Written by Noemi Pollack on July 13, 2011.
This tweet showed up recently: “The Uni of Iowa is offering a $37K scholarship to its b-schl fr the bst tweet by a prspctive MBA student.”
Strange to see this from an academic institution… It makes the “de rigueur” misspellings that are so intrinsic to the Twitter format seem OK.
Still, if the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business wanted to break through the clutter and get attention from potential business school candidates, it certainly got what it wanted, for this tweet went viral with a whirlwind velocity. Why not? Seems an easy and quick way to vie for a full scholarship. Even business publications were all over this including Bloomberg, Business Insider and BusinessWeek blog, as well as the French publication Atlantico, albeit the latter promptly declared that this would attract mediocrity rather than motivated students.
It will also attract savvy students wishing to compete on a creative level rather than just on their background information. It also fits in very well with Tippie’s need to get more aggressive in finding students to fill their school’s full-time MBA program, considering that they only had only 307 applicants. Moreover, it keys in with the school’s admissions officers’ increased curiosity in knowing a candidate’s social media voice in addition to their academic achievements.
It’s a creative pioneering gesture to interest applicants through a medium that really belongs to that generation. But the required tweet to compete for the $37K is in addition to the regular application form and resumes, not instead of, and that seems to dull the ”newness” of it all. So, armed with all the traditional information required, except for the usual 800 to 900-word essay, just how much weight will the tweet carry when it comes to in winning the scholarship?
There is something that I do not quite get…. I am thinking of all those spelling bees that kids try so hard to win over their early years, only to have a college give permission to misspell as a lure to apply.
It’s a clever attention grabber, but a stunt none-the-less, one that does not seem to be on message for an institution of higher learning…or is it “hier lrning.”