Over $1.6MM in MBA Scholarships

If you are planning to start an MBA in 2011, here is a great opportunity to receive a full ride! Until May 15, QS World Tour is offering MBA scholarships for U.S. and International Students. Check out the information and apply soon to become eligible for these awards:

QS, organizers of the World MBA Tour, understand the importance of financial support during hard economic times.
If you have attended any of the QS fairs or plan to visit them this year, and would like to be considered for one or more of the scholarships from our US$1.6 million fund, register on www.topmba.com/scholarships. Please answer all the questions in as much detail as possible and submit your essays. Each candidate can apply for a number of scholarships: one or two provided by the school he/she has been accepted to, the QS Leadership and the QS Community scholarships.

You have indicated you would like to study in North America – here are the scholarships you might be interested in:

• Chicago BSB Scholarship, worth US$40,000 per year
• Duke University- the Fuqua School of Business Scholarship, worth US$ 23,000
• USC Marshall School of Business Scholarship, worth US$24,000

If you are also considering other destinations, here are all the QS scholarships you can apply for:
• QS Leadership Scholarships, two awards  US$10,000 each
• QS Community Scholarships, five awards US$2,000 each
• IE Business School Scholarships for women, two awards €22,500 each
• Ashridge Business School Scholarship worth £18,000
• Cass Business School in London, six scholarships, total worth of £69,000
• Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Scholarships, total worth of €425,000
• ESMT Diversity Scholarships, two awards  €25,000 each
• EMLYON Business School Entrepreneurial Scholarship worth €15,000
• Melbourne Business School International Scholarship, worth US$ 20,000
• Sydney Business School International Scholarship, total worth of US$12,000

To submit your essays visit www.topmba.com/scholarships.  Login using your email and password, then answer the survey questions and upload the application essay. Submit your application no later than 15th May.

If you encounter any technical problems, please contact Nourra Bojanowska, QS Scholarships Coordinator mba.scholarships@qs.com

Top international business schools look forward to reviewing your essays and awarding scholarships to the best international candidates.

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Choosing a Grad School Program

Often times, we find students asking themselves – should I go for an MBA or for a Master in Management, or another related field? There are several considerations when making this decision. We will expose some of them to help you make the decision that will provide the most advantage in your particular case.

Whether you undergo a mainstream graduate school program or one catering a more specific field of study, continuing your higher education is always the right decision. In college, we spend a couple of years completing core courses not directly related to our field of study. Grad school provides the opportunity to gain a deeper perspective of an area we want to become experts in. With the way grad school programs are structured nowadays, they also allow students to gain real life experience in their field of work. This happens often times through consulting engagements schools offer through corporate alliances. Whether you are completing an MBA or a Master’s in Public Policy, both programs could offer chances to practice consulting while being monitored by faculty. This is the Mecca of education – to learn while doing and being supervised by experts who will in turn provide feedback on how you did.  With these learning methodologies, grad school has dramatically changed for the better in the last two decades. You cannot go wrong when pursuing a grad school program from an accredited university.

So how do we determine what program meets our needs best? We analyze the following and conclude on each one of these aspects, as they directly pertain us:

1-      Fit with competencies: Knowing what our strengths and weaknesses are is essential to understanding if we can maximize success with the program. If we lack mathematics skills and the program is mathematics-intensive from the get-go, what are really our chances to succeed in that program? (Definition of success = ability to accomplish goals and be happy, at the same time). We want to enter a program where our interests, strengths and opportunity to grow all meet allowing us to combine the three to ensure that we will have the greatest potential to thrive. Study the curriculum each program offers, analyze the difference of curriculum between programs, and assess your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the studied curricula. Take this under consideration when making your decision, however, do be careful about underestimating yourself – pushing yourself some is always a way to achieve tougher goals, and greater accomplishments. Don’t be too hard on yourself when assessing weaknesses, grad school will help you overcome many, but you need to be ready to really give your very best. If you do so, you will have pushed yourself to become the best you could be.

2-      Impact on career: The worst mistake that grad school students can make is to not take under consideration what impact a grad school program can have in their careers. If you study something you love, but have no use for, you will have spent money and time in an inefficient way. Is it wrong? No, but could there have been a better way to spend your valuable money and time? Without a doubt – Yes. Evaluating and understanding in depth what career opportunities, what opened doors, and career paths can come out of your grad school work is essential not only to selecting the programs but also to keeping high levels of motivation while completing your studies. Programs have different focuses – research, practical work, concentration on a specific field of study within the masters. Find out what is your targeted program focus and see if it matches the career you are seeking. Many grad school programs have statistics on professions available in their marketing literature. Research this to make sure that the careers alumni follow have some similarities with your own career aspirations. Learn about the percentage of graduates that are able to secure jobs upon completing their programs. These aspects will help you visualize the true and tangible value of the education program you are considering to pursue.

