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Amerasia MBA Blog

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Amerasia MBA Blog  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 18 Mar 2019, 22:21
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Interviewing in Person
There’s never a shortage of tips if you’re looking to ace your MBA interview. The most important tip of all, however, is to do your interview in person.Interviewing is a critical component of any MBA admissions process, and it’s unlikely to be admitted anywhere without doing an interview.  Even the most competitive candidates typically sit down with someone to discuss their candidacy since you simply can’t ascertain fit from paper essays and recos.  In the modern era, however, interviewing has taken on a much broader definition beyond the traditional coat and tie office chat.  Schools will often offer phone interviews or even virtual interviews, done via Skype. 
While the Skype interview definitely approximates the in-person interview, it’s not the same.Beyond the typical technological limitations and potential snafus, however, Skype doesn’t allow for nearly as personal an exchange.  Remember that schools are trying to get to know you personally, and by definition, if you are not there in person, you’re leaving something on the table.   Of course not everyone can make the trip to the admissions office happen, so if it comes down to a phone interview or a Skype interview or nothing, clearly it’s fine to proceed.  But make sure you do all you can to make the interview happen in person.
Unable to make the interview in person?  Perhaps you can negotiate an alternate plan.Some schools will allow you to interview in person with a local alumnus or alumna in your area, which can be a decent substitute for interviewing on campus with the admissions committee.  Rescheduling your interview on campus can sometimes be done as well, if it’s simply a scheduling conflict.  You might be surprised at how much accommodation schools will make for you simply for the asking.  After all, they are just as interested in getting to know you as you are interested in potentially going to school there.
 
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 https://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.

The post Interviewing in Person appeared first on Amerasia Consulting Group - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Originally posted by PaulLanzillotti on 31 Dec 2018, 17:01.
Last edited by PaulLanzillotti on 18 Mar 2019, 22:21, edited 2 times in total.
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New post Updated on: 18 Mar 2019, 22:27
We’re only two weeks into the new year.  How are those resolutions working out?For MBA applicants, the New Year is often a time of renewed interest in starting fresh.  Getting your MBA is a big deal---a career-changing, life-changing transformation that gets everyone thinking about improving themselves. 

One problem with life-transformation is that it can quickly become overwhelming.One thing to caution yourself against is letting your MBA dreams become so inspiring that you try to do too much at once.  A good example is someone who has been accepted to school or is still applying and simultaneously decides to get in shape, eat right, go to church, dump their boyfriend, stop drinking and read three books a week.  Particularly if you are in the “still applying” category, you should be careful about loading up on new year’s resolutions, lest you get bogged down and, heaven forbid, sacrifice on your application quality.
Applying to business school can be stressful, particularly when the decisions start coming out.  If you add stress on top of the stress of maintaining new resolutions, you could set yourself up for some serious mental issues.  While it’s a great idea to improve yourself, you should prioritize your goals first to make sure you’re not becoming an accident ready to happen.  Once you get in b-school, your time will be much more free to take on new challenges, so why not focus on that first, then set a goal to begin your next round of new aspirations immediately thereafter.

Stacking goals can be an effective way to ensure you are building the muscles necessary to carry several new goals at once.  The good news about being accepted to your targeted MBA program is, it comes with an extreme measure of mental fuel to boost your attack on new initiatives. There’s nothing like the vigor of knowing your life is changing for the positive to inspire exciting directives that you can tackle for the balance of the year. Just keep in mind if you are still preparing to apply, you need to allocate a lot of time this year to getting that done.  Often clients underestimate the physical and mental drain, not to mention the time suck that MBA applications can be.

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 https://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.

The post New Years Resolutions appeared first on Amerasia Consulting Group - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Originally posted by PaulLanzillotti on 14 Jan 2019, 12:02.
Last edited by PaulLanzillotti on 18 Mar 2019, 22:27, edited 2 times in total.
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MBA Interviews 101  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2019, 12:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Interviews 101
Have you received the email yet?  You know, the one inviting you to come interview at your target MBA program?  It’s the best feeling ever, right?  Then the terror sinks in.Up until now, applying to business schools has been a fairly introverted activity.  Sure, you have worked with your consultant and chatted with friends.  You may have even engaged with your target school via an on-campus interview.  But now that you have been invited to interview, it’s a whole new level of face-to-face interaction, one that requires you to be prepared. 
Every MBA interview is different, but in a way, they are also all the same: they want to get to know you.Every school conducts interviews in their own proprietary way, but here are several key questions that you will undoubtedly need to practice no matter where you are interviewing:
 “Walk me through your resume” is a classic opener where you will have an opportunity to highlight valuable experience that will be useful to your classmates.
