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Amerasia MBA Blog

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Goal Setting  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2019, 19:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Goal Setting
Now that your new years resolutions are long forgotten, isn’t it time to set some real goals for MBA applications?Goal setting for MBA applicants has dual benefits.  Not only will smartly established goals put you on a course towards a winning application, but well-defined goals will also position you with the right mindset for b-school itself. 
To most MBA applicants, human nature makes us feel like everyone else has it all pulled together, but the truth is, much of the success-oriented skills and abilities top business people utilize to advance their careers were not honed until they attended business school.  But it’s never too early to exercise these skills, and doing so will only enhance your application.
Firstly, you must make yourself set time-defined goals for the application process.  Deadlines are non-negotiable, and the myriad of tasks that must be done before submission need to be thoughtfully scheduled if you plan to avoid submission stress.  Adding unnecessary stress to the process by failing to establish personal goals will only detract from the quality of your MBA application.
Beyond the straightforward goals you must have in place for the application, the more important part of goal setting this year comes in your career.  Precisely because the MBA is often used to change your career trajectory, you must give thoughtful consideration to your short and long term goals now, lest you risk getting off course.
Business schools will also want to know what your short and long term goals are.This is where some applicants get confused and sometimes send a negative message to the admissions committees in the process.  Short term goals as it pertains to your business school story should begin with your first job after business school.  Do not list as your short term goal going back to get your MBA.  Doing so will make you appear naïve.  Your short term goals essentially encompass the first five years post MBA.  These goals should be both clear and attainable.  This means you can’t lay out goals for the adcom which don’t appear to be reasonable given your prior work experience. 
Set goals that seem to be a natural extension of what you have achieved so far, yet challenge yourself to a level of achievement that can only be reached with the benefit of an MBA.Once you have solid five year goals, you can dream a little more wildly with your long term goals.  While long term goals are best when they compliment your short term goals, you can stretch your vision towards aspirational achievements such as becoming a c-suite executive or launching a successful multi-national company, etc. 
 
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 Pathways  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2019, 21:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Pathways
Whether it’s toothpaste, eyeglasses, or laptop computers, the modern marketplace is all about consumer choice.  This has also made it to graduate schools of business.In the old days, there was one MBA program, which was what is now the two-year full-time MBA.  The “nightschool” version of this program soon followed, to cater to those who didn’t mind taking a bit longer as long as they could keep their jobs.  Same for the executive MBA, the one-year MBA, the global MBA and the online MBA.  There has essentially been a never-ending flow of options for how to advance your business education over the years.
How you get there has also branched out.It’s no longer just work 2-5 years and bounce out to b-school.  The early career MBA is now a bona-fide option too, allowing younger, early career achievers to get their advanced degree in some cases without any post-undergrad work experience at all.  One of the most popular options is the hybrid “pathway” model.  Harvard popularized it with their 2+2 program, then Yale followed suit with Silver Scholars and now there are dozens of programs with Pathway programs in place.
Pathway programs basically accept applications from students who are still enrolled in an undergraduate program, then select a handful to “pre-admit” to their full time MBA program.  Most often, these programs require students to graduate from college and then work at least two years in the field of their choice.  At the conclusion of the two years of full time work experience, the student can then enroll in the MBA program without any further application processing.
Why would an MBA program pre-admit students?The biggest reason is so that they can keep their pipeline full. They figure if they are the first program to extend an offer, the chances of a student choosing to come back is high.  We all know what a pain it is to apply to b-school, so the prospect of not having to do that while you are working is appealing. 
There are no guarantees, however that the student who is accepted through an MBA Pathway program will come back to get their MBA.  The pathway programs do not obligate applicants to return, rather it only incentivizes them to do so.  But before you get too excited about this seemingly easy option in, know that only the most highly achieving students are typically accepted this way.  Still, if you have a great GMAT score, a stellar academic record, good student involvement and a mature vision for why you want the MBA (and of course you’re still in an undergrad program), the Pathway options might be of interest.
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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Leading When You're Not In Charge  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2019, 22:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Leading When You're Not In Charge
Demonstrating leadership is one of the most critical things you must do if you want to impress the MBA adcoms.  But what if you don’t have a position of leadership at work?Leading when you’re not in charge is the answer.  If this sounds like an oxymoron, it’s because pulling it off takes a bit of finesse.  The stakes are high, however, since the alternative (not having any evidence of leadership in your application) is a sure way to find yourself in the reject pile.
Let’s face it: very few of us have high-level management experience when we decide to go back for our MBA.This is exactly why we’re going back, right?  To have access to the kind of managerial leadership positions that will allow us to have more impact at work. Still, this is not an excuse to miss out on critical leadership experience. 
You can always start with peer leadership.  Leading your peers can be as simple as going out of your way to support their success.  This is the essence of servant leadership itself.  The added bonus of demonstrating this kind of leadership at work is that it will also earn you credit in the teamwork department, another hyper-critical core profile characteristic for MBA applications.
Thought leadership is also achievable even when you are not in charge.Are you known at work for your good ideas?  Are you quick to step up to solve a problem or tackle a complex challenge?  This type of behavior at work is thought leadership by definition.  Thought leadership is also when you have influence on peers or management.  Being a center of influence can be a powerful sign that your leadership potential is high.  Business schools don’t expect applicants to be CEOs, they just expect applicants to have the raw materials inside them to become CEOs.
If you still have challenges thinking of examples of how you are a leader even when you are not in charge, you might turn your thoughts to your extracurricular activities.  Being on a board or community service team often allows you to operate as a leader even if you are not the chief organizer or manager of an activity or event.  Ultimately, you will need to describe your leadership style and experience whether or not you have a title or responsibility which naturally exudes leadership. 
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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Millennials and the MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Millennials and the MBA
If you are 22-37 years old, congratulations, you’re a Millennial.  You also happen to be in the sweet spot for returning for your MBA.As a matter of fact, with the average age of full time MBA students at 28, we’re smack dab in the middle of what’s been called the “entitled” generation.  So what’s it going to be like applying against all those other kids who all got trophies growing up?
For starters, you have to know your competition in order to stand out and despite the bad rap that millennials have received for being self-centered, it’s actually one of the most caring generations in decades. 
Millennials are driven by a cause, which is a very good thing.Also be aware, however that when you are writing your MBA essays, your fellow applicants (just like you) will be angling to change the world.  This knowledge will help you realize that you’re not necessarily going to be all that unique when you talk about how your aim is to impact the globe for the greater good.
Does the fact that everyone these days wants to do well by doing good mean you have to change your approach?  Maybe.The key will be in demonstrating that you can pull it off.  When writing essays as a millennial, try to avoid sounding like a dreamer and instead, demonstrate you are a visionary.  There’s a big difference.
Being a visionary means you actually have the passion and experience to achieve what you say.  This is most often backed up with your prior career record coupled with good recommendations.  If your recommenders tout your skills as an influencer and change agent, it adds a tremendous amount of credence to your future plans to take over the world.  Similarly, if your track record at work indicates you have been a standout vs. a bystander, you will be putting the proverbial money where your mouth is, and can edge out your fellow millennials who might come across as the world owes them something instead of vice versa.
So embrace your generation and capitalize on the reputation for caring and engagement, while shunning the misnomer of laziness and entitlement.  The world needs our millennial crew to do great things…and b-schools want to hear about how you’re going to make it happen.
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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Maximize Your Time  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2019, 13:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Maximize Your Time
So much work goes into applying to b-school, that most people don’t stop to think about the 8-12 months between getting in and going back.There’s no better feeling than when you are contacted by your dream MBA program that you are being offered a slot.  All the hard work in your undergrad years, your career, and in your application itself is represented in that one notice.  You did it.  Now what?
In most cases, there’s not much more for you to achieve or to learn by staying put in your current role…Yet most people do exactly that---stay put until they pack off for business school.  Have you thought about what you might do with the time between getting in and going back?  Even if you are currently in the cycle, you still have several months ahead.  What are you going to do with the time?
Being back in school full time means being without an income, so certainly there is no shame in plugging along until the last minute to earn and save some cash.  But keep this in mind:  there will not likely be another time in your life where you will be in a position of freedom like this.  The next few months are truly unreserved and unobserved.  There’s no accountability to either your employer nor your approaching MBA program. 
If you have ever wanted to take that exotic excursion you’ve always dreamed of, now is the time.But if you’re the type of driven person who just can’t spend valuable time relaxing, you can always travel with a purpose.  Most MBA programs of merit have a global focus, so you can dramatically increase your value in the classroom if you have some international experiences to draw from.  Why not go on a two-month informational tour of blue-chip Europe?  You might be surprised how many companies will welcome a visit from a curious student.  Having that admissions ticket can open doors previously unavailable.
If traveling is not in the cards for you, another thing to consider is taking on a new job.  Sounds like a challenge in some ways (after all, companies may not want to hire you if you’re only around for a few months), but if you can swing temporary employment, especially in an area of interest for your targeted post-MBA career track, you’d be one step ahead of the game by logging a little pre-MBA time in that area. 
