New Challenges for MBA Admissions


Gone are the days when applying for MBA was just an envelope away. All you have to send a fat envelope with your resume, references, essays and other odds and ends. But today, in the age of technology and digitalization, the big manila envelope is increasingly being seen as old-fashioned.

Now no one is interested in the pile of papers. All everyone wanted is reality. B-schools are looking for cutting-edge content including Instagram posts and tweets as well as video essay instead of written ones.

Beyond being simply more hoops to jump through, these new application components, business school representatives say, are a way to let an applicant’s personality shine through.

Showing off through video essay has become a way of showing off your personality. In fact many B-Schools have made video essays as a part of admission. These are designed to allow applicants to show more of their personality than they could with a regular written essay.

MBA students are often being interviewed for jobs by video before they ever set foot on a prospective employer’s campus. This trend has accelerated over the past year. Also, video conference calls have become a standard global communications outlet.

It is definitely a new procedure and a complete usage of tech. In reality it is not that easy as it sounds or the way it looks. When someone is interviewing virtually or asking you to submit your answer in a go within the application software, you will only have once chance to record your response.

But in terms of an MBA application, the benefits of the video format are many: the opportunity for international students to show off their English skills, display necessary business skills like presentation and comfort in front of a camera, as well as creativity and a chance to express what an applicant wishes to get out of the program.

The video option was designed to give applicants a creative option, but when it comes time to submitting multiple MBA applications, writing one more short essay might just be easier.

LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest can be valuable MBA application tools

Who said that social media is just a waste of time . Here is alive example of making social platform an asset. Last year McCombs a B-School offered the possibility for applicants to save time collecting up letters of recommendation by allowing them to submit recommendations on their LinkedIn pages. However, the school does ask applicants to submit links to their LinkedIn profiles – a social media tool that they will need when applying for jobs nearer the end of the program – as well as other social media that allow them to show a more personal side of themselves. About 10 percent of students submit a Pinterest board, curating a set of images that explain why McCombs, based in Austin, is the right choice for them. Texan barbecue features heavily.


Tweet your MBA application


Among all these possible options, it might seem that a written essay just might take up less of your time. And the admissions team at Tippie College of Business has previously experimented with an option that, at first glance, appeared to be even faster: an essay in tweet form.

This began as a tweet competition for MBA scholarship applicants, with the idea that applicants would use the tweet to link to further content. However, the school copped some flak after the eventual winner was found to have previously tweeted something offensive that other Twitter users later dug up – a reminder to keep your online presence squeaky clean.

With the admissions team had removed the Twitter component from the MBA applications process, the freeform essay leaves a lot of room for creativity, but also the opportunity to ease some pressure.

Beyond Social Media and Technology

It seems that rather than being attracted to the bright lights of new technology, business school admissions teams are focusing on drawing out personality.  Business Schools have taken this idea of personality curation and developed the 25 Random Things essay, where applicants list 25 things they’d like the admissions team to know about them.

Oftentimes in more traditional essays we see applicants trying to write about what they think we want to hear.

additionally open admissions interview are offered on campus to anyone who is interested, along with interviews by invitation to selected applicants.

The interviews are conducted by second-year MBA students on campus, or alumni off-campus. So showing plenty of personality in the 25 Random Things essay is still the best way to attract the admissions team’s attention.

Social media and new technology might offer new ways to connect, it seems that when it comes to impressing MBA admissions teams, being able to you’re your personality is what will really make the difference between an acceptance or rejection letter.


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