Cheryl Millington is director of MBA recruitment and admissions for the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management (No. 5 on BusinessWeek's 2002 ranking of non-U.S. B-schools). She became director of admissions in September, 2001. Before that, she focused on admissions for professional and international programs. Millington spoke recently with BusinessWeek Online's Mica Schneider. Following are edited excerpts of their discussion:
Q: Last we spoke, the Rotman School was enjoying a 25% surge in applications. What's the story in 2004?
A:An application decrease of 17%. But we saw an increase in a couple of places, such as [from] India [up 38%] and Latin America [up 15%]. Our yield is improving from Latin America, too -- from 42% to 60%.
Q: Where will you be recruiting MBAs this autumn?
A:We're adding London, Caracas, and Korea to our recruiting schedule, and we'll return to Shanghai and Beijing. We're also going to MBA fairs [around the globe].
Q: How else has the class mix changed since 2001?
A:Under 10% of the incoming class of 2006 is from Asia. The rest of the non-Canadian MBAs come from India, Latin America, Pakistan, and other countries. I've noticed more students from countries such as Iceland, the Bahamas, Greece, Egypt, and Belarus. These are places we didn't get students from before and places we haven't visited.
We're also enrolling students with more varied professional experience. It's not your typical consultant and finance background [in class]. We're getting architects and entrepreneurs.
Q: The final deadline for your application cycle is Apr. 30. When should applications cross your desk?
A:The earlier the better. Our Nov. 15 deadline is intended for international students who need a lot of lead time to get a student visa. We get lot of applications around our mid-January deadline, so the processing takes closer to six weeks rather than three to four weeks. If you apply later in the cycle, there are fewer opportunities for you to visit and to take part in events [on campus].
Q: Which section of the application do you look at first?
A:The resume. We're looking for really good work experience...with progression. But that doesn't mean the resume is the most important thing.
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