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How to Get In: Georgia Institute of Technology College of Management

What can you do to set yourself apart in your application? Admissions officials have the answers.

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The boutique size of our program is one of the major benefits of our program. We enroll only one cohort of students, which not only fosters a strong sense of community, but also ensures the highest quality education. All of our M.B.A. professors are rated by our M.B.A. students each year. Because there is only one cohort, every student in the program is taught by the highest-rated professors.

While the difficulty of getting corporate recruiters to campus is sometimes one of the downsides of a small program, our stellar career statistics show this to not be a problem at all for Georgia Tech. Similarly, the network is not just the M.B.A. network, but the Georgia Tech network. Georgia Tech has been ranked as having one of the most loyal alumni bases for a public university in the country. Whether you have an undergraduate degree in engineering or an M.B.A., you are a part of the Georgia Tech network.

6. What do you look for in recommendation letters? 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?

As with most M.B.A. programs, professional references are preferred. Again, most M.B.A. admissions officers will look for direct supervisors, team members, former employers, or clients—really anyone the applicant has worked with on a regular basis. Certainly we do not want applicants to jeopardize their jobs by asking a direct supervisor for a recommendation, so another option may be former professors.

Also, if the applicant has been involved with a community service organization, someone from that organization who can talk about the impact the applicant has made in his or her time as a volunteer would also be a good choice.

Finally, friends or colleagues who have attended rigorous M.B.A. programs may also be an option. The thing to keep in mind is to make sure the letters are professional in nature and address the contributions the applicant can make to the M.B.A. program. Stay away from personal references.

7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?

Georgia Tech admits applicants on a rolling basis, so as soon as the application is complete, the committee will begin reviewing it. While a prospective applicant can schedule an informational interview at any time, admissions interviews are by invitation only.

8. Which firms recruit heavily from your school? Which firms hire the highest percentage of your graduates?

The Georgia Tech M.B.A. program boasts one of the highest job placement records in the country. More than 100 companies recruit our M.B.A. students through the Jones Career Center each year, representing functional areas such as leadership development, strategic and functional consulting, operations and supply chain, technology, corporate finance, and marketing. Here's a partial list of companies who have recruited our M.B.A. students on and off campus.

9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?

I think one of the most deadly mistakes applicants make is not treating the M.B.A. recruiting and admissions process like a job search. Applicants should present a professional appearance and demeanor in every interaction with the school, no matter if it is a phone call with the receptionist, a coffee chat with a current student, or meeting the admissions director.

Many times, applicants are on their best behavior when they are with one of the members of the admissions committee but, believe me, we know when someone has been rude or disrespectful with someone they do not deem to be in a position of decision making.

10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?

Corporate recruiters love Georgia Tech M.B.A.'s because they possess that typical Georgia Tech attitude of "roll your sleeves up and get the job done." Our students are very smart and highly motivated, but the atmosphere of the program is ultra-collaborative. There is not a hint of a "cut-throat" attitude here. The admissions committee actually looks for a personality fit for the program during the interview in addition to potential for academic success and career goals.