Applying to B-School? Know the Adcom.

Another good resource for you, the b-school applicant, is to utilize is the b-school forum. You have to pay for full access, but a big-timing prospective MBA (like yourself) should have no problems fronting the cash. I especially think its beneficial to read the Admissions Q&A with the Admissions Directors from the schools you are applying to. For instance, this is the one for Linda Baldwin, UCLA’s Adcom big cheese: Businessweek Interview.

For me, it’s important to understand what these people are saying so you can get a good idea of the environment they are trying to promote at their business school. If you understand your Adcom’s psychology, then you can tailor your message (during the interview or essays) to say (for lack of a better term) what is culturally appropriate and accurate.

Also, some people will say “Josie, don’t write what you think the Adcom wants to hear, write from the heart,write something gutsy….” While your story needs to be your own, you want to make sure you are correctly putting down your thoughts within the correct context. You want to write something that they want to hear, something that will stand out and resonate and not something they don’t want to hear. Human nature dictates that we like hearing stuff we agree with, not necessarily thought provoking or controversial.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to Google the name of the Adcom head as well as the person who is going to be interviewing you. You might be able to find out what they like, what they have done. That is the start of your personal talking points and some questions that show you know your stuff. A word of caution: don’t take it too far, there can be a fine line between knowledgeable and just plain creepy.