Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, January 13, 2006

MBA Admission Process: Wiki-Based Clear-Admit Has The Insider View

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Each year approximately 10,000 applicants apply to 'top tier' full time MBA Programs (Master degree in Business and Administration). MBA candidates have typically worked for a few years after their undergraduate experience and are now looking to return to school for a 2-year period. Their goal is the one of obtaining an MBA degree that prepares them for their professional career goals, which vary from investment banking to running non-profit organizations.

Photo credit: McGill MBA
The MBA admissions process has long been noted for its opaqueness.

A black box or in many cases a pretty mysterious process where the applicants have little insight into the decision-making minds of the esteemed admissions committees (adcoms) of the vaunted schools, such as Harvard, Wharton, and INSEAD.

The little transparency and extreme secrecy surrounding many a university MBA admission process started to loose its tight grip with the advent of the web, and in particular with the advent of discussion boards, such as Business Week and Wharton's own Student 2 Student.

In addition to these, individual bloggers have then started to have a strong informational impact on what it took and how to get around some of the key obstacles and issues encountered by students when applying to those most prestigious MBA programs.

In August 2002, Tad Holbie started theMBAWire blog, and now, there are literally dozens of applicant-bloggers writing about their MBA application process experience, as well as an even greater number of student-bloggers writing about their MBA business school experience.

MBALeague has become the key reference resource to turn to to learn who are the actual MBA applicant and student bloggers. Hella has created scripts that organize the most recent posts from bloggers of schools and applicants. Not last, Wharton itself has created its own adcomblog and Business Week remains the center of the MBA applicants community with its own discussions boards.

Things have indeed changed: MBA applicants now have access to insights and critical information about the MBA admission process that clearly was not available before, and, for the first time, such insider information can easily be shared with other applicants around the world thanks to very low-cost and user-friendly technologies of blogs and wikis.

Fueled by a natural spirit of cooperation and camaraderie emerging among wired would-be MBA students everywhere, content that was originally dispersed in many corners of the Internet started to get aggregated, selected and organized across blogs and independent sites maintained mostly by single individuals.

Clear Admit is a new wiki-based service that guides academic candidates through the grueling process of applying to top MBA programs. Its goal is to work with applicants from around the world to ensure that they maximize their success when applying to the best business schools.

Photo credit: University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire - MBA

Following an extensive period of beta testing Clear Admit has just launched its free and fully public MBA application process wiki insider.

Clear Admit is an MBA Applicant consulting firm that helps candidates prepare their applications for the process. This can involve developing an application strategy, and providing extensive feedback on the essays written by the candidates, and Clear Admit as any normal business consulting firm charges, and not little, for its consulting and advisory services to MBA applicants.

On the other hand, Clear Admit has enabled a powerful and free information sharing solution that allows any MBA applicant anywhere to gather and review lots of valuable and up-to-date information relating to the MBA admission process in each of the major MBA schools.

The Clear Admit MBA Admission Wiki uses a wiki technology as a resource in which applicants and students alike can contribute to and add their own insights, in a simple and very organized fashion.

The wiki, based on the wiki Jot technology, currently has 15 schools listed, and for each school there is a channel for:

  • interview experience,

  • application experience,

  • student experience,

  • and school bloggers.

Anyone in the community, with a user account, can add their interview experience, for example, and the hope is that those who benefited from the resource when preparing for the interview would then add their own interview experiences after it.

One key goal that Clear Admit is striving to achieve is the one of enabling a sufficient level of transparency to remove the bias that can occur when some applicants know more about the interview process than others, for example.

The wiki is structured so that each content section is on a separate page. Thus all interview reports for Wharton are separate from those of Stanford and Yale. The aim is to make navigation and content organization as easy as possible, while helping students find and share more easily only the specific information relevant to them.

Clear Admit is also supported by a blog which dutifully reports about wiki updates and new entries.

In this case, wiki technology demonstrates, how collaborative and cooperative interests by individuals that are physically disconnected can be made to converge and synergize to produce valuable insight and information not otherwise available anywhere else.

Alex Brown, Senior Manager, at Clear Admit has been the key source of information for this article for which he has provided lots of useful information and references.

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posted by Robin Good on Friday, January 13 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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