TRSM students may help determine the fate of business school hopefuls

Third and fourth-year students could help determine the outcome of applicants to the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM), but some are not convinced.

TRSM Dean Steven Murphy says supplementary applications could become mandatory, and they may be assessed by those in upper years.

“(They) have been here for a while, understand (TRSM’s) culture, know what makes it great, and what they would be looking (for) in characteristics of students who would be coming in,” Murphy said.

TRSM is still assessing the feasibility of implementing supplementary applications, along with the possibility of having students assess them, but the school receives a lot of applications and this is a “viable” option that would lighten the load for faculty, says Murphy.

This fall, the school received around 16,000 applications.

While it’s uncertain how students would be chosen for the task or how many would be needed, Murphy said that a “regimented training process” would be set up to ensure that everyone has a “high level of understanding” of what makes a successful applicant.

Steven Murphy, dean of TRSM, says secondary applications be required of applicants into the business school (The Ryersonian image files)

Steven Murphy, dean of TRSM, says the school may require supplemental applications.  (The Ryersonian file photo)

At least two people would assess each application after an applicant’s personal information was redacted. It’s possible that the job could be considered as graded coursework or as an extracurricular activity as an incentive, but Murphy says it is still uncertain.

Murphy also said the school is exploring options for supplementary applications including essays, online interviews, and it’s open to other suggestions.

Students currently applying only need to fulfill the academic requirements to be considered for acceptance.

Ozgur Turetken, director of the school of information technology management, is skeptical about the idea, because of the large number of applications it receives.

As for the idea of having students assess them, Turetken said it “sounds like a good idea,” but guidance and supervision from faculty should be present.

“In my case, it’d be difficult to find people to guide (them)” he said. “You don’t want to create something good in theory but that you can’t implement in practice.”

Some students are opposed to the proposed changes.

“I think that it’s really dumb. (Fourth-year students) may not know how to choose applicants,” said Jordan Wong, a first-year retail management student. “They have no workplace experience or in (assessing the applications).”

Dhara Patel, a third-year business management student, disagrees and said students would be a better choice than faculty members for the job because “they’ve been in the (applicant’s) position in the past.”

Talk of supplementary applications has increased since the school started to expand its co-op programs. By 2017, TRSM plans to offer co-op in all of its full-time undergraduate programs.

“Co-op means that more people want to get into your program, and we don’t magically have more spots,” Murphy said, “The beauty in that for me is that it becomes a more competitive process.”

This means that higher grades may also be required from applicants for acceptance, but he said that introducing a supplementary component would help TRSM “stay true to Ryerson’s roots” and identify students who have lower grades with potential.

“We’ve all known students without the highest GPA who went onto high success,” he said. “Even if a person doesn’t have an incredibly high entrance average, he or she may be a phenomenal student.”

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