Duke Fuqua | Ms. Account Executive
GMAT 560, GPA 3.3
NYU Stern | Mr. Military Officer
GRE In Progress, GPA 2.88
Cornell Johnson | Mr. IT To IB
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Bassist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.61
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Green Business
GMAT 680, GPA 3.33; 3.9 for Masters
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Commercial Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Smart Operations
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Strategy Manager
GRE 321, GPA 3.5
Ross | Mr. Airline Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corporate VC Hustler
GMAT 780, GPA 3.17
Wharton | Mr. Marketing Director
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Healthcare Startup
GRE 321, GPA 3.51
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Sustainable Business
GRE 331, GPA 3.86

Tweets, Slideshows and Social Media – The New MBA App

The University of Iowa's Tippie School of Management revamped their application to connect with candidates in their own space - social media

The University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Management revamped their application to connect with candidates in their own space – social media

Imagine if instead of churning out several admissions essays, you could sell yourself as the perfect fit for your top-choice school in a 140-character tweet.  Or better yet, why not link to your personal blog where you detail the launch of a micro-enterprise and your backpacking trip through Peru?

Prospective MBAs aren’t the only ones who find a blog post, tweet or Facebook status more palatable than a dense, and often dull, admissions essay.  Admissions officials at top B-schools across the country are now offering alternatives to the traditional application.

For many B-schools, the flourishing admissions consultants industry makes it increasingly difficult to separate the real candidate from a carefully groomed application. To help get around the gloss of a high-priced coaching package, institutions are experimenting with ways to meet candidates in their personal worlds – primarily via social media.

Earlier this month, the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Management introduced a SlideShare option. Candidates applying before the July 14 deadline have the choice of submitting a SlideShare presentation (think PowerPoint on steroids with a social media component) in place of two admissions essays.

Tippie is an old hand in the innovative application space. The school made headlines two years ago when it piloted the application tweet, where candidates made their case for admittance in 140 characters or fewer.  “We just felt like essays were getting kind of stale, and we wanted something that was current and in a place where our applicants would want to be found,” says Jodi Schafer, the director of admissions for Tippie’s full-time MBA program.

Aspiring MBAs were all for it. Nearly every single applicant during the summer of 2011 opted for the tweet ‘essay’ instead of the traditional one. Tippie kept the program around for the next academic year, and Schafer estimates the majority of applicants chose the tweet option.  However, the school scrapped this alternative during last year’s admissions cycle.  Many prospective students fell back on the tweet as an easy, copout.  Instead of pithy posts with embedded links to blogs, videos and personal websites, the admissions committee received sparse statements and had to dig further during the interviews. “That defeated the whole purpose,” Schafer says.

Last year they introduced a mandatory image essay, where students submitted a picture or collage and explained in 350 words why it was meaningful. But the single image still didn’t provide a well-rounded portrait of the applicant. So at the urging of a student focus group, Tippie introduced the SlideShare option, which taps into social media and provides admissions officials with a more thorough picture of perspective students.

While Tippie may have nixed the Twitter essay, other schools are now adopting it. Both Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Arizona State’s W.P. Carey School of Business have an application ‘essay’ that must be answered in 140 characters or fewer – essentially a tweet. For Shari Hubert, Georgetown’s associate deal of MBA admissions, the brevity of a tweet is a bonus. “It’s about the applicant being succinct and being pithy and explaining what’s really appealing to them about Georgetown,” she says. “It gives us the bird’s-eye view of what they think about Georgetown.” It’s also an opportunity for candidates to standout – those with the initiative and creativity to link to other resources can really set their applications apart. Plus, it’s fun. “After reading essay, after essay, after essay you want to look at something fun, different and short,” she adds.