Fundação Getulio Vargas Business School increases applicant diversity with a scalable admissions process

In order to appeal to a new generation of diverse applicants, FGV EAESP knew they needed an innovative and scalable admissions experience. Kira Talent is helping them deliver one.

Founded in 1954 as part of a joint effort between the Brazilian government and local businessmen with the collaboration of Michigan State University, Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Business Administration School in São Paulo (FGV  EAESP) has been a leader in higher education in Latin America for over 60 years. 

Today, the school is ranked first amongst the Brazilian Ministry of Education’s General Course Index (IGC) and is the only Brazilian institution to rank among the top ten in Latin America in the QS Global 200 MBA Rankings.

The school’s well-established reputation, as well as its campus in Brazil’s business hub of São Paulo, are some of the reasons why admission to its Business Administration Undergraduate Program is so competitive. The admissions committee didn’t want to lose the valuable insights gained through applicant interviews, but Program Director Renato Guimarães Ferreira knew that they would need modern and innovative methods to make the process scalable for their growing program. 

“We interview around 1000 students per cycle,” Ferreira explained. “Coordinating in-person interviews at that scale is a massive undertaking. At the end of the day, we are making better use of our time and resources using the Kira Talent platform.” 

Convincing a traditional school to invest in an innovative process

“We had been talking about adding a tool like Kira Talent to our application process for a long time, but there was a culture of face-to-face interviews and process which was really difficult to change,” shared Ferreira. “Some people were concerned we were going to lose too much if we lost the in-person contact.” 

“By forcing our processes online, the COVID-19 pandemic actually helped us convince people that a new kind of process was a good thing,” he continued. “We couldn’t continue doing what we had previously done, so let’s try the process with Kira Talent.” 

Now on their second year evaluating applicants through Kira’s Asynchronous Assessment, FGV EAESP has received considerable positive feedback from their reviewers. 

“We were on a very tight timeline, but the on-demand nature of the assessment meant reviewers were able to review on their own time,” Ferreira shared. “They really valued the flexibility that the platform offers.”

Kira’s reviewer dashboard also helped FGV EAESP adhere to the tight timeline. By tracking reviewer progress, the dashboard gives admin an overview of where each reviewer is with their assigned applicants and allows them to easily reassign applicants to new reviewers if needed. 

“Having spoken to the professors who had previously raised concerns, they now see the value in the platform. The consensus is that Kira is here to stay.”

Making an assessment more efficient and fair

In previous years applicants who had done well in their written exam travelled to FGV EAESP’s campus to take their interview with the admissions team. As interviews were spaced across several days, Ferreira and his team knew there was a chance that some applicants were heading into the interview with more information than others.

“In a very high-stakes selection process like this we’re supporting applicants with a level playing field,” Ferreira shared. “We knew our old format put some applicants scheduled for later in the week at an advantage because they had the opportunity to talk to peers and gather information about the process. We knew it wasn’t a perfect system.”

Learn how the Merage School of Business streamlined their admissions review process with Kira

With Kira, all applicants take the exam on the same day. FGV EAESP chose to keep the on-demand assessment open for four hours, during which time everybody entered into the platform and completed the assessment. 

“Kira helped us ensure that every applicant had a fair opportunity. We wanted to have everything happen on the same day in a limited number of hours to not advantage any one group of applicants who had a chance to talk amongst friends.”

And making sure everyone completed their assessment within the window was simple. Kira’s applicant dashboard helps FGV EAESP ensure their applicants are on track and ready to go on the day of the assessment. 

“Prior to the exam day, we can see if applicants have registered, if they’ve set up their device, and if they’ve completed some practice questions,” Ferreira shared. “If they hadn’t, we could send a quick message to get them back on track.” 

Building a more diverse applicant pool 

By making the application process more accessible, Kira is helping FGV EAESP solve logistical challenges and engage a more diverse pool of applicants.  

“We want to recruit people from all over the country,” Ferreira explained. “And for that to happen, we needed candidates to be able to easily take part in the application process without geographical constraints.” 

“There are great students who are just far away from São Paulo and who are now able to consider our university,” he continued. 

“Kira is a tool that directly helps us advance our strategy to increase diversity at FGV EAESP. With Kira, we’ve already seen an increase in the percentage of students coming from outside of São Paulo  — a trend which we expect to continue to grow.”

Building a reputation of innovation

“We are one of the oldest business schools in Brazil and that drives a reputation of being rather traditional,” Ferreira shared. “When people think of FGV EAESP they don’t necessarily think of us as a school that is at the cutting edge of technology.” 

“Kira helps us demonstrate our commitment to innovation,” he added. 

“As our school continues to evolve and bridge the gap between traditional and innovative, Kira’s professional and seamless platform projects the image of a modern and forward-thinking school.” 

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