Those who are not fans of good ol’ boring written applications are in luck. The Wharton School of Business has decided to pilot a new application procedure this coming winter, giving applicants the choice to take part in a supplemental discussion with fellow applicants as part of their application. Candidates who don’t volunteer may be selected at random to take part in a supplement, but it will have no effect on their application.
Although this program will not affect current applicants’ admissions decisions, The Daily Pennsylvania (“MBA Admissions to Pilot Discussion-Based Supplement”) believes it will become a part of the application process in the future.
The goal of this new supplement is to learn more about applicants’ general knowledge, critical thinking ability, and interpersonal skills—surprisingly, not their business knowledge. Karl Ulrich, Vice Dean of Innovation, explains, “Wharton receives enough applicants with excellent grades, work experience, and GMAT scores to fill its class many times over … The team discussion format lets us observe and evaluate applicants in an unstructured format, which we believe will allow us to more reliably assess applicants.”
Whether these discussions will become a permanent part of Wharton’s application process in the future depends on how successful they are this winter.
To learn more about applying to Wharton with the new pilot discussion-based supplement take a look at Accepted’s 2012 Wharton MBA Admissions Q&A with Ankur Kumar and Anthony Penna.