Wave 2 interview invitations went out yesterday. The first wave of interviews will wrap up this Friday. Here's a tip coming out of those interviews: It's a good idea to do homework on our program (or any program or company to which you apply). Generic responses like, "I like the diverse student body" and "I want to get a general management education," will leave your interviewer with the impression that you're not seriously interested in their school or organization. I've been interviewing candidates for admission and employment for 15 years. And the ones who "stood out" (as candidates are always looking to do) were the ones who knew the school or company well and had a vision for what they would do there and why it was a good fit.
Another thing that has distinguished the best candidates are that they had thoughtful reasons for making the choices they did. By "thoughtful" I mean that they had taken stock of their circumstances, opportunities, challenges, goals, values, etc. and consciously chose a direction. The direction is less important and less informative than the reasons behind the choices made. This applies not just to major decisions like which industry or organization you work in, but also to seemingly "smaller" decisions like how you spend your time outside of work.
In addition to the pre-decision thought process, the candidates who have stood out for me are the ones who could articulate what they took away from an experience or a decision - what they learned, what they gained.
Here's what's happening in admissions. Our outside readers are busy getting to know Round 1 applicants, our Associate Directors have been meeting with students to plan early-December preview days focused on women and the military as well as longer term recruiting activities for South America, Asia, India, Europe, and Africa. I will be talking to University of Michigan's student athletes about graduate business degrees, conducting an application workshop at this Friday's Preview Day, heading to Asia to meet with alumni interviewers and share the Dean's strategic vision, leading a breakout session on effective presentations at our Women in Leadership Conference, and welcoming candidates to our first Military Preview Day on Saturday, December 1. Lots going on. Hope to see you at one of our events!