[0:34] Q: How can applicants best demonstrate their suitability for the programme they are applying to?
[0:38] A: We run a very small programme compared to some American programmes, which are much larger. We at NEOMA do things on a more personalised basis. My advice to people who want to demonstrate their suitability for the programme is to interact with the admissions staff.
[1:20] Q: What are some common mistakes that applicants can easily avoid in the application process?
[1:27] A: That’s a good question because there are a lot of easily avoidable mistakes. Typically, they come up in the essay part, which asks applicants to explain themselves and describe their motivation. Spelling mistakes and not very concise writing are some of the most common mistakes. As a general rule, the harder you work on your essay, the easier it makes it for us as admissions officers. Applicants should try to submit concise, clear, error-free essays.
[2:23] Q: And what are the common mistakes during the interview?
[2:32] A: The main point is to get to know the applicant as a person. For example, what are they like to work with? What are their goals? What motivates them? Applicants should be able to communicate who they are. This is a skill we focus on in our programme. Some people get off topic or talk only about their job. However, I want to know more about you as a person and I want to hear personal stories.
[3:34] Q: What questions can candidates ask during the interview?
[3:51] A: The easy answer to that question is that aspirants should ask questions showing that they have done their research. And that applies to every single programme out there. If you’ve done your research and ask questions that cannot be answered by consulting the school’s website, clearly I will be more interested in you as a candidate because you’ve done your homework.
[4:21] Q: Do you accept the GMAT and the GRE? Or, maybe, you have an internal test?
[4:27] A: We have discussed introducing a possible internal test but for now we use the GMAT and the GRE. The GMAT is the primary test people take for business school admissions but the GRE may be more suitable if you have a different set of strengths. But ultimately what we do, and I think most business schools do, is they translate the GRE score into a GMAT score.
[5:06] Q: Do you favour some GMAT and GRE sections over others?
[5:13] A: No. We accept and we recommend standardised testing but we don’t have a strong emphasis on it. Our approach is more personal and the interview is very important. However, we want to see your quantitative abilities. And that’s generally what most business schools want to see. We look at the overall score and check if you can handle the math.
[5:59] Q: How important is the GMAT score for getting a scholarship at NEOMA?
[6:07] A: I get this question all the time. If two candidates have similar experiences, similar backgrounds, similar profiles, they are both applying for a scholarship and one has a GMAT score of 700 and the other has 600, it’s pretty hard to argue against giving it to the one with the 700 score. On this level, the GMAT can be a powerful tool because it’s an unbiased measurement.