How An Admissions Officer Views An Application

Rotman School of Management

At the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, each MBA applicant is evaluated on four key criteria. We asked Leigh Gauthier, acting director of recruitment & admissions at Rotman, for a bit more insight into what exactly the schools is looking for on each of these four dimensions.

Intellectual Horsepower

“While most students can’t afford to go back and upgrade their GPA

students should seriously consider if their GMAT score (and component

scores) are a true reflection of their ability. If not, consider taking it

again. A higher score does not necessarily equal an automatic bump, but

don’t put a score forward when you know it could be better with effort and

focus thinking that it is good enough. If it is your best effort then great

– it’s not the only way we measure intellect. Consider, is there something

that you’ve done that could demonstrate your cognitive abilities? – make

sure it’s in your resume, essay, or interview answers.”


“Not everyone has the opportunity to save a company thousands, or bring in

a multi-million dollar contracts and an early age – but does your resume

accurately reflect what you’ve done? How has the company improved as a

result of you being there? A laundry list of tasks at an organization, even

if it is a recognizable brand, will not an impressive resume make. Spend

time to reflect and detail on what you personally have accomplished, and

demonstrate your value-add. Lots left on the table here by many applicants.”


“Every interaction is an opportunity to confirm or change the recruiter’s

opinion of a candidate. The assessment does not end at the interview.

Remember that the scholarship decision is a result of the sum of the parts,

and not just the formal interview. In the Self Development Lab we recognize

that content is key to be credible. Yet if you do not pay attention to how

you are making others feel, or how you are coming across, or your

‘presence’ – when delivering said “content” you won’t get past initial


Spike Factor

“What’s the pop? Any one of us can accomplish tremendous academic or

workplace feats if that is all we do. The problem is that it leaves our

experiences one-sided and quite frankly boring. What have you attempted or

accomplished outside of work or academics that is another indicator of your

future success (note epic failures count too if there is a good lesson

learned). How will this signal to a recruiter or future employer some of

your key characteristics? What are the things that you have done in your

life that demonstrate Passion? Grit? Resilience? Innovation? Drive?

Ambition? This crosses all aspects of life – hobbies, volunteerism, awards,

entrepreneurial ventures, and sports.”


The first in a series on the growth in MBA scholarship money and what it means

The first in a series on the growth in MBA scholarship money and what it means


The Often Frenzied Pursuit Of The Best Students

The Bottom Line: MBA Scholarships At Top Business Schools

Show Me The Money: How A Scholarship Committee Decides

What Kinds Of Students Win The Scholarship Game

Why Many Fail To Negotiate Scholarship Offers

How NOT To Haggle For Scholarship Cash

Consultants Hype MBA Scholarship Awards To Clients


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