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#50 Vanderbilt MBA Admissions Q&A with Christie St-John

Vanderbilt MBA Christie St-John

“People think that we’re a regional school – that if you come to Vanderbilt, you’re only going to get a job in Nashville or the Southeast and that’s just not true anymore. We have an international presence and have alumni all over Asia, Europe and Latin America… and all over the US… we have as many students on the West coast as we do on the Southeast.”

Christie St-John, Director of Admissions, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, joined the show to discuss the Vanderbilt MBA: a program focused on giving students a high-touch and flexible education that will prepare them well for internships and job placement success.

Vanderbilt’s medical, law and education programs are also highly ranked and Owen encourages its MBA students to study across disciplines. Nashville is the epicenter of the US healthcare industry, and Vanderbilt is one of the few business schools in the country to offer a Healthcare MBA.

Owen is focused on attracting the best students and award 70% of their students with scholarship funding based on merit. Christie makes it very clear that school takes a counseling approach in order to admit students who will succeed – and the school’s rising rankings and excellent job placement stats attest that her team has done so.

Christie also expands on Owen’s focus on leadership development, human organizational performance, its student culture, and of course, admissions. She has held leadership positions in admissions for Vanderbilt and Tuck for nearly 2 decades and gives great tips on how to present yourself in your essays and interviews – and on how to increase your scholarship chances.

Listen on for the insider’s scoop…

Touch MBA’s Vanderbilt MBA Essentials

Program Highlights (3:12)

  • Owen Graduate School of Management founded in 1969
  • 1 intake / year in August
  • Length: 21 months
  • Campus in Nashville, Tennessee
  • ~160 participants/intake
  • ~25 nationalities/intake, class is ~20% international
  • Partnership with 20 exchange schools
  • 5 specializations (including Health Care MBA), 7 concentrations
  • Rankings: #59 Financial Times 2013, #25 US News 2014, #25 Bloomberg Businessweek 2012, #34 Economist 2012, #25 Poets & Quants 2013
  • Among the top 25 MBA programs, Vanderbilt ranks 4th in percentage of students employed at graduation, according to US News and World Report.
  • Accredited by AACSB
  • Dual Degrees / Joint Programs: MBA/JD, MBA/MD, MBA/MDIV, MBA/MTS

Admissions (23:10)

  • 4 Deadlines from Oct – Mar, admissions decisions returned within 6-8 weeks
  • 918 applications received, 37% acceptance rate
  • Avg GMAT: 688 (80% range 640 – 740), Avg GPA: 3.4 (80% range 2.9-3.9)
  • Avg age: 28 (25 – 32), Avg work experience: 4.7, 2 years min work experience recommended
  • Min TOEFL: 600 (computer), 100 (internet), IELTS: 7
  • Interviews done by Admissions Committee – Owen also holds on-campus interviews for prospects
  • Adcom really values well-researched and congruent career goals – make sure you have transferrable skills you can sell to employers (and the adcom)

Financing (37:56)

  • Tuition
  • Full-time MBA Tuition: $92,250
  • Recommended budget: $140,000
  • Scholarships
  • 70% of participants awarded scholarships
  • Scholarship amounts range from $5,000 to full tuition; average was $23,000
  • Scholarships are merit and need based and awarded with decisions

Career (40:00)

  • Vanderbilt MBA – Full-time placement report Class of 2013 & 2014
  • 93% of graduates had jobs within 3 months of graduation
  • Average Salary (Bonus): $101,300 ($19,500)
  • Graduates in 2013 experienced 66% increase in salary
  • Top 5 regions graduates worked in: US South (39%), US West (21%), US Northeast (12%), US Southwest (9%), US Midwest (9%)
  • Top 5 recruiters: Deloitte (12%), Goldman Sachs (9%), Credit Suisse (9%), Capgemini (9%), Mars (9%)
  • 8,800+ alumni worldwide

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