No Activities Outside of Work?

Yesterday, Bschool Diva wrote that this is “boring” time on the bschool front. I suppose it is true – this is the calm before the storm. It’s a time to take action wherever you can – GMAT, a Calculus class, lobbying for that promotion. OR…assessing your extracurricular profile…

Applications will soon be published. Many prospective applicants are bemoaning the fact that they have not been involved with any activities outside of work since college. Life has been too hectic, with 80 hour work weeks and a desire for a bit of fun. While it’s understandable that there has been little time, most of those who are ultimately admitted to the top schools, make time to nurture their interests and hobbies.

If you think that suddenly becoming a regular at the soup kitchen will look suspicious, you are probably correct. That type of involvement will not do you much good in terms of applications, although your contributions will always be appreciated! If you want to become involved with something now, think about who you are, what truly interests you, and what talents or skills you can contribute.

Make sure that whatever you do is genuinely meaningful to you and helps to support a story about your interests and abilities. See my previous post which provides some examples.

Also, try to become involved in a way that helps you highlight your leadership skills. Just listing off some volunteer work is not going to be as helpful as a story about how you initiated a fundraiser for a cause you hold close to your heart.

If you are really grasping for ideas, here are a few quick and easy ones:
– Can you give back to your undergraduate institution? Alumni interviewing, fundraising…? Schools always like to see this because it shows a track record for giving back to your alma mater.
– Many cities have groups such as Hands on Bay Area (in the Bay Area) which can inform you of opportunities.
– Check out Volunteer Match to help you locate local opportunities.

Choose something that you enjoy and have some fun cultivating interests, meeting new people and giving back!

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