Last Updated on December 2, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
In recent months, the business school world has been rocked by the departure of multiple admissions directors from some of the industry’s most prestigious institutions. Renowned schools such as Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia have all seen their admissions teams undergo significant changes.
What makes these departures even more noteworthy is that many of the exiting directors were seasoned professionals with a wealth of experience and expertise in the field. Their departures signal a substantial loss for their respective schools and highlight the challenges faced by admissions teams during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
While some of these former admissions directors have transitioned to new roles at other universities, others have taken on positions as student admissions consultants. This shift in career paths is something that has piqued the interest of current and former admissions officers, leading to speculation about the possible connection between these departures and the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The pandemic has greatly impacted the admissions process for business schools. Testing centers have closed, limiting students’ access to exams required for admissions. Additionally, travel restrictions and border closures have made it nearly impossible for admissions officers to meet prospective students in person.
Shelly Heinrich, an associate dean for admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, sheds light on the impact of Covid-19 on her job. Heinrich emphasizes the difficulty of not being able to travel and engage with potential students face-to-face, a crucial aspect of the admissions process. This sentiment echoes the sentiments of many admissions professionals grappling with the limitations imposed by the pandemic.
The mass exodus of admissions directors from top-ranked business schools serves as a stark reminder of the hurdles faced by these institutions during these challenging times. It also underscores the importance of adapting to the new normal and finding innovative ways to engage with prospective students.
As schools continue to navigate the ever-changing landscape of business education, it remains to be seen how these departures will shape the future of admissions. However, it is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has left an indelible mark on the way business schools approach the admissions process, forcing them to rethink traditional methods and explore new avenues for recruitment and evaluation.