THE ART OF THE CHINESE MBA APPLICATION

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1 THE ART OF THE CHINESE MBA APPLICATION

2 CONTENTS 1. Introduction 3 2. How To Choose An MBA Program 6 3. China, Meet America The Top 3 Pitfalls Of The Chinese MBA Application Essay Writing Tips For Chinese MBA Applicants MBA Application Timeline Life In The USA Tips For Chinese Applicants The Real Value Of Studying Abroad 40 Page 2

3 1 INTRODUCTION Page 3

4 WELCOME and congratulations on getting started. You have taken your first step into a larger world. Let s start with some introductions. WHO ARE YOU? You are a BRIGHT student or SHINING professional working and living in China. (Tai Hao Le) You might work for a big accounting company, a large-scale foreign enterprise, or a large state-owned investment firm or perhaps you work as an engineer? An IT star? In real estate? Wait, we know, we know for the family business Whatever it is, we know you re amazing at it WHAT DO YOU WANT? You want to travel the world and live outside China for a time. You are seeking a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from a top international program. You have big business plans and other dreams for the future. After attending school abroad, you want a job in the U.S. at least in the short-term. You re wondering, How can I get into a top MBA program? and you re looking to us to help provide some guidance. We have good news for ya, folks. Whether you believe it or not, you can do all these things and MORE. Confidence comes from having a plan, so let s get started. WHO ARE WE? Admissionado: A Premier International Study Abroad Firm Admissionado was founded in 2007 by Jon Frank (Brown University, Harvard Business School) and Raj Patil (Brown University, USC Film School) in Over the past six years, we have submitted nearly 15,000 applications with clients, regularly sending clients to Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Oxford, and other top global programs. Through the combination of Jon s business acumen and Raj s creative background, Admissionado has swiftly blossomed into a global trendsetter in educational consulting with over 75 employees around the world, and offices in Hong Kong and mainland China. Last year, 40%+ of our client base was CHINESE (or Taiwanese, H.K. etc.) Nobody based in the U.S. has done more MBA applications for Chinese applicants than Admissionado. FACT All Admissionado consultants attended top 10 MBA programs in the US, live in the US, and are native English speakers. Page 4

5 We are the world s leading resource on how to get Chinese applicants into top global MBA programs.. HOW CAN WE HELP YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT? By helping you target your applications to impress Admissions Committees at the world s best MBA programs. (We ll call them the adcoms. ) This small group of internal readers and administrators hold the ticket to your future. If they say yes, you are in. If they say no, that s it. With this manual, you will learn how to develop the perfect plan to impress admissions committees the world over, and how to execute your plan with CONFIDENCE. You will be putting your best foot forward in no time and stepping that foot onto a college campus in another country Are you excited to travel to the United States? Europe? The World? Woohoo Getting into a top business school from China is an unusual process that is complex and worthwhile. It is in all ways, an art form. So let s not waste any time. After all, you have an MBA program to get into Page 5

6 2 HOW TO CHOOSE AN MBA PROGRAM (Or, The Five Questions That Chinese Clients Ask Us the Most) Page 6

7 Q1: WHAT SCHOOL IS THE BEST CHOICE FOR ME? Chinese students often ask us which school is right for them. They may say something like, I heard that a small Texas program has the best rank in accounting, or that one program (somewhere in rural Massachusetts) is the best for entrepreneurship. They will spend months researching specialty schools in remote locations, reaching out to students, friends, agencies, etc. With some very hard work and some luck, they might get into a lesser-known program, see some cows, perhaps even finish an internship at a small local bank. Yet soon, if they re not careful, they will all wind up back in China. Why? Listen friends, we at Admissionado have one simple answer to the above question. Ready? Steady? Here it comes: A1: Go to the best school you can get into Done. Check, please. Slam-dunk. Peace out. Forget specialty programs, forget all the fancy research don t waste any of your time or energy. This is the ONLY bit of advice you need to start selecting MBA programs: go to the best school you can get into. This is the secret to our clients success (And by success we mean permanent jobs in the U.S. and/or executive leadership in China.) But this does raise another equally important question Q2: WHAT MAKES A SCHOOL THE BEST FOR ME? WHAT DOES GO TO THE BEST SCHOOL YOU CAN GET INTO REALLY MEAN? A2: Identify the highest-ranked school you can get into, with the most impressive graduation/job statistics, based on your test scores and MBA profile. Then apply. You can retake tests to get in the range of better schools but whatever range you re in, apply to the best possible schools on that level This means: Research the highest-ranked schools based on national and global rankings and reputation, and learn about them Or hire someone to do it with you Research schools based on starting salary figures and % of graduates who are employed, and learn about the best-ranked schools. Reputed schools that are ranked the highest, and where graduates get paid the most, are indeed the best schools. You ll learn why soon. Once you have selected several schools, you will be able to develop a strategy for applying to those schools based on your personal fit and professional goals. Page 7

