The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business has revamped its MBA program, set to launch with the incoming class of 2021, with a keen focus on customization and social impact.
In the redesigned program, Fisher MBA students can choose their own learning pathway, selecting from a variety of specialization areas—including consulting, international business, and sports management—most in line with their career goals.
As well as a heightened focus on soft skill development, students get hands-on experience through programs like Global Applied Projects (GAP), where students work on real-life consulting projects outside the US.
How can prospective students stand out from the crowd and get accepted into the revamped Fisher MBA? We caught up with Sarah Campbell, senior assistant director of MBA recruitment and admissions, to find out.
Soul-searching is the secret
When it comes to making an application stand out, the best thing a person can do is to tell "a compelling story of the experiences they’ve had thus far and where it’s taking them," Sarah explains.
"An idea of what they’re looking to do and how they arrived there is really important. This is the biggest area in applications that prospective students tend to fall down on,” she adds.
While applicants tend to do well when it comes to explaining how the redesigned curriculum can help them to get involved in the community, they stumble when it comes to "really tying their personal experiences and professional desires to the resources that are available to students in a small business program at one of the largest research institutions in the country."
Sarah notes that another hang-up that students tend to struggle with is the video interview. Prospective students are requested to participate in pre-recorded video questions. While students may find recording a video response intimidating, Sarah reassures that there are plenty of practice questions to help students master the task at hand.
What makes you unique?
The admissions team considers its applicants holistically, says Sarah, with GMAT scores forming a small but important part of applicant consideration.
GMAT scores in the Fisher MBA range from 600-to-750, however this year there is more focus on who the candidate is outside of their academic qualifications.
"This in terms of the diversity of their work experience, any social impact projects that they’ve been a part of or have interest in,” explains Sarah. "Their career goals is something we focus on.”
The Fisher College of Business MBA has a small yet diverse classroom, with students coming from 20 US states as well as 12 different countries in the class of 2018. Admissions are looking for applicants who are more than academics.
So, to succeed, an applicant should clearly articulate what makes them unique, how they can add value to the program, and how they’ll make the most out of their MBA experience.
“You’re going to know your classmates on a personal level, not just a professional level.” Sarah explains.
“We’re looking for students who are willing, ready, and comfortable to successfully work in a diverse setting with individuals from different professional backgrounds, experiences and different cultural backgrounds.
“They need to be ready to step outside of their comfort zone and dive in.”