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Admissions Director Q&A: Matteo Pedriglieri of emlyon business school

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For this installment of our Admissions Director Q&A series, meet Matteo Pedriglieri, Recruitment Manager and Business Developer at emlyon business school.

Pedriglieri is an experienced professional with dual master’s degrees in International Relations and Human Resources Management, and boasts an international background. With a decade of experience, his career spans significant roles at globally renowned recruitment consulting firms Michael Page and Morgan Phillips. Pedriglieri now spearheads recruitment for the International MBA program at emlyon business school, leveraging his extensive experience and global perspective to foster the next generation of business leaders.

Read on for his insights into admissions and more at emlyon.

Recruitment Manager and Business Developer at emlyon business school

Clear Admit: What is the one aspect of your program that you wish applicants knew more about? 

Matteo Pedriglieri: A limited size diverse cohort in an MBA program allows in-depth discussions and a more international experience. At emlyon, each year we enroll limited number of participants (around 40) from 18+ countries to provide a better learning experience. The 11-month intensive program is designed to help participants boost their careers. It is a general management MBA that covers a 360° view of company functions, preparing them to reach senior and/or strategic positions in their next career step.

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?

MP: The application process at emlyon involves multiple stages, to ensure that we are able to match the expectation of the candidate with the offerings of the program. To begin with, once the application is submitted, the aspirant is invited to undergo a 30-minute video call interview. If all goes well, the applicant is invited to take an online test which helps assess the aptitude and other aspects required for an MBA program. After the online test, the admission committee evaluates the results of all stages of the application (online test, the interview, and the application submitted). Post discussion with the committee, the candidate is duly informed about the final decision.

CA: How does your team approach the essay portion of the application specifically? What are you looking for as you read an essay? 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?

MP: Essay submissions are critical in the evaluation process. The recruitment team, along with the admissions committee, evaluates all the essays submitted. As a team, we always look for how well the aspirant has been able to put forward his/her story, how genuinely the situation has been presented, and if it helped the candidate to learn as an experience or makes the candidate stand out. Some of the common mistakes which candidates should avoid are spelling mistakes, incomplete sentences, and unstructured narrative. One key thing applicants should keep in mind is to not hesitate to share professional or personal examples to support their essay answers.

CA: Could you tell us about the emlyon admissions 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 (resume-based, application-based, behavioral)? Will your admissions interviews be in-person or virtual for the 2024-2025 admissions season? 

MP: Considering we a diverse MBA program with 18+ nationalities, we ensure that all stages of the application process are easily accessible for applicants. The interview takes place on a Zoom call, and lasts for around 30 minutes. The interview covers all aspects ranging from past experience of the applicant, motivation to pursue MBA, and behavioral questions to understanding the applicant’s personality. Our recruitment team conducts hundreds of interviews every year. For the 2024-2025 admission season, since we have candidates from across the globe, the interviews will be scheduled virtually.

CA: What is your testing policy? Do you offer exam waivers? Why or why not?

MP: We have a well-defined testing policy in place for both aptitude and language. However, there are some waivers which can be granted based on the applicant’s past studies. For example, since the program is delivered in English, we expect all participants to be comfortable with the language. For non-English native speakers, we ask for English Language Test scores, which is waived for native English speakers.

CA: In the application data form, many schools ask for information about work experience, activities, hobbies, and much more. What advice would you give to applicants as they approach this component of the application process?

MP: Three years of full-time work experience after graduation is required to be eligible to apply. One piece of advice we would give to applicants is to not underestimate the importance of highlighting their hobbies or social activities, either in their CV or during their interview.

CA: Is there anything else you’d like to highlight about your MBA program or emlyon admissions process? 

MP: With growing focus of business world on Sustainability, we ensure that it is a key aspect of our MBA program as well to match with evolving requirements of the global economy. All the subjects have a sustainability perspective and its impact, be it finance or strategy or marketing. As an education institute, we strongly believe in ensuring our MBA graduates are future-ready.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.