If US, UK or Australia is the goal, start thinking a year ahead

If US, UK or Australia is the goal, start thinking a year ahead
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First Published: Thu, Sep 11 2008. 11 14 PM IST

Milestones: A woman photographs her daughter at Harvard Business School, US. MICHAEL FEIN / BLOOMBERG
Milestones: A woman photographs her daughter at Harvard Business School, US. MICHAEL FEIN / BLOOMBERG
Updated: Thu, Sep 11 2008. 11 14 PM IST
January
Typically, start planning from January of the previous year when you intend to start your studies. For example: If you intend on doing an MBA in fall 2010, then you should start with your application process from January 2009.
The first step in the process is the registration for the Graduate Management Admission Test (Gmat). One might ask why you should register even before you have gathered all the necessary information about this test. The answer to this question is that balancing work-life and the application preparation is a tough job. With the pressure of the exam date in mind, one usually manages ones time well, and avoids procrastination.
Milestones: A woman photographs her daughter at Harvard Business School, US. MICHAEL FEIN / BLOOMBERG
But before registering for the examination, take at least a couple of practice tests to gauge your current standing and make an estimate of your preparation time. However, even in the worst-case scenario, a dedicated and balanced preparation of four months is enough to crack the examination. Our sample Gmat tests will aid you in assessing your current skill level. For more information on the Gmat examination, please visit www.studyplaces.com/testcenter/test-detail/GMAT
While registering for Gmat, also register for the ToEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, examination at the same time. ToEFL is a very simple examination compared with Gmat, and about 15 days of preparation is more than enough. Finishing off the required examinations earlier helps to fully concentrate on the other parts of the application process and the test scores also are an aid in selecting universities.
April-May
Plan to appear for the examination. This will also provide you with a contingency period in case if you do not get the score that you desire.
After the exam, the next step is selecting the area in which you intend to specialize in during your MBA. This is an important step as there different universities are reputed in one kind of concentration. For example Wharton and New York University are among the best schools for finance. Kellogg is the best for marketing. Harvard and Stanford are the best universities for general management. Cornell, MIT and Duke are highly reputed for their courses in the area of Operations and supply Chain Management. Babson is good for entrepreneurship.
Other factors which one needs to consider are duration of the course (one year or two years), type of course (part time, fulltime, online, distance education), personal budget and affordability (since scholarships are tough and interest rates on loans are increasing). Carefully spend about the next 10-15 days to accurately make an estimation of these parameters.
May-June
Ideally by the end of May and beginning of June you should have all of the above in hand so that your can start of with the necessary documentation and other specific aspects of your application as explained below.
Documentation needed:
(a)Academic transcripts: An academic transcript is a complete listing of courses, units, results and other information concerning a student’s academic studies. Transcripts should be submitted from all post secondary (12+) institutes which you have attended.
(b)Recommendation Letters: Choosing the right recommenders goes a long way in getting an admission. This is because recommendation letters act as certificates about your non academic credentials. These letters are to be written by individuals under whom you have either worked or studied. They highlight specific achievements and initiatives taken in the work place, provide an insight into your soft skills and additionally talk about those aspects of your personality which are not evident from your test scores. Hence while choosing your recommenders be extremely careful to select only those people who can talk about these aspects of your personality
(c)Essays: These are by far the most important part of your entire application as this is your direct chance to communicate with the university about your work experience, career goals, and aspirations, past achievements, leadership abilities, special talents and other differentiating experiences. Most universities ask you to write about all these in a document called the statement of purpose. Other universities can have certain specific questions which used to evaluate skills which determine whether you would be a good fit within the culture of the school or not.
Research the short listed universities: This is critical activity which precedes your form filling and essay writing. Researching a university helps you get an understanding of the prevailing culture at that university. It also gives an insight into the backgrounds of the different students from previous batches. You also get an insight into ongoing projects, industry interfacing, placement services and statistics. All these give you an insight into how you should frame your essays For example. Harvard wants leaders in its class, hence for your Harvard application it makes more sense to talk more about your leadership skills and highlight specific examples which demonstrate this ability in you. Stanford on the other wants students who have an entrepreneurial flair. One thing to realize here is that every school is different and hence every school will require you to change your essays suitably.
A note on time: The above two activities (Documentation and researching universities) form the crux of your application process and hence should be given the maximum time.
June
Start with your transcripts and have them finished by the next months. Simultaneously start short listing you’re your recommenders and spend time to think about what you want them to highlight in the letter. The letters are strictly confidential but it still a good idea to communicate with your recommenders before and tell me them if you want something specific to be written in your letter. Give them at least a month to carefully plan and write your recommendation letters. Hence if you approach them in June you should be ready with your recommendation letters by mid August.
