When you’re hard at work on your MBA applications, it’s easy to get caught up in what sounds great to you or what seems impressive to your friends, co-workers, or parents. That happens all the time, especially to people targeting top business school programs like Harvard Business School, Stanford, and Wharton. Instead, you should evaluate your application materials with the MBA admissions committee in mind.
We admit it’s tough to form a truly objective opinion of your candidacy. For example, some candidates think that if they have a high GPA, aced the GMAT, and have had a successful career so far, they are a shoo-in for admission to the top programs. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Differentiate Yourself in the Eyes of the MBA Admissions Committee
The majority of candidates who apply to the leading business schools are bright, personable overachievers. They would be an asset to any program. Adcoms see thousands of deserving profiles come across their desks each year.
That’s why you need to think beyond your obvious achievements. You can differentiate yourself through your essays and interviews by picking memorable, unique stories and experiences. This becomes even more critical if you come from an overrepresented industry, such as investment banking or consulting.
That said, you can’t let the competitive stakes keep you from applying to your dream school in the first place. Chances are, your humility is a trait the adcom would appreciate.
Focus on highlighting the valuable knowledge and experiences you can share with your classmates. Look at your application from the viewpoint of the MBA admissions committee, which aims to put together a diverse group of outgoing students. How will you enlighten your classmates over the next two years?
Here’s one way to think about it:
Until next time,
The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting
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