MBA 効果的な学校説明会の活用方法

5月の連休明けから、次々にHarvard, Chicagoなどのトップスクールが今年の出願に向けた締め切り日やエッセイ課題を発表し始めました。

1stラウンドを目指す方にとっては、これまで進めてきた学校調査から得た情報を、出願書類にどう落とし込むかの準備開始、そして2ndラウンドを目指す方にとっては、いよいよ学校調査の本格開始時期となりました。

この準備プロセスを効果的に進めていく上で欠かせない活動が学校説明会への参加です。本日は学校説明会の活用方法について解説します。

アゴスでも学校説明会のご案内を発信しております。ぜひ情報収集にご活用ください。
https://www.agos.co.jp/blog/news/category/agos-school-seminar/

■説明会参加前の準備と、説明会後のフォローの重要性

人気校であるほど、参加者数が多いので、受身な姿勢で説明会に参加すると、新しい情報を得ることができずに終わってしまうことがあります。また、プレゼンター側の方も自分の質問だけになかなかフォーカスしてくれないというのも実状です。だから事前準備と説明会後のフォローが重要になるのです。

◇事前準備について

①自分を知ってもらうために自分の経歴を整理し、Resume作成を開始する

相手に印象付けるためには、自分の学歴/職歴のハイライトを記すResumeの準備を開始することです。また、皆さんがResume準備を通じて、自身の経歴を整理し始めるということは、その後の出願プロセスで必要となるエッセイ作成の下準備にもつながります。

※Resume作成にあたり、コンサルタントからアドバイスを受けてみませんか?

MBA出願戦略コンサルティング レジュメ作成クイックアドバイス実施中
(参加にあたり英文レジュメを準備ください)

②基本的な情報は事前に調査する

トップスクールであればあるほど、豊富な情報をweb上で提供しています。授業の取り方、提供コース、卒業生のキャリア情報、入学審査情報はすべて公開されています。こういった基本情報そのものを学校説明会で質問することは推奨でません。

在校生による非公式サイトを活用する 在校生の視点でクラスの情報を分かりやすく提供しています

③効果的な質問を用意する

原則1:あなたの質問は、自分の合格の可能性を高める質問になっているか
原則2:抽象的な質問を避けること

よくない質問例:評論家の視点が強い質問

あなたの学校は日本からの出願者に何を期待しますか?
→あなたの特徴は日本人というカテゴリーしかないのでしょうか?この質問はあなたの出願書類を高めるうえでどう役立ちますか?

A校とあなたの学校の違いを教えてください
→学校が関心があるのは、あなたがうちの学校で何を得たいか?です。こういった質問からは、あなたがその学校に強く興味があるという印象を与えません。

良い質問例:主語を常に私に置いた具体的な質問

私はあなたのXというコンサルティングプロジェクトに興味があります。特に、私はA業界に関わるプロジェクトに入りたいのですが、
学生の希望は専攻にどの程度考慮されるのですか?
→相手には、あなたが何に興味があるのかがクリアに伝わり、学校への意欲を感じることができます。

原則3:正しい相手に質問をすること

当たり前のことではありますが、意識しておくことが重要です。

入学審査官は、在校生ではなく、教授ではないので、コースの詳細を述べることを得意としていません。
卒業生は入学審査官ではないので、入試情報について最新情報を提供する方ではありません

元トップスクールのアドミッションディレクターを勤めていたMendanによる学校説明会参加時のアドバイスです。あなたという存在を、相手にどう理解してもらうか、を意識した行動をとりましょう
Standing Out at Admissions Events

◇参加後のフォロー

説明会で交流することができた方に、その方とのコミュニケーションの中で新たに得ることができた情報から、学校に対して共感した点とお礼を述べましょう。
その上で、その後個別にコミュニケーションを開始する体制を整えることが重要です。

説明会に参加いただく在校生や卒業生の方は、皆さんが想像する以上に協力的です。そういった方とネットワーキングを図ることは、その学校の在学時だけではなく卒業後もつながるコミュニティの様子を理解することにつながります。このプロセスの継続が、その学校のコミュニティの持つカルチャーを理解できることにつながります。

