By Vince Ricci,
AIGAC President 2016-2017
Outgoing President’s Message
I want to kick off my final president’s message by extending a special note of thanks to outgoing board members, Michael and Maxx, who will complete their board terms on 31 Jul 2017. As a Board Director from 2014-17, Michael served as the Sponsorship Chair for the 2015 and 2016 AIGAC Conferences in addition to serving on the 2014 Conference Planning Committee. Since 2014, Michael has used his sales expertise to identify and capture new sponsorship opportunities. Year-round support plays a critical role in sustaining AIGAC by supplementing our membership and conference revenue, as explained here https://youtu.be/q6gT66IuzEY. In 2017, we brought our annual meeting to Michael’s alma mater, The UCLA Anderson School of Management. We warmly thank Michael for his service and will miss his aggressive friendliness, upbeat humor and tales of Bucky, the wonder dog.
AIGAC co-founder Maxx Duffy epitomizes the AIGAC spirit. A nine-year member of the board, Maxx has served as Secretary, Conference Co-Chair, Sponsorship Co-Chair, and Governance Chair, and she currently serves as a member of the Governance Committee. Back in June 2006, Maxx joined AIGAC’s three other co-founders at the Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®) Conference. Together, they presented a vision for how graduate admissions consultants and graduate management admission offices might work together. With that vision firmly in place, we presented our MBA Applicant Survey at the 2017 GMAC® Conference, where we were met with hugs and high-fives. Thank you, Maxx, for setting us on the right course, and sticking with us for our first decade.
Second, I feel proud to share some recent breakthroughs in our strategic planning process. Since October 2015, we have engaged the sage counsel of Denny Meadows from SilverFern Advisory. (See http://www.silverfernadvisory.com/about.html). To help clarify our vision for the next three-years, Denny joined us at our first-ever board strategic planning retreat at the Graduate Berkeley on June 18, 2017. As a first step, we have evolved our mission statement. Please, check our website for updates.
In November 2017 and March 2018, we will be checking in with Denny to assess our progress. Please, watch this space for updates. Meanwhile, if you might be interested in serving on our board at some point, we encourage you to start by taking a leadership role in one of our five most active committees: Membership, Sponsorship, Communication, Survey, and Conference. Please, contact Shiela or one of the conference chairs, listed here.
As I look back at the end of my year as AIGAC president, I feel sincere gratitude for the wonderful work our volunteers have contributed to our Membership, Sponsorship, Communication, Survey, and Conference Committees. Supported by Shiela, Lori and our dedicated and talented team at headquarters, and led by incoming President Brett Haber, it is easy for me to understand why our membership continues to grow. I look forward to seeing many of you in Chicago for #AIGAC18. Onward and upward!
January 2017: State of the Organization
AIGAC President Vince Ricci would like to share video updates on the progress our volunteers have made towards meeting our 2016-17 strategic objectives. Thank you for watching the videos below touching on our current five committees.
❶ Thank you, AIGAC Members! President’s message: the state of the organization in Jan 2017
❷ Thank you, AIGAC Sponsors! President’s message: the state of the organization in Jan 2017
❸ What is the AIGAC MBA Applicant Survey and why does it matter? #AIGAC17survey #AIGAC17
❹ Membership Update ▸ #AIGAC president’s message Jan 2017
❺ Communication Update ▸ #AIGAC president’s message Jan 2017
❻ AIGAC 2017 California Conference Update ▸ #AIGAC17
October 2016: Communications Committee Update
Our Communications Committee continues to drive improvements to our website and member directory. As identified in our strategic vision, we are expanding our website to appeal to prospective applicants. As our kick-off project, we are producing a short video that introduces prospective applicants to our member directory. Several board members have reviewed the script and made suggested edits. Now, we would like your input before we start production. Please read it and share your thoughts by adding a comment and/or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in partnership,
How to find a graduate admissions consultant
Let’s face it. There are too many people out there who call themselves “admissions consultants” who are not trustworthy professionals. Selecting an AIGAC consultant means you will work with someone who has been vetted carefully. AIGAC graduate admissions consultants have expertise in the admissions process and abide by high ethical standards. We are the most experienced, most collaborative, best informed, and most invested in our ongoing professional development. We organize and attend annual conferences to stay on top of the latest trends in graduate admissions.
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August 2016: Please join us in thanking outgoing AIGAC President, Andrea Sparrey.
Since attending my first AIGAC Conference in 2011 and joining the AIGAC Board in 2013, I have had the distinct pleasure of collaborating with Andrea Sparrey. Andrea is, without a doubt, the most effective leader I have ever known. She is the kind of person who would add value to any organization. Thankfully, we still have Andrea on the Board, where she serves as Immediate Past-President. Still, we want to take this opportunity to share a few highlights of Andrea’s tenure – in the form of a top 10 list.
