Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.
“Do I need to take the TOEFL if I attended an English-language undergraduate institution outside the United States?”
“Do I need to provide a separate transcript from the institution where I studied abroad for my junior year, even though these grades show up on my ‘home’ university’s transcript?”
“I completed military service before my undergraduate education. Can I still count these years in my ‘full-time work experience since graduation’ total?”
These are just a few examples of the technical questions that can arise as you complete the short-answer portion of your application (depending on the nature of your candidacy). The reason these and many other questions can be so bewildering is that often, no clear answer can be found in the school’s application materials, and tremendous variation exists from one application to the other.
Generally, candidates tend to think of MBA Admissions Offices as impenetrable black boxes, but the truth is that they are open and available to applicants, and admissions representatives indeed want to clarify these kinds of small technical issues that candidates may encounter. Although you should take care to not be a pest and avoid repeatedly calling the Admissions Office, if you have a small question or two with no clear-cut, obvious answers, do not be afraid to reach out. Why not take the guesswork out of the equation and be certain of what the admissions committee expects?