MBA Admissions Decisions: A Fly on the Wall

October 18, 2013
Lucas Weingarten

housefly staringWe often write about the admissions process on this blog. After all, this is the #1 issue on the minds of the bulk of our readers since most of you are in the throes of preparing for the GMAT, which is a critical factor of a b-school application package. And, as I am are sure you can all appreciate by now, there is certainly much, much more beyond the just the GMAT in composing and submitting the strongest graduate school application possible.

While anyone can easily get a list of requirements for submission to an MBA program, the hard part is developing and polishing them. Yet, arguably, the hardest part might be the unknown. We nearly sweat blood developing applications and when we finally send them off, the process is taken completely out of our hands. We have no more control. We have no idea how our application will be received, reviewed, discussed, or decided upon.

Unfortunately, I cannot get you a ring-side seat at your admissions decision. But, I just might have found the next best thing. A recent Poets and Quants article reads like a play-by-play reality TV episode focused on seven applicants to the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The article, titled How A Top Business School Sifts Through A Pile Of MBA Applicants, is perhaps the most interesting article I have ever read on the MBA admissions procedure.

The journalist in the room and provides a verbatim account of the presentations, discussion, and decision-making processes employed by an admissions committee at a globally competitive business school that is determinedly making strategic strides in order to increase its standing in academic and professional communities interested in MBA degrees and those who attain them. Even if Rotman is not on your radar and despite all MBA programs employing unique admissions methodologies, this is a must-read for anyone interested in gaining insight and perspective on b-school admissions.

Lucas Weingarten Lucas Weingarten teaches students how to beat the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for Kaplan Test Prep and is proud to have earned “elite instructor” status. Lucas writes extensively for Kaplan’s GMAT blog, and in addition to the GMAT and business school as primary subject matter, he regularly explores topics within higher education, economic systems, sustainability, and current events. Lucas spent his formative years in North Carolina and currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, though he has not yet found the part of the world wherein to bury his roots. He has an MBA with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and finance from DePaul University in Chicago and is fortunate to have secured an adjunct teaching position there out of the department of management. Family, friends, and a seemingly endless stream of new hobbies keep Lucas busy and happy outside of the classroom. You can reach out any time by email ( or through the comments thread after his blog posts.

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