“Tell me about yourself” may or may not accompany the resume opener, but such a question is a chance to be personal—they want to know who you are—what makes you tick.  Make sure you tell them about personal things and not just professional things, and for goodness sake, show don’t tell.  In other words, convey your answer with stories or examples.
“How would your coworkers describe you?”  is actually a way for schools to ask you about your strengths, so give them strengths which will be perceived as valuable both as a student and a professional.
“What is your biggest failure or greatest challenge” is a classic designed to discover what you have learned and how it has enhanced your maturity level.  If you haven’t failed at anything, it’s likely you haven’t garnered enough experience to go to b-school.
“What constructive criticism have you received from your boss?” is a way for them to subtly draw out your weaknesses, so give weaknesses which can be remedied by two years of business school, not personal or fatal personality flaws.
“How do you define a good leader?” can be addressed by describing your personal leadership style. Alternatively, you can give examples from someone you admire.
“How do you define a good team member?” allows you to provide specific examples of when you worked well on a team. As you probably know, business school will be mostly working with a team of some sort.  Thinking of a time when teamwork was better than doing it yourself is not a bad thing to ponder prior to interviewing.
 “Share an experience when you were out of your comfort zone” will reveal how you hold up under pressure and make decisions without complete information.  Demonstrating this with stories from your career journey will help them see you have real potential.
“What was the most significant event that made you the way you are now” gives insight into who you are as a person and what has made an indelible impact on your life. 
“Why an MBA? Why Now?” can help differentiate yourself from other applicants by telling them your unique desires.
“How will you contribute to the class?” will tell them what you bring to the table—specifically things your colleagues would specifically find useful.  Remember, most of your classmates will not be coming from your industry or job function, so skills which may seem mundane or common to you might be less so from a different perspective. Also be familiar with what you will contribute outside the classroom.  Knowing some specific clubs or extracurricular offerings of that particular school will demonstrate good due diligence skills.
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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MBA Military Applicants  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2019, 13:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Military Applicants
It’s no secret that business schools like to matriculate veterans.  If you have military service on your resume, however, are you leveraging it to maximize your odds of admission?Serving in the US military is highly valued by business schools.  The leadership training alone is enough to create a highly desirable profile for an MBA applicant, but military service is far more than that.  It’s underrated how much discipline contributes to a successful MBA candidacy.  Of course the military is perhaps the best place in the world to learn how discipline folds into every corner of one’s life.  The military is not just about discipline at work.  They require discipline at all times.  If a commanding officer finds a soldier off work, even in civilian clothing looking unkempt, unshaven or behaving with conduct unbecoming a soldier, they face consequences.   Discipline is a deep and lasting part of military training which typically accompanies veterans throughout their entire lives.
As good as these qualities are, you’d think every military applicant would be a shoo-in at just about any school.  What you must remember, however, is that b-schools typically compare applicants in buckets.  This means that as a military applicant, you are being compared mostly to other military applicants, not to the average applicant.  So while military service is indeed above average in many categories, in the category of leadership and discipline, you will likely be fairly average because your fellow military applicants will have a similar profile. 
When crafting your story, a common mistake military applicants make is to use too much military jargon.It’s important to convince b-schools that you will be able to make a smooth transition from military service to the secular world.  The longer you have served in the military, the more skeptical b-schools will be about your making this transition.  The military has its own vocabulary, acronyms galore, and a mindset that can be sometimes perceived as myopic to a civilian admissions committee.  Try to speak in non-military terms about your post military and post-MBA career vision.   Certainly leverage stories from your experience, but translate them in to regular English for your b-school application.  The better you can demonstrate your ability to make such translations, the more ready you will be perceived to be for your 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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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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Taking Advantage  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 13:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Taking Advantage
By now, you may know that applications are down this year for most business schools.  Are you taking advantage of the dip?Business school applications are always a wild card.  Despite the data and historical trends, there really is no way to predict with certainty how many people will apply each year. What we do know, however is that when the economy is roaring (as measured mostly by a low unemployment rate), there are generally fewer applicants to business school.  This makes sense if you think about low unemployment as a supply and demand cycle.  When workers are scarce and jobs are necessary, wages rise and prevents people from leaving those “good paying” jobs to go back to school.  Of course the opposite also happens.  When people are out of work and PhDs are working at McDonald’s, MBA applications soar.
Right now there are a historically low number of applicants to top business schools.  From a pure numbers perspective, therefore, it should be a good time to go back, especially if you would normally be worried about your chances to get into a top school.  The only problem with this logic is a bit counter-intuitive.  Although applications are down, the quality of the applicants in the pool is still high.  Therefore, it seems a 500 GMAT is a challenge no matter when you apply.  Sure there are fewer overall applicants, but there seems to always be just enough top performers to force a competitive environment, particularly among the elite schools. 
