business

Krannert's Personal Touch

Admissions Director Jamie Hobba says the school's size, and opportunity for interaction with the faculty, sets it apart

William "Jaime" Hobba is director of admissions for professional master's programs at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University (No. 26 in BusinessWeek's 2002 rating of full-time MBA programs) in West Lafayette, Indiana. Hobba took over admissions in late January, 2004, though his academic admissions career spans 20 years. He earned his MBA from Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management.

He recently spoke with BusinessWeek Online reporter Mica Schneider about how he screens professionals for Purdue's full-time MBA program. Here's an edited transcript of their discussion:

Q: How will Krannert's admissions change under your direction?

A:

I'm still working on my plan. Things weren't broken, but there is always room for improvement.

Q: By what percent did MBA application volume fall this past admissions season?

A:

International application volume dipped 32%. Domestic applications increased 4%.

Q: Krannert typically enrolls 150 MBAs each autumn. How many will you welcome in 2004?

A:

About 130. We also have about 35 MBAs in our one-year program, the Master of Science in Industrial Administration (MSIA), and 25 in our Master of Science in Human Resource Management program.

Q: What did you do to entice MBAs to Krannert?

A:

They're in the mix of Purdue University, with 38,000 students, tons of research and technology...but we're small enough to emphasize a lot of personal attention to [MBAs]. There's a lot of interaction with faculty. And [we have] the year-old Rawls Hall.

Q: How do you differentiate Krannert from rival MBA programs?

A:

Technology and analytical methods are central to our mission. That's not to say our MBAs are quant jocks. Students come out of the program with some really good tools to make data-driven decisions...and critical thinking skills to help analyze issues. Size is another big differentiator and draw. And our students are pretty down to earth.

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