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Admissions Director Q&A: Dr. Naz Erenguc of University of Florida Warrington College of Business

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In this edition of our Admissions Director Q&A, we head to Gainesville, Florida, to meet Dr. Naz Erenguc, Director of Admissions for the University of Florida Warrington College of Business.

Whether in her role as a professor of global health or as director of admissions for the University of Florida’s top-ranked MBA program, Dr. Erenguc helps make sure everyone has a seat at the table, and a pathway forward. Her work with the Association for Academic Women as an Executive Board member and as the Institutional Representative for the American Council of Education Women’s Florida Network are all centered around helping change the face of higher education. 

During her tenure at Florida, she has worked as an undergraduate academic advisor for both the College of Health and Human Performance and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Over the last decade she has worked in graduate management education. Since 2019, she has served as the Director of Admissions for the MBA program at the Warrington College of Business. In her admissions and recruiting role, her focus has been dedicated to rethinking outreach and creating innovative ways to connect with prospective students. Inclusive excellence is core to her admissions strategy.

See below to understand that strategy in action as Dr. Naz offers her insight into what to expect from the MBA admissions process this year.

Dr. Naz Erenguc, Director of Admissions, University of Florida Warrington College of Business.

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

Naz Erenguc: The Warrington College of Business MBA program is small by design. We only bring in up to 60 Full Time MBA students every year to ensure a personalized experience – including one-on-one career coaching, professional development, concierge academic advising that is career-focused, and strong network of peers that become friends and teammates. Although we have about 900 students across all our MBA programs enrolled at any given point, the MBA program has dedicated staff to ensure this MBA journey is a transformative one. 

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?

NE: We pride ourselves on having a speedy review process. Once an applicant clicks “submit,” our team assembles a file and updates the applicant on the status of all materials. Throughout the application process, the Admissions Committee will ask the candidate if he or she has any questions before progressing to the next phase. The Admissions Committee reviews files on a rolling basis and notifies candidates within 2 weeks if they are moving to the interview phase. The interview will be conducted between both Admissions and Business Career Services offices to assess the candidates’ academic and professional readiness to commit to the program’s student experience. After the completion of the interview, the Admissions committee sends admissions decisions to applicants within 2-3 weeks in most cases. We urge applicants to reach out at any time throughout the process since we operate under complete transparency. Additionally, we also offer real time feedback if the Admissions Committee feels an applicant would have increased chances of admissions with either a test retake or more professional experience. 

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?

NE: Oftentimes candidates have a misunderstanding of what to include in essays. What my team and I are looking for is authenticity, inclusivity, introspection, and insights that demonstrate self-awareness. There are no right or wrong answers to an essay; these are the first glimpses we get to understanding a candidate better. We don’t need cookie cutter responses or quotes from people an applicant admires. We want to hear the candidate’s voice and understand the primary factors for pursuing an MBA degree. 

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 (resume-based, application-based, behavioral)? Will your admissions interviews be in-person or virtual for the 2024-2025 admissions season?

NE: Interviews are conducted via Zoom and are an hour long. An applicant spends the first portion of the meeting with either myself or a member of my team where we just talk about professional and personal goals and ask questions that tell us how well a candidate works on groups/teams. We may also ask other situational questions on topics such as leadership, conflict resolution and stress management. 

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

NE: We are currently requiring the GMAT or the GRE for admissions. We offer robust full-tuition scholarships and use undergraduate performance, professional experience, and test scores to determine award amounts. To alleviate test anxiety, and to give prospects a glimpse into what the student experience can entail, we offer 4 GMAT boot camps a year where we offer a weekend filled with free test preparation strategies.

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? 

NE: Not dissimilar to how the University of Florida views essays, we urge applicants to share as much as they possibly can about professional and personal accolades, hobbies, volunteerism and other areas of interest. This is the first insight prior to the interview that we can use to start to know an applicant. 

CA: Tell us briefly about two popular courses at your institution.

NE: Two of our most popular courses are “The Art and Science of Negotiation” and “Asset Valuation, Risk & Return.” These two classes are a great representation of the soft skills and the quantitative business understanding that business leaders must possess today. 

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

NE: As we tell each applicant, ‘we are dedicated to your success.’ We want to get to know each applicant as best as possible. We help navigate the admissions process and foster accessibility through regular phone calls, Zoom chats, weekly virtual information sessions, coffee chats, open houses, and GMAT Boot Camps. Our office’s student-centric focus starts the moment applicants browse to our website and continues beyond commencement when they join the Gator Nation alumni base that is now over half a million and growing every semester. 

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.