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Amerasia MBA Blog

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Three Keys  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2019, 13:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Three Keys
There are three keys to every successful MBA application.  You need to leverage them as you attempt to put your best foot forward.Applying to business school is very similar to a sales pitch or a legal case.  You are basically crafting a presentation which will hopefully convince a school to offer one of their coveted seats to you vs. your “competitors.”  While on one hand, it is counterproductive to consider your fellow applicants as competitors, when it comes to making your case, you’d better at least be considering how to differentiate yourself.
The three keys to success in any winning MBA application are: Strengths, Motivation and Fit.Let’s start with your strengths.  Every school is trying to discover the things about you and your experience which will make you a good classmate.  Every MBA program relies heavily on the collective experience and input of every cohort member to elevate the learning both inside and outside the classroom, so what you bring to the table is vitally important to convey in a compelling way on the front end if you want to stand out.
Remember that your strengths are not just from your professional life.You may have impressive personal strengths as well, and since b-school is an all-in experience, these personal strengths can position you well to “play in the sandbox” with others in a positive way.  One good way to approach your strengths is to not only ask what it is that you do well, but why you do it well.  Asking why is actually the oil on the gears for all three keys. When you begin to unearth why you are good at something, you are beginning to offer the kind of memorable insight that can earn you a seat.
Motivation is one of the most insightful traits you can demonstrate in the MBA application process.What motivates you will reveal to the adcoms the kind of leader you are and have the potential to be.  Of course this goes well beyond simply what is motivating you to go back to business school (a standard question in almost every application).  Think about what motivates you as a person---what gets you excited and causes your core passions to bubble up.  Again, you must reveal not only what it is that motivates you but why…
Demonstrating fit with a school can be the make-or-break evidence to being accepted.Fit is something that could take an entire book to discuss, but in a nutshell, you must convince the admissions committees that the uniqueness of you dovetails with the uniqueness of their program.  It’s not as simple as identifying a school’s expertise in marketing and connecting it with your desire to be a brand manager.  While this kind of professional fit is certainly valid, fit with a school must also be explored personally and culturally.  Every school has a personality, so go visit, meet with students and alumni and try to decipher the nuances which align with your own personality and desires. If you leverage these three keys in your application, you will be well on your way to a positive admissions decision.
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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It's Not About You  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: It's Not About You
When it comes to impressing the MBA admissions committees, it’s actually not about you…it’s about them.Making a splash with top tier business schools is not easy. Tens of thousands of applicants each year try to do so and most of them fall into the same trap: talking about themselves in the most favorable way possible. While it’s true that you must toot your own horn in order to get some attention in the process, you must also remember that you can blow your horn so loudly that you forget to consider what’s in it for them.
Business school admissions committees are on a mission every cycle to build the strongest class possible. They are hand-selecting applicants with the experience and personality which they perceive will synergize with the rest of the class.  Like an artist selecting colors from a palette, the adcoms mix and swirl the applications together until they can see the perfect mix of MBA candidates who will work together, sharpen each other and contribute the most unique and valuable perspectives they can find in the collective classroom experience.
Keep what you bring to the table top of mind throughout each and every question on the application.Of course bragging is poor form, so a trick you can use to keep from sounding overconfident or cocksure, is to frame your best offerings not around what you have done or can do, but why you feel you are good at it.  When you start with why, it allows you to reveal your inner makeup, how you are wired.  Most of our strengths are a result of our natural abilities and not necessarily what we have worked hard to achieve.  When you present your strengths from a place of humility and why they might be valuable to someone else, it takes the edge off, because you are considering others.  You can also expose an honest view of your shortcomings by offering what you hope to get from the experience of others. 
This kind of seasoned perspective will impress the committee by making you sound mature and self-aware, both traits which are attractive to b-schools.   In the end, remember what C.S. Lewis said about humility:
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”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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Forecasting Success  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Forecasting Success
When it comes to impressing the top MBA admissions committees, it’s the vision you project of your future which can compel them to admit you.Detailing your past achievements in your MBA application is vital to a winning application.  After all, business school is largely about what you can bring from your work and personal experiences into the classroom to make you an interesting and valuable cohort member.  But what about your post MBA plans? Does it really matter what you plan to do after business school, or is it just about killing it up front to make the best impression?
The short answer is, how you position your post MBA career can make or break the entire application.One of the most powerful impressions you can make on an MBA program’s admissions committee is being mature.  Being mature can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, but there’s no better way to show them you are ready for b-school than to have a convincing vision of your future.  When you confidently convey your path forward, it makes you sound like you’ve been around the block a few times.  This can be what separates the ready from the not ready. 
Casting a clear vision of your future also makes you sound like a leader, and leadership dovetails very well with maturity.One question we often get from clients is, ‘what if I don’t know exactly what I want to do?”  Don’t be dismayed by this fear.  The best way to overcome uncertainty or ambivalence is actually very simple:  just choose something and go with it.  The adcoms aren’t going to probe you on how sure you are about your plans, they will only compare your vision to what they assess is the likelihood that you will pull it off.  This means that you must be grounded in your vision-casting.  Don’t reach for the stars if you’ve never even looked through a telescope.  Your future plans must make sense and tie into your past achievements.  Even if you are changing careers, you need to connect your strengths to your post MBA career plans in a way that will convince the adcoms you can actually pull it off.  In the end, if you can back up your vision with your resume and come across as sincere in in your vision, the adcoms will believe it too.
