No More PowerPoints at Booth?

The B-school application process is in the midst of a transformation of sorts, with earlier deadlines, a growing number of programs accepting the GRE,  and the introduction of audio and video components that help AdCom get a better feel for the person behind the paper.

Francesca Di Meglio‘s reporting of this revamp Monday in BusinessWeek singled out University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and the UCLA Anderson School of Management as the leaders in creating innovative MBA applications.

The PowerPoint presentation, used at Booth for the past few cycles, has enabled applicants to show another side of themselves and demonstrate how they navigate ambiguity through various frameworks and strategies. However, admissions may eliminate such presentations starting with applications for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Rose Martinelli, associate dean of student recruitment and admissions at Booth, told BusinessWeek the PowerPoint slides became rote and entirely too easy to predict. They didn’t showcase the applicant’s personality and help the admissions committee determine who is and isn’t a good fit, she explained.

Today, on her blog The Rose Report, Martinelli further clarified the issue. The admissions committee is in the process of thinking through each of the different application components, and this may be the end of the presentation requirement in its current form, she explains. No final decisions about next year’s application have been made, however.

“Again, our focus is not on creating a clever or ‘gimmicky’ application, but one that provides candidates the opportunity to convey the most relevant information that helps us to assess fit  in our selection process,” Martinelli writes.

Despite it all, she says the PowerPoint presentation has been an incredibly successful part of identifying students who are a great fit for Booth. Stay tuned to see how the program will use innovation to capture an applicant’s essence in next year’s application.

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