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The Selection Process at Sloan

Our guest on September 9, 2003, was Rod Garcia, director of masters' admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management , No. 6 in BusinessWeek's latest B-School rankings. Garcia joined MIT Sloan in 1988, after leading admissions at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. He was interviewed by BusinessWeek Online reporter Mica Schneider. Here's an edited transcript of their conversation:

Q: You've led admissions for the Sloan school for 15 years. How has the applicant pool changed in that time?

A: The biggest change is that since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall we've seen more and more applicants from Central Europe, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, and the former Soviet Republics. This year, for the first time, we sent a representative to Moscow to interview five applicants by invitation only. One of our current students was in Moscow for a summer internship and was asked to give a presentation about the Sloan school at a company. He expected a 90-minute meeting, but it turned into three hours.

Since I'll be in Northern Europe in October, I'm going to presentations for a select group of applicants. If people want to be invited, they can go to our Web site and get the details.

It has been a great 15 years. In my early days, we had an applicant from Bulgaria, who today is the minister of finance for Bulgaria. Our MBAs are back in their home countries in good positions. Moscow for a day and will give one of our standard admissions

We're also getting more applications from Latin America, especially from Brazil, where many companies sponsor their employees' [education]. We're also seeing a rise in applications from Asia. Back in the 1980s, that pool was dominated by Japanese. They've since been outnumbered by applicants from countries such as China and India. Last year, we had more than 100 applications from Korea, which was a surprise.

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