Students navigating Marriott School applications to find their niche

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Students in the Tanner Building prepare for the upcoming week as they work on homework. (Abigail Keenan)

In 2017, over 1,300 students applied to the BYU Marriott School of Business. Only 80 percent were accepted. The Marriott School’s website encourages students to meet their academic advisors “early and often” before applying to their program to give them a leg-up with the process. 

Stan Wilson, managing director in the Undergraduate Programs Office, said the departments and advisors want students to engage and feel a part of the program the day they walk into BYU.

“Our messaging is get involved. The first semester we like to really think the faster a student can explore (majors), the better,” he said.

Wilson suggested students take a career explorations class to help them decide what field of study best suits them. The class exposes students to the various centers within the business school and serves as a key part to them being “involved.” 

The programs in the business school all have fantastic outcomes, according to Wilson. There is a heavy amount of recruiting that occurs, giving students several options in choosing internships.

The Tanner Building displays the internationality seen in the business school departments. (Abigail Keenan)

“We’re seen as a national university where we have SMP 500 companies coming in to recruit here. Today, every one of these programs is knocking it out of the park,” Wilson said.

The more energy a student can put into experiential learning, the better, according to Wilson. He advised students to be involved with internships and projects to give them experience.

“On-campus internships are a great way to develop and start to have some experiences that are helpful,” he said. “It typically is with a project off-campus, and you’re working with somebody in that company and you’re putting in seven to nine hours a week for that company.”

Heidi Engh, an academic advisor in the Undergraduates Programs Office, stressed the importance of students completing the applications carefully and completely. 

“The departments do a good job of looking holistically with each student,” she said. “They read every essay, every resume. They are very thorough in each of the applications, she said.

Wilson and Engh said students need to put their best efforts into the pre-requisite classes and familiarize themselves with their future applications and the career-launch website. The website notifies them of upcoming events, incoming recruiters, new jobs and internships and other important resources to help them succeed.

Wilson said students should begin networking before applying to the Marriott School. He said New Student Orientation can help students connect and learn these networking skills.

“One of the very first things they start learning how to do is network because it’s through those opportunities that you learn how to recruit,” said Shauna Reid, assistant program director for the finance department.

While GPA and resumes are important, Wilson emphasized the importance of the application essays. He said several departments want to know how students will go forth to serve and be a “light.”

The Marriott School is interested in long-term outcomes and the biggest long-term outcome “is how can we become more like Jesus Christ,” he said.

More information can be found on the Marriott School’s webpage or by visiting the Undergraduate Advisement Center in 460 TNRB.

This bar graph shows the Average Prereq GPA’s for the Marriott school programs. (Holly Ferguson)
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