37 Gs for 140 characters: at U of Iowa, money grows on tweets
From a dearth of characters
Money grows on tweets
Fortunately for John Yates, his recent try at haiku was substantially stronger than our attempt to tell the story of his unusual scholarship in 17 on. Last week, Yates won a full financial award package (valued at $37,240) from the University of Iowa Tippie School of Management for writing the best application tweet. He did so with haiku:
Innovative and driven
Tippie can sharpen"
The "application tweet" was offered as an alternative to the school's traditional long-form application essay question. The contest challenged candidates to answer the essay question in 140 characters or less. But, as Mashable reported Saturday, the contest did not require the candidates to literally tweet their responses, and Yates did not tweet his.
Yates (left, photo from uiowa.edu), 33, has experience working in China and Thailand and currently provides cultural and language training for Berlitz to international diplomats and business executives in Houston.
"Mr. Yates had the discipline and creativity to submit a tweet by writing a haiku," the tweet judging committee said in a release. "He has taken one of the newest modes of communication in Twitter and one of the oldest forms of poetry in haiku and combined them into one winning entry."
This winning entry was the result of a pilot program by Tippie's full-time MBA program as it considers adding an application tweet to its application process. To encourage applicants to participate this year, the program offered the tuition award to the best tweeter. Candidates were asked to tweet about why they would be a good Tippie MBA candidate and future MBA hire in 140 characters or less.
Potential MBA hopefuls submitted 58 tweets for consideration; eight were from applicants subsequently accepted into the program after meeting the admission requirements. Those requirements include such factors as academic performance, entrance test scores, work experience, a traditional essay and the admissions interview. The tweets from those eight were then considered for the financial award.
Jodi Schafer, director of admissions for Tippie's full-time program, was pleased with the results of the first application tweet.
"Social media is fast becoming a powerful business tool, so we want our applicants to demonstrate an ability to use it," she said in the release. "We received many entries that were really cutting edge and showed how some candidates fully embraced and understood social media. We also received submissions from candidates who did not take full advantage of the ability to link to other media, which might have been the result of the quick turnaround time."
The tweets were judged by a committee made up of alumni and College of Business faculty and staff. Three finalists were chosen by the committee and the winner was selected by the Tippie College of Business dean, William "Curt" Hunter.
Yates will start classes at Tippie later this month.