As a student Ambassador in my second year of b-school, I get asked a lot of questions. From responding to email inquiries from around the world, to hosting the casual visitor during class, to having lunch with nervous prospective students right before their big interviews with Earl, I can safely say I’ve heard it all.
As such, I’ll try to answer some FAQs for anyone considering the UC Davis Graduate School of Management as their future home. Below are my personal answers to the most common questions we get asked by visiting students:
Why did you choose UC Davis?
I personally chose UC Davis for a number of reasons. The biggest one was cultural fit. I knew immediately after visiting the GSM that its inviting, collaborative atmosphere would be conducive to my learning and development. Everyone I met was so friendly and open to my questions. I had an immediate sense of belonging that I didn’t get from visiting other campuses. My advice to others is to visit the schools you are interested in and see what feels right for you. (Check out this blog post by Chris for tips on getting the most out of your visit to the GSM.)
I also chose the GSM due to its vicinity to the Bay Area. My area of professional interest is in e-commerce, so being close to San Francisco and Silicon Valley was critical for me. My family is also based out of the Bay Area, so that was also a major factor in my decision.
How diverse is the GSM?
A surprising number of prospective students have asked me this question, and it’s always a fun one for me to answer because we are diverse in so many ways. I’ll do my best to cover the main areas where diversity is key.
In terms of ethnic/racial diversity, our student body represents 12 countries, with 20 languages spoken. Each class has roughly 40% international students, which really enables us to learn so much more from each other, as our experiences are varied in many ways and collaboration is key in b-school.
Women make up a big part of the GSM as well. Over 40% of our faculty and staff are women – that is among the highest percentage at top global business schools. Our student body ranges from 30-40% female as well, and our Women in Leadership club is very active.
We’re also ranked #1 by The Economist for the diversity of recruiters and industry sectors that provide career opportunities for our grads. We represent a diversity of industries and job functions, which you can learn more about here.
The GSM prides itself on the fact that our students are not “cookie cutter” MBAs – we really are a diverse group, and we like it that way. Visit our admissions page for even more info on diversity at the GSM.
- How do I prepare for my admissions interview?
Lucky for you, I’ve already written a blog post on this subject! Click here to learn what to wear, what the team is looking for in future students, and more. You’re welcome.
What is the work-life balance like in business school?
The answer to this question is different for everyone. Some of my classmates have young children, many of us are married. In fact, during my first year, I was planning a wedding on top of my school responsibilities, involvement in clubs, and internship search. As you can imagine, it was a lot of work! It can be overwhelming, but in general I was very comfortable with my work-life balance and found plenty of opportunities to have fun and blow off steam. This year, I’m on the board of three clubs and taking a full load of classes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So there you have it! There are of course many, many more questions, but I hope this helps answer some of your burning questions about the GSM and business school in general.
Blog by Christine Bolghand – Class of 2015