The 13th Annual AIGAC Conference was held virtually, for the first time, on May 18-19, 2020, due to the global Covid pandemic.
Download the AIGAC 2020 Conference Program.
Many thanks to our…
2020 Host Schools
AIGAC was originally scheduled to visit IESE Business School and ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain and were very excited to do so. In early March 2020, with the looming global health crisis, the AIGAC board, in conjunction with IESE’s leadership, decided to hold the conference virtually.
We wish to thank Paula Amorim and Kelly Moss at the IESE Business School, and Jeroen Verhoeven at ESADE Business School for their extraordinary efforts and planned hospitality in hosting our members. We look forward to rescheduling a future visit.
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2020 Conference Committee
Faye Mackenzie, Conference Co-Chair
Prashant Tibrewal, Conference Co-Chair
Barbara Coward, Communications Chair
Thanks also to Amy Molden and Krithika Srinivasan, our communications committee members who contributed to the 2020 conference planning effort.
AIGAC 2020 Conference Recap
Inaugural AIGAC Applicant Fair
Our virtual 2020 Annual Conference included AIGAC’s first-ever Applicant Fair! It was a great opportunity for prospective students to have their questions answered directly by representatives from top business schools including Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Yale School of Management, and more!
The timing of the fair was particularly relevant as both applicants and schools grappled with the changes and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. School representatives addressed questions or concerns about recent changes to admissions criteria as well as new developments and program initiatives at their school, such as new STEM designations.
By all measures, the Applicant Fair was a huge success — over 800 MBA applicants attended and many other interested participants were not able to be registered once we hit the conference participant limit.
Conference Session Recaps
Panel & Demo: Tech Showcase by Business Schools
Moderator: Travis Morgan | Panelists: Paola Eicher (IMD), Paula Amorim (IESE), Shari Hubert (Duke)
With the world moving online because of COVID-19, schools have adopted innovative measures to deliver many admissions activities as well as classroom delivery online. Our inaugural tech showcase started with a panel discussion with school representatives, followed by an overview of admissions activities that the schools had successfully moved online, e.g. Assessment Day, Case Study Discussion, Welcome Weekend, etc. As a result, participants were able to better support clients who are applying to business school in our “new normal.”
Panel: COVID-19 – Changing Global Circumstances: US Schools
Moderator: Chris Aitken | Panelists: Amanda Carlson (Columbia), Blair Mannix (Wharton), Dawna Clarke (Darden), Kate Smith (Kellogg), Kirsten Moss (Stanford), Peter Johnson (Haas)
So much has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and schools are constantly adapting their recruitment strategy, program delivery and future plans accordingly. In fact, there are so many updates that it’s challenging to keep up with all of them on a daily basis. This panel enabled participants to catch up with these changes taking place as we dove into a deeper discussion with business school representatives from U.S. B-schools on issues and questions that matter most to AIGAC members and our clients.
Deans’ Keynote Panel
Moderator: Nupur Gupta | Panelists: Franz Heukamp (Dean, IESE Business School), Scott DeRue (Dean, Ross School of Business), William Frederic Boulding (Dean, The Fuqua School of Business)
For our keynote panel, we brought together three deans of leading business schools in Europe and the United States to discuss their vision for the future and how the current crisis has impacted business education both now and in the coming years. Nupur Gupta, President of AIGAC, led a discussion that included questions from our members.
Breakout Rooms with School Representatives
The breakout rooms provided an opportunity to have a candid and free-flowing conversation with admissions officers in themed breakout rooms. This is one of the most anticipated sessions of our conference each year, and while the online format was new, the benefits for session participants were the same. Participants connected with admissions officers on some of the most important topics for our clients including admissions, academics, student life, and career services.
Building a Class
Building a Class has been our most popular activity over the last few years – and for a good reason. It provides a sneak peek behind the curtain into the admissions evaluation process in a simulated environment. In mixed break-out groups with admissions officers and AIGAC members, we handicapped hypothetical applications to “AIGAC University” to better understand each school’s perspective in their decision-making process. The exercise was designed to encourage a discussion of fit, both for candidates and schools, and the nuances important in application evaluation. Each group ultimately joined the common room to share their selection results and key discussion points.
Panel: COVID-19 – Changing Global Circumstances: European Schools
Moderator: Andrea Sparrey | Panelists: Aram Karakashian (Imperial), Amy Duckworth (Cambridge), Francesca Roveda (SDA Bocconi), Sara Vanos (HEC Paris)
So much has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and schools are constantly adapting their recruitment strategy, program delivery and future plans to the changing global dynamics. This panel facilitated a deeper discussion with business school representatives from Europe, on topical issues and questions that impact different stakeholders in the global MBA landscape.
Panel: Admissions & Program Trends
Moderator: Linda Abraham | Panelists: Bruce DelMonico (Yale), Imran Kanga (Rotman), Rabia Ahmed (NYU), Rod Garcia (MIT)
Business schools aren’t just teaching innovation; they are implementing innovation in both the admissions process, program content and delivery. Some examples in recent years have included video essays, EQ recommendations, deferred options for college seniors, and STEM designations. This esteemed panel of admissions experts discussed what’s new and next for their programs and their admissions criteria.
For the first time ever, AIGAC brought together applicants, consultants and admissions representatives in one place! This educational event helped all stakeholders gain greater clarity to make informed decisions on school selection and choice so we can all create a better tomorrow.
In breakout rooms, admissions representatives answered questions from 800+ applicants and provided applicants – and consultants! – greater clarity on issues and topics of concern in these unprecedented times.