By Megan Overbay, former director of Admissions.
We are in the midst of interviews for our Round 2 applicants, our largest application round of the year. We’ve had staff members on the ground, leading events in China, Korea, Thailand, Japan, Israel, India, and across the U.S. Alumni spearheaded activities across Latin America, Europe, Russia/CIS, and Africa. It is our goal, through these events and interview activities, to not only provide insight for the Admissions Committee into the candidacy of our applicants, but also to bring the Fuqua community to our applicants around the world, through both formal and informal engagement with our alumni and current students. We often get questions about why our interview process works the way it does:
- Why do our alumni and current students conduct most of our Daytime MBA interviews?
- Why does the interviewer only have the applicant’s resume?
- What is the purpose of the interview?
It is difficult to capture in words, and it’s hard to understand without experiencing it … but once you are exposed to it, it is universally recognized by prospective students and recruiters as a primary distinguishing factor of our school, our students, and our alumni – it’s The Fuqua Culture. Yes, I am capitalizing it. It is pervasive throughout the staff, faculty, students, and alumni of Fuqua.
- “Leaders of Consequence”
- “Teach as Much as You Learn”
All of these above concepts and others describe our culture, but do not fully capture it. Hence the importance of each of our prospective students having the opportunity to connect with members of our community, so that we’re able to share the culture directly and personally with each of them. This is exactly why we aim to have our alumni and current students as engaged in the recruiting and interview process as possible. For current students and alumni who conduct interviews, they do it to help select their legacy, and they provide insight based on their deep knowledge of the Fuqua culture – Will the candidate add value in the classroom, will he/she contribute to our community, and will he/she represent us well with future employers? Interviewers also think about:
- Would they want the applicant on their team?
- Would they be proud to have him/her as a member of our alumni network?
- Can they see the impact that he/she would have on our community at Fuqua and beyond after graduation?
Our alumni and current students have only the resume of an applicant when conducting interviews, and it is for a logical reason. That’s all a potential employer will have when deciding whether to interview you, and likely all that they will have when they do interview you.
Our interviews are also a two-way street. They are an opportunity for applicants to determine whether or not Fuqua is a good fit for his/her background, goals, and learning style. Personal interaction with our alumni and current students provide applicants with the ability to ask detailed questions, and to get the “inside” perspective on the Fuqua experience. Applicants can truly hear what it’s like to sit in our classrooms, how to get involved in X club, how our alumni act as a support structure to help each other transition to new cities, new jobs, and the like. The interviewers as well as the other alumni, current students, and staff involved in our recruiting activities around the globe are an incredible resource for our applicants, and we are honored to have such a talented and engaged community supporting our admissions efforts to bring in the next generation of Fuquans.