Business school is all about giving and taking. While you will be taