SBC Scoop: A College Senior Applicant

We featured an older candidate a few weeks ago in the SBC Scoop case study, but some candidates have the opposite issue: they are young applicants with no work experience.

Sarah was a senior at Cornell with an impressive double major in Economics and Sociology. Even with her heavy academic course load she managed to achieve a 3.8 GPA. She had taken both the GRE (560 verbal and 760 Quant) and the GMAT (710). Overall her academic credentials were solid for a top program and she was targeting HBS, Stanford, Wharton and Dartmouth Tuck.

When we first spoke, Sarah was aware that HBS and Stanford both accepted candidates straight from college and were receptive to applicants like her. She was less sure about Wharton and Tuck, and we discussed the pros and cons of applying to an MBA program with no work experience. In truth, even programs that actively recruit college seniors are looking for the same qualities in these seniors as an applicant with five years of work experience: leadership, teamwork and management potential. It’s harder to communicate those personal attributes without the benefit of working for a business, but strong leadership experiences in college can help.

In Sarah’s case we had plenty of material to work with. Sarah was a natural leader, and had quickly risen to a leadership position in her business fraternity, and was currently serving as the President/Chairperson. In addition, Sarah was an avid volunteer and had led several events on campus to raise money for the local Boys and Girls Club. During her summer vacations she had explored internships at two investment banks in NYC, and was interested in pursuing a career in finance. She wanted to go straight into an MBA program to minimize interruptions in her career and was extremely focused on achieving her goals. Sarah had attended the Tuck Bridge Program her junior year of college and loved the experience ”“ she was excited about the school and pursuing her interest in management education in depth.

When we designed Sarah’s application strategy we focused on her clear career goals, her personal commitment to helping those less fortunate, and her leadership experiences. By highlighting her specific leadership style in the essays about her business fraternity we were able to show that she was mature, capable and ready for a graduate level program. Sarah’s leadership qualities came through loud and clear, despite no full time work experience.

Sarah was admitted to Tuck and HBS.

We have so many client stories and each one is different. Even applicants who appear to have similar bios are unique when we peel back the layers. View more client case studies here.
*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.

To read more SBC Case Studies, click HERE.

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