Chizuko Okada

5/31締切 2020年度日本人対象フルブライト奨学生応募書類作成チェックポイント①


2020年度日本人対象フルブライト奨学生オンライン登録締切日の締め切りが5/31と迫ってきました。
https://www.fulbright.jp/scholarship/index.html

5月の連休明けから、フルブライト奨学金の問い合わせがぐっと増えてきました。本日はオンライン登録書類作成のチェックポイントを記します。
皆さんの書類作成のお役に立てれば幸いです。

①自分の留学形態に適したプログラムを選択すること
2020年度日本人対象フルブライト奨学金プログラムは5種類あります。

②オンライン登録はお早めに
締切間際はアクセスが混み合うことが予想されます。

③研究テーマを十分にリサーチしてから文章を作成すること
オンライン登録で記した内容は、その後の7/31締切の応募書類とつながっています。十分に時間をかけて研究テーマを選定すること、そして、その研究テーマを分かりやすく、かつ、問いに正しく回答することを意識ください。

登録内容は以下です。
https://www.fulbright.jp/tok/ful/

27.Brief summary of project
一定期間の大学院の研究で実現可能な研究テーマが設定されているか?
抽象度の高い研究テーマを設定すると、とても1-2年の大学院プログラムの中で達成できない(非現実的な)研究テーマを設定したとみなされます。

28.Background/Feasibility/あなたがその研究を実施できるという証明
あなたの、これまでの研究/職業経験から、具体的に身に着けた専門知識やスキルを実績を添えて述べましょう。

30.Justification for the proposal/なぜUSの大学院で学ぶ必要があるのか?
USのX分野の研究は、世界で最も古くからおこなわれており・・・という一般論ではなく、あなたの研究テーマに合わせた具体的な主張が必要です。

26.Project Area
フルブライト奨学金の趣旨を理解し、どの分野で応募するか、その理由を29で説明します。

④提出前のチェックポイント

文字数制限を正しく理解する
“hankaku” characters including spacesとは、単語数(words)ではなく、文字数です(スペースを含みます)。簡潔に問いに分かりやすく回答することを意識ください。

そして最後に最も重要なことを記します。

オンライン登録は、申請プロセスの通過点にしかすぎません。7/31の出願書類を意識した準備が何よりも重要です。
オンライン登録が終わったからリサーチをやめるのではなく、ご自身の納得のいく研究テーマと研究プラン練りが重要です。そして、フルブライトのミッションへの理解を深めることもどうぞお忘れなく。

アゴス・ジャパンではフルブライト奨学金申請を含む、奨学金申請のサポートをしております。ご質問がある方はどうぞお早目にお問い合わせください。

次回は皆さんからよく受ける質問例をもとに、アドバイスを行います。
Chizuko Okada

MBA入学審査の考え方 A Holistic MBA Application Evaluation

5/6に開催されました 「MBA留学準備の明暗セミナー」に多くの皆さんにご参加いただき誠にありがとうございました。
日頃、出願戦略コンサルタントとして、生徒の皆さんと接している中で感じていたMBA入学審査の考え方としてぜひ押さえてほしいと思う点を中心に説明させていただきました。

連休中のセミナーでしたので、ご都合のつかなかった方もいらっしゃると思いますので、本日はセミナーのポイントを解説させていただきたいと思います。

なお、当日のセミナースライドの概要は以下でご覧いただけます。
(セミナー内でご紹介させていただいた個々の事例については割愛させていただいております。セミナーのテーマであるA Holistic MBA Application Evaluationはデータだけでは説明が難しいため、あらかじめご了承ください。自分の状況に合わせた具体的なアクションを立案にむけては、以下の個別学習計画相談にお越しいただくことをおすすめいたします。)

 

セミナーのまとめ:
・A Holistic MBA Application Evaluationとは、個々の強みをアピールすることが重要(-(弱み)を指摘するのではなく、+(強味)を探し、その点を強化する考え方)
・各審査項目の目的を理解し(入学審査官の視点)定量面(数字で評価できる点)定性面(コミュニケーションスキルや社交性などのソフト面)の両面のアピールが必要
・入学審査では個性が重視されるため、絶対的な合格のルール(こうすれば合格する)というものはない つまり、自分の強みを最大化することが最大の戦略となる

Next Actions:
Reality checkを行うこと(あなたの強み/弱みを認識すること)
現状の強み/弱みに基づき、MBA留学準備プランを立てること
そのプランの妥当性を検証する