3-      Brand recognition: Sometimes attending schools and programs that are highly recognized can pose advantages to students. A Wow-factor™ is created with the resume, as recruiters see the brand-name program listed as part of the educational trajectory of a professional. This is a perk of choosing a program that is widely recognized and popular. Having that name recognition, no matter if it is the school’s or the degree’s, certainly can impact in a positive or negative way throughout the life of a professional. Take this under consideration when seeking grad school programs.

4-      Alumni network: When thinking of careers and your professional future, attending a program with a strong alumni base can open many doors. Research about the school, its alumni association and how well organized it is. Many grad school programs offer private job boards that will help graduates connect and seek special career opportunities not available to the masses.

5-      The extras: Graduate programs that are fully developed or have long traditions often times have larger budgets and offer great perks for students. Some perks include alliances with major corporations to do consulting engagements throughout the world. Other perks include offering / promoting vacation trip packages at discounted rates, where students mingle with prominent alumni. Special learning engagements, lectures by world leaders and event special scholarship programs are extras universities offer that can take the study experience to another level. Consider these when assessing grad school programs.

The decision of grad school is a good one, no matter what. With a bit of research, insight and a lot of dedication throughout the application process, your grad school can become a life changing experience. Making the best of this decision process is a realistic goal worth fighting for.

Graduate Admissions Event

The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants – AIGAC is hosting the worldwide event

Graduate Admissions Virtual Summit:
“Discover how you can position your application for Success”

Learn from Expert Graduate Admissions Counselors on how to get ahead of the game in Grad School Admissions.

Our own EduPlan Principal, Claudine Vainrub, will be hosting the webinar directed to Spanish Speakers

Latino Americanos y MBA’s- Como Diferenciarse? (Latin Americans and MBA’s- How to Differentiate Yourself?)

Click on the links to visit the event page and register for the conference.

Don’t miss out on this special event!

Congratulations to our Wonderful Students!

To this year’s EduPlan superachievers – Yes! This means you!

We are so proud of your successes! You worked hard to achieve your best, and we are thrilled that colleges and universities all across the U.S. recognized your talent! Full rides and partial scholarships recognize to an even higher extent that you led this process while giving the best of yourself!

We know you will be successful in the next stage of your life, as you were throughout the college and grad school admissions process. It is now time to breath and think, where do I fit in best? Which school can support me best in achieving most professional goals? We know that your choice will be the right one, and are here to help you make this tough decision successfully. We are in awe of your accomplishment! Here are a few of the schools recognizing the talent of EduPlan students, not only with admissions but also by granting full and partial scholarships…

  • Amherst College
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Michigan
  • Penn State University
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Miami
  • University of Florida
  • Emory University
  • Eckerd College
  • Florida International University
  • Hofstra University
  • Suffolk University
  • Ivey
  • Ithaca College
  • Boston University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Central Florida
  • Bentley University
  • New College of Florida
  • University of Central Florida
  • Fordham University
  • Wagner College
  • Lynn University
  • Yeshiva University
  • Jacksonville University
  • St. Thomas University
  • Nova Southeastern University

And so many more…

Congratulations undergraduate classes of 2014 and graduate classes of 2012!

The New Financial Aid Formula

By Claudine Vainrub, MBA and Principal of EduPlan

With the passing of the healthcare bill, the topic of education has taken a second place in the minds of the Americans. However, there are interesting news regarding financial aid as this bill was merged with the health reform legislation. Although a more conservative version of the original plan expected to pass in September, the Government is again supporting an initiative to increase Financial Aid support for college-bound students, as well as allocate new funds for other educational areas, including historically black colleges, Hispanic and tribal colleges.

As Inside Higher Ed explains, here are the differences between what was proposed in September and the new bill:

In total, it is expected that subsidies and eliminating the middleman will generate around $61 billion in savings over 10 years. Pell grants would be assigned $36 billion, raising the annual Pell grant amount to $5,975 (and a maximum of $6,400) from $5,550, and it would be linked to the consumer price index.

