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Monday, March 19, 2007

Admissions breaks down the incoming Class of 2009

Author: Soojin Kwon Koh, Director of Admissions

Last week, the Admissions Committee welcomed another round of top students to join the Ross MBA Class of 2009. With a 31% increase in applications and a four point increase in the average GMAT score of applicants and admits, gaining admission to Ross is perhaps the most competitive it has ever been.

We are particularly excited about the global diversity of the class. We have representation from 37 countries (up from 31 last year) and 38 states across the U.S. We have significant increases in students admitted from Latin America, Western Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

In addition, the admitted students bring a wide variety of professional experiences. Among the prospective students in the Class of 2009 we have:
  • An assistant for Jerry Bruckheimer Films & Television (producer of hit television show CSI).
  • A US Navy SEAL and Surface Warfare Officer.
  • Let's Go Travel Guide writers for Mexico, Austria, Chile, and New Zealand.
  • A marketing campaign manager for The New York Times Crossword Puzzle books.
  • An advocate for children's healthcare in Haiti.
  • A professional hockey player, an improv comedian, and a former TV weather anchor.

  • While it was challenging to get through the mountains of applications and hundreds of hours of interviews, the bigger challenge looms before us - getting this group of terrific admits to come to Ross. The large increase in applications to Ross can, in part, be attributed to an increase in the number of applications submitted by each prospective student. The upshot is that each of our admits is likely to have many options so we'll need to work hard to recruit them to Ross.

    It Takes a Community

    Recruiting is most effective when it's a community-wide effort - Admissions, current students, alumni, faculty, and staff. In fact, at this point in the cycle, the folks who are in the best position to influence admits are students, alumni, and faculty. Over the next couple of months, Admissions will be reaching out to connect admitted students with many of you. Our efforts will focus on making the best connections based on an admitted student's areas of interest or concern.

    As admitted students weigh their options, they will want to know a few key things: How strong is the school in the field that they're interested in? How strong is the alumni network? Do alumni live and work in places that admits hope to get to? Does the place "feel right?"

    While the Admissions team can help answer most of these questions, the answers are more credible and have more impact coming from current students, alumni and faculty - folks who have experienced it and live it.

    How can you help? Be an ambassador for the school, whenever and wherever you can. The Admissions Office has a number of formal opportunities through which members of the Ross community can help bring the best students to Ann Arbor.

    • Welcome calls: Thanks to the 60+ students who volunteered (in the first few hours of sign-ups, no less) to be official Welcome Callers. The Admissions staff contacted each and every admitted student to share the good news. A follow-up call from a current student reinforces our interest in recruiting each admitted student.
    • MAP teams on travel: With MAP teams scattered around the world for the next few weeks our potential reach is broad. Admissions has asked a number of MAP teams working in locations in which we have admitted students to welcome them to Ross and let the admits know that they're working on a project in their area. This outreach from MAP teams on location will highlight the truly global and action-based nature of our program. In addition to the outreach, a few MAP teams will be joining staff and alumni to welcome admitted student at receptions around the U.S.
    • GBR: Thanks to the 250+ students who are working on Go Blue! Rendezvous. This is an incredible show of commitment among our students. GBR is a high yield event for us - 68% of last year's attendees ended up coming to Ross. Our goal this year is to increase the attendance rate. Last year, 42% of admits came to GBR. We'll need your help in convincing admits to come.
    • Students on exchange programs: If you're on exchange in another country, we will be reaching out to ask you to connect with admitted students from that region. Again, this outreach from students beyond the borders of Ann Arbor will help showcase the global and flexible nature of our program.

    • Welcome calls/e-mails: Admissions is in the process of reaching out to individual alumni to welcome admits to Ross. We have tried to "match" alumni with admitted students based on geography and career interest wherever possible. We rely on the information in the alumni database, so keeping your profile up to date is extremely helpful. Alumni are asked to call or email admits and to consider meeting with them in person. Admits are extremely appreciative of alumni outreach, and it gives credence to the strength of our alumni network. We are always looking for more alumni volunteers, so please let us know if you are interested (
    • Alumni clubs: We will also be reaching out to alumni clubs to join us in the recruiting efforts. In the past, some alumni clubs have invited admitted students to attend local club events. Others have hosted informal get-togethers to welcome admitted students in their area.
    • Admissions recruiting events on the road: Admitted and prospective students tell us that the participation and support of alumni at our events really differentiates Ross. Admissions maintains a list of alumni who have assisted us with recruiting in the past, so if you'd like to join us at one of our admitted student events in the spring or our prospective student events in the fall, please let us know (

    • Classroom Visits: Thank you to the many faculty members who opened up your classrooms to prospective and admitted students throughout the school year. The classroom experience is a critical piece of a prospective student's due diligence. Because of classroom capacity constraints, allowing visitors in the classroom has been a bit more challenging this year. But the flexibility and openness of faculty have enabled over 440 prospective students to experience a Ross' class this year. We hope to provide that opportunity to even more prospective MBA students next year.
    • Join us for recruiting events: Many prospective students place high value on the opportunity to meet our faculty and to learn about the courses you teach and the cutting edge research you are doing. As your schedules permit, we hope you'll consider joining us for various recruiting events on campus throughout the year. We would particularly appreciate your support at Go Blue! Rendezvous, which will take place on April 12-14. Specifically, we would love to have faculty join admitted and current students for dinners "on the town" on Thursday, April 12th.
    • Meet with prospective students on the road: If you are planning to go on the road this spring, please consider reaching out to or meeting with admitted students who live in the area of your travels. The opportunity to meet a Ross faculty member in a foreign country, or even domestically outside of Ann Arbor, will speak volumes to the commitment of our faculty to our students and to the school.

    Our goal is to recruit students who will contribute to our community on many levels - as students, teachers, and alumni. Our success, and the success of the Ross community as a whole, depends on the commitment of all of us. We welcome your ideas on recruiting and look forward to working together to firmly establish Ross as one of the top business schools in the world.

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