MBA Admissions Q&A: Exeter Business School

MBA admissions interview with Exeter Business School

The University of Exeter Business School ranks among the top 50 MBA programs in Europe, according to the QS Global Business Schools Report 2014/15. Its full-time one-year program is known as the One Planet MBA for its emphasis on providing participants with a global outlook and encouraging them to enact positive change in the business world. Indeed, the University of Exeter is home to a recently-established research center dedicated to environmental and sustainability issues. Here to talk us through the particulars of admittance to the One Planet MBA is the program’s director, Nicolas Forsans:

Exeter Business School's MBA program director, Nicolas ForsansWhat is the typical acceptance rate to the One Planet MBA program? What is a typical ratio of domestic to international students accepted into the program?

About 25-30% of applicants are issued with an offer from us. As for the student ratio among those accepted, it’s approximately 75% international students versus 25% UK and EU citizens.

What are the most important aspects of the One Planet MBA application process besides GMAT score, prior GPA, and current job position?

We don’t use the GMAT. Instead, we rely on personal interviews to assess an applicant’s suitability to our program. We like to see evidence of an applicant’s ability to reflect on their own performance and abilities, and articulate the ways in which the One Planet MBA will help them transition towards more fulfilling roles and lives.

What is a common mistake you see applicants make?

Many applicants do not tailor their personal statement to the specific program they are applying to, nor do they articulate how the MBA will benefit them.

What is something you would like to see applicants do more often?

Be more reflective, self-critical and clear about the role an MBA will play in the personal and professional transformation process.

What does the Exeter Business School application process look like?

It is very effective, personal and supportive. We always keep applicants informed of the progress of their application, the whole application process rarely exceeds two to three weeks and we offer a wide range of funding opportunities.

What are some of the tests, official documents, and other hurdles that international students must deal with?

Transcript, two references and a 7.0 score on the IELTS [International English Language Testing System].

How can a candidate overcome a lower GMAT score?

We do not require the GMAT – a candidate’s suitability to the program is assessed through personal interviews.

MBA admissions tips

Personal statement: Make it personal and applicable to the specific program you are applying for.

Interview: Be clear about your objectives and have some relevant questions to ask the interviewer.

Letter of recommendation: Two letters are required, ideally one academic and one work reference.

CV/Résumé: Detailed, yet not too long. Take care to explain any ‘gaps’ and also emphasize any management or supervisory experience.

School visit: Plan ahead, ask to attend a live MBA lecture or activity and speak to our MBA participants while you’re there to get a feel for what it’s like to study our MBA.

Written by Mike Grill

Mike's remit covers content, SEO and blogger outreach. Outside of his work for, he is an assistant coach for MLU outfit, the Portland Stags.

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