The AIGAC conference was great. Worthy of all my anticipation, excitement, and gushing.
Twenty-six graduate admissions consultants representing 15 consultancies from six countries and four continents gathered to improve skills, talk shop, and share best practices on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. I am proud to say that seven Accepted editors participated in the conference, the largest contingent from any consultancy.
On Wednesday morning we toured Chicago GSB, met with Rose Martinelli — who addressed us and took questions — and other Chicago staff. In the afternoon, we traveled to the other end of Chicago, and met with Kellogg staff, a student in Kellogg’s 1Y program, and then heard from Beth Flye.
On Thursday we had three presentations. I served on a panel discussing “Best Practices in Admissions Consulting.” Later that morning, directors of admission from Anderson, Haas, Kenan-Flagler, London Business School, and Tuck, participated in a panel discussion hosted by AIGAC. In the afternoon we had a chance to speak to additional admissions directors including representatives of Michigan Ross, Georgetown, Cornell, Indiana Kelley, Haas, Anderson, Tuck, Kenan Flagler, INSEAD, and Yale. It was a wonderful learning experience for all who attended.
OK. Enough about us.
A few points of interest to you:
- Chicago plans to release the 2009 questions in roughly two weeks. There will be changes in the questions. The PowerPoint question will return.
- Kellogg plans to release its question in two weeks.
- We discussed the current high interest in CSR. The panelists emphasized that interest in CSR has to be substantiated by previous behavior. They also emphasized that while idealism is wonderful, they are teaching business skills. Show that your goal requires what they teach.
- Although HBS has made the goals essay optional and other schools may move away from it, these panelists stressed the importance of goals. While acknowledging that goals do change, they unanimously believed that direction and a good reason for pursuing an MBA are valuable. Furthermore, if you don’t know what to do after your MBA and are in “self discovery” mode, you will suffer from stimulation overload and an inability to prioritize among the many activities and recruiting events that begin as soon as classes start.
- Christie St. John of Tuck emphasized the importance of refreshing or acquiring quant skills before you arrive on campus. The others agreed. If you haven’t had or aren’t comfortable with accounting, calculus, and statistics, take courses either at a local community college or online.
- We asked about trends: Their response: Increased applications last year and this year.
A couple of pictures:
Accepted Editors at the AIGAC Conference (from left to right) Linda Abraham, Cydney Foote, Sonia Michaels, Sachin Waikar, Tanis Kmetyk, Robbie Walker, Katherine Kidd (non-staff ), and Judy Gruen.
The Best Practices in Admissions Consulting Panel and Discussion with (from left to right) Jeremy Shinewald, Linda Abraham, Anna Ivey, Chioma Isiadinso, and Maxx Duffy.