We posed questions to admissions officials at the Loyola University Chicago Graduate School of Business regarding the application process, what they look for in applicants, and what sets their school apart. These are their responses:
1. What can applicants do to set themselves apart from their peers?
The admissions committee looks at applications from a holistic perspective and assesses a variety of factors when making an admission decision. In addition to "black and white" numbers such as the GMAT score and the undergraduate grade point average, the committee also looks at more qualitative factors such as types of courses taken, the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and work experience.
2. What do you look for in the application essays? What do the essays tell you about a candidate?
Applicants should use the essay question posed on application to introduce themselves to the admission committee. This needs to be done in a clear, concise, and logical manner. We also want to understand what motivates applicants, their personal/professional ambitions, and how
3. How important is the applicant's GMAT score? How do you weigh it against undergraduate GPA and work/internship experience? Which of these carry the most weight? The least?
The applicant's GMAT score and undergraduate GPA are two of the important quantitative components that the admissions committee takes into consideration. The committee is aware, however, that these two metrics alone do not always tell the full story. Work/internship experience is invaluable and adds an important dimension to students' understanding of the business environment and their appreciation of graduate business education.
4. How much does prior work/internship experience weigh into your decision making? What's the typical or expected amount of work experience from an applicant?
Relevant work/internship experience certainly strengthens an application. We generally look for students who have at least two to three years work experience. In those instances when applicants have less experience, their strong academic performance and full engagement enables them to bring other very positive attributes to the classes.
5. What sets you apart from other schools? What can students gain from your school that they might not be able to find anywhere else?
6. What do you look for in recommendation letters? How important is it that the letter's writer has worked regularly with the candidate in an office or school setting?
Recommendation letters should reflect the views of those who know the student well and who can comment on the student's past accomplishments and abilities, as well as the student's ability to succeed in a rigorous graduate business program. We encourage students to select these references from an academic or work-based setting (such as former or current professors and employers). Academic references best articulate the candidate's ability to do graduate-level work and to succeed in graduate school. Additionally, employer references best articulate the candidate's work ethic, business knowledge, ambitions, accomplishments, and how the graduate degree might benefit the candidate in his/her career.
7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?
8. Which firms recruit heavily from your school? Which ones hire the highest percentage of your graduates?
Some firms that recruit heavily at
Firms that hire the greatest percentage:
9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?
-- Some applicants do not do enough research on the admission standards of the schools to which they are applying.
-- Some applicants downplay the importance of the GMAT exam and do not study before taking it, which has resulted in scores that negatively impact the student's admission chances.
-- Statements of purpose are sometimes not written in a logical, concise manner. Spelling and grammatical errors may also not be corrected. Both errors in judgment compromise applicants' admission chances.
10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?
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