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Scheller College of Business

Scheller College of Business

Katie Lloyd

Katie Lloyd, Executive Director, MBA Admissions, Scheller College of Business

What is the one area of your program that you wish applicants knew more about?

Candidates to our program do not need to have technology backgrounds or aspirations to be a good match for Scheller College of Business. While we do provide students who want to pursue a career within a company focused on technology the education, career opportunities, and connections to do so; many of our students are pursuing careers in brand management, finance, operations, and consulting to name a few paths. The benefit of the Scheller College MBA is the exposure to the concepts and foundations of management of technology.

What’s the single most exciting development, change, or event happening at your MBA program this coming year?

Scheller College of Business is located in Tech Square in the heart of Midtown, Atlanta. In the last few years, Fortune-class corporations have established innovation centers in Tech Square. We recently welcomed our 17th innovation center to the area. The partnerships that exist between these centers and Scheller College have fostered access to top business leaders and unmatched opportunities to internships, professional networks, and meaningful projects. Additionally, ground has been broken on a 750,000 square foot, mixed-use High Performance Computing Center which will serve corporate entities as well as Georgia Tech programs in computing and business analytics.

Walk us through the life of an application in your office from an operational standpoint. What happens between the time an applicant clicks “submit” and the time the committee offers a final decision (e.g. how many “reads” does it get, how long is each “read,” who reads it, does the committee convene to discuss it as a group, etc.)

Our application process begins when a candidate submits the online application form to Georgia Tech. After a complete application is compiled, the Institute forwards the file to the Scheller College of Business where an admissions officer conducts an initial review of the application to determine if an interview offer will be extended. Both Skype and in-person interviews are available to selected candidates, but we do prefer to interview candidates in person. In preparation for the interview and the Admissions Committee meeting that follows the interview, the file will be reviewed by each of the seven Committee members. Admissions, Career, Program Staff and Faculty members conduct a robust discussion of each candidate.

How does your team approach the essay portion of the application specifically? What are you looking for as you read the essays? Are there common mistakes that applicants should try to avoid? One key thing they should keep in mind as they sit down to write them?

The Admissions Committee looks to the essays to distinguish candidates and assess applicants’ fit with the program. The first essay question is standard and straightforward. Candidates should share 1) highlights of past experiences that have led them to apply, 2)  career goals, and 3) Scheller College MBA aspirations. We added a new essay this year that asks applicants to share 10 facts about themselves. We hope candidates have fun writing this essay—we are really looking forward to reading some interesting responses.

Do you have any application tips (for essays & recommendations) for MBA applicants?

The most important advice is to answer the questions and be honest in your responses to our two essays. We promise there is not one answer we are seeking and the best essays are those in which a candidate’s real voice emerges. Proofread, proofread, proofread.

Regarding recommendations, select recommenders who know you in a professional capacity and who you are confident will endorse you. Providing recommenders enough lead time (at least 4-8 weeks before the application is due) is critical. Additionally, candidates should consider giving recommenders a copy of their essays and discussing what they hope to achieve through the MBA program. If your job would be compromised in any way by securing a recommendation from a current employer, it is acceptable to indicate that it is not possible to have a current supervisor in the optional essay.

What are the most important aspects of the MBA application process besides GMAT score, prior GPA and current job position?

Scheller College of Business takes a holistic approach when reviewing the application components. We want candidates who will succeed academically, interpersonally, and in the career search process. The components that an applicant submits are important but the interview allows our community the opportunity to assess a candidate’s fit with the community. As a small program, every student makes an impact and we want that impact to be positive and meaningful. Leadership experiences and demonstrated engagement with extracurricular and professional organizations are impressive. Finally, we love to see candidates who bring passion to the program. Whether you are a musician, volunteer, or avid marathoner, we want to learn about your passions.

How can a candidate overcome a lower GMAT score?

Scheller does consider a wide range of test scores; however, it is important for a candidate to demonstrate academic preparedness through the application process. In addition to the GMAT or GRE, a candidate can highlight quantitative or analytical achievements in college or graduate school, professional accomplishments, and relevant certifications. It is worth noting that it is common for candidates to take the GMAT/GRE at least twice.

What resources are available at your MBA program to assist with internship and full-time job opportunities?

Scheller MBAs specifically choose Georgia Tech for the career preparation they will receive. The support process begins in June, well before our students arrive on campus, when our students are assigned career coaches. These coaches work with them throughout the summer and school years to prepare for the internship search process. To kickoff recruiting, as part of Orientation, Scheller MBA students have 20+ hours of career workshops. Additional seminars and advising sessions follow to help students develop effective job search strategies, networking and interviewing skills, and high-impact resumes. Another distinction of the Scheller MBA Program is our focus on practical application. Most of our students will complete 3-5 practicum courses in which they will be working on actual  projects with corporations or non-profit organizations. The depth and breadth of this exposure prepares our students for on-the-job challenges as well as interview questions.

 

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