8 Don t over think it, folks. Business is all about reputation. Q3: WHAT IF MY SCORES ARE LOWER THAN THE TOP PROGRAMS REQUIREMENTS? WHAT IF MY PROFILE IS NOT WORTHY OF A TOP PROGRAM? WHY IS A SCHOOL S REPUTATION IMPORTANT? A3: Always aim for the top 10, 20, even top 50 programs. The best programs will always pave the way towards the best future. Always AIM HIGH.. Many Chinese applicants make mistakes here, and we don t want you to. Maybe you can t fit into the top 10, but there is probably a place for you closer to the top 25 than you realize You want to spend your time and money wisely the best way to do this is apply to and attend the best school you can get into, based on school reputation and graduation statistics In the long run, it will mean a better future, including: International Job And Travel Opportunities A Powerful Network A Much Higher Pay Scale Freer Lifestyle Now, for some candidates it will be impossible to get into a top 10, top 15, even a top 50 program. If you find yourself in that category, the best school for you may be a bit different. Remember that business programs tend to have great LOCAL connections. So if you cannot get into Stanford but you KNOW that you want to live in California when you graduate, you could consider other programs in the University of California (UC) system like Irvine or Riverside. Similarly, if you will not qualify for a top 50 program, you CAN absolutely begin to consider programs by specialty. So for example, if you cannot get into a great MBA program, then perhaps a specialized Masters in Real Estate or Masters in Healthcare program could do the trick. Or a lesser-known school, for example, that has a special program in YOUR area of expertise. To sum up, if you can get into a top 5, 10, even a top 50 program you should do it But once you move down in the rankings, there are other considerations to dig into that make a school best for you. Q4: WHAT IF I WANT GO INTO FINANCE, DESIGN, OR MARKETING? WHAT IF I GOT A BIG SCHOLARSHIP? WHAT IF I WANT TO RETURN TO CHINA AFTER MY MBA? OR WHAT IF MAYBE I DON T? A4: GO TO THE BEST SCHOOL YOU CAN GET INTO Page 8

9 Finance, design, business or marketing? Great Go to the best MBA program you can get into. The answer is the same Pshh. Even if I got an amazing scholarship? Congratulations You deserve it But if you can afford to, ignore it. Consider this: Why are you being offered the money? Well, because you are overqualified of course. If you have the cash to do so, aim HIGH at all costs. Going to a better program will pay you back many times over and the epic starting salary you ll nab will help you repay the extra tuition you shelled out within your first few years of graduation. It is worth investing in a top MBA program, my friends. Do not get led astray. Go to the school where you will be surrounded by the best, most talented peers. (The connections you make are the best way to get a job upon graduation.) Q5: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SINGLE THING TO REMEMBER, AS A CHINESE MBA APPLICANT? A5: One of the first things you will learn in a top MBA program is that usually, things are not so black and white. In fact, there are MANY things to remember as a Chinese MBA applicant. That s why we wrote this manual. Admissionado is here to tell you the truth about getting to a top school in the US. We will walk you through each MBA step and each MBA milestone. The way we see it, there are MANY important factors for Chinese to consider, including: 1. Researching the best school (the correct way) 2. Articulating attractive, logical goals (which connect to your past) 3. Conveying passion and commanding clarity (while staying honest) 4. Overcoming cultural obstacles (while having some fun) 5. Developing your travel credentials (which means developing an international point-of-view) 6. Investing time, money and energy into finding the best, most CORRECT information available (you re welcome ) BONUS QUESTION: WHY DO SO MANY CHINESE STUDENTS END UP AT THE WRONG SCHOOLS? Easy. Because those Chinese students hired Chinese Study Abroad Agencies. Those agencies will find and suggest MBA programs that are MUCH lower than your potential. Why? Two reasons: Page 9

10 1. They re not smart or experienced enough to get you into top programs. Chinese study abroad agencies often employ inexperienced English majors, who often recycle essays from other clients. This is a guaranteed rejection and it happens to more and more Chinese applicants every year. 2. They re getting PAID by lower-tier programs to send students their way. Since they get paid by lesser schools, such agencies ignore school reputation to keep their deals. After graduation, students who attend these programs will likely end up back in China since they couldn t get a great job in the US after your program winds down. Admissionado doesn t take money from any schools, ever. That s the only way to serve our clients. Now that we ve answered the big questions, let s learn a little more about the USA and China Page 10

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