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Amerasia MBA Blog

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MBA Application Advice: Paying for Business School [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2017, 16:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Application Advice: Paying for Business School
Business school is one of the most lucrative of all graduate degrees in terms of its potential and proven history for embellishing salary.  It’s not just in dollars and cents, either, but manifests itself in sheer employment statistics as well. During the great recession which started in 2008, for example, the general unemployment rate was almost triple what it was for those holding an MBA degree.  It was also impossible to ignore the continuance of hiring freshly minted MBA graduates throughout this devastating period of economic turmoil.  While the percentage of graduating MBAs with jobs did fall slightly, overall there was a negligible number of MBAs who could not find the job they wanted at or soon after graduation during this time.   Of course if you found yourself among these “negligible numbers,” I am sure it felt like you may have made the wrong $100,000 decision. 
Therein lies the rub.  While certainly providing a good return on investment in almost every case, business school is expensive, and paying for it can be one of the most challenging fiscal endeavors you ever undertake.The good news is the GMAC reports that one-third of MBA degree holders recouped the cost of their education in salary and bonus within a single year and all of them did so within four years, even with the cost of business school having doubled over the past ten years.  The bad news is, coming up with the money up front can be challenging, especially if you are an international applicant, in which case the schools often want demonstration of your ability to pay before they will let you matriculate.
If you have a strong profile, you should definitely apply in the first round, since this is where most of the scholarship and fellowship monies are allocated.  Missing a first round deadline can often mean passing up on these potential cost savings. Some schools will offer to lower tuition, while others can offer a full ride through b-school depending on your merits and the respective size of their endowment.   If you are not a fellowship candidate and have a profile that will make you feel fortunate for even getting in, you may be relieved to “have” to shell out all that money!  But how do you pay for it?  Certainly b-schools expect to see that you have successfully saved money by the time you return to school.  This is one advantage of business school over medical school or law school, which you usually embark upon immediately after you graduate college (and we all know how broke you are after college).  Still, if you blew all that money from your job on a new car and nice digs, you will probably wind up applying for loans. 
The US government is very generous in extending credit to students, but know that student loan debt never goes away, and is actually one of the only debts which even survives bankruptcy. Taking out a $100,000 loan to pay for school is not a small decision and that $30,000 signing bonus you may receive when you take a job at the end won’t put much of a dent in paying it off, especially if you end up spending some on other things.
The most important thing to do is to have a plan.  Typically students combine all three methods, including spending money you have saved, borrowing some, and leveraging any scholarships or fellowships for which you are eligible.  When you combine all three, paying for business school seems less daunting.
If you are looking help with your applications, please contact us via mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or at www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact. We have seen what the competition is doing and we can say without a doubt that we go deeper, more strategic, and generate better results with our methods.  Line up a call and find out for yourself.  
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Don't be Redundant, and Whatever you do, Don't Repeat Yourself [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2017, 10:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Don't be Redundant, and Whatever you do, Don't Repeat Yourself
With the trend towards shorter essays, There has been a dangerous problem in MBA applications which can only be described as “redundancy.” Shortening the essays has resulted in more questions and even mini-essays or micro-essays within the application itself, where often applicants end up repeating information about themselves that is found elsewhere in the application.
The shorter essay requirements have essentially elevated everything else in the application in importance to the point that each component needs to be firing off something unique and of value to your candidacy. 
You simply cannot afford to say the same thing twice. Don’t talk extensively in the essays about job duties or volunteer experience which is covered well on your resume.  Don’t weaken your case by repeating yourself in the description of your Post MBA goals or some other kind of mini-question what you already presented somewhere else.  Don’t let your recommenders simply regurgitate some example you yourself also provided.  You can expand on an idea, but merely churning the same thing throughout the application is a sure recipe for failure.  Get it?   The idea is to hit on all cylinders in the application, leveraging each section to communicate fresh information which ultimately builds a strong, comprehensive case for admission.   When you repeat yourself, you are not reinforcing ideas, you are wasting precious word count and appearing as if you don’t have much to offer. 
In the old days of long applications, this phenomenon would show up mostly in the optional essay only.  People would use the optional essay to try and clarify something in the application or to make the case “better.”  Schools got to the point of specifically requesting applicants avoid saying things they already said, but still applicants would still repeat themselves. 
Now, we see repetition much more often across the whole application.  How do you avoid it? Make sure when your application is almost finished that you (and ideally, someone else too) sit back and read the entire application from beginning to end.  Ask yourself if there is any redundancy, or if instead, you sense a balance of good, persuasive evidence for admission.  In the areas you feel are redundant, are you skillfully reinforcing a point, or is it truly just a repeat of something else that’s already in there?  If it’s the former, and you feel the characteristic or trait is worth reinforcing, try to do so in a different way.  Tell a different story or provide more detail.    It’s good to have a theme or thread throughout your application, just make sure it’s not just telling them the same thing over and over.
For an overview of our MBA admissions consulting services, visit http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/mba_admissions_consulting_services/
If you are interested in the MBA Admissions Consulting services offered by Amerasia, please contact us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.comor www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact/ to set up a free consultation.
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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Round Three is History--Or Is It? [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2017, 11:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Round Three is History--Or Is It?
As of this week, most round three application windows are closed across the top MBA programs, but don't think this means you can't still apply. Admissions committees are now busy evaluating their final pile of applicants and comparing them to the quality of everyone on the waitlist all the way back to round one.  Their mission?  Fill every available seat in their program so they can maximize their revenue and round out each cohort.  Every year, latecomers to the process and perhaps those who have been struggling with whether or not to apply this year, see this final round deadline pass and assume their chance to apply is over until next year's cycle.  They shouldn't think so fatalistically.
Just as in the world of business, so much depends on circumstances when it comes to deadlines. Just because a school draws an arbitrary line in the sand, does not automatically mean they will be able to achieve their mission.  There have been many stories over the years from applicants who have managed to slip their application in after the deadline and even to get accepted into top programs.  How?  Well, for starters, they are very strong applicants.  Having a strong profile is critical if you are ever going to talk your way around a hard cutoff.  There are many legitimate reasons why an applicant might have been unable to submit before the third round.  Perhaps extenuating circumstances at work prevented them from filing early.  Or maybe something happened at work which changed their availability or schedule.  Or even better, someone hit an unexpected home run or achieved something great after the deadline which will beef up their experience over the next year and has positioned themselves much better for b-school.  Much of what happens to us at work is out of our control, and business schools understand that.  At the end of the day, schools would prefer to have a top candidate, even if it means bending the rules to allow a late application. 
One of the best opportunities to apply after the deadline is when schools are having trouble with this mission of filling every seat with highly qualified candidates. So many variables play into this mission, that school can occasionally find themselves coming up short of where they would like to be.  Since schools like to diversify their student body across gender, professional background and race, the regular, random applicant pool will vary widely each season and can leave schools looking for just the right candidate to fill a gap. 
If you have suddenly felt regret that you didn't apply this year, you might take a hard look at your candidacy and if you feel you are well above average, or at least have some highly unique profile attributes, give a try for a post-deadline application submission.  The catch is, you won't be able to simply lob in your application online. 
While the schools might be willing to consider you, they are no longer accepting electronic submissions through their online portals. This means you must get with the admissions team directly.  Reaching out in person or over the phone is the only way to connect with the right folks in admissions to chat with about a possible late submission.  Make sure you have your reasons for applying late ready to explain.  The ideal way to present your case would be in person, but if this is not practical, sometimes a phone call can be effective.  If the school is in a position to consider you, they will likely ask you to email the application to them directly.   The bottom line is, just like in business, the most successful are the ones who don't take no for an answer, are willing to take calculated risks, and never give up.  Good luck.
No matter the round, we have helped more than 1000 clients successfully apply to top business schools worldwide since 2008. Let us help you figure out your next step. Schedule a complimentary, one-hour consultation with a member of our expert admissions team. Email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or visit us online at www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.




