The_Ultimate_Guide_to_Becoming_a_Competitive_MBA_Applicant.pdf

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Unformatted text preview: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BECOMING A COMPETITIVE MBA APPLICANT An Accepted Admissions Guide © 2017 Accepted Contents Intro 3 Why​ ​Our​ ​Clients​ ​Love​ ​Us 5 Academic​ ​Performance​ ​in​ ​Your​ ​MBA​ ​Admissions​ ​Profile 6 The​ ​GMAT​ ​and​ ​Your​ ​MBA​ ​Admissions​ ​Profile 8 Work​ ​Experience​ ​in​ ​Your​ ​MBA​ ​Admissions​ ​Profile 10 Extracurricular​ ​Activities​ ​in​ ​Your​ ​MBA​ ​Admissions​ ​Profile 12 English​ ​Language​ ​Skills​ ​&​ ​Your​ ​MBA​ ​Admissions​ ​Profile 14 About​ ​the​ ​Author 16 Conclusion 17 ©​ ​2017 2 Intro Today​ ​and​ ​for​ ​more​ ​than​ ​50​ ​years,​ ​the​ ​MBA​ ​has​ ​been​ ​the​ ​most​ ​popular​ ​and​ ​profitable​ ​graduate degree​ ​in​ ​the​ ​world.​ ​That’s​ ​why​ ​year​ ​after​ ​year,​ ​thousands​ ​of​ ​candidates​ ​apply​ ​for​ ​the​ ​MBA. However,​ ​today,​ ​there​ ​are​ ​increasingly​ ​more​ ​“flavors”​ ​of​ ​the​ ​MBA​ ​—​ ​from​ ​the​ ​traditional full-time​ ​two-year​ ​program​ ​to​ ​the​ ​one-year​ ​program​ ​very​ ​popular​ ​in​ ​Europe,​ ​the​ ​part-time,​ ​the evening,​ ​the​ ​weekend,​ ​the​ ​Executive​ ​MBA,​ ​online,​ ​blended​ ​and​ ​others. With​ ​so​ ​many​ ​options,​ ​which​ ​MBA​ ​is​ ​the​ ​best​ ​one​ ​for​ ​you? Once​ ​you​ ​have​ ​decided​ ​that​ ​you​ ​want​ ​an​ ​MBA,​ ​it’s​ ​important​ ​to​ ​think​ ​about​ ​what​ ​you​ ​need​ ​it for.​ ​What’s​ ​your​ ​goal?​ ​Where​ ​would​ ​you​ ​like​ ​to​ ​work​ ​after​ ​your​ ​MBA?​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​change sectors​ ​or​ ​industries?​ ​Or​ ​stay​ ​where​ ​you​ ​are​ ​but​ ​move​ ​up​ ​in​ ​the​ ​organization?​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​plan​ ​to start​ ​your​ ​own​ ​business,​ ​or​ ​work​ ​as​ ​a​ ​consultant?​ ​The​ ​clearer​ ​your​ ​goal​ ​is,​ ​the​ ​easier​ ​it​ ​will​ ​be​ ​to choose​ ​the​ ​type​ ​of​ ​program​ ​that​ ​best​ ​fits​ ​you. Along​ ​with​ ​the​ ​evaluation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​program,​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​evaluate​ ​your​ ​own​ ​profile;​ ​that​ ​is,​ ​the set​ ​of​ ​qualifications​ ​and​ ​elements​ ​that​ ​form​ ​your​ ​application​ ​for​ ​the​ ​MBA: 1.​ ​Your​ ​undergraduate​ ​performance:​​ ​Even​ ​if​ ​it​ ​has​ ​been​ ​some​ ​time​ ​since​ ​you graduated,​ ​those​ ​years​ ​in​ ​college​ ​are​ ​very​ ​important​ ​for​ ​your​ ​application.​ ​Your​ ​grades will​ ​be​ ​carefully​ ​evaluated,​ ​particularly​ ​from​ ​the​ ​most​ ​rigorous​ ​courses.​ ​Any​ ​anomaly​ ​or fail​ ​should​ ​be​ ​explained​ ​in​ ​the​ ​application. 2.​ ​Your​ ​GMAT​ ​or​ ​GRE​ ​score:​ ​These​ ​tests​ ​are​ ​crucial​ ​for​ ​your​ ​application,​ ​both​ ​the quantitative​ ​and​ ​the​ ​verbal​ ​sections.