Next to our admitted student weekend, my favorite day of the year has to be the first day of orientation. That’s when we finally get to see the whole class: 450 students embarking on their Ross MBA journey together. I could easily have mistaken many of the new students for MBA2s as we’ve seen them multiple times over the past year – at our admitted student weekend, team exercises, and recruiting events on the road. It almost felt more like a reunion than an orientation, not just for the team, but for the incoming students. The connections and community-building among our incoming students started long before August.
I’m also excited that the admissions team has started meeting prospective students across the U.S. and will be kicking off our international recruiting next week with Taya Sapp heading to Asia, Diana Economy to South America, Jill Huerta to Europe, Bryan Johnson to India, and Son Nguyen to Southeast Asia. If you aren’t able to attend one of our events, you can listen to our recent webinar for an overview of our program and advice from the team on the application process.
Another thing that has me jazzed today is that we’re working towards a final agreement with a lender that could provide a no-cosigner loan to international students next year. We’ll have more information in the coming weeks.
Finally, we’ve determined our locations for this year’s off- campus team exercises. We will hold them in Round 2 (late January/early February) in Shanghai, Seoul, Sao Paulo, Delhi and Mumbai. We will hold on-campus team exercises in all three rounds here in Ann Arbor. (Click here to view a short video describing the team exercise). As I mention in the video, the team exercise is optional but highly recommended. In addition to meeting other Ross applicants, you’ll get a chance to meet current Ross students or alums, and get a more tangible sense of community and fit.
We look forward to connecting with you over the coming months and having many of you join us next August for your own orientation/reunion. Go Blue!
It’s mid-July and there’s so much I’m excited about. I’ll share my Top 4 right now:
Hope to see you at one of our upcoming events around the world, or better yet, right here in Ann Arbor! Happy summer.
How is it July already? The summer is going by too fast and, while I am excited to begin a new season of recruiting, I have hardly recovered from the whirlwind of the 2013-2014 season.
June was jam-packed with travel to connect with incoming, current and former Rossers around the country: from Austin for the Consortium Orientation Program where the Ross team welcomed our more than 40 incoming Consortium students, followed by Los Angeles for the Forte Annual conference where incoming and current MBA women attended career panels and workshops to help manage b-school and careers, to Malvern, Pa., where admissions staff met with new Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Fellows, to New York where we brought together several generations of Ross women for a networking reception. And July will be even busier.
The Ross admissions team will be traveling to events on the following dates/cities:
July 10 - Israel Multi-school Event - MBA Fair
July 22 - Seattle Multi-school Event
July 23 - San Diego Multi-school Event
July 24 - Los Angeles Multi-school Event
These events are great opportunities to meet Ross staff and alumni and start to formulate your questions about what an MBA program can do for you, what MBA program might be the best fit, and tips on how to be a competitive applicant. These events represent just a portion of the off-campus events our admissions staff will be attending. For a complete list, please vist our events page and be sure to check back often as more events are added weekly.
Stay tuned – the application will go live soon!
People often think that admissions staff get summers off. Not so. We’re continuing to manage fall enrollment and we’re gearing up for the next admissions cycle. One piece of that is updating our essay questions and recommendation letter requirement. We’re changing it up this year.
For the coming year, there will be two required essays instead of three, and 800 words instead of 950. Here are the two essay questions (400 words each):
• What are you most proud of professionally and why? What did you learn from that experience?
• What are you most proud of personally and why? How does it shape who you are today?
Our goal with these new questions is that we’ll get a sense of who you are, how you think about yourself and how you process your experiences. The range of responses can be quite wide – from an accomplishment to a challenge or difficult situation that you overcame or a characteristic about yourself. There isn’t a “right” or “preferred” type of response. Applicants often ask how they can differentiate themselves. The essays are the best way to do it. Your undergraduate school and major may be similar to another applicant’s. Your career path and goals may be similar to another applicant’s. But your experiences and what you take away from them will be unique.
We’re requiring only one rec letter. Ideally, it should be from a current direct or immediate past supervisor. To keep the process simple for applicants and recommenders, our questions are the same as those of many other schools:
• How do the candidate’s performance, potential, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)
• Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicants. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)
The application will go live by July 15. The Round 1 deadline will be October 6, with decision notifications going out by December 19. Other dates can be found here.
Well, that’s all for now. That pool and fruity drink are calling my name.
We’ve made it through another Admissions season and what a roller coaster it has been.
We’re always excited to welcome our incoming class, but we have particularly high expectations for the Class of 2016. They are the most dedicated group we’ve seen, traveling to admissions events and visiting campus multiple times, many braving snowstorms on the East Coast, Midwest and even the South (hello, Atlanta).
As you may have heard (or experienced), this year, we implemented the team exercise. It was held on campus as well as in four other countries. For those who aren’t familiar with it, we invited interviewees to participate in a group activity designed to help the admissions team gauge students’ communication, interpersonal and teamwork skills. It also gave applicants unique insight into our fit with them.
The results and impact were strong. The number of applicants who opted-in far exceeded our expectations. It also helped us achieve a record yield on our admitted student weekend.
As much as I’d love to bask in the glow of a successful year, my team and I are already deep in the throes of application updates (expect fewer essay questions/words), developing content for our new website (to go live later this summer), crafting next year’s communications strategy, and planning events to recruit new Rossers around the world.
For prospective students considering a visit to Ross (and you definitely should!), I recommend that you wait until the fall when classes are in session. Rossers have already left for the summer so you won’t see any students until the fall. In the meantime, if you have questions about the school or admissions, don’t hesitate to contact us (RossMBA@umich.edu) or a student ambassador or meet up with a Rosser at a cafe chat near you.
Happy summer and Go Blue!
