Now that our Round 2 deadline is just around the corner (November 18!), I’ve been speaking with many candidates who ask me about the competitiveness of getting into Ivey’s MBA Program. They want to know how hard it is, if they measure up, how many applications we get per year, etc., etc. I understand their anxiety; a lot of time and effort goes into putting together an MBA application and it’s a huge financial and personal investment. It’s hard not to want some type of guarantee that it will all be worth it.
What I tell them is this: yes. Ivey’s is a competitive program. We have a very thorough and thoughtful admissions process that involves a diligent team of about a dozen people. From the time you hit submit on your application to the time that you are given an admissions decision, you can bet that numerous people have reviewed your application and our admissions team has spent time getting to know you and your goals – even before you’ve submitted your application. This finely tuned and rigorous assessment process is what derives the best class quality of any MBA program in Canada.
The only way that Ivey can be the best business school in Canada is to admit the best people, and a thoughtful admissions process helps us do just that. We owe it to you, our applicants, to ensure that when you come into the Ivey MBA classroom you will be learning from the brightest young leaders of your generation. This means that we hold all of our applicants to exactly the same benchmark and admissions standards – quality work experience (of at least two years), demonstrated academic potential via transcripts and GMAT, clear career goals and ‘fit’ with our program experience.
We all know that if you want to develop your skills and increase your knowledge of anything – whether it be in education, or in sports, or a specific subject area – you have to learn from those who are just as good as, or better than, you. Year after year, we hear our students talk about how impressed they are by the backgrounds and experiences of their classmates and how they learn just as much from each other as they do from the professor.
It’s also a reason that we like to measure the success of our program by the success of our alumni. We have the highest average starting salaries of any Canadian business school, 2 in 5 grads at the Director-level or higher in his/her organization, and more grads on the Top 40 Under 40 list than any other business school. We think that our track record of admitting the best young leaders speaks for itself.
So when a candidate asks me, “What are my chances of getting in?” it’s impossible for me to give an impulse answer. There is a carefully thought-out process to our admissions decisions that involves the input of many key decision-makers at the school. To ensure that we set our students up for success in the program and post-MBA, we do a careful evaluation of the person, and not the application – so although our admissions decisions take time, candidates can rest assured that they are decisions made with confidence.
So yes – the admissions process is competitive. But if you want to make your MBA a valuable experience by learning from and with the best, would you want it any other way?