Third Annual Conference of International Graduate School Admissions Consultants Draws Twelve Top MBA Programs to Cambridge

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The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) has successfully concluded its third and largest international members’ conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the participation of 12 MBA programs including MIT Sloan and Harvard Business School.

The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) has successfully concluded its third international members’ conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Almost fifty graduate admissions consultants representing 30 consultancies from eight countries--a 50% increase over the 2009 conference--gathered on the campuses of MIT and Harvard 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 three-day conference, held June 16th through 18th, featured panel discussions on a range of topics related to the theme of graduate admissions and career planning in difficult economic times, as well as presentations by two area business schools, meetings with admissions officers, and valuable networking events for AIGAC members.

The conference’s first day, hosted at MIT Sloan’s Cambridge campus, featured a full roster of informative sessions. Following a presentation by Sloan dean David Schmittlein and admissions representatives from Sloan's five graduate management programs, admissions officers from New York University's Stern School of Business, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Columbia Business School, and INSEAD evaluated three MBA candidate profiles to reveal how admissions professionals approach applicant files.

The second day began with an insightful panel discussion on the importance of emotional intelligence in the admissions process, featuring admissions officers from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, Yale's School of Management (SOM), UC Berkeley's Haas School, and Indiana University's Kelley School. The Haas and Indiana officers were then joined by the admission director of UCLA's Anderson School of Management for a discussion of new trends in financial aid. Thursday's afternoon sessions were divided between a revealing session on MBA career development trends by the placement officers of Michigan's Ross School, Yale's SOM, and MIT Sloan and an All-School Roundtable featuring admissions directors from Harvard, Tuck, Yale, MIT, Duke Fuqua, Haas, Michigan, Virginia, Indiana, and UCLA. A lunchtime presentation by Slover Linett Strategies focused on the results of AIGAC's second annual applicant survey, which drew nearly three times as many responses as the 2009 survey and revealed the growing importance of social media as an informational and marketing tool for business schools and consultants.
The conference's third day featured a candid and informative presentation by Harvard Business School's admissions director and the executive director of its MBA program, followed by a campus tour.

All participants agreed that the conference, sponsored by Accepted.com, Veritas Prep, Clear Admit, Hult International Business School, Manhattan GMAT, MBA Podcaster, and Zoom Interviews exceeded expectations and demonstrated the continued rapid growth of the admissions consulting industry. AIGAC conference co-chair Maxx Duffy commented, “This year's conference reflects the organization's amazing growth and the membership's incredible enthusiasm for, support of, and dedication to the sharing of ethical principles and knowledge among graduate school educational consultants. This year's conference also reached new heights with the graduate schools. It was heartening to see how many programs joined us. The discussions were incredible! AIGAC certainly appreciates the time these programs took out of their schedules to make the 2010 conference so amazing.”

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 92 consultants from eleven countries, including the U.S., Brazil, Japan, Mexico, China, Spain, Germany, Israel, Russia, France, and Canada. 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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