無料個別留学相談を活用ください!
皆さんの状況に合わせたMBA留学準備プラン立案をアゴスの留学アドバイザーがサポートさせていただきます。
http://www.agos.co.jp/information/soudan.html

Chizuko Okada

大学院奨学金獲得を目指す方へ 主な奨学金リサーチ方法のご案内

奨学金獲得のメリットは、留学資金の負担の軽減だけではなく、奨学金団体を通じた留学中/帰国後のネットワークの拡大、奨学生に選抜されたという実績が大学院入学審査へのアピールにつながるなど、様々なメリットを享受できます。

奨学金獲得において重要なことは以下です。
-大学院留学奨学金の種類、各奨学金の目的を理解し、自身にあった奨学金を選択すること
-奨学金申請と大学院留学準備の両方を理解した、準備計画の立案とその実行
-奨学金応募条件を理解し、各書類への正しいアプローチの理解とその実践

本日は主な奨学金リサーチに便利なサイトを紹介いたします

日本学生支援機構(JASSO)
海外留学奨学金検索サイト
http://ryugaku-shogakukin.jasso.go.jp/scholarship_abroad/page?action=swfglsearchjasso

日米教育委員会(US留学を目指す方)
日本国内で公募されているアメリカ留学を対象とした奨学金制度の一覧
https://www.fulbright.jp/study/directory/shokin.html

関西アメリカンセンターアメリカ留学奨学金
各学校別の奨学金情報が随時発信されています
http://irckansai.tumblr.com/

British Council
イギリスに留学に関する奨学金情報
https://www.britishcouncil.jp/studyuk/planning/scholarships-financial-support

Chizuko Okada

Sharing Leadership Experiences

How should you talk about your leadership experiences in an MBA interview? My research has focused on the leadership conceptualization process, and the way in which people talk about leadership is contextually bound (Knight, 2015, 2017). In other words, the way in which you talk about leadership depends on many things including your education, your experiences, who you are talking to, and why you are talking about leadership. You exercise your freedom to choose how to talk about leadership.

What is leadership?

You may have heard the saying that there are as many definitions of leadership as there are leaders. I would take this a bit further by saying that one person may talk about leadership in many different ways. An overall definition of leadership may state that leadership involves being a change agent; i.e., the leader changes the situation and the way that others think about the situation. In your MBA interview, you may want to frame yourself (i.e., cause others to see you) as a leader, who is able to achieve change in a group and in an organization.

Framing yourself as a leader

In my previous Agos blog post, I wrote about the STAR/CAR frameworks for which the parts are Situation, Target, Action, and Result (STAR) and Challenge, Action, and Result (CAR). These two frameworks (used to respond to behavioral interview questions) are excellent ways to highlight your actions as leader who introduces and achieves change. For example, let’s say that an interviewer asks you to talk about a leadership experience. You could take that opportunity to first define leadership and then to give a STAR/CAR example that illustrates your definition of leadership and highlights your actions and results as a leader.

Defining leadership

How should you define leadership? “Influence” and “direction” are often key words associated with leadership. I see leadership as creative action that is represented by the following quotations:

  • “Leadership [is] a communication process consisting of two parts: 1) communicating to create a vision and 2) communicating to achieve a vision” (Knight, 2013).
  • “Leadership is making real a vision in collaboration with others” (Knight and Candlin, 2015, p. 36).

My personal conceptualization of leadership came from my own leadership research and experiences, and it fits nicely into the STAR/CAR frameworks. However, you may have different ideas about leadership. You need to identify your own beliefs about leadership and how you can show (in an MBA interview) that you are a leader.

Who are your leadership models?

As you reflect on your leadership beliefs, you should try to identify your leadership models. Consider the following questions:

  • Who do you see as leaders?
  • Describe their leadership styles. (How do they influence others and achieve their goals?)
  • What can you (and have you already) learned about leadership from these leaders?

I would also encourage you to talk to as many good leaders as possible about leadership. Such interactions can help you to grow as a leader and provide you with content for your MBA interviews.

