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U.S. News Article Cautions Prospective Applicants that Diversity MBA Admissions Events Provide Limited Advantages

Following a brouhaha earlier this month surrounding a feature published by Bloomberg BusinessWeek about which business schools have the most attractive female students, U.S. News & World Report today ran a piece about diversity-oriented admissions events hosted by schools. Participation in these events – which are targeted toward applicants who are women, veterans, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) or minorities – can be valuable, but only to a limited degree, the U.S. News piece reports.

They do offer an opportunity to meet and interact with admissions officials, but they don’t necessarily provide an accurate representation of the actual business school experience, nor do they necessarily give participants an advantage in the admissions process.

“While these are pitched as a ‘day in the life,’ when you get on campus, you won’t have that many people from similar backgrounds and will need to effectively build relationships with a much broader group of people,” Nicole Lindsay, who runs the website Diversity MBA Prep, told U.S. News.

Lindsay also warned against the dangers of prospective MBA applicants presuming that their candidacy is stronger because they were invited to such events. “These events can lull candidates into a comfort zone that isn’t real,” she told U.S. News.

Still, participants do get a chance to see the campus, meet with other prospective applicants, establish relationships with admissions officials and more. And in some instances, schools even foot the bill for room and board or waive application fees for participants, according to U.S. News.

“For those looking to gain every advantage when applying, these opportunities were something I wish I had known more about when I started the process,” prospective MBA applicants Rachael Waddell told U.S. News. “These weekends have provided so much meat to my applications and have been a determining factor in where I apply.”

Bloomberg BusinessWeek, for its part, conceded that its online poll about which business schools have the most attractive female students and the article conveying the results was in poor taste, particularly given the gender gap that persists in MBA cohorts. It issued a statement to the Daily Dot saying as much and pulled the pieces on November 10th.

Read the complete U.S. News article, “Though Useful, Diversity MBA Admissions Events May Be Misleading.”

Posted in: MBA News

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