Point of View: The Admissions Institute for New Professionals (AINP) Experience
The Admissions Institute for New Professionals (AINP), offered by GMAC, is an invaluable opportunity that helps new MBA admissions professionals frame their understanding of the industry and their role in it by learning about industry culture, norms and trends.
Most people who are familiar with MBA admissions as a professional industry know that it’s a collegial environment that attracts dynamic professionals. You often hear colleagues talk with great affection about their “Professional Development Program (PDP) class” and the amazing recruiting adventures around the world that they have shared with one another. I am a 2008 AINP alumna and met some of my favorite colleagues there. In fact, I keep in regular touch with many of them to this day and tap into that network regularly. In the summer of 2014, I had the privilege of serving in the role of Scholar-in-Residence at AINP in Reston, VA and participating as a colleague and mentor. It was an even better experience the second time around! Below are my impressions of how the AINP event can help new admissions professionals grow and add immediate value to their institutions.
The AINP experience is valuable to both individuals and institutions in several ways. It introduces new professionals to the field in a substantive way so that they can build/expand their industry knowledge and share best practices. The 2014 program included sessions on Marketing and Communications, using Social Media, polishing presentation skills, understanding the GMAT® exam and other assessments, and learning new strategies for crafting a class. Most of the sessions were interactive and explored each topic in an immediately relevant way. For example, the presentation skills session was facilitated by a theatre professional and was not only a lot of fun, but everyone left with a new presentation in-hand that they wrote during the session in real time, using the strategies being taught (and some brave souls even presented parts of what they had created!) One attendee commented that it was “immediately engaging, high energy, and high impact... [And that he] woke up the next morning dreaming of the perfect welcome to an upcoming orientation.
I personally appreciate being part of an industry that welcomes new professionals in such a methodical and purposeful way. One of this past year’s attendees notes that it’s “nice to begin [in a profession] with such enthusiasm and optimism about creating a habit of sharing information” and that AINP was “a great way to interact with some established professionals and also new ones.” Though time and resources can be limited, AINP is a worthwhile investment and professional growth opportunity for anyone new to the field and I encourage anyone to attend.
About the Author
Katelyn Rosa Stephenson is assistant dean of admissions at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University.