Admissions Trends to Watch in 2013

2013 Trends

Trends for 2013

2012 has been an exciting year. Experimentation in applications including interviews and essays has marked the most recent admissions cycle. In addition, the recession, growing concern about rising tuition and student debt, and the promise of MOOCs is shaking the world of higher education.  But let’s leave the 35,000 foot view of last year and gaze into the crystal ball for next year.

Trends for 2013

  1. Increased use of MMI in medical school admissions will continue.
  2. For law school, an increasingly practical approach to legal education with more opportunities for externships, internships, and coursework related to legal practice.
  3. More new one-year specialized masters programs like UM’s Masters in Entrepreneurship or Rochester Simon’s menu of one-year specialized masters programs as well more accelerated MBA programs or expansion of existing ones, like those at Kellogg, Columbia, and Cornell. These shorter programs, as well as part-time programs and one-year programs abroad, will present increasing competition to the traditional full-time, two-year U.S. MBA programs.
  4. More experimentation with the MBA interview.  I predict more group interviews, as was introduced by INSEAD and Wharton in the last two years. I also predict continued experimentation with essays and attempts to find alternatives to essays, probably using media other than the written word.
  5. Continued growth of Asian MBA programs as continuing economic contraction in Europe, increasingly restrictive visa policies there, and the relatively strong Asian economy encourage Asian business schools’ growth and competitiveness.

How did I do in 2012?

So that’s what I foresee for this year, but how did last year’s predictions stack up?  How cloudy was my crystal ball. Well I predicted:

  1. Interview experimentation, specifically more use of team interviews for business school. On the money!  :-D
  2. “The trend towards more openness with data (in law school admissions) will spill over to MBA programs.” Not sure here. I think so, but can’t point to anything specific.
  3. “Expect more focus on realistic, well-reasoned goals in all areas of graduate admissions.” Again, I think this is true, but I can’t point to any specific evidence. Jan. 3 2013 News Flash (Edit): I now have some evidence. Today’s Wall Street Journal article M.B.A. Pop Quiz: Are You Employable? reports on increasing number of business schools that are have career services weigh in on admissions decisions.
  4. Increased Flexibility in B-School Curricula.” I expected more schools to move toward the Chicago Booth, UCLA and Wharton models where general requirements can be taken later in one’s b-school career.  Frankly, I haven’t seen this development.

And what did I miss entirely? The shrinking of the MBA application. There have been fewer essays almost across the board.

So my crystal ball definitely had some inaccurate refraction last year. Let’s see how I do in 2013.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.



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Med School Admissions Tip: Investigate Which Schools Require or Recommend Research

  

Some schools do require research.  They think that it is a very important part of the medical profession and is the foundation for medical knowledge.  Over the course of your career, you will need to utilize various forms of medical literature to treat your future patients and remain current in the field. 

It is important for you to apply to schools that are consistent with your own interest, or lack of interest, in research.  Do not do research just because you think you have to; do it because you really want to do it.

If you have done research, be prepared to talk about it.  You will need to be able to describe your project in detail and discuss exactly what role you played in the research.  If you are unable to describe or explain your research, your duties, or your findings, then the admissions committee will be left wondering if this is a case of embellishment.  If you have simply done research for the sake of having it look good on a medical school application, this will be easily detected.

You also may want to explore non-scientific research as well.  This could be a great opportunity to show independent thinking, an appreciation for the process of research, and a slant toward lifelong learning without being limited to working with pipettes!

101 Med TipsThis post is excerpted from 101 Tips on Getting Into Medical School by Jennifer C. Welch, who has served as the Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical School since 2001.

 

Med School Admissions Tip: Timing is Essential





It is important that your experiences and activities be an ongoing process.  Do not start your extracurricular experiences right before applying to medical school.  This will be viewed as simply getting the experiences because you have to, instead of doing them because of your own interest or desire. 

Also, keep in mind that the applicant pool is filled with thousands of other highly qualified applicants, many of whom have known from an early stage that they wanted to become doctors, and who have a considerable amount of relevant activities.  These are the people with whom you are going to be compared and against whom you will be competing for a limited number of seats. 

101 Med TipsThis post is excerpted from 101 Tips on Getting Into Medical School by Jennifer C. Welch, who has served as the Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical School since 2001.

Med School Admissions Tip: When Asked About End-of-Life Issues, Respond with Appropriate Dignity





Although end-of-life issues may make you uncomfortable, be thoughtful with your responses.  Please do not say, “I don’t have a problem with dead people,” or “It’s good to tell jokes to lighten the mood.”

Death is an issue that you will no doubt have to confront as a physician.  How will you handle losing a patient?  Are you comfortable with death?  What experience, if any, do you have with death?  How do you feel about a patient’s right to die?  Or euthanasia?  Reflect on these questions and know where you stand on these topics.  You may be asked some tough ethical questions during your interview, so be prepared.

101 Med TipsThis post is excerpted from 101 Tips on Getting Into Medical School by Jennifer C. Welch, who has served as the Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical School since 2001.

Med School Admissions Tip: Eat Breakfast on the Day of Your Interview

  

Catch the continental breakfast at your hotel on your interview day.  Most medical schools do not serve breakfast, and it may be a while before you are served lunch.  Eating breakfast will also help you to wake up and have a clear mind for your interviews.

Another tip:  Do not complain about the lunch you are served at your interview.

If you have specific restrictions (e.g., kosher, vegetarian, etc.), then be sure to notify the medical school at least one week prior to your interview day.  Many schools have their lunches catered and must place their orders several days in advance. 

101 Med TipsThis post is excerpted from 101 Tips on Getting Into Medical School by Jennifer C. Welch, who has served as the Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical School since 2001.