The Associate Director of Admissions at Ross School of Business recently offered insider advice for Ross applicants. If you are getting ready to apply to Ross or any other business school, you need to read this interview. It will tell you almost everything you need to know about business school admissions.
Can you provide a general overview of your admissions process?
Applicants are required to submit applications, 2 letters of recommendation, transcripts, test scores (GMAT and TOEFL, for international students), and 4 essays. In addition, they are highly encouraged to conduct an interview on or off campus.
Is it better to apply early in the process?
We encourage applicants to submit their applications in one of the first 2 (of 3) rounds, but do not penalize applicants who choose to apply round 3 in any way.
Who conducts your admissions interviews?
Admissions Committee staff members, selected second year MBA students who are trained by the Admissions Committee, and alumni.
Do you have any interview tips for applicants?
Be professional, know yourself, research the school to which you're applying.
How important is an applicants GMAT score?
It is one piece of the picture, which also includes GPA, 2 recommendation letters, 4 required essays, and work experience and achievements.
In regards to undergraduate study, do you consider other factors besides performance? For example, does it matter where an applicant completed their undergraduate schooling?
We do consider where an applicant completed their undergrad degree, but more important than where they went to school is the rigor of their major and other coursework.
What is your position on people who apply to your MBA program directly out of college?
While we do accept applications, they are generally not as competitive in the pool of applicants, which is comprised of people with 2- 10 years of work experience, with an average of 5 years. Their achievements, skills and capabilities are typically not as advanced and robust as those with more experience.
Does race, ethnicity, sex, and cultural background play much of a role in your admission decisions?
We do try to build a diverse class, but do not have hard "targets" or quotas that we adhere to.
What qualifies as a good letter of recommendation?
One in which the recommender can speak about the applicant's skills, capabilities and potential and support it with examples. Typically, direct supervisors are in the best position to provide such insights.
Title matters less than how well the recommender knows the applicant's professional abilities and potential. Professors, colleagues and friends or family are not in the best position to provide this perspective.
What is the most common mistake that applicants make?
They submit generic essays that could be used for any business school. Also, we get many essays that don't answer the question that was asked.
How can an applicant stand out among their peers?
Show us through the application, resume, and especially the essays, what is unique about yourself and why you're a good fit for our school.
Why does your school stand out among other business schools?
We take an action-based approach to teaching management. The hallmark of our program is the Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP), which is a 7-week "course" in which MBA students engage full-time in real projects for companies and organizations around the world seeking to solve business issues. MAP is akin to a mini-consulting project in which MBA students directly apply the skills they have learned in the first 3 quarters of the 1st year of the MBA program.
For more information on Ross School of Business, visit their website at http://www.bus.umich.edu.