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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How to Handle the HBS Waitlist [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2017, 15:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: How to Handle the HBS Waitlist
Going quick and nothing fancy here, just looking to get the word out on "HBS Waitlist Day" as it will likely become known in the future.  I stunning number of candidates appear to have been WL'd today, just based on what I'm seeing stream across my inbox.  The biggest group looking for answers are candidates I've never heard of, who are seeking answers and asking what to do.  This is when I know I have to go to the blog.  Let's work through this.  
First, Understand HBS.  The first thing to do is take a deep breath and either remember or learn what HBS is all about.  I've written about it many times over the years, but this is the confidence school.  This is the program constantly seeing who will flinch.  They changed their essay to something open-ended to force you to make confident choices in content, they brought in a 24-hour post-interview assignment to demand cool under pressure, and, yes, they bring that to the WL as well.  If you read the instructions they give, you will almost always see that the mandate is "do nothing."  Reworded as "stay cool."  
Next, Understand How the WL Works In This Case.  Now we have to move on to understand just how HBS is using this version of a waitlist.  If its a "normal" WL, maybe you throw out my advice above and try for a Hail Mary approach, even if it costs you - after all, HBS really has no need to use a normal waitlist.  They yield at such a high rate that they will never really need to use it.  So whether you hold your powder or not, you aren't getting in ... IF it is a normal WL situation.  This does not appear to be a normal WL situation.  This looks and feels more like a deferral.  If you note the language they are using ("has not yet reached a final decision" and "permission to continue to consider") and the way a second person - a WL manager - reached out and clarified some things, it seems pretty clear that they are trying to buy some time to make final decisions.  Why?  Who knows, honestly.  Maybe they were too aggressive in when they thought they could make decisions.  Maybe a bunch of 2+2 candidates showed up and changed their projections.  Maybe it is human error and someone lost a bunch of files.  It doesn't really matter, what matters is that they seem to extending their process out a bit.  If this is true, it means you are still in the game.  
So, What Should You Do?  Nothing!  Here is the wording in Chad's initial letter:
"We will be in touch if we need additional information from you as we make a decision on your candidacy."  
Here is the wording on their FAQ site:
"Our decision will be based upon a continued review of the completed application materials you have already submitted. If we need additional information from you as we make a decision on your candidacy, we will contact you."
The wording in the letter from the WL manager is fuzzier, but still says they need more time to decide and directs the candidate to the WL FAQ site.  
All told, this is not the time to try to jam the round peg into the square hole.  As hard as this can be to hear, the best plan is to do nothing.  Put your hands in your pockets and whistle as you walk through the mine field.  There is a chance that is exactly what they are sussing out here.  Who has the confidence to hold steady?  Who is secure enough to avoid panicking?  Who is mature enough to handle ambiguity?  Who reads the directions?  
Look, the cynical mind would say they are using this as another test - another way to split hairs and see who has what it takes.  I wouldn't go that far, but HBS has been using Round 1 deferrals for a while now and in my experience, the people who eventually get in never flinch.  I've honestly never in my life seen someone panic and get in off the HBS deferral list or WL.  They are being explicit that they have everything they need and they will contact you if they need anything else.  Take heed!  What good can come from going against these instructions?  It's not a game of "who wants it the most."  Have some confidence.  Trust in what got you here and know that the rest is out of your control - just as it was yesterday and the weeks before that.  All that has happened is that HBS has said "we need more time to decide."  Its just that they have to use this mechanism to do it, or they have a circus on their hands.  
Good luck ... doing nothing. 
Please contact us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com for help on any of your application needs.  
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________


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

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

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

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5 Steps for Negotiating Your Offer of MBA Admission [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2017, 17:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: 5 Steps for Negotiating Your Offer of MBA Admission
Today's blog post builds on a post I've been working on for years, where I continue to add thought about the art of negotiating your MBA offer of admission.  I've long said that "negotiation" is not what you do when it comes to securing more financial aid from a business school.  The term of art for what you are going to be doing is "asking."  Let me explain and try to add clarity around questions that often come up.Obviously, any discussion of an offer in this context automatically means we're dealing with some good news: you've been accepted.  So congrats on that!  However, with the news that a b-school wants you to enroll comes the sobering reality that they also want you to *pay* for that privilege.  Sure, offers often come with dollar signs attached, but the amount left in the "you" column is almost always going to be the bigger number.  And that fact tends to bring up the following question: "How can I negotiate my offer?"
Again, let's rephrase the question entirely. Don't think of this as a negotiation, but rather a request: "How can I request more aid?"  That is a much better frame of reference, especially in light of the the advice that follows.  Here's how we typically approach this process:
1. Be respectful. There are a lot of ways you might be able to get a little more scholarship money from a business school, but we know of one sure way that you WON'T get money and that's if you try to "hardball" them.  We have witnessed countless admits go from months of wishing and hoping to sudden arrogance and a "you better wine and dine me" attitude.  Ditch it.  Immediately.  If you call an admissions office and try to leverage another offer or you give them the "so what can you do to sweeten the deal?" treatment, you will inevitably find yourself on the line with a tired and supremely annoyed member of that school's staff.  Go in polite, grateful, and professional.  Always.  This is not an M&A deal and you are not "negotiating" with anyone.  You are "asking" a business school to grant you more free funding.  Big difference and on that is not lost on the schools themselves, we assure you.
(Note: this is why I often use the word "call" instead of "email" when discussing these things.  There is no rule that says you have to call and for many, there is a big preference to write up their thoughts and send along.  That should work fine and if you are dreading the prospect of getting on the phone, definitely just email.  But I feel like you generally have a better chance of your tone - which would include showing real respect and appreciation - coming through if you are actually speaking to someone.  Who should you be calling or emailing?  Anyone in the admissions office who can be an advocate for you with financial aid.  If you know someone already through your process, call that person.  If you don't, call the person who let you know the good news.  But you want admissions folks fighting this battle for you if possible.)
2. Instead, go for the heartstrings. Okay, you have your hat in hand and you are determined to avoid acting entitled.  Now what?  Not to be too blunt about it, but in our experience, a good old sob story seems to work best.  So if you have authentic hurdles - and most of us do - to paying over $100K for your MBA, share them.  You don't have to impress anyone at this point with your huge salary or countless offers from heavy hitters; they've already decided they want you to attend their school.  And they are far more likely to try to work something out if they find you nice, respectful, and, yes, a bit needy.  A long-term career goal that eschews riches is probably best, but there are a lot of ways you can be honest about your situation and paint a very realistic picture as to how an extra $20K could make all the difference for you.
3. Never lie! If you don't have the "heartstrings" story, then don't go there.  Of even greater importance is that you don't make up offers or dollar amounts from other programs.  It damages the integrity of the financial aid process (which is designed to get money to those who deserve it and who need it most) and the school may ask to see proof in making a decision on revising your award.
4. Consider what you are going to share. This is a new section I've added from past posts and it details with whether or not you mention the other schools involved.  In many cases, you will be calling Program A asking for money because you want to go there more than Program B, where you DID receive money.  This is not a new dynamic to the school, I assure you.  So, do you share all this?  And how granular do you get?  When I was in admissions, I really didn't want to know all the gory details, honestly.  Maybe it was because I didn't like hearing my school compared to others in such a brass tax way ("hey, wait, USC only gave you X and you are thinking of going there over us? What!"), maybe it just seemed unnecessary, I really don't know.  But that's just me - maybe others are different.  You will have to go with personal preference and instinct in many cases.  If I have to give a rule of thumb, I would say it goes like this: 
- Don't mention the "other suitor" unless they ask you specifically. 
- If they do ask, just tell them; don't be cagey about it.  
- If it gets into numbers, use one of two methods.  1) just talk about the scholarship amount the other school gave you and leave it at that, don't try to compare apples to oranges in terms of tuition, costs, etc.  2) alternatively, only talk about the bottom line for you.  "How much did X give you?"  "Honestly, I'm looking at spending $75K more to come to your school, is what it boils down to."  You want to pick your methodology so that you can give them one clean number from which to start any potential discussion.  
5. Wait a beat. One of the keys to even getting yourself in the running for more aid is to wait a little bit so the dust can settle.  Sure, on the one hand, the money could be gone and the class full and the school might have no incentive to sweeten the offer.  I've heard people worry that if they wait, this scenario could result.  And they are right - it totally could.  But here's the dirty secret ... they always spend all the money!  When decisions go out, they throw out all the scholarship awards with them, hoping to entice and bring in the necessary yield.  It is only when people start turning down offers - and scholarship awards - that the directors and staff start to see where there might be A) enrollment needs and B) financial aid surplus.  In other words, if Booth gave you a $20K scholarship last week, don't call *this* week hoping for more.  They won't have any more - at least not on paper.  That spreadsheet is going to show every dollar spent.  Wait for people to turn them down and for some of that paper money to flow back into the Booth coffers.  Doing so will give you a better chance at there even being something to ask for, let alone get.  Plus, while this isn't necessarily likely, if you wait, you might also catch a school getting shorted a bit on enrollment, in which case they will be far more likely to help you meet your needs.  (Think of what is better for a program - going to the waitlist and thereby increasing their "admitted student" number in the process, or getting a 1-for-1 right off the existing list by spending a bit more money.  It's a no-brainer.)
(As a rule of thumb, try to wait a few weeks at least.  If you can make it work, try to figure out the midpoint from offers going out and the enrollment deadline and aim for a date right around there.)
6. Follow up. If you talk to someone and they say they will get into it (most likely scenario other than "sorry" is "let me get back to you" ... "here's more money!" is a distant third), don't be afraid to follow up.  The squeaky wheel can get the grease given that an admissions office is like a battlefield this time of year - it's not crazy that your request might land on someone's desk for a full week.  In that time, hundreds of thousands of dollars might funnel back and forth on paper, leaving you in the cold.  So wait a day or two and then call back to ask - respectfully, of course - if there has been any progress and if there is anything else you can or should do.  As long as you are really nice and polite about it, no one is going to fault you for being angst-ridden about your financial future.  And we should add here - since people seem to worry about it - you are not going to lose your offer by calling about this stuff.
(Oh and just so you know - there isn't a "counter offer" phase of this.  If you ask for money and they are willing to give you some, it's a final offer.  You can't say "thanks, but can you give me more than that?"  Rest assured they are now giving you as much they can/want to give.  They are already having an internal conversation about trying to secure your enrollment and that is the only reason they are offering anything.  Whatever the amount is, that is the best they can do.) 
We hope that these hints help you navigate that latest stress in this process.  Remember that you catch more flies with honey, honesty in the best policy, and patience is a virtue.  Armed with a few cliches, you'll do great.
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

