Columbia’s Business School is doing it. And others may follow very soon.
The Ivy League school has decided to shorten the essay admission requirements for applicants to 200 characters. That’s right, you read correctly ““ characters not words. But, surprisingly, they are not the first school to present this interesting challenge to perspective students.
It seems that the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Management may have been the first to add this edgy revision to the application process. Earlier this summer, the school announced that they would be switching out the traditional essay for a 140-character “tweet”. The student with the most impressive 140 characters would be awarded a full-tuition scholarship.
So exactly how were students to go about crafting a tweet that would demand the attention of admissions personnel? Lydia Fine, the school’s associate director of recruiting and admissions, posted this message on the Tippie MBA blog for perspective students: “Social media is a powerful tool for business communication, and is driving change in today’s business world. We see it as a natural way to set yourself apart as an MBA applicant”. She goes on to provide a few hints on how to create a well-rounded tweet that is sure to impress. “You can go beyond the typical Tweet by connecting your Tweet to other social media such as blogs, video, Facebook, or a web page. (Hint: You can shorten your links through http://bitly.com/ to keep your tweet to 140 characters.)” The students did not actually have to post their tweets on Twitter, but were asked to send them to the admissions office to be sure their information remained confidential.
Maybe Columbia’s Business School and the Tippie School of Management are on to something. In today’s world, it’s almost impossible to succeed without knowing the ins and outs of social media. With even the smallest of businesses joining Facebook and Twitter and posting important events on YouTube, it seems that this new wave in business is here to stay.
Weigh in: Do you feel that limiting the college essay to 140-200 characters is an effective way of evaluating candidates?
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