Standing Out As An MBA Applicant In The Age Of Covid-19


While only time will tell, there is an expectation that as we head into Round 1 deadlines in the Fall, there will be an increase in the number of candidates applying to business school given the recessionary environment that has been spurred by the coronavirus (COVID-19). If this plays out as anticipated, the upcoming MBA application cycle will be more competitive than it has been in recent years as people look to enhance their professional skillset while riding out the weak economic landscape.


What does this mean for MBA applicants who will be applying during these unprecedented times? If you will be one such applicant, simply put, it is imperative that you do everything you can to stand out – here is how you can do so.

Build your application on a foundation of authenticity

At Ivy Groupe, our philosophy focuses on authenticity in order to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out; this stems from a very strong belief that every single person has a unique and compelling story to tell. In a competitive MBA application environment, sharing and drawing upon your inimitable narrative is even more paramount – after all, that is what will enable you to be memorable in a large pool of candidates vying for a limited number of available spots. As you craft your own authentic story, make sure to draw upon your unique experiences and perspectives, talk about the “why,” and convey your voice. You can read more about these elements in this blog post.


Step up and be proactive in the workplace

Throughout the world, employees are having to adjust as they work from home. This means that many people are juggling professional obligations with their personal responsibilities (such as childcare and schooling). There is no doubt that this is a very challenging situation. However, this may translate into more opportunities for you. How? If you find yourself with more time on your side versus your colleagues, why not step up and take on more responsibility? For example, is there a way to streamline a process on your team to make it more efficient? In essence, taking such extra steps will help you to stand out in the broader MBA applicant pool since you will have additional positive stories to convey in your applications.

Continue to focus on your extracurricular involvement

With shelter-in-place and lockdown mandates taking place and continuing in our cities, states, and countries, it’s easy to assume that these directives need to be lifted before you can immerse yourself in any extracurricular endeavors. However, sitting back and waiting for the world to go back to normal would be a huge mistake. Keep in mind that business schools assess how involved you will be on campus and in the broader community through the impact that you have already had on your communities thus far. It takes time for your efforts to show positive effects, which is why standing out as an applicant in the upcoming MBA admissions cycle means taking action now.


What are some things that you can do from your home to contribute to your communities? Here are some ideas – you can organize fundraisers, tutor others virtually, or perhaps offer up your skillset and expertise to assist other organizations through this crisis. For example, are you a marketer? Maybe you can help an organization improve its digital footprint. Or are you in finance? Perhaps you can help a non-profit to model future financial scenarios. The sky is the limit – don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

At Ivy Groupe, we offer a range of services and products to help clients put their best selves forward in the MBA application process. If we can assist you in your MBA application journey, feel free to request a free consultation here.

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Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who 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.

Click on the links to learn more about our company and how you can work with us to maximize your chances of gaining admission to the MBA programs of your choice.

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