As the world united this past November and December to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it was hard not to draw parallels between this global event and the rigorous process of applying to MBA programs. While the two may seem unrelated at first glance, the path to the World Cup and the journey to business school both require careful preparation, mental strength and persistence, and the support of a team.
Both require preparation
Like the World Cup, applying to MBA programs is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes months of hard work and dedication to put together a competitive application package, complete with transcripts, recommendation letters, essays, and more. Just as a soccer team must train for months in advance to be ready for the World Cup, MBA applicants must also put in the time and effort to prepare for the GMAT, research and apply to schools, and craft and polish their application materials.
As you prepare, always keep the goal in mind. Although the process can be stressful and demanding, in both instances, the rewards can be great. For soccer players, winning the World Cup can bring fame and financial success, as well as national pride and a sense of accomplishment. Similarly, earning an MBA from a top business school can open up new career opportunities and increase earning potential, and can also provide personal and professional growth and development.
Both require being mentally strong and persistent
Both the World Cup and MBA applications also require mental strength and persistence, especially when faced with the unexpected. In the World Cup, a team may face unanticipated challenges such as injuries, weather delays, or difficult opponents. Similarly, MBA applicants may encounter unexpected setbacks, such as a low GMAT score, a recommender who pulls out from writing a recommendation letter, or a rejection from a top choice school. In both cases, it's important to stay focused and resilient, and to keep pushing forward despite any obstacles that may come your way.
Both require the support of others
Finally, both the World Cup and MBA applications require teamwork and support from others. In the World Cup, a team is only as strong as its weakest link, and success requires all players to work together and encourage each other. Similarly, applying to MBA programs often involves seeking out recommendations from colleagues and mentors as well as advice and support from family and friends (and yes, even MBA Admissions Consultants!) to create a strong application package.
As we look back at the excitement of the World Cup – and especially Argentina’s win (which last came in 1986) and the feather that’s finally in Lionel Messi’s cap (which has come after 5 tries, including a loss in the finals to Germany in 2014) – it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the parallels between this global event and the journey to business school!
About Ivy Groupe:
Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who has been recognized as a top MBA admissions consultant by Business Insider and Poets & Quants. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Shaifali’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.
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