Thursday, December 31, 2009

Magoosh GMAT Prep

Magoosh, a play on the old Persian word "magush" which means "one who is highly learned, wise and generous", is founded by four current Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley MBA students. I had a chance to review their portal and materials.

I like the way Magoosh presents their GMAT practice questions. Once you signed in, you can go to the Dashboard which then takes you to Practice or Results section. In the Practice section, you can customise your "practice" session.

There are over 500 questions for you to attempt; and more are added each day.

The best thing is you can start and stop anytime, unlike some practices which require you to complete the whole set. Once you completed, you can review your questions. The Results dashboard presents a summary of the questions attempted and how you fare vis-a-viz with an "average taker". I am waiting for a reply from Magoosh on the "average user" profile/definition. Nonetheless, this "average user" benchmark allows me to determine how well I do in terms of pacing (speed), accuracy (correct) and the difficult of the question (score).

In my review, I tried one question to get a feel how the dashboard works.

The question was on a Venn diagram, solving the no. of students who took both Spanish and French. It took me 45sec. In the Results dashboard (above), 86% of the takers (who are these takers?) got the correct answer and "they" took an average of 63sec. Great, I could get it right in less than the time taken by an "average taker". As you attempt more questions, each question (with an ID) will display your results and that of an average user. Use this to gauge your performance. I use "Avg Correct" to gauge the difficulty of the question.

Now, comes the best part of Magoosh. The video and/text explanation is found for each question. Just click on the question ID.

Magoosh offers basic 6 months access for free with 80 questions and for US$79, you get all the questions (and they add from time to time)

Overall, I think the Magoosh team came up with an excellent service for a reasonable price. If you are looking for GMAT practices, give Magoosh a try.

Jimmy Low

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Business Magazine for Business Students

Check out the latest business magazine for business students.
Web: here
Facebook: here

Jimmy Low

Monday, December 14, 2009

Malaysian Corporate Postgraduate Studies Scholarships

At present, I am aware of only three Malaysian corporations offering scholarships to those pursuing postgraduate studies. They are Maxis Berhad, Sime Darby Berhad and Khazanah Nasional Berhad. These three corporations also offer undergraduate studies scholarships. However, these undergraduate scholarships are not within my scope of writing.

Many of these corporations do so as part of their corporate social responsibility programs but more so as to play a part in developing and retaining Malaysia's human capital. Some of these scholarships are bonded i.e. successful applicants would have to return to Malaysia to serve the corporations for a few years. Think of it as a guaranteed post-MBA employment; this is crucial especially in the current economic uncertainties.

Postgraduate studies do not come cheap especially if you plan to do them overseas. Our present exchange rates with the typical countries of postgraduate studies - the USA, UK and Australia do not favour Malaysian candidates. Furthermore, we do not have educational loans from local banks. Many would have to refinance their houses in order to pay for their studies. Any form of financial assistance is welcomed.

Here are the summary of the 3 corporations' scholarship programs. For more information, visit their respective website.

Maxis Scholarship for Excellence
Allowing the best and brightest graduate students to pursue courses in a selection of programmes at the world’s top universities, Maxis Scholarship For Excellence promises academic excellence and broader personal horizons.

Five successful applicants will be awarded a postgraduate scholarship at the world's most prestigious universities to pursue a course in:
  • Life Sciences and Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Business and Management Studies
  • Law and Government Studies
  • The Performing Arts
deal applicants for Maxis’ Scholarship For Excellence must have already gained admittance to a top US or UK university and meet the following stringent criteria:-
  • Aged 30 years or below
  • Achieved a minimum of a 2nd Class Upper Honours (or equivalent) degree from a good university.
  • Have a minimum of three years working experience
  • Have a strong appreciation and appetite for current affairs (for example, a general knowledge of Malaysia’s constitutional and legal framework, economic levers, government initiatives and nation building philosophies).
  • Demonstrate a continuing involvement in extra-curricular activities (team or individual sports; voluntary service; affiliation with a recognized association or society) as well as special achievements in academics, social work or similar contributions.
  • Possess the traits of an ambassador for Malaysia, with a sense of loyalty and identification for the country. There should also be evidence of a clear sense of purpose and goals in life, as well as a display of visionary capabilities.
In short, an individual who is not only high-achieving, but boasts a well-rounded, potent blend of academic, personal, social, extra-curricular and experiential abilities and skills. (more)

Yayasan Sime Darby Scholarship Programme
This annual scholarship programme applies to high flying, well-rounded candidates who wish to pursue full-time studies locally and overseas. (more)

Yayasan Khazanah Scholarship Programme
Yayasan Khazanah is a foundation established by Khazanah Nasional Berhad – the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia.

We are entrusted to select, support, groom and nurture exceptional individuals who will eventually take on high-level positions in the best organisations including the Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) in Malaysia.

This mission is in line with Khazanah Nasional’s commitment to the active development of human capital to ensure that Malaysia continues to improve its competitiveness on the global stage.

As a start, we groom talents and help them build their capabilities by offering scholarships to pursue studies at Malaysia’s premier universities or at the world’s renowned institutions of higher learning.

Malaysian citizens may choose to apply from one of the three scholarship programmes below: -

  1. Khazanah Global Scholarship Programme
  2. Khazanah-Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) Merdeka Scholarship Programme
  3. Khazanah Watan Scholarship Programme (more)

I hope more Malaysian corporations will step forward and offer bright and talented Malaysians an opportunity to pursue their postgraduate studies and serve the country.

Jimmy Low

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thank You for Coming

Thank you for coming to our Open Day. Although we had a smaller group this year, nonetheless, we shared our experiences in taking GMAT and applying for MBA.

Thank you Lim Yeong Chuan, INSEAD Malaysia Chapter Hon. Secretary for sharing his study experience and enlightening the aspirants on admission process.

For me, I will start my MBA in Berlin in January. Although I will not be as active as before in GMAT Malaysia, I still welcome emails from you. See you all in 2011.

Jimmy Low

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Scholarships Everywhere

QS, the organizer of the World MBA Tour and World Grad School Tour, understands the importance of financial support during hard economic times. As a candidate registered for one of our fairs, you're eligible to take advantage of the QS Scholarship Fund. The total amount of QS Scholarships for Master and PhD programs is $386,000; for MBA programs - $1,600,000.

Visit to apply now

The applications steps are quite simple:
Complete the survey at by the 10th April 2010. If interested in Ashridge Business School, apply by 18th December 2009. If interested in Duke, Fuqua School of Business, apply by 7th January 2010.

After completing the survey in detail, you’ll be taken to a page from which you can apply for any of the scholarships on offer. You can save your data and come back to submit the essays later.

The winners will be announced online, pending admittance to the programs included.

