5. What sets you apart from other schools? What can students gain from your school that they might not be able to find anywhere else?
Every business school enjoys a sense of place; a combination of the cultures that formed the school and the faculty and students in the school. At Freeman, this is revealed in a culture that comes from New Orleans and the foundation of Tulane, as a school facing international markets. A century later students come from around the globe, and faculty teach on four continents. This creates an interesting context in which to view business and the business world. People get to see different ways of handling situations, and to learn from great experiences.
To facilitate these experiences, our M.B.A.'s travel to Latin America, Europe, and Asia as part of the curriculum. The students can work on a world class analyst program, manage a multi-million dollar portfolio, engage with family-owned businesses, and develop business plans to compete for tens of thousands of dollars.
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?
Recommendation letters (should) support the application. That said, the committee looks for recommendations that reinforce the applicant's assertions and abilities. It is important that the letter is from someone who can attest to the applicant's abilities and character. This does not have to be in the workplace or in school—in fact, we often encourage applicants to find people who know them best, who have worked on projects, or can illustrate the applicant's ability outside the workforce or classroom. Often these are the most insightful people who have known the applicant for a longer period.
Public figures, movie stars, and parents are (most often) not the best resource for recommendations. Even people on the administrative board or senior faculty who do not know the applicant well, are not good resources for application recommendations. Remember, we are looking to the recommendation to support and reinforce the abilities of the applicant. This is the opportunity to add information to the application that will better inform the committee. And yes, every year we could paper the walls with great stationary; unfortunately it usually meets the requirement for a recommendation and does not support the applicant.
7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?
Applications are submitted online prior to one of the application submission dates. In general, once the applicant submits the application, we will begin to review. After a preliminary review for the basic information in the application, the application goes into a reading cycle. After reading, the file is assigned an interview priority and will begin the process to committee. After an interview, applicants are reviewed in committee with a final decision coming out of that meeting. We try to have a decision back to applicants within a month.
8. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?
Easily the biggest mistake is not taking time to do a little research. Applicants should look at the programs critically and determine what makes Tulane (or fill in the school) the right choice. Within the business school world, we all know that some schools have similarities. We know that applicants are probably applying to several schools. We really want to know that this school is the right place for the applicant; that this school will provide the right opportunities. This needs to be communicated in the essays, interview, and the application, in general. Naturally, typos and confusing statements should be avoided.
9 . Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?
Freeman seeks to create a pretty diverse group. After all, these students are going to do everything from statistics class to climb the great wall together. That said; we are looking for a student that can compete in the top 15 percent of the academic arena, who has the ability to work in a diverse environment, and can be a creative thinker who can tie all the pieces together. Of course, New Orleans is a fun place and we expect students to be able to work hard and play well.