Tepper Business School Interview

Do you have any special instructions or advice for applicants who wish to visit the business school’s campus?

We encourage people to visit.  We have a set sequence of opportunities to offer visitors, which includes a chance to sit in on a class, attend an information session conducted by a member of the admissions team, have a tour of our campus and facilities and have lunch with students. This allows candidates to get a feel for the environment beyond what our Web site and our printed publications show.

How big is the international presence on campus?

Within the MBA program, our international student population is around 30% and that doesn’t include citizens of other countries who are permanent residents of the U.S.  We will typically have 35 countries represented in the MBA program at any one time.  One of the events that all of us look forward to every year is international week which coincides with our Welcome Weekend for new students.  All of our international students do presentations about their countries.  It is a great event, with lots of food, music and introductions to the business culture.

Can you briefly describe the housing situation for your students?

I should start by mentioning that housing is really affordable in Pittsburgh — a distinct advantage compared to other major cities in the US.  The housing for our graduate students is off campus and there are several wonderful neighborhoods adjacent to the Carnegie Mellon campus where most of our students choose to find apartments or houses.  We have a Community Housing office on campus that keeps a database of available housing.  Students also share information on student-run discussion boards where listings of apartments that our graduating students are leaving are recommended to our entering students.

What distinguishes the Tepper MBA and its students?

Our program fundamentally teaches students skills that help them solve problems.  We believe analytical decision making is fundamental to all of the various parts of study within our MBA.  Recruiters often say that our students are very good at going into organizations and making a very immediate impact on the organization or business that they joined by using these acquired skills.  Our students also have a great deal of flexibility and options within the program.  We follow a mini-semester course structure so every 7 ½ weeks our full-time students are taking a new set of five classes.  So over two years they have the opportunity to take more than 30 classes of which one-half are required and the rest are electives.  We offer more than 100 electives within the MBA program to students in a typical year.  There is a great deal of flexibility to customize the program to meet a student’s individual interests.  Our program director talks about the two “Ts”.  They are teams and technology.  Our students are very adept at collaborating with other people and they are also very comfortable with technology and change.  Finally, our community in general distinguishes us from other programs.  Our students really bond quickly.  Our full time program is relatively small, so it is easier for students to get to know faculty (1:5 faculty to student ratio) and to build strong relationships with other students and alumni.

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