If you find yourself with some profile challenges (low test scores, poor grades, mediocre career experience, etc,) you might consider playing the numbers game yourself and use this year to put in extra applications.  At the end of the day, schools need to fill seats, and if you add a few extra schools to the mix, you might just find some luck.  This also means round three will perhaps be a bit less painful than usual.  Schools with good GMAT averages can afford to take a flyer on someone to fill that last seat or two vs. leaving themselves with diminished revenues in their coffers.   Talk with your consultant about which additional schools could make sense for 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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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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Surviving Round Three  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Surviving Round Three
Round three is not for the faint of heart.  Often considered the most competitive, surviving round three takes fortitude.By the time round three arrives, most business schools have filled the majority of seats in the upcoming class.  This is the simplest explanation for why it’s so darned difficult to get in at this point.  There’s simply no more room.  Still, some schools have holes in the class makeup.  Perhaps they have too many finance candidates and scarce few public sector applicants.  Or perhaps they still need some under-represented minority MBA candidates to round out the class.  It’s anybody’s guess, but suffice it to say that schools become snipers at this point, with the crosshairs specifically trained on some very unique profile attributes. 
The question is, do you have the kind of characteristics in your profile that they are looking for?A big misnomer for round three is that you need to have a perfect GMAT score or work for Goldman Sachs or Google to make a good impression, but the truth is, you may only need to have some or all of the precise attributes that they are looking for.  If you are a round three applicant, you want to think creatively about what makes you different.  It’s the differences that will appeal in this round.  While you can’t mask or change your job or role, you can bring to the surface other attributes that stand out in the crowd.
Do you do any unique volunteer work?  Do you identify with an unusual or under-represented group?  Have you had any deep or extended international experiences?  Speak any languages?  All these things can help set you apart from the crowd since the average applicant doesn’t have them. 
Still struggling to find an “in?”  Just ask.Often, speaking directly with the admissions office can help reveal the special qualities they are looking for to complete their incoming class.  While they may not tell you specifics, they will sometimes tip their hand towards a general industry or professional type they seem to be having trouble finding. Again, you won’t be able to use the information to change your background, but you could avoid wasting your time filling out an application and writing essays if you’re way off.  Keep calling around and perhaps you will find another school that you’d be happy with who is looking for your special brand of awesome.  In the meantime, it certainly won’t hurt to boost that GMAT score a little more.
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

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Searching for Special  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2019, 16:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Searching for Special
What makes you special?  If you’re in the market for an MBA, you’d better begin thinking about this question if you want to get an offer.Standing out from the crowd is perhaps the most important goal of any MBA applicant.  No matter how great you feel your qualifications are, however, I guarantee you will be humbled on day one of business school when you begin meeting your cohort.  While it’s important to keep your confidence up during the application process, a good, healthy dose of humility can sometimes point you in the right direction for how you can jump off the page with your chosen school.
Humility is an underrated quality in the MBA application process.Whether you’re Harvard, Stanford, Wharton or even Georgia Tech, nobody likes a pompous applicant.  Of course it’s a fine line between pumping your stock and being grounded, but finding that balance is critical.  One way to pull it off is to be thankful.  When you appear grateful for your opportunities and talk about how things have shaped you, bragging about your achievements takes on a much more palatable air.  Yes, there is a way to waive your trophies and not come across as full of yourself.
But why is it important to avoid appearing self-important?Because schools don’t like spending time mediating team conflict in their cohorts.  Let’s face it, when you put a bunch of type-A leaders on teams together, everyone wants to lead.  Schools have to sniff out who is special enough in the applicant pool to maybe be the CEO one day, yet humble enough to square off and team up with classmates to get through two years of difficult classes and projects together. 
Make sure you consider what makes you special while you also consider that someone else may possess the same qualities.This is the real goal of every good MBA application—to understand how your brand of special completely, but also to understand how you can differentiate it from someone who has the same or similar background as you have.  If you simply avoid the pitfall that there’s nobody out there like you, you will ground yourself from the beginning with a healthier perspective on how to position your story as unique without coming across as condescending or naïve.
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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Thinking Ahead  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2019, 18:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Thinking Ahead
If you are reading this blog, you are either in the throes of the final rounds, or more likely, are getting a head start on the 2019 application season.  Either way, it’s good to think ahead to August.Most MBA applicants are organized, motivated and passionate, so they generally find themselves ahead of the game in most every area of their lives.  Applying to business school is no exception, so we find that January brings out hundreds of new MBA hopefuls, looking for early advice on how to set themselves up for  a winning application season.