Scholarships on offer include:

QS Community Scholarships for MBA and Postgraduate Studies
Five scholarships, US$2,000 each, to the candidates who demonstrate an exceptional level of socially responsible leadership and an ability to motivate others.

QS Leadership Scholarships for MBA and Postgraduate Studies:
Two scholarships, US$10,000 each, to the Fair visitors who demonstrate exceptionally strong leadership potential and innovative thinking.

QS Scholarships for Academic Excellence
One US$10,000 scholarship to the QS World Grad School Tour visitor with a perfect grade record.

QS Scholarships for Central and Eastern European Women
One €2,000 scholarship for a female candidate from one of the Central or Eastern European countries, joining an international MS program outside of her home country.

EMLYON European Master in Management Scholarship
One €15,000 scholarship for a young professional, accepted to EMLYON.

NYU Tisch School of Arts Asia Scholarship
One US$20,000 scholarship for an international candidate, going to study in the Asia campus of the NYU Tisch School of Arts.

Ashridge Business School Scholarships
Three scholarships, £6,000 each, will be offered to three categories of candidates: women, emerging markets and the non-profit sector. Deadline: 18 Dec 2009.

Cass Business School Scholarships
Four scholarships, £72,000 in total, for full-time and Modular Executive MBA candidates.

Chicago Booth School of Business Scholarship
One US$40,000 merit-based scholarship, renewable annually, for a student who has demonstrated the ability to succeed through academic and extracurricular endeavours.

Duke University – the Fuqua School of Business Scholarship
One US$23,000 scholarship for an international candidate who will bring diversity to the Duke community. Deadline: 7 January 2010.

EMLYON Business School Entrepreneurial Scholarship
One €15,000 scholarship for a successful candidate with an entrepreneurial spirit, admitted to the International MBA program.

IE Business School Scholarships for Women
Two scholarships, €22,500 each, will be granted to female candidates, accepted to the IE International MBA Program.

Melbourne Business School International Scholarship
Two scholarships: US$20,000 each, to the international candidates who will become great MBS ambassadors.

Sydney Business School International Scholarship
Two scholarships, US$12,000 each, for future business leaders.

USC Marshall School of Business Scholarship
One US$24,500 scholarship to a candidate accepted to the USC Marshall MBA program.

Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Scholarships
Twenty scholarships, €425,000 in total, are granted by Vlerick and some of the world’s leading MBA recruiters, including ING, KPMG, Deloitte and E&Y.

“QS Scholarship winners are united by their demonstration of responsible leadership and community commitment, in very varied circumstances,” says Nunzio Quacquarelli, the Managing Director of careers and education group QS. “All of these young people have done something remarkable in their lives. Take, for example, Eduardo Olivares who worked as a counsellor in Chile helping people to escape severe poverty by setting up their own small businesses, or Yue Tu who cycled more than 2,500 miles across China to raise money for charity.”

To complete the survey and apply for all of these scholarships, go to To maximize your chances of being awarded a scholarship please complete the survey and application survey in as much detail as possible.

QS Scholarships application deadline is 10 April 2010.

Good Luck!

The QS World MBA Tour & QS World Grad School Tour Selection Panel

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

GMAT Malaysia 2009 Open Day

GMAT Malaysia, founded in 2007 as a support group for MBA aspirants, will host a GMAT Malaysia Open Day on December 13, 2009. The purpose of this Open Day, which is held annually, is to share our experiences in taking GMAT and to answer any questions or clear doubts or worries about this "major" test before entering any business school.

Details of Event
Date: December 13, 2009 (Sunday)
Time: 10:00AM to 12:00NN
Venue: Starbucks next to HSBC Damansara Utama, Jalan SS 21/37
GPS Coord: 3.0 0 3N, 101. 37 25 10E
Google Map: Click here

This Year's Specials
This year, we have invited the INSEAD Malaysia Chapter Hon. Secretary to share his experience in studying in INSEAD Fountainebleau and Singapore, and his career switch from research engineering to business development.

In addition, speak to some of the GMATters on their MBA application experiences to some of the top universities.

For more information or to sign-up for the Open Day, kindly email Jimmy Low at or call 012-2000 916. You may also visit our GMAT Malaysia blog at

Thank you and see you on Sunday!

Jimmy Low

Monday, December 7, 2009

Maxis Scholarship for Excellence

Maxis Berhad is one of a few Malaysian corporations that offer scholarships for postgraduate studies.

Annually, 5 successful candidates are offered postgraduate scholarships to top universities around the world. For more information, click here.

I have added two other websites on Malaysian scholarships - and - on GMAT and MBA Resources.

Jimmy Low

Monday, November 30, 2009

Interview Season

By now, you should receive an email or call for Admission interview, if you have submitted your MBA application. What should you do next?

Review. Reread your application forms (I hope you have printed or PDFed a copy before you click the "Submit" button, application essays and resume(s). It is important you know what you have written to each school. Typically, each candidate would submit 2-3 applications to his/her "favorite" business schools and receive calls/emails for personal interview around the same time. When that happens, you don't want to be caught off guard saying things that were meant for School A to School B.

Rehearse. Now, talk to your mentor or recommender and ask him/her to do a mock interview with you. It is good that you have someone experienced in conducting interviews or have attended business school to ask you some of the typical questions. Each school has their unique set of questions but most of them should cover the followings:

a. Tell me/us about yourself.
b. Tell me/us about your career progression.
c. What did you choose our school and/or our MBA instead of doing in your own country?
d. Why Country X?
e. Why do you need an International MBA?
f. Share with me/us your international working experiences.
g. Why did you choose to do your undergraduate in this school and/or country?
h. If you are not admitted, what would you do?

The above list is not exhaustive. I am sure my fellow GMATers and readers can share more. For some schools, you are thrown more challenging questions or even do a 5- or 10-minute presentation.

Receptive. As a potential business graduate, you must be aware of the events around you - in your country and more so, around the world. Thus, you must read well and able to articulate your opinions/ideas. What are the common themes these days? Global warming, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, financial crisis, corporate ethics, etc. Some schools are strong in a particular area; so, expect some questions that are aligned with the school's current focus.

Now, the final question in most applicants' mind is: Should I do a telephone/video conferencing interview or visit the school? Depends on your budget and your confidence. If you really want to get into that school and have confidence of getting in (after all, you have been called for interview; those not necessary the interview means a likely acceptance), please make that small "investment". Show your sincerity and eagerness. Demonstrate to the Admissions Committee that you have what it takes and a worthy candidate. It is hard to sell yourself to the Admissions Committee over the phone. Body language and your voice play a part in projecting your enthusiasm. It's easier to convince the other party when you meet face-to-face. The same goes for interview with a local alumni.

I wish you all the best in your MBA admission.