July
Start with start your university research. Spend about two to three days researching each university that you intend to apply to. For specific queries email the current student or professors or the admissions office to have all your doubts cleared. Use the internet to get more information which might not be available through the website of the university. In your first list before you start researching have about 25-30 universities in mind and narrow them down to around 10-15 after you finish researching them. This activity will take about 2 to two and half months.
September
You should be done with your research and be clear about the 10-12 universities which you intend to apply to. Verify the application deadlines of each university
By the beginning to mid September start with the first draft of your application essays. Before you actually start to write it spend about a week making a list of all the details about you. Think about your experiences in the work place, college, hobbies, skills, achievements, personality traits, social work (anything which you feel differentiates you from others) and weave them into fabric of a silken smooth statement of purpose. Ask your manager, friends, family to read your first draft and provide your feedback on the same. Keep refining it until you are completely satisfied with what you have. This activity can vary from about a month two months. But to be on the safe side you should be over and done with your essays by the end of October
Can we do a calendar on the below:
January
-Register for GMAT and TOFEL
-Start researching your specializations
February- March-April
-GMAT preparation
-Researching Specializations
May
- Appear for GMAT and TOEFL
June
- Decide on specializations
- Shortlist 25 universities
- Think about your recommenders
- Get your transcripts made
July August
-Decide Recommenders
-Continue researching universities
September
- Be ready with your recommendation letters
-Narrow down the university list to about 12
-Start preparing the first draft of your essays
-Simultaneously start filling up the online application forms
October
-Be ready with first draft of your essays
-Have the online applications filled up
-Forward official test score reports to the universities
November
-Submit online application forms
-Forward the supporting documents to the university
The admission process
Most universities either follow a rolling admission basis or a deadline based system
(a) Rolling basis of admission: In a rolling system a candidate can submit his/her application to the university anytime within a timeframe which is usually over six months long. The university reviews the application and notifies the applicant of their decision within a few weeks from submission. In such a system applying early is a definite advantage.
(b) Deadline basis: Under the deadline system the university normally has 3 application deadlines (rounds) and an applicant can choose to apply under any of the three time frames. The deadline ranges are as follows but vary slightly from university to university
- 1st round: October End
- 2nd round: mid January
- 3rd round: Early March
Most universities state that applying early is often a better strategy, but there is no concrete evidence to prove that students applying during the second and third round are at disadvantage. However it is often considered worth while to apply to the second round as the first round of admission normally has the stiffest competition. However applying in the third round would be too late as very few seats would be remaining.
Admission Criteria
1)Test Scores
2)Quality of work experience
3)Undergrad GPA
4)Recommendation letters
5)Essays
6)Interviews
7)Timing
The order in which these are mentioned in the list above does not necessarily relate to their order of importance in the application process. The universities evaluate the complete package. First and foremost they evaluate your test scores to assess whether you have the analytical abilities to meet the intellectual requirements of the program. High test scores don’t automatically guarantee admission but lower test scores can definitely result in rejection. Next in line are your essays, recommendations, work experience. These all add up to the diversity that you bring into the program. The universities try to judge the value that your presence adds to the program through documents. They are often the clinching factor in getting admission after the initial hurdle of the test scores has been cleared.
Based on the above the universities shortlist applicants for interviews which are conducted by alumni. The final admission decision depends on your performance in the interview.
March
-Application decisions are received from all schools
April
-Evaluate all option at hand
-Make a final decision
May
-Secure your admission by accepting any one offer after careful deliberation
-Plan your course of study at the university
MBA in Australia
Different people have different reasons for pursuing their studies in Australia. Some may want to gather global exposure, a few to experience world class education, and many to look for better standard of living. Australia offers all these and more.
Australian education has a strong international reputation for excellence. Australian degrees are recognized by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AFQ). It certifies the knowledge and skills a person has achieved through study, training, work and life experience.
Considered to be one of the best destinations to live while you learn, Australia offers an excellent platform for all international students to study, work, network, and enjoy an incredible student life. From cultural festivals to museums, concerts to adventure sports, students will never find a reason to be bored in this country. The standard of living is also amongst the highest in the world.
A multicultural society, Australia offers ample opportunity to English speaking and non-English speaking students. As far as Permanent Residency is concerned, migration is allowed on the basis of the migrants skills and whether there is a demand for that particular skill in Australia.
Are your skills in demand? What you should study in Australia - if you want to get a work Visa.
There are certain skills which have a great demand in Australia. Depending on the existing and emerging skills shortages, the Government of Australia has compiled a Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). Reviewed twice a year, the list is updated in accordance to changes in the labour market changes. Your chance of getting a PR increases if you possess any of the given expertise. Given below is a list of some of the occupations in demand for migration purposes.
