SBC Scoop: Planning Ahead for Community Impact

*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.

Our client Reza had the luxury of time to plan for his MBA after he called for an initial consultation with Stacy Blackman Consulting in his senior year of college. He was planning to start an analyst position at Morgan Stanley. Reza knew that the competition among his cohort would be fierce, and he wanted to make sure he was thinking of ways to enhance his candidacy as he started his career.

Reza was specifically concerned about maintaining his extracurricular activities with a demanding work schedule. During college he had led an organization that mentored local high school students and was involved in a cultural organization on campus. We advised him that maintaining these interests over the next few years would be a great way to show consistent involvement, interest and leadership. Reza joined a similar cultural organization in his city and encouraged his college alumni association to start a high school mentoring program.

When Reza started working with Stacy Blackman Consulting on his application three years later. As part of the cultural organization he had spearheaded a community outreach event and subsequently was elected to a board position where he continued to find ways to engage with the community. As the leader of his alumni mentoring program Reza had been part of helping dozens of high school students with college applications. These accomplishments were impressive and a great part of a compelling application strategy for Reza’s target programs.

Many applicants we work with wonder how someone can have strong volunteer experience with very limited time outside of work. Reza was able to maximize his time by building on his previous experiences in college. Because he had experience to bring to both organizations he focused on making a large impact with less hours. He delegated many responsibilities to other team members and conducted most of his work over email and phone to manage his schedule. Though Reza didn’t spend hours a week volunteering, he had a great track record of community involvement that was more than enough to help him gain admission to Columbia.

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