Business Schools

California MBA Dreamin'


In her 19 years at UCLA Anderson School of Management, Linda Baldwin has seen many things change, from the types of students who come to Anderson to her role at the school. She originally signed on to implement a diversity-focused nonprofit effort, but was later named senior associate director of MBA admissions. In 1991, Baldwin became director of MBA admissions. Before coming to Anderson, she got her master's degree in education from UCLA.

Baldwin sees Anderson as a highly energetic and global environment -- and she wants to keep it that way. She seeks passionate people and worldly thinkers who can thoughtfully explore how their life experiences have prepared them for getting an MBA. In the middle of making round-one decisions, Baldwin spoke with BusinessWeek Online project assistant Meredith Bodgas. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation:

Are you seeing more applications now than in the recent past?

Yes, we are (see BW Online, 12/7/05, "First-Round Frenzy"). I think it's a reflection of individuals all over the world looking for new opportunities to grow, and I think we're thought of as a place where you can do that. The growth is in all areas, but it's more noticeable among international applicants, especially those from Asia.

How have applicants changed over the years?

Today's applicants are more diverse in nationalities, educational backgrounds, and work experiences. In addition, there's a greater range of post-MBA aspirations, with a majority of applicants seeking leadership skills to make a difference.

How important is an applicant's quantitative GMAT score?

There's a strong correlation between core curriculum grades in the first year and quantitative scores on the GMAT, but we don't assess someone's quantitative ability from the GMAT score alone. We look at applicants' transcripts to see...

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