Jimmy Low

Creating A Resume That Sells

Here's an interesting article I would like to share with you.
WSJ: How to Fix Your Resume

For my MBA application resume, I narrowed to one-page and covered 3 broad areas in the following manner:

Education. List your undergraduate university, city and country, and the graduation year. Put down the degree conferred and your major. If you received honours or distinction, highlight them. Do include any academic awards or scholarship you received.

How far back do you want to list? Well, it depends on your working experience. If you just graduated, you may want to show your A-levels or its equivalent and your undergraduate degree.

Employment. This part should be your main focus. Spend most of your time here in perfecting it. List down, in reverse chronological order, your working experiences - company name, industry, location (especially important if you work in multi-national companies and work outside your home country) and the period of each employment.

List, in bullet points, your quantifiable achievements. DO NOT list your job descriptions or responsibilities. It is your professional achievements that the AdComm/headhunter/HR is looking for.

Extra-curricular. You should be an all-rounder person. Thus, demonstrate your involvements in out-of-work activities such as in non-governmental organisations, clubs or societies, projects, etc. Don't underestimate the power of volunteerism. This shows your involvement in the larger community besides work. Also, your involvements in clubs and/or NGOs tell your reader more about yourself - leadership qualities, entrepreneurial skills, teamwork, working with people from different countries and cultures, etc.

There is so much to write about yourself. Turn your resume into a marketing and advertising tool for yourself. Get yourself noticed.

Happy Reading! Please share your thoughts on this topic.

Jimmy Low

Friday, November 27, 2009


I've spent the past several months helping others edit their essays for several schools. It's a fairly tedious process that involves you writing some stuff and sending it to me, me reading it and leaving red marks all over before sending it back to you - repeated maybe 15 - 20 times.

To make it easier for you to write an essays, let's go through the basic requirements of a good essay.

1. You need, inspiration - lots and lots of it. There are several ways you can get it, but the best way is to get some whiskey and start drinking. Actually, drink on the night that you're planning to write your essay. While you're sober, start jotting down little stories that would look like the following the next morning

Rescued a village - dug waterholes - ate Mcdonald's
Top of class - biggest geek in class - had no friends

and so on... actually, when you feel guilty the next day, you'll probably rewrite everything. But yes, write down little anecdotes of your life. Compile maybe 20 - 30 stories for various situations, this is your story bank.

2. Look at the essay questions and look at your story bank, mix and match till you feel it's pretty good. Then start to write the story with sufficient detail, the trick is too much detail and it's boring and long, too little details and it'll be boring and superficial - you need just enough detail to get the reader's attention while enough to explain what happened. It's not easy, so you'll probably have to do it for quite a while.

At this point, you can start to stretch your stories a little bit. You work in credit sales? Rewrite it to say that you were the top sales person in personal loans. You get the idea, a little bit of exaggaration is ok.

3. Decide on whether your essay answers the question. Write it to answer the question. If it doesn't answer the question, then it's a lousy essay with an interesting story.

It'll probably take you a while to get used to this, do it a few times for your application. At some point you'll hit the zone and just be able to write flawlessly on why you need an MBA while talking about how you saved your company from going bankrupt...

Do you really need an MBA?

Usually around this time of the year, individuals around the world sit down and ponder, "What am I going to do next? What career do I want?" and to many, the MBA lightbulb goes off above their head.

So you there, that's reading this blog because you decided to google "MBA Malaysia" or "GMAT Malaysia", do you really need an MBA?

I used to think that getting an MBA would be great. As I've mentioned before, a top MBA gets you a fantastic job and the women just throw themselves at you at the mentioned of "Harvard MBA" (top ten MBAs only, if you're outside the top ten, you've got to work harder - a BMW is another 3-letter acronym that gets the ladies). But that aside, there's as clear distinct line between "want" and "need".

1. You need an MBA when your boss says "no way are you getting promoted unless you've got an MBA". Apparently in certain circles - investment banking, consulting, etc. this happens on a regular basis (I wouldn't know, I'm from manufacturing), however.... you want an MBA when you read about that Goldman Sachs associate earning more in 3 months then you (at CIMB) would earn in 2 years. But that's not because of an MBA, that's because he's at Goldman and you're only at CIMB, or worse yet, the self proclaimed Goldman of South East Asia - OSK Investment Bank. But chances are, you will need an MBA to get into Goldman.

2. You want an MBA because you think you'll be able to make that career change from non-descript typical IT geek consultant into super baller big swinging dick at hedge fund where your first year bonus wouldk be enough to pay for a Ferrari AND a penthouse. However, that's not really true, that's not going to happen either. Career change happens everyday, every where, without having an MBA. The MBA gives you the fundamental knowledge but it doesn't give you the transition - the transition is dependent on YOU. You need the MBA because of the knowledge that it'll give.... but the problem with that is that you can easily go out and buy all the books that are used for the MBA course and learn it on your own..

So in reality, you need the MBA for the brand name...

So that's about it.. you only need an MBA for the brand name and career opportunity, aside from that, you're lying to yourself if you said you needed it for anything else... and even then, for the career opportunity, it's dependent on you to make the opportunity. A loser with a Harvard MBA is still a loser, but a superstar without an MBA will still be a superstar one way or another. Which one are you?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Greater Benefits of GMAT

By now you would have heard a lot about GMAT. So, what's so great about GMAT besides it being the dreaded graduate test that everyone who wants to do MBA (or some MSc, MA even PhD. requires)?

Looking at the bigger picture of GMAT, it has taught me a few things:
a. From Verbal (Sentence Correction), I learnt about the 3Cs - Correct Grammar, Clarity and Conciseness. My business writing has definitely improved tremendously after learning the 3Cs. Subject-verb agreement, parallelism, idioms, modifiers, etc. are emphasized in Sentence Correction; things we take for granted when we write but how power when you apply them correctly.

b. In Quant (Problem Solving), I learn to be quick in deriving answers. Those days in school, we take many steps to arrive at an answer. In GMAT, you use approximation/estimates, 2- or 4-steps to solve a problem and analyse the question from the right angle.

c. In Quant (Data Sufficiency), your mathematics/algebra principles and foundations are strengthened through how you tackle a question. Besides rephrasing the question, you look for variables that are important to answer the question and throw out red-herrings.

I must say I am pleased with what I have achieved through GMAT. I hope you too, will benefit greatly from GMAT than it just being a preparatory test for your MBA/Masters.

Jimmy Low

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Aunty Agony Is Back ....

My, my .... it's questions season again. I know you all are excited to do your MBA and want to get in and out as soon as possible. But, my child, there's no easy way to success.

I got a couple of questions for you lots. Here are some of them:

Q: Can I take GMAT in 2 months? I want to apply for next intake.
A: Yes, you can if YOU have an excellent study strategy AND study everyday. And, I mean FULL-TIME study. No work, no play, no disturbances.

