For Eller Students, the professional admissions process for admittance into the college is the considered both an end and a beginning; an end to pre-business courses and preparation and a beginning of their majors, lots of teamwork, and upper division focus. As you prepare your application, reflection on the last two years of hard work comes to mind as you think of all the study sessions, freshman leadership programs, courses, exams, and club meetings you’ve attended. Resumes reflect all this hard work as you try to verbalize and condense your engagement and the mass amount of information you learned since stepping on campus as a Pre-Business major. As you hit print on your application, the nerves of the skills assessment and interview process begin. Many of us start seeking out our upper division friends and mentors for advice on how to best prepare, study sessions, and to borrow a tie or iron last minute! It becomes the topic for over 500 of us the decision date.
Although in the moment it can feel a little overwhelming, the admissions process really does prepare students for their future applications to jobs and internships. Eller’s professional admissions process is designed to simulate an interactive job application and interview process so that each graduating student can have, at minimum, one experience of this scenario upon entering the workforce. Students apply to the college with an updated resume and cover letter indicating their interest in their specific major. In preparation for the application process, students focus on career related involvement opportunities on campus, employment and volunteer work. Students take a skills assessment to validate their understanding of core business concepts from the lower division business coursework. The process concludes with an interview with alumni or local businessmen and women. The interview process is similar to an entry-level job, featuring behavioral based questions, as well as an ethical prompt from a case study students were asked to review.
The hands on experience this process provides to students creates a sense of pride and accomplishment as they enter their upper division coursework. They continue to evolve and engage in their courses and in collegiate opportunities to build their resume and network. Having a professional interview process is so important because it tests you in how you would actually perform in a professional setting, rather than just turning in an application. It gives you a chance to decide whether that is the right path for you, and what major is the best one for you. In addition, the professional admissions process motivates applicants to do well in their first couple years of college. Overall, this creates a better and more prepared business student upon their graduation from the college.
This process is so special to the Eller Experience because it’s truly transformational. The outcome isn’t going to be the same for all those that apply. All students who go through this process will come out with a new path on the other side, but for many, it won’t be the path that they expected. However, that path is still an enlightened one. For some, it will mean starting the Upper Division Eller Cohort. For others, it will mean reapplying, and for a few it will mean choosing a new educational path. This potential for change is what brings the stress to the entire process, but it is in that fire of stress that we become ready for the next stage.
Regardless of the outcome, we are made better for having gone through the process. We are more prepared for the next phase of life, for the next professional challenge, for the next academic adventure. Wherever that next path starts or wherever it leads us, we also know that we are part of an exclusive group. No other business school asks its students to face this challenge in this manner, to evaluate ourselves and put our best foot forward to our community. We have a shared experience and we collectively stepped up to the plate – to push ourselves, to prepare for the next step, to be ready to accept any outcome that we are faced with and to move forward in the world proud of what we’ve accomplished up to this point. We’ve made it to this end and we’re excited to see what the next beginning holds. It’s at this stage that we know that it’s time Bear Down and Suit Up.