Our CMU Tepper Q&A proved to be yet another admissions interview success. If you made it to the event we hope you enjoyed it. If you were unable to attend the live webinar, you can review the Q&A transcript or listen to the audio on our website.
We ran out of time at the end of the Q&A and were left with a few unanswered questions. Below you will find the answers to those questions that James Frick was kind enough to answer for us via email.
Q: Do you view being unemployed and applying detrimental?
Not at all. We all understand it has been a difficult economy, and many exceptional candidates have faced similar challenging circumstances in recent years. In talking to students in years past who were laid off prior to applying for business school, it often turned out to be a blessing in disguise in that it put a plan into motion for them to ultimately better equip and prepare themselves for their career path by allowing them to refocus and add additional training and networking opportunities that an MBA program provides.
If you are facing a similar situation, we would recommend that you be proactive in speaking to it in your application materials (most likely, the essays and interview). You also want to demonstrate the positive steps you have taken in the time since you have been unemployed (i.e. researching post-MBA career paths, becoming more involved with a non-profit or community organization).
Q: In my opinion, one of Tepper’s key strengths is in combining technology and management. Does this reflect in its preference for candidates?
There are many students who come from a technical background and are drawn to our program because they want to be a leader or a strategist in that space. However, there are many others who choose the Tepper School because they have not yet had this experience or training and feel it will be a powerful addition to their skillset. In a typical year, we see nearly a 50/50 split between students who come from a technical background with their undergraduate studies and those who come from a more non-technical background.
There are indeed numerous opportunities in the curriculum for students to focus their studies in technology, including the general MBA with concentrations in information systems and strategy, and our track in Technology Leadership, which combines courses from the Tepper School with graduate courses in the School of Computer Science. However, students who choose to focus in other areas will still leave the program adept at utilizing technology in strategic decision making through their exposure to it in our required course sequence.
Q: What opportunities do families of students have to be involved with the Tepper community?
Our close-knit community extends well beyond current students to include partners, children and pets! We have a terrific partner group which does a great job in building your network and scheduling all sorts of social and cultural activities. You can visit them online at: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/current-students/current-graduate-students/student-clubs/tepper-partners-club/index.aspx. Most activities outside of the classroom, such as our weekly social, B**rs, as well as larger events such as casino night are open to all students and partners. In times past, partners of current students have taken courses at the larger university as a non-degree seeking student, or audited courses from the Tepper School (on occasion, the partner has also opted to pursue her/his MBA from the Tepper School as well J). The university also offers a partner ID for a nominal fee, which grants partners access to university resources such as libraries, computer labs, and athletic facilities.
View the full Q&A transcript or listen to the mp3 recording of the event now!
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