Top 10 things we love about Andrea:
Her infectious laughter and whip-smart sense of humor
Andrea’s uncanny ability to instantly identify at least three ways to improve everything she touches. I recall one weekly executive committee call where she led the group to make ten quick fixes that immensely enhanced the usability of AIGAC.org
Andrea simultaneously pushes and supports colleagues, for instance, by steadily enhancing the quality of programming at our Annual Conference
Andrea’s killer social media instincts – under her leadership, AIGAC created two LinkedIn groups, one general group, that includes affiliate members and schools, and another for consultant-members-only. We have also doubled our Twitter followers and launched a Facebook page and YouTube channel
The way she makes everyone around her a better leader. Because I am known to deliberate far too long, Andrea helped me find new ways to take action without over-thinking the small stuff
Her dual focus on short-term needs and long-term objectives, such as they way she transformed our Applicant Survey into a sought after source of industry insights that attracts sustained exposure for volunteers and the organization as a whole
Andrea’s innate sense of fairness, integrity, and fiscal discipline. Under her leadership, AIGAC emerged out of debt and built an operating reserve that allows us to begin investing in resources like our website and member directory
She serves as a role model for members by not only maintaining a highly successful admissions and career consultancy but also finding time to create useful and innovative products, like the 100 Week Sprint
The way Andrea has infused AIGAC with a culture of gratitude, for example, by presenting schools, volunteers, and sponsors with handwritten thank-you notes at our Conference
On balance, Andrea is, without a doubt, the most effective leader I have ever had the privilege of supporting. She simply gets stuff done. Her tireless efforts have brought AIGAC to a new level of strategic and operational excellence. Thank you, Andrea!
July 2016: Introducing your 2016 – 2017 Board
As this cycle’s AIGAC President, Vince is focused on Communications that deliver value for Members. As a first step, Vince started a new series of Presidents Message videos on our AIGAC YouTube site. Please subscribe for the latest updates https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyhpsyvFu5Pxhp6HLIr4VOA
As Communications co-chair with Mateo Chang, Nupur Gupta, and Maria Wich-Vila, Vince is exploring ways to drive traffic to member sites. In addition to emphasizing Communications, Vince will continue to advise the 2017 and 2018 Conferences. He also plans to join Michael Cohen in sustaining our year-round Sponsorships. Please let Shiela know if you have a passion for corporate sponsorship, investor relations, and donor stewardship. AIGAC opens up a world of resources. Join us!
Scott continues as Secretary, where he uses his storytelling skills to drive our ever-growing Survey. This year’s survey initiative was our best ever, thanks to the efforts of Barbara Coward and Stephen Round. Scott also chairs our Membership committee with increased involvement from Sarah McGinty.
We welcome Rachel Korn to the board. Rachel brings international effervescence and deep experience in admissions offices. Along with Adam Markus, Rachel co-chaired our 2016 Conference. Rachel will represent the board in planning our 2017 Conference, which is hosted by Berkeley-Haas. Rachel will also serve as Treasurer-in-Training, mentored by outgoing Treasurer, Brett Haber.
Brett moves into AIGAC’s President Elect position. She brings admissions office experience as well as a deep commitment and passion to making the admissions process transparent, trans-formative, and transcendent. While on deck to lead AIGAC, Brett is looking into AIGAC’s Relationship Manager role in the industry. In addition to being a national champion dancer, Brett thrives when engaging fellow admissions professionals in dialogues that drive positive change. Stay tuned!
As Vince and Brett practice their tango, Andrea moves into the Immediate Past-President role, which covers Governance. In her emeritus role, Andrea may also continue to advise on Conference, Survey, School Relations, Communications and Sponsorship, on an as-needed basis.
Most of all, the AIGAC Founders and Board wish to extend a bouquet of gratitude to Andrea for raising organizational performance levels and creating an ocean of goodwill with schools and other strategic partners. Brava, Andrea!
To keep the spirit of Andrea’s contributions alive, please consider signing up for an AIGAC Committee. Committees activities can help you get noticed in the industry. Ad for those with an interest in sustained service, committee positions sometimes lead to board positions and officer roles. AIGAC is member-based and volunteer-driven.
- Do you want to help change the conversation about graduate school admissions?
- Do you want to develop your analytics skills working with proprietary research that sparks dialogue with key influencers in the graduate admissions space?
- Do you want to plan conferences where thought leaders gather to share perspectives and a common passion for the applicant’s true voice?
Come and grow with AIGAC!
Vince Ricci, AIGAC President