Tag Archives: marketing

Round 1 MBA essays are taking shape: but why have many applicants turned into monks and saints?

It’s busy season, so I have to blog short, but here’s what I have to say today as MBA application Round 1 deadlines approach — and this is to my clients as much as anyone else out there (although the clients have heard it before):

“You are not applying to join a holy order. You are not applying to Amnesty International. You are not applying to save the rainforests or unmelt the ice caps or feed the starving or create Middle-East peace.

“You are applying to business school.”

At business school, yes there will be electives around well-meaning things, but by far the main agenda is to present you with and test you on classic curriculum stuff to do with finance and operations and marketing and strategy and so on. They will not teach you to weave sisal or wash Aids babies.

Now of course you are a good human being. And you should certainly communicate to Adcom (with evidence) that you are a good human being, which includes being concerned about major domestic or world problems. And not just concerned: wanting to play your part in fixing them too. It’s fine to want to and plan to improve social welfare at home or abroad.

But you are applying to business school.

So the material question is: how will you make a business or take a business in the direction of social welfare and human development? How and why do you need business and management skills to make the difference you plan to make?

Here’s a clue to hitting the right note: one person or a group of well-meaning people can make a little difference somewhere. But a business, or a large organization innovatively led, professionally managed, properly financed and running at optimum efficiency can make a whopping difference. We’re talking “order of magnitude.”

Best of all, your MBA application will retain its credibility. If you say you want to run an education business in Ho Chi Minh City, Adcom will believe you. If you say you want to teach long-division to Vietnamese orphans, they won’t.


Haas’ ad for a new Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions shines a light on Adcom’s roles and processes

Do you remember when you were in grade school and you suddenly came across your teacher out of school, in the supermarket or at a ball game, and you were completely tongue-tied, not fully realizing until that moment that they had lives out of the schoolroom?

Well, admissions officers also have lives and careers to manage, and sometimes they have to competitive apply for stuff too, as this advertisement for the post of Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at the University of California Berkeley shows.

The job spec opens an interesting window on what is seen as required to lead an Admissions office at a top business school, and is therefore worth a read by MBA applicants to Haas and beyond. The demands of the position are a bit more varied than the uninitiated might have guessed, and the competitive pressure is clear.

Key takeaway: These are busy people juggling important, multifaceted responsibilities. They are working in teams all the time. They are better at marketing and communication than you might think. So apply cogently. Make your value clear. Don’t try BS them or waste their time with trivia. Help them to help you.

Here are the key excerpts:

The Executive Director, Full-Time MBA Admissions manages the admissions, recruitment and financial aid functions for the Haas School of Business Full-Time MBA Program. The overall purpose of the position is to develop long-term strategic plans and to oversee the successful implementation of all efforts related to admissions and marketing of the school’s Full-Time MBA program. The Executive Director’s role is to enroll approximately 240 bright, diverse, and innovative business leaders. The successful candidate provides leadership with forecasts, analyses, strategic options, advice and recommendations regarding admissions strategy and enrollment planning.

Within the Full-Time MBA Admissions office, the incumbent has direct management responsibility for administration, budgeting, personnel, and works closely with our Marketing & Communications unit on media and publications, public relations and marketing strategy. S/He meets regularly with the dean, faculty, staff, students, and other Haas School constituents in developing strategies for these areas. The Executive Director represents the School to campus administrative units, serves on campus-level policy setting and advisory committees as needed and acts as liaison for the Haas School with central campus administrative units.

Develops, interprets, and administers admissions and recruitment programs, as well as the financial aid program supporting Haas graduate degree programs.
· Develop annual admissions plan for the Full-time MBA program.
· Oversee admissions processes and procedures.
· Develop overall strategy and oversee implementation of all recruitment, marketing, and financial aid activities.
· Deliver presentations about the program and represent the School at domestic & international admissions events.
· Evaluate and select students for Haas program, including reading/reviewing applications for admission, interviewing MBA candidates, providing a written assessment of each applicant, making final admissions decisions, and determining the composition of the MBA classes.
· Analyze and report on admissions statistics throughout admissions cycle and in annual reports to the administration, faculty, and Haas Advisory Board.

Provides direction to subordinate managers and/or supervisors.

Responsible for developing and implementing budgets for managed functions.

Develop and maintain relationships with students and alumni.

Stay closely connected with campus units such as the Graduate Division and related Berkeley and other UC MBA programs to share leads, ideas, and best practices.

Required Qualifications
· Masters degree in related area or equivalent experience
· 3-5 years of significant management experience in higher education or related field
· Advanced knowledge of education theory, policy, practice, and evaluation.
· Significant knowledge of evaluation methodologies, data analysis procedures, and systems necessary for working with technical staff to develop effective data management and evaluation systems.
· Advanced knowledge of fiscal management policies and practices and University personnel management policies and practices.
· Strong leadership and supervisory experience.
· Strong background in marketing including knowledge in both traditional marketing functions as well as social media.
· Demonstrated commitment to outstanding customer service and professionalism.
· Excellent interpersonal, organizational, public relations and written and oral communication skills.
· Demonstrated ability to work with diverse groups in a busy environment and manage multiple tasks simultaneously
· Experience in recruiting, marketing, financial aid, outreach and/or career services.
· Knowledge of academic business programs.

Preferred Qualifications
· Significant knowledge of the goals and mission of the University and the Haas School of Business as they relate to academic preparation, recruitment, and advanced-standing admission.
· Significant knowledge of UC Berkeley Colleges and schools.
· Significant knowledge regarding UC Berkeley’s graduate admissions policies.

Other Information
This position requires 35% domestic and international travel.

Equal Employment Opportunity
The University of California, Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.