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Soojin Kwon KohEric Olson is managing director for the MSCM program and oversees the MSCM admissions committee. Eric has reviewed all applications submitted for the MSCM program since its inception and has counseled numerous prospective students on the ideal strategy to develop and deliver a competitive application for the program. Eric knows what makes applications stand out and how applicants can increase their chances of being admitted into the MSCM program.

In these application tips, Eric will share advice on how to put your best application forward. Our online application for the MSCM class of 2015 (starting coursework in January 2015) is live.

Tip No. 2: Articulating Academic Excellence – GRE/GMAT

One of the application requirements for the Ross MSCM Program is to give the admissions committee the necessary information to assess your degree of “academic excellence.” The Ross MSCM Program has an intense classroom experience, and we want to ensure all admitted candidates are capable and ready for it. How do we assess academic excellence? We use the GMAT or GRE in concert with your undergraduate and graduate transcript, as well as any industry certifications (Six Sigma, APICS, etc.)

For the most part, your undergraduate and graduate education is over and your transcripts are set in stone. You can’t really enhance or update them.

Some applicants have completed certified training while working. This is not a requirement for admission, but it suggests the applicant believes in continuous improvement — a trait we look for in MSCM students.

Now to the GMAT or GRE exam, which can be the biggest source of application-related stress. To be honest, I’m not a fan of standardized tests. But the right preparation and a dedicated plan can make reaching your test goals easier. Here are some steps for achieving your exam goal and giving us a solid picture of your current academic abilities.

  • More of a mantra than a step: Commit to a training plan. Sticking to a training plan will provide you with the insight and guidance necessary to reach your test goal. It will also provide you with tools to assess your progress and allow you to make any course corrections along the way.
  • Begin your preparation early. The more time you have to study and let information soak in, the more prepared you will be on exam day.
  • Establish your goal. Take a practice test to set your baseline. This will provide you with information on what you’ll need to close the gap between the practice score and your target. Create your target score based on the average GMAT/GRE scores from previous classes and the middle 80 percent range.
  • Develop a training schedule.  Create a schedule that fits with your everyday life and personal style. Commit a specific amount of time each week to studying. Incorporate periodic check-in dates to take practice exams to assess your performance. Consider taking a prep class, working with a tutor, or using study guides. There are a variety of tools out there to assist. The key is to stick to your training regimen.
  • Prepare for game day. Simulate the test day scenario. Take a couple full practice exams under similar environmental constraints as you’ll experience at the testing center. These exams are not a sprint, but a marathon. Keep on pace and the preparation you’ve done will surely pay off.

One last thing to remember before you start -- we accept either the GMAT or the GRE! Which exam is best for you? We don’t have a preference for either exam. However, they are indeed set up differently. Before you sign up conduct some research to identify the exam that will allow you to perform at your best!

Keep in mind that test scores are only one part of your application. If you don’t hit your goal it doesn’t mean you won’t receive admission to the program. The MSCM Program evaluates applications holistically – no single element will guarantee admission or denial. Applicants who ace their GMAT or GRE and have received 100 percent marks on their transcript are not necessarily granted admission. We are looking for well-rounded, hard-working individuals with the desire and motivation to be future leaders in supply chain management. Make sure all elements of your application are strong and a solid representation of you as a student, professional, and future leader.

If you have any questions about what we look for and/or evaluate in applications feel free to contact us at or 734-647-1396. We are here to help! Happy test taking!


Samar Sarma

graphicMSCM ‘09
Principal Consultant


“Ross is a great school because it’s tied very closely to industry’s needs.”

Samar Sarma’s work in the technical side of supply chain management fit well with his engineering background. But to diversify his career options he knew a business degree was his next logical step.

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MSCM Corporate Advisory Council

graphicAdvisory Profile:
Wayne Krampel
Vice President of Global Product Supply, Bayer Healthcare

“With supply chain, there's a certain level of in-depth competencies that need to be brought, which could never be drawn out in an MBA program or a one-course SCM program. Because supply chain has such a broad base, one can’t do it justice in a single course or a single semester.”

graphic Advisory Council