Kudos [?]: 218 [0], given: 220

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How the Waitlist Works [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2017, 09:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: How the Waitlist Works
  This time of year, many applicants find themselves stuck in the waitlist process at one or more schools, which can be a very slow and painful waiting period. Not only are you competing for fewer and fewer seats, you are doing so against everyone on the waitlist all the way back from round one as well as any fresh, new applicants from the final rounds. One thing applicants often want to know is how many people are on the waitlist at their particular school. Unfortunately, this is a black box and schools do not generally disclose an exact number of people who are waitlisted.
Candidates on the waitlist may be admitted at any time, which makes the wait particularly painful... ...since unlike regular round admissions where there is a decision date or notification date, the waitlist candidates struggle with every day or week potentially being the day or week the phone will ring with an admission offer or a release from the waitlist.  In addition to being stressful for the waitlisted candidate, this also makes the number on the list fluctuate and difficult to track even for the schools themselves. When the pressure is too great, or when other offers are made from competing schools (or plans change), candidates and sometimes choose to remove their name from the waitlist at any point in the process. Therefore, the actual number of candidates on the waitlist can literally vary from day to day.
Most top schools’ Admissions Committees make a conscious decision to limit the number of applicants who are extended a place on the waitlist, so know that if you are on a waitlist, you are in good company with a relatively small number of fellow applicants.It’s highly advisable, therefore, to remain on the list if you are still even slightly interested in eventually being offered admission.  Know that this offer can sometimes be extended very close to the start of the academic year.  Because of yield fluctuations and changing plans of admitted students (particularly those who get offers from “better schools” at the last minute), there have been cases of admission being offered to waitlisted candidates as late as the day before classes begin.  Every year there is a last minute shuffle of the deck, as students jump ship for their dream school who comes calling at the 11th hour, which obviously opens up a slot wherever they had already accepted.  Sure, they lose deposit money, but the chance to go where they really want makes it worth it. 
If you have the patience, you might just find yourself in the surprise position of receiving a late-stage offer from a school where you had lost hope. Like fishing, leaving that line in the water can occasionally yield results.  Of course what you do with your time between submission and matriculation can also impact whether or not you are ultimately pulled off a waitlist.  Stay tuned for some specific tips on how you can best navigate the waitlist process.
If you are looking help with your applications, please contact us via mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or at www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact. We have seen what the competition is doing and we can say without a doubt that we go deeper, more strategic, and generate better results with our methods.  Line up a call and find out for yourself.  

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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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How To Navigate the Waitlist [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2017, 09:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: How To Navigate the Waitlist
Despite the name “waitlist,” there are several things you can do besides simply wait for your dream school to call. Regardless of which school you're waiting for, from a strategic standpoint, sitting in a state of limbo gives you the opportunity to improve your profile or status as a candidate, and such improvements can and should be communicated to the admissions committees.  The way you do this is straightforward and is usually as simple as sending a short email with the update (e.g. you were promoted at work, received some kind of community award or position, or got an A in that accounting class you were taking at the local community college). 
It is important to note that you should never revise your application with any information which could have been included in the original application.For this reason, don’t submit things that you “forgot” to include—this would be considered poor judgment, but rather only new information or changes in your profile which are potentially interesting or important to your candidacy.
Most schools will also accept new GMAT or GRE scores from an applicant who has elected to remain active on the waitlist.Of course deciding to retake the GMAT or GRE may or may not be the right thing for you, but certainly if you feel that you did not perform on the GMAT at your highest potential, it might make sense to retake the test and subsequently submit the higher score. When deciding to
Retest or not, sometimes it helps to view your performance on the test in light of your target schools’ 80% range (instead of its average score).    For example, a top tier school may post a 720 average GMAT, but the 80% range is 650-750.  If your score was in the lower range of the 80th percentile, it could indeed help boost your chances, certainly vs. someone else on the waitlist who is not re-testing. If you elect to take the GMAT or GRE again, make sure you tell your target school’s admission office so they can be on the lookout for your new score.  Obviously when you take the test, you will need to request the score be officially submitted to your school. It typically takes one to three weeks for the score to be received once requested.
 One thing many candidates want to know is whether or not the waitlist is ranked and if so what their number is. In most cases, schools claim their waitlist is not ranked, but even if you do not update the committee on any changes in your profile or GMAT scores, it is important at the very least that you inform the committee of your intention to remain active on the waitlist, since only those applicants who have elected to remain active on the waitlist will be considered for admission.   Each school has a different process, so make sure you reach out and touch base with them individually.
Schools generally reassess the waitlist with each subsequent new round of applications, but after the third round, there is clearly a long period of time until August when orientation starts. Don’t lose heart, and remember to remain in contact with the adcom (in a thoughtful way, for example one touch point per month to reiterate your interest).  Who knows?  Perhaps that call will come.
If you are in the midst of this process, congrats and good luck!   If you are just starting out on your admissions journey, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or visit us at or www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact/ for a free consultation.
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Advice on How to Navigate the MBA Waitlist [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2017, 18:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Advice on How to Navigate the MBA Waitlist
Despite the name “waitlist,” there are several things you can do besides simply wait for your dream school to call. Regardless of which school you're waiting for, from a strategic standpoint, sitting in a state of limbo gives you the opportunity to improve your profile or status as a candidate, and such improvements can and should be communicated to the admissions committees.  The way you do this is straightforward and is usually as simple as sending a short email with the update (e.g. you were promoted at work, received some kind of community award or position, or got an A in that accounting class you were taking at the local community college). 
It is important to note that you should never revise your application with any information which could have been included in the original application.For this reason, don’t submit things that you “forgot” to include—this would be considered poor judgment, but rather only new information or changes in your profile which are potentially interesting or important to your candidacy.
Most schools will also accept new GMAT or GRE scores from an applicant who has elected to remain active on the waitlist.Of course deciding to retake the GMAT or GRE may or may not be the right thing for you, but certainly if you feel that you did not perform on the GMAT at your highest potential, it might make sense to retake the test and subsequently submit the higher score. When deciding to
Retest or not, sometimes it helps to view your performance on the test in light of your target schools’ 80% range (instead of its average score).    For example, a top tier school may post a 720 average GMAT, but the 80% range is 650-750.  If your score was in the lower range of the 80th percentile, it could indeed help boost your chances, certainly vs. someone else on the waitlist who is not re-testing. If you elect to take the GMAT or GRE again, make sure you tell your target school’s admission office so they can be on the lookout for your new score.  Obviously when you take the test, you will need to request the score be officially submitted to your school. It typically takes one to three weeks for the score to be received once requested.
One thing many candidates want to know is whether or not the waitlist is ranked and if so what their number is. In most cases, schools claim their waitlist is not ranked, but even if you do not update the committee on any changes in your profile or GMAT scores, it is important at the very least that you inform the committee of your intention to remain active on the waitlist, since only those applicants who have elected to remain active on the waitlist will be considered for admission.   Each school has a different process, so make sure you reach out and touch base with them individually.
Schools generally reassess the waitlist with each subsequent new round of applications, but after the third round, there is clearly a long period of time until August when orientation starts. Don’t lose heart, and remember to remain in contact with the adcom (in a thoughtful way, for example one touch point per month to reiterate your interest).  Who knows?  Perhaps that call will come.
If you are in the midst of this process, congrats and good luck!   If you are just starting out on your admissions journey, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or visit us at or www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact/ for a free consultation.