Learn leadership communication from leaders

Another benefit of talking to good leaders is the opportunity to learn how leaders communicate. My advice would be to study the communication of leaders, who are very effective in influencing others and achieving their goals, and learn how they utilize their communication skills. In your MBA interviews, you want to display your outstanding leadership communication skills. I look forward to helping you to share your leadership experiences in your MBA interviews!

References

Knight, K. (2013, December 3). Looking at communication through a leadership lens [Web log post]. Alexandria, VA: TESOL International Association.

Knight, K. (2015). Analysing the discourses of leadership as a basis for developing leadership communication skills in a second or foreign language. Sydney, AU: Macquarie University.

Knight, K. (2017). Exploring leadership conceptualizations in semi-structured interviews from multiple perspectives. In C. Ilie, & S. Schnurr (Eds.), Challenging leadership stereotypes through discourse: Power, management, and gender.Singapore: Springer.

Knight, K., & Candlin, C. N. (2015). Leadership discourse as basis and means for developing L2 students into future leaders. In P. Shrestha (Ed.), Current developments in English for academic and specific purposes: Local innovations and global perspectives (pp. 27-50). Reading, UK: Garnet.

Kevin

Framing Accomplishments

FRAMING ACCOMPLISHMENTS

How should you talk about your experiences in an MBA interview? How should you frame your accomplishments? In a recent MBA interview preparation class, the participants and I were talking about this subject, and in this blog post, I would like to share with you some information that can help you to succeed in your MBA interviews.

STAR/CAR

One of the common frameworks that you can use to talk about your accomplishments is the STAR or CAR framework. The participants in the MBA interview preparation class were already familiar with this framework, and I expect that you know it, too, because it is widely used in essay writing as well as in interview responses. As a quick reminder, the parts of the STAR are Situation, Task, Action, and Result. The CAR stands for Challenge, Action, and Result. When the listeners hear your “challenge,” you want them to respond with “Wow!” When the listeners hear your “action,” you want them to say, “Amazing!” Finally, when the listeners hear the absolutely incredible “result” that you achieved, you want them to cry out, “Incredible!” You also want them to applaud loudly (at least in their minds).

POWERS OF PERSUASION

In the words of the famous business guru, Tom Peters, how do you get your listeners to the point of “Wow”?  One of the things that we talked about in the MBA interview preparation class was Aristotle’s powers of persuasion: ethos, logos, pathos. I used to teach these powers of persuasion to the students in my communication courses at Sony. These powers are used often in advertising and promotional campaigns. Since you are promoting yourself in your MBA interviews, these powers can help you as well.

ETHOS (or CREDIBILITY)

Ethos refers to credibility. In other words, you may be asked about your future goals in an interview. What do you plan to do after you get an MBA? Do you have evidence that you can do what you say you will do? For example, are you being sponsored by your company to achieve your future goals? Do you have a specific schedule in mind? Are all of the steps in your plan feasible? As I listened to the participants tell their stories in the MBA interview preparation class, I asked myself how believable these stories were. If I listened to your stories, do you think that I would believe you?

PATHOS (or EMOTION)

Pathos refers to emotion. When I worked in the financial services industry, I was taught that clients make decisions for emotional reasons, and I was taught to ask clients, “What is important about money to you?” So let me ask you the following question: “What is important about getting an MBA to you?” Do you feel excited about getting an MBA? Why? Do you feel excited about the school? Why? Are you excited about interacting with your classmates? Why? What makes you excited about your future? What are your dreams, and how does the MBA experience fit into those dreams? I hope that you feel excited because you need to project that passion in your interview. Are you able to make me share your excitement about attending the MBA program and achieving your goals?

LOGOS (or LOGIC)

Logos refers to logic. Why do you need an MBA? Why do you need it now? Do you have evidence for what you say?  A good example of using “logic” appears in a crowdfunding campaign in which a company was seeking 50 thousand dollars to make the world’s first 9 dollar computer. The company needed the money to buy components in large quantities to make a computer for a low cost. (That is logical.) The company raised over 2 million dollars by using the three powers of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos. The company’s financial supporters believed that the company could build the 9 dollar computer because they saw a working model (i.e., ethos). They were excited about what the company was attempting to do and shared the dream of building an inexpensive computer (pathos), and they were given a good reason for providing financial support (logos).