Realistically, 2 months will be a stretch for many of you. Mind you, this period is Round 2 for many business schools. The closing date is typically around end Dec/early Jan (check with the school(s) you're planning to apply to). You will miss this submission round if you have not started GMAT or ready to take GMAT anytime soon. And, to score well above 650 requires at least 6 months of hardcore, dedicated preparation, I kid you not. So, give yourself ample time to prepare for GMAT as well as good well-rounded essays.

You can't learn to fly a plane in two months, can you?

Q: I like to apply to the top schools, AND only the top schools. What are my chances?
A: Good chance if you have an excellent GMAT score, great story about yourself - both personal as well as professional achievements and leadership qualities that will make the Admissions Committee says, I WANT YOU.

I am not putting you down. You may have a chance but remember, you are competing with the world's bests. So, who are the world's bests? Take a look at the top schools' class profiles. Read some of the current students' and alumnis' achievements and background. Benchmark yourself against them. If you're within an arms length, you could stand a chance.

But, for many of you, always be realistic. I would like to get into top schools but I only got as far as the kitchen top.

If you aim to apply to top schools, go ahead and do your best. But, do try the second tier schools that you feel you will also qualify to enter. These second tier schools should be those that you feel you can learn and contribute to; schools that you will always do well and gain significantly.

Always have options. Not every day is rosy and when this does not meet your expectations, do not be despaired.

Q: How many applications should I send?
A: I never believe in quantity except money (and British Sterling Pound, please). Submit one application to the school that you truly want to get into and you have 80% confidence of getting in. Else, pick max 3. Why 3? Well, 3 represents manageable number. Here are the reasons:

1. 3 applications for different tiers of school - top 10 and next 10. You can have all 3 applications for top 10, 1 for top 10 and 2 for next 10, etc. You decide on the combinations.

2. Each application requires you to submit online application form, 4-6 essays and an interview. Multiply this by 3, you have a lot to do and each process can really drain your energy.

3. Nothing is free. Some schools charges US$200-250 per application before they even consider you; others free application. Then, there is time factor in preparing your applications, resume, essays, and other documentations such as undergraduate transcripts, mock interviews, etc. coupled with GMAT preparation and actual tests. Unless you're cash rich (which I recommend you to buy some of my cookies), manage your resources and energy well.

Okay, that's all for now. Time for baking ......

Revised GMAT Optional Breaks Interval

I have been informed and confirmed by Word Ware Distributors, the local GMAT test centre, that the GMAT optional break interval has been revised from 10 minutes to 8 minutes. The two optional breaks are between AWA and Quant, and between Quant and Verbal.

The test centre has also implemented palm vein verification.

Jimmy Low

QS Top Universities Guide for Sale

Annually, QS produces the World University Rankings in collaboration with THE. This year, QS has produced the Top Universities Guide. This Guide provides useful information on the top 100 universities around the world, a profile of each university and its offering, how to select the best program and other information on fees, financing and scholarships. The Guide also gives a review on studying and living in some of the popular countries such as USA, UK, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Germany, France, etc. This is a must-have book as you plan your post-graduate program.

QS, through GMAT Malaysia, is selling the Top Universities Guide at RM70 per book. If you are interested in a copy, please contact me at I only have 20 copies (you can't get this elsewhere). I will also sell them at the soon-to-be-announced GMAT Malaysia Open Day.

Jimmy Low

QS World MBA Tour - 24 November 2009

This is my third year at the QS World MBA Tour in Kuala Lumpur. This year's response is more encouraging than those in my previous two visits, probably due to the location. In the past, the fair was held at Westin Hotel. This is the first time QS holds the fair at KL Convention Centre. Good location choice since KLCC is closer to the Twin Towers where a lot of MNCs are located. A ready pool of potential candidates who are looking to upgrade their career. Furthermore, KLCC is more accessible than Westin.

Even though I have been admitted to do my MBA next year, I still attend the fair mainly to get the latest updates from some of the schools to be shared at the next GMAT Malaysia Open Day and also to meet up with some "old" friends whom I only meet during the fair.

The crowd during the first hour of the Fair

No wonder JK choose Cheung Kong GSB *wink*

INSEAD Booth, always the popular booth

University of Michigan Ross Business School,
Global MBA Program Director

For the first time, GMAT Zone conducted a 30-minute workshop on the GMAT. This gives an opportunity for those planning to do MBA to get a glimpse of this "feared" test (GMAT Malaysia is here to support you if you have any queries on GMAT or MBA in general).

A couple of new schools appeared this year - Vlerick Leuven Gent (Belgium), The Open University (UK), Hong Kong University (Hong Kong), ESADE (Spain), Duke University Fuqua (USA). This is a good opportunity for prospective MBA students to learn more about the other schools and enlarge the students' options.

Well, I won't be in Malaysia in 2010. Hopefully, a representative from GMAT Malaysia will be there to give you a coverage.

Good luck in your GMAT and MBA applications!

Jimmy Low

Friday, November 13, 2009

Packaging Yourself for B-School: Resume Writing Tips

How do you sell yourself to someone or a group of people who is thousands of miles away to shortlist you for interview? It's in the resume (and application essays). Now, your professional resume should clearly say three things about you: Education, Employment and Extra-curriculum. Most business schools will ask for a one-page resume; others at max two. So how do you condense your five, ten, fifteen or twenty years of your adult life into one or two pages?

Here are some resume writing tips for your MBA application or even your next job. Click here.

Jimmy Low

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Improve Your Writing Skill

I found this great website and thought you would benefit from it too, especially for your AWA and Verbal. But, looking at a bigger picture, no harm fine-tuning your business writing skill too.

Click here.

Jimmy Low

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Financial Times 2009 MBA Ranking

The jury has decided. 2009 Global MBA Ranking according to Financial Times as follow:

1. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton (1)
2. London Business School (2)
3. Harvard Business School (5)
4. Columbia Business School (3)
5. INSEAD (6)
6. Stanford Graduate School of Business (4)
7. IE Business School (8)
8. CEIBS (11)
9. MIT: Sloan (7)
10. New York University: Stern (13)

more ....

2008 Global MBA ranking in parentheses.

Jimmy Low

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Welcoming Guanie

We have a new 'graduate' from GMAT Malaysia. Guanie, who was with SC's study group has aced his GMAT and has now graciously volunteered to lead one of the study groups. Guanie will be taking over the Bangsar study group as I will be leaving for my Chinese MBA adventure in October.

R1 deadlines for some American schools are nearing so keep focusing on your goal!

p/s GMAT Malaysia will organize a GMAT/MBA open day in Q4 of 2009. We will update this blog with details once we nail down a date.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Dali Speaketh

This is a plug for my favourite finance/economics (and eye candy) blog.

Malaysia Finance's blogger, Dali, will be holding a talk on careers in finance next month. Dali's writings are featured in The Star and is also a featured blog on BFM89.9.