Now is the time to roll the dice, because you literally have nothing to lose. 
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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Apply Early and Often  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2019, 21:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Apply Early and Often
If you’re going back to business school, you’re probably also calculating how to pay for it.Top business schools are blessed with large endowment funds.  This means there is plenty of fellowship money flowing out to high-performing applicants.  If affording business school is top of mind for you, know that with some diligence, you can position yourself in an ideal position for receiving offers from schools which include fellowship funds. 
For starters, it’s important to get the nomenclature down.  Typically at the graduate school level, scholarships are called fellowships.  It’s more common for the term “scholarship” to apply to undergraduate grants.  Still, some MBA programs might call their offers “scholarships,” but you might try searching for the term “fellowships” if you are having trouble finding information on the internet. 
MBA fellowships have become much more common in the current era of graduate business school applications.  The arms-race for top students has propelled top schools into a highly competitive market where everyone is trying to out-offer each other when it comes to providing fellowship funds for their most competitive applicants. 
Even marginally-competitive applicants are being offered money, however.It’s actually pretty unusual for applicants to well-known MBA programs to not have some kind of fellowship offer. The key to all of these offers, however is to apply early.  Typically, schools will award 80% of their fellowship pool of funds in the first and second round.  The most competitive schools will save back about 20% for rounds three and beyond, but because many schools are in a use-it-or-lose-it situation with awarding funds, they definitely have everything allocated by the time their final rounds are complete. 
Suffice it to say that in order to be most competitive for money offers means you should apply early and apply to several schools.  The good news is, you can sometimes even use one school’s offer to leverage a better offer from somewhere else.  As the old saying goes, everything is negotiable. 
 
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 for FREE  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA for FREE
If paying for your MBA is giving you sleepless nights, why not just get yours for free?The rising cost of higher education is no secret and never more evident than in graduate business schools.  With tuition, books, fees and incidentals topping $150K at some of the elite schools (not to mention the opportunity cost of leaving the work force for two years), it’s no surprise that MBA students spend considerable time figuring out creative ways to pay it all off. 
In the old days, not only was school cheaper, but companies also regularly paid for employees to get their MBAs.In fact, in addition to company-sponsored students in the USA, most if not all international students were being paid to go back for a business degree.  Suffice it to say, no matter whether you were a US student or coming here from abroad, receiving a corporate sponsored MBA was the expected model for every fast-tracking, corporate ladder-climbing young manager out there.  Pay for business school?  Most successful yuppie types never even considered it.
Then the financial crisis hit.  Suddenly, the sticker shock of having corporate sponsorships removed, coupled with the over-inflated rise of tuition was palpable.  This one-two punch dealt a crushing blow to the schools too, who saw applications plummet. 
As the economy recovered, schools emerged scarred but smarter. They began cutting costs and growing their endowments, supplanting corporate sponsorships with privately-raised scholarships and fellowships. 
Cut to the present, where the economy is back, endowments are flush and companies are beginning to pay for school again. If you are lucky enough to work for a blue-chip company which values the MBA as a tool to develop their management workforce, you are likely hearing about opportunities for them to cover your tuition in its entirety.  Sure, it might require you to return to work there post MBA, but when you can get a $150,000 education for free, it’s probably worth it.  Even if you don’t work for a company who typically pays for graduate school, you might try talking to your management team about the possibility.  The worst thing they can tell you is “no,” of course, but you might be surprised what you can negotiate in a low-unemployment environment like this where keeping employees happy is top of mind for every company executive.
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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Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton
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Cover Your Bases  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2019, 21:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Cover Your Bases
Lots of planning goes into business school applications.  Even more goes into your actual return to graduate school.  But what if you don’t get in?So much work goes into b-school preparation that sometimes clients forget to have a backup plan.  Of course it’s obvious that you need an alternate school selection if you don’t happen to get into your first choice, but beyond that safety school, there’s often a black hole.
The worst case scenario is not getting into any of the schools you apply to--this is situation that nobody wants to consider.Having an alternative to going back to school next year or even at all is important…just in case.  The options are almost limitless.  Do you keep your current job and try again next year as a re-applicant?  Often re-applicants are given extra consideration in the admissions process, so this could be a good plan B as long as you are comfortable delaying your return to school by another year.  Another option might be to re-calibrate your expectations for which programs you are considering.  This is particularly important if you fail to gain acceptance into your safety school.  Time to reconsider what is truly a safety school for you.
