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How to Get In: University of California—Irvine Paul Merage School of Business

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

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We are on rolling admissions, which means we are evaluating applications as we receive them. We do have target deadlines as a guideline. Our final two application deadlines are April 1 and June 1.

Once an application is complete, it will go through two, sometimes three reviews. It typically takes up to two weeks to receive a response regarding whether or not an applicant has been invited for an interview. Interviews are by invitation only and are conducted either in person on campus or through Skype.

After an official admissions interview, the application will be presented to the admissions committee. After the application is reviewed by the admissions committee, it takes no more than two to three weeks to receive an admissions decision.

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

Top firms that consistently recruit and hire our graduates: The Walt Disney Company, Toyota, Mattel, Experian, Johnson & Johnson, Deloitte, AT&T, IBM, and Niagara Bottling.

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

Common mistakes applicants make include failing to be professional in their interactions with the admissions committee and throughout the admissions process, and overlooking the importance of self reflection and research in preparation for the application and interview process.

The admissions process gives us insight into how applicants would approach the job search and interact with recruiters. With the M.B.A. being a professional degree, it is crucial that every interaction be professional. Applicants need to be mindful of all interactions and treat the process as they would a job interview process. Each point, positive or negative, will be remembered. Be sure to leave a positive impression.

Preparation and understanding of how the M.B.A. and specific school will benefit the applicant is something many applicants overlook. This often lets us know whether they are ready for the M.B.A. degree.

Do research, understand the M.B.A. career paths and how that fits in with goals, and know which programs have the resources and environment to help get you there. Ultimately, research will not only help an applicant indicate genuine interest and understanding of a specific program but will also help identify if the investment in the M.B.A. is appropriate at this time, and what programs will fit best for him or her to succeed.

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

Due to the intimate size of the full-time M.B.A. program at the Merage School, it is crucial that each incoming student fit within our culture. Our students each bring something different to the program, and we value that diversity, but some of the defining characteristics that fit all of our students are that they are bright, ambitious, strong communicators, work well in teams, and are optimistic.

Our students are very bright and challenge each other within the classroom. A common drive and focus is key in an M.B.A. setting. Communication skills are crucial in order to be successful in the M.B.A. program and in the business world.

We offer a collaborative learning environment and understand the importance of this in business, so each of our students has to have an ability to thrive within a team. Finally, the optimistic attitude of our students allows them to recognize all the resources and opportunities available and how to benefit from them.

A great way to experience our culture first hand is through our student ambassador program. Contact any of our students to gain genuine perspective on the Merage School culture and experience.

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