Approximately a third of MBA graduates head for investment banking, finance and/or private equity. If you are one of those who dream of having a slice of the average Goldman Sach's USD600k employee salary, or your goal is to be a CFO, why not listen to the experiences of an insider?

If you are interested and will like to go as a group (4 tickets in a single transaction gets a discounted rate), please contact us.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Work Backwards or Forward - Determine Your Realistic MBA Intake

This is a common question the team leaders and I are always asked around this time of the year - can I complete my GMAT if I want to take my MBA next year?

MBA is an investment unlike your undergraduate study. For those of us who are working and/or with family to support, we have to think both financial as well as time sacrifices being away from our income earning period. While your earning potential should be higher post-MBA, in the interim, you are basically funding your own study; unless you are one of the lucky few to get full or partial scholarship.

Now, back to that common question. It usually takes 6 to 12 months to complete your GMAT. Some could take as little as 2 to 3 months but majority requires more help and time. Furthermore, some of us take 2 or 3 sittings to get the score we want. It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifices during this period. So, be prepared when you want to do GMAT or any graduate tests.

Most US and UK MBA programs start in August/September (Fall intake). Some programs have 2 intakes a year such as INSEAD. Please check the program admission calendar. For the Fall intake, admission application rounds are, usually, September/October (known as Round 1 or Early Round), December/January (Round 2), March/April (Round 3) and for some programs, May (Round 4). Most, if not all, admission offices will advise prospective students to apply as early as possible especially for international students. This means Round 1 and 2.

If you are submitting your application in September or December round, take away 2 months as the last month you must complete your GMAT. This means GMAT must be completed by July or October respectively. If you are just starting GMAT revision, please revise your MBA plan. 2010 intake is NOT for you. Now is the time for you to start your GMAT, think about your MBA and essays and prepare for 2011 intake.

Besides GMAT, you need to consider the essays and other documentations. These take time to prepare especially your essays.

I hope this advice is useful. I wish you all the best in your GMAT and MBA quest.

Jimmy Low

Thursday, July 16, 2009

MBA or Masters - QS Tour is Here to Help You

I have just received an email from QS, the organiser of QS World MBA tour, that they are coming to Kuala Lumpur this 24th November. And, they are bringing their sister event, QS World Grad School for the first time to Malaysia. The World Grad School - Masters & PhD tour will be held on 25th November.

I have attended the Kuala Lumpur tour for 2 years and I must say the responses are encouraging every year. For those who can't decide whether to do MBA or Masters, this is your opportunity to meet the admission directors/officers/faculty members and alumni from some of the top schools around the world before you decide.

Every year, the event also host a "Getting into Business Schools" session. This is your opportunity to learn more about the criteria for getting into some of the schools as well as insights of what these schools look for in their candidates. This session is a must-attend session for prospective applicants.

I was also told that at this Kuala Lumpur event, the organiser will conduct a GMAT Strategy workshop.

Please register to get your FREE admission pass or you will have to pay RM20 on that day:

World MBA Tour - 24th November 2009, 6pm - 9pm, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center

World Grad School - Masters & PhD Tour - 25th November 2009, 4pm - 8pm, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center

For more information, visit:

QS Top MBA -
QS Top Grad School -

Jimmy Low

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ManhattanGMAT Strategy Guides on 4th Edition

GMAT Malaysia is pleased to introduce the 4th Edition of ManhattanGMAT GMAT Prep strategy guides. The 4th edition comes in 8 individual books - Number Properties, Fractions, Decimals, & Percents, Word Translations, Equations, Inequalities, & VIC’s, and Geometry (Quantitative Series) and Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension (Verbal Series).

The 4th Edition has in-depth coverage on Verbal topics (Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension); which many of us struggle with.

For those with the 3rd Edition and thinking whether to buy the 4th, here is a review of the Guides to assist you.

GMAT Malaysia uses ManhattanGMAT guides for our study groups.

Good luck!

Jimmy Low

ManhanttanGMAT GMAT Flash Cards

Are you looking for GMAT materials to study while "on the go"? The instructors at ManhattanGMAT have come out with GMAT Flash Cards.

Download complete set here (202 flash cards).

Jimmy Low

Official GMAT Review Goes 12th Edition

For those who are preparing for GMAT for the first time, the Official GMAT Review is now on its 12th Edition (we now called it Maroon Guide (MG); previously, we called it OG, Orange Guide for the cover color). According to ManhattanGMAT, about 1/3 of its contents are updated.

Read this link for ManhattanGMAT's review on the 12th Edition and what have changed from the 11th Edition. By the way, the Verbal and Quantitative Reviews remained unchanged; they are purple and green respectively.

For those who are currently using the 11th Edition, you do not need to throw it away. There isn't significant changes that warrant a new book; unless, you want to.

You can buy the 12th Edition at Kinokuniya KLCC.

Jimmy Low

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PostGradAsia 2009 Fair - 27 & 28 June 2009

For those who are exploring postgraduate studies in the near future, there is a PostGradAsia 2009 Fair at Hall 5, KL Convention Center on 27th and 28th June 2009. The event starts at 12pm until 6pm on both days.

Register online at

Jimmy Low

Friday, May 22, 2009

DU and Bangsar Chapters are still meeting

Quick post:- The DU and Bangsar chapters are still meeting. As the number of enthusiastic GMAT-ers have dwindled we are also meeting on a more ad hoc basis. Please email us if you will like to join in.

For those who are planning to take the GMAT in the next 6 months, good luck and Gambate!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

USJ Chapter Completes 2009 Session

The USJ Chapter has just completed its 2009 session last week. I wish Joyce, Kim, Julie, Chee Hoe, and others from other chapters all the best in your coming GMAT and may your MBA dream comes true.

You are free to contact anyone of us if you need clarifications on GMAT.

We hope to conduct an Open Day session this December for 2010 session.

Good luck!
Jimmy Low

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Getting your application together (Part 1)

I’ve been told that I lost the edge on my latest essay. I guess it’s true, times have been hard – we’re in a horrible recession and business school applications are up…

So, let’s talk about something serious today. The MBA application and how to have an edge to getting accepted – no jokes, Serious Business™!

Now, it’s a well known fact that business schools take a holistic view of your application. Your GMAT, GPA, work experience etc are looked at in together-ness and not as individual parts. Therefore, if you’ve got a weak GMAT (say 450), but you scored a GPA of 4.0 while studying Super Advanced Material Theoretical Physics and worked for McKinsey AND Goldman Sachs (flexi-time – alternate days), you still stand a decent chance of getting in.

Now, we all know that you can lie on your work experience and GPA – and don’t feel ashamed of it, hundreds if not, the majority of applicants, do it, every year, every round – but you can’t lie on your GMAT score. So do what it takes, be a man, and ace the GMAT.