There are hundreds of AACSB accredited MBA programs out there, so if you are having trouble getting in, just broaden your scope.Another alternate plan may be to change the kind of graduate degree you get.  Don’t get so dead-set on the MBA if a Masters in Finance or a Masters in Data Analytics will get you where you want to go professionally.  These programs are easier to get into and might set you up for the exact same success that an MBA would have.  The bonus is, they are also shorter and less expensive than an MBA.
If you are still dead-set on getting the MBA, you might consider alternate program formats.Evening (part-time) programs are often more forgiving on the admissions side, as are one-year MBA programs.  Willing to go overseas?  Sometimes the geographic diversity you can provide by going to school in a country other than where your home citizenship originates can tilt the admissions decision in your favor.  Executive MBA programs are also easier to get into as long as you meet the professional experience requirements.  The only negative about exec programs is that they a
re even more expensive than full time programs.  Whatever options you consider know that not getting into b-school on your first attempt is not uncommon and can be leveraged to position you even better for your long term career by potentially allowing you to get an additional year of work experience.  Enriching your perspective is always a good backup plan!
 
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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Choose Wisely  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2019, 22:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Choose Wisely
Picking the right recommender for your b-school application is probably the most important decision you make.Of course there are plenty of decisions to make during the MBA application process not even to mention the initial decision to go back to school.  But there’s only one decision that puts someone else in the driver’s seat.  Everything about your b-school application is pretty much in your control except for one—writing your recommendation.
Your recommenders are powerful because they are the only outside view the adcom has into who you are, what makes you tick.This is why schools require multiple recommendations, because the deep insights that can be gleaned from someone who knows you well and has worked with you can shed a tremendous amount of light on your candidacy.  Clearly one could argue that your recommenders are biased, but they not as biased as the person writing the essays. 
It's the anonymous nature of recommendations which make their information so valuable to adcoms.This is why you should always waive your right to see the recommendation.  Schools will automatically discount any reco which has been seen by the applicant.  Why?  Because they know that in the spirit of saving face, a recommendation that has been seen by the applicant is likely to be padded, or at the very least, not completely honest. 
Trusting your recommender is paramount.Since you’re going to pass on seeing the recommendation, you’ve got to believe the person writing it is in your corner.  This will take some soul searching and some thoughtful analysis.  Are you picking someone because you think their title or reputation will make a good impression or are you choosing someone because they have valuable insight into the impact you have made in the workplace?  Always choose the latter.  Schools are not impressed by a c-level recommender who paints a superficial picture.  They are far more interested in hearing from someone who knows you well.
How can you ensure someone is in your corner?Spend some time meeting with and talking with your potential recommenders.  Don’t ask them right away to take it on before you unpack your career vision and your business school plans.  Make sure they know why you want the MBA and how you plan to leverage it.  Then remind them of achievements or performance that was impressive. Don’t expect them to remember it on their own.  Once you have someone who checks all the boxes, you have a good candidate. 
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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Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton
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Dual Identity  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Dual Identity
If you are a typical MBA applicant, you are ambitious, hard-charging and busy as a beaver.  Just remember when you apply that it’s not all about work achievements.We all have a dual identity.  There’s the person we are at work and the person we are outside of work.  This is not to imply that we are somehow different people in each circumstance (although we all know someone whose personality looks very different when they are on the clock vs. off).  This simply means that we hopefully “have a life” outside of work.
Applying to business school is not like applying to a job.  When you’re applying to a job, your potential employer might ask you what you do for fun outside of work, but it’s more of an ice-breaker.  They really could not care less about your personal life as long as you can pass a background check. 
B-schools actually care about the person you are when you are off the clock. Why?  Well, for starters, business school is an all-in existence for two years.  You will spend more time engaged in your full time MBA program that you will ever spend on the job.  It’s almost like getting married…till graduation you part.  Business schools need to know that you are smart, insightful, hardworking, and…tolerable. 
Playing well in the sandbox is of high importance to the admissions committees. You can be the smartest person they’ve ever met, but if they perceive for one second that you cannot get along with people, you’re toast.  It goes beyond your average workplace cordiality.  We’re talking about late-night, all-night, Sunday-night compatibility here. 
When writing your essays, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of oversharing about your workplace achievements and under-sharing from your personal life.  A good balance of who you are as a professional and who you are as a person is what will paint the best picture.  Unlike superheroes, exposing your dual identity to the adcoms will set you apart and make you appealing as a well-rounded leader whose potential is unlimited.  At least you hope for that kind of impression.
 
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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In-State vs. Out-of-State MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2019, 22:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: In-State vs. Out-of-State MBA
When choosing an MBA program, finances are often a consideration. Qualifying as an in-state student can sometimes save a ton.Depending on your choice of programs, paying in-state tuition vs. out of state tuition can make a big difference in how much your MBA ultimately costs.  While private schools have the same rate for either, public institutions can sometimes charge up to four times the price for nonresident tuition.
