What MBA Admissions Directors Really Look For
For anyone familiar with the academic admissions, regardless of what kind school they may be applying, there are always changes to the process. And for MBA admissions directors, the new criteria for who they want next is also part of the changes.
In a lengthy, informative piece from Financial Times reporter Janina Conboye, she finds that much of the recent changes come in the form of, unsurprisingly, diversity. Speaking with Crystal Grant, the head of admissions at Imperial College Business School in London, she reveals that “more candidates are also planning to launch entrepreneurial ventures or join start-ups immediately after their MBA rather than three to five years after.”
“Finding original thinkers with a passion and a flair for innovation is important for us,” Grant adds. “We are experimental by nature. We recognize that real innovation comes from diversity and collaboration, so we look for candidates from a wide range of backgrounds who enjoy working in dynamic groups.”
Brandon Kirby, the MBA recruitment and admissions director at Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, also noted the range of incoming applicants come from more varied industries, like healthcare and non-profit, than ever before. As well, there has been a surplus of applicants from Latin American countries.
When asked specifically what kind of students Rotterdam may be looking for, Kirby said, “We look for people who are dynamic in both their personality and their viewpoint, and are risk-takers. Are they pushing and challenging themselves? We want people who are looking to learn. We might see all the boxes ticked, but when we think about the classroom we need more than that.”
“We want inquisitive individuals who want to make an impact — and by impact I mean within business, culture or the community. It is about business and leading others, but also about working with other people in complex organisations.”
Outside of the West the newer initiatives among MBA Admissions Directors is strikingly similar. IIM Bangalore, India Chairperson of admissions Professor Rajendra Bandi says, “IIM Bangalore looks for people who, beyond having consistent academic excellence, are socially sensitive, self-motivated, willing to learn, accept responsibility, have good quality professional experience and who will be a good citizen both in an organisation and in wider society.”