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Business Schools Are Revolutionizing The Admissions Process

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Why do you want to go to business school? Is it to advance your career? While that may be the answer for many, that's not what business school admissions officers want to hear. They're bored. Sick of it. They want to be wowed. They want to drill down to who you are- as a human. They want to get to know you. Step out of these clothes and slip into something more comfortable. Figure out what motivates you. What makes you tick. How to they intend to do this? By changing the face of the b-school application process as we know it. The well compensated powers that be in academia have revolutionized the interview process in the following ways:

"Staff-moderated group discussions." Group interviews, to the layman.

Beginning this winter, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School will invite a random sampling of M.B.A. applicants to participate in a staff-moderated on-campus group discussion with fellow applicants. They will be encouraged to discuss and debate current topics in business, as chosen by the school.

Insanely quirky and not at all textbook masturbatory prompts that have been posed at university applicants for years.

...even the quirkiest questions can get uninspiring responses. The Haas School, bringing back an old prompt, asked applicants for the class entering in fall 2008, "If you could have dinner with one individual in the past, present or future, who would it be and why?" But Haas's Ms. Fujii was underwhelmed by the answers. She believes an admissions consultant told clients to say "yourself, 30 years in the future," a response that quickly cluttered her office.

Asking applicants to answer the world's craziest questions in 200 characters or less

The University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie School of Management this summer offered a full scholarship valued at $37,240 to the applicant who best answered, "What makes you an exceptional Tippie full-time M.B.A. candidate and future M.B.A. hire?" via a tweet...Columbia Business School this year is asking applicants to respond in no more than 200 characters to the following question: "What is your post-M.B.A. professional goal?" (The answer would be shorter than the length of this paragraph.)

This last one is almost scary in how "out there" it is. Restricted to 200 letters/spaces/punctuations marks, who knows what kind of crazy shit people will reveal. Instead of going on for 4 paragraphs about how they ultimately want to become an a portfolio manager at mid-sized hedge fund, the character limit will force them to tell the admissions committee, "My goal is to sell organs on the internet." Or maybe the limit will serve to potentially open an even bigger window into any given applicant's soul. Not only will it get them to reveal their real reason for attending business school but could separate the squares who play by the rules and are destined for middle management from those who know when to break them by saying I see your character limit and raise you not only 458 but the chance to accept someone who has the vision and conviction of his ideas to tell you this:

What I really want to do, more than anything in this entire world...and I've never told this to I want to breed dogs. I want find one dog out of all of them that not only has the beauty and the grace to win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show...but then has the speed and the determination to win the Greyhound Classic, which is the Kentucky Derby of dog graces. And then I want to take him to Alaska for what I think is the ultimate test of endurance, and that's to lead his entire family in the Iditorad, with me driving. And to win with a record time. That's really my only ambition and I've never been able to tell anyone about it until now.

Tweets, Plays Well With Others: A Perfect MBA Candidate [WSJ]


Harvard Business School Alum Has A 4-Point Plan For Fixing The Election Process In The United States

On November 6, 2012, as the results of the presidential election rolled in, a member of the Harvard Business School Class of 2010 considered ending it all. "The thought crossed my mind to jump off my penthouse apartment balcony," he wrote his fellow classmates yesterday. Sure, he had a lot to live for: friends, family, the earthly delights afforded to him by living in Southern California ("surfing, mountains, 78 degree sunshine, and hot babes everywhere"), as well as a new company and all that came with it (relationships with celebrities that straddle the line between "friend and service provider," as well as invites to "the VMAs and private concerts in Vegas"). But he also had a lot of reasons to be good and angry at the world, including but not limited to: the state of California being "filled with so many hippie liberals" he just might snap and in doing so "choke out a street bum," people who "sit around with their hand out and expect to be fed," and, most vexingly, the reelection of Barack Obama. And while he did not in fact end up leaping from his penthouse balcony apartment that night, make no mistake, he was and is exceedingly pissed about the direction this country is going, which is south on the Pacific Coast Highway right straight to hell. And whereas the endless stream of bums and hobos and hippies he encounters each and every day the second he steps out of his penthouse apartment probably would take the easy way out, because that's what they do, he's better than that. So instead, he went to bed, got up, sat down at his computer and channeled his anger into something productive: a list of suggestions for how we can get America back on track and in four years, rest it from the hands of the commie holding it hostage, like forcing candidates to use bullet points and telling people who don't believe in capitalism to pack their shit because in 20 minutes a van is coming to ship their non-contributing zero asses off to a country where it's not actually a "privilege" to live. First, though, some life updates, because it really has been too long.

Business School Applicants Having None Of This "Show Us You Can Speak Without Paying A Consultant $500 To Show You How" Crap

After years of receiving scripted answers to questions from would-be business school students re: why they want to go to Harvard/Wharton/Stanford/Sloan or what they think of a company's earnings potential or where they see themselves in five to ten years or what they ate for breakfast, admissions officers have lately been taking a new tack in an attempt to see the "real" side of applicants. Hoping to get a little "unrehearsed honesty" and insight into who these people really are, prospective students are being asked to submit "reflections" ("a short, off-the-cut note that must be submitted within 24 hours of an admissions interview") and take part in "team-based discussions," for which they're told to "relax, be genuine," not worry about giving the "right" answer, and just say what they really think, rather than what a coach told them to say they think. Unfortunately, Harvard and Wharton officials apparently have no idea who they're dealing with here. You can't make future b-school students relax and be genuine! You can't! You won't!