MBA Admissions Q&A: Melbourne Business School |

MBA Admissions Q&A: Melbourne Business School

By Mike Grill

Updated February 14, 2021 Updated February 14, 2021

Melbourne Business School admissions
The business school of the prestigious University of Melbourne, Melbourne Business School is the highest-placed Australian school in the QS Global 200 MBA rankings for the Asia Pacific region. The school has a 60-year history and was the first school in Australia to offer an MBA.

Australia, of course, can be a very appealing destination for an MBA student. Let’s put aside all the stereotypes about lifestyle for a moment, and instead focus on the nation’s highly developed and complex economy, its proximity to the strident Asian economies which are set to dominate the future of global business and the small matter of the astronomical salaries enjoyed by graduates of Australian schools.

We spoke to Celeste Armstrong, director of enquiries and admissions, to get the lowdown on what this antipodean powerhouse of business education is looking for in an MBA candidate.

What is the typical acceptance rate to the Melbourne Business School MBA program?

For the full-time program, the figure is 60%. However, this does not take into account much of the informal screening process that occurs before an application is submitted. Our recruitment involves multiple touch-points with prospective candidates, and during this time if we feel that they are not the best fit for the program, then we will counsel them against applying before a formal application is submitted. 50% of the class is typically international, but as Australia has a huge multicultural dimension, many domestic students hold dual nationality.

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

The interview – we insist on personally interviewing all candidates, either by phone or Skype. This provides great insight into their motivation to apply and their ability to contribute to the learning process for other students. We also take this opportunity to assess a candidate’s potential and future employability. Diversity is important; we want unique, interesting students who are able to offer a different perspective in the classroom and contribute to the learning process for other students.

What is one mistake you see applicants make?

A lack of clarity when it comes to why they are interested in an MBA. This includes poor preparation in thinking about their career progression and how an MBA is relevant to that, and also vague ideas about working in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region without looking into what is involved in securing a job in these particular markets. The MBS MBA one-year full-time program is intense – the level of preparation devoted to the application process is a good indicator of their preparedness to commit to the workload of the program.

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

We look for well-rounded candidates who are able to articulate their place in the world and their potential contributions; in short, someone who is able to think beyond themselves.

 What does the MBS application process look like?

It’s an online application and we require the following – four personal statements, the contact details of two referees, a copy of undergrad transcripts, and postgrad if applicable, a GMAT score, proof of citizenship,a CV/résumé, and proficiency in English if their undergraduate degree was not taught in English.

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

In addition to the documents listed above, international students will need a student visa – we recommend that students apply early to allow themselves enough time to secure a visa. Also, international students are advised to arrive early to secure living arrangements before the term starts. Our admissions office will provide assistance in this regard.

How can a candidate overcome a lower GMAT score?

Preparation for GMAT is critical. There are practice tests available and practice is highly recommended. If the score is low but they excel in the other criteria, such as the quality of work experience and in the interview, then we may offer candidates the opportunity to improve their GMAT score.

Admissions tips

Personal statements: Be concise. We’re looking for well-developed communication skills, and we want to see you answer the question we are asking. This is the only section of your written application where you can stand out, be yourself and provide responses that truly reflect who you are. No quotes unless they are essential to make your point!

Interview: Be engaged and thoughtful – that means thinking and clearly articulating why you want to pursue an MBA, your career objectives and how you plan to achieve these objectives

Referee contact details: They should be professional referees, and at least one should be someone you have directly reported into. We want to understand your strengths and weaknesses in a workplace environment

CV/résumé: Should be concise and shows clearly your career progression, achievements and outside/extracurricular interests

School visit: If you can’t make a visit, then attendance at one of our global information session is highly recommended. We travel frequently to meet you in your own country and offer webinars throughout the year.

This article was originally published in May 2015 . It was last updated in February 2021

Want more content like this Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

Written by

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.