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Advice for How to Get Off the MBA Waitlist

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Why You Just Got Dinged (Probably) [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 15:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Why You Just Got Dinged (Probably)
These days, in addition to helping our clients get ready for interviews we also meet a lot of new folks who didn't use admissions consulting services to apply - but now are wondering if perhaps they should have.  Most often, they are asking for "ding analysis," which is basically "please tell me if I did something wrong and whether I can fix it for next time."We are happy to oblige, of course, and so we see a lot (we mean A LOT) of rejected applications, to a lot of schools.  In giving feedback time and again, we naturally are starting to see some of the same issues cropping up.  The good news is that these issues are in keeping with the feedback we give from the outset of an engagement, but the bad news is that obviously some people aren't getting that advice.  (Note: I understand how pedantic and self-serving this all sounds, but it's simply true.  Our clients avoid the "triangle" of ding reasons by virtue of working with us, and, therefore, they are getting droves of interview invites and admit letters to top schools.  Yes, it's self-serving, but that doesn't make it false.  Not sure what else to say.)  Anyway, let's dive into the three reasons - or the "Triangle" - of typical ding issues that we see. 
(Note: We ran a version of this back in the fall and it seems well worth running it again now that it's "ding season.")
Other than "bad luck" or "well, this school is one of the hardest in the world to get into" or "you never should have applied to this school," these are the three most common reasons that people get dinged.Put differently, they are the three reasons you could have avoided:1. Failure to have properly articulated goals.It's amazing to me how often I open up a set of essays and start looking for goals ... and find that I have to keep looking ... and looking ... and looking.  Applicants love to bury their goals in broad proclamations, quotes, misdirection, sentimental nonsense, and all other manner of articulation that has the net effect of making it extremely hard to figure out what they want to do.  I believe that part of the problem is that people misunderstand the purpose of career goals and how to properly think about both the short-term and long-term elements.  
The short-term goals should be:A) achievable,B) a good fit based on your transferable skills (which MUST be articulated in your essays),C) clearly stated, andD) achievable.  Did I list "achievable" twice?  You bet I did.  This is because schools want to admit applicants that they can place into jobs.  Period.  You have exceptions like HBS, GSB, and MIT - all schools that don't really care much about ST goals.  However, for the most part, schools want to know they can help you gain employment - for your sake and theirs (employment reports are a big part of rankings).  I can't tell you how many people I have spoken to on consult calls or essays I have read where a strange ST goal is in place, with the explanation, "I wanted to differentiate myself a bit."  I also hear applicants (sometimes smugly) tell me that schools "don't want to see yet another person who wants to do consulting."  Um, yes, actually they do.  Because they can get students jobs in consulting!  Don't put that you want a short-term job working for Prada or doing freshwater turbine investing - those aren't jobs they can help you get.  Be smart about this.  
The long-term goals are for sharing who you are.This is where you can differentiate and showcase passion and tell them where you come from and all that good stuff.  You SHOULD have fun with this and be creative and reach for the stars.  So what if every other applicant and their brother is saying they want to start their own business; if starting your own business is the best way to share your dream and articulate what makes you tick, share that goal.  So, so, soooooo many people invert the ST and LT goals - they go exotic with the ST and staid with the LT.  This is the opposite of what you should do, it's probably the opposite of the truth, and it's usually fatal. 
Of course, this doesn't even include the people who straight up forget to include their goals in a goals essay.  And yes, this happens all the time.  I just assume if you are reading this blog post, you won't make that mistake. 
(Last thing: vague statements of what you want to do with your life - like "impact the world" or "make a difference" - are not goals.  Just so we're clear on that.)
2. Failure to be an individual.Many dinged elite applicants that I see suffer from the same problem, which is that they never showcased what makes them a cool, unique person.  I'm not talking about having a "brand" or billing yourself as the "such and such candidate" - readers are not idiots, so they aren't going to be swept off their feet for something that rudimentary.  I'm talking about setting aside your desire to sound smart or to cover every last detail or to (the worst) "write what they want to hear," and instead being a real person with real interests and a real personality.  So many dinged applications are dry, rigid, and only technically sound - there is a skeleton but no heartbeat.  (Note: the cousin of this failure is less common, but also a problem, which is the "I am going to try to sound interesting" applicant - where they use weird phrasing or lofty prose to create "interesting" material.  Please understand that the material is anything but interesting.  It's excruciating.  You can have clean paragraphs, topic sentences, and easy-to-follow prose and still be interesting - it's what you say, not the flourish with which you say it.)
3. Failure to understand and connect with the DNA of the individual school.And now we get to the big one.  A certain specialty of ours has become working with elite candidates who "somehow" got dinged at every single school the year before.  This is a group of Type A people who have worked hard and strived to make it this far and so they typically do okay on the first two bullets (although not always and almost never to perfection - there's a reason we have a firm that grows every single year; this stuff is not easy).  It's the third bullet that kills them.  I will ask a 3.7, 720 PE guy to send me his four dinged files and I'll open them up to find that Wharton and Kellogg have the same leadership stories inside and that HBS and GSB feature the exact same tone and approach.  Dings, for sure - or at least at two of the four.  (If it's not clear why that's the case, I would say again, that's why we have a business.)  I see people who *should* get into Booth, for instance, but they didn't share their capacity for risk.  That tells Booth, "I'm probably going somewhere else" at worst and "I don't understand your culture and therefore am giving you no idea whether I am a fit there or not" at best.  I see people who do not showcase readiness at INSEAD, who put risky career goals in a Columbia essay, who fail to touch on the four principles at Haas, who don't write about global focus at Wharton, who ignore the "think, feel, say, do" element with MIT, and on and on and on.  And these are just the easy parts.  A good application - a set of essays that will transform a reader from a mere gatekeeper into your advocate - knows the DNA of the school in question, taps into it, and then uses it to say "I am one of you!" to the reader.  A failure to do this invites massive risk, even for the best candidates, as you go into admissions committee "naked," which is to say, without someone fighting for you.  At that point, anything can happen - bad demographics, a test score 10 points too low, a C in a class, a low quant split, bad luck, you name it.  And even though it seems cruel and unfair, the same candidate can experience bad luck 3, 4, or 5 times in the same round.  
Time after time, I review a file and explain "this is what is wrong with the goals," "you could have been more interesting and personal throughout," and - most of all - "you just didn't tap into the DNA of these schools."  It almost never fails.  This is why I've taken to calling it the Ding Triangle.  Almost every ding features each of these three sides to it, forming together to generate that result.  I'm happy to say that all three can be address and improved upon in almost every case and that we've had great success in doing so.  Therefore, if you have been dinged, don't give up hope, but instead, be honest with yourself - or, better yet, find someone who can give you an honest appraisal in these areas.  Then, get back after it.  
If you are a dinged applicant, we are happy to see where you went wrong and to help you improve.  Reapplicants have been a true specialty given the sheer number we work with every year - and the success that they have had.  If you are starting fresh, be sure to engage someone who knows what they are doing so you can avoid a Ding Triangle of your own.  Email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com
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How to Apply to Accelerated "1-Year" MBA Programs [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2017, 00:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: How to Apply to Accelerated "1-Year" MBA Programs
One trend we're seeing these days is the desire of some candidates to dispense with the frills and just hammer out their MBA in the quickest time possible.  Obviously, this means that we're talking "1-year" programs a lot.  As is so often the case, we figure we'll bring part of that conversation online.  Here are some of the things we're sharing with clients: 1. Defining "1-Year."Have you ever had one of those debates with someone about what counts as a year?  In the NBA, a "year" is a nine month season that actually spans two calendar years, from October to June.  A fiscal year means something different from a calendar year.  The 2018 U.S. News and World Report comes out in 2017, as does the 2017 Acura MDX.  It's hard to keep it all straight and the same is true for accelerated MBA programs.  Some are indeed a year.  Some are 10 months.  Some are 13. Or 16.  But when people say they are looking for a "1-Year" program, they are often referring to all of these.  So for purposes of this post and for any discussions you might have with our first, a "1-Year Program" means a "program without a summer internship."  
2. Finding the Top Accelerated Options.For whatever reason, gathering together a robust list of all the top accelerated options is not as easy as you would think in this Information Age.  I suspect that will change now that so many people are flocking to such programs and there will be money to be made for some enterprising soul who will build a website devoted to accelerated MBA programs.  For now, we encourage people to frame their research thusly: 
Start in Europe.  
  • The culture of European programs is such that 1-year programs are not uncommon, as they are in the U.S.  INSEAD is well known for featuring a blistering pace and no internship opportunity as part of its 1-year program.  IE, SDA Bocconi, HEC Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, and IMD all feature a 1-year option only.  ESADE has the option for a single year rather than two.  In fact, the only popular b-schools in Europe that do NOT offer a 1-year option are IESE and LBS.  All in all, if you want to move fast through this process, the continent of Europe is an ideal place to start your search. 
Look to the big U.S. players.
  • Don't get hung up on speed and then sacrifice quality by choosing a school who has just recently thrown together an accelerated program as a way to boost applications.  Look for programs in the U.S. that have been doing this for a while and doing it well.  Kellogg's 1-year program is very good, Columbia's J-Term is a great option, and even Johnson's 12-month program is a strong bet (although this one favors candidates who already hold an advanced degree of some kind). Emory is probably the only other U.S. program that offers a one-year option that we recommend.  Florida, Babson, and Arizona are other programs that might fit the bill if you are really in a jam, but we think that is where you start getting into trouble.  (If you are deep into your career, you might want to also consider the Sloan Fellows programs at MIT and Stanford, but that is a topic for a different post.)
3. Bearing the Burden of Proof, Career Goals.We tell all applicants that the bear the burden of proof when it comes to things like career goals, school fit, and overall appropriateness of the degree path. In other words, don't assume everything speaks for itself and don't ask the admissions officer to play detective - explain everything in the most detail and in the strongest terms possible.  This is especially true for 1-year program applicants.  By the very nature of the program, you are saying "I don't think I need an internship to get where I'm going."  Okay ... why is that?  Do you have special training?  A job lined up?  Your own network that will handle the recruiting burden?  You HAVE to give them some sort of certainty that you've got the job part of this figured out, even as you increase the degree of difficulty of your own recruiting process.  This is why you often hear that 1-Year applicants are going back to their current company or returning to their own business or otherwise not even really going through the recruiting process.  It doesn't have to be that extreme, but you have to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that you can take care of yourself out there. 
4. Bearing the Burden of Proof, Maturity.The other areas where you are guilty until proven innocent is in the area of maturity.  Blame Generation Y or Facebook or whatever you want, but the truth of the matter is that b-schools (typically run by people in their 30s and 40s) think that today's crop of 20-something applicants are lacking in social intelligence and EQ, which means you have to prove you've got a good head on your shoulders.  This is exacerbated in a 1-Year program context.  There's no time to sort of feel your way into it or slowly get up to speed with the culture - it's a sprint to the finish and they want to make sure the students can handle it.  You often see 1-Year programs favor slightly older students because those folks typically have more life and work experience and therefore should be able to assimilate more easily.  But old or young, your job when applying to a 1-Year program is to show you are friendly, collaborative, confident, and ready to hit the ground running.  This is extremely important and we really can't stress enough how much you need to pay attention to EQ in your applications.  
Overall, 1-Year programs can be a great option for taking a money-saving, time-saving, no frills approach to an MBA.  But make sure you ask yourself the questions b-schools will be asking: why are you in such a hurry?  What about the internship?  How are you going to land on your feet?  Are you ready for this?  Will you miss something important?  If you can be honest with yourself about those questions and the program still nets out as the right fit, you will know you are well on your way to satisfying any and all concerns held by the admissions office.  
Now go out there and nail your applications to 1-Year programs before the rest of the world catches up to you. If you are interested in a free initial consultation, please email mba@amerasiaconsulting.com.  Our boutique approach pairs you with one of the principals of our company, meaning you will be working with someone capable of walking you through the above steps and perfecting your application.
Finally, make sure to download our free How to Apply to HBS guide.
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Stephen Covey's 4 Pillars of Leadership: The Definition of Leadership  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2017, 02:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Stephen Covey's 4 Pillars of Leadership: The Definition of Leadership You Want in B-school
Business school applications are all about laying out how you have exhibited the qualities of a leader.  After all, this is the quality that b-schools, in general, desire the most in their applicants. A lot of my admissions consulting clients struggle with a succinct definition of leadership.  That is, one that they as the applicant can use as a succinct model.  To this point, my clients and prospective MBA students ask me what my definition of leadership is.  I believe Stephen Covey covers it well in this article on his blog. (Ref: http://www.stephencovey.com/blog/?p=6)  Although I have referenced this content below for convenience and discussion, the full post is found in its entirely on stephencovey.com.
 Q: What makes a great leader?A: My definition of leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.
Q: You often say that leadership is a choice not a position. Can you elaborate on this?A: Because of the definition I use for leadership, the ability to become such a leader is a choice that any person can make; any parent or grandparent, any teacher, any coach, any co-worker, and friend. When I speak throughout the world, I often ask audiences,
Q: Is there a formula for becoming such a leader?A: I believe there is a formula. They are what we call the four imperatives of leadership.
  • The first is to inspire trust
  • The second is to clarify purpose
  • The third is to align systems
  • The fourth is the fruit of the other three—unleashed talent
I would add that these are based upon principles that build upon each other rather than techniques or steps that have to be taken independent of each other. These aren’t “management tricks” but real principles that guide a true leaders character.
The world is vastly different today and ever-changing. If we can develop leaders who can withstand and embrace the changing times by deeply rooting themselves in these principles of great leadership, then we can develop great people, great teams and great results.
 (Ref: http://www.stephencovey.com/blog/?p=6)  

