Keramidas recently shared some advice for Eller applicants with BusinessWeek Online reporter, Mica Schneider. Here are edited excerpts of the discussion:
Q: Arizona saw a 28% decrease in MBA applications this past admissions season. How competitive was the selection process?
A: We had to be strategic. We focussed on yield. We were able to enroll a larger class than last year of 70 students [without lowering admissions standards].
Q: When is the best time to apply?
A: Early, particularly if [applicants] want to be considered for a scholarship. We admit 75% of our class by the second deadline, Feb. 15.
Q: What sort of applicant is a good match for Eller?
A: Someone who wants to have an impact and make the most out of the experience.
Q: The experience?
A: For instance, at Eller there are opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning. MBAs are required to do a semester-long field project with companies. The MBAs work in teams as consultants on real projects. We also put a lot of emphasis on professional skills and communication in a mandatory course run by the business-communications department in the first year of the program.
Our students are very involved in the community, and we form a very close-knit community. If you're not interested in networking and developing close relationships with the faculty, your classmates, and members of the community, this wouldn't be a good program for you.
Q: The school just launched a new curriculum. What changed?
A: To give MBAs more time [for] extracurricular activities, we reduced their course load from 18 credits per semester to 15. Out of the 60 [total course] credits, MBAs can take two classes anywhere in the university, in any discipline. In addition, they can do up to six credits of independent study.
See Full Version