Admissions Update Part 2: Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management

Posted on February 27, 2008 | Filed in Admissions, MBA

Today let’s look at what Vanderbilt expects from its applicants.

According to Business Week Online’s interview with John Roeder, director of admissions at the Owen School of Management, applications are up for the fourth year in a row. This past year, applications were up 10%.

Indicate your Interest

As a common phenomenon, more students are applying for first round admissions. Due to the number and quality of these applicants, many of them receive admission, making 2nd and 3rd round admissions more competitive. Thus, there are benefits to applying early:

  • Less competition due to fewer spots being filled at that point
  • According to the school, it is easier, relatively speaking, to get merit-based scholarships. Most of the “best” scholarships are only given to candidates in the 1st round and possibly second round

The Process

The interviews are only offered to select candidates – the ones who have more work experience. This interview not only gives Owen and its admissions team to get to know you, your goals and your story, but gives you a chance to visit Owen and decide if you like the campus culture. The interview tips are quite the same as others we have heard before:

  • Be prepared and have detailed questions
  • Again, have questions! The admissions team wants to see how much research you have done on the program – don’t ask a question you could have easily figured out on your own before hand.

Speaking of work experience, the “average number of years” figure is quite similar to UCLA Anderson: 4.8 years. However Owen is more concerned with the quality of the time spent in the work force. They want a “strong” work background.

- How have you impacted your organization?

- What progress have you made?

Additionally, you should indicate that you are able to work in a team and that you have been involved in some kind of community outside of work experience. Through your interview, application and essays, let them know that you really plan to “dig in” at Owen and get involved.

Target Markets

Owen has large demographic spread, with most (77%) of its students coming from outside the southeastern United States. Owen also boasts representation from 20 different other countries mostly from Latin America, Asia and Europe. The school credits this variety to its successful employment rate at top organizations like Google and Nike. However Owen is reaching out to two very unique groups:

  • The Military. All four branches of the armed forces are represented at Owen. The school feels that students who are exiting about the military have unique leadership qualities to offer the Owen and the business community.
  • Students interested in working in health care and human resources

Owen is looking to increase global representation in its student body, as well as adopting new programs that cater to women who are interested in Business education.

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