 
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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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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Two for One?  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2019, 10:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Two for One?
Having trouble deciding between your target school’s MBA program offerings?  What if you didn’t have to choose?Like most consumer choices in the marketplace today, MBA programs know that one size does not fit all.  There’s been an extreme amount of tailoring post graduate business education over the decades, to the point that today’s MBA applicants have a myriad of diverse options when going back to b-school.
One of the most common choices is full-time vs. part-time MBA.This one decision can dramatically affect your career since it dramatically affects how you use your time.  For schools with both full time and part time options, it can be frustrating deciding which way to go, but it doesn’t have to be.  Many schools now will consider you for both programs with one application. Even though you generally disclose which one you are most interested in, the schools themselves can help you decide which one is the best fit.
One year programs are often offered up as an alternative for applicants who may not be a match for a school’s full time, two-year program.If you majored in business as an undergrad and are having trouble hitting the GMAT score required to make you competitive for a school’s two-year program, you may get a phone call from admissions to explore your interest in their one-year program.  One-year programs are cheaper and more efficient since they skip much of the business basics you learned as a undergrad.   Since the schools are not required to report the admissions stats on one-year programs to the rankings boards, they can also be more lenient on the admissions decisions as well.
The good news about a one-year MBA, is it still says MBA on your diploma and resume.As a terminal degree, the MBA is hopefully the last stop on the graduate school train for you, and employers don’t generally poke around for exactly which flavor of MBA you obtained.  This can mean you save money, get into the school of your choice and finish early.  Not a bad deal in the current economy, where every minute in business school is a minute not earning a nice salary.  So if you’re not sure which program at your target school is most ideal for you, don’t be shy about reaching out to the admissions office to discuss.  You might just find they will invite you to do one application and be considered for several versions of their MBA.  It won’t hurt to ask.
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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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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Singing the GPA blues  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Singing the GPA blues
The GPA is the only thing you can’t do anything about in your MBA application.  Are you singing the GPA Blues?Singing the blues is a bit of an oxymoron.  On the one hand, you are depressed, but on the other hand, you’re singing, so you can’t really be truly depressed.  It’s the same with your GPA.  Getting poor or embarrassing grades in college is regrettable because you can’t go back and change them.  It’s a cold reality that will stare the admissions committees at your target MBA programs square in the face. If you don’t like your GMAT score, you can work hard and take it again.  If you are unhappy with your professional achievements, you can work hard and get a promotion.  But that blasted GPA is hanging over you like, well, a bad hangover.  The reason you can actually sing about it is because it’s not as important as you think.
While the GPA is unchangeable, it is also the most forgivable of all the core application requirements. Schools know that there is a wide disparity among undergraduate institutions when it comes to handing out grades.  Some schools are known for going easy and others are notoriously difficult.  If you went to a decent school, the adcoms are going to be familiar with that school’s grading history.  It’s actually far better in fact to have gone to a ranked undergraduate institution and suffered some grade slippage than to have gone to a no-name school and done well.  But regardless, the adcoms will always take into consideration that your college experience was the first stop on your higher-ed journey and will take with a grain of salt how well you did or didn’t do there. 
Certainly having good grades can only help, but having poor grades does not necessarily mean doom.The key to overcoming a bad GPA is in convincing the adcoms in other ways that you possess the academic mettle to hang with a rigorous program.  See if you can demonstrate quantitative acumen through your work experiences.  Certainly your recommenders can vouch for how well you handle complex analysis or calculations in the workplace?  You can also take a continuing education course or two and post a good grade.  Just make sure you send along the transcript when you apply for an MBA program. 
While it’s not a good idea to grovel, explaining a poor performance in college can and should perhaps be outlined in the optional essay.Even though it’s a forgivable sin, schools will still want to know why you performed poorly so they can ascertain if the behavior was isolated or may be repeated.  One of the best ways to get them to forget all about it is to have a decent amount of post-undergrad work experience under your belt.  The more time that has passed since you made poor grades, the less concerned the adcoms will be.  The good news is, the rankings don’t focus much on average GPA of the incoming class, at least not as much as they do on the average GMAT score. But that is a topic for another day.
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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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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Celebrating the Military  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2019, 06:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Celebrating the Military
This week is a good time for all of us to think about and celebrate our military.  If you are actually in the military or are a veteran, it’s also a good time to think about b-school.Business schools have always had a positive bias towards military applicants, which makes sense.  No matter where you plan to apply, you can guarantee that every school will be keenly interested in your leadership experience and as a core component of military training, leadership is also a core competency expected from every b-school applicant.  In short, it’s a natural fit.  The military is obviously one of the strongest training grounds for being a leader. In fact, there may be no better place in the world for sharpening the skills of leading others than in the service of the military.
