Extracurriculars and the Michigan MBA

Wondering where to list all of your extracurricular activities on your Ross MBA application? In a recent post on the Michigan MBA admissions blog, director Soojin Kwon Koh says the school deliberately eliminated an “Awards and Extracurricular Activities” section for the following reasons:

  1. Not all cultures and industries encourage or accommodate extracurricular activities
  2. Many applicants included awards and activities that were “beyond the expiration date” (i.e., were from high school or college)
  3. Many applicants felt compelled to provide a laundry list of activities that often didn’t gel with the rest of their application
  4. Lists were often “padded” (e.g., applicants said they engaged in an activity on a weekly basis, and it occasionally exceeded their full-time jobs.)

Despite that, the Michigan MBA program still cares very much about what applicants are passionate about outside of work or school.

“Extracurricular activities are a core part of the Michigan MBA experience – to deepen your expertise in a particular area of interest, to develop your leadership skills, to contribute to the community, to develop relationships with classmates, to network with recruiters, etc.,” says Soojin, adding that students are expected to be engaged members of the Michigan MBA community, not just in the classroom, but outside as well.

So go ahead and include a section on your resume that includes relevant extracurricular activities and honors, or address them in one of the essays””either the “what are you most passionate about” or the optional essay, recommends Soojin.

If you do include it on your resume, come prepared to discuss it during your interview, as interviewers will have a copy of your resume and no other part of your application.


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