Like selecting a candidate for a job, evaluating applicants each year for the next incoming class for the Full-Time MBA program at the Terry College of Business requires a multifaceted approach, according to Deirdre Kane, director of admissions for the program.
"The application process is both a mixture of evaluating the numbers-what's on paper-and trying to understand the individuals-what motivates them and how they interact with others-to make sure we have a good class each year," she said.
That combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis is a good fit for Kane, who has a diverse career in which she's developed a range of skills in leadership, information technology and human resources.
Kane earned a master's degree in English literature from the University of Maryland in 1992 and subsequently taught part time for almost 14 years. She also worked in human services in Massachusetts, before working as an education technology specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Kane went on to become assistant director of admissions at the MIT Sloan School of Management before joining the Terry College in 2011. She took over as director of admissions for the Terry College's Full-Time MBA program in October, having served previously as associate director.
As director, Kane oversees the yearlong admissions process, which starts with a multifaceted approach to recruiting and marketing.
Whereas MBA recruitment used to rely mostly on connecting with students through college fairs, admissions staff now must keep an eye on the Web, too.
Once applications are in, the admissions staff whittles down the initial pool of 300-400 applicants to a target class size of 50.
But selecting students isn't just about finding the brightest minds to attend UGA, it's also about making sure UGA is the right fit for the student.
"We're very focused on making sure the individual's career goals align with what we can provide them with in support," she said. "It's a major life decision."
Also part of the selection process for each class is figuring out whether students are suited for the culture of the Terry College's MBA program.
"It's important that everyone is a good fit together and as individuals," she said.
In addition, the Terry College looks for students who actively participate in their environments because the program emphasizes a strong connection between leadership and community service.
That kind of engagement isn't just something expected for the Terry College students.
For her part, Kane is involved in the university and Athens community as chair of GLOBES, UGA's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer faculty and staff organization.
The organization, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in May, is working on sustaining the Annette Hatton Scholarship, building community partnerships and other ongoing outreach efforts.
Looking toward the future, Kane said, the group also is working with Georgia Equality to promote a fair employment practice bill in the Georgia legislature. If passed, the bill would bar employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation.
UGA's Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policy already establishes such language at the university, but Kane said that it is important the policy be practiced statewide.
"We may feel more protected here at the university, but the fact is: at the state level, anyone can be fired for being gay," she said. "There is still a need to really solidify that policy."