This is somewhat discouraging, since the original Pell grant target was $6,900, closer to the real needs of students eligible for this grant. Community colleges would get $2 billion, down from $10 billion in the original bill. $2.6 billion is allocated to historically black colleges, Hispanic and tribal colleges , which need it to ensure their survival throughout this recession. The new bill also includes a $1.5 billion initiative that would cap a borrower’s monthly loan payments at 10 percent of income, down from 15 percent.

Until now, student loans have been mostly handled through private banks and other financial institutions. As part of this process, while the Federal Government sponsors these loans, private banks offering and managing loan programs benefit from earning a percentage. This percentage is one that will soon cease to exist for the Pell grant program, as a new bill is passed in Government. The plan is for the Fed to bypass banks and private lenders to provide these loans directly to students – no middleman involved. As Inside Higher Ed explains, “The legislation (H.R. 4872) would shift all lending from the bank-based Federal Family Education Loan Program to the Direct Loan Program and use $61 billion in savings over 10 years to shore up the Pell Grant Program and for a handful of other education priorities.”

How does the new bill directly affect us?

In simple terms, the over 8 million students depending on the Pell grant program to subsidize their education will continue to be able to do so receiving most likely maximum amounts, as opposed to lesser or no grant funds, as money becomes more available for education. Cutting the middlemen in this program will support the government in being able to allocate more funds by saving money in their program that will directly end in the hands of low and middle-income students. This investment will provide relief to students that otherwise would have to abandon their college work for lack of aid. In this way, the government is taking one step ahead in their goal of graduating more college students and helping raise the level of education in the U.S. population.

An Image is Worth A Thousand Words – Video Applications

Remember how Elle Woods from Legally Blond supposedly got into Harvard? She made a cool video of why she was perfect for law school. Well, it looks like life is imitating Hollywood because prestigious institutions like Tufts and Yale are accepting video submissions that are usually uploaded on youtube for the delight or despair of others depending on the quality of said video. Although Harvard’s dean of admissions, William R. Fitzsimmons, fears that “students from families with substantial financial resources are in a better position to provide such materials,” the reality is that the availability of technology in the form of cellphone cameras to inexpensive video recorders, gives virtually anyone the tools they need to make a video.

Whether you’re performing a rap song, using stop-motion photography, flying the school’s mascot by remote control, or just speaking on camera, you can make a successful video essay if you follow these simple rules.

1. Focus on the story:

Almost everyone agrees that Avatar has amazing graphics, yet have you seen the movie critics complaining about the inane dialogue and the insipid story? Compare Avatar to The Blair Witch Project and Halloween, both movies were made for $50,000 and both generated over $100 million dollars. Why? Because they had great ideas that didn’t demand huge production budgets. So before you begin wasting huge amounts of money shooting a video submission that might not even get you accepted to the college of your choice, think about what you’re trying to communicate and then find a technique to get the job done.

2. Simple works:

Amelia’s “Math Dances” video illustrates that you don’t need fancy sound-recording equipment, lights, and the best camera to succeed. Her video which has been seen by over 90,000 people on youtube features Amelia dancing line graphs, y-axis, and other math concepts. But unlike those big budget movies that seem to go on and on, she gets to the point in one minute. Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNPXUWsMdIo&feature=related

3. Show, don’t tell:

Eric’s video submission shows what happens when you spend 30 seconds in front of a drum telling people what you want to do in a real monotone voice. By the time you’re family playing the drum, your audience is bored. Remember, you’re not Howard Stern so there’s no need to describe what your audience is seeing.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX04xBa36u0&feature=related

4. Say it with pictures:

When Sunset Blvd’s Norma Desmond says “We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!” She’s referring to the long gone era of silent films which forced actors to get creative with movement, facial expressions and so forth. Well, your video essay can say a lot with frozen or moving pictures and music without you having to utter a single word. Take a look at this video essay for Chapman/Dodge, the student shows his whole life without any words whatsoever. Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySbS81bQL3g

5. Say it with subtitles:

Americans don’t usually like reading subtitles, but if you write compelling lines with or without related images, you can get your point across in an original way as more than 23,000 people saw in the video “In my shoes.” Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWmU0hze4jE

6. Use a celebrity:

Student Christian Holmes took real life footage of Bravo’s Inside The Actor Studio and mixed it with video of himself answering the questions of the host. Can you imagine being interviewed by Larry King? Obama? Sarah Palin? With this technique you can “hire” your favorite celebrity for absolutely nothing.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57yJCm-KKIk

7. YouTube Idol: Ru Paul may want you to “lip-synch for your life,” well; plenty of students are lip-synching their favorite iPod tunes for a college education. So whether you sing, lip-synch, play an instrument, dedicate a song to a tree or use inanimate objects as instruments… You’ll find that music is the universal language of the video essay.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FESrDkzga58

8. Behind the Student: Like VH1’s “Behind the Music,” sometimes it’s other people that can best speak for you. So consider making a documentary about your life with the most relevant people speaking o your behalf. Keep it interesting and it just might be your ticket to college and youtube fame.

