Hear from our Admissions Team


What happens after you submit your application?

It’s October, autumn has arrived and you’re back in the full swing of work. (At least for those in the northern hemisphere you should be!) Christmas is only a few months away which means you are fast approaching the first round of deadlines for most MBA programs. Instead of researching, completing your application, hitting the “submit” button and then hoping for the best – I want to give you a 100% honest-to-heart-behind-the-scenes-look at what happens to your application after submission.

By Phebe Loo. Assistant Director of Marketing & Admissions

  1. The 5-minute Screening

    My team is dedicated to making the admissions process as smooth and painless as possible for all candidates, which is why we usually begin to review applications a few days leading up to the deadlines. The first thing we do is a quick skim-through of your application to ensure all aspects of the application are completed – a few things we will check, i.) You have provided us with all the required information, ii.) You have your exam score(s) inputted or if not, at least a test date within the coming month, iii.) You have already sent your referees our referral forms, and iv.) You have uploaded ALL required scanned documents.

    Remember, for every email we need to send you to chase for information, you are wasting precious time for us to move your application through the shortlisting process! Here is my list of top 5 pet peeves when screening applications:
    I.   Typos and grammatical mistakes
    II.  Not meeting the minimal work experience requirement
    III. Missing or incorrect work information that is clearly listed in your resume
    IV. Referral forms that take forever to be submitted (because if you took your MBA seriously shouldn’t you have already informed your referees weeks or even months ago? You really can’t use reasons like your referee is too busy or traveling for work!)
    V.  Missing uploaded documents, corrupted files or resolution too low

  2. Application Review

    Once the review process begins, your application will be read by two people on the admissions committee. We will read through your entire application and make notes on the experiences and skills you can bring to the Class of 2020. To debunk a myth – we never set a cap on how many candidates get shortlisted or interviewed and are always looking for reasons to admit you! The two admissions committee members will make independent decisions on your application.

  3. Invitation to Interview

    If both reviewers feel that you are a strong applicant for the HKUST MBA, an interview offer will be sent to you via email. Most of our interviews are conducted via Skype, but you are more than welcome to attend the interview in person on our campus if you happen to be in Hong Kong during the interview period. Our team travels quite a bit and if we happen to be in your neighborhood we might also arrange to conduct your interview locally.  No matter where your interview is conducted, remember the dress code is business formal.

  4. The Interview – Moment of Truth!

    There is absolutely no need to be nervous about the interview. Simply treat it as a conversation where we get to know the person behind the application and explore your fit with HKUST. Remember this is also an opportunity for you to do some information gathering! Please don’t hesitate to ask the questions most important to you – the admissions committee wants to be a resource for you as you move forward with your MBA decision making process. Apart from interviewing with the admissions committee, some of you will also be invited to be interviewed with a current student or alumnus. 

  5. The Admissions Committee Meeting

    After all interviews have been completed, the admissions committee will meet to discuss your application. Sometimes the discussions are rather short because a candidate is a clear admit, and sometimes they are longer as we come to a consensus. We will eventually come to a final decision as a team and continue building our Class of 2020! At this stage we will also be assessing your profile for our Merit Scholarship. 

  6. Your Decision

    All applicants will receive an admissions decision on or before the stated notification deadline. Hopefully, you’ll receive some exciting news from us! If you do receive positive news from us, that’s when the ball will start rolling fast – but I will talk more about this in another article, probably when we get closer to the application submission date! 

I hope this piece of sharing gives you a little insight to what happens as you wait to hear from us. Bottom line is, I’ve been on the other side of the fence so I know what it means to be an MBA applicant myself. I hope you realize that we do spend a lot of time on your application and try as best we can to get to know you as a potential business leader.

So what are you waiting for? Get started on your application today!

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