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Admissions Director Q&A

Clear Admit’s exclusive interviews with admissions directors at the world’s leading MBA programs.


Admissions Director Q&A: Grace Kim of the USC Marshall School of Business

marshallGrace Kim is senior associate director of MBA admissions at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business. She was generous enough to make time recently to answer our questions about the admissions process at Marshall, and we thank her!

In the interview that follows, Kim shares new developments planned for the school, including the creation of several half-semester electives as part of the curriculum. These new, shorter courses are designed to add greater breadth of content and allow students to better prepare for highly specialized careers. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Maryellen Lamb of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School

maryellen_lambMaryellen Lamb was named deputy vice dean of Wharton MBA Career Management, Admissions and Financial Aid last fall, and she tells us that she absolutely loves the role. “I have a great job because I get to see both the comings and goings. I see Wharton students from when they just start thinking about an MBA through their time here as students and then as they advance in their careers,” she says. “It is so fun to watch really high-performing individuals reach even higher.”

Philadelphia born and raised, Lamb began her career in Princeton as a currency trader, but she found that the more successful she became, the farther away from Philadelphia she was forced to move. About 10 years ago she decided she wanted to return to Philly, and when she got a call from Wharton to come work in the Career Office as an advisor to students looking into investment banking, she jumped at it. “Over time, I have loved being at Wharton even more than I ever thought I could,” she says. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Itziar de Ros of IESE

itziar_de_rosItziar de Ros has been leading the charge since 2011 as MBA admissions director and president of the MBA Admissions Committee at IESE in Barcelona, Spain. She is responsible for global marketing, student selection and administration of scholarships for the IESE MBA class of 280 students.

No stranger to the school, de Ros herself obtained an IESE MBA in 2006. She worked as a marketing and sales consultant at DuPont before returning to IESE in 2007, where she held roles in admissions, marketing and communications and development before stepping into her current role. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Isser Gallogly of New York University’s Stern School of Business

isser_galloglyIsser Gallogly, assistant dean of MBA admissions at New York University’s Stern School of Business, understands the MBA and its potential for changing people’s lives first hand. “I am on my third career,” he told us in an interview. He worked in banking after college and then returned to business school to obtain an MBA as part of a career shift toward marketing.

After almost a decade working for Unilever and Loreál, he decided to shift again toward education and academia. “I know how much an MBA has changed my life both personally and professionally, and helping others on that journey seemed to me to be a very gratifying job opportunity,” he said. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Ann Richards of Cornell’s S. C. Johnson Graduate School of Management

ann richardsMoving right along in our Admissions Director Q&A Series, we’ll hear this week from Ann Richards, interim director of admission and financial aid at the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Richards began her career at Johnson back in 1988 as the college registrar. In 1991, she became director of financial aid, and in 1999 she became associate director of admission.

After 14 years in that role, and with more than 20 years at Johnson in all, she was named senior associate director of admission last year. Since then, Christine Sneva – Johnson’s former director of admission and financial aid – has been named director of enrollment management and student services at Cornell Tech, Johnson’s one-year MBA program in New York City. Amid Sneva’s departure for Cornell Tech, Richards has ably stepped in to lead the charge at Johnson’s Ithaca campus, with oversight for the school’s one-year and two-year MBA programs there. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Dawna Clarke of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business

dawna_clarkeDawna Clarke is a veteran in the MBA admissions world, where she has worked for almost 30 years. She was appointed director of MBA admissions for the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth by Dean Paul Danos in September 2005, and since then she has served as the primary point of contact for MBA applicants and worked to actively promote the Tuck MBA program to prospective students.

Clarke came to Tuck from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, where she spent 15 years, the last five as director of admissions. And before Darden, she was associate director of admissions at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business. So she knows a thing or two about what it takes to get into a top-tier MBA program. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Rupesh Bisht of the Indian School of Business

rupesh_bishtdMoving right along in our Q&A Series, we turn this week to India, specifically the Indian School of Business (ISB). With campuses in Hyderabad and Mohali, ISB features an accelerated one-year Post Graduate Program (PGP) in Management, as well as a PGP for Senior Executives, a Fellow Program, a Management Program for Family Business and several additional executive education offerings.

Against time zone odds, we were lucky enough to connect with Rupesh Bisht, ISB’s associate director for admissions and financial aid. An alumnus from the ISB class of 2009, “I am an experiencer of the product itself, which gives me some advantage in terms of knowing the product inside out,” he tells us. In addition to his admissions responsibilities, Bisht also oversees international marketing for ISB, as well as the school’s Young Leaders Program (YLP). Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Kurt Ahlm of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Kurt Ahlm, Associate Dean, Chicago Booth AdmissionsKurt Ahlm is a 12-year veteran of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business admissions office, and he has been at the helm for the past four years. During that time, he has helped welcome a new dean, Dean Sunil Kumar, and seen the school continue its international expansion.

Ahlm started his career in undergraduate admissions at Northwestern University and then spent time working as a corporate recruiter before coming to Chicago Booth. “I really liked higher education but I also liked the more professional type of atmosphere that the corporate world offered,” he says, adding that MBA admissions provides a great mix of both. Chicago Booth benefits, in turn, from his strong background in both admissions and recruiting. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Stephanie Fujii of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business

stephanie_haasAs we reported here on the Clear Admit blog earlier this week, Stephanie Fujii just stepped into a new position at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business: assistant dean of the full-time MBA program and admissions. She was appointed to this newly created role last month by Haas Dean Rich Lyons, and she now oversees both the full-time MBA admissions and the full-time MBA program offices.

A 2004 Haas alumna, Fujii knows the school inside and out. She has been working in admissions there for almost a decade, advancing through the ranks to become executive director in 2010. Between obtaining her MBA at Haas and returning to work there, she served as executive director of a San Francisco assisted living community for the elderly. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A : Philippe Oster of HEC Paris

Philippe_OsterOur continuing series of interviews with admissions directors at top business schools takes us this week to France, where we connected with Philippe Oster. Oster is the director of communication, development and admissions at HEC Paris. In this role, he is charged with directing and coordinating the activities of all three departments, including ensuring the quality and integrity of the admissions process and attracting the best candidates to HEC from an international pool of MBA applicants.

Before stepping into his current role at HEC Paris in 2009, Oster served as the head of international admissions for the education division of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry. There he had oversight of international student recruitment for France’s five top business schools, HEC Paris, ESCP Europe, EMLYON, Audencia and Skema. Continue reading…

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Admissions Director Q&A: Alex Lawrence of the UCLA Anderson School of Management

alex_lawrence~ A CLEAR ADMIT EXCLUSIVE ~

Alex Lawrence, an alumnus of the UCLA Anderson School of Management (MBA ’99), took the helm as assistant dean and director of MBA admissions and financial aid in August 2012.

Lawrence, who replaced interim director Rob Weiler, knows the school intimately. Five years after receiving his MBA, he returned to campus to serve as executive director of the Riordan Programs, an initiative founded by Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan to help high school and undergraduate students attain higher levels of education. In this role, Lawrence developed programs targeting students who are the first in their family to apply to college or seek an MBA degree. Under his guidance, nearly 70 percent of Riordan MBA Fellows went on to obtain their MBA at some of the nation’s most elite business schools.

In his current role as director of admissions, Lawrence is turning his focus toward assembling the strongest and most diverse incoming MBA classes he can at Anderson.  Continue reading…

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