5 Questions with the Babson Olin Dean of Admissions

Babson Olin Dean

In our latest installment of the MetroMBA “5 Questions” series, we speak with Dr. Monica Moore, Dean of Admissions at Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School. She talks with us about the type of MBA applicants Olin looks for, its hands-on approach, and explains the importance of applicant engagement.

What type of MBA students is Babson Olin most interested in?

“Babson is #1 for entrepreneurship so, in some ways, that gives some insight into the type of student. But it’s not always the person who has already started or who plans to singularly start their business. When we speak about entrepreneurship, it’s also entrepreneurial thinking. So, while Babson is known for entrepreneurship, there is an act of being entrepreneurial that also lends itself nicely to the type of MBA student that we seek and who does well here.

Characteristics that we look for include:

  • Someone who is a quick study because in order to be entrepreneurial you have to use data and facts but also be very swift in understanding going to market and reiterating as you go.
  • Having less fear—or more courage—to not stop at what could seem like the first right answer. Those who are entrepreneurial know that something may seem like a fine product, but that’s not the end. You need to go to market, test, learn, and get feedback from the customer. Then, you develop version 2.0 and continue to reiterate as you go. This is the type of mindset and personality style that goes well with the Babson MBA.

The common denominator is being entrepreneurial, but it’s really about how you understand the act of being entrepreneurial that makes the difference in terms of what that looks like in an individual student.”

What is one area of the Babson Olin MBA student experience that you want applicants to pay attention to?

“The robust nature and the activities present in all of Centers. We have many Centers, and while a number schools do, some approaches follow more of a “look but don’t touch” attitude.

Our Centers are very hands-on, offering programming on a regular basis, not periodic or once-in-a-while basis. It’s a regular part of the Babson experience that you’ll interact with our many Centers. Female students will interact with our CWEL Center (Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership) for women in entrepreneurship. Others will interact with The Lewis Institute about social entrepreneurialism.

We have different Centers and they are part of the Babson experience that’s so ingrained in who we are that it would be peculiar for someone to come to graduate school at Babson and not be engaged with a Center.”

What is one thing a Babson Olin MBA candidate can do for the best chance of getting accepted?

Dr. Monica Moody Moore, Dean of Graduate Admissions

“Know the school that you’re applying to. I can’t say enough about not only doing the homework about what you see on the website—a number of students do that already—but taking personal engagement to the next step. Engage with an alum. Talk to or meet a current student. Even if you can’t meet up in person, which is not always possible (we have lots of students in lots of places), you can still meet up virtually to have some real tangible knowledge of the school. You have to do your homework beyond the website.

In particular, alumni engagement is vital. We consider it a hallmark of the Babson experience. They engage with students at the beginning, not just when you’re about to graduate; it’s a part of the whole experience. In addition, our faculty make phone calls to prospective students as a routine part of who we are. Smaller schools can often offer these unique opportunities with more agility, but it’s also something we’ve made a key part of our culture.

So, for applicants to improve their chances of getting accepted, the more you know and the more you have experience prior to even applying or while you’re in that process, the stronger applicant you’ll be. For example, different insights and understandings will help you write your essay and position yourself. Often, it’s not just about admissions but also about gaining scholarship dollars, so the more you know because you’ve engaged, the better applicant you’ll be.”

Are there any new courses, clubs, specialty tracks, or events that MBA applicants should know about?

“We have a new center that was just launched: the Weissman Foundry Center. It has a physical footprint as well as a scholarly footprint. It’s about innovation across undergraduate and graduate programming, and it’s another way that design thinking, innovation, and social entrepreneurship are all coming together under one hub and umbrella. We’ll have events there, seminars, programming, and more.”

What fun activity should every student do while living in MA?

“There’s always the sporting events—I can’t leave that out. Between baseball, football, and hockey, which we’re so known for, there’s always an event to attend. But, I also hear of our students talk about the cultural experience. There’s the Freedom Trail, which explores historic sites and visits a collection of museums, churches, meeting hours, and parks. Then, there’s the Boston Duck Tours, which give people an understanding of Massachusetts as a state and Boston as a part of that. I’m a transplant to the New England area, and I’ve been on the Duck Tour, and I always take visitors on it as well.

Image result for boston duck tours

“I’m a transplant to the New England area, and I’ve been on the Duck Tour, and I always take visitors on it as well,” Moore says.

Find a way to get the facts about MA in a fun and light-hearted way. We like to encourage people to get out into the city between Boston and Cambridge and all its nuances and just explore. People think of sports most often, but don’t forget the history of Massachusetts as a state and the role that the region plays.”

You can find more information on admissions at the Babson College F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business here.


About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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