Admissions dean: “I start with the admissions interview report”

“I start with the admissions interview report when reviewing candidates during admissions committee,” says Rebekah Lewin, the assistant dean of admissions at University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. This week, we discuss why the dean reviews interview reports before any other aspect of the application, what parents should do to help their kids get into selective schools like Rochester, and how admissions will evolve. To catch up from the first part of our interview, click here.

Many people know that grad schools have a long list of admissions criteria, but admissions deans often have their favorites among the list. When you’re reviewing apps, what aspect of the app do your eyes dart toward first? Is that section also the most important to you?

A lot of times I will start with the admissions interview report when we are reviewing candidates during admissions committee.  This is usually a succinct synopsis of the academic, professional, and community activities for the candidate and it then serves as a comparison to the essays, resume, transcripts, test scores, and other aspects of the application.

What should parents of future professionals know and share with their kids about getting into a selective business school like Rochester Simon in the future? Are there any common misconceptions?

Parents should encourage their child to use their college years to try a variety of internships, while also doing their best academically during undergrad.  These experiences often serve as important stepping stones for their future professional development.  Grad-school “fit” is similar to college “fit” – find the right B-school for you.  Making connections with current students, alumni and faculty during the recruiting process can help guide a student about whether it will provide the right academic, professional and social experiences they are seeking.

Have you regretted any part of your career as admissions dean? What do you wish you could’ve done instead?

I try learn from mistakes rather than live in regret!  I learned early in my career that humility and a willingness to take feedback to heart is important as a manager and a leader.

Since taking on your role, what’s your biggest surprise?

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