Easier said than done, the trick to the GMAT is eating properly on the day of the test. Don’t eat anything too heavy, a light breakfast of a simple tuna sandwich (hold the mayo) and coffee or half a can of coke (1 hour before the GMAT) will help kick start your brain. Don’t down the red bull because it’ll just jolt your body and wear off soon. Do eat some nuts etc, to help you stay focused. Something clean and light, not too sweet, to drink and nibble on during your break.

But most of all, stay cool, calm and relaxed. I found that the best way to do so was to go drinking the night before. Start early, somewhere about 4pm, and drink as much as you can (without getting a hangover) until 9pm, then head back, get something to eat and pass out. You’ll get a good solid 11 hours of straight sleep – no funny dreams.

When you’re doing the GMAT, just remember, real men persons can do probability and remember their idioms.

Part 2 continues next week.

4/10/09 edit: it's cool to be pc baby, P C!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

HBS Essay #1

I know it's a little easy, but this year, I'm going to start preparing for my HBS application NOW! And guess what, I've decided that I'm going to rope in all you readers to helping me write my essay.

So feedback please on how I could improve my essay, this is Essay 1: What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)


My Big Payoff

There comes a time in life when you’re challenged by seemingly insurmountable circumstances – and I faced that moment exactly 9 years, 4 days ago. Striding into the office, I walked up to my investment desk and gave my orders.

“Take no prisoners.” I said as I locked in my buy orders. That day was my personal Normandy. I had spent months, looking at the risks, weighing the ROI and planning for this day. With each passing day, I knew that I had to be patient, I had only one opportunity to make it and my time would come. And so I waited.

Truth be told, the odds were against me, stacked as high as they could go. My friends and family told me not to do it, but on that day, I knew it was time. It was time to make or break, it was time for change: my moment had come. It’s brilliant moments like that, that I know I have what it takes to succeed at Harvard – performance under pressure, tick, risk taking, tick and last but not least? I have balls.

As I waited for the results of my investment, memories came back to me. The first day I learn probability, the first time I profited from an investment and the dreams that I had. But I had to set my thoughts aside as I loaded up the results…. And there it was, my investment had paid off – I had struck the multi-million dollar jackpot on the Super Lottery Pick 6 – my life was about to change.

Pushing the Limit

I have a tradition that I keep with my boys. Once a month, we meet over drinks to catch up with the happenings, sometimes it’s a coffee, other times it’s a whiskey coke. I believe that a person’s network is the single most important factor to success and it will be that network that I will develop further when I’m at Harvard.

But routine gets boring, and to keep things fresh, we’re always willing to try new things. Sometimes we bring in some new faces to our network, at other times we develop a greater network, it usually encourages us when the new member is 5’6, petite, cute with dimples and 34-26-34.

However, once in a while, we decide to push the limits. Whiskey cokes are out. Bottles are in. And that's 1 bottle per person, 75cl minimum baby. Extra points for anybody who can finish the leftovers. That’s called pushing the limit, and that culture is what I will bring to Harvard. Not only will I push myself harder, but I’ll push her hard too, real hard. As for the men, I’ll let them push themselves.

In today’s world, we all need to push ourselves a little harder, to get that new Ferrari, or maybe to hook up with that chick. After a century of excellence, I fear that Harvard has lost its edge, but, with me, I’ll bring it back and kick it up a notch.


2 girls, 10 grams of coke, some e and a bottle of vodka. Edison Chen has nothing on me.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Good reasons to do an MBA

1. Because you're a career changer.

You're an aspiring IT engineer who wants to make a billion of two by starting your private equity fund that specializes in investing in companies dealing with used rubber tires. Possible? Hell yeah baby! An MBA turns you from a hero to zero - bonus points if it's in the top ten and people look at you in envy when you say "Haaaarhh - vaaard Ehm Bee Aye baby". Or maybe you'll sell your soul, I don't know, but do an MBA, it adds inches.

Alternatively, you're just another loser commercial banker reckons investment banks would make the exception and hire strong - just for you. With an MBA you're nothing less than Bruce Wayne of finance, the gritty corporate life by day and bottles and models at night... ok, maybe not exactly Batman, but hey, if Wayne wanted bottles and models every night, he would be getting them. Just don't be Bateman...

We all wanna run our own gig, and nothing makes and entrepreneur like an MBA. It doesn't matter whether you're an analyst or you think of new ways to sell placements, empowered with an MBA, you'll be able to soar to new heights when you launch your company. After all, you'll know all about finance, marketing AND strategy and now, you just need a good product - one which you can rip off from your smarter peers at school.

Lastly, for some strange strange reason, you reckon that saving the world is worth while. Let's go do microfinancing and charge low interest rates. Do you need an MBA? Actually you don't, and you'll probably have a greater impact if you went straight into non-profit, but I don't really care, you'll still be sexier with an MBA. Of course, once you graduate from Yale SOM, you be able to hit on girls while sipping your beer of the day (because you're non profit, you can't afford the good stuff).

2. Because you're looking for a partner.

Business schools are the best place to hook-up with somebody who's just as smart as you, or maybe she lied on her application and used an admissions consultant. But that's ok, at least she's got the money to blow.. maybe that's not all though. But... anyway, I heard that the better the school, the better the scene - of course, you've got to make exceptions for MIT (nerds), Chicago (nerds), Harvard (assholes), Stanford (saving the world), Kellogg (drunk sex isn't cool), Wharton (finance assholes), Tuck (all married), uhm... did I miss anybody out? Well, Columbia is pretty cool, of course, I'm not sure whether you would prefer to hook up with somebody at Columbia or actually impress the girls of NYC with the fact that you're at Columbia.

Another way to build your resume is to join the swinging scene. It's well known that if you're swinging in business school, you're swinging with the best and you'll be able to swing with the rest. So draw your lots and swap seats. Who knows, your off-resume skills might just be able to get your that job with Goldman Sachs or a promotion one day... off course, you might have problems looking at yourself in the mirror, but that's ok.

Ever wonder why you've never seen a video titled, Girls of B-school?

3. Because you want a well deserved 2 year holiday.

Go partying with daddy's money if you're rich, or at least do it on somebody elses expense when you take that loan. 2 years of hardcore partying AND you might actually get a good job too! Have you seen the summer break itineraries of some students? Travel to some exotic location for "bonding". School trips too... just don't forget to double bag.

4. Because you want to make money... more of it... a lot more..

Then you're in the right place. Please leave your morals at the door and join me at school.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meet my girlfriend, the MBA application.

1. Choosing

You choose a school based on first looks and fit. You scope out who recruits from there and what the school's specialization is, and of course, rankings are always always sexy! You fell in love when you found out McKinsey hires a gazillion people from HBS. Heads up to the HBS crowd, you make me hot for you.

