In the first week of June I had the great pleasure of getting together with colleagues from around the world for the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants’ annual conference. This year it was in Palo Alto – thanks to the conference organizers for arranging 3 days of perfect weather! Here is a summary of highlights.
- I particularly enjoyed a session on the “Next Generation GMAT.” Ashok Sarathy, Vice President, GMAT Program, GMAC, described its content and the process of developing it and rolling it out in detail next year. Essentially the changes address a weakness in the current test as perceived by businesses, in that it doesn’t measure a factor of increasing importance in business: integrative reasoning. GMAC identified four dimensions to test in this area: ability to assimilate disparate information; ability to interpret data; ability to convert data; and ability to recognize and evaluate tradeoffs and outcomes. To my current and prospective clients: I will work with you to find ways to portray your integrative reasoning skills right away!
- Interactions with admissions directors from a various MBA programs is always one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of the conference. This year we welcomed admissions officials from Tuck, Columbia, Darden, UCLA Anderson, Yale, Cornell Johnson, and IE in Spain. Haas hosted one session on its campus and updated us on numerous points from financial aid to career services, and Tulane participated as an AIGAC member. Finally, we were thrilled to tour Stanford GSB’s new Knight Management Center and talk with a representative about the program. This year, our theme with the admissions officials was “fit,” and we discussed it primarily in the context of essays and interviews. We learned some of the nuances of these programs’ current concerns and preferences. In the session on fit and the interview process, one concern emerged loud and clear among the various adcom members: the increasing tendency for interviewees to appear too casual in their dress, their speech, their body language, and their grooming.
- Not least, I enjoyed talking with many of the AIGAC members representing test prep companies including Veritas, Kaplan, and Manhattan GMAT, and related services such as the online social network Beat the GMAT (please check out Accepted’s forum there!). Since GMAT concerns are a significant factor in MBA admissions, it’s valuable for me to learn about their services as well as the needs and trends they perceive in the market.
By Cindy Tokumitsu, author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has worked with hundreds of successful MBA applicants in her last ten years with Accepted. She can help you assess your strengths and weaknesses and develop a winning MBA admissions strategy.