This blog was written prior to the Cross Continent MBA program’s merger with the Global Executive MBA program.
The admissions process at Fuqua for the Cross Continent MBA (CCMBA) program is unique, and there are a number of resources available for guidance. In that spirit, we each wanted to share some tips on how to approach researching the program, the admissions process, and the CCMBA application itself.
Admissions Tips from the Student’s Perspective
- Reach out to an admissions counselor immediately, even if you are just considering applying. Amanda or one of her teammates will give you more insight into the program and help explain the application process in detail. Don’t wait until the application deadlines get near—reach out as soon as possible, any time of the year. Starting this conversation is important and doesn’t commit you to anything.
- Don’t lock yourself into attending the very next year. Duke and the CCMBA program aren’t going anywhere, so consider whether spending more time on the application process and attending the following year fits better with your career and personal life.
- If and when you take the GMAT, do practice tests—don’t just study the material. There are a lot of resources in bookstores that come with a giant book and practice test software so that you can simulate the actual test. It is a unique format that is different from other tests you have taken in school, and you want to be familiar with it. In addition to test prep, consider taking a few courses (accounting or finance for example) if it helps round out your background. This will demonstrate your commitment to the admissions team, and you will really appreciate the additional preparation when you start the related coursework.
- Tell your employer as early as possible that you are considering the program. This will give you both more time to learn about its unique format and negotiate arrangements.
Admissions Tips from the Cross Continent MBA Counselor’s Perspective
Do your homework: There are many opportunities for you to get information about the CCMBA program: our robust website, visit campus during an open house, attend an off-campus information session, talk to alumni (I am more than happy to connect you with one in your area or industry). The more you know about the program, the more you will be able to clearly articulate why you want to attend Fuqua and the CCMBA program.
- Be yourself: One of Fuqua’s guiding principles is ‘authentic engagement.’ To me, that means bringing as much of you as possible to the application process. It also means being engaged in the process itself. Successful applicants are active and engaged with the Admissions staff from start to finish. They also are authentic in their application essays and interview, and interactions with staff, current students and alumni.
- Educate your recommenders: Recommendations on the application do matter. They are weighed equally with your academics, essays, work experience, and interview. Do yourself a big favor and help your recommenders help you. I would suggest meeting with them in person—take them to coffee or lunch—and explain to them why you want to get an MBA, why Fuqua is a good fit as a school and why the CCMBA is attractive to you as a program. Remind them of your strengths, and let them know what you hope to learn throughout the program.
- Use the optional essay: This is a place on the application for you to tell us anything that we have not directly asked about. It does not need to be a formal essay, but can instead include bullet points and multiple topics. Do not use it as a place to make excuses, but rather a place to explain things and give us more information. An example might be a gap in employment—maybe you traveled to a developing country to do volunteer work, maybe you were a stay-at-home parent with your first child, maybe you took care of a sick family member. You might also use it to tell us something personal such as a life event that affected your world vision or led you to business school. Whatever the case, we want to know more, not less about you.