MIGRATION OCCUPATIONS IN DEMAND (MODL)
·Accountant
·Professionals specializing in commercial cookery like Chefs, bakers and patisserie managers
·Anesthetist
·Architect
·Computing Professional with experience in CISSP, C++/C#/C, Data Warehousing, Java, J2EE, Linux, Net technologies, Network Security/Firewall/Internet Security, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, SIEBEL, Solaris, Unix.
·Engineers – civil, chemical, electronics
·Occupational Therapist
·Physiotherapist
·Nursing
Work while you study
It is possible to work and study at the same time in Australia. Students granted visa on or after 26th April, 2008 have the Permission to Work automatically included in their visa.
·Students can work no longer than 20 hours per week when their school is in session. This means that they can only apply for part-time jobs during their study terms. However, international students have the liberty to work full time during their vacations.
·Any internship or course related work that is formally registered as part of the student’s course is excluded from the 20 hours work per week limit.
·Students engaged in voluntary activities must apply for Permission to Work. The 20 hour work per week limit is applicable for all unpaid work too.
·According to the present immigration rules, international students who have completed more than two years of study in Australia is eligible for a work permit of one and a half years.
Application Procedure
In order to start your application procedure to any university in Australia, students will have to provide the following documents to the chosen university. These include:
·Class 10th and Class 12th pass certificates, and mark sheets
·Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letter of Recommendations (LORs)
·Proof of work experience (if any)
·Graduation or Post Graduation certificate (if applicable)
·Miscellaneous certificates
·Passport size photo
·IELTS score sheet
The scholarship scene is very competitive in Australia. Applications for all renowned universities are sent for a scholarship assessment. But, only those international students who have exceptional records get chosen for the same.
IELTS Score
Students who have passed 10+2 can either take entry to universities or other tertiary institutions with a good band score (minimum 6.0) of International English Language Testing System (IELTS). IELTS is required for admission into all Australian institutions.
Student Visa
If your application is selected, then you will receive a Letter of Offer from that particular Australian university. The tuition fee of the first semester has to be paid and you will receive a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) from the university.
Generally, an international student is issued with a multiple entry visa for the duration of his/her study course in Australia. Once a student is accepted into a full time course of study at an Australian institution, he needs to obtain a student visa, which is valid for the duration of the course of study indicated on the Confirmation of Enrolment form provided by the Australian Institution. This form is provided once international student fees (or exchange places) have been arranged, and overseas student health coverage charges have been paid.
It is important to show that you have the financial means to support yourself during your period of study. The annual cost of living as fixed by the Australian High Commission is AUS $ 12,000. Students must also have appropriate private health insurance cover during their stay in Australia.
Things to bear in mind:
·If you hire an agent make sure he is MARA (Migration Agents Registered Authority) certified.
·You should apply under the visa sub-class for your principal course of study.
·Electronic confirmation of enrolment (ECOE) is the only accepted evidence of enrolment for processing student visa applications.
·Processing time for the visa is 4 to 1 weeks.
Tuition fees
Australia offers a diverse range of courses at various levels. The approximate annual fee for each level is given below:
·Undergraduate, AUS $ 18,000 to AUS $ 20,000
·Post Graduate, AUS $ 20,000
·Technical and further education, AUS $ 8,000 to AUS $ 12,000
·Vocational training, AUS $ 8,000 to AUS $ 10,000
·Foundation studies that give international students the knowledge and skills for a smooth transition from learning in their home country, to undergraduate studies in Australian universities, AUS $ 8,000 to AUS $ 10,000
The tuition fee depends on the college as well as the course that one opts for. For example, an Aviation (CPL) course will cost something around AUS $ 43,000 to AUS $ 44, 000 per annum.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) Institutes/ Technical and Further Education
Australia specializes in vocational education and training. The VET sector is divided into two sections — a nationally recognized government system of Technical and Further Education (TAFE, and, private providers. Students can study vocational courses at both public TAFE institutes and private colleges. The government ensures the quality of courses, staff and teaching by carefully monitoring these institutions.
The range of courses under this category includes:
·Information Technology,
·Business And Management,
·Marketing And Communications,
·Health,
·Science,
·Design and the Arts,
·Television Production And Media,
·Environmental Studies and Land Management,
·Sport and Recreation,
·Engineering and Building, and
·Hospitality and Tourism.
English language training and university preparation courses are also offered. TAFE is the largest provider of tertiary education courses in Australia with approximately 200 institutes. Industry training is common to all the VET programmes. The awards in VET sector are:
·Certificates,
·Advanced certificates,
·Associate Diplomas, and
·Diplomas.
