Stanford Shuts Down MBA Admissions Blog

StanfordAfter failing to put up a single post for more than four months, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business said yesterday (Oct. 29) that it was shutting down its admissions blog for MBA applicants.

The news came in the form of a blog post–the first since June 18th when Stanford GSB announced its MBA application dates for the 2014-2015 admissions season.

The blog was started in August of 2007 by an admissions staffer, Rita Winkler, who made clear from the start that Derrick Bolton, who heads up MBA admissions at the business school, would be too busy to write posts for it. In fact, he rarely did, though one post on the fact that Stanford tries to interview between 959 and 1,200 applicants every admissions season lent the kind of insight and knowledge into the admissions process that applicants tend to clamor for.


In any case, Bolton’s absence immediately made Stanford’s attempt to use an admissions blog different. At many other top schools, including Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan’s Ross School,  admissions directors have effectively used blogs to communicate directly with applicants. Because those posts are written by the officials in charge of admissions, they tend to have a more authoritative and compelling voice.

Winkler left GSB admissions in May of 2012 to take on the job of associate director of communications at the Stanford Institute forInnovation in Developing Economies (SEED). Since then, several other staffers in the office–mainly Ari Chasnoff and Victoria Hendel De La O–have tried to keep up with it. But they have put up only a dozen posts so far this year. In a post announcing the shutdown, De La O said that “our blog has begun to resemble a Tesla at a gas station.”

Instead, she said the school’s increasing use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ seemed to be a better way than a blog to reach applicants. “Social media: You love it, we love it,” wrote De La O. “In fact, over the years, so many new ways of communicating with you have developed. So in keeping with the GSB tradition of continual improvement, and with a mixture of glee and sadness, we say goodbye to our blog. Although this is our final post, all blog content will remain accessible here until 19 December 2014, at which point we will redirect you elsewhere.”

As of today, the business school has 231,000 followers on Twitter and 120,513 likes on its Facebook page.





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