​ ​Research​ ​if​ ​the​ ​program​ ​you​ ​are​ ​looking​ ​for requires​ ​them​ ​(and​ ​which​ ​one)​ ​and​ ​start​ ​preparing​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​possible.​ ​If​ ​for​ ​whatever reason​ ​you​ ​struggle​ ​with​ ​the​ ​GMAT,​ ​try​ ​the​ ​GRE,​ ​or​ ​vice ​versa.​ ​You​ ​may​ ​be​ ​surprised​ ​to find​ ​that​ ​your​ ​test-taking​ ​abilities​ ​favor​ ​one​ ​format​ ​over​ ​the​ ​other. 3.​ ​Your​ ​work​ ​experience:​ ​Most​ ​programs​ ​require​ ​a​ ​minimum​ ​of​ ​two​ ​years​ ​of post-college​ ​work​ ​experience.​ ​Nonetheless,​ ​there​ ​are​ ​programs​ ​that​ ​are​ ​not​ ​as​ ​strict, and​ ​there​ ​are​ ​a​ ​few​ ​that​ ​welcome​ ​candidates​ ​straight​ ​from​ ​undergrad. 4.​ ​Your​ ​extracurricular​ ​activities:​ ​Besides​ ​your​ ​academic​ ​performance​ ​and​ ​work experience,​ ​many​ ​programs​ ​prefer​ ​candidates​ ​that​ ​have​ ​been​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​interesting ©​ ​2017 3 activities​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​their​ ​job,​ ​particularly​ ​if​ ​they​ ​benefit​ ​the​ ​community.​ ​These​ ​activities can​ ​range​ ​from​ ​coaching​ ​a​ ​soccer​ ​team​ ​in​ ​your​ ​neighborhood​ ​to​ ​occupying​ ​a​ ​leadership role​ ​in​ ​a​ ​volunteer​ ​organization.​ ​It’s​ ​not​ ​a​ ​requirement,​ ​but​ ​having​ ​non-professional management​ ​roles​ ​will​ ​definitely​ ​give​ ​you​ ​an​ ​advantage. 5.​ ​Your​ ​knowledge​ ​of​ ​English:​ ​Finally,​ ​if​ ​you​ ​are​ ​an​ ​international​ ​candidate​ ​and​ ​your undergraduate​ ​degree​ ​was​ ​not​ ​taught​ ​in​ ​English,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​important​ ​that​ ​you​ ​prepare​ ​very well​ ​for​ ​the​ ​exams​ ​required​ ​by​ ​the​ ​school,​ ​be​ ​it​ ​the​ ​TOEFL,​ ​IELTS,​ ​PCE,​ ​or​ ​any​ ​other​ ​exam of​ ​English​ ​as​ ​a​ ​second​ ​language. No​ ​one​ ​is​ ​perfect,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​majority​ ​of​ ​the​ ​MBA​ ​candidates​ ​are​ ​strong​ ​in​ ​some​ ​aspects​ ​but lacking​ ​in​ ​others.​ ​That’s​ ​why​ ​it’s​ ​important​ ​that​ ​you​ ​analyze​ ​each​ ​and​ ​every​ ​one​ ​of​ ​these elements​ ​and​ ​develop​ ​a​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on​ ​your​ ​weak​ ​points​ ​and​ ​boost​ ​your​ ​strengths. In​ ​this​ ​guide,​ ​I​ ​will​ ​explore​ ​what​ ​to​ ​do​ ​to​ ​improve​ ​or​ ​strengthen​ ​each​ ​one​ ​of​ ​these​ ​areas,​ ​even the​ ​ones​ ​that​ ​appear​ ​unfixable​ ​(​such​ ​as​ ​a​ ​low​ ​GPA​),​ ​and​ ​you​ ​will​ ​realize​ ​that​ ​with​ ​the​ ​right dedication,​ ​discipline,​ ​and​ ​commitment,​ ​you​ ​will​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​get​ ​admitted​ ​to​ ​the​ ​right​ ​MBA program​ ​for​ ​you. ©​ ​2017 4 Why​ ​Our​ ​Clients​ ​Love​ ​Us No​ ​matter​ ​where​ ​you​ ​live​ ​and​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​where​ ​you're​ ​applying,​ ​our​ ​expert​ ​admissions consultants​ ​are​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​listen,​ ​mentor,​ ​and​ ​guide​ ​you​ ​as​ ​you​ ​prepare​ ​an​ ​outstanding​ ​b-school application​ ​that​ ​will​ ​get​ ​you​ ​accepted.​ ​You'll​ ​love​ ​us​ ​because​ ​you'll​ ​see​ ​from​ ​the​ ​first​ ​phone​ ​call or​ ​email​ ​that​ ​we​ ​care​ ​about​ ​you​ ​and​ ​support​ ​you​ ​as​ ​you​ ​strive​ ​to​ ​achieve​ ​your​ ​goals​ ​and dreams. But​ ​don't​ ​take​ ​our​ ​word​ ​for​ ​it.​ ​See​ ​what​ ​some​ ​of​ ​our​ ​clients​ ​have​ ​to​ ​say​ ​about​ ​Accepted... "I​ ​got​ ​90%​ ​of​ ​the​ ​same​ ​interview​ ​questions​ ​that​ ​Esmeralda​ ​asked​ ​me,​ ​and​ ​her​ ​feedback was​ ​really​ ​detailed​ ​such​ ​as​ ​time​ ​limit​ ​and​ ​what​ ​examples​ ​I​ ​should​ ​use​ ​to​ ​support​ ​my answers.​ ​She​ ​also​ ​encouraged​ ​me​ ​during​ ​our​ ​Skype​ ​call​ ​that​ ​I​ ​felt​ ​was​ ​really​ ​helpful​ ​to make​ ​me​ ​be​ ​positive​ ​to​ ​face​ ​the​ ​interview." “I​ ​did​ ​find​ ​out​ ​just​ ​over​ ​a​ ​week​ ​ago​ ​that​ ​I​ ​was​ ​admitted​ ​to​ ​HBS!​ ​Super​ ​exciting​ ​news-​ ​I definitely​ ​would​ ​not​ ​have​ ​been​ ​as​ ​successful​ ​without​ ​your​ ​help!​ ​Thank​ ​you​ ​for​ ​the practice​ ​and​ ​support-​ ​it​ ​was​ ​a​ ​pleasure​ ​working​ ​with​ ​you!” “I​ ​got​ ​in!​ ​;)​ ​I​ ​just​ ​talked​ ​to​ ​them​ ​[Duke​ ​Fuqua]​ ​like​ ​20​ ​minutes​ ​ago!​ ​This​ ​is​ ​great!​ ​I'm​ ​so excited!​ ​They​ ​will​ ​send​ ​me​ ​everything​ ​in​ ​the​ ​next​ ​days!​ ​We​ ​did​ ​it,​ ​Esme!​ ​I​ ​couldn't​ ​have done​ ​this​ ​without​ ​you!​ ​Not​ ​only​ ​for​ ​Duke,​ ​but​ ​also​ ​for​ ​NYU,​ ​because​ ​everything​ ​we​ ​did for​ ​Duke​ ​and​ ​Wharton​ ​was​ ​very​ ​useful​ ​for​ ​NYU.” “I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​thank​ ​you​ ​for​ ​all​ ​your​ ​help.​ ​I​ ​couldn't​ ​have​ ​done​ ​it​ ​without​ ​it!”​ ​ ​-​ ​Accepted to​ ​Columbia​ ​Business​ ​School Read​ ​more​ ​feedback​ ​on​ ​why​ ​our​ ​clients​ ​love​ ​Accepted. ©​ ​2017 5 Academic​ ​Performance​ ​in​ ​Your​ ​MBA​ ​Admissions Profile In​ ​the​ ​introduction​ ​I​ ​laid​ ​out​ ​the​ ​five​ ​elements​ ​that​ ​you​ ​must​ ​pay​ ​attention​ ​to​ ​when​ ​planning your​ ​MBA​ ​application.​ ​Here​ ​I​ ​will​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​the​ ​first​ ​of​ ​those​ ​five:​ ​academic​ ​performance​. Your​ ​academic​ ​performance​ ​as​ ​an​ ​undergrad,​ ​from​ ​beginning​ ​to​ ​end,​ ​is​ ​extremely​ ​important​ ​for any​ ​graduate​ ​program,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​MBA​ ​is​ ​no​ ​exception.​ ​Traditionally,​ ​admissions​ ​committees analyze​ ​three​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​your​ ​academic​ ​record: 1.​ ​Your​ ​performance​ ​in​ ​each​ ​and​ ​every​ ​one​ ​of​ ​your​ ​classes​,​ ​particularly​ ​in​ ​the​ ​most rigorous​ ​courses​ ​and/or​ ​the​ ​most​ ​relevant​ ​to​ ​the​ ​MBA.​ ​It’s​ ​important​ ​that​ ​you​ ​provide context​ ​for​ ​any​ ​dips​ ​in​ ​grades​ ​that​ ​deserve​ ​an​ ​explanation;​ ​many​ ​schools​ ​offer​ ​the opportunity​ ​to​ ​discuss​ ​gaps​ ​or​ ​any​ ​discrepancies​ ​in​ ​the​ ​optional​ ​essay.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​the​ ​place to​ ​clarify​ ​if​ ​your​ ​grades​ ​suffered​ ​because​ ​you​ ​were​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​balance​ ​a​ ​job​ ​with​ ​your studies,​ ​a​ ​personal​ ​or​ ​family​ ​situation,​ ​or​ ​any​ ​unusual​ ​event​ ​that​ ​could​ ​have​ ​had​ ​an effect​ ​on​ ​your​ ​grades. 2.​ ​The​ ​reputation​ ​and​ ​selectivity​ ​of​ ​the​ ​institution​ ​where​ ​you​ ​studied.​​ ​If​ ​you​ ​have reason​ ​to​ ​believe​ ​that​ ​your​ ​university​ ​is​ ​not​ ​well​ ​known​ ​by​ ​the​ ​business​ ​school​ ​that​ ​you will​ ​be​ ​applying​ ​to,​ ​it’s​ ​important​ ​that​ ​you​ ​provide​ ​them​ ​with​ ​objective​ ​information regarding​ ​the​ ​reputation,​ ​rankings,​ ​and​ ​selectivity​ ​of​ ​your​ ​undergraduate​ ​institution.​ ​For example,​ ​there​ ​are​ ​universities​ ​that​ ​select​ ​their​ ​students​ ​through​ ​a​ ​very​ ​rigorous admission​ ​exam.​ ​If​ ​you​ ​were​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​few​ ​selected,​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​to​ ​include​ ​that information​ ​in​ ​your​ ​application. 3.​ ​The​ ​continuity​ ​of​ ​your​ ​performance.​​ ​Adcoms​ ​look​ ​very​ ​carefully​ ​into​ ​the​ ​academic workload​ ​you​ ​carried​ ​every​ ​semester,​ ​and​ ​they​ ​pay​ ​particular​ ​attention​ ​to​ ​periods​ ​in which​ ​you​ ​might​ ​have​ ​lowered​ ​your​ ​workload.​ ​For​ ​example,​ ​that​ ​semester-long​ ​break you​ ​took​ ​to​ ​work​ ​full-time,​ ​or​ ​the​ ​year​ ​when​ ​you​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​take​ ​two​ ​classes​ ​instead​ ​of the​ ​usual​ ​five.​ ​Be​ ​prepared​ ​to​ ​justify​ ​and/or​ ​explain​ ​your​ ​decision​ ​in​ ​the​ ​appropriate part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​application. If​ ​your​ ​grades​ ​in​ ​math​ ​and​ ​in​ ​other​ ​quantitative​ ​classes​ ​are​ ​low,​ ​I​ ​recommend​ ​that​ ​you​ ​take pre-MBA​ ​courses​ ​in​ ​subjects​ ​such​ ​as​ ​accounting,​ ​finance,​ ​calculus,​ ​and​ ​statistics.​ ​You​ ​can​ ​take them​ ​at​ ​any​ ​accredited​ ​university​ ​or​ ​community​ ​college,​ ​but​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​you​ ​earn​ ​solid​ ​A’s​ ​in​ ​all ©​ ​2017 6 of​ ​them.​ ​This​ ​will​ ​diminish​ ​the​ ​effect​ ​that​ ​low​ ​grades​ ​might​ ​have​ ​on​ ​your​ ​MBA​ ​application​,​ ​as you​ ​will​ ​be​ ​showing​ ​that​ ​you​ ​are​ ​fully​ ​capable​ ​of​ ​handling​ ​the​ ​academic​ ​rigor​ ​of​ ​the​ ​MBA. Finally,​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​to​ ​demonstrate​ ​your​ ​academic​ ​capacity​ ​with​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​score​ ​in​ ​the​ ​GMAT​ ​or GRE,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​the​ ​next​ ​topic​ ​I​ ​will​ ​cover. ©​ ​2017 7 The​ ​GMAT​ ​and​ ​Your​ ​MBA​ ​Admissions​ ​Profile The​ ​GMAT,​ ​along​ ​with​ ​your​ ​undergraduate​ ​academic​ ​performance,​ ​is​ ​the​ ​most​ ​commonly​ ​used predictor​ ​of​ ​how​ ​you​ ​will​ ​do​ ​in​ ​the​ ​MBA​ ​coursework​ ​and​ ​plays​ ​a​ ​key​ ​role​ ​in​ ​the​ ​MBA application. Your​ ​GMAT​ ​score​ ​is​ ​sometimes​ ​also​ ​used​ ​by​ ​prospective​ ​employers​ ​(consulting​ ​firms​ ​and investment​ ​banks​ ​mostly)​ ​in​ ​the​ ​pre-screening​ ​process​ ​for​ ​interviews,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​by​ ​several organizations​ ​that​ ​produce​ ​MBA​ ​rankings.​ ​You​ ​cannot​ ​take​ ​the​ ​GMAT​ ​lightly​,​ ​and​ ​if​ ​your intention​ ​is​ ​to​ ​apply​ ​to​ ​a​ ​top​ ​MBA​ ​program,​ ​you​ ​will​ ​need​ ​to​ ​obtain​ ​the​ ​highest​ ​possible​ ​score. This​ ​is​ ​not​ ​the​ ​type​ ​of​ ​test​ ​you​ ​can​ ​prepare​ ​for​ ​in​ ​just​ ​a​ ​few​ ​days.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​most​ ​of​ ​my​ ​clients spend​ ​several​ ​months​ ​preparing​ ​for​ ​it,​ ​and​ ​many​ ​of​ ​them​ ​take​ ​it​ ​more​ ​than​ ​once. To​ ​avoid​ ​surprises​ ​later​ ​on,​ ​here​ ​are​ ​a​ ​few​ ​tips: 1.​ ​Start​ ​now.​​ ​If​ ​you​ ​have​ ​already​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​apply​ ​to​ ​business​ ​school,​ ​now​ ​is​ ​the​ ​time​ ​to start​ ​preparing​ ​for​ ​the​ ​GMAT.​ ​Your​ ​results​ ​will​ ​be​ ​valid​ ​for​ ​five​ ​years,​ ​so​ ​even​ ​if​ ​you​ ​are only​ ​finishing​ ​college​ ​and​ ​don’t​ ​plan​ ​on​ ​applying​ ​for​ ​another​ ​couple​ ​of​ ​years,​ ​take​ ​it now!​ ​You​ ​will​ ​be​ ​thankful​ ​you​ ​took​ ​it​ ​early​ ​and​ ​have​ ​it​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​way​ ​when​ ​the​ ​rush​ ​of the​ ​application​ ​season​ ​starts. 2.​ ​Set​ ​aside​ ​a​ ​time​ ​each​ ​day​ ​to​ ​prepare.​ ​The​ ​GMAT​ ​is​ ​like​ ​a​ ​marathon.​ ​You​ ​don’t​ ​start training​ ​the​ ​day​ ​before​ ​a​ ​marathon,​ ​but​ ​rather​ ​months​ ​before,​ ​particularly​ ​if​ ​you​ ​have never​ ​run​ ​long​ ​distances​ ​before.​ ​Sustained​ ​practice​ ​over​ ​a​ ​longer​ ​period​ ​is​ ​much​ ​more effective​ ​than​ ​cramming​ ​a​ ​few​ ​days​ ​before​ ​the​ ​test. 3.​ ​Always​ ​work​ ​with​ ​a​ ​timer.​ ​One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​complaints​ ​I​ ​hear​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​from​ ​those​ ​who​ ​don’t do​ ​well​ ​on​ ​the​ ​GMAT​ ​is​ ​that​ ​they​ ​knew​ ​the​ ​answer​ ​but​ ​didn’t​ ​have​ ​enough​ ​time.​ ​If​ ​you always​ ​practice​ ​with​ ​a​ ​timer​ ​you​ ​will​ ​get​ ​used​ ​to​ ​thinking​ ​and​ ​answering​ ​fast,​ ​and​ ​will not​ ​have​ ​a​ ​problem​ ​the​ ​day​ ​of​ ​the​ ​test.​ ​Give​ ​yourself​ ​the​ ​same​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​time​ ​you’d get​ ​for​ ​a​ ​given​ ​section​ ​during​ ​the​ ​actual​ ​test. 4.​ ​Take​ ​practice​ ​tests​ ​as​ ​often​ ​as​ ​you​ ​can.​ ​This​ ​will​ ​help​ ​you​ ​get​ ​used​ ​to​ ​the​ ​format​ ​of the​ ​questions,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​will​ ​also​ ​train​ ​you​ ​to​ ​answer​ ​questions​ ​correctly​ ​even​ ​when​ ​you’re tired.​ ​Those​ ​word​ ​problems​ ​get​ ​harder​ ​after​ ​you’ve​ ​already​ ​answered​ ​20​ ​or​ ​30 ©​ ​2017 8 questions!​ ​Also,​ ​taking​ ​practice​ ​tests​ ​will​ ​allow​ ​you​ ​to​ ​evaluate​ ​your​ ​progress,​ ​see​ ​what areas​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on,​ ​and​ ​which​ ​sections​ ​are​ ​your​ ​strong​ ​ones. 5.​ ​Once​ ​you​ ​have​ ​identified​ ​your​ ​strengths​ ​and​ ​weaknesses,​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​to​ ​spend​ ​more time​ ​on​ ​the​ ​areas​ ​where​ ​you​ ​struggle​ ​the​ ​most.​​ ​It​ ​is​ ​a​ ​natural​ ​impulse​ ​to​ ​try​ ​to​ ​spend more​ ​time​ ​on​ ​the​ ​sections​ ​that​ ​feel​ ​easier​ ​and​ ​abandon​ ​the​ ​ones​ ​where​ ​you​ ​seem​ ​to struggle,​ ​as​ ​this​ ​provides​ ​a​ ​false​ ​feeling​ ​of​ ​security.​ ​Don’t​ ​make​ ​that​ ​mistake. Preparing​ ​for​ ​the​ ​GMAT​ ​requires​ ​dedication,​ ​discipline,​ ​and​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​practice.​ ​Unless​ ​you​ ​are​ ​used to​ ​standardized​ ​tests,​ ​most​ ​people​ ​can​ ​only​ ​achieve​ ​a​ ​high​ ​score​ ​after​ ​many​ ​hours​ ​of​ ​study​ ​and dedication.​ ​A​ ​high​ ​score​ ​on​ ​the​ ​GMAT​ ​will​ ​mean​ ​a​ ​higher​ ​probability​ ​of​ ​acceptance,​ ​and​ ​a higher​ ​chance​ ​of​ ​a​ ​scholarship.​ ​The​ ​time​ ​and​ ​effort​ ​you​ ​spend​ ​preparing​ ​for​ ​the​ ​GMAT​ ​is definitely​ ​worth​ ​it. ©​ ​2017 9 Work​ ​Experience​ ​in​ ​Your​ ​MBA​ ​Admissions​ ​Profile Although​ ​more​ ​schools​ ​are​ ​now​ ​open​ ​to​ ​considering​ ​candidates​ ​without​ ​post-college experience,​ ​most​ ​top​ ​MBA​ ​programs​ ​still​ ​strongly​ ​prefer​ ​candidates​ ​who​ ​have​ ​worked​ ​a​ ​solid two​ ​to​ ​five​ ​years.​ ​Schools​ ​believe​ ​that​ ​students​ ​with​ ​work​ ​experience​ ​are​ ​able​ ​to​ ​take advantage​ ​more​ ​fully​ ​of​ ​the​ ​MBA​ ​experience,​ ​and​ ​can​ ​contribute​ ​more​ ​to​ ​the​ ​classroom​ ​and their​ ​peers. What​ ​part​ ​of​ ​your​ ​work​ ​experience​ ​is​ ​the​ ​most​ ​important?​ ​Based​ ​on​ ​my​ ​experience​ ​as​ ​an admissions​ ​consultant​ ​and​ ​previously​ ​as​ ​Admissions​ ​Director,​ ​I​ ​can​ ​point​ ​to​ ​the​ ​following elements: 1.​ ​Leadership.​ ​More​ ​than​ ​the​ ​type​ ​of​ ​company​ ​you​ ​work​ ​for,​ ​or​ ​the​ ​type​ ​of​ ​work​ ​you​ ​do, the​ ​most​ ​important​ ​element​ ​of​ ​your​ ​work​ ​experience​ ​is​ ​your​ ​leadership.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​one​ ​of the​ ​elements​ ​that​ ​is​ ​given​ ​the​ ​most​ ​weight.​ ​Your​ ​resume​ ​should​ ​be​ ​packed​ ​with concrete​ ​evidence​ ​of​ ​leadership:​ ​how​ ​many​ ​people​ ​you​ ​supervise,​ ​the​ ​teams​ ​you​ ​lead, the​ ​size​ ​of​ ​the​ ​budget​ ​you​ ​manage,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​impact​ ​you​ ​have​ ​had.​ ​It’s​ ​not​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​say that​ ​you​ ​are​ ​a​ ​leader;​ ​you​ ​must​ ​back​ ​it​ ​up​ ​with​ ​concrete​ ​numbers​ ​and​ ​achievements. 2.​ ​Professional​ ​development.​ ​In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​leadership,​ ​it’s​ ​important​ ​to​ ​give​ ​evidence of​ ​growth​ ​through​ ​promotions​ ​within​ ​the​ ​company​ ​or​ ​movements​ ​to​ ​another​ ​company with​ ​higher​ ​responsibility.​ ​Besides​ ​describing​ ​the​ ​change​ ​in​ ​roles,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​important​ ​to​ ​give evidence​ ​of​ ​growth​ ​and​ ​dynamism.​ ​Again,​ ​specifics​ ​matter. 3.​ ​Stability.​​ ​Even​ ​though​ ​adcoms​ ​will​ ​want​ ​to​ ​see​ ​progress​ ​in​ ​and​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the organization,​ ​they​ ​will​ ​also​ ​value​ ​your​ ​professional​ ​stability.​ ​This​ ​means​ ​that​ ​you​ ​should change​ ​jobs​ ​only​ ​when​ ​it​ ​represents​ ​an​ ​advancement​ ​for​ ​your​ ​career.​ ​Changing​ ​jobs every​ ​12​ ​months​ ​(or​ ​less),​ ​for​ ​example,​ ​shows​ ​instability​ ​and​ ​leads​ ​to​ ​suspicion​ ​about your​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​hold​ ​a​ ​job—or​ ​appeal​ ​to​ ​on-campus​ ​recruiters.​ ​Although​ ​changes​ ​in employment​ ​are​ ​often​ ​necessary​ ​and​ ​inevitable,​ ​try​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​them​ ​to​ ​a​ ​minimum,​ ​and​ ​if possible,​ ​avoid​ ​long​ ​lapses​ ​between​ ​jobs,​ ​as​ ​you​ ​will​ ​find​ ​them​ ​difficult​ ​to​ ​explain​ ​in​ ​an application​ ​later. Your​ ​resume​ ​must​ ​display​ ​your​ ​professional​ ​accomplishments​ ​with​ ​numbers​ ​and​ ​details.​ ​The resume​ ​should​ ​not​ ​be​ ​a​ ​never-ending​ ​list​ ​of​ ​duties​ ​and​ ​responsibilities,​ ​but​ ​rather​ ​a​ ​record​ ​of ©​ ​2017 10 tangible​ ​achievements.​ ​Spend​ ​time​ ​and​ ​attention​ ​in​ ​building​ ​your​ ​resume​.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​an​ ​essential​ ​part of​ ​the​ ​application​ ​and​ ​consequently​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​keys​ ​to​ ​your​ ​admission​ ​to​ ​business​ ​school. ©​ ​2017 11 Extracurricular​ ​Activities​ ​in​ ​Your​ ​MBA​ ​Admissions Profile While​ ​business​ ​schools​ ​deeply​ ​value​ ​your​ ​academic​ ​background,​ ​GMAT,​ ​and​ ​work​ ​experience, they​ ​also​ ​ascribe​ ​significant​ ​weight​ ​to​ ​your​ ​extracurricular​ ​and​ ​community​ ​service​ ​activities. Why?​ ​Because​ ​they​ ​want​ ​to​ ​see​ ​that​ ​you​ ​are​ ​an​ ​individual​ ​who​ ​is​ ​not​ ​just​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​work,​ ​that you​ ​have​ ​other​ ​passions,​ ​and​ ​that​ ​you​ ​are​ ​well​ ​rounded. Whether​ ​it​ ​be​ ​practicing​ ​sports,​ ​singing​ ​in​ ​your​ ​church’s​ ​choir,​ ​or​ ​helping​ ​at​ ​soup​ ​kitchens, community​ ​service​ ​and​ ​extracurricular​ ​activities​ ​are​ ​extremely​ ​important​ ​for​ ​you​ ​as​ ​an applicant​ ​beyond​ ​their​ ​feel-good​ ​value.​ ​Why​ ​do​ ​b-schools​ ​care​ ​about​ ​these​ ​activities?​ ​They: 1.​ ​Create​ ​a​ ​more​ ​holistic​ ​picture​ ​of​ ​you.​​ ​You​ ​are​ ​not​ ​just​ ​the​ ​two-dimensional​ ​person going​ ​to​ ​work​ ​every​ ​day​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​it​ ​easy​ ​on​ ​the​ ​weekends.​ ​It​ ​shows​ ​them​ ​that​ ​you have​ ​other​ ​interests,​ ​and​ ​that​ ​you’re​ ​not​ ​afraid​ ​to​ ​take​ ​(mostly​ ​unpaid)​ ​responsibilities outside​ ​of​ ​your​ ​job. 2.​ ​Reveal​ ​traits​ ​that​ ​would​ ​probably​ ​not​ ​come​ ​out​ ​in​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​application:​ ​Your leadership,​ ​initiative,​ ​passion,​ ​and​ ​interpersonal​ ​skills.​ ​People​ ​that​ ​are​ ​used​ ​to​ ​acting​ ​to the​ ​benefit​ ​of​ ​others​ ​make​ ​for​ ​better​ ​team​ ​players,​ ​whether​ ​in​ ​the​ ​community​ ​or​ ​the corporate​ ​world.​ ​Those​ ​traits​ ​are​ ​indispensable​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​succeed​ ​at​ ​b-school​ ​and​ ​later on​ ​in​ ​your​ ​career. 3.​ ​Indicate​ ​you’ll​ ​be​ ​an​ ​involved​ ​student​ ​and​ ​alum.​​ ​Individuals​ ​who​ ​have​ ​a​ ​track​ ​record of​ ​community​ ​service​ ​are​ ​likely​ ​to​ ​be​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​clubs​ ​while​ ​they​ ​are​ ​in​ ​b-school,​ ​school initiatives,​ ​ ​and​ ​later,​ ​the​ ​alumni​ ​association. What​ ​if​ ​you​ ​haven’t​ ​volunteered​ ​or​ ​committed​ ​significant​ ​time​ ​to​ ​a​ ​non-professional​ ​activity and​ ​are​ ​planning​ ​to​ ​apply​ ​to​ ​business​ ​school​ ​this​ ​fall?​ ​Start​ ​today.​ ​You​ ​may​ ​think​ ​that​ ​adcoms will​ ​notice​ ​that​ ​this​ ​sudden​ ​increase​ ​in​ ​your​ ​...
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