Linda Baldwin, director of MBA admissions at UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management, No. 16 in BusinessWeek's latest B-School rankings recently took her turn in BusinessWeek Online's series of Admissions Q&As. Prior to becoming Anderson's director of admissions in 1991, Linda served as the senior associate director of UCLA's MBA admissions. She also has a specialized knowledge in minority recruitment and retention. Baldwin holds a BA in psychology and political science, as well as a masters in education from UCLA. She was interviewed by BusinessWeek Online reporter Mica Schneider. Here's an edited transcript of their conversation:
Q: Do you have a sense of how this year's MBA admissions season will pan out?
A: It's difficult to tell at this point. I am cautiously optimistic that we will see a slight increase [in applications]. Our number of online applications is relatively high. Typically, we receive the largest number of applications just before the deadline date of a given round. While we have noticed fewer attendees at forums and fairs, the number of hits to our Web site is very healthy. We are finding a lot more variation in the venues that "prospectives" pursue to find information about MBA Programs.
The BusinessWeek article on the worth of an MBA (see BW, 9/22/03, "What's an MBA Really Worth?" ) came at an excellent time for those who were thinking about their next career move. The article was insightful about the tangible monetary rewards of an MBA over a 10-year period and yet equally convincing about the intangible reward of the degree. If more people seriously consider the long-term benefits and trade-offs of an advanced degree, I think they'll see an MBA in their future. Hopefully it will be at UCLA Anderson.
Q: Will UCLA Anderson be recruiting in any new regions of the world in 2003?
A: We're covering the same areas, but the team that's going out to recruit is different. We're sending fewer of our own people and having our alumni play a larger part in the process. Part of that is to fortify the alumni participation, and the other part is budgetary.
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