You choose a girl on how hot she looks in those tight short shorts, and how good you would fit inbetween her and those jeans. Competition is always valued, so the higher the demand for her, the higher her ranking - 10 guys after her? She's got to be hot stuff.. and it's not just looks, chances are that she's got pretty good specializations too... You knew it was true love from day 1 when you saw her bend over to pick up her pen that she dropped....

2. Application

You fill up the 10 pages of background information, write 5 essays on why you're so sexy and how much you love them and you pay the application fee upfront. Especially big on what you bring to the class. You don't hear anything from the school until they feel like telling it to you. Calls don't get any love.

It's good if you're a blue blood, HYP grad, investment grade BSD or swinging with M/B/B. Alternatively you might be the unique minority applicant who built wells in Africa, restored Renaissance art and has a penchant for clearing the minefields in Vietnam... or was that Cambodia?

You take her out for lunch, tea, dinner and drinks. You spend your time telling her (indirectly) what a baller you are, how you think she'll look good next to you and how you're going to rock her world. You pay for lunch, tea, dinner and drinks. She'll call you when she's bored or when she feels like going out, try not to call her too often lest you bore her - or become a stalker.

She'll like you more if you work for a Fortune 100 company, drive a BMW and get bottle service everytime you're thirsty. Some girls like the -i'm-so-in-touch-with-society-do-gooder-save-the-freaking-whales- kind of guy, so if that gets her hot, I guess the WWF had better be on your speed dial.

3. Admitted! Oh wait, just waitlisted.

They keep in suspense for months and when they decide to release their decisions, lucky you gets to wait it out for the big D-day when they tell you whether you're accepted/rejected/waitlisted. Intermittent communications are just meant to tease you. Appeals not entertained.

She'll keep you in suspense as you chase after her... when she decides to accept you, you're still being tested and might be rejected. If you're waitlisted by her, you might get some sexy loving, but hitting a home run is .. unlikely. She'll tease you over and over again until you're on your knees panting like Pavlov's dog. If you're rejected, say good bye, cry your heart out and pay off that credit card bill that you racked up spending on her.

4. Costs

Averaging USD200 a pop + USD250 for the GMAT. Factor in your time spent, misc. such as sending in transcripts, additional information. Do you wanna fly over for a visit? There goes a couple of grand down the drain. Will they accept you? Nope, not guaranteed.

Lunch $80, Tea $40, Dinner $150, Drinks $300! Bring out the dollars and let them fly baby, fly like an eagle. It's her birthday, wanna get that LV bag for her? Valentines is around the corner, get some flowers, flavored prophylactics and a hotel room if you're more than just casual friends.... Don't forget the dinner and gift too... and if you're generous, spring for the cab fare back home. Is her love guaranteed? Nope. ;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Funding your MBA

One of the biggest headache most prospective students will need to go through is to come up with a financial plan that will put you through school.

Before I dive into how one can secure funding to pursue one of the most expensive post graduate qualification, I'd like to highlight that one must try not to bring funding into the mix when selecting and applying for schools. It's tough enough working on the GMAT, essays and investigating schools, so get in first, worry about the money later. If not, all you'll see is a mountain of obstacle and you'll never get off your arse to write those essays :)


Everybody loves free money! And all schools offer free money! The problem is... you'll need to standout from everyone else. Unfortunately (shouldn't it be fortunately?) while Malaysia is a developing nation, we are far less deserving than the girl from Chad that dreams of heading World Aid.

External scholarships? I only know of one Malaysia based organization that offers financial scholarships to deserving Malaysians and that's Maxis. If you hold a H/S/W offer. You should stand a good chance.

Otherwise, read the school's financial assistance material word for word, cover to cover. Have a knack for innovatively persuading people to pursue material opulence? LVMH sponsors many students in leading schools. Want to end up in McKinsey? Try the bursaries set up by consulting firms. There is always funding somewhere that fits your career goals or your unique profile and schools are more than willing to match you up with potential donors.

Be realistic though. Most will not obtain a 50% scholarship let alone a full scholarship. Most likely, you'll be going to school with a combination of scholarship, loans and savings. So be sure to have plan B, C, D and E.

Like it or not, you'll need to smash that piggy bank and scrape every dime you've saved since your first paycheck. Those who are toying with the idea of obtaining an MBA in the distant future, start saving now. Even if you don't end up in a business school a few years from now, the money saved is still yours to fling on that RX-8...
However, unless you are working in private equity now or if you've been converting every ringgit you've earned into gold since 5 years back, you'll need help to raise the US$80,000 you need.
Loans and borrowings

Got a rich dad? Easy then, just tell him you've grown up, realised the folly of your bi-weekly club crawl along Heritage Row and you now want a Wharton MBA so you can take over his automobile empire. You may stop reading now.

For the rest of us, raising money from family is a popular option. Unlike the West, it's acceptable to ask relatives to help out a daughter, nephew, grandson, godson or whatever. Just remember to not only pay back but also perform your filial duties.

If you've exhausted the options above, it's time to look at paying for credit. Make no mistake about it, immediate credit is just pain imported from the future. Loans are almost always a necessity. Unfortunately for us Malaysians, credit facilities for matriculating overseas isn't normally offerred. Start by contacting the school. They may be able to help source loans that are suitable for international students. Expect to be asked for a resident co-signer in the loan originating country though.

Malaysian banking institutions continue to exhibit its ignorance to international programs. However, two local banks do offer loans tailored for overseas education. Both CIMB and RHB offers loans on pretty reasonable terms (BLR + x, long repayments and 40-50% collateral). At the time of writting, you can borrow up to RM100,000. I've also heard that Citibank offers education loans but I think they need more assistance than us now... *snigger*

Less appealing options include personal loans from banks. These loans are way more expensive and will usually require you to start repayment upon loan disbursement. There's also no way to stagger the disbursements so you don't end up servicing the interest of the unutilised portion of the loan. You'll also need to secure this loan before you quit your job. While this is a valid option especially when you take into account of your anticipated higher income post MBA, becareful and always read the T&Cs. Depending on your current income, expect the credit line to be extended to a maximum of RM100,000.
Getting your boss to pay
Do you belong to this category? It all depends on your career goals. Career switchers can throw this idea out of the window immediately as no employer will invest in an employee that's leaving. However, if you are currently a loyal mid level manager and you've done enough to prove your leadership potential and is willing to return to the company, this is a valid and almost painless option. Admittedly it's a tough time now to secure corporate funding but business is all about making deals. Good luck to the lucky few!

For the desperados

What if you've tried all the options above and you still come up short? You could try any one of these methods...
Ask for more free money from the school. Once an offer is made, schools try to maximize acceptance rate. Most of the time, if you are sincere and you really need just that little bit more, financial aid officers can work out something for you.