While the applications for the coming fall are quite a ways off from releasing, there are plenty of things you can do to get ahead.You can start by asking the right questions.  Some of these questions are more philosophical, such as, “why am I going back to business school?”  or “why is this year the right time to do so?”  These two questions are important to consider, because they are two questions which every school to which you apply will want to probe with you.  Schools have a very limited number of seats to fill and far more applicants to fill them with, so being able to definitively explain why you need or want an MBA is paramount.  Especially the most competitive schools relish finding any reason to place your application aside, because it’s hard enough for them to split hairs over candidates anyway.   Coming in soft on why you want the MBA or why now is a good time (check that—the ideal time) for you to come back to school is a sure way to be invited to apply again.
Thinking ahead also means getting your ducks in a row for the fast approaching avalanche of administrative details.  Gathering transcripts (yes even from that community college you attended one summer), re-connecting with potential recommenders, and arranging travel to visit prospective schools are all tasks which require real legwork, not just cerebral exercise, so make sure you work these kinds of plans into your schedule early.  One of the biggest reasons for a failed run on business schools is when client become overwhelmed with all there is to do as the deadlines approach.  Here’s a hint: most school’s processes don’t change radically from year to year, so instead of waiting for this year’s applications to drop, go back and study up on last year’s.  At the very least, you will be priming the pump.
Finally, it’s good to get out ahead of the consulting wave.  Many of the best consultants book up their schedules early, so reach out and begin talking to folks.  There’s never a commitment up front, and you will save yourself valuable time later if you beat the rush.
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

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The Magic Question  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2019, 18:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Magic Question
Interviewing with your target MBA program is a real privilege, so preparing adequately is critical.  When it comes time for you to ask the questions, however, will you be ready?Most every MBA applicant spends considerable time preparing for their interview. After all, it’s the next step in the admissions process and while your decision is not solely based on the interview, your odds of admission shoot up to at least 50/50 if you are invited to an interview.  These odds obviously do not apply for schools who allow anyone to interview, but if you receive a personal invitation to do so, you are in a good spot.
While preparing for the interview is very important, I have found most people do not spend nearly enough time getting ready for that inevitable point in the interview when you are allowed to ask questions of your own.  Having intelligent, thoughtful questions for them will demonstrate you are genuinely interested in their particular program and not just “mailing it in” by asking questions you can ask any schooll, but it actually goes even deeper than that, because there are even some questions that are specific to the school that should be avoided.
Most namely, you should never ask any questions, the answers to which you could have fairly easily obtained from the school’s website or other publically available sources.  Asking questions they basically answer in their brochure is a bad idea---it’s like telling them, “I didn’t care enough about this interview to do some cursory research beforehand.” It’s essentially a dead giveaway that you are not as interested in the school as you should be if you’re going to wear their t-shirt for the rest of your life.
Asking questions about their own experience is always safe territory in this regard.Certainly there will be no information on the website about your interviewer’s personal perspective on the school, whether they are a student, staff, or faculty member.  Beyond this, make your questions pertinent to your own reasons for wanting to go there, which can also give you an opportunity to unpack your case for attendance even more.
There is one question, however that is absolutely magical.If you feel you have built a decent rapport with your interviewer, you should ask them at the end (after you have run through your other questions), “Is there anything you have learned about me today or seen in my profile that causes any concern for my potential admission?”   Of course there are several ways to rephrase this, but what you are essentially asking is, “tell me specifically about any weakness you see that might give pause to the admissions committee.”  The reason this question is so powerful, is because it’s win/win for you.  If they answer, “well, I don’t really see anything that would cause concern,” you have essentially made them admit you are admit-able.  If on the other hand, they reveal a weakness, you then have the chance to inoculate the weakness with an explanation or simply more information.  At least you will give them a reason to change their mind about your weakness, and potentially reveal an area which they may have understood about 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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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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Professional Help  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2019, 21:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Professional Help
You would certainly hire a lawyer to help you in a legal case or a doctor to help you with your medical condition.  Why would you not seek professional help to get into business school?Admissions consulting barely existed two decades ago.  The rise of hyper-competitive MBA programs, however spurned dozens of firms offering guidance on how to navigate the admissions process.  At first, these admissions consulting firms were not perceived well by the schools themselves and they did everything they could to “sniff out” applicants whom they perceived had not written their own applications, but had “paid” someone else to do it. 
This false perception took a while to abate, but before long, schools realized that reputable companies were ethical, honorable and helpful to potential applicants.  Eventually, MBA programs not only stopped holding consulting services against applicants, but slowly began to embrace their offerings.