Covey's leadership paradigm is important as a lot of b-school applications ask for the applicant to provide meaning leadership experience and examples in their essay.Follow Covey’s pillars of leadership and you should have a good start to your essay.  The trick is to not only discuss how well you fit this definition but also how you have displayed this style of leadership during your management responsibilities.  Take your essays a step further by showing how you have sought to “pay it forward” and instill these values in those you have led.

“Live, love, laugh.  Leave a legacy.”

— - Stephen R. Covey, 1932-2012
If you are interested in the MBA Admissions Consulting services offered by Amerasia, please contact us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact/ to set up a free consultation.
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Advice on re-applying to b-school [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2017, 13:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Advice on re-applying to b-school
Finding out you got rejected from your dream school often raises interesting questions.   Should you settle for your second or third choice, or should you hold fast to your MBA dream and re-apply to the same school(s) again next season? High achievers often try to go for their target school again.  Recognizing you are likely more knowledgeable about the process by now, there are still a few things you should know before diving in with a reapplication.
With a nod to your resiliency, you hopefully have first spent some time formulating a plan B for this go-round.  It’s fine to re-apply to your dream school, but you if you happen to get rejected again next season, you need to have a fallback, or really, a plan C—to go for a program you’d be satisfied attending even if it’s not your top choice. 
Life is too short to spend three years trying to get into grad school, and if you haven’t been able to impress the committee for two years in a row, it may simply not be in the cards for you to go there.  Often we see clients becoming enamored with a particular school, when in reality, they could receive the same or very similar education and tools (and networks and contacts and jobs) from another school.  We are all for dogged determination, but at the end of the day, we want to see you get your MBA and not spend half your career applying to school.   
With that, let’s talk about a reapplication strategy. 
One of the most valuable things you can use in this situation is feedback on why you didn’t make the cut last time.  Some schools will actually provide this information if you ask for it, so don’t be shy about reaching back to them.  If you are applying to a school in the top 10, you may not be able to get specifics from the admissions teams on why you didn’t get in due simply to the number of applications they receive, but you can still seek this information from outside sources by confiding in a colleague or contact who has their MBA or perhaps some insight into the process. 
At the very least, you should sit down with your application and try as objectively as possible to see where you may have come up short. If you have trouble finding such shortcomings, it may simply be the case that there were too many applicants similar to you in the pool last year, and the resulting mathematical odds did not go your way.
Assessing your weaknesses is critical to a reapplication, since you may find favor with the same admissions committee that rejected you in the past if you can somehow inoculate the concern.  Of course there are the obvious weaknesses such as a sub-par GMAT score or low GPA, or perhaps you went to a low-ranked state college (nothing you can do about that now of course except to maybe take a course or two at a better school).  The tricky part comes in the more subtle components of the application.    We’ll dive deeper into this area in the next post.
No matter the round, we have helped more than 1000 clients successfully apply to top business schools worldwide since 2008. Let us help you figure out your next step. Schedule a complimentary, one-hour consultation with a member of our expert admissions team. Email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or visit us online at www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.