Unlike undergrad, however, it’s sometimes easier to qualify for in-state tuition.  Back when you were applying to college, you were pretty much forced to declare residency in the state where you went to high school, but as a graduate student, if your job can be flexible to accomodate it, you can “set up shop” in the state where your target program is located and potentially qualify for in-state tuition.
Setting up residency in a new state obviously takes some planning.But many companies today allow work from home arrangements, so in theory, if you were going to move to go back to grad school anyway, why not go ahead and do so a year early? 
Most programs require at least one year of local residency before they will afford you the in-state discounts.This means not only thinking way ahead of most people, but also placing a bet on your gaining admission to your target school.  Unless you choose a state which has multiple programs you’d be happy with (and can get into), once you establish your residency, you’re locked in.  You can’t apply as a non-resident and then move once you get in, because most notification dates from the admissions committees are less than a year from matriculation.  Other schools have rules about changing residency anyway, so even if the timeline works, the school’s board of regents or other governing body may have rules that prohibit residency changes after the application is received. 
Ultimately, you should choose a program based on fit vs. cost.Even if you can save $50K or more with a creative plan to gain in-state discounts, if it’s not the right program for you, the opportunity cost over the course of your post-MBA career can far outweigh the sunk cost of tuition.  Better to choose the best school for your desired learning environment and post MBA vision than to save a few bucks on the front end.  You’ll likely make it up in the long run with the right school choice.
 
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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Failure is an Option  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2019, 15:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Failure is an Option
Your whole life you have probably heard the battle cry, “Failure is not an option.”  When it comes to MBA applications, however, it certainly is.Failure is a teacher like no other because we learn far more from failure than we do from success.  After all, successes might be luck, but failure usually comes from our own decisions.  There is always something we could have done differently to have avoided it.
Business schools know this.  Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison are both credited with the quote, “I have not failed.  I have merely found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”  Well said.  And business schools want to hear about these failures. In fact, you can almost guarantee that somewhere in your MBA application journey, whether it be in your application or in your interview, at some point you will be asked the question:
What is your greatest failure?This question is something you should definitely spend some time pondering.  I’ll give you a hint, the only wrong answer is that you haven’t failed.  People who haven’t failed at anything either haven’t been around the block enough times or have not taken risks appropriate with MBA-level leadership.  You need to have had some failures in order to have the perspective on how to sidestep future failures.  The deeper and more meaningful the failure, the more valuable your perspective. 
Does this mean you should go out and engineer a failure?No. Failures are not mere fodder for applications.  If you manufacture one, schools can sniff it out.  It is only in the trenches of real risk and true failure that the learning will be evident.  If you find yourself having trouble thinking of a time you failed, you either need to think more creatively or take another lap or two.  Failures don’t have to be dramatic or catastrophic.  It might be as simple as losing influence at work on a project or suggesting an idea that turned out to be a poor one.  The point is, we have all fallen short in life somewhere, so re-visit your past, both personal and professional, swallow your pride, and get real about admitting when you have failed.  It may sound counter-intuitive, but the maturity and perspective it communicates to the adcoms may be just the thing that makes you relatable and admissible as an MBA student. 
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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Unemployment Rocks!  [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2019, 19:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Unemployment Rocks!
One of the best things going for your odds of admission to a top MBA program is a historically low unemployment rate.  As stressful as it is to be unemployed, it is equally blissful to have a good job on lockdown.  Right now in the US, we are experiencing an incredibly low unemployment rate.  No matter how you stand politically, you can’t argue with this reality.  It’s a number we have not seen since the 1960’s and it’s causing all kinds of headaches for business schools. 
B-schools thrive on having a deep pool of qualified candidates each year clamoring for coveted seats in their programs.  That pool is extremely shallow right now. Normally, competition fortop b-schools is good for the industry, because business school is all about merit-based qualifications.  When the economy is humming, however, all these well-qualified business school candidates are happily and gainfully employed and much less likely to leave their jobs for two years.  While it’s been a boon for part-time and evening programs, the stalwart two-year, full-time MBA programs, upon which the entire ranking of a school is based, are suffering. 
For applicants, this is very good news.Why?  Because schools are now having to reconsider the hurdles they normally require for admission.  While no school wants the quality level of their incoming classes to suffer, you will find in this environment a bit more leniency of things like GMAT score or GPA, as well as more a more generous fellowship and scholarship offering.
