The Recession MBA: What To Know

Tepper School

Three Things Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School Looks For

A combination of cutting-edge skills and compelling leadership abilities.

That’s perhaps the best way to describe the MBA program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Every year, the Tepper admissions committee seeks out students who can demonstrate a strong fit with what their MBA program provides.

Catherine Tuttle, an admissions consultant at Fortuna Admissions and former Associate Director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, recently highlighted the top three things that Tepper MBA admissions officers look for in applicants.


Impact is a broad term, but specifically for Tepper admissions, the word relates to the impact you’ve had within your community.

“Tepper is guided by a mission to transform the world,” Tuttle says. “They are looking for students who define community in the broadest sense of the word and have a desire to effect positive change.”

The first essay option (“What difference will you make as a member of the MBA class at the Tepper School?”) is a key opportunity to demonstrating your evidence of impact.

“They want leaders who are functioning at a higher, more advanced level with a focus on something greater than themselves,” Tuttle says. “Scanning through the list of 40+ clubs you’ll find a wide variety of opportunities to give back while getting involved including Tepper Cares, Pro Bono Consulting, Net Impact, and Out & Allied. Think about where you’ve had an impact in the past and how that will translate on-campus.”


The second thing that Tepper admissions looks for is the ability to learn and grow from those around you.

“Tepper’s focus on innovation and collaboration means they are looking for students who are adaptable, open to new ideas and coming from a variety of backgrounds, job experiences, and passions,” Tuttle explains. “When crafting your narrative, it’s important to be clear about the strengths in your profile, but also the desire to learn from those around you.”


Community is central to the Tepper experience. With a small class size of 200, Tepper emphasizes the importance of its tight-knit community.

“As such, the admissions team is looking for evidence of self-reflection and your ability to appreciate differences as a profound asset to a culture of innovation,” Tuttle says.

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, P&Q

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