The Michigan Business School has received many accolades over the years. It is one of only 4 business schools consistently ranked in the top 10 by BusinessWeek since the publication first began tracking business school rankings in 1988. It is also ranked number 2 by BusinessWeek in general management and it can very arguably be considered the best public graduate business school in the country.

The University of Michigan Business School is situated in Ann Arbor, a town consistently ranked amongst the best places to live in the United States. Ann Arbor has numerous public parks and is conveniently located only 30 minutes from Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The opportunity to take in a Wolverines game in the nation’s largest football stadium is also something that many applicants find enticing.

As nice as the rankings and quality of life are, the most impressive aspect of Michigan Business School is how well the school differentiates itself. The school’s unique approach – action-based learning and interdisciplinary, team-oriented situations – develops leaders and ideas that change the way business is conducted. Additionally, the school’s curriculum allows for a highly-customized education through an extraordinary range of options and attributes.

The fall application is expected to be released in early August.

Below is the three-page transcript of our interview with Kristina Nebel, Director of Strategic Planning and Outreach, on July 19, 2004.

What new changes are occurring on campus and how is the Michigan Business School evolving?

At Michigan Business School the feature of how we approach management education surrounds a philosophy of action-based learning. We have been developing our Multi-Disciplinary Action Projects (MAP) for about 10 years now. MAP might mean working internationally with a business incubator in Israel on a market entry strategy into Europe or America, or with a non-profit organization in the Dominican Republic which works for servicing children with HIV. This approach gives students practice with business strategy and organizational structure relative to their core curriculum. Students spend the last seven weeks of their first year on a MAP team focusing on this in-action learning. MAP is a very unique experience to the Michigan School of Business.

What general advice would you like applicants considering Michigan Business School’s MBA to know?

When considering a business school, you should really think about what you are looking for from the experience and in terms of your professional and personal development. First of all, is an MBA the right degree for you? Presuming it is, what do you want to gain from this experience? What are you trying to develop in yourself: overcoming weaknesses, developing strengths, pursuing challenges, etc. Which schools match best with your objectives and in what type of environment do you thrive? At Michigan, we expect our students to actively engage with us in creating their educational experience. Initiative and active participation is a pre-requisite. I recommend a visit to our campus to get a feel for what the University of Michigan is all about. As you evaluate various schools, be sure to understand each program’s philosophy, how students achieve their MBA objectives, and determine if it is the right fit for you.

Does your Admissions Department provide profile feedback for individuals considering the MBA program at the University of Michigan?

We offer counseling appointments by telephone or in person. This is not so much a screening of prospective applicants, but more of a dialogue, addressing one’s interest in the program while addressing a prospective student’s questions about the MBA path in general, as well as the Michigan experience overall.

When do you encourage applicants to apply?

Michigan Business School has three decision rounds. They are November 1, January 7, and March 1. We encourage students to apply in the first two rounds. Because we conduct many recruiting events in the spring, a lot of interaction will be missed if the student applies in the last round.

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