How to Click With MBA Admissions Officers


“A friendship won’t lead to an admissions officer advocating for you, rather it will just make them a whole lot sadder when they have to deny you.”

“Do you think she likes me?”

You’ve probably asked that question many times. From adolescent crushes to job interviews, we’re always looking for signals that others accept us. This question is certainly relevant when you apply to B-school.  Here, you’re competing against thousands of achievers. And admissions officers are weighing many variables. You want them to see the real you. And you know how a personal connection can give you an edge. So how do you build a relationship…without becoming a pest?

Nicole Lindsay, a former associate director of student affairs at Yale Business School and Goldman Sachs recruiter, has some insights. First, Lindsay advises applicants to view the process from the other party’s perspective. An admissions officer’s job is to find the right fits for the program. That means helping candidates produce the strongest possible applications. According to Lindsay, admissions officers see themselves as a resource for information and guidance.

Despite any affinity for certain candidates, they are continuously assessing them on their merits. And befriending an admissions officer can lead to hard feelings. “Friendship doesn’t equal admission,” Lindsay warns. She adds that a relationship can create a false sense of security for a candidate:

“A friendship won’t lead to an admissions officer advocating for you, rather it will just make them a whole lot sadder when they have to deny you, but deny you they will.”

Finally, Lindsay reminds candidates not to fret if they don’t forge a bond with an admissions officer:

We, and admissions officers, express ourselves in different ways. You may be interacting with an admissions officer at a reception with a glass of wine in your hand and ‘feel’ that the conversation is a little forced and flat, but in fact you are exchanging the right information between each other and laying in the foundation for a robust relationship. Don’t project your desired interaction on the actual interface with an admissions officer.


Reneging on an MBA Job Offer? It May Cost You $20,000

Think you can walk away from an internship with no repercussions? Well, not at Georgia Tech. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, two MBA candidates who broke an internship commitment in favor of another “are no longer welcome at career services, can’t participate in on-campus recruiting, and won’t be allowed to sit in on company information sessions.” Ouch! 

Believe it or not, these students probably got off easy. At Wharton, students can be fined up to $20,000 for backing out of an internship (and must write an apology letter, too). For Harvard students, reneging can cost students anything from access to alumni resources to invites at reunions. MIT Sloan even penalizes students for violations like missing scheduled company interviews.

Of course, the policy works both ways. Companies who rescind interns can also face punishments like being banned from on-campus recruiting.

So how do the top business schools punish such infractions? Click on the link below to find out.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Gen-Y MBAs Say ‘No’ to the 80-Hour Workweekmillennials

You’ve heard all the clichés about Millennials. Critics dismiss them as narcissistic, needy, and disloyal. Advocates praise them as collaborative and family-driven. Whatever your feelings, make no mistake: Gen-Y is revolutionizing the workplace. That’s particularly true of those Millennials with MBAs.

This week, Bloomberg Businessweek examined how Millennial MBAs are challenging convention in search of a better work-life balance.  A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which recruits hundreds of MBAs annually, found that over two-thirds of their younger employees were looking to adjust their hours or work more from home. As a result, PwC has implemented telecommuting, flexible scheduling and seasonal help to better suit Gen-Y employees.

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