We posed questions to admissions officials at The George Washington University School of Business regarding the application process, what they look for in applicants and what sets their school apart. These are their responses:
1. What can applicants do to set themselves apart from their peers?
At The George Washington University School of Business, applicants can set themselves apart through pursuing leadership roles in their career. Those applicants with international experience, community investment, and a commitment to continuous learning and intellectual curiosity are standout candidates.
2. What do you look for in the application essays? What do the essays tell you about a candidate?
Essays reveal an applicant's ability to present thoughtful and focused responses as to why they are interested in pursing a graduate business degree. In addition, essays allow us to recognize many of the personal and professional influences that have shaped a candidate's desire to choose an MBA program. At The George Washington University School of Business, we look for essays that are both engaging and informative. It is important that you share your career aspirations and how you believe an M.B.A. can support your goals.
3. How important is the applicant's GMAT score? How do you weight it against undergraduate GPA and work experience? Which of these carry the most weight? The least?
The GMAT score is just one indicator of an applicant's ability to navigate the quantitative aspects of a graduate business program. The George Washington University School of Business looks at all components of the application when determining whether a candidate is best suited for our M.B.A. program. The GMAT score, undergraduate GPA, work experience, and extracurricular activities are all considered when we make admission decisions.
4. How much does prior work/internship experience weigh into your decision making? What is the typical or expected amount of work experience from an applicant?
The George Washington University School of Business seeks candidates with at least two years of professional experience. On average, our students have four years of work experience. The length and nature of professional experience is a key factor in determining whether or not an applicant is admitted into our M.B.A. program. We seek candidates who have demonstrated some career progression in their positions as well as a passion and drive for their chosen profession.
5. What sets you apart from other schools? What can a student attain at your school that they might not be able to find anywhere else?
The location of The George Washington University School of Business—in the heart of Washington, D.C., with iconic institutions such as The World Bank and The International Monetary Fund bordering the campus—makes us uniquely positioned to provide a global learning environment for our graduate students. Now more than ever, Washington presents a rich and robust business environment with unprecedented collaboration between business and government in ways that will yield significant learning and employment opportunities for our M.B.A. students. This is an exciting time to be a business student at The GW School of Business. In addition, our M.B.A. programs integrate our values of ethics, environment sustainability, and corporate citizenship throughout our curriculum. The GW University M.B.A. programs provide students with a unique vantage point to observe, as well as participate in, activities that will shape the future of business.
6. What do you look for in recommendation letter? How important is it that the letter's writer has worked regularly with the candidate in an office or school setting? Do you put much weight on letters from prominent public figures who may not know the applicant well?
The George Washington University School of Business views recommendation letters as an essential component of the evaluation process. Recommendation letters from clients or individuals who have worked closely with the applicant and can speak specifically to the professional performance of an M.B.A. candidate are most useful. While recommendations from high profile figures can be seductive, in the end if the recommendation cannot demonstrate that the recommender has had any personal experience of the applicant's work, it will do little to bolster the candidate's prospects for admission.
7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What is the timeline applicants should expect?
At The George Washington University School of Business, each application is read by two members of the Admission Committee. Those applicants with an academic, personal, and professional profile consistent with our selection goals are invited to interview with the business school. The entire process from review to notification takes an average of four weeks.
8. Which firms recruit heavily from your school? Which firms hire the highest percentage of your graduates?
The top recruiting industries for The George Washington School of Business full-time M.B.A. program were consulting and financial services. Some of the firms hiring GW M.B.A.s—in no particular order— are Johnson & Johnson, Booz Allen Hamilton, General Electric, IBM Global Business Services, KPMG, and The U.S. Department of Commerce.
9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?
The most common mistakes made when submitting an application for the GW School of Business M.B.A. program include poor editing of essays as well as naming the incorrect business program when completing and submitting an application. Another common mistake is poor interview preparation.
10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?
The George Washington University School of Business seeks candidates with verve, passion, and purpose. Applicants accustomed to intellectual and academic rigor, and who seek an engaging learning environment steeped in the pursuit of building leaders who can compete in a global marketplace, are the most attractive candidates for our M.B.A. programs.