The MBA Gatekeeper At UNC Kenan-Flagler

Applicant X has a 720 GMAT score and a 3.9 GPA but didn’t get in to Kenan-Flagler. Why not?

I can think of five or six reasons why that could happen. Maybe it’s an applicant who doesn’t have any experience, so while they’ve got two metrics that are very competitive, they didn’t have anything else. It could be an applicant who maybe had some experience but didn’t have much impact. Maybe there are no results, or maybe the pace of their results and their accomplishments seems slow compared to their peers. It could be the candidate doesn’t have very good articulated reasons for wanting an MBA. Maybe they’ve been meandering in their job. Maybe they did poorly in the interview. In an actual real-time interview the person may not be very poised, may not present very well. We look at candidates as a whole, comparing them to the overall pool, but we also are looking at them for all the different segments. We’re looking to put together a class that’s very well balanced both in what they’re bringing in and what they’re expecting. A 720 GMAT and high GPA might just not be exceptional for that pool. It could be that they just don’t come across as a good fit for Kenan-Flagler, either not someone we think would contribute or add to our community, or maybe they didn’t do a very good job of expressing why they want to be here.

If someone expresses interest in entrepreneurship, what do you look for that would suggest they have what it takes?

I don’t know that we’re going to judge whether they’re going to be a successful entrepreneur. We certainly would be looking for what types of entrepreneurs are going to be a good fit for our program. What are their expectations . . . short term and long term? A lot of people are interested in entrepreneurship. Some of them have a business. What we look for is understanding what are they trying to accomplish; do they understand what they need, what their gaps are? Do they need financing? A better network? Do they need to learn more? Once we understand what their objectives and expectations are, then we can determine whether they’re a good fit, and whether we can help. That’s the biggest thing, is really understanding where they are . . . and matching that with what we offer.

THE MBA GATEKEEPER SERIES:

THE GATEKEEPER TO GEORGETOWN MCDONOUGH
THE GATEKEEPER TO NYU STERN
THE GATEKEEPER TO CORNELL JOHNSON
THE GATEKEEPER TO DUKE FUQUA
THE GATEKEEPER TO BERKELEY HAAS
THE GATEKEEPER TO HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL 
THE GATEKEEPER TO STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 
THE GATEKEEPER TO THE WHARTON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
THE GATEKEEPER TO THE KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
THE GATE KEEPER TO CHICAGO’S BOOTH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
THE GATEKEEPER TO MIT SLOAN
THE GATEKEEPER TO DARTMOUTH’S TUCK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
THE GATEKEEPER TO MICHIGAN’S ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 
THE GATEKEEPER TO CORNELL’S JOHNSON GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
THE GATEKEEPER TO YALE’S SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
THE GATEKEEPER TO LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL
THE GATEKEEPER TO CAMBRIDGE JUDGE
THE GATEKEEPER TO THE INDIAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS