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“Standing Out” in a Business School Application

The desire to “stand out” (while inherent in all applicants), is not what the admissions committee wants you to be thinking about during your application process.  The most important aspect is to answer the questions clearly, making sure you are doing the best job you can to tell YOUR story; instead of constantly trying to put yourself in a context outside of where you think the other applicants are.

I have heard admissions committee members say numerous times that over-thinking and over-crafting your application can ultimately hurt your overall chances of acceptance.  Often times, students attempt to say exactly what they think the admission committee wants to hear, when what the admission committee REALLY wants to hear is the student’s story told truthfully and thoughtfully.

The Role the GMAT in your MBA application

The GMAT Exam is a chance for the student to prepare for an exam and take on a challenge.  Of course, no student walks into an exam without preparing first. Use your GMAT efforts and scores to highlight the areas that you think may be missing from you undergraduate and work experience. If you do not have much quantitative experience, focus on that area of the GMAT to portray to admissions committee that you can do great work in that area as well. Remember it is still just one piece of the mosaic that is your application.

Essays

Many students get very anxious about the essay portion of an MBA application because they believe that this is the section that they have the most control over (unlike the recommendations, undergraduate records, and your job).  However, it is important to remember that the essay is just another portion of the holistic presentation of your application.  It is not a writing contest, but more so, another tool to present YOU as a prospective business school student. So personalize it. Focus on the areas of your life that you are most proud and passionate about.  These items will ultimately be your strongest point in conveying your growth over time and your ability to succeed.

Recommendations

Try to pick a person to recommend you that you have known for a long time. Admissions Committees look for recommendations that are personalized and give somewhat of an inside look into how the student works and presents themselves.

Diversity on an Application

Diversity is an important factor to consider when applying to business school. However, it must be done so in the right way.  Many times, students think they must emphasize the diversity that they have been exposed to in the workplace or at school.  However, there are many different types of diversity to consider and a very important one is the way in which you lead.  From the student leader who wants to be president of the United States, to the entrepreneur who likes to work in small teams and getting a new business up and running, business schools look for Diversity of Character and want to find student who can lead in effective and creative ways.


Hope these tips help! For more tips, please visit our MBA Admissions Advice.

Posted on November 7, 2011 by Manhattan Review

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