but most people are strapped for the time to do so.  Often, it’s only the holidays which provide the required extra time to make a visit in person.The one problem with this plan is a real doozy.  MBA classes end in early December and students are long gone by the time holiday visitors come around. Certainly schools do not conduct official tours or visits during this time, but you can always go on your own.  Staff and many faculty must work much longer into the holiday season than the class schedule indicates, so there will be a few stragglers there, but this leaves a potential MBA candidate wandering empty halls. 
While it’s helpful to meet any remaining admissions office personnel in the flesh, a visit during a program break can be very disappointing.  In fact, such a visit will essentially turn into a facility perusal and not much more, save getting a few questions answered by remaining MBA staffers.  No class visits, no meeting potential classmates, no chance to make a good impression with program participants.
While it would be a far better use of time to visit once Spring semester begins, if this is impossible and you find yourself a wanderer of halls, know that you can still extract value from such a visit.  Perhaps the most valuable takeaway is merely the fact that you put the effort in to visit at all.  Except for HBS, Stanford, Wharton and perhaps a couple of other elite schools (who really don’t care if you visit them or not), most schools will give you props for making the effort.  Showing up to visit a school in person, even if it’s outside their official visit program, can communicate you are indeed serious about attending, something that can give you an advantage over someone who never darkens the door at all.  Of course, the applicants who are able to do an official visit will have their own advantage, but we’re talking here about making lemons out of lemonade are we not?
Turning a negative into a positive is a helpful skill for any MBA program.If you start now, during the application process, you will begin forming the right attitude which will make you a success in b-school.  If you are forced to wander empty halls this holiday season, make sure you extract enough from your time there that you can work something unique into your application.  Remember, it’s often the tiniest of detail that distinguishes one applicant from another.  In short, a desolate visit is better than none at all, but you must make the most of it.
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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Sacrificing the Holidays  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2018, 14:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Sacrificing the Holidays
Applying to business school is hard.  It’s not as hard as business school itself, but it definitely taps your dedication early in the process.  And this time of year is a tough time to test your meddle.If you’re deep into round two applications right now, you’re not alone.  Often, more applicants apply in round two than any other round.  Some were simply not ready for round one, and others are piling on, using the second round as a chance to work further down their list of dream schools.  Whatever reason you have for submitting round two applications you are probably facing a delicate balancing act right now between spending time with family and friends, shopping for Christmas or Chanukah presents or perhaps even wrapping up quarter four results at work. 
While making sure you take some sanity time for yourself and others, sacrificing some holiday time is usually necessary to do your best application.  While I would like to tell you to take a week off from pounding out essays and gathering supporting documentation, know that doing so could potentially affect the quality of your final product.  Going to business school is a huge deal.  It’s a terminal degree, so it’s the last time in theory that you will ever be a student. 
The school you attend will influence the rest of your career and the rest of your life.  Once you put the application process in this perspective, you can see how sacrificing one holiday season might be worth it.  The good news is, once you are accepted into the school of your dreams, you will get at least two nice, long holiday breaks.
As a full time student once again, you also get a Spring break and other luxuries, so suck it up, knuckle down, and put your best foot forward.  Just remember to communicate early with your advisors and consultants, because unlike you, we actually do take some time off around the holidays!  
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 Class Visit  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2018, 13:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Class Visit
Not all business schools allow visitors to sit in on a class, but if they do, it’s a great way to sample the wares.  Just make sure you don’t make the wrong impression as you participate.Every business school encourages in-person visits.  Touring around campus and meeting current and prospective students is a great way to try a target school on for size.  In fact, it’s not advisable to apply to a school if you haven’t visited in person because schools often view non-visiting applicants as being not as serious as those who take the time to stop by.  Some schools even allow for an informal interview during your visit, with a select handful of schools even providing official interview options if you schedule them far enough in advance---a tremendous advantage.
But what about sitting in on a class while you’re there?The class visit is usually the most popular component of the in-person tour.  Most often, you are met by a class ambassador who escorts you into a regular session of a popular class (usually with a well-liked professor) where you spend the entire lecture just as if you would if you were a real MBA student.  They typically must be scheduled in advance, but occasionally you can get added in if you are already on campus.  The class visit is designed to give you a taste of what it will actually be like as an MBA candidate there, but is really done in an effort to sway someone to choose their school---in short, it’s a sales pitch disguised as an instructional session.
While the class visit is a low-risk opportunity to pretend you are an MBA student for a day, there are a few cautionary tales to tell.  One thing to watch out for is your instinct to actually participate in the class.  The thing to remember is that you are a guest, not an actual student, so in general, you should not speak unless spoken to.  Sometimes, a professor will call you out to answer a question or to add to the discussion, but for the most part, you are there to observe, not to impress them with your knowledge or enthusiasm for the topic.  I have seen and heard of plenty of mis-steps with over zealous class visitors who can’t help themselves before blurting out something that either makes a bad impression, or at least makes them appear rude or presumptuous.  The good news is, you don’t have to take notes!
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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