When coupled with a diminishing applicant pool size, now is a great time to consider going back to school if you are in a good spot to transition out of your military assignment.As an officer, you have likely had opportunities to directly lead a wide diversity of individuals and motivate complex groups to work in harmony.  High quality precision and thoughtful decision-making have been a daily routine, so re-focusing your experience in the secular world post-military will be the key to convincing schools you are ready to make the switch.
One mistake to avoid is using too much military language in your application. The military service speaks for itself, but everyone in the military knows well that each branch has its own language.   This means you must be careful when describing your experience to a committee of non-military business school folks so that you don’t lose them in the jargon.  The longer you have been in the military, the more likely it is that you may not even recognize this problem.  A good way to remedy this is to have a non-military person or consultant read your essays. 
Always try to frame your past experience around your future vision, one that does not involve the military.  When you think of the translatable skills you bring to the table and how they will fit into a post-military career plan, it can help you find the everyday language to articulate your move.  One final tip: b-schools expect military applicants to have confidence in their plans.  While b-school is obviously a place to re-set your professional trajectory, it would be off-putting to the adcoms for a military applicant to come in without a clear plan forward.  Even if you are not quite sure what you will do, at least project a solid idea for now so the admissions committees will give you full credit for your military training, part of which includes decisiveness.  And thank you for your service!
 
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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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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Everything Bagel  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2019, 09:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Everything Bagel
Being super successful often makes you hyper-involved.  But does being an everything bagel help or hurt you when applying to b-school?The most common type-A business school applicant appears to have superhuman energy, engaging themselves deeply in both work and extra-professional activities.  They are typically on boards, members in civic or community organizations, feeders of the hungry, and all-around doers for the common good.  At first blush, you might think it’s hard to compete with the applicant who is involved in everything, but you might be surprised at how the admissions committees view the everything bagel.
Nobody can truly do it all.This truism is not lost on the top schools.  They know the difference between authentic engagement and pure resume fodder.  They see it all the time by the hundreds every year.  What business schools are looking for is earnest engagement which stems from someone’s passion, not from their raw ability to out-engage others.  If you are loosely engaged with a dozen organizations, but aren’t impacting any of them, your laundry list of activities might get tossed in the reject pile. 
Authenticity is the key word.Business schools know that we all have just 24 hours in the day and no matter how good you are at time management, you are only able to be in one place at a time.  Everything bagels, while having no shortage of items to list on their resumes, have trouble speaking in detail about the depth of their contributions.  If you can’t articulate why you do something in a way that is compelling or moving, you might consider dropping it either from your resume or from your life altogether. 
MBA programs are seeking impressive, involved people who put their full effort into their passions.Being passionate about something takes time---plain and simple.  So if you have a list as long as your arm about things you are supposedly passionate about, somebody’s getting cheated on time.  You can’t be “all-in” for half a dozen organizations.  All-in by definition connotes a full measure of commitment.  The best approach to remedy over-involvement would be to pick two or three things you are truly inspired by and dive deeply into making a true impact.  Schools will be much more impressed with what you have done and why vs. how many things you have done.  There’s nothing wrong with a sesame bagel or a wheat bagel.  At least you know exactly what they are!
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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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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Making Lemonade  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Making Lemonade
If life gives you lemons, you know what you have to do…One of the most common hurdles when crafting a winning MBA application is overcoming a checkered past.  Whether it be a convoluted work history, a poor undergraduate record, or both, you must work around your shortcomings and make some lemonade if you want to get into a good school.
Business school is the only graduate program which cares so much about what you have done with your life.  Most other programs are all about GRE scores and grades.  While this can be welcome news for applicants who have better career achievements than academic ones, for those who were, well, adrift in their careers after college, it can be scary. Paying the proverbial fiddler now, MBA applicants often get stumped trying to explain what suddenly appear to be dumb career moves.
Finding a thread in your career is a must.The good news for professional meanderers is that b-schools don’t really care all that much what you did, as long as you have good reasons for having done it.  What schools want to see is how you built progressively on your career moves and made the most of your missteps.  One of the most impressive qualities of any MBA applicant is maturity, and there’s nothing more mature than owning your poor decisions.  Reflecting on them with wisdom and perspective can often overcome the bad choice itself. 
Those who come out on top can also tie their past into their future vision.It’s one thing to explain away a wrong turn here and there, and another thing altogether to use it as a stepping stone to what lies ahead.  If you can find the common link in all you have done and dovetail it skillfully into how you will forge ahead into a passionately conceived plan for the future, you might just be glad you fell on your face “back then.”
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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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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MBA Wedding Bells  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 19:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Wedding Bells
Finding your next career move is not the only thing to hope for in b-school. Some students also find their soul mate.It’s no secret that business school is a very common place to come across the person you will ultimately marry, and it makes sense.  You’re essentially locked together with your classmates 24-7 doing projects, crunching numbers and, well, having fun too.
Business school is tough, and everyone knows that tough tours create deep bonds.Just ask anyone in the military.  That’s why military training is so difficult---they want you to connect with your fellow soldiers.  While this is not necessarily the goal of business schools, it’s a natural outcome of working together through a laborious endeavor.  Business school is all about teamwork and you really get to know your teammates when you are staying up until the wee hours each night cramming or trying to finish a project. 