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What is your MBA reapplication strategy? [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2017, 13:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: What is your MBA reapplication strategy?
One of the most common reasons for rejection for business school applications is when the applicant’s career vision is not clearly connected to what they did in the past, or simply failing to convey a passionate, compelling case for why they needed the MBA. This often comes down to a simple failure of message.  It could be that the overall picture that was painted was not articulated in a way that captured the attention of the committee.  How was your fit with your target programs demonstrated?   Was there something in your application that communicated a poor match with their culture or curriculum?  These are the questions that can truly drive you crazy, since it’s largely guesswork.
Whether or not you can isolate and address a weaknesses in your application, however, is not nearly as important as communicating to the committee what you have done since last year to make you a better candidate this year. This is the number one most important issue to consider when re-applying.  In fact, many schools will only require one essay for a re-applicant, which is basically some version of “what has changed to make you a more viable candidate?”  This is where you should focus, and hopefully you recognized this task soon enough after your rejection last year so that you have spent the past 12 months making things happen to improve your candidacy.  From bettering your GMAT results, to getting a promotion at work, to seeking out new leadership opportunities, there is really no limit to what you can do to improve your profile.  If those efforts happen to directly address an identified weakness, even better. 
Many schools show favor to re-applicants.  Some say your odds go up 30% when you reapply. Maybe schools like the determination they see, or appreciate the demonstration of passion for and commitment to their program. Or perhaps re-applicants simply work harder in the 12 months between seasons to sharpen their attractiveness as a potential MBA candidate.   Whether it’s self-fulfilling prophesy or statistical advantage,  there are good reasons to try again at your target schools, so long as you give some thoughtful analysis to why you didn’t make it and apply some concerted effort into new achievements to enrich your profile.  You have several months ahead to get going on a new plan, and then another whole year before you’d have to matriculate.  Be intentional about seeking out challenges which will truly impress the admissions committee and reveal a stark contrast and improvement over the profile you just submitted and saw rejected.

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What is your MBA reapplication strategy? [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2017, 14:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: What is your MBA reapplication strategy?
One of the most common reasons for rejection for business school applications is when the applicant’s career vision is not clearly connected to what they did in the past, or simply failing to convey a passionate, compelling case for why they needed the MBA. This often comes down to a simple failure of message.  It could be that the overall picture that was painted was not articulated in a way that captured the attention of the committee.  How was your fit with your target programs demonstrated?   Was there something in your application that communicated a poor match with their culture or curriculum?  These are the questions that can truly drive you crazy, since it’s largely guesswork.
Whether or not you can isolate and address a weaknesses in your application, however, is not nearly as important as communicating to the committee what you have done since last year to make you a better candidate this year. This is the number one most important issue to consider when re-applying.  In fact, many schools will only require one essay for a re-applicant, which is basically some version of “what has changed to make you a more viable candidate?”  This is where you should focus, and hopefully you recognized this task soon enough after your rejection last year so that you have spent the past 12 months making things happen to improve your candidacy.  From bettering your GMAT results, to getting a promotion at work, to seeking out new leadership opportunities, there is really no limit to what you can do to improve your profile.  If those efforts happen to directly address an identified weakness, even better. 
Many schools show favor to re-applicants.  Some say your odds go up 30% when you reapply. Maybe schools like the determination they see, or appreciate the demonstration of passion for and commitment to their program. Or perhaps re-applicants simply work harder in the 12 months between seasons to sharpen their attractiveness as a potential MBA candidate.   Whether it’s self-fulfilling prophesy or statistical advantage,  there are good reasons to try again at your target schools, so long as you give some thoughtful analysis to why you didn’t make it and apply some concerted effort into new achievements to enrich your profile.  You have several months ahead to get going on a new plan, and then another whole year before you’d have to matriculate.  Be intentional about seeking out challenges which will truly impress the admissions committee and reveal a stark contrast and improvement over the profile you just submitted and saw rejected.
If you are looking help with your applications, please contact us via mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or at www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact. We have seen what the competition is doing and we can say without a doubt that we go deeper, more strategic, and generate better results with our methods.  Line up a call and find out for yourself.  


