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Univ of Chicago Adds PowerPoint to MBA Application

University of Chicago will begin requiring prospective students to submit four pages of PowerPoint-like slides with their applications this fall.
The new requirement is partly an acknowledgment that Microsoft Corp.’s PowerPoint, along with similar but lesser-known programs, have become a ubiquitous tool in the business world. But Chicago says so-called “slideware,” if used correctly, also can let students show off a creative side that might not reveal itself in test scores, recommendations and even essays.
By adding PowerPoint to its application, Chicago thinks it might attract more students who have the kind of cleverness that can really pay off in business, and fewer of the technocrat types who sometimes give the program a bad name.
“We wanted to have a freeform space for students to be able to say what they think is important, not always having the school run that dialogue,” said Rose Martinelli, associate dean for student recruitment and admissions. “To me this is just four pieces of blank paper. You do what you want. It can be a presentation. It can be poetry. It can be anything.”
Online applications are already the norm, and it’s not uncommon for colleges to let students submit extra materials such as artwork. Undergraduate and graduate applications also are beginning to ask more creative and open-ended essays.

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