Since my last post (a month ago...sorry for the delay), I've traveled to meet candidates and alums in Buenos Aires and Santiago (I should've met folks in Sao Paulo too but Delta couldn't get me there on time, or my luggage to Buenos Aires), celebrated my son's 11th birthday in NYC, welcomed 502 new MBA students to campus, shared admissions advice on a Forte Foundation webinar, worked with MBA2s on programming for our Women in Leadership Conference at the end of November, flew to San Francisco for a joint school women's panel with Yale, Duke, UVA, Berkeley, NYU and Cornell, drafted revisions to our interview process, hosted a reception for new and returning Forte Fellows, and kicked off our first on-campus Preview Day of the season. TGIF!
I'll share some random tips based on interactions I've had with prospective students over the last month:
- If you have questions about the admissions process, application, etc., don't ask students or alums - ask Admissions: RossMBA@umich.edu. Would you ask your dentist for financial advice just because s/he has investments?
- If you are exploring schools, I wouldn't start your research with an email to the Dean asking him/her to set aside time to talk by phone to discuss the prospect of your studying at his/her school.
- If you choose to send a follow-up email to a student or admissions officer you've met, it's helpful to mention something about yourself that you discussed with that person so as to jog that person's memory. (I admit it. I'm guilty of not being able to remember all 502 students' names in our incoming class let alone the thousands of prospective students I meet each year.)
- Don't ask current students or alums what they wrote about in their essays, thinking that you'll get essay ideas that "get you in." There's not a topic or story that guarantees admission. And the point of the essays is to tell your story, not someone else's. Your best bet for differentiating yourself is to do just that - tell your story.
A couple notes related to the process:
- The Round 1 deadline is October 10. This year, we'll release Round 1 decisions prior to the Christmas holiday - on December 20, 2012.
- The first wave of interview invites will go out on October 23; second wave of invites on November 12. The wave in which you are invited has no correlation to your likelihood of admission.
Looking ahead, I'll be training application reviewers and interviewers, hosting UpClose, our diversity preview, heading to NYC in late October for a Forte board meeting followed by a Ross recruiting reception on October 24, and then on to Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai in November to meet with alumni interviewers and ambassadors. The rest of the team will be on the road as well, with Jill currently in Europe, Diana heading to India, and Eun Ja completing her globe-trotting on the West Coast. Check out our event schedule to see if we'll be in your neck of the woods.
As always, feel free to post comments, ask questions, suggest topics here!