Poets & Quants
A Former MBA AdCom Reviews Tina Fey’s New Movie Admission by Stacey Oyler
Stacey Oyler, senior admissions counselor for Clear Admit, revealed hidden talents recently by reviewing the movie Admission, starring Tina Fey. In the funny and insightful review, Oyler reminisces about the days when she was a member of the MBA admissions committee at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business, where she worked from October 2003 to July 2005.
For example, Oyler related to Fey’s character’s quest to avoid “application interruptus,” and while at Tuck, she always tried to get through an applicant’s entire file in one read. “The risk was that if I stopped half way through a file, when I returned my attention to it there would be a chance that I’d forget a salient detail or overlook some facet of the application that would have been readily apparent if I had looked at it all in one sitting,” Oyler wrote.
Admissions consulting firms cater to MBA programs by Mathew Kim
In an article focused on the rise of the group interview as part of the MBA admissions process, Clear Admit co-founder Eliot Ingram was asked about the steps admissions consultants have taken to respond to this change.
“Whenever a school alters its admission process we alter our strategy given that change,” Ingram, who graduated with an MBA from Wharton in 1999, told the DP. “We help people brainstorm a good idea and think that through so they can get off to a good start.”
But Clear Admit provides applicants with much more than just a dress rehearsal for the group interview, Ingram notes. “I really view my job as akin to being a guidance counselor,” he told the DP. “It’s really helpful for students in their twenties to put a lot of deep thought into what their career goals are. What do you want to do when you grow up? Why MBA? We help people think through those questions.”
How to Stand Out in an MBA Group Interview by Francesca Di Meglio
The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business is the latest top MBA program to require applicants to work as a group as part of the application process, joining Switzerland’s IMD and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Bloomberg BW notes. Though the schools are taking this step in an effort to elicit more off-the-cuff responses from applicants, there are still ways to prepare for these new exercises.
Clear Admit’s Richmond advises learning as much as you can about the format of the group exercise and what a particular school is trying to test through it. In addition to trying to get unscripted responses from applicants, the schools are also using team interviews to evaluate how well applicants listen, their overall communication skills, the level of intellectual curiosity they possess and, of course, how they work as part of a group, Richmond told Bloomberg BW.
Poets & Quants
Harvard’s 570 GMAT Student by John A. Byrne
Harvard Business School (HBS), which publicly discloses the range of GMAT scores by enrolled students every year, got folks in the MBA admissions world talking when it revealed that a student with a score of 570 will be part of next year’s class. How could someone who scored 160 points below the class median on a test considered by many to forecast business school success possibly still get in? To HBS, of all places, where only 13 percent of the close to 9,000 eager applicants this year secured a spot?
Poets and Quants (P&Q) posed the question to MBA admissions consultants, Clear Admit’s Graham Richmond among them, to guess about just what might be going on in the offices of HBS MBA Dean of Admissions Dee Leopold.
“MBA admissions at the very best schools is truly a multi-variable equation, comprised of so many different factors that it can be hard to pull out a single data point and build the rest of the profile around it,” he told P&Q. His fascination with the fact that there are so many different moving parts and that each candidate is given a fair chance is part of what compelled him to take a job in admission at Wharton and ultimately to co-found Clear Admit, he added.
“As such, I would venture that the candidate also had something fairly incredible in their background – likely leadership oriented – that truly made an impact,” he told P&Q.
Abandon Hope: An Elite Indian B-School’s Wild Selectivity by Erin Ziomek
Only 0.25 percent of applicants to India’s top business school were admitted for the 2012-14 academic period, making Stanford Graduate School of Business (with a 7 percent acceptance rate) and Harvard Business School (13 percent) look easy to get into by comparison. Bloomberg BW turned to Clear Admit co-founder Graham Richmond to provide a little context.
“India’s population is so large, particularly among young people, it’s easy for [IIMA] to have the luxury of making one huge cut,” Richmond told Bloomberg BW.
Wall Street Journal
M.B.A Pop Quiz: Are You Employable? by Melissa Korn
The Wall Street Journal recently turned to Clear Admit co-founder Graham Richmond to get his take on a trend taking hold in MBA admissions, namely, bringing in career services staff to evaluate candidates as part of the admissions process.
Clear Admit’s Richmond pointed out that involving career services staff in this way in the admissions process can benefit applicants, providing a key reality check for them early in the game. But he cautioned that looking too closely at employability and stated goals – that is, looking to only admit candidates who seem to be “sure things” for post-MBA employment – could lead to a very plain class and/or cause applicants to keep riskier post-MBA plans to themselves.
Balance is key when it comes to involving career services staff in the admissions process, Richmond advises. “Having well defined – and feasible – career goals is important in terms of ensuring success in b-school and beyond, but I also think that having a diverse class that heads off into dozens of industries and positions is pretty important, too,” he says. Career services offices can share with admissions that they are good at placing students in certain industries, so that the admissions team looks for applicants whose stated goals include those industries. But admissions officers should also push career services staff to open new doors with recruiters if they notice growing interest in the applicant pool in a new area, Richmond offers.
Wall Street Journal
Shanghai Business School Vies with Top Programs by Melissa Korn
The Wall Street Journal devoted a feature to the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), turning to Clear Admit co-founder Graham Richmond for his view on how well the Shanghai school has managed to raise its global profile.
CEIBS has “entered the conversation” among applicants to top-tier schools, Clear Admit’s Richmond told the WSJ, but so far it’s mostly just talk. CEIBS boasts that its students also apply to the best business schools in Europe and the United States, but the WSJ article suggests that though this may be true, they don’t necessarily gain acceptance, leaving CEIBS more of a fallback.
Wall Street Journal
Bad Math: MIT Miscounts Its New B-School Students by Melissa Korn
Faced with an oversubscribed class this year, (MIT)’s Sloan School of Management has given scholarships to a handful of students scheduled to enter this fall in exchange for their agreeing to defer for a year. MIT had initially sought volunteers to defer, but unfortunately this proposal did not get enough takers. The WSJ turned to Clear Admit co-founder Graham Richmond for his take on why students weren’t more willing to defer. When the economy was stronger, he said, the opportunity to take a year off to pursue a new venture or take a long vacation was attractive. But the current outlook probably makes a year off less appealing to many, he added.
Poets & Quants
The Early Verdict On HBS’ New App by John A. Byrne
After the round one deadline this year, Poets & Quants ran an article where they asked admissions consultants how the applicants they worked with on this year’s application to HBS felt about the school’s move to reduce its required essays from four to two. According to the P&Q report, between 30 and 50 percent of candidates to Harvard are estimated to work with a consultant during their application process, making consultants a good gauge of market reaction to the changes.
The majority of admissions consultants polled by P&Q reported frustration on the part of their clients about the new application format, in which applicants have a total of just 800 words to answer two direct questions. Clear Admit Senior Admissions Counselor Stacey Oyler had a different view. “I think that the clients took the changes in stride,” she told P&Q. “After the initial surprise, they focused on sharpening their message and telling their stories with the two essays and their resume. It took some fine tuning, but I think most are happy with the applications they crafted.”
Poets & Quants
The Revolving Door In Business School Admissions by John A. Byrne
Stacey Oyler, a senior admissions counselor at Clear Admit who came to us from the admissions office at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, was recently featured prominently in a Poets&Quants article about former admissions committee members at top MBA programs who become admissions consultants to prospective MBA applicants
Oyler reflected on her time at Tuck: “You got a little crazy locked in that room. I remember we had a major debate over whether a military candidate actually flew a plane or was merely on the plane. You couldn’t tell for sure from his application.” In the end, they picked up the phone and called the applicant to find out.
After her tenure at Tuck, Oyler spent another three years as an MBA recruiter for McKinsey & Co. before joining Clear Admit. Those combined experiences make her a valuable asset to our admissions consultant team, both for applicants who seek her first-hand knowledge of Tuck’s MBA program and admissions process as well as for those who simply want help from a passionate and talented professional in the field.
“I know people think I went to the dark side when I became a consultant,” Oyler told P&Q, “but I don’t do this for the money. I like working with people. I’m just a coach, but I love what I do. It’s fun, and I’m not cheating.”