COMMUNICATION

Think about how the powers of persuasion apply to you. In addition, keep in mind that the interviewer may be thinking about whether you have the communication skills to succeed in the MBA program for which you are applying. What kind of communication skills am I talking about? In the MBA program, you will be expected to work in learning teams with other students to prepare for class discussions about business cases. Will you be able to read and analyze the case materials and interact smoothly and confidently with your professors and peers inside and outside of the classroom? In addition, will you be able to socialize effectively? By socializing, I do not mean for business networking purposes only.  You need to make friends because your friends can be your allies in many different situations at school. In the interview, you need to show that you have the necessary communication skills to do all of these things.

Good luck with your MBA interview preparation, and be sure to use the three powers of persuasion. Are you ready to improve your performance? Attend a class, and make appointments with consultants. I look forward to meeting with you soon!

Kevin

Interview Preparation 2: Contribution

One of the common, yet challenging, interview topics often focuses on how you would contribute to your chosen school, class, and community. Answering well requires strong knowledge of both your own strengths and unique points and the school’s resources, mission, and opportunities.

Consider your professional career. Could a particular first-hand experience  or challenge be useful to share in a case-study discussion?

How about your perspective? Maybe your group could use your legal expertise?

In extracurricular clubs, there are frequent opportunities to both exercise your leadership and benefit your classmates. What could you initiate or improve? Is there a club you’d like to establish yourself?

Could you open up your network for someone looking for a job in your industry or company?

Finally, why would you be a good addition to the community based on your personality? Are you especially innovative? Good at motivating others? Where would this be most useful?

 

Faye

 

Interview Preparation 1

With round 2 deadlines almost here, it’s time to start preparing for interviews! Throughout the application process, you’ve hopefully clarified your post-MBA goals and polished a few representative stories from your career. The next step is to prepare to share these in person, and convince your chosen school that you’re a great fit. It’s not enough to hope that the interviewer asks you the right questions-it’s important that you go in with a strong message about how and why you will add value to next year’s class, and at the same time demonstrate that you have the personality and communication skills to succeed in both the MBA and your future career.

Whilst you prepare for the common interview questions (hint: the Agos MBA Interview Manual and https://www.vinceprep.com/interviews will be very useful here), it’s worth considering some other important questions:

 

What do I want the interviewer to know about me? What will make me memorable?

What new information can I provide to complement, rather than repeat, my application?

What makes me unique, and how can I leverage this at business school?

 

As you practice for upcoming interviews, record yourself, and see if you’re including these details or not. Get feedback from your consultant/friends/family/colleagues. How would they summarize your answers? What did they learn about your skills, strengths, and personality? Does this match your intention?

Building confidence in your message will help build your confidence for the interview itself, and hopefully enable you to make an even better impression on your interviewer.

Faye

Re-applying to MBA programs – the OPTIONAL ESSAY

If you were rejected by a business program, it is often very hard to put your doubts aside and reapply.  Before you begin the reapplication process, try to under what areas of your original application were weak.

Many re-applicants assume that a business school will reject them again since they rejected them the first time. Every applicant risks a rejection and a re-applicant is no different. However, it is important to understand why you were rejected the first time. There is a better chance of success if weaknesses in the first application are directly addressed. Most MBA programs view the re-application on its own and will generally refer to the previous application if there is a major discrepancy. A re-application may demonstrate commitment to the program; however, re-applying alone will not get you admitted unless the application is strengthened.

The re-applicant is often required to submit the optional essay.  The optional essay prompt usually asks for a statement outlining how you have improved your candidacy since your last application.  The Admissions Office is looking for substantive change in your qualifications.

If your GMAT scores changed substantially compared to your previous application, it will demonstrate your ability to succeed in the academic environment. If it was a lack of leadership experience, you want to look for ways to demonstrate that you took greater initiative or responsibility at work. Perhaps unexpected personal events have occurred – family death or illness- that have matured you and help clarify your goals.

The schools will be evaluating re-applicants in terms of the school’s hard admissions criteria such as GMAT scores, GPA and the new year’s applicant pool. If your application survives these first two criteria will the Committee begin to ask how your new application differs from the last one.

Therefore, the schools will be interested in developments that occurred in the intervening year – specifically the actions you took, the impact you had and equally important, the lessons you learned and HOW you are applying it today.

Jumet