The truth is, getting advice from a professional before embarking on something as important and life-changing as a terminal graduate degree makes sense.Nobody questions the hiring of consultants in every single other industry or business, so don’t let any lingering stigma affect your opinion of using them for advice on MBA admissions.  The really good news is, the industry has matured so much, that the use of consulting has not only become socially and professionally acceptable, but the offerings of such services has become increasingly sophisticated as well.  Only need essay editing?  Got everything done except interview prep? 
You can generally slice and dice services precisely to your needs.  Many busy career-chargers opt for comprehensive packages, where an admissions consultant essentially becomes like an attorney on retainer, with unlimited access to their counsel and advice over the course of your admissions process.
However you decide to leverage a professional, know that the end result with be 100% yours, and no school will be able to fault you for it.  Putting your best foot forward in a clear and compelling way is actually good for the schools as well, since a well-crafted application provides better insight into an applicant’s profile and story and subsequently allows schools to make better decisions on someone’s 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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Now or Never  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Now or Never
One of the most complicated decisions about business school applications is simply when to go back.  Let’s face it, life is busy.  And complicated.  And stressful.  Particularly if you are the type of person who wants to go back to business school.  Business school is typically an attractive option for type-A personalities, those who are driven to succeed, achieve and lead.  When you are doing these things, you are likely earning a good salary in addition to positive reinforcement from bosses and supervisors who value you tremendously.  All this makes it extremely difficult for such people to lay it aside for two years to go back to school.
One of the most common questions business schools ask applicants is, “Why is now the right time for you to go back to business school?”
Once you get it in your head to return for your MBA, it’s hard to shake it.  In fact, MBA applicants usually apply during the very first application window after they first consider going back at all.  One thing you should avoid doing, however, is thinking about getting your MBA as something you can either do right now, or never.  The now or never approach is dangerous because it can trick you into returning to school before you are ready. Applying before you are ready means potentially settling either for a school which is not ideal for you, or perhaps stunting your post-MBA career trajectory (or both). 
It takes discipline, discernment and maturity to objectively analyze the ideal time to go back to school.
It’s not a formula.  While the typical applicant to MBA programs has five years of work experience, perhaps in your case, you are ready after only two or three years.  Or maybe seven or eight years will position you with the best exposure and perspective to contribute well in the classroom and receive the same from your colleagues.  
Experience is just one area you must analyze to determine MBA readiness.  Another thing to look at is the number of supervisors, either past or present, who would be willing to thoughtfully advocate for your admission.  Can’t come up with at least three or four?  You may not yet be positioned for an ideal run at top schools.
Confidence can play into the mix as well
There’s nothing like the unique combination of humility and swagger which only comes from failing at something and then walking away worn but wiser.  If you can clearly articulate why a particular failure has made you a better business person or just a better person, period, then you just might be ready to take the MBA plunge.
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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Weaponizing the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2019, 21:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Weaponizing the GMAT
The GMAT is the bane of many MBA applicants’ existence.  But what if you are good at standardized tests?While taking the GMAT may be one of the most dreaded tasks of most MBA applicants, there are a few out there who really shine in this arena.  You know who you are—you find comfort thinking about checking your phone into a locker and sitting in front of a computer bank which feeds you math and English problems for several hours.  It’s a sick hobby in many respects, but if this is your thing, you have a real advantage in the MBA applications process.
A killer GMAT score is one of the most powerful application components you can wield to gain admission to a top school.Sure, top schools can fill virtually all their seats with 700+ GMAT scores, so you definitely can’t rely solely on your GMAT score to get you in, but particularly if you are a US domestic applicant, a great GMAT score can really kick doors down.  For international applicants, a great GMAT score is almost a requirement, but for those applying from the US, an impressive score grants you unprecedented access to schools that otherwise might be out of reach.
Any time or money spent improving your GMAT score really pays off.The number one reason schools put applicants on the waitlist is a lower GMAT score than they’d ideally like to see.  Schools have a lot of pressure to increase their average GMAT score each year.  For top schools who have plateaued in this area, maintaining their heady average is paramount.  While the larger schools can afford to take a flyer here and there on an applicant with some kind of other-wordly feat or achievement (who may not have the GMAT score they’d normally like), in general, your GMAT score can really make or break your otherwise impressive application. 
Particularly for males, a GMAT score in the high range is critical.If you’re teetering on taking that GMAT prep course or whether or not to dive in for another round of Saturday-sacrificing computer testing, know that it’s worth it in the end.  Schools don’t like to see applicants decline additional testing if the score is the thing holding them back.  So buck up, dig in, and scrape out those extra few points on the test.  You’ll be really glad you did so in the long run.  If it’s any consolation, it’s likely the last standardized test you will ever have to take.
