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Getting Into Business School – Expert Advice

Interview with Marc Zeugner, MBA Admissions Officer at the Hult International Business School

Hult_1We recently had the opportunity to pick the brain of Marc Zeugner in the admissions office at the Hult International Business School. If you’ve never considered an international business degree, you might be interested to learn some of its unique benefits — especially in a world of business that is becoming increasingly global in nature. More generally, Marc shares important tips and considerations about the MBA admissions process that will help you improve your chances of getting into business school. Enjoy!

DTG: Please tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been with HULT and what are your primary responsibilities? What was your background prior to joining the admissions department at HULT?

Marc: I have been with Hult for almost 6 years, and recently moved into the MBA admissions team to assist prospective students and help guide them through the application process. Having studied and worked in numerous countries, my background is very international. Before I joined the Hult admissions department I managed international exchange programs in Germany for high school students seeking to spend a year abroad. I am convinced that gaining international experience in a globalized world is among the best advantages that young business professionals can get.

DTG: For students familiar with the traditional American business school model — one campus, one location, one degree — how does HULT differ? How exactly does an International MBA work?

Marc: Our program is extremely unique and was built around the idea that the business world is only going to become more global. Hult’s Global Campus Rotation option allows students the opportunity to live and study in up to three of our seven locations in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai, New York, or São Paulo. We are known for being international, but we are also really proud to have been named #1 in Post Graduate Percentage Salary Increase by The Economist. I think that’s a testament to our curriculum’s focus on hands-on learning.

DTG: Why should students consider an International Business school?

Marc: Top companies are now seeking to hire individuals who have international experience and who possess the ability to navigate the subtleties of different cultures. Our curriculum is designed to give students an inside look at the world’s fastest-growing economies and examine international business practices close-up.

Hult_2DTG: What should a prospective business school applicant expect in terms of the MBA admissions process?

Marc: Applying to business school can be pretty daunting, but we try to make it as painless as possible for our candidates. Once you submit the online application portion we have a team of admissions people available to help you prepare your supplemental materials.

DTG: What are three things that you’re most looking for in a prospective applicant in terms of being a good fit for HULT — or for business school in general?

Marc: The ideal Hult student understands the new globalized business world. They have a desire to gain hands-on international experience—not just learn from case studies in the classroom. We actively seek out individuals from a variety of industries who not only fit our student profile, but who will, more importantly, enrich the experience of the entire student body.

DTG: Is there anything that would be a red flag in an applicant, or anything you’re trying to weed out in the application process?

Marc: You don’t own a passport.

DTG: How important is the GMAT in your eyes, and how predictive is it of success in business school?

Marc: The GMAT is, of course, important—you always have to have a point of common measure—but it’s not everything. These days, softs skills can be just as important as hard skills, so we really look at our candidates as individuals who bring with them the sum of their total experience.

DTG: How much weight are you putting into the new Integrated Reasoning score on the GMAT?

Marc: We were excited to see this become a new section. Hult’s curriculum is strongly rooted in practical application, so this is a useful indication to better understanding how a student will handle real-life data.

Hult_3DTG: Do high GMAT scores factor in to whether a student will receive a scholarship, and how much?

Marc: For our Academic Excellence Scholarship, it is a big factor. For the others it is one part of a number of factors we take into account. 

DTG: Of the major components of a business school application — Essays, resume, interview, GMAT, recommendations, work experience — are there one or two that you view as most important?

Marc: That’s a hard question to answer. I think most business schools these days are looking at candidates from a holistic perspective. It truly is the sum of all parts.

DTG: What are some tips you’d give to an applicant to really set himself/herself apart from his peers in the application process?

Marc: Whether you are applying to business school or applying for a job, I think it’s always key to highlight where you have been and where you’d like to go. Having a clear objective, action, and outcome plan are key to your future success in business, and in life.

DTG: Is the MBA degree still the best business degree to get, or are you seeing more and more students getting more specialized business degrees such as Masters of Finance or Masters of Marketing degrees?

Marc: We are seeing an equal amount of candidates seeking both, which is why we have broadened our offerings over the years to include both our one-year MBA and four specialized Master Degree programs in Finance, Marketing, Business, and Social Entrepreneurship.

Hult_6DTG: How much time should a student expect to spend on the application process? When are the deadlines at HULT and when should students begin preparing their application?

Marc: The application process depends on the individual, but generally you can complete the online application in less than an hour. Gathering the other supplemental materials can take a bit more time. We have staggered deadlines throughout the year and we have an upcoming one on May 5.  Our admissions team aims to give candidates a decision within 3-4 weeks of completing their full application.

DTG: Do you have any final thoughts or suggestions for our readers?

Marc: Getting your MBA is a big decision, so I recommend candidates really consider the unique pros and cons of each school they are looking at. Your education will only be as meaningful as your individual ability to work within the culture of the school, teaching style, and structure. Hult prides itself on real-life experience—which includes faculty who are also working professionals, a curriculum that is based on team-work, and that offers students an unprecedented opportunity to experience the world while they study. That may not be for everyone—but if it’s for you we’re confident you’re going to emerge with a valuable degree and valuable experience.

DTG: Thank you for your time and for this great insight. I know our readers will really benefit from it!


Upcoming Event:
Online GMAT Tutorial with Oxford graduate and 780 score holder, Chuck Dreyer.

April 16, 2013
11am – 12pm EST