GMAT, application essay, recommendation letters, interview, application forms, to name a few, how serious should I become about these items during the application process? How hard is it to be be admitted by any of the top business programs? The answer to both question is “very”! An insider look at the business school admission process will tell you why. This article take reference from a post by Jay
Step 1: Arrival of your application
Before admission committee, a person in operation team checks whether your application is complete. If not, your application is held. The person will contact you for further information, and then complete your application once the supplement material is received. The process can last for weeks. So if you want your application to be read first, make sure it is 100% complete before pressing the submit button.
Step 2: First review
Generally, at least two admission committee members would review your entire application package, which often consists of transcripts, essay, GMAT, resume, recommendation letter. Remember, a holistic approach is adopted here. So a single plus (for example, 750+ GMAT) would not guarantee you admission, nor a single minus (for example, transcript with <70 average score) would shut you out. Of course, an applicant full of highlights in every component of the package will pass the first review for sure, but more typical successful cases are those with one or two outstanding points and satisfactory performance in all the others.
If a unanimous pass is reached by the two admission committee members, then your application will go to the next round. If a unanimous denial is reached, your application will go to a third review, usually by a more senior member, for approval of a rejection without interview. If the two members do not agree with each other, then your application goes to another two-member panel. The process goes on until an agreement can be made by any panel. In a word, your application to the top business schools is treated very seriously.
Step 3: Interview
If you receive an interview offer, then congrats! You have passed the first review! An exception does occur; for instance, if you apply to the The Kellogg School of Management, an alumni interview is provided automatically.
For Australian applicants, interview is usually done through Skype, although some schools do offer face-to-face local alumni interview. Interviewer has your application package on hand, and he/she can initiate questions based on it. More often than not, interview consists of self-introduction, resume go-through, the purpose of pursuing a business degree now, and the reason why you apply.
Step 4: Final review
One of the misunderstanding of the business school admission process is that since having passed the first review, as long as you do not screw the interview up, you can be admitted. But actually at this stage, combined with your interview performance, all your application files are reviewed again by two most senior admission committee members together. Moreover, your files are more likely to be compared with those of other applicants directly. So the game changes from whether you are good enough to whether you are one of the best. Furthermore, diversification of the incoming class is highly emphasized. For instance, given the relatively lower number of Australian applicants, your Aussie background could be a plus at the final review.
In the admission process of any top business school, your application is reviewed by at least 5 admission committee members and interviewer. The process is holistic, thorough, prudent, and selective. Therefore to enhance your admission chance, please prepare your application very carefully.