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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Time Well Spent  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Time Well Spent
The year is off to a roaring start---is this also the year you get into b-school?  Depends on how you manage your time.A year sounds like a long time, but when you are juggling a career and personal demands as well as an application run at the top b-schools, it’s going to fly by.  Not only are good time management skills a critical thing to master for business school itself, you can put the same skills to good use now as you are applying. 
Start now by budgeting scheduled time on the calendar for working on your applications.Yes, this means now, even before applications are even close to being released.  Why?  Because there is a lot more to MBA applications than just essay writing.  For every hour spent actually writing an essay, you should have put 10 hours into preparation.  Often, this prep time is far more difficult to schedule than the writing itself, but be disciplined.  Schedule an hour or two each week dedicated to the mental processing and planning of your application run.  Just deciding on where to apply can mean dozens of hours of research online and through talking with others.  What gets scheduled, gets done.
Tracking down all the required documentation can be very time consuming as well.Especially if you attended more than one college or university, you will be shocked at how much time it takes to obtain simple, certified copies of your transcripts, all of which are required for an MBA application.  Then there’s the GMAT.  Taking prep classes, scheduling tests and following up should all be planned like it’s your job.  A good rule of thumb is to add on one extra hour of prep each month as your MBA deadline approaches.  Yes that means by October, you’ll be spending as much as 10 hours per week working on your applications.  This assumes of course that you will be trying for at least 6-7 schools, which is a good number considering how competitive things have become.
Know that if you start now working b-school planning into your weekly routine, you will feel far less overwhelmed when applications are released this summer.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 Practice Runs  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2019, 14:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Practice Runs
Nervous about applying to your favorite business school?  Don’t you wish you could have a practice run?  Maybe you can.Clients get pretty squirrelly about applying to their top choice MBA program.  Lots of time and effort goes into school selection and when you find that perfect fit, anxiety sets in.  After all, you only get one shot at it, unless you want to come back year after year and try again. 
There’s nothing wrong with using other schools as practice runs.
The trick to cutting your teeth on a b-school application is to pick a school with a similar application package.  You might be surprised how many schools have essay questions that are very close to, if not exactly like the essays for your top choice.  Even if the questions are not the same, you should see striking similarities in the spirit of what almost all accredited b-schools are looking for.
The core of what schools seek in candidates is essentially found in four key areas:
1)    Leadership
2)    Solid work experience
3)    Teamwork skills
4)    Maturity
Testing out your version of demonstrating these attributes can sometimes get you an early decision from a school you don’t really care about going to, but you might find highly useful for feedback.  If you are accepted, it can be a real confidence boost as you begin working on your target schools.  If you are rejected for some reason, it’s a good chance to rework how you are couching your story or positioning your background for the real deal.
Some schools will even give you written or verbal feedback on your application.
Now comes the ethics talk…it is being disingenuous to apply to a school where you have no intention of matriculation?  Some might say yes, but if you are earnestly and simply seeking an honest look at your package, there’s certainly no law against applying.  Who knows?  Perhaps in the process, you might discover a school you could like if your plan A does not work 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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Keep in Touch  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2019, 19:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Keep in Touch
Starting out on your MBA application journey will expose you to a myriad of contacts.  Make sure you are remaining connected to all of them.One of the most powerful things you will achieve through your MBA experience is a global network of dynamic individuals.  Most people think of an MBA network as the group of alumni from your alma mater, but it’s so much more than that. You must start thinking of your MBA network as everyone you engage with before, during, or after your MBA process.  This includes the application process.  Your MBA network is the group of people you will be interacting with for the rest of our career.  It’s the six degrees of separation that will set you up for finding subsequent job moves, gathering important information, and answering critical questions. 
The sooner you begin building your MBA network, the sooner you will make the mental transformation from pre to post-MBA.One thing you must remember is that once you go back to business school, you will forever establish a virtual wall in your professional journey.  There’s what you did before you went to business school vs. what you do after.  You will need a whole new way of getting things done after your MBA, a methodology which heavily leverages your new network.  And you can’t wait until you graduate to establish it.
Keeping in touch will only happen if you are disciplined about seeking contact information and diligently following up with sincerity.  The advent of Linked In and other contact tracking software makes this easier on the one hand, but sometimes risks appearing like you’re just “collecting” contacts instead of truly engaging and following up with purpose.  Some practical ways to avoid this is to always have a reason for reaching out to someone---whether it be to send them an interesting article (one that they find interesting, not just you!), to wish them a happy work anniversary, or to ask a thoughtful question, having a solid reason for keeping in touch makes all the difference. 