Business school is also full of impressive, dynamic people.It’s only logical that you might find someone attractive to you in this mix of hand-selected, thoroughly vetted, high-performing human beings. Because you all selected the same next step in life, it creates natural commonality and camaraderie.  People in this kind of intense situation are bound to increase the potential to fall in love.
There are some warnings, however, if you find yourself bitten by the love bug.Firstly, you must tap into your rational mind and make sure that the reason you feel this way about someone is not solely due to the circumstances.  Just like any high-flying mountain top experience, you have to make sure the infatuation will last when the roller coaster ride is over.  Secondly, you must have real discussions about your personal plans.  B-school opens up some incredible career doors, and a post-MBA career is essentially defined by long hours and nose-to-the-grindstone work ethics.  If you are unrealistic about expectations of each other, particularly if those expectations include having children and “settling down,” it could be a very short-lived romance. 
The modern “hook-up” culture could backfire badly when mixed with an MBA program. B-school is only two years, so try to avoid random romance without long-term intentions.  Remember that this is your lifetime network, so if you garner a reputation for disingenuous involvement with random partners, you could set yourself up for a ruinous post-MBA networking reputation as well. 
Statistically there will be several people in your program who hit the love lottery during a two year b-school cycle.  Perhaps it will be you? 
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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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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MBA Application 1-2-3  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2019, 07:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Application 1-2-3
If you are new to the MBA application game or even if you are trying again, it never hurts to start with the basics.As applications become available for top MBA programs, each year invites a new throng of b-school hopefuls clamoring for a seat in the class.  If you are among these bright-eyed, ambitious professionals, it’s likely you have already begun to organize your approach.  Whether you are applying for the first time, or returning as a re-applicant, however, there are three basic boxes you must check to pass the litmus test for MBA program application readiness…
1)      Progressively responsible work experienceYou’d be surprised how many applicants decide to return to graduate school before they have worked a shift in the real world.  While there are certainly exceptions to every rule, in general, no business school that’s worthy of your time will allow you to enter the classroom without bringing substantial, impactful work experience.  Business school is at least 50% about what you get from your classmates and the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives lends to the collective discussion in every business discipline. 
2)      An impressive undergrad college experienceIf you graduated with a 2.0 GPA from an unranked state school, you can expect challenges getting into a top MBA program.  While this is very bad news for anyone in this category, know that there are ways to overcome it, namely by bettering your pedigree through continuing education or impressive additional classroom experiences.  See if you can build an alternative transcript by taking coursework at a name-brand institution.  Even online courses can help if you find yourself lacking in academic prowess.
3)      A stellar GMAT scoreWhile a strong undergraduate experience can go a long way with the adcoms, a multitude of sins can be washed clean with a 7- handle on your GMAT score.  Test scores directly impact a school’s reputation through the rankings, so offering a boost to a school’s average can go a long way when convincing them you are top-tier MBA material.  Having trouble with the GMAT?  You’re in luck, because schools will now also accept the GRE as an alternative.  Often, applicants find the GRE more accessible and less intimidating, but whatever your favorite flavor of standardized test may be, make sure you are preparing adequately to post the best score you can.  It’s not all about the test score by any means, but a good one can really make a difference.
If you have at least these three basic components in your arsenal, you can now move to the next step, which is to make sure you have the nuanced components which will distinguish your application from the rest.
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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What's the Rush?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2019, 18:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: What's the Rush?
Some people just can’t wait to go back to business school.Returning for your MBA is a very exciting endeavor.  Business Schools are the DisneyWorld of graduate education…nobody fails out and there’s no dissertation or annoying thesis to write.  For a terminal degree, you really can’t do better than an MBA for return on investment either.  And it impacts your earning power for the rest of your career.  Why not go back and get this amazingly magical degree as soon as possible?
In a word, the reason to avoid rushing back to business school is: readiness.While it’s true MBA programs do not require the extensive research prowess that most graduate degrees do, the tradeoff is that you must come having logged some impressive real world experience.  In a way, you must think of business school’s work experience requirement as your thesis---you spend 2-5 years in the school of hard knocks, and you “graduate” with the credential of perspective.
The perspective you offer in the classroom from your career achievements is your punch ticket to a successful admissions decision.Very few business school students get into top programs without any work experience.  While it does happen from time to time, it’s often done by whiz-kids who started a business as an undergrad, got a perfect score on the GMAT, or knocked it out of the proverbial park with some kind of community-based impact story.  Often, it’s all of the above.  So if you’re one of those impatient types who thinks you can skip the heavy lifting and just go back to b-school straight out of undergrad, the stats disagree. 
Basically any school you’d want a degree from won’t give you a seat straight out of undergrad.Trust me, you don’t want to go to that program anyway.  Why?  Because if they let you in without any work experience, then odds are you aren’t the only one.  This means your classmates also may not have much to add to the discussion, which when taken collectively means nobody is getting as much out of the experience in the program that they should be getting.
