Go to a better blog!

You can find a better version of my blog at http://www.adammarkus.com/blog/.

Be sure to read my Key Posts on the admissions process. Topics include essay analysis, resumes, recommendations, rankings, and more.

August 17, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated August 18, 2010

Both to answer and to anticipate some likely questions, I have prepared the following FAQ:

1. What is the point of this blog? Are you selling something?
Yes! I am selling my ideas on graduate admissions. The price is reading what I write. I am a professional graduate admissions consultant with a strong belief that all applicants should have access to great admissions information. I try to provide insight into the graduate admissions process based on my experience. As a sole practitioner, I can't possibly provide the scope of coverage that admissions consulting company blogs provide. I focus on what interests me and what my clients need.

My blog is certainly a marketing device for my paid services as a consultant, but I don't make any assumptions about the vast majority of my readers necessarily buying anything from me. I do have an Amazon A-store, where I get a 4% commission on anything sold. If I recommend a book it means I actually think it is good. The A-store is there as a service to readers. You will likely buy from Amazon anyway, I am just focusing on likely categories of books that you may be interested in. After three years, I have gotten a couple of $10 gift certificates out of it.

2. Can you give me advice regarding my application?
I offer individual advice only to my clients.  The blog is the free advice that I offer.  Please visit http://adammarkus.com/. If you are interested in working with me as a client, I can certainly provide individual advice as that is my profession. While I do offer an initial free consultation, I don't offer free one-to-one counseling. Also I consider it unprofessional to offer advice to someone who I have not had a chance to talk with first, so emails that ask for an assessment based solely on the content of the email will receive brief replies referencing this FAQ.

3. OK, so what kind of questions will you answer?
 I will answer questions about my posts in order to clarify what I have written. I will also answer general questions about admissions issues that I think will be of interest to my readers. If you are looking for writing samples or that sort of thing, don't bother asking me because I don't have any.  There are plenty of books that provide essay samples. See here for the only one I ever recommend.  

4. Why should I listen to you?
You should not listen to me. You should not listen to anyone. You should think for yourself and consider what advice you have been offered. If at that point, you consider what I have written to be worth acting on, you will have made that decision yourself. I offer advice not be followed, but to be considered. There are multiple right ways to think about the issues I address. I hope to try to provide great advice, but ultimately the responsibility is yours whether you follow it or not.

5. Is there any structure or logic to how you decide which schools' essays you analyze?
I analyze the essays for (1) schools that my clients apply to, (2) schools that set the standard for their field such as Harvard Law School's LL.M. program, and/or (3) schools that have interesting questions.

6. Why are some of your posts so long?
My posts are as long as they need to be to cover the topic at hand. I realize that adding in the full essay questions makes some of my posts quite long, but I like to think about the whole before breaking it into parts and assume that is true for some of my readers. I can write very succinctly when appropriate, but I am more concerned with clarity and depth rather brevity.

7. Why are some of your posts all in Japanese? Why do you have Japanese in all of the posts? Who writes them?

I do some posting in Japanese because that the native language of my primary client-base.  Clearly Japanese keywords as well as my Japanese language blogs, MBA留学, LLM留学, and 大学院留学 are intended to bring Japanese readers to me. Guerrilla Marketing is fun!

8. Who are your guest bloggers?
In the case of Steve Green and Taichi Kono, they are collegues who trust and have known for many years.  In the case of Knewton, I think they have a great GMAT prep team and some useful advice.

9.  Why don't you write more consistently?
I wish I could, but there are times when I am simply too busy.

10. Sometimes I can't leave comments on your blog. Why?
There is a special place in hell that I hope all Spammers are sent to.  You can blame those parasites of the internet for my need to disable comment functions as I simply tire of reviewing random and disgusting spam, which is the necessary by-product of me needing to referee every comment.

11.  What do you mean "you sponsor" Japan tours and Japan clubs at MBA programs?

I contribute money to Japan tours and Japan clubs in order to (1) support the good work that Japanese MBA students do by improving an understanding of Japan to their fellow students and (2) I want to make it more affordable for MBA students to visit Japan.  My contribution along with that of other sponsors helps make travel to Japan a little cheaper.  

-Adam Markus
アダム マーカス
MBA留学, LLM留学, 大学院留学

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