Landmark Conference for International Graduate School Admissions Consultants Draws Participation from Eight of the Top MBA Programs

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The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) has successfully concluded its second international members' conference in New York. Thirty graduate admissions consultants representing 17 consultancies from six countries gathered to share experiences and best practices with fellow admissions counselors and to speak directly with admissions officers from some of the world's best graduate schools. The two-day conference, held June 16th and 17th, featured panel discussions on a range of topics related to the graduate admissions process and the role of admissions counselors, as well as tours of two area business schools, meetings with admissions officers, and valuable networking events for AIGAC members.

The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) has successfully concluded its second international members' conference in New York. Thirty graduate admissions consultants representing 17 consultancies from six countries gathered to share experiences and best practices with fellow admissions counselors and to speak directly with admissions officers from some of the world's best graduate schools. The two-day conference, held June 16th and 17th, featured panel discussions on a range of topics related to the graduate admissions process and the role of admissions counselors, as well as tours of two area business schools, meetings with admissions officers, and valuable networking events for AIGAC members.

The conference's first day, hosted at Manhattan GMAT's headquarters, featured a full roster of informative sessions. During the first session, admissions officers from University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, INSEAD, University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and the Yale School of Management discussed their programs and debunked popular myths. This same group later participated in a panel discussion discussing various aspects of the MBA and the application process, including topics ranging from ethics to the impact of the current economy to the role that career goals and recommendations play in the admissions process.

Later, Peter Johnson of Haas and Christie St. John of Tuck led an educational, hands-on admissions exercise, which demonstrated how admissions decisions are made amongst a diverse group of qualified candidates. Finally, the results of the first ever AIGAC applicant survey were revealed and attendees learned interesting data about current MBA applicant trends and attitudes. Overall, the survey showed that the MBA applicant pool is getting younger and that today's candidates place a high value on independent sources of information, such as admissions consultants and blogs, when learning about MBA programs.

On the conference's second day, members received a campus tour and presentation from the Stern School of Business at New York University, led by Director of Admissions Alison Goggin. That afternoon members experienced a school tour and presentation at Columbia University's Business School, led by Amanda Carlson, Senior Associate Director of Admissions.

All participants agreed that the conference, sponsored by Manhattan GMAT (http://www.manhattangmat.com), INSEAD Business School, The MBA Tour, MBA Podcaster, Accepted.com, Clear Admit, Maxx Associates and MBA Empresarial, exceeded optimistic expectations and represented a significant step forward for the admissions consulting industry. AIGAC president Graham Richmond commented, "The events committee did a fantastic job in planning our annual conference. The level of participation from members and admissions officers is unprecedented and should be viewed as a major milestone for our industry."

AIGAC
The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants promotes high ethical standards and professional development amongst graduate admissions consultants, increases public understanding of graduate admissions consulting, and enhances communication with complementary organizations and entities. Its membership now comprises 63 consultants from nine countries, including the U.S., Japan, Mexico, China, Korea, and Israel. Inspired by the collaborative spirit and camaraderie of the consultants who attended Tuck School of Business's Conferences for International Educational Consultants in 2005 and 2006, Linda Abraham of Accepted.com and Ricardo Betti of MBA Empresarial (Brazil) joined with Graham Richmond of Clear Admit and Maxx Duffy of Maxx Associates to form a not-for-profit association to set industry standards for graduate admissions consultants. In November 2006, AIGAC was officially incorporated in the State of California.

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