Meet the Newest Ross MBA Class and Find Out What They Have in Common

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Today marks one of my favorite days of the year. It’s the day we welcome the entire incoming Michigan Ross MBA class. The 400+ students in the Ross Class of 2017 embarked upon their MBA journey this morning. For some, this was the first time that they’ve been “in school” in more than a decade. For others, it’s been only a couple of years. Interestingly, and not by design, both the students with the most and the least work experience are physicians.

This year was our most competitive admissions year in more than a decade – both in terms of volume and quality of applications. At 708, this class has the highest GMAT average for an incoming Ross class. About 35 percent come from outside the U.S. and bring with them a wide range of experiences. Around 25 percent of the class comes from backgrounds that many applicants consider “non-traditional” including nonprofit, education, medicine, government, and the military.

In fact, this year’s class boasts the largest cohort of veterans and teachers to date.

The class also includes a former White House aide, a Broadway violinist, a former member of a boy band in Taiwan, the founders of a New York-based footwear company, and the founders of a single origin Colombian coffee company.

We’re particularly excited about the fit and chemistry of this class. Nearly two-thirds opted-in to the Team Exercise portion of our admissions process, signaling that they value the team-oriented environment at Ross and aren’t afraid of ambiguity (remember: applicants can’t “prepare” for the Team Exercise and they need to be able to work well with complete strangers in order to do well).

The one thing they all share is a passion for Ross. This is an enduring quality of our students and alumni, and one that I think sets us apart. Of course most school websites and emails show bright, smiling faces. We’re all trying to show our schools at their best. The real test of fit, though, is when you reach out to random students or visit schools or meet alumni in your cities.

Yes, I know fit isn’t the only thing to look for when evaluating schools. But it’s a very important one. It can mean the difference between just going through the motions so you can check the MBA box and loving your MBA experience. Ross isn’t a place where students check the box and get the great job. It’s a place where students come to grow, explore and engage not just in the classroom, but also outside of the classroom, in the community and overseas – to create things, to fail safely, to make an impact, and, of course, to get great jobs.

I’m thrilled to welcome this class and proud to be part of this community.

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Soojin Kwon

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rossadmissions@umich.edu

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