University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler Business School)

Kenan-Flagler seems to grow its reputation every year, and has secured a brand as a hands-on business school that champions both smartly generating business profits while doing good for people and the planet. It champions global perspectives and has campuses around the world. It also allows for maximum flexibility, allowing first year students to engage in elective courses in their first year.

How to Demonstrate Your 'Fit' for

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler Business School)

Kenan-Flagler’s brand has been increasingly on the rise in the business school rankings in recent years.  It offers as small, team-oriented culture, with a three-part focus on analytics, leadership and teamwork.

Kenan-Flagler’s curriculum is general management in nature, and is broken into four 8-week modules.  In the third module, students complete an integrated exercise that challenges them to apply all of what they learned during the first 2 modules.  In the second year, students have their choice of 8 “career and enrichment concentrations” – Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Investment Management, Corporate Finance, Global Supply-Chain Management, and Sustainable Enterprise).  The unique spin that Kenan-Flagler puts on these concentrations is that they’re more focused on career development than more traditional functions. 

Kenan-Flagler is also known for its quantitative rigor.  Like several other top programs, Kenan-Flagler offers an analytical workshop that students can attend before classes begin, and taking advantage of that – and perhaps taking additional courses in stats or finance if you lower GMAT – will signal to the ADCOM that you’re serious about earning acceptance.

UNC’s program strongly emphasizes both teamwork and leadership, with leadership being the most important aspect that the ADCOM is likely to evaluate you on. The school is public in saying that it seeks students with high “leadership potential” and they dedicate much of their curriculum toward tapping into and building that leadership potential.  UNC has its own view of what makes an effective leader, and states that true leaders must use analytical skills to assess situations, leverage resources (including people) to develop solutions, and implement solutions successfully.  Applicants would be wise to articulate how they’ve shown an ability to demonstrate these skills during their pre-MBA work years.  They should also articulate how they plan to get involved with the school’s many clubs and activities, and work with others outside the classroom to benefit the school and the student body overall.

Its course Leading and Managing is a required course that students take during their first module, during which students review leadership evaluations completed by their former colleagues.  Weaknesses revealed in these evaluations serve as input toward areas of improvement that the students focus on addressing throughout the course in their personal “leadership plan”.  

Kenan-Flagler seeks to attract innovators, including those who want to innovate via entrepreneurship.  The school has invested significantly in its entrepreneurship program with hopes of becoming a significant entrepreneurship brand in the MBA community and has worked hard to build out its Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.  It offers its students a high number of entrepreneurship electives that provide guidance into the distinct stages of building out a business model.  Kenan-Flagler also holds an annual venture capital competition, where student entrepreneurs put their business models in front of venture capital firms.  So if you have entrepreneurial aspirations, make sure to talk about that in detail, because it’ll play directly into Kenan-Flagler’s efforts to attract more entrepreneurs and build their brand as a strong entrepreneurship-focused business school.

Kenan-Flagler has also attempted to develop a better reputation as a program that’s strong on international business. It has begun adding more international business electives, added more study abroad programs, and even adding language courses.  If you have an interest in pursuing a global career, make sure to articulate that!

The program typically asks applicants to explain why they want to Kenan-Flagler, in part because the school has typically, in recent years, struggled from poor yield percentages.  As such, it would wise of you to be very specific in articulating to the school why they are your top choice, and providing specifics on how you plan to get involved.  If they’re certain that you’re truly interested in the program, your chances of success increase exponentially.

This guide is just a small sample of the expertise our consultants can offer you for your business school application journey.
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