New View On MBA Admissions At Tippie

Paul and Debbie Pinckley and the Ship of Life crew

Paul and Debbie Pinckley and the Ship of Life crew

Immersed in poverty day after day, Pinckley found his sense of duty toward humanity increasing. “I was as guilty as the next guy,” he says of his pre-Cambodia life. “This is going to sound harsh, but you see a news clip, or there’s a little blurb in the newspaper that says a ferry overturned in Ghana and 300 people were killed, you read that and say, ‘Oh, that’s terrible,’ and then you go on to read what the Hawkeyes did. There are faces to those people now. The world is smaller.”

And since his return to the U.S., and after more than a decade of observing potential B-school students, he finds himself looking at applicants in a new way. “I would say I have a different outlook when I’m interviewing folks,” he says. “We talk work experience, leadership style, test scores. But I’m trying to find out, ‘What are you going to do in this world? If we can draw on people that have that broader world view, I think it makes us better, it makes business better, and I think it makes our country better.”

A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITY, AND RESPONSIBILITY

Pinckley says he’d hesitate to say such a world view gives applicants an edge. “But I think it certainly shows . . . they have more to contribute, more that they may be able to do in making Tippie a better place and going out and representing us well,” he says. “If I see somebody that was involved in some local organization . . .  a good local organization, or I see someone who has gone spending time volunteering in microfinance in the Third World, to me that’s somebody who gets it and has gotten some great experience in the business realm but is going to have a much broader perspective.

“We are preparing the students to live in a global society, but preparing them to work in a global society, to be sensitive to other cultures, so when decisions are made, they’re made hopefully not just on what’s good for the bottom line, but what’s good for the local culture, and maybe the global culture, and maybe what’s good for the planet. There is a big world out there. There are opportunities and responsibilities.”

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