There’s been no better time to apply to business school in the past three decades.  The odds of admission are definitely in your favor like never before, but don’t get too cocky.  Schools are only willing to relax their requirements so far before they risk a real quality dip which can impact the employability of the class and the level of and benefits of the classroom experience.  No matter how small the class gets, schools know it’s not worth the long term risk to allow unqualified applicants to matriculate in the short term.  They have worked too hard to breathe the rarified air of top-tier status.  If you have good core qualifications, however, and a solid vision for why you want to go to school and why now is the right time, you’d be crazy to let this opportunity pass you by. So, while unemployment is bad news if you don’t have a job, it’s great news if you’re looking to apply for an 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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Story Sells  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2019, 07:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Story Sells
Maya Angelou once said people don’t remember what you say, they remember how you made them feel.  When writing essays for business school, it’s important to use stories to achieve this.Imagine how many essays a typical admissions committee member reads.  Thousands.  Year after year.  Needless to say, they probably all start to sound the same.  Particularly when applicants use essay questions to list resume achievements like so many checklists, it likely borders on monotony for the reader.
Never list your achievements.Listing your accomplishments is the best way to immediately become forgotten.  Instead, weave your accomplishments into a story.  Stories sell.  Stories get remembered. Why?  Because stories ignite the limbic system in the brain, the parts which control both emotion and memory.  That right there should be enough to convince you to tell stories.  When you move someone on an emotional level and simultaneously trigger their memory, you have a recipe for success in getting to yes.  By the way, the limbic system in the brain also controls motivation. Don’t you want the adcom to be motivated to choose you?
The biggest problem when using stories is in keeping them succinct. Not only because MBA essays generally have word limits, but also because you want to be punchy and impactful, keeping it brief is paramount.  It’s also incredibly frustrating.  The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words begins to become a challenge when you can only use words to paint a picture. 
One practical exercise to use when pairing down a story into an elevator pitch is to start big.Go ahead and write the entire story out without any regard for how long it is.  This will get your creative juices flowing and ensure you capture every detail.  Once you have the long version, you can ask yourself the most important question of all:  Why are you telling them this?  When you start with why, you will uncover the core elements of a story which must be told to convey emotion, passion and the critical information that makes something sticky instead of forgettable.  Once you have this done, it’s just a matter of cleaning it up and polishing it off!
To find out more about your options and how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or contact us via http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact
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Work Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2019, 14:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Work Experience
There’s so much you must do to impress the admissions committee, but above all, it’s your work experience which makes the biggest impression.Business school is an incredibly unique graduate school option because it’s the only graduate school where you don’t usually enter directly following your under-graduation.  Think about it. Every single master’s or doctorate program including law school and medical school is typically taken on directly after your undergraduate experience. 
Business school is different.One of the most valuable things about business school is what you glean from your classmates.  This means that admissions committees are very keen on selecting applicants who bring something to the table from their real-world experience.  Does this mean that they never matriculate someone without post-undergrad experience?  No.  But it is very uncommon for them to ever invite someone to join the class who does not bring something valuable to the table.
What you have achieved professionally is extremely valuable when discussing cases in a classroom setting.Think of business school as a two-year seminar in practical analysis of the most common business problems.  You are learning not only from the textbooks and the professor, but from the collective experience of everyone in your class.  Fully 75% or more of business school work is done on a team as a collaborative exercise, so imagine how much richer the project work is when you are tapping the minds of your colleagues who have actually been out there executing real-world projects. 
What you bring to the table must be thoughtfully conveyed in your application.  Don’t miss this.  Your resume is not enough to bring to life what you have achieved professionally and how valuable it might be to someone else.  Don’t miss this.  What you have done in your career is extremely useful to someone outside your industry no matter how straightforward or pedestrian it may seem to you.  In turn, you will receive wise insight from others who have experience outside your own comfort zone.  Thus is the magic of business school.
 
For information on how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or go to http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact
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Resume Control of your Resume  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2019, 09:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Resume Control of your Resume
Resumes have become so wrote that they garner very little consideration.  But for business school applications, you must take control back over this important tool if you want to make the best impression.Some might think of a resume as a simple list of work responsibilities or a timetable of past achievements.  For a job application, this approach to writing a resume might work out fine, but when you’re applying to business school, the first thing you must realize is one very important thing:
The chance to get your selling points across to adcoms is extremely limited.Over the years, word counts have become incredibly stingy, in part because of the increase in applications has put tremendous pressure on admissions committees to process applications quickly.  While this makes things better for the schools in some ways, it makes things very challenging for applicants, who have to constrict their messaging strategy down to a precision approach. 
The resume is one of the few things in a b-school application without a word limit.Now you can see why resuming control over the resume can be powerful.  Think of the resume as the place to not only list your achievements, but also to begin describing why a particular achievement was important to you.  Unpacking why you did the things you have done is way more important that what you did, because it allows the schools to dig more deeply into who you are and what makes you tick.  You don’t have to take this overboard, and you can certainly go too far, but a brief example of this might be:
Regular resume: “Led sales team of three to exceed annual target by 30%”B-school resume: “Leveraged servant leadership to inspire sales team of three to reach beyond our goals annually as a cohesive unit”See how the latter description makes you want to hear more?  It also doesn’t sound like typical resume language and communicates not only the result, but a little bit about the leadership style.  So before you upload that tired old resume that you used to get your last job, you might try going through each line asking yourself, “what does this communicate to the reader and why is it relevant to my case for getting into school?”  You might just unlock a whole new way to showcase yourself!
For information on how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or go to http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact
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Time Out  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2019, 09:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Time Out
We’re only a few weeks away from some major 2019 MBA application release dates.  Perhaps you should start the process with a time out?Time outs in sports competitions are typically taken when things are out of control or when athletes need a break, and for good reason.  Time outs are a chance to rest, re-set and strategize.  Time outs allow us to check in with our original plans and course of action to make sure we’re still on-track.  It may be counter-intuitive to think about a time out before you even begin something, but when it comes to MBA applications, taking some time “off” in advance of the application onslaught can be a secret weapon.
Rarely in your life have you ever had to do such a thorough self-assessment as you will right now.While not everyone can actually take a week of vacation to do introspection, if you can pull it off, you can really set yourself up for success with your MBA applications.  With or without actual time off from your job, however, it’s critical to find room in your schedule to not only map out your application plan, but also to begin doing a deep dive into your core motivations for your decision to go back to school.
Why MBA?  Why Now?  Why You? Why Here?These four simple questions are perhaps the most critical things to start with.  Every school is essentially trying to get to these answers in every applicant.  You will soon notice some version of these questions hidden or explicitly woven into all the applications.  It’s not always obvious, either.  For example, the why now question is partially addressed in your resume alone.  If your resume doesn’t indicate readiness, you will be hard pressed to answer that question directly.
When setting aside time to explore your approach, you might want to begin with a personal statement and write about how your life has brought you answers to these four questions.  You can also use your time out to explore school choices, which is the second most important decision beyond deciding to go back to school in the first place.  It will also give you time to chat with consultants so you can choose the right one.  However you organize your time out, just be sure to do it.  The next several months are going to get increasingly frenetic for you, so starting with an organized mind is the best thing you can do to end up with the best application possible.
 For information on how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or go to http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact
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Four Questions  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2019, 10:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Four Questions
When applying to business school, there are essentially only four questions you must answer.MBA applications are tedious.  There are essays, lists, the resume, the recommenders.  The list goes on and on.  When you boil it down to its bare essence, however, there are really only four basic questions the schools are asking:
Why MBA? Why now? Why this School? and Why you?As they say, the devil is in the details, so while these questions seem very straightforward, how you answer them could make or break the application altogether.  Let’s take them one by one.
Why MBA?This question is probably the easiest one to answer, yet still has plenty of nuances.  Of course everyone wants to make more money and open up higher levels of responsibility, but these answers will not win you much favor with the admissions committees.  You should use this question to explore why gaining more responsibility is important to you.  Try to think of reasons why an MBA is important to you personally, not reasons that anyone could answer. In fact, if you ask yourself “could someone else say this?” you might want to rethink it.
Why Now?Timing is everything as they say, so your target schools will want to know why you have chosen this year to go back to school. Note that this question indeed gets this specific. The answer is not just generally speaking, such as, “I’ve been working for a few years and it seemed like a good time to return to grad school.” No—they are asking why this year and not last year or next year.  Each application cycle represents a set of limited seats in their program, so if you can’t come up with specific reasons why this particular cycle is a uniquely optimal time for you to go back, it makes it easy for schools to suggest you come back later, or worse, that you missed your window already.
Why this School?Crafting a compelling argument for why your target school is a good fit for you is critical.  The answer to this question is what can potentially set you apart from the applicants who are just throwing their names in with a half dozen schools without much thought to why that school is going to uniquely position you for success.  Do you research and make sure you visit in person.
Why You?This is the most important question of all.  The why you question must address not only why you feel you fit at your target school, but also why you should be getting an MBA at all.  Why you vs. another applicant is what the adcoms wrestle with on a daily basis during application season.  How well you craft your story will either resonate with them or leave them forgetting you altogether.  This is where you must make your personal case for admission and describe what you bring to the table.  Much of the b-school experience draws from the collective contributions of the incoming class.  How will your classmates benefit from your being there?  If you nail any one of the four basic questions down tight, make it this one.