Studying at TAFE level is also described as a way of gaining entry to Australia’s universities. Most TAFE institutes have arrangements with specific universities, enabling students to gain credit for a portion of their study undertaken at TAFE.
STUDYPLACES COUNSELLING
I’m looking forward for a MBA program in Australia... I’m an engineering graduate with First class every year. Suggest me some good universities and also tell me bout the packages offered after doing MBA there?
For MBA in AUSTRALIA you just need to clear the IELTS examination with minimum score of 6.5 to 7 bands. Apart from the climate and the lifestyle, why would you complete an MBA in Australia? Well, those are two very fine reasons. But in addition, you should consider the location of your MBA, since a good MBA program is not simply about what you study, but also about who you meet and network with for future benefit.
As Australia is geographically and economically part of Asia, doing business in Australia means understanding business in Asia. Based on its historical links to Europe and North America, Australia has built a cosmopolitan international economy with the majority of its trade now with Asian nations. Most of the international MBA students are from Asia: places such as Singapore, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and India.
Also, there are a growing number of students from North America and Europe. Australia’s MBA students build networks with international students that benefit them in their future career and business dealings. Australia’s culture and environment is varied, providing a fascinating and enriching learning experience with its unique landscape, climate and exotic flora and fauna.
While Australia owes much to its European heritage, it’s political and social development has been distinctive, and Australians have become very conscious of their geographical position on the southern edge of the Asian landmass, and their role in the development of the Pacific Rim economies. They also pride themselves on being a rapidly developing multicultural society, drawing strength from the richness and variety of cultures.
Most major universities in Australia offer MBA programs, varying in length from 18 months to five years, depending on whether students are full or part-time. MBA programs have traditionally been made up of a mix of both full and part-time students, domestic and international. The program structures vary, as do the particular subject emphasis with each MBA program.
Australia offers considerable advantages for international exchange and study abroad students, as its universities are held in high repute internationally, and offers an enormous range of subjects in every discipline.
I am a student from Bangalore University. I have done my BCA (3 year) course. My aggregate is around 70%. I am interested in doing my masters in computer science/information technology from Australia. Am I eligible for the masters program as my degree is three years, but it’s a computer oriented course, as I have studied all computer subjects. Will I be eligible? What are my other options? Are these degrees considered for employment in India by software companies, when I come back to India? When do the sessions in Australia start?
There are a lot of Australian Universities providing masters in computer science/ information technology courses. You are eligible for the master’s course.
Consider these options: RMIT University, University of Technology (Sydney), Swinburne University of Technology, Monash University, etc and many more. They all are good universities to apply. Degrees are globally recognized and well recognised in India as well. The major sessions in Australia are February and July.
After completing B-tech can a student opt for MBA in London/UK immediately?
MBA in UK is of 12-15 months duration. Most of the Universities in UK require minimum 3 years Managerial Experience, GMAT score, Bachelors degree with 65-70% marks along with IELTS of 6.5/7.0 bands, like the University of Middlesex, Brunel University etc.
There are some universities having MBA for freshers like Cardiff University, University of Wales-Newport, and Liverpool John Moores University etc in England.
Can a student get study visa without IELTS for studying in UK?
If you have scored good grades in English during your school and college education then you might get student visa to the United Kingdom without taking IELTS but the High Commission might call you up for an interview in this case.
It is usually advisable to take IELTS even if University or College waive off the requirement.
For doing MBA from Australia is work experience mandatory? Further, what are the requirements or exams that need to be taken to qualify for MBA course?
To get for specialisation in MBA you need to have a minimum of 2 years full time work experience after graduation. If you do not have any work experience then you go for a general MBA.
There are a lot of universities providing MBA like Deakin, Grifith, La trobe, Melbourne Business School, Monash University, etc and many more.
The duration of the course is around 1.5-2 years and the major intakes are in February and July. An IELTS of overall 6.5 (with no band less than 6.0) will be the mandatory requirement by the Australian Visa High Commission.
What are tests that one needs to take in order to study in NewZealand?
An IELTS score is a basic requirement to study in New Zealand for an Indian national.
Other than that the course that you opt for may have some special requirement but generally an IELTS score and academic background are the major criteria for securing admission in any institute of New Zealand.
For an engineering student from India what is the eligibility criterion for the US MBA? What are the requirements for the course? Does it depend on the ranking of BE? What is the selection procedure? Are there any exams that need to be taken?
To be eligible for MBA, here is a check list:
You need to appear for GMAT and TOEFL.
You need work experience of two-three years.
3) Need to have completed 16 years of study 10+2+4 A high ranking in BE always helps to get a better university.
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First Published: Thu, Sep 11 2008. 11 14 PM IST