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MBA Candidates: Your Audience is not "the Adcom" [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2017, 16:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: MBA Candidates: Your Audience is not "the Adcom"
One question that we get a lot from clients is "what does the adcom want to hear?"  Not only is this the wrong way to approach the process in terms of being an authentic, introspective, and interesting candidate, but it also completely misunderstands who is reading your file. We don't believe in trying to play pin-the-tail-on-the-admissions-officer when it comes to your essays, but we do believe to writing to your audience.  Sending out essays that don't understand the end user is a dreadful mistake indeed.  If you are imagining a room full of ponderous people smoking corncob pipes and debating each file, you are not understanding the end user.  Not even close.  Put another way: when you imagine your audience, you do not want to be picturing the admissions committee (or "adcom," as everyone is fond of saying).
Okay, if the audience is not a room full of people, who is it?The way files are reviewed in an admissions office is almost universal: applications are batched and rendered complete by a records department, put into a queue for a reader, and then reviewed out of that queue by a single admissions officer.  THAT individual is your audience.  Yes, there are other steps that follow (an initial decision made, interview invites, admissions committee reviews on pending admits, etc.), but the one person who will most control your fate - by rendering your initial decision and by potentially becoming your advocate in the process - is the person assigned to your file on the first read.  That person is your audience. Not the whole school.  Not an abstract collective.  Not the "adcom."
So … now that we know who your audience is, how do you write to that person?  Here are three steps for "writing to your audience":1. Know what you can't know.Sounds like armchair philosophy, but this is an important point, worthy of being placed first on this list.  You have to come to grips with the fact that you simply can't know what makes this person tick.  You won't know his or her interests, passions, or beliefs.  I have had clients hesitant to write about things that truly matter to them (religious views, family experiences, etc.) because they worry that others might not agree or might be offended.  Well, that other person might also hate bankers, or misunderstand what consultants do, or despise the college you attended because of the basketball team.  You have NO IDEA what they like and don't like, so why even worry about it?  This is to say nothing of the fact that most people who read files are professional enough to set their own viewpoints to the side; what they want is honest, introspective, and passionate content, not "stuff they agree with."  So please, don't try to figure out what other people want to hear; write what is inside of you.  What makes you tick, what inspires you, what molds you, what you are good at … make this process about who you really are, not what you think someone else wants you to be.
2. Write with incredible clarity.Have you ever wondered why good admissions consultants are so successful, able to boast of amazing results?  Surely, it is either luck, smoke and mirrors, unethical practices, or fabricated results, right?  After all, how else could the simple addition of a consultant so radically alter the results that people experience?  Allow me to offer one explanation: a good admissions consultant demands and ensures clarity in essay writing.  From overall structure to easy-to-find career goals to use of thesis statements to paragraph balance to respect of words counts, good consultants know how to make an essay easy to read.  And crafting an essay that is easy to read is the most critical thing you can do to respect your audience - and therefore, write to your audience.  Imagine if you had to read 50 or 100 files a day.  Now imagine that a majority of them are full of esoteric concepts, paragraphs of massive length (or, worse, tons of scattered paragraphs), buried answers, and "creative" writing (that goes nowhere).  Pretty frustrating, right?  Pretty exhausting, no?  Now imagine that an application pops up that is incredibly easy to read and follow.  That person is basically twice as likely to get in, just on this fact alone.  We honestly can't state strongly enough how important this is to your chances.
3. Write like a human being, for human beings.Do not write a jargon-filled essay.  Do not write like an MBA Bot created in a lab.  Don't try to impress people with how smart you are.  Look, I can say it 10 different ways, but the point here is you want to humanize yourself through your essays - and to do that, you need to humanize your writing.  I would say one of the most common mistakes I see from otherwise strong candidates is that they write in a really dense, overly complicated style.  Don't picture your boss or a famous investor when you write - picture a college buddy, a fun aunt, or maybe your favorite coffee shop barista.  How would you explain your goals to those people?  How would you share a key moment from your life with someone like that?  Let that be your guide.  
4. Understand the DNA of the school. We're taking a slight turn here.  So far we have stripped away the idea of trying to "figure out" the person on the other end of the process, instead focusing on introspection and then structured, clear writing.  Now though, we fold back in the idea that each school is indeed different.  We still don't know what the admissions officer at MIT might be thinking relative to the second-year student at Booth, so there's no use trying to understand them on an individual level.  And we still don't want to think of the file as being reviewed by a boardroom full of people with nothing but time on their hands. However, we do want to contextualize our individual reader.  We know that this person is a professional, wants to read essays about the real "you," and that he or she craves clear writing.  Is there anything else we can know without truly knowing this exact person?  Yes.  We know that they - in all likelihood - have great affinity for the school at which they work.  Why else would they take this job?  And not only do they love the school, but they subscribe to a viewpoint of that school that differentiates it from the other top programs.  The surest way to take your personal, clear, human writing and and elevate it for your audience (to make this person fall in love with your candidacy, basically) is to make sure you hit the DNA of the school in question.  Know what makes that program special and unique.  Know how they see themselves on the spectrum of MBA programs.  Really showcase your desire to be there, beyond "I want to take Class X from Professor Y."  Make them read your file and think, "wow, this person is PERFECT for our school!"
If you are able to follow these four steps - and you have handled the basics (proper career goals, strong business school themes, overall merit and qualifications) - you will enjoy incredible results. This is because you are no longer just another qualified applicant with a decent set of essays, but someone who is connecting directly with the person who controls your fate.  You will be "writing to your audience" … and it has nothing do with figuring out what the "adcom wants to hear."
We believe that we understand how to write for the audience better than anyone out there and - more importantly - we have the talent, experience, and work ethic to back those theories up.  To find out why our clients are doing so well, please email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com for more information and to request a free consultation.
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Tips for Getting Off the Waitlist and into B-school (Updated) [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2017, 05:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Tips for Getting Off the Waitlist and into B-school (Updated)
Waitlist season is in full bloom and with R3 notification deadlines wrapping up the countdown clock is ticking for those still waiting in line. Of course it’s inevitable that most of you will be waitlisted at some of your top school choices - after all, getting waitlisted at a stretch school means that you hedged effectively.(Note - my opinion is that an effective hedging strategy should include a stretch, safe-stretch and backup school selections.)
So what can you do at this point in the game? If waitlisted, follow this protocol:Before anything else - make sure the school accepts additional information from waitlisted candidates.That is, that they actually want to hear from you. Figuring this out is not accomplished via phone call (at first). Rather, this is done by reading the website. Phone calls inundate the admissions office – so avoid them if possible.
Only after  checking the school's website - and only after you can't find any information on how to update the admissions committee – do you call a school to find out how they would like additional information. Be prepared for the following - some schools do not want updates. Some schools want updates only after a certain date. Deal with it and move on. Do not constantly call the admissions office as well. Be respectful of the process and other people's time.
Assuming the program does take waitlist updates - communicate to the school that you are indeed serious about attending their school and that they are your first choice. When crafting updates, be mindful of each individual program's protocol when doing so.You have to show interest so that when the admissions committee goes to the waitlist and opens up your file, you look like you will accept if they extend you an invite. My colleague Adam Hoff wrote about this specific point in an earlier blog post about addressing Chicago Booth's waitlist assignment
Also, by communicating them you are more likely to move up the waitlist (if schools rank the waitlist), hopefully get off the waitlist and eventually matriculate. So if are indeed the caliber of student that the school wants to eventually accept, you need to show that you have been progressing across your “submitted” candidacy and especially in any area of weakness. Communicate this to the admissions office in one or two notices at the most (as new information may become available on your part).
Any new information should bolster your positioning.That is, it shows that you are progressing as a leader and manager; that you are increasing your role, your visibility and your responsibilities. This evidenced by promotions, awards and new leadership responsibilities. Search your application for any part that is weaker than the rest (ideally, you will know this before submitting). Address that area with your update. Don't rehash old information, please.
Follow each admissions committee's protocol - one size does not fit all. Make sure that if the adcom has requested specific information, you send that as well.If a school wants a general update with few specifications on how they want it, simply put your waitlist update into a short letter. I recommend no more than one page email (~300 to 400 words), and send it to the adcom. Be sure to reiterate your reasons concerning what you would contribute to the program, that you are a good fit and you most definitely want to attend. This is where good cover letter type structure will really help your cause.
Make sure you include your proper contact information as well.I know, I know, but this is worth pointing out - just consider how frustrating it is to receive an email from an different email account address than you put on your application.
Remember, proper contact information includes your file or applicant number. Refer to your submitted application form for this information. When the adcom reads over your update and then looks for a place to stick it, do not make them hunt your file down, they won’t do so with a smile on their face.
If a program accepts additional recommendations:My view is that they are good only if the person is connected to the school and/or knows you in a professionally intimate or significant leadership setting.  
Additional recommendations are also a great opportunity to bolster the weaker aspects of your application. So pick a recommender who can bolster your weaknesses.  For example, if you have lack of leadership/management, pick a project manager who can attest to your informal management.
One other thing to note is that a current student vouching for your candidacy also works, especially if they have a relationship with the admissions committee (i.e. student interviewer). 
If your recommender is a significant donor or a famous alum that works very, very well. Trust me, I have seen this happen before. This also works if the admissions committee does not accept additional recommendations. Anyone donating a lot of money to school has a right to submit a recommendation on your behalf, but the recommendation has to appear as unsolicited. If the admissions committee think she put the significant donor up to it, it will hold little to no credibility.
Properly Timing your waitlist update is also an important consideration.[*]As soon as you receive your waitlist email, respond and indicate you want to be on the waitlist. It’s as simple as clicking a few links. also,  there is no need to send a "thank you for putting me on the waitlist" email. Just get online click that you want to remain on the waitlist.[/*][*]If the school accepts additional information, send your update within 2 weeks for being placed on the waitlist. This is your first update.[/*][*]Make sure you know when the next round deadline is. You want to send in your 2nd update approximately 2 weeks before they admissions committee starts to finalize their list of acceptances for the next round.[/*][*]I believe that the minimum number of communiques should be two. A third update is appropriate for significant events such as promotions or other enhanced leadership responsibilities.[/*][*]Remember that you need an ace in the hole, should your waitlist status extend beyond one round. That is, you get waitlisted in round one and still remain on the waitlist in round three. Waitlists are a necessary evil and they can extend the ultimate decision regarding your application until a few weeks before school starts.[/*][/list]One more thing to consider:If you are waitlisted at a program with a high matriculation rate (i.e. most people accept their offer of admission), then the chances of you getting off that particular waitlist are slim. HBS is a prime example of this. They hardly ever go deep into their waitlist pool, if at all.
Good luck out there.
If you are interested in a free initial consultation, please email mba@amerasiaconsulting.com.  Our boutique approach pairs you with a consultant capable of walking you through the above steps and perfecting your application.
If you would like to gain immediate insight into our school specific expertise and MBA program analysis, make sure to download our free How to Apply guides.

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How to Personalize Your Interest in an MBA Program [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2017, 01:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: How to Personalize Your Interest in an MBA Program
The simplest and most important thing you can do to improve your "Why B-School X" portion of career goals essay is to personalize any and all content.  What do I mean by "personalize?"Simple: make anything you write about the school specific to you, your experience, your desires, or what you require from a program.  Never just state absolutes, generalities, or even known truths and facts - always make them personally-held viewpoints.  Examples are the best way to understand this (after the jump): 
Example #1
  • GOOD - "I am seeking an intense MBA experience, which is why INSEAD is my top choice." 
  • BAD - "INSEAD is one of the most intense MBA programs in the world." 
WHY?The first sentence is a statement about what you want (an intense experience), which is used as justification for pursuing the school.  It doesn't matter whether you are right or wrong in your assessment, so long as you believe it and can then base a decision on that belief.  Whereas in the second sentence, you are simply stating a fact.  There are multiple problems with this: A) you might be wrong, B) even if you are right it might sound lecturing (which can irritate a reader who is far more of an expert on the subject than you are), or C) even if you are right and the reader is not mildly irritated, you still miss a chance to express something about you.  Anything in any essay that doesn't tell the reader more about you, your world, and what you want is wasted space.
Example #2
  • Good - "One thing that drew me to Duke right away was the small class size, which has always been the ideal setting for me to grow and learn." 
  • BAD - "Small class sizes are the best way to learn, which is why I love Duke."
WHY?This one has a wrinkle, which is that the "bad" sentence sort of seems to personalize the statement with the "why I love Duke" part.  The problem is that the revelation is still not based on a personal belief, but rather a statement of fact.  Indeed, this statement of fact is even more egregious than the INSEAD statement above because it's offering up as concrete fact something that is highly debatable.  Maybe large classes are the best way to learn.  Maybe it's online.  Maybe it's one-on-one.  Who are you to say?  Who am I to say?  None of us are experts in the sphere of ideal learning models, so this just sounds completely arrogant.  Whereas in the "good" example, we see that it's simply a personal preference that is the basis for further interest in Duke. 
I could go on and on and write 10 examples, but two is probably enough.
The main thing is to read every single sentence you write about a program and make sure that it's always personal - told from your perspective, your opinion, your beliefs, and your desires.  If it dissolves into "brochure writing" - just statements of fact, no matter how benign or flattering to the school - there is zero upside and plenty of downside. It's a small thing, but we see it crop up in probably 90% of the essays we read, so it's obviously a fairly widespread problem.  And while it may not be the entire difference between being admitted or denied, it can definitely be the difference between getting a good or a bad read of your file.  And in our experience, *that* is often the difference between being admitted or denied.     
If you are interested in talking with a consultant now - before essays are released and the busy summer season kicks in - hit us up at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com.  We have several "early bird" deals that will run through May and give you the best bang for your buck.
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Path-Bending Leadership at Haas: a de facto 5th Principle [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2017, 00:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Path-Bending Leadership at Haas: a de facto 5th Principle
“What does it mean to be a path-bending leader? What paths need bending? What makes Berkeley-Haas a unique environment for developing the path-bending leaders who will determine what is next? What is the connection between commercial opportunity and responsible leadership? How are Berkeley-Haas alumni transforming the companies they lead and the industries they serve? How does the greater diversity of people in organizations lead to more innovative thinking?”

