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The Right Fit for Georgetown

Admissions directors often look for MBA candidates who can show their compatibility with the B-school program. Georgetown University's Monica Gray agrees. She says she looks for fit, among other attributes, when selecting candidates for the full-time MBA program at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business (No. 30 in BusinessWeek's latest rankings), where she's admissions director.

Gray joined Georgetown in 1999 as associate director of admissions and became director in 2002. Before working at Georgetown, she was the director of marketing for the School of Political Management at George Washington University. She also has more than six years of experience as a consultant for clients in the public sector and with educational institutions. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Georgetown and a master's in management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

BusinessWeek Online reporter Mica Schneider spoke with Gray in Georgetown's admissions office on Dec. 5. Here's an edited transcript of their conversation:

Q: With application volume now lower at business schools [Georgetown had 1,963 applicants in 2003, vs. 2,900 the year before] is it an easier year for MBA hopefuls to get admitted to Georgetown's program?

A: It's a good year for strong candidates to apply -- we're still seeing very strong candidates who have a good sense of where they're going. As long as the pool stays that way, we can build a strong class.

Candidates should not become careless. But they can look forward to closer interaction with the admissions office and with students. With fewer applicants, there are more opportunities to get a better sense of the Georgetown community -- including more one-on-one time with alumni who attend our events and forums.

Q: What type of students are you trying to attract to the MBA program?

A:: We're looking for well-rounded students who have a broad understanding of world affairs and an understanding of the interconnectedness of all the activities of a nation, from politics to business.

In fact, a global business experience project is required of all Georgetown MBA students. It's an opportunity to travel to places such as Prague, Vietnam, Brazil, and China in the second year to work on a consulting project for a company. This program has attracted a lot of students.

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