Rudy Pino, director of recruiting and admissions for the full-time MBA program at Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business, is a longstanding affiliate of ASU. A graduate of the school, he recruited nonacademic employees in ASU's human-resources office for three years before taking over the admissions job in September, 2003. Prior to his ASU work, Pino was a professional development specialist at Inroads, a nonprofit that places underrepresented minorities into business and engineering jobs.
Pino recently spoke with BusinessWeek Online reporter Mica Schneider by phone and e-mail about how MBA admissions are shaping up this year at ASU. Here's an edited transcript of their conversation:
Q: How competitive will MBA admissions be this year? In 2003, the admissions office gave the nod to 29% of its applicants.
A: The admissions for our program gets more competitive each year, as applicants become better informed about our program and our competitors' programs. With [so much] information [about MBA programs] on the Web, applicants can compare programs. They can review financial-aid data and statistics about the student body to decide whether they fit the student profile and the MBA program.
Q: How does that make your program more competitive?
A: When applicants are more informed, there's more competition between schools for that candidate. As things get more competitive, we're focusing on our academics, especially our specializations. We're offering more services to each [accepted] applicant to ensure that we develop a community and that the career center is connected with students early so that they're successful in finding [post-MBA] full-time employment. They're part of a school that's on an upward trajectory.
Lastly, they have the opportunity to network with our faculty, one of whom, Edward Prescott, has won the Erwin Plein Nemmers prize in economics, a top award for economic academics.
[Editor's note: The Carey School allows second-year MBAs to focus their studies and pursue dual-degrees in the following areas: supply-chain management, services marketing and management, information management, financial management and markets, health-services administration, and sports business.]
Q: When is the best time to apply?
A: Apply early in the process, before the end of December, and before Mar. 1 if you wish to attend the Preview Weekend event in late March.
Q: What's Preview Weekend?
A: The event provides accepted applicants an opportunity to get acquainted with the people who contribute to the success of our program -- our leading business partners, our current MBA students, and our internationally recognized faculty. They will also meet other applicants who are looking to pursue their MBA at Arizona State. Of course, weekend visitors also get to experience the richness of our Southwestern lifestyle, fun-filled Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe, and the cultural amenities of metropolitan Phoenix.
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