So get out there and start building a real network---one that’s there when you need it and for which you can provide value 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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Academic Fillers  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 18:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Academic Fillers
Clients often ask about getting additional Masters Degrees before applying to business school for an MBA.  Here’s the low-down on filling in your academic pedigree.For the hopelessly addicted to education, it can be tempting to fetch a Master’s degree while you gather the real world experience required to go back for your MBA.  As most MBA hopefuls know, a solid 4-6 years of post-undergrad work experience is becoming the norm for most top schools, since bringing something to the table for your classmates is just as important as the actual curriculum content itself.
A Master’s degree, while beneficial, is not a great substitute for time in the “real world.”This is not to say that obtaining a Master’s degree in a relevant area for your career is not useful—it can be tremendously useful.  Just know that a Master’s degree alone will likely not impress the admissions committees enough to give up a seat for you.  The best way to leverage your Master’s degree in an MBA application is to first leverage it on the job.  If you follow a Master’s degree with a couple of year’s work experience afterwards, you might have a winning combination, and maybe even a real differentiator in the application process.
What Master’s degrees are most valuable?This is a tricky question, and the answer is an evasive, “it depends.”  One area that can really differentiate yourself to an MBA program is hot areas such as Analytics.  A Master’s degree in Analytics can be a real asset not only for your classmates in quantitative classes, but also for impressing recruiters who are increasingly looking for MBA graduates with real applicable skills.  The bonus for a degree such as this, is that it will likely also accelerate your career and thereby add something special to your work experience. 
Other degrees you might find beneficial are specialty degrees in finance, for example, or even degrees in areas that are specific to your specialized line of work.  This is particularly useful if you plan to remain in your line of work post MBA.  The key is to undertake something that is in line with your passion. So one thing to avoid, however, is spending the time and money on a graduate degree that seems out of placed based on the vision and plan you cast in your MBA application.  While most sins can be forgiven, when you spend time and money on a degree you don’t want to use, MBA programs can sometimes view you as immature, not wanting what you want out of life, or both. 
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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Career Track  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2019, 21:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Career Track
The MBA application process is unique amongst all other graduate degrees in that it requires several years of post-undergrad work experience.  The road you take after you graduate college, therefore is critical if you want to make the best impression.Most successful MBA applicants had a plan for their professional life after college graduation, a plan which began long before they donned the cap and gown.  If you are still in college and you plan to go back for your MBA one day, your journey actually starts now, not years from now.  Hopefully you have already put thought into how you will get from A to B and are already going about setting yourself up to hit the milestones.
While it doesn’t necessarily matter what you do specifically in your early career, it does matter how you do it.In other words, in order to make the most of the four-to-six years between undergrad and MBA, there needs to be a thread, or a track that appears to be intentional, purposeful, and progressively responsible.  Admissions committees are amazingly adept at separating those whose experience has been accretive vs. those whose experience has been haphazard or random.  Running towards opportunities to grasp the next rung vs. away from opportunities that you didn’t really like can demonstrate ambition and assertiveness, which schools associate with successful business leaders.
But what if you drifted a bit after college and were late to discover your true passion?If this describes you, know that you are in good company.  The good news is, schools can forgive a bit of professional meandering.  The key to couching this kind of experience in an impressive way (vs. a detrimental way) will be directly connected to your ability to convey  the passion and commitment you have (finally) established to your ultimate vision and purpose.  Often, this means taking an extra year or two before applying.
One mistake clients often make here is when they “discover” their passion a bit late, and then immediately apply to business school vs. gathering some experience first.  If your work history is completely unrelated to your post MBA career vision, schools will often balk.  Doing this basically gives an MBA program an easy out, where they tell you to go work in your area of passion for a couple years and then come back to apply later. 
A remedy for this conundrum is to thoughtfully find some kind of thread in your checkered past that you can also connect to your future.  If your experience seems random, you must work extra hard to find the commonalities because the admissions committee is not going to work very hard to do so.  Think in generalities, vs. specifics, and pull out the transferrable skills which will connect to your chosen post MBA industry area.  This can sometimes prevent adcoms from thinking you are not ready when you very well may be.
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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Ding Analysis  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 21:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Ding Analysis
March Madness takes on a whole new meaning when you get rejected from your target MBA program.  Instead of being angry, however, try to learn more about why you weren’t accepted.Life is full of rejections and even the best of the best business school applications don’t find acceptance at every school.  The math just doesn’t allow it, with all the fully qualified applicants out there and the finite number of seats. 