http://insights.haasalumni.org/2012/05/ ... hip-panel/
Path-Bending Leadership at Haas: a de facto 5th PrincipleWe have all known about Berkeley-Haas' 4 "Defining Principles" for a while now.   Personally, I consider Haas' emphasis on "Path-bending leadership" to be a de facto "5th principle" that builds upon the Defining Principles.  Most significantly and over the past year, I have seen path-bending leadership take on a greater significance with faculty, alumni and student discussions alike.  This trend has implications for your essays and "why Haas?"  
In short, path-bending leadership addresses the need for greater "problem framers."  Traditionally, b-schools have been adept at creating problem solvers, but have paid much less emphasis on those that can anticipate and adapt quickly to rapidly changing business and social environments.   Simply put, it's leadership that is more than just smart people creating a static plan and then executing on it.
Path-bending leaders:
  • Recognize that faster innovation is a constant.
    • In response, they create cultures that can accommodate and thrive in constantly changing cultures and sets of circumstances. 
  • Divert from the traditional way of doing things in order to respond quickly.
    • They recognize that companies (and managers) who have a myopic focus on creating long, drawn-out strategy are not as agile and quick to respond.
    • They recognize that the old way of doing things means they will get beaten to the punch by companies that are smaller, nimble and agile.
  • Can be paranoid - "Only the paranoid survive."
    • That is, you are only as good as how you respond, what you can deliver quickly, and how fast you anticipate what you cannot see immediately.
    • "Be paranoid about what you are missing."
  • Bring multiple viewpoints (and associated people) together to deal with complexity and consistently use this strength as a speedy differentiator. 
  • Start off strong - so the big guys (entrenched competitors) can't kill you when they discover you.
  • Influence extends across industry and geography, as well as the for and non-profit sectors.
Examples of path-bending leaders:
  • Margo Alexander, BS 68,  former Chairman and CEO of UBS Global Asset Management
  • Paul Rice, MBA 96, founder and CEO of Fair Trade USA
  • Patrick Awuah, MBA 99, founder of the Ashesi University in Ghana
So how can you - as an applicant to Haas - learn more about Haas' view on path-bending leadership?
  • First, read this article "Haas School of Business: Building Innovative Leaders http://haas.berkeley.edu/strategicplan/deanarticle.pdf >  Consider it a primer.
  • Then watch this video-taped discussion to hear Haas faculty and alumni give their assessment of path-bending leadership.
Path Bending Leadership at Haas
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Path-Bending Leadership at Haas: a de facto 5th Defining Principle [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2017, 21:01
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: Path-Bending Leadership at Haas: a de facto 5th Defining Principle
“What does it mean to be a path-bending leader? What paths need bending? What makes Berkeley-Haas a unique environment for developing the path-bending leaders who will determine what is next? What is the connection between commercial opportunity and responsible leadership? How are Berkeley-Haas alumni transforming the companies they lead and the industries they serve? How does the greater diversity of people in organizations lead to more innovative thinking?”

http://insights.haasalumni.org/2012/05/ ... hip-panel/
Path-Bending Leadership at Haas: a de facto 5th PrincipleWe have all known about Berkeley-Haas' 4 "Defining Principles" for a while now.   Personally, I consider Haas' emphasis on "Path-bending leadership" to be a de facto "5th principle" that builds upon the Defining Principles.  Most significantly and over the past year, I have seen path-bending leadership take on a greater significance with faculty, alumni and student discussions alike.  This trend has implications for your essays and "why Haas?"  
In short, path-bending leadership addresses the need for greater "problem framers."  Traditionally, b-schools have been adept at creating problem solvers, but have paid much less emphasis on those that can anticipate and adapt quickly to rapidly changing business and social environments.   Simply put, it's leadership that is more than just smart people creating a static plan and then executing on it.
Path-bending leaders:
  • Recognize that faster innovation is a constant.
    • In response, they create cultures that can accommodate and thrive in constantly changing cultures and sets of circumstances. 
  • Divert from the traditional way of doing things in order to respond quickly.
    • They recognize that companies (and managers) who have a myopic focus on creating long, drawn-out strategy are not as agile and quick to respond.
    • They recognize that the old way of doing things means they will get beaten to the punch by companies that are smaller, nimble and agile.
  • Can be paranoid - "Only the paranoid survive."
    • That is, you are only as good as how you respond, what you can deliver quickly, and how fast you anticipate what you cannot see immediately.
    • "Be paranoid about what you are missing."
  • Bring multiple viewpoints (and associated people) together to deal with complexity and consistently use this strength as a speedy differentiator. 
  • Start off strong - so the big guys (entrenched competitors) can't kill you when they discover you.
  • Influence extends across industry and geography, as well as the for and non-profit sectors.
Examples of path-bending leaders:
  • Margo Alexander, BS 68,  former Chairman and CEO of UBS Global Asset Management
  • Paul Rice, MBA 96, founder and CEO of Fair Trade USA
  • Patrick Awuah, MBA 99, founder of the Ashesi University in Ghana
So how can you - as an applicant to Haas - learn more about Haas' view on path-bending leadership?
  • First, read this article "Haas School of Business: Building Innovative Leaders http://haas.berkeley.edu/strategicplan/deanarticle.pdf >  Consider it a primer.
  • Then watch this video-taped discussion to hear Haas faculty and alumni give their assessment of path-bending leadership.
Tips for Haas MBA Essays | Path Bending Leadership at Berkeley Haas | Amerasia Consulting Group Blog | Top Reviewed MBA Admissions Consultants

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4 Defining Principles | Path Bending Leadership at Berkeley Haas | Amerasia Consulting Group Blog | Top Reviewed MBA Admissions Consultants

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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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How to prepare for Application Season [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2017, 19:02
FROM Amerasia MBA Blog: How to prepare for Application Season
While for those who just finished off their third round b-school applications, it’s already time for others to begin thinking about “next season.” Application season begins in earnest after all of last year’s applications are processed, and every final offer of admission is made and filled.  While schools will continue to tweak their student body which is set to start in the fall by filling gaps and chasing yield, for the most part, by early summer, they are busy getting ready to launch the next season’s application information.  Generally, most schools release their applications in July, but until the new admissions essay questions are announced and any changes in application instructions are rolled out, applicants who find themselves playing the waiting game can begin making good use of this down time.
For one thing, prospective applicants can visit target schools.  While classes are still in session, school will often allow you to come by and sit in, meet professors and students, and sample the wares. Don’t wait until finals week, but up until the near-end of the school year is a great time to see schools and try them on for size.  If you miss this window, you will need to wait until fall, since schools are not as interesting to visit during the summer when all the students are off doing internships, and often in the fall, it can be difficult to find open tour slots for the most popular schools. Plus, you will likely be very busy in the fall writing applications, and often we find that applicants write better ones when they wait until after their visit to put pen to paper.  You don’t want to be crammed for time because you waited until August or September to book your visit.
Secondly, during this long runway time, you could be studying for and improving your GMAT score, which has become increasingly important to gain the attention of top schools.Just like school visits, you would ideally have your score secured before applications come out, so you can focus all your time on preparing them.  A good GMAT score can make up for a multitude of shortcomings in your academics, so buckle down and get busy studying, taking a prep course, and taking practice tests.  You will most certainly be glad you did.
Additionally, to prepare for application season, you can be doing all the legwork which can become overwhelming the closer you get to the fall. Obtaining transcripts, documenting extracurricular involvement and tracking down the appropriate administrative contacts you will need to do so can be remarkably easy when you approach offices in the summer when students are gone.  Speaking of administrative details, touching base with potential recommenders is another great way to wisely use the next several months to your advantage.  Remember, the better your supporters recall your impact, the better their recommendation will be—spend some quality time meeting casually with those whom you plan to ask to recommend you for b-school.
Finally, taking some time for good, old-fashioned introspection is always recommended for candidates to clear their minds, think on their strengths and weaknesses, and recall stories from their past which illustrate leadership potential and teamwork ability. If one of your weaknesses is academics or GMAT, you have the time now to take additional courses, an opportunity which could be gone if you wait until after you submit your application, at least if you want to be recognized for such an achievement by the admissions committee.
For an overview of our MBA admissions consulting services, visit http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/mba_admissions_consulting_services/
If you are interested in the MBA Admissions Consulting services offered by Amerasia, please contact us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.comor www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact/ to set up a free consultation.



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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________


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

Kudos [?]: 218 [0], given: 220

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