By Kara Sherrer
This January, Vanderbilt Business launched a new admission offering for current Vanderbilt seniors, VU2MBA. Designed to support the new Vanderbilt Minor in Business, VU2MBA better reflects the current job market; many employers expect MBA-graduate hires to have at least 2-3 years of qualified work experience in addition to the advanced degree.
“It’s about the job demands and our commitment to helping with realistic employment options,” said Chief Admissions Officer Tami Fassinger.
Through VU2MBA, current Vanderbilt undergraduates can apply to the MBA program at Owen during the spring of their senior year, or within two months of graduation. If accepted, applicants may matriculate to the MBA program after working for 2-3 years.
The Owen Admissions staff provides informational coaching to help accepted seniors clarify their career goals and identify ideal pre-MBA work experiences. Owen staff members will also keep in touch with accepted VU2MBA applicants, counseling them on their work experience and helping them identify when to return to school.
“We’ll advise you on what makes a great pre-MBA work experience that will get employers interested in you, and then you can come get your MBA with 2-3 years of experience instead of 4-5,” Fassinger added.
The VU2MBA option allows applicants to complete the application and take the GMAT before graduating; students often score higher on the GMAT if they take it while still in college, and the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) offers special pricing ($150) for undergraduates who take the exam while still in school. Applicants can also schedule their interview with Owen admissions staff while they are still on campus.
We’ll advise you on what makes a great pre-MBA work experience that will get employers interested in you, and then you can come get your MBA with 2-3 years of experience instead of 4-5. – Tami Fassinger
Applicants must have a proven record of academic achievement at Vanderbilt and a GMAT score of 700 or higher. They must also have completed one or more qualifying internships and secured a qualifying entry-level job prior to finalizing the application. Examples of ideal jobs include an analyst role at a premier consulting firm or investment bank or an out-of-country transformative life experience.
“You have to think about what these major employers would want to see in a pre-MBA work experience. We use the pattern of (what candidates) have been hired before to help advise VU2MBA students on better choices,” Fassinger said.
To secure their place in a future MBA class, accepted applicants must submit a required deposit of $2,000 for VU2MBA by the August 5, 2018 deadline. The year they plan to matriculate, they must submit a second Deferred Deposit of $500 by January 5 of their desired enrollment year.
The VU2MBA admissions option is different from the 3/2 program; VU2MBA is a deferred enrollment option. In the 3/2 program, students apply to Owen their junior year at Vanderbilt. If accepted, they spend three years at VU undergrad and two years at Owen, taking five years to complete their undergraduate degree and MBA. Few students pursue a 3/2 program for employment reasons, as employers usually want an MBA hire to have several years of work experience.