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.

May 08, 2014

On travel, visiting MBA programs, and other things

In this post, I discuss a number of things mostly relating to me.  I don’t do this sort of thing often, but now seemed to be a good time.

Since June of 2013, my wife and I have been living in different cities in order to expand our perspectives and live (not just travel) in different places.  A great thing about my job as a graduate admissions consultant is that as long as I have an internet connection, I can work anywhere, which is what I have been doing.  First, we spent three months in Berlin (With short trips to Paris, Salzburg, and Warsaw), next a month each in Chicago and New York City (I visited Columbia Business School, NYU Stern, Cornell Johnson, Wharton, and Yale SOM), and since November have been based in Kuala Lumpur (With trips to Bali, Hanoi, Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), and Tokyo (Sushi recharge).  On the 20th, we leave for Rome and will be back in Japan after a week in London (I have already scheduled a visit at London Business School).  Whether it has been visiting B-schools on the East Coast or dodging motorbikes in Hanoi or understanding how the raise of Mal aysia’s middle class society is giving new life to American  restaurant franchises that are shrinking at home or wondering around everywhere in Europe’s most dynamic city (Berlin) or meeting clients in NYC and Warsaw, my perspectives have been challenged and my views have broadened.   And, whatever your age (in my case, 46), gaining new experiences and perspectives is critical to not only staying mentally agile, but living an interesting life.

My visits to schools on the East Coast was a great opportunity to talk with admissions at Cornell and NYU and former clients at Columbia, Wharton, and Yale.
I visited Yale before the new building had opened, but my former client and I walked around.  It represents such a massive change for a school that really did have a pretty awful building.  If I was to bet on one school to increase in rankings and number of applications over the next few years, it would surely be Yale.

Talking with Cornell’s Christine Sneva, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, I was also impressed by what I think is the most innovative new MBA program around, Johnson’s  One-Year MBA at Cornell Tech.  Amongst top US schools, only Kellogg (limited to those with essentially the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in business) and Cornell at the main campus  (limited to those with a graduate degree, CFA, CPA, Actuary certification, and project management certification) have been offering one-year MBAs. The new one-year program is different because of its interdisciplinary focus on the digital economy.  While this MBA is not for everyone, it creates a third  great option for those who want to do a one-year MBA in the US.  While Cornell’s new NYC campus is being built, those in the Cornell Tech MBA will have to take their classes at Google’s NYC building.  I hope to have the opportunity to work with applicants on this program in the coming year.  By the way, if you are interested in applying to Johnson’s one or two-year programs in Ithaca, I highly recommend visiting.
Based on what I observed, Johnson provides a level hospitality to visiting applicants that is highly personal and really gives applicants the chance to make a positive impression.

One of the best parts of visiting schools is talking with former clients and, when possible, going to classes.  Getting the perspective of  current students or very recent alumni remains the single best way to get informed about the realities of any MBA program. Even if you can’t visit, make the necessary contacts because students will give you insights that you can’t get from a video, a presentation, or even most formal school visits.

While my constant travels will to end in July when I return to Japan, I am beginning a new adventure. I have been admitted to INSEAD’s Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change (EMCCC), http://specialised-degrees.insead.edu/executive-master-in-consulting-and-coaching-for-change/. I am very excited to be part of a program that seems specifically geared towards enhancing my professional skills as a coach and consultant.  As an executive program, it will allow me to continue working while attending a series of short modular courses at INSEAD’s campus in Singapore beginning in September 2014. I plan to reduce my counseling workload by 25% to give myself plenty of time to focus on the program.  Just for the record, I had to write 14 essays with a total word count of over 7000 words.   I have always sympathized with my clients doing their applications, but since I finished my prior masters degree in 1993, lets just say that I have now received a reminder of what is involved in putting a graduate application together.

In order to better lead my clients through their own self-transformations, I have wanted to experience a more personally transformational approach to education. Working as an MBA admissions consultant since 2001, I have learned about curricula at top business schools.  The part of the MBA that has most intrigued me is the transformational aspect in terms of self-understanding. I wish to experience this for myself and in an intensive way, which what INSEAD’s EMCCC will allow me to do.  I look forward to sharing my insights with both my clients and future readers of this blog.

Finally, I wanted to discuss my plans for the blog during the rest of the year.  For the rest of May, I plan to write a number of long pieces like the one I posted yesterday.  Once schools start putting up their essays, I will post analysis for the schools I typically cover. I plan to do relatively limited blogging in June, just focusing on CBS, HBS, Stanford, and Wharton and heavy blogging in July to  mid-August.  As is usually the case, my blogging will die down from late August through early October, pick up a bit in October and die down again in November through early January.  As I blogged heavily in January and February, I hope to bring my total number of posts to 50-60 for the year.  As per usual, I will focus on substance over quantity.

-Adam Markus
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.
Real Time Web Analytics