ADMISSIONS DIRECTOR SAYS THE LABOR-INTENSIVE TEST WOULD NOT REQUIRE AN INCREASE IN STAFF
Wharton, she maintained, would not have to increase the size of its admissions staff to roll out the labor-intensive evaluation process to all applicants. “The admissions team currently travels to interview candidates around the globe so we are fully equipped to handle the logistics and the time needed for that and any other process in our admissions,” she said. It’s highly likely that the school’s group of Admission Fellows, roughly 45 second-year students trained to interview applicants, can be deployed to facilitate the in-person evaluation process.
The school had told applicants it invited to the test that the new evaluation model was not mandatory. “As we are currently ’beta testing’ this evaluation structure,” Wharton told applicants, “your participation is entirely voluntary and will have absolutely no bearing on the decision made on your application.”
Wharton also informed applicants that the real-world discussion would not replace its one-on-one interviews that are a prerequisite to an offer of admission—at least for the test.
“In keeping consistent with the 2011-2012 application year, you will still be required to participate in a one-on-one interview as part of your application process,” the school said. “Should you choose to participate and help us further develop this new and innovative way of candidate evaluation, please be sure to sign up for your one-on-one interview first, and then choose a team-based discussion time that does not conflict.”
The test follows Wharton’s decision last year to no longer use students as first readers on MBA applications or to use alumni to do interviews of applicants.