Show them your other offer. Got free money from another school? You can potentially ask nicely and leverage your other offer. This may be frowned on by some schools but as long as you are honest, and you are not breaking non disclosure terms, you can still use this tactic.

Renegotiate your mortgage. If you are currently servicing a mortgage, why not contact your bank and see if you are able to extend the mortgage line?

Burn up your retirement fund. EPF withdrawals from account II (30% of total EPF funds) is possible on the pretext of reducing home loans. I will not comment more.

Apply for credit cards before quitting. Some desperados have been known to use credit cards to fund living expenses while servicing only minimum payments. Only for the very brave.

Well, I hope this post illustrates the various options one can exercise to fulfill that MBA dream. While it is highly likely that you will be racking up a whole lot of debt, MBA graduates are able to demand the highest salaries of any post graduate qualification.

Just make damn well sure you really do want to be a banker/consultant/PE. You can buy an MBA but you can't buy happiness.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's The Approach That Counts

I like watching Nat Geo and Discovery channels on Astro. On one of the series about the US aircraft carrier, one of the fighter pilots talked about how he and his fellow pilots are trained to focus on the guide on the cockpit when they land on the carrier. They only have a small "window" of opportunity to land and if they missed that, they had to throttle to the max to fly away. They are not even supposed to worry about the guide cable which will hook at back of the plane and halt the plane when it lands correctly.

My study group members asked me how should they tackle GMAT questions. Well, the answer is and as I always reminded them (again and again) - it's the approach that counts.

Very often, the moment we see a question, we like to jump straight into working and only to find out that it took us more than 2 minutes and yet not getting the answer. When I practised, I took the above approach as show in the diagram.

Spend first 30 or so seconds to read, understand, rephrase the question, if necessary and formulate the approach. Remember, you only have this 30 seconds to think through and determine your best approach to solve in 4 or 6 steps.

The next 60 seconds is used for working. Start by eliminate not-possible answers. This improves your chances of striking the right one. By eliminating 2 not possible answers, you improve your odds from 1/5th to 1/3rd. If you can eliminate 3, then you increase it to 1/2th.

Don't forget that you need to click the answer in the computer. It takes time to move the mouse and click Next and Confirmed.

All this is done within 2 minutes window.

So, GMAT "pilots", start practising your approach.

Jimmy Low

Thursday, February 5, 2009

MBA Admissions, Scholarships & Careers - Facebook

QS Network, the organizer of QS World MBA Tours, now has a Facebook group called "MBA Admissions, Scholarships and Careers".

Jimmy Low

Waitlist is Worse than Death Sentence

What's worse than a death sentence? Being kept on your school waitlist.

Read what Jeremy Shinewald, Founder/President of mbaMission has to say about responding to "Waitlist":

In recent weeks, many candidates have received responses from MBA Admissions Committees that can be even more frustrating than rejections: “You have been placed on the waitlist.” So, what do you do when your status is uncertain? First and foremost, listen to the Admissions Committee. If the AdCom tells you not to send follow-up material of any sort, then you should not yield to temptation and send material you think will bolster your case (bold emphasized). If you (misguidedly) choose to send additional information when it has not been requested—and especially when the AdCom has asked you not to—you will definitely identify yourself in a negative way—not the type of message you want to send to the group that will be determining your fate.

Still, some schools will ask that you provide additional information. In this case, you may also experience some frustration: “What can I offer the MBA Admissions Committee as an update? I submitted my application three months ago!” You can start by explaining (if applicable) that you have been targeting certain weaknesses—retaking the GMAT and increasing your score, for example, or taking a supplemental math class and earning an A grade. Further, if you have any concrete news regarding work promotions or the assumption of additional responsibilities in the community, you should definitely update the MBA Admissions Committee on these points.

Even if you do not have these sorts of tangible accomplishments, you should have some news to share. If you have undertaken any additional networking or completed a class visit since the application deadline, you can offer a window into your burgeoning interest in the school. (When you are on a waitlist, the MBA AdCom wants to see evidence that you are passionately committed to the school.) Further, even if you have not been promoted, you can creatively reflect on a new project that you have started working on and identify the new professional skills/exposure this project has provided (for example, managing people off-site for the first time or executing with greater independence). Finally, the personal realm is not “off limits,” so you should also feel free to discuss any accomplishments, from advancing in your study of a language to visiting a new country to completing a marathon (just as examples).

With some thought and creativity, you should be able to craft a concise but powerful letter, showing your recent professional and personal growth, while expressing your sincere and ever increasing interest in the school—all of which will serve to increase your chances of gaining admission.

Taken from GMATTERS: ManhattanGMAT Newsletters

Jimmy Low

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top 10 US and Global B-School Ranking 2009 vs 2008 by FT

To add on from JK's posting, here is the summary of the top 10 US and Global MBAs, with 2008 ranking in parentheses.

Global Top 10 MBAs
1. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton (1)
1. London Business School (2)
3. Harvard Business School (5)
4. Columbia Business School (3)
5. Insead (6)
6. Stanford University GSB (4)
6. IE Business School (8)
8. CEIBS (11)
9. MIT: Sloan (7)
10. New York University: Stern (13)

US Top 10 MBAs
1. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton (1)
2. Harvard Business School (5)
3. Columbia Business School (3)
4. Stanford University GSB (4)
5. MIT: Sloan (7)
6. New York University: Stern (13)
7. University of Chicago: Booth (9)
8. Dartmouth College: Tuck (15)
9. Yale School of Management (16)
10. Northwestern University: Kellogg (24)

Click here for other rankings.

Jimmy Low

Monday, January 26, 2009

Latest FT B-School Ranking

The Financial Times has released its latest B-School ranking and for 2009, it's great news for European and Asian schools. Notable mentions include LBS sharing the top spot with Wharton and an Asian school breaking into the top 10 for the very first time.

The FT rankings places greater weightage on salary (adjusted for purchasing power parity) and 'internationalism'.

Perhaps there is a slight anglo centric bias with FT?


p/s it'll be quite interesting to look at future rankings once the fall in pound, euro and the gradual rise in Asian currencies start affecting the survey results

Click here to find out more!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

GONG XI FA CAI from GMAT Malaysia!

We wish you a Happy and Prosperous BULLish
year ahead. Whatever your GMAT score or MBA
dream is, believe in yourself
and you can achieve it!


All of us at GMAT Malaysia

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Head-To-Head Analysis: Veritas Prep versus Manhattan GMAT

Head-To-Head Analysis: Veritas Prep versus Manhattan GMAT
For people looking at which GMAT courses to take, many seem to debate between Veritas Prep or Manhattan GMAT. Both programs seem to have great offerings on their websites and both contend that the only way to really decide which program has the advantage is to take both courses and decide for themselves.

Continue reading