For information on how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or go to http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact
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The Four Questions  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2019, 11:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Four Questions
When applying to business school, there are essentially only four questions you must answer.MBA applications are tedious.  There are essays, lists, the resume, the recommenders.  The list goes on and on.  When you boil it down to its bare essence, however, there are really only four basic questions the schools are asking:
Why MBA? Why now? Why this School? and Why you?As they say, the devil is in the details, so while these questions seem very straightforward, how you answer them could make or break the application altogether.  Let’s take them one by one.
Why MBA?This question is probably the easiest one to answer, yet still has plenty of nuances.  Of course everyone wants to make more money and open up higher levels of responsibility, but these answers will not win you much favor with the admissions committees.  You should use this question to explore why gaining more responsibility is important to you.  Try to think of reasons why an MBA is important to you personally, not reasons that anyone could answer. In fact, if you ask yourself “could someone else say this?” you might want to rethink it.
Why Now?Timing is everything as they say, so your target schools will want to know why you have chosen this year to go back to school. Note that this question indeed gets this specific. The answer is not just generally speaking, such as, “I’ve been working for a few years and it seemed like a good time to return to grad school.” No—they are asking why this year and not last year or next year.  Each application cycle represents a set of limited seats in their program, so if you can’t come up with specific reasons why this particular cycle is a uniquely optimal time for you to go back, it makes it easy for schools to suggest you come back later, or worse, that you missed your window already.
Why this School?Crafting a compelling argument for why your target school is a good fit for you is critical.  The answer to this question is what can potentially set you apart from the applicants who are just throwing their names in with a half dozen schools without much thought to why that school is going to uniquely position you for success.  Do you research and make sure you visit in person.
Why You?This is the most important question of all.  The why you question must address not only why you feel you fit at your target school, but also why you should be getting an MBA at all.  Why you vs. another applicant is what the adcoms wrestle with on a daily basis during application season.  How well you craft your story will either resonate with them or leave them forgetting you altogether.  This is where you must make your personal case for admission and describe what you bring to the table.  Much of the b-school experience draws from the collective contributions of the incoming class.  How will your classmates benefit from your being there?  If you nail any one of the four basic questions down tight, make it this one.
For information on how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or go to http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact
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Closed For Business (School)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2019, 20:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Closed For Business (School)
Tippie School of business at University of Iowa closed its doors last month for full time MBA students after 160 years.  Will your target b-school be next?The closing of full-time MBA programs has become almost contagious.  The ever-expanding economy has been great for stock prices and employment rates, but horrible for encouraging workers to return to graduate school.  Profitability of full-time programs is already tough enough to keep in the black, and with more and more schools losing money on their programs (Tippie’s last class was only 42 students large), many have been forced to seek alternative approaches or face shutting down the program altogether. 
Some schools are have followed the lure of online MBA programming.The University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business, for example, recently announced the scrapping of its full time MBA program in favor of its online MBA option, which they call the iMBA, launched in 2015 and growing ever since. Online programs are scalable, more profitable, and more appealing to full time employees who don’t feel like walking away from a swanky full time job to go back to graduate school.
While it’s nearly impossible to guess which schools might be next to scrap their full time MBA program, it may be possible to guess.  It would be inappropriate to speculate in this blog post (after all, we don’t want to start any rumors), but a good place to start would be with investigating the enrollment of your target programs over the past three years.
If an MBA program has a diminishing class size, they may be in trouble.Most schools trend about the same class size over a number of years, so if this average class size has taken a big dive recently, and particularly if they are starting to see class sizes with 75 or fewer students, it might be a sign they are in trouble. Another sign that a school might be considering scuttling their FT program would be if they have had rapid growth in their alternative programs.  Most schools who close their full time program do not scrap the entire MBA program, but will often just re-allocate faculty and staff resources to executive programs, part-time programs and online programs.
Never hesitate to reach out to the admissions committee directly to inquire about the health or longevity of their full time MBA program.Schools will be upfront about any plans in place to dial-down their full-time MBA program and rest assured, they would never pull the plug between a cohort’s first and second year.  So while you can be certain you would be able to finish a program you start, you will not be able to guarantee the long-term viability of any program outside the tried-and-true top tier.  If long term MBA networkability is a concern, you may want to put some extra research time into any program you are targeting which runs a risk of altering their structure to limit the number of graduates.
For information on how we can guide your business school application process, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or go to http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact
 
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