The job of an admissions consultant is a very cyclical one. It is a cycle that did not take me that long to get used to because it does involve a large off-season that makes extended vacations possible. I have been on this cycle since November 2001 and see no end date. I am writing this post after the peak of my busy season, which always runs from late December till mid-January. Over the last few days my workload has gone from burdensome to relaxing. My blogging will increase intensively for the next few months so that I get in a sufficient number of posts before I take an extended vacation from April to mid-June. I will blog when I am vacation, but I am shooting for only about 1-2 entries a week. Between now and my vacation, in addition to blogging, my time will be spent helping clients with interview preparation, late round US applications, and early to late round European applications. I have also started talking with prospective clients interested in using my services for 2013 admissions.
Since going independent in 2007, I have gone from primarily working with Japanese clients to working with clients worldwide. At this point, my clients are as likely to be in the US as Japan with India a close third and Europe and the EU well represented. However, given the global nature of my clients, my US-based client might be American, Chinese, Indian, or Japanese. My Japan-based clients, while the majority are Japanese, have also been Americans, Indians, Chinese, and Canadians. My Singaporean clients have, unsurprisingly, been very diverse. I have worked with Japanese clients based in the US, Europe, and throughout the rest of Asia. My clients from the Middle East have been both Arabs and Israelis. As a long-term expat, I thought I had a fairly solid global perspective, but having the opportunity to work with such a diverse range of people on a daily basis has further opened up my perspective and constantly challenged my consulting methods.
Being challenged by the perspectives I encounter has made me rethink my own methods. The suggestions I write in this blog now are not necessarily the ones I made when it started in 2007 or what I will make in the future. Things change and methods need to change when they no longer work. We can see examples all the time of companies (Kodak is a sad case that comes to mind) that fail to adjust and find themselves on the dustbin of history. Change or die: This applies to not only companies or individuals in general, but to consultants, counselors, teachers, and any other sort of advisor. While much of what I first started advising clients in 2001 is still true now, I know so much more and have so many different ways of helping people that is only possible because I believe in remaining open to change.
Given the current economic and political circumstances we find ourselves in (and these words seem to apply everywhere right now), I think the only way forward is based on embracing change. 2011 was a year of massive disruption and 2012 is likely to prove to be one too. For MBA and other graduate school applicants, these changes will likely need to be factored in, especially in relationship to post-degree goals, school selection, and even the very decision to attend a graduate program. I hope this blog provides useful advice to its readers who choose to change themselves through their educational pursuits.
I am a graduate admissions consultant who works with clients worldwide. If you would like to arrange an initial consultation, please complete my intake form. Please don't email me any essays, other admissions consultant's intake forms, your life story, or any long email asking for a written profile assessment. The only profiles I assess are those with people who I offer initial consultations to. Please note that initial consultations are not offered when I have reached full capacity or when I determine that I am not a good fit with an applicant.