MBA Admissions Advice: The Criteria
So I promised I would start posting more, so here we go! Barring any major setbacks, I will be taking my GMAT on Saturday August 23rd, so in a little over a month (YIKES!) and applying to all 4 of my schools in Round 2 (I’ll elaborate more on this decision in a later post). Most R2 deadlines fall around the first one or two weeks in January, but my goal is to have everything submitted by the beginning of December so I can at least attempt to enjoy my Christmas and New Year holiday in peace. I’ll be posting a breakdown of my application preparation schedule in the next week or so.
Now that I’ve started doing marginal essay brainstorming, I put together this list of criteria that adcoms look for in a b school application and have made notes in a spreadsheet on my strengths and weaknesses (will provide in a later post), and how I plan to either leverage, strengthen or combat them in the next 4 months. A lot of the weaknesses my current application has, such as undergraduate university and years of work experience, I can’t do anything to change, but this exercise has given me the opportunity to start thinking of ways to turn them into somewhat positives if asked via the essay and/or interview.
For example: My undergrad is moreso known for its football team than for academics, but instead of looking at it as a negative or weaknesses, I would expand on the fact that this school also happened to be out of state where I knew absolutely no one. I was completely alone and forced out of my comfort zone, but it was an experience that taught me how to stand on my own two feet, build new friendships, and be open to different types of people and cultures.
Below is a subset of what my self analysis looks like.
|UNDER REPRESENTED MINORITY APPLICANT||STRENGTH||LEVERAGE MY INVOLVEMENT IN VOLUNTEER WORK AT AN ORGANIZATION TARGETED AT HELPING YOUNG MINORITY GIRLS IN THE COMMUNITY|
|LEADERSHIP OUTSIDE OF WORK||CAN IMPROVE||WANT TO ORGANIZE A CHARITY FUNDRAISER|
|UNDERGRADUATE UNIVERSITY||WEAKNESS||FOCUS ON HOW OUT OF STATE SCHOOL WAS IMPORTANT FOR PERSONAL GROWTH|
Feel free to do this as well if you haven’t already and even share in the comments any criteria I may have missed. It definitely puts things into perspective. A little introspection does the b school application good.
- Above average GPA
- Undergraduate degree from a school with an excellent academic reputation
- GMAT score in your program’s 80% range/above or at median
- High Quant score
- Employer is known for high hiring standards
- Years of work experience
- Quality of work experience
- Evidence of career progression (in both responsibilities and promotions/titles)
- Excellent letters of recommendation
- Leadership at work
- Leadership outside of work
- Evidence of managerial potential
- Desire to strengthen leadership skills and improve on weaknesses
- Definitive career goals (short term and long term)
- Explain desire, passion and significance for that career goal
- Adcoms can connect the dots between previous skills/experiences and post-MBA career goals
- Know why an MBA is essential for achieving these career goals
- Can illustrate why you need an MBA from that specific program
- Life experience
- Are you an under represented minority or international applicant
- Demonstrate you are a well rounded individual
- Extracurricular involvement
- Volunteer experiences
- International travel
- A great fit with the school’s culture
- Express desire for new experiences, relationships and opportunities
- Can prove why an MBA is necessary RIGHT now