So suck it up, put away those applications and get out there and work for a few years.  You will thank me later.
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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Girl Power  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2019, 20:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Girl Power
It’s good to be applying to b-school as a woman.If you are a woman and thinking about going back for your MBA, your timing could not be better.  Unlike undergraduate programs, where more females than males apply and matriculate, for MBA programs, the opposite is true.  MBA programs the world over literally clamor for women applicants because it’s always best to have a balance of the sexes if you can achieve it.
The problem with MBA programs is, arriving at gender parity has proven unachievable.Even the most aggressive programs for gender equity can only ever achieve around a 40-45% female student body.  This means that being female in the application process is a technical advantage.  If you happen to be a female with competitive profile characteristics, such as a killer GMAT score, a top undergrad transcript and impressive work experience, you can essentially write your own ticket.  This means fellowship and scholarship offers among other perquisites if you play your cards right. 
The advantage for women does not stop at the MBA level either—it continues into the job offers.The two years of business school fly and before you know it, it’s time to consider job offers.  These days, with a low unemployment rate and fewer female graduates at top MBA programs, the recruiters are even more aggressive than the schools when making job offers to women.  What you need to be prepared for is how to manage exploding offers and other aggressive tactics to get you to sign on the line that is dotted. 
Weighing your offers for MBA programs as well as jobs in the end can be taxing.Still, it’s hard to complain about such an abundance of riches.  One way to combat decision paralysis is to choose wisely when selecting your internship.  The summer between your first and second year of business school can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  If you put the work and thought in up front and end up in an internship you love, the chances are extremely high that you will end up with a job offer before you even start back for your second year of classes. This can take a lot of pressure off and also give you an extreme amount of time back on your schedule while all your indecisive classmates spend four or five evenings a week at recruiter events. 
In the end, if you do find yourself being fought over by schools and recruiters, try not to let it go to your head, but instead be free with support and help for your poor male colleagues who may not have as many suitors.
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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Act Early  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2019, 18:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Act Early
As you begin pulling together your MBA applications for round one, you have a very critical decision to make:  leverage early action deadlines, or apply regular round.The early action decision from b-schools is a relatively new phenomenon from a historical perspective.  The option for applicants to go “all in” with a particular school in exchange for preferential consideration, however, was met with so much success, that it spread fairly rapidly across the industry. 
The truth about b-schools is, no matter how highly they are ranked, none of them enjoy battling the yield demons.For those new to higher ed application world, yield is simply the percentage of applicants who have been offered admission who actually end up saying yes.  Most people realize that far more applicants are accepted to b-school than there are seats available.  The reason for this is fairly obvious:  people apply to multiple schools, yet they can only attend one.  The reason this is frustrating for b-schools in particular is that they are expensive, and count on filling every seat to generate an extraordinary amount of revenue.  They literally can’t afford to leave empty seats, since capacity utilization is critical to meeting their budgets and paying their very expensive faculty (b-school faculty are among the highest paid in all of higher ed).
To combat yield, b-schools first began requiring early deposits, but this soon failed to deter applicants from backing out.Let’s face it:  what’s a couple thousand dollars when compared to spending $150K to attend your dream school. The early action approach has been far more effective, because many schools now require a commitment up front, essentially amounting to giving “your word” that you will drop other applications, making a deposit and attending the school.  In fact, if you fail to honor this commitment, schools have been known to actually notify other schools of this dishonorable choice, resulting in the applicant’s rejection. Clearly you would not want to go the early action route unless you are truly ready to lock in.
Never forget that MBA world is extremely small, so don’t assume another school won’t find out about your decision to renege on a commitment.The good news is, if you are convinced you have decided on a particular school (aka your “favorite choice”), then the early action offering is a great choice.  Schools love to fill seats early (thereby reducing the extent to which they will end up playing the yield game), so they do indeed relax their tough admissions standards slightly in order to do so.  Now, don’t start thinking you’ll get into Duke or Virginia with a 500 GMAT and unimpressive work experience.  While they can indeed afford to bend a bit here or there, even early action candidates must meet minimum qualifications.  But if you have one area in particular in your candidate profile that troubles you, you might find that early action is a way to have it overlooked.
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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MBA Deferral Programs  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2019, 19:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Deferral Programs
 
Being accepted in advance by a top MBA program can really take the pressure off.  Or put it on.What was once a very limited concept has become almost commonplace in the MBA universe.  Harvard forged the way many years ago with their 2+2 program, where undergrads eager to secure their seat at HBS were allowed to apply while still enrolled in college, then upon acceptance, would work in the “real world” for two years before matriculating.  They now allow deferral for up to four years, but there are no specific work requirements. The idea caught on and now there are several reputable “early admissions” or “deferred admissions” programs.
The jumping in point for all the programs is exactly the same: be an exemplary college student.Some programs, including HBS now also allow Master’s students to apply, but the caveat is you can’t have any full time work experience on the resume.  These programs were essentially devised to attract non-traditional b-school applicants such as engineering students who might not be considering business school so soon.  While there are plenty of regular applicants to business school who majored in engineering, because of the rigors and dedication required to complete a top engineering program, graduates typically want to apply those skills right away in a high-paying job instead of diving into another discipline and logging more school.
