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February 9, 2010

ADMISSIONSCONSULTANTS' PRESIDENT QUOTED ON 'BLEMISHES' IN MBA APPLICATIONS

Blemishes on an applicant's record – a low grade, a lapse of ethics – will not automatically bounce an MBA candidate into the 'reject' pile to prestigious MBA programs, say experts who weigh in on the matter in Feb. 9 edition of The Daily Pennsylvanian, the campus newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania.

President of AdmissionsConsultants, Inc. David Petersam said what is important is giving the school reason to believe you won't make the same mistake again. "There is no such thing as the perfect person," he said. AdmissionsConsultants, which has been advising MBA applicants since 1996, has helped many clients relate personal transformations triggered by poor judgment or poor performance.

The issue, say admissions officers, is how applicants overcame problems, and how they served as a catalyst for changing their habits, practices, or leadership style. MBA admissions committees also want to hear what applicants learned about themselves during the process of improving their grades or habits.

The article cautioned that applicants cannot hope that blemishes won't be noticed. "A hundred percent of the time, we will notice – it's our job to notice," said an MBA admissions officer at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

Yet, applicants are judged with a holistic approach, which measures several aspects – academic performance, leadership potential, essays, goals and recommendations. "We want people who have made mistakes but who have also shown us how they've learned and grown from them," the admissions officer said.

 

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