Getting personal feedback from your target MBA program is unlikely at the most competitive schools.There are other schools, however, who offer “ding analysis,” which is something you should definitely receive if you can.  This is done in various ways.  Some schools simply give you a few tips in the rejection letter (again, the top schools will simply say, “we are unable to provide you with any specific feedback”).  Other schools will offer you to reach out to them or set an appointment to discuss why you were rejected. If you are one of the lucky ones who has this opportunity, know that it’s not a chance for you to change their mind, but rather a chance for you to take notes.  Any feedback you receive is like a gold coin that you can pay forward on your next round of applications. 
Knowing specifically why a school turned you down is invaluable for subsequent applications.If you can’t get any advice from the schools themselves, you can always get one of our knowledgeable consultants to help you analyze why you may not have made the cut.  Having someone who is purely objective comb through your application can perhaps help you see what you are biased against seeing yourself.  However you get your rejection analyzed, you can rest assured that in doing so, you will be far better positioned next 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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MBA for Entrepreneurs  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 16:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA for Entrepreneurs
Going back for your MBA as an entrepreneur can be a tricky thing.  First of all, you probably have done the math and know that most entrepreneurs never went to business school.  That’s right—the most successful entrepreneurs in the world not only never got their MBA, they never even went to, or graduated from, college. Why?  They had that special idea and the natural drive to make it happen.  The rest of us might need to get ready.
Some might argue that a true entrepreneur does not have the time to go to full time b-school.This is to say, if you are already an entrepreneur (you have already started a successful company),  it’s likely that you can’t take two years off to educate yourself on how to run it better.  Certainly the adcoms will not buy it if this is the case.  I have seen applicants try to apply on the story that they have launched a successful business, then fall flat in the admissions process when schools can’t reconcile their history with how they are able to abandon the business to go back to school. 
In fact, it’s actually better to have crashed a startup and apply vs. applying with a currently-operating enterprise.  For starters, schools do not like it when full-time MBA students have work outside the curriculum.  Secondly, having a really good failure story can engender sympathy and interest from b-schools who see you as having something to offer your classmates (a great asset to have indeed since much of what you learn in b-school comes from your classmates).
But what if you want to become an entrepreneur after b-school?This is actually a much more common story in the application process.  As many as 40% of MBA applicants see themselves starting up their own company eventually.  If this describes you, the one risk you run when crafting your approach to the MBA applications is that you may end up sounding like a lot of other applicants, and failing to differentiate yourself in a memorable way can really present challenges to getting the “yes” from top schools. 
If your plan is to start your own company after business school, here’s a couple of recommendations:One, you need to make sure you have a very solid vision in addition to a background which indicates a high probability of success with startups—in short, they have to believe you can do it.  Secondly, you should perhaps speak about your desire to start a company as a secondary career track or a plan B, since b-schools actually prefer students who will boost their employment stats by getting an actual job when they 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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Essay Prep  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Essay Prep
Whether you’re applying in Round three, Round four or waiting for Round one to get here, you’d better get busy prepping for your essays.MBA applications have become pretty similar processes no matter where you decide to go, which actually makes preparing to write your essays a little easier than it used to be when schools were trying to out-maneuver each other with creative, even zany essay questions. Most business schools now ask similar questions, but all business schools are looking for the same thing.
In a nutshell, schools want to see leadership, maturity, teamwork skills and some solid work experience.  Exactly how these elements come together in the essay questions can vary, but your job as an applicant is to make sure you are demonstrating these core profile characteristics throughout your essays.  To be clear, even if the questions do not ask you for these things directly, you must make sure you weave them in.
This is exactly why essay preparation is so essential to crafting a winning application.  Writing good MBA admissions essays is more than just stream of consciousness pontification over your life achievements, it’s strategically approaching your story in a way that puts you in the best position possible for consideration.  The most important thing to remember is that you are in charge of how to present your information, not the school. 
Your MBA application is the one opportunity you will have to present a case strong enough to earn an interview.So how to get ready for such a daunting task?  One of the best ways to get started is to keep a journal.  Start by asking yourself the big WHY questions.  Why do you want an MBA?  Why is now the right time to go back?  Why would you leave your job in this economy to go back to school?  Some of these questions will be directly related to the essay questions themselves, and other big-picture questions will simply get you thinking the right way about how to cast your story in the most favorable light. 
Writing a personal statement can be a valuable exercise.A personal statement is a one or two page walk through your life thus far, particularly a walk which points to why and how your decisions have been made.  This exercise can be a great way to orient yourself towards your own story and what about your experiences have helped shape the leader you have become and plan to be in the future. I have seen countless clients either use parts of their original personal statement in their essays or at least draw from their ideals considerably.  In the end, any efforts you put into preparing to write will make the actual writing process much more painless and accessible.
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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