GME: Today & Tomorrow Fall 2019

Anatomy of a 360° View of Applicants

ET: Yes, we absolutely are. There was a time when everything was wrapped up by May, but that’s no longer the case. Young professionals are waiting to see if they will get a job they want or a promotion so they hesitate in applying to school until the last minute. Consequently, we do see candidates who emerge or contact us in May or June to see if we still have space for the fall semester. That said, our full-time program did see a rise in applicants early on in the cycle and we were fairly level with last year, but we expect we will see some people last minute. We have met people at MBA fairs in July who start with us in the fall. Our part-time program has seen this too. Sometimes it takes a while to get to a place where candidates can focus on putting an application together. Diversity is a big focus in higher education these days. Can you speak to the diversity you’ve seen in your GME programs, and do you focus on this goal in the admissions process? ET: Our part-time MBA and certificate programs applicants primarily come from the local Boston area. Our full- time MBA program draws mostly from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. California is our 4th largest draw with a few also coming from the Midwest. Our two largest overseas contingents are China and India, comprising about 10-12% of our full-time cohort with a few others from Latin America, Canada and Asia Pacific. We also are seeing more students from Africa, in particular Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. We also conduct outreach with partner organizations to identify students from disadvantaged communities. One of our goals is to help students from these communities excel and take advantage of scholarships available for graduate admissions. As we go through our application pool and make decisions, we want to be sensitive and aware of these candidates.

How many applications do you receive per year on average and how do you organize your staff to ensure each candidate is thoroughly vetted? ET: We receive about 2,500 applications per year across all our “on-the-ground” programs which include our full-time and part-time MBA programs, our Master of Science program and our certificate programs. We have a team of eight people including myself, two associate directors, two assistants, a recruiting manager and a part-time person. We do hire two or three graduate assistants who help in numerous ways and also hire two part-time employees, 10-15 hrs/week, to help us read applications. In terms of how we manage decision- making, it depends on the program. For our full-time program, one of our associate directors oversees the entire process. She assigns applications to team members and sets deadlines. She has part-time employees, students and staff members read the applications. The associate director then decides which applicants to interview based on certain criteria. Once the candidate is interviewed and the application is complete, the associate director brings the application to an admissions committee that meets on a weekly basis from November through May/ June. Decisions for our full-time MBA program are made by some members of our admissions team, the director of our career center and the associate dean. We do not use faculty as they are really busy and we feel we’re able to remain open and broad-minded to make good decisions. We also are getting input from students and staff. For our part-time MBA program, Master of Science and graduate certificate programs, the entire process is handled by our other associate director and recruitment manager. When they have

questions about an application, they may bring them to the admissions team for input. But in general, they make the decisions. Wrapping up, can you speak to the benefits your school has received by adhering to a holistic view of your candidates?

ET: Without a doubt, I’d say the greatest benefit is the alumni

engagement we see year in and year out due to the rapport we’ve built. Our graduates are now working throughout the globe. Wherever and whenever we need assistance with recruiting, there’s a grad to help us out. We get alumni to respond and come to dinners, recruitment events and help spread the word about Northeastern in general. Invariably at graduation when I congratulate new graduates, they say, “Evelyn, thanks for everything and let me know how I can be of help.” So our graduates leave having had a very positive experience which carries over post-graduation.

EVELYN TATE Assistant Dean, Graduate Recruitment and Admissions


GME: Today & Tomorrow | Fall 2019

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