Early access programs don’t really care about your major, but they do care about your stats.Engineering majors aren’t the only ones getting accepted early, but if you’re going to be competitive, you will definitely need a very high GMAT score and excellent grades as a start.  Still, that’s not going to be enough.  You will also need excellent recommendations and some impressive stories of impact on your school or community. Having an early track record of leadership is also a must.  Know that the most impressive students in the country are vying for the best programs, so if you are daunted by pressure, you might not be a good candidate for early admission. 
Some programs are exclusively for students in their own undergrad programs.MIT Sloan uses early access to attract existing MIT undergrads to its business school, but Wharton is the best example with the Moelis Advance Access Program.  UPenn undergrads who make the cut (and there were only 16 chosen last year) receive some nice perks, such as early access to the Wharton community, exclusive career services, mentoring opportunities with Wharton alumni, annual retreats and even cash—a $10,000 stipend to be exact. But there are high expectations and the eyes of the Wharton network are watching you as a 21 year old—which can be intimidating for someone whose friends may not have even chosen their career area yet.
The rest of the players in this arena are basically the usual suspects.Stanford GSB has their Deferred Enrollment option in every round and is flexible to allow deferring the start for up to three years. You can also apply as a college senior to go directly into the GSB without working at all, but Stanford has always had a bias in favor of younger applicants anyway.  They do reserve the right to ask DE recipients to work first, however.  Then there’s Chicago Booth which has two separate options for go-getters including a regular deferral  through their Booth Scholars Program and even a part time option called the Chicago Business Fellows Program, the latter of which has been very popular during the boom economy since it allows you to keep your day job.  Rounding out the M7 is Yale Silver Scholars, which has been around almost as long as HBS 2+2.  Yale is similar, but puts candidates into their core MBA curriculum directly out of college, followed by a year of work experience before a third year to finish the MBA.  A relatively new kid on the block, the Darden School at UVA now tags along with the Future Year Scholars Program, which recruits college seniors to compete for a $15,000 fellowship and perks similar to Wharton’s program.
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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Start Me Up  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2019, 13:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Start Me Up
 
Sometimes just getting started is the hardest part.Aaron Sorkin is the academy-award-winning screenwriter behind The Social Network among other academy-nominated films like Moneyball and Molly’s Game.  He’s been writing now for decades and his accolade stretches back to such hits as The American President and A Few Good Men.  You’d imagine that someone like Mr. Sorkin would have all the confidence he would need to dive into a new project, but check out one of his most famous quotes on writing:
“I love writing but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, "You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, giftless. I'm not your agent and I'm not your mommy, I'm a white piece of paper, you wanna dance with me?" and I really, really don't. I'll go peaceable-like.”Sound like what you feel like right now as you try to crank up your MBA application process?  You’re in good company.  Putting pen to paper is often the best way to get the machine turning.  Even if you aren’t sure exactly where you’re headed with an idea or how to organize everything, just the physical act of sitting and typing out some ideas can stimulate progress.
Perfection is the enemy of good enough.  Essays are perfected over time through the drafting and revision process. They don’t have to be perfect from the outset. Making matters challenging, MBA applicants are usually pretty organized people.  You have succeeded in school and you have succeeded at work.  Being successful typically means you are a good time manager and process-driven.  But you have never embarked upon applying to b-school before and, like Sorkin, the blank pages of essays are staring you down.  You think you can’t get started until you have everything sorted. 
One very simple thing to remember is, you can always start over.There are millions of trashed files and balled-up pieces of paper in waste bins out there from the first drafts of hopeful MBA applicants.  Often we must wring out the bad before we can get to the good.  Starting over is far easier than starting up.  And if you find yourself battling writers block, try beginning with a personal statement.  Write out the reasons why you wanted to go to business school in the first place.  Write down your values.  Just. Start. Writing. Nobody knows your story better than you do and you can whittle it down or pull out the gems as you go along.  Just like with the adcoms, who want to know the why behind the what, starting with why is a great benefit for the applicant as well. Ask yourself why are you really applying to business school.   Simon Sinek in his best-selling book, Start With Why, gives some other good advice:
 “For values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs. It’s not “integrity,” it’s “always do the right thing.” It’s not “innovation,” it’s “look at the problem from a different angle.” Articulating our values as verbs gives us a clear idea - we have a clear idea of how to act in any situation.”Approaching your story in a fresh way like this can knock the rust off and just like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, once you’re moving, it’s unlikely you’ll freeze up again.
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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Picking and Grinning  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 05:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Picking and Grinning
Choosing which schools you are applying to for your MBA is half the battle.Applying to business school usually starts with a fervent drive to achieve, a general sense of desire to move forward, achieve more.  But soon thereafter comes a flood of mental processing around where all this forward momentum will be channeled. 
School selection is the single most important decision your MBA journey.  It’s the one decision that doesn’t change.  After you are admitted to business school, you can change your concentration, change your targeted career focus, recruiter interview schedule or internship pursuits.  But you can’t change the school you chose.  MBA course credits literally don’t transfer, so if you get in a program that just isn’t working for you and decide you’d like to go somewhere else, you’d have to start over in a new program (in addition of course to facing the challenge of explaining why you allowed yourself to make a misguided decision in the first place---good luck convincing a top program of your leadership potential under that scenario).
