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#AIGAC16 – Harvard Business School Recap

by Brett Haber, MBA Prep School

The AIGAC team spent a wonderful morning, Thursday June 16, with the HBS admissions team.  We started bright and early at 7:30 with a breakfast for new members in the Spangler Center Dining Hall. Jane Turner Michael took time out of her admissions work to join us and answer questions in small groups.  We covered topics ranging from pre-MBA programming (e.g. Peek) to changes in the 2+2 program.  Following our small group discussions, we toured the facilities en masse, enjoying a perfect Boston day.  Jim Aisner, Director of Media and Public Relations, led us throughout Spangler and across the grounds, introducing the group to the specific places students study, to the unique manner in which students collect their reading materials and noting the changes in campus housing designed to create a more cohesive class.  We, of course, enjoyed the temporary art exhibit just outside the Dillon House doors.  Stopping in a classroom many of our own members reminisced about their personal experiences at the program and others imagined what a case study class would be like with the built in electronic voting mechanisms, offering professors a real-time understanding of each student’s point of view.  Our tour ended in Cummock 102, where we were met by Jana Kierstead, Executive Director of the MBA Program and HBS’s new Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Chad Losee.  The presentation and question and answer session continued to inform our members on topics ranging from financial aid to the structure of the admissions office.  After the full morning, we were whisked across the river to dive deep into the HKS program!

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#AIGAC16 – Recap with Highlights of MIT

by Karin Ash,

I’d like to share some conference “takeaways” from the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts earlier this month. Held at MIT Sloan with visits to HBS, Tuck, and Babson and with presentations by representatives of Wharton, INSEAD, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Haas, Vanderbilt, Darden, Rotman, Yale, UCLA, Columbia, McCombs, IESE, LBS, and Stanford, there were many information highlights.

• An MIT professor has coined the current student population as Generation “S.” One-third of MIT students take three or more electives in sustainability.

• Another MIT professor describes true entrepreneurs as innovation drivers – their companies interact with global markets, they produce products for export, and they have a sustainable competitive advantage. It is these companies that can transform an economy.

• MIT experienced a 35% increase in applications last year.

• MIT’s Master of Finance Program currently has 120 students, 40% women, 80% International, and 80% directly from undergrad. In contrast, the MBA program has 400 students of which 40% are women, 40% international, and students have an average of five years full-time experience.

Click here to finish reading Karin’s recap

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Aligning Your Resume With Your Application Essays

Submitted by Accepted

Aligning Your Resume With Your Application Essays” is the latest post in our series, Navigate the MBA Maze.

MBA and other graduate school applicants frequently submit a resume with their applications. Many schools require it, and some schools, such as Columbia Business School, even specify a given format. The resume not only will present a valuable context for your other materials, but it also will give the adcom readers an easy point of reference as they read your essays.

Click here to read the full article at Accepted – AIGAC Bronze Sponsor

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Pre-Application Tip: Work on Your Résumé First

By Cristina Freeman, Admissions Unlimited. Where are you headed?

You just clicked “new document,” geared up to tell the MBA admissions committee about your long-term goals, most significant accomplishments and how you overcame a failure.  But 30 minutes later, you are still staring at blank screen.  Ideas are swirling around in your mind, but you can’t quite pin them down and decide what to discuss.

Read more about Pre-Application Tips by clicking here.

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MBA Letters Of Recommendation

Submitted by Accepted

Selecting your recommenders takes a strategy. I like to begin with the basics: Who, When, What, Where, and How. I also like to suggest that you make the recommendation more credible to the admissions committee.


Who are the best people to address the questions the school are ask? Who are the best people to affirm what you say and also add information that you don’t have the chance to include in your essay?

Click here to read the full article at Accepted – AIGAC Bronze Sponsor

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MBA Recommendation Advice

By Dr. Aviva Hirschfeld Legatt, VivED Consulting LLC

There is a myth that the higher the social or professional status of the recommender, the more competitive or impressive the recommendation reads to the admission committee. Rather than search your Rolodex or LinkedIn for a long list VIP contact, look at your immediate professional circle. Someone who has directly supervised and observed your work will be in the best position to comment about your candidacy for the MBA program. When you have made the decision to apply for an MBA, make sure to share your plans and goals for studying for the MBA with these individuals and seek their advice.

Read more and see the ideal profile for MBA program recommenders by clicking here.

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Overcoming Hurdles: Financing Your MBA and Graduate Degree

Submitted by Prodigy Finance

Almost nothing about business school is cheap.  The value of education at this level is an investment into your future. And, just about every student allowed the prestige of adding three letters to their CV and title reports that it’s absolutely worth it.

Most candidates, however, don’t have the resources available to pay for graduate education outright.  That’s not surprising given that tuition at elite business schools starts around USD 50,000 per year.  Harvard Business School’s price tag is over USD 60,000 for tuition alone.  On the other side of the Atlantic, the cost of attending an INSEAD programme is more than EUR 65,000 for ten months of study.

But, many students qualify for some form of “free” financial aid.  Upon acceptance of placement, many schools enter candidates into a database for potential scholarships and bursaries.  The more unique your situation (and the earlier your application), the more likely you are to receive some form of a grant.

Click here to read the full article at Prodigy Finance – AIGAC Platinum Sponsor

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Developing Engaging Stories for MBA Essays – Tip # 3

By Poonam Tandon

Address Each Part of the Essay Question

In the past two weeks, I have discussed the following first three important steps in the process of developing engaging stories for MBA essays:

1. comprehending the essay prompt,

2. brainstorming/gathering ideas for the essay prompt, and

3. putting down those ideas on paper

Now let’s discuss one of the key components during this ‘writing’ stage:’ To read the rest of this article click here.

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Welcome to the new AIGAC Blog. Here you will find articles and information from the AIGAC committee and other graduate admissions experts. Please see for details about the organization, membership and contact details and how to join.

We are still currently working on this blog, so please excuse any changes and check back soon for updates.

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