Thank you to Conrad Chua, Head of MBA Recruitment and Admissions at Cambridge Judge, for an informative admissions Q&A. You all asked excellent questions and we hope you benefited from the ensuing discussion. Read the following excerpt to learn about some of the adcom’s considerations when evaluating applications:
Linda Abraham: When you are evaluating applications and the applicant numbers on in the ballpark – their GMAT, their GPA, their work experience is competitive – what moves you to put one application in the ‘admit’ pile and others somewhere else?
Conrad Chua: The first part of the admission process is really just reading applications. And for me, it’s always about whether this person is an interesting character. First of all, he/she must tick all the boxes in terms of academics, GMAT, work experience, etc. But then I look to see if he/she has done something that stands out which is quite interesting. It could be something in the workplace. We have applicants who have written about an ethical dilemma that they had to face, and the way they resolved it was quite interesting for me. It could be their backgrounds. Someone might have started out studying law and then ended up working as a tailor.
That is actually what happened to one of our students. He studied law and then he started as a solicitor and he didn’t like it. And he found someone who is a hotshot tailor in London, and he went to work for him. The guy does all the designs for suits and all the tailoring, and the student runs the operations side. That was interesting for me. My first rule of thumb is – is this applicant someone I would like to spend an evening talking to over dinner? And the second thing I assess is whether this is someone I think could be a good ambassador for the university years after they graduate. So it’s about whether A) someone is interesting, and B) whether someone has that potential to do something quite amazing.
Linda Abraham: A few months ago, we had a Q&A with UCLA, and the UCLA dean was listening to the questions. And the questions in that Q&A, unlike this one, were a lot of, “My GMAT is low, how can I compensate?” “I messed up in one course and I got a D in it.” Or “I’m too old”, or “I’m too young.” We haven’t had a lot of those questions here, which is fine. And finally, the dean was a little frustrated and he said — you guys are focusing on the wrong things. He said not to worry so much about this blemish or that blemish or that failing. Yes, address it. But he said that what you really should be focusing on is that you are going to do something that is exceptional. You are exceptional. Where have you done something exceptional? That is what you should be focusing on. And that is pretty much what you are saying too. And I think that is something that sometimes gets lost….
Please view the full transcript or listen to the audio file here and see our Cambridge Judge B-School Zone for more advice on how to optimize your Cambridge Judge application.
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