We’re fast approaching the end of this year’s admissions season. On May 1, we’ll know who among our Round 1 and 2 admits will be joining us in Ann Arbor this fall. We’re thrilled to see that the number of people saying “Yes!” to Ross this year is outpacing last year’s number.
Our team of analysts (i.e., myself and my staff) are deciphering what has contributed to this surge and we are anxiously awaiting the May deadline to see if this trend continues. We’ve narrowed down the possibilities to three:
We’re also approaching the decision notification for Round 3 applicants (May 15). It’s hard to say how many Round 3 applicants and waitlisters we’ll admit. It’ll depend on how many people tell us they’re coming on May 1. Rest assured that we will be calling some folks in mid-May.
Besides the afterglow of GBR, we’re also excited about many other Ross-related news and tidbits. Here are just a few:
Happy spring everyone!
We've spent the last few months making decisions on applicants. This afternoon, those decisions will be released. And then it will be your turn to make a decision: what to do this fall. Your options could be to choose between Ross and other schools, just other schools, schools vs. work, or whether b-school is really the right thing for you. You're facing a big decision. It's one you should make not only with information-gathering, but also much introspection about what's important to you. Don't let other voices drown out what your own voice may be telling you. You might have to dig deep to hear your own voice and have the conviction to follow it.
I recently posted a video on this topic. Check it out:
I was at a student/alumni dinner last night and, as is typical for me, I asked the students at my table why they chose Ross. One student told me her story of having been admitted to Ross and several peer schools, including some that were more highly ranked than Ross. She said she consulted friends and family - people who mattered to her - expecting that they would recommend the "brand name school" as her dad called one of them. She was torn. But as she took stock of all of the interactions and experiences she had with people from each of those schools, she learned that one of them just "felt right" to her. When she discussed her leanings with her dad, she was surprised to hear him say, "Choose Ross." He had been impressed with the pride, the collegiality and the reach of Ross and U-M alums he met along the way. And he saw the pull that his daughter was feeling; he didn't insist on the "brand name school."
So my advice is to do your due diligence. Know yourself. And make the choice that is right for you. Check out my latest vlog for more.
I’m guessing that Round 2 applicants are feeling nervous excitement (or maybe just nervous) with decisions to be released this week. One of our MBA2s (who will be graduating this year) posted on Facebook: “Is it bad that I'm just as excited for Round 2 admissions to go out as prospectives are? I'm still following Soojin's blog.”
If you’re like me (with my younger son’s application to middle school), you’ll be checking your email and phone constantly. It’s not like the message will come any sooner because you’re staring at your screen or hitting the refresh button, or that the decision will be different if you don’t see it right when it comes out. But I get it. You want to know as soon as humanly possible.
Here’s where we are. Last week, the ADs pored over your apps online, putting together disparate pieces of information (e.g., rec letters that pointed one way to essays and interviews pointing another way) with the goal of getting a clear sense of whether each applicant would be a good fit in our class. They made their recommendations independent of the number of admits we have room for; it was based purely on whether they’re someone we’d want in the class.
Starting last Thursday, over the weekend and through this afternoon, Diana and I have been living and breathing spreadsheets trying to craft the best class possible. So if you thought we were done and just keeping you in suspense, you’d be wrong. We have literally been debating and reconsidering decisions with the team through today. We’re just about there. And we’re on track to start making admit calls tomorrow (for U.S. admits) and Thursday (for international admits). Time of day? Probably mid-day, after we get an updated spreadsheet from Doug, my data guy extraordinaire. (By the way, we're in the same time zone as New York. Can't tell you how many applicants think we're in the same time zone as Chicago. Some even miss their interview. Oops.)
Admitted student events will quickly follow. I’ll be in DC for a brunch with admits and alumnae this Sunday, March 16 (yes, five days from now). Events in other cities will follow starting March 18. It’s quite soon after decisions go out, but we wanted to get a jump on local community-building before our on-campus admitted student weekend in early April.
For Round 3 and waitlisted applicants, we’re in the process of (re)-reviewing your apps now too. Interview invites will go out on Friday, March 14. We’ll have one on-campus interview/team exercise day at the end of March (date to be finalized by March 14).
Hope I’ve helped to minimize the anxiety.
And, by the way, there was a happy ending to my son’s story. He got in. I saw the email as soon as it came in…because I was checking it constantly. Hope you all have good outcomes too.
Oh how I don't love LaGuardia airport. My flight landed 20 minutes
early, only to be stuck on the runway for almost an hour because there
were no gates open. But, got here safely and bumped into a Ross alum
on his way back to NY from a consulting project in Phoenix. It was
great catching up with him on work and life. I'm in NY today to
moderate a Forte Foundation admissions panel for women planning to go
to business school next year.
It's Friday. The first Friday in a month that we haven't had a team
exercise on campus. I think my team must be going through withdrawals
back in the office. We've loved meeting hundreds of applicants on
campus this round - nearly 50 percent more than last year, in fact!
Team exercise participants have told us a few things: (1) it's true
that you can't/don't need to prepare for this; (2) it was great to
meet fellow applicants (many have exchanged contact info so they can
stay in touch); and (3) it was a positive experience - positive enough
that many of them, including West Coasters, didn't seem phased by the
So where are we in the process? The Associate Directors have been out
of the office for most of the week doing final reviews of applications
and interview reports. They'll get me their recommendations by the end
of next week. I'll review their recommendations, then pass on mine to
the Senior Associate Dean. We'll start making admitted student calls in
the middle of the following week (for those who like exact dates - March 12 for domestic candidates and March 13 for international candidates). All Round 2 applicants will be able to access their decisions online on March 14. We'll be hosting admitted student events from March 16 - 30.
Thanks for engaging with us throughout these past months. We're almost
at the finish line!