What Impact Will You Have on Your Dream School?

YaleThe business school application process is all about IMPACT – the impact you have made on the people and organizations you have worked with in the past, the impact you’ve made at the company you’re currently an employee of, and (most  often overlooked) the impact you will make on the student community at your target business school.

The Admissions Committee wants to know what you will take away from the MBA experience, and one thing that will help you stand out from the sea of other applicants is offering up your thoughts on what you will give to the student community. If you can vividly paint a picture of what campus life would be like with you as a student – in a positive and personalized fashion – it can add a very unique component to your application package. Let’s explore some ways to highlight the impact you will have on the MBA student community:

Personal Contributions
Business schools are looking to admit people – real people! So don’t be afraid to lean on how your unique qualities will manifest themselves on campus. Will you start a Basketball Club because you love the sport? Will you organize bake sales because it combines two of your passions: cooking and charity? Find your own personal secret sauce and figure out what value you can bring to the school. Keep in mind, your impact doesn’t have to be super lofty. If you are a natural motivator, there will be a place for you on campus when it comes to coursework, recruiting, and other aspects that will relate to improving the lives of others.

Cultural Contributions
Business schools embrace diversity in a big way. The changing makeup of campuses all over the world are a testament to this. As such, don’t hide from your culture or the diversity that you will bring to campus. Whether it is by helping others better understand your culture or bringing disparate groups of people together, think through what impact you will have on campus through culture. Involvement in global and affinity groups and other extra-curricular activities are another clear way to be engaged on campus.

Professional Contributions
Do you plan to bring your knowledge or network to support others on campus? Professional contributions are often the easiest to bring to bear, but also get consistently overlooked. Someone you might consider to be just a friend or coworker could be the integral piece to helping a classmate break into a difficult industry. Using your application package to show that you will offer access and opportunities to other students will showcase you as a selfless person and highlight the fact you truly get what a high-functioning MBA community is all about.

Control the narrative in your business school applications – don’t make the Admissions Committee guess what you would contribute as a student. Use the above tips and various application touch points to show how you will make a unique impact on campus at their school.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ and Twitter.

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here.

It’s Never Too Soon to Think About Your Business School Applications

Many MBA applicants ask us, “How soon should I start working on my business school applications?” When they ask that, they’re usually thinking about their essay and their letters or recommendation (and even their GMAT, if they haven’t yet taken it). We think this narrow definition gets a lot of applicants in trouble, however. Ideally you will start working on your application a couple of years before you ever submit it! The application itself is just a single snapshot of who you are, and you should start working on your candidacy log before you write your first essay.

We cover this idea in our newest MBA admissions video:

(You can go to YouTube and watch the video in a larger size.)

“Now hold on,” you’re saying. “Two years ago I didn’t even know that I’d apply to business school now, much less know what I’d need to pull together to build a great application.” Fair enough. That’s true for most applicants. But we urge you to change the definition of what it means to work on your applications — from just writing essays and gathering letters of recommendation, to seeking out new challenges on the job, finding ways to make an impact on your community, and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone to ensure that you keep growing personally and professionally.

Note that these are all things that you should do, anyway, to advance your career and to mature as an individual. If this were a blog post about how to build a strong career path when you’re very early in your career, we would dispense the same advice. But these are also the things that admissions officers look for (leadership, a willingness to take on challenges, maturity, etc.), so pursuing these opportunities has the double advantage of helping you in your career and in the MBA admissions process.

Keep checking this space and the Veritas Prep Channel on YouTube for more insightful videos in the coming weeks. For personalized help in applying to business school, law school, or medical school, call us at 800-925-7737 and talk to one of our admissions experts!

Success Story Part 4: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the essays of our lives…"

(This is the fourth in a series of blog posts in which Julie DeLoyd, a Veritas Prep GMAT alumna-turned-instructor, will tell the story of her experience through the MBA admissions process. Julie will begin her MBA program at Chicago Booth this fall. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 to learn Julie’s whole story.)

Since the time this business school idea first occurred to me on that Texas highway, the GMAT had been my main concern and the only real hurdle I had anticipated. Now with that hurdle behind me, I realized there was a whole new challenge ahead. Choosing schools, and writing essays upon essays upon essays