A little west of Boston, Massachusetts, MBA students enjoy a collaborative community and industry-focused curriculum at the Carroll School of Management of Boston College (BC). In this edition of our Admissions Director Q&A, we hear from Associate Director of Graduate Admissions, Jackie Brockmyre, about the tight-knit community and flexible admissions process. Brockmyre graduated from Elon University with a business degree and has been a member of the Carroll School of Management’s graduate admissions team for close to four years. Prior to BC, Jackie worked in education technology and technology sales. She is currently pursuing a part-time MBA at BC and is expected to graduate in 2021. Read on for her admissions insights.
Clear Admit: What is the one aspect of your program that you wish applicants knew more about?
Jackie Brockmyre: Our world-renowned faculty! Many of the faculty at the Carroll School of Management come from industry experience and bring that insight and perspective to the classroom. They basically drive the BC MBA’s dynamic, market-driven curriculum.
CA: How might the applicant experience look different this year due to COVID-19? How would you advise candidates to get to know your MBA program and student community if they aren’t able to visit your campus?
JB: Currently, it can be a challenge to navigate the admissions process, so, we’ve relaxed some of our admissions policies. If you’re interested in applying, but have questions about your situation, I encourage you to reach out directly to the admissions team to discuss your specific circumstances.
In lieu of visiting campus, we are offering virtual opportunities to meet current students and alumni. If you do not see an event on our website that works with your schedule, you can reach out to us directly to be connected with someone from the BC MBA community. Speaking to students and alumni is the best way to compare MBA programs and determine the best fit for you.
CA: Walk us through the life of an application in your office from an operational standpoint. What happens between the time an applicant clicks “submit” and the time the committee offers a final decision (e.g. how many “reads” does it get, how long is each “read,” who reads it, does the committee convene to discuss it as a group, etc.)?
JB: Overall, an application goes through several review rounds by readers and admissions staff before culminating in a committee review. Applicants can find out when to expect their decisions by looking at the decision notification dates on our website at bc.edu/mba-admission.
CA: How does your team approach the essay portion of the application specifically? What are you looking for as you read the essays? Are there common mistakes that applicants should try to avoid? What is one key thing they should keep in mind as they sit down to write?
JB: The essay is an opportunity for the admissions committee to get to know you. As you write the essay, my advice is to answer the essay prompts specifically with the BC MBA in mind. A common mistake we see is applicants submitting the same essay to multiple schools. We want to hear why a candidate is applying to the Carroll School of Management and how the BC MBA will help them achieve their career goals.
CA: Could you tell us about your interview process? Approximately how many applicants do you interview? Who conducts the interview (students, admissions officers, alumni) and what is the nature of the interview?
JB: A select number of applicants are invited to interview with the admissions committee. Interviewers on the admissions committee include second-year MBA students hired and trained to be part of the admissions team, as well as admissions directors. Typically, candidates interview in person or via Skype. Given COVID-19, all interviews have been virtual, and will continue to be so through the Fall 2020 semester.
CA: Tell us briefly about two notable professors at your institution (ideally one student favorite, and one up-and-coming).
JB: Professor Metin Sengul, who teaches the MBA core courses, Introduction to Strategic Management and Strategic Management courses, has been a student favorite in part due to the challenging and vibrant nature of his class discussions. In recent years, Professor Jonathan Beebe has brought his years of industry experience to courses in supply chain management and business statistics, and recently led an applied learning course, the International Project Seminar.
CA: Anything else you’d like to highlight about your MBA program or admissions process?
JB: At BC, we value our collaborative community and industry-focused curriculum. Our class sizes are relatively small by design to foster relationships and connections, which eventually translate into a close-knit and accessible alumni network. The MBA core curriculum includes a series of courses on data analytics to prepare students for careers across all industries and job functions.
Overall, we take a personalized approach to our admissions process. Our goal is to personally work with applicants to determine their fit for the BC MBA program and to set them up for application success.