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Ross Admissions Director Provides Round 1, Round 2 Updates

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In a post yesterday to her Admissions Director’s Blog, Soojin Kwon, who leads MBA admissions for the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, addressed two distinct groups: Round 1 candidates anxious for the approaching December 15th decision day and Round 2 candidates, who face their own deadline to submit applications a mere six weeks away.

In her messages for Round 1 applicants, she shared that more and more are choosing to come to campus to interview, leaving alumni interviewers around the world wondering where all of their interviewees have gone. Candidates in Round 1 made the trip to Ann Arbor from Peru, Brazil, Vietnam, China, Korea, India, France, Australia, Colombia, Malaysia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Canada, Kwon noted. “These candidates know there’s no substitute for experiencing a school first-hand,” she wrote. “Going to business school is a major life decision. You want to choose a school that will be a good fit for you, not just the one that chooses you.”

Of course, not every Round 1 applicant received an invitation to interview. Kwon offered some updates for those who fell into this group. “For those who didn’t get an invitation to interview, your application is being carefully reviewed by the AdCom to determine whether to place you on the waitlist in Round 1 and potentially invite you to interview in Round 2,” she wrote. The committee’s decisions on waitlisted applicants will be released on Friday, December 15th, along with all the other Round 1 decisions.

Round 2—Six Weeks to Go

Moving right along to address prospective Round 2 applicants, Kwon shared that the deadline is Tuesday, January 2nd. Applications will be accepted right up until 11:59 p.m. EST “for those of you who want to use every minute available,” quipped Kwon.

As Kwon sees it, six weeks is plenty of time to get the application done and still enjoy the holidays, especially if you employ some of the tips she went on to share.

Where essays are concerned, don’t agonize, she advised. “We want to get to know you as if we were talking with you,” she wrote. “Keep it simple. Focus on the parts that highlight who you are and how you roll.” To highlight just how simple she means, she even shared her own responses to Ross’s new short answer questions.

She also addressed GMAT/GRE test scores, noting that there’s still time to retake the tests if you’re not happy with your score and that a lot of applicants do. “We look at the highest score, so it can’t hurt you to take it again,” she wrote. “Moreover, we view it favorably when an applicant strives to do better if their score isn’t where they think it could be. Put your best effort forward. It’s probably the last standardized test you’ll ever take.”

Her next tip: Put adequate time and energy into your resume. “Don’t undervalue this,” she wrote. “It’s the first thing we look at (and the only thing an interviewer sees), so present yourself well.” It should be clear even to someone who doesn’t work in your industry, every bullet should count, and you should keep it to one page, she added.

Finally, Kwon reminded applicants that it’s a good idea to check in with your recommender—Ross only requires one letter of recommendation—to confirm that he or she is on track to submit by the January 2nd deadline.

If you’d like more tips on putting together the strongest Round 2 application you can, mark your calendars because Kwon and other AdCom members will host a Getting Ready for Ross Round 2 webinar on December 1st at 1 p.m. EST.

For Kwon’s complete blog post—including what she considers to be her best piece of advice for not letting applications ruin your holiday, click here.