How do you go about deciding which sweatshirt you will wear the rest of your life?You’d think it wouldn’t really matter all that much which program you pick since accredited business schools all teach basically the same or similar classes and they all open similar post-MBA job opportunities.  At it’s core, the MBA has always been a general business management degree after all.  But the methodology in how these courses are taught actually makes a big difference.
What kind of learning environment do you like?As we all know, how you like to approach pedagogy heavily impacts both what you get out of school and what you put in.  Do you like lecture-format, where you listen and take notes?  Or do you learn best in a case-study environment, where you work outside the classroom to prepare for a group approach to problem solving once you all come together?  Some schools have a hybrid approach, since certain subjects naturally lend themselves better to one method or the other.  There are also some schools which are taking brand new, innovative ideas in experiential learning to push the envelope on how students prepare for business leadership.
Outside the classroom is just as important as inside.Make sure when deciding where you want to apply that you look closely at a school’s extracurricular offerings.  Most of the time you spend in business school will actually not be in the classroom at all, so clubs, trips and even social or leisure activities can  heavily impact how you fit in and influence the level to which you will excel.  You’re paying a lot to spend two years transitioning your career, so you need to make sure you pick a place that checks all the boxes.  What you take away from the experience, coupled with your new network of alumni is really all you will have in the end.  Pick a school that will send you away smiling.
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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Try, Try Again  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2019, 09:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Try, Try Again
 Were you rejected last year trying to get into b-school and decided not to settle for your backup school? Are you jumping back into the fray this year?  Here’s some things you should know.Reapplying to business school is similar to applying for the first time, but the subtle differences can make or break your success this year if you are not aware of them.  For starters, you should know that your target school will still have your application on file from last year, so don’t get any crazy ideas about making radical changes in how you present your background.  While schools may not actually compare your new and old application side-by-side, they do have that ability.
A good starting point for any re-applicant is to undertake an honest assessment of what you lacked before.  If you were lucky or savvy or both, you may have received some feedback last year about why you didn't get in, but most top tier business schools these days do not provide such specific feedback. It's more likely that you will need to either seek feedback from someone you know who has insight into b-school, or get it from your consultant.  If you can be objective, you can sometimes inform yourself on why you didn’t get in.  Often, it comes down to work experience.  Were your professional endeavors lacking in responsibility or achievement?  Did you fail to move up or progress in other ways towards significant impact at work?  How have you remedied this?
The key thing to focus on in as a reapplicant is: what have you done over the past year?Since schools obviously know what you did up until your last application, your having failed to make the cut will make them mostly focused on what you have done to make yourself a better candidate since then.  Hint: simply adding another year of the same work experience will likely not be enough.  Hopefully you have either earned a promotion at work or impacted your community in a measurable way.  Impact is the key phrase for re-applicants. Demonstrating that you can dig deeper, climb higher and make a difference when it counts is what impresses the admissions committees.
Embellishing your core qualifications can help.If your reason for getting dinged was related to your GMAT score, for example, the fix is simple:  get a higher score.  Even if it’s just a slight improvement, taking the test again and doing better communicates to your target school that you are serious about getting in and willing to work for it.  If you don’t re-take the test, you risk coming across as lazy or indifferent, neither of which will impress anyone.  Was your academic background lackluster?  Take some classes online or at a local university and get a good grade.  Just like the GMAT, demonstrating you are willing to put the time in to better yourself will go a long way with the adcoms.
And here’s the best news:  business schools generally give extra consideration to re-applicants.  The act of returning itself will usually get the admissions committees’ attention.  Loyalty, dedication and determination are all good qualities and are not lost on top schools. So if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The second time might just be the charm!
 
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 Matrix  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2019, 07:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Matrix
Overwhelmed by the MBA essay wrtiting process? Use a simple matrix to ensure you cover all your bases.There’s a ton of things to think about when applying to business school, almost to the point of being overwhelming.  But when you strip things down to their base elements, it’s really five key areas of competency that all business schools are looking for:
Leadership, Creativity, Intelligence, Maturity, and Teamwork skills.None of these areas is any more important than the other, and to ignore or omit any of them in any business school essay package would be foolish.  In short, it’s what all schools are looking for, so you’d better demonstrate competency in each. To ensure you are balancing the representation of these critical skills and to make things simple, use a matrix.  Start by getting a blank piece of paper and list these five attributes across the top of the page as column headers.  Next, list the general essay question topic headers down the left hand side of the page as rows.  Also add a row called “Academics/GMAT.”  Clearly you will need to do this for each school, since each school’s questions are different.
Now that you have the structure of your matrix jotted down, begin simply putting checks in the boxes you have created where appropriate.  If your leadership skills can be highlighted in the question about work experience, put a check.  Perhaps your raw intelligence is best demonstrated with your grades or GMAT score.  If not, you will have a blank in that box and will need to see a check for that area in another essay.  The point is not to “check all the boxes,”  but to show balance.  If you have any area that is not represented on the matrix, you need to dig deeper and get more creative in how you are demonstrating that skill. 
Maturity and creativity are often the most challenging for MBA applicants to conceptualize in the essays.While age alone can sometimes demonstrate maturity, you should think of it more as having a mature perspective.  Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and being able to express what you have learned from failure will also show maturity.  Finally, having a sound vision for your future and how your past experience (post MBA) will set you up to achieve it speaks very loudly that it’s not your first lap around the track, so to speak. 
When addressing creativity, you sometime have to be, well, creative. If you are lucky enough to have a job which lends itself towards this area, its easier, but what if you don’t and you have a long column of blank boxes on your matrix in this area?
Never forget that creativity is synonymous with innovation. You can show innovation in several ways. Perhaps you have to “manage upwards” in your office and the influence you have had on your boss has made an impact.  That’s innovation.  Or maybe your idea was the one that was adopted in your neighborhood association. That’s innovation too.  Business schools just need to know that you can approach problems or situations creatively and with a fresh view.  The matrix can help expose your shortcomings.  Use it wisely!
 
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 Magic Number  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2019, 12:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Magic Number
When application season is in full swing, the first question you must answer is:  how many schools should I apply to?Life would be easy if we could all hit a homerun on the first at-bat.  But not only is that improbable, when it comes to applying to business school, it’s downright impossible.  Even if you have a golden resume and a platinum profile, there’s no guarantee you’ll get into your top choice business school.  Things have gotten so competitive with top schools, in fact, that you will likely be rejected from as many or more schools than you are admitted. 
Deciding how many schools to apply to is going to heavily affect your free time this fall.Applications take time to hammer out.  Every school has a different slate of questions to answer and hoops to jump through.  Even if you utilize common applications such as the Consortium, you still must tweak it for each school and submit additional requirements unique to each institution. 
A good rule of thumb is to apply to an additional three schools for every 20 points under 700 on the GMAT.  So even if your GMAT is above 700, you should apply to at least three schools.  That’s right!  Don’t take your 750 GMAT to Wharton only—newsflash—they could fill their entire first year class with 750’s.  If you score a 680, you’d better be applying to six schools. Only getting a 660?  Make that nine schools.  One might begin to do the math and think, “maybe I should just boost my GMAT score?”  Well, you’d be pleasantly surprised at how much your odds of admission goes up with a high score.  While it’s not all about the GMAT, the test does have a good track record for indicating success in the first year of business programs.  Plus, schools know that if you are smart (a trait which is often connected to high GMAT scores), there is a lower risk of your having trouble with the curriculum. 
Applying to multiple schools can seem overwhelming at first.Make sure you formulate a plan to tackle multiple applications.  Find a good consultant to guide you and try to do only one school at a time, shelving each application while you proceed through the others.  You will likely discover tweaks you can make to all of them with each successive one.  Once they are all finished, you can polish them up before submitting, but make sure to remain organized on the due-dates.  You’d hate to finish one only to miss a deadline. 
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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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton
MBA Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 1058
The Greatest Mistake  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2019, 06:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: The Greatest Mistake
Tackling MBA applications for the typical type-A b-school hopeful seems like a cake walk.  Just be careful you don’t make the greatest mistake. After all you’ve been through in your academic and professional career so far, writing a couple of essays and filling out some paperwork sounds like a pretty easy ask.  You’ve stayed up all night crafting the perfect business proposal or completing a complex project.  You’ve worked with people all over the world whether in person or virtually, all while never missing a workout or a volunteer shift at the food bank.  You’re MBA material and you’re unstoppable.
 It’s great to have confidence,  but overconfidence can kill your approach. Confidence in yourself, your vision and your achievements will help you appear mature, which is a vital thing to communicate in any MBA application, but be careful that your confidence does not cross the line and become hubris.  Just like Oedipus, hubris can ultimately ruin you.  While it’s necessary to toot your own horn, if you try too hard to impress, you could end up doing just the opposite.  A good dose of humility goes a long way.
 The greatest mistake you can make in any MBA application is to “over-do it” on your application.   HBS says it best right on their own website: “Don't overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don't know your world can understand.  In case you didn’t notice, that’s three “overs” they use there.  Being “extra” in the application is a real no-no.  Let your achievements speak for themselves.  If they are truly impressive, they will require little or no embellishment at all. 
 Application readers don’t have an MBA. They also don’t come from investment banking or data analytics or engineering backgrounds.  Writing a good MBA application means avoiding jargon, platitudes and any industry-specific detail.  The admissions committees are made up of regular folks, but with a keen eye for human nature and the ability to glean out from the page what makes someone tick.  Make it easy on them by not providing a mental obstacle course.  This is not America Ninja Warrior, it’s a simple, straightforward reveal of who you are and why your unique life choices have prepared you for business school.  Notice I said “why” and not “how” your choices have prepared you.  If you ask yourself why after each thing you think you’d like to pass along in your application, you can galvanize the story and become the memorable candidate who breaks down the gate.
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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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

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

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