9. Show your culture:

How many people do you know that live in Aramco Residential Camp in Saudi Arabia? Samantha grew up there and made a simple video of her talking in front of the camera with the amazing Saudi Arabian desert behind her.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-6uwkfdJjM

10- Be Yourself!

In the end, do not loose focus on the real goal – finding a college program with the right “fit” for you. So after all, thrive at portraying yourself accurately, marketing your true essence, remembering that it is you that will have to spend the next four years of your life in the school you decide to attend. Follow the rules and create the video yourself – do not have someone produce it for you.

In the end, schools aren’t looking for James Cameron quality or even youtube hits, but they’ll be impressed if you make an effort and deliver your very best.

Further Reading:

Film Might Be the New Essay In College Admissions

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/youcollege-video-essays-arrived/story?id=9924120&page=2

Best and Worst Video Essays

http://www.urlesque.com/2008/08/13/college-video-essays-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

A fresh pitch on ‘U’ tube

http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2010/02/21/a_fresh_pitch_on_u_tube/?page=2

Writing your Bio – Tips to Succeed

Have you noticed that everyone seems to have a bio nowadays? Google the name of your favorite celebrity, visit their website and you’ll probably find a bio with his or her accomplishments, career beginnings, areas of expertise and much more. Well, you don’t have to be famous to sell yourself like a celebrity. The beauty of a bio is that it helps you tell your story in a way that sells you well.

1. It’s like dating – First Impressions Count: Imagine if your blind date shows up with a dirty shirt and smelly breath, you’d have to be pretty desperate to give that person a second date, wouldn’t you? Since a bio is a summary of who you are, show yourself at your best not only by watching your spelling and grammar but with a great pickup line- strong opening sentence that grabs the reader. Start with your name and your profession; if you’re a “Finance Manager” don’t leave that crucial information in the last sentence. Remember, not everyone will read your entire bio even if they want to hire you.

2. Short and sweet vs. long and boring: From one or two paragraphs to eight paragraphs at the most, short bios are easier to read and more attractive to employers than two page monsters. This isn’t the story of Henry VIII and his many wives and your employer isn’t interested in that “A” you got in AP Calculus during your high school years. What they do care about is your most important accomplishments, where you went to college, what promotions you achieved, what makes you the best candidate for the job, etc.

3. Keep it relevant: A bio should mention the reason you want the job or what inspired you to choose that profession, it’s also important to mention your many talents and be completely honest since readers can smell weaknesses. Think of real estate advertising, would you rather buy a house with oversized windows or one with floor to ceiling windows? The truth always sells better than a lie so don’t “oversize” your talents.

4. Write in the third person: I did this and I did that, and I myself think that I am the best gets pretty annoying pretty quickly. The beauty of writing in the third person is that the writing not only sounds more credible but if you’re shy about selling yourself this technique will help you look at yourself from another perspective and describe your abilities without feeling that you’re boasting.

5. Contact isn’t just a movie: Just like you wouldn’t network without a business card, you don’t want a bio that doesn’t list your e-mail and phone number in your last sentence. Remember, resumes get lost, e-mails get deleted but if they find a printed copy of your bio they can find you.

6. Feed your ego with feedback: Everyone needs a reality check from time to time, and who better than a friend or trusted advisor to look at your bio and see if you sold yourself accurately, if you left important things out and if you explained well who you are and what you do. If they read it and are confused by what you wrote, rewrite it until they get it.

7. Keep it current: Who wants to date someone with a picture of what they looked like 10 years ago? As your career advances so must your bio move forward with necessary updates to reflect your new reality. A bio that says you are currently working for Cubicle Incorporated when in reality you are freelancing or took time off to become a mom is completely embarrassing.

References:

How do I write a great bio

http://www.essortment.com/all/howwritebio_rfin.htm

How to write a professional bio

http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2009/07/07/how-to-write-a-professional-bio/

8 tips to write a great bio

http://blog.brand-yourself.com/2008/09/03/8-tips-to-write-a-masterful-bio/

By The EduPlan Team

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