One key to business school admissions success is understanding that you are marketing yourself to a school just as a product is marketed to a consumer in the grocery store. The school is your target market. By understanding the school’s “needs”, you can successfully position yourself as part of the solution. For example, consider Columbia Business School. Located in the heart of NYC, and well known for its finance curriculum, you can imagine that they receive many applications from individuals wanting to launch a career in finance. Columbia, however, is also interested in being known as a top general management program. Columbia is looking for well rounded leaders, entrepreneurs, managers, marketers, innovators and more. As you submit your Columbia application, think hard about what they may need and try to become part of the solution.
This is true for all schools: in order to be successful, you need to step away from your needs. Think about the school’s goals and needs and how you can contribute to fulfilling those needs. When you finish telling the admissions committee why you want to attend and what they can do for you, don’t forget to show them what you can do for them as well.