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Clear Admit’s Stacey Oyler Discusses Preparing MBA Applicants for Wharton’s Team-Based Discussion

Rather than simulating a group interview, Clear Admit admissions consultants are preparing MBA applicants for the new team-based discussion (TBD) component of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School application by helping them focus and hone the ideas they will present as part of the exercise, Senior Admissions Counselor Stacey Oyler told PoetsandQuants (P&Q) as part of an article published yesterday.

“We decided that trying to simulate a group interview wasn’t the ideal approach for prepping candidates,” Oyler told P&Q. Instead, she and other Clear Admit admissions counselors are helping clients focus on the compelling ideas they will present as part of the TBD, setting expectations for what the interview setting will be like – including the types of other applicants they may be grouped with – and sharing insight about what Wharton will be assessing, Oyler continued. Clear Admit, founded by two Wharton MBA alumni, including one who worked in the Wharton admissions office after graduating, prides itself on its Wharton expertise.  

In its current form, Wharton applicants invited to take part in the TBD view a video of Dean Thomas Robertson discussing the school’s three pillars – social impact, global presence and innovation – and are then asked how they would invest a hypothetical $1 million donation. Wharton introduced the TBD component as an official part of the application process this year in an effort to “assess applicants in ‘an unscripted environment,’ free from the influence of admission consultants and other advice givers,” according to the P&Q article.

In response, some other admissions consulting firms have opted to create new offerings – online simulations designed to mimic the TBD – to help prepare applicants who are anxious about the new component of Wharton’s application, P&Q reports. Prospective applicants pay between $400 and $500 each to participate with other prospective applicants as part of these mock discussions, P&Q adds.

At Clear Admit, preparation for the Wharton TBD comes as part of its traditional admissions consulting offerings, Oyler told P&Q. “We talk with clients about the three pillars and encourage them to come up with great ideas for each one,” Oyler continued. “We work with them on fine-tuning their elevator pitch. And we know from our own group interview experience that Wharton is looking for candidates who can showcase strong interpersonal skills and who are able to facilitate the discussion while contributing their own unique ideas and encouraging thoughts from others.”

Read the complete P&Q article, “Prepping Applicants for New Wharton Test.”

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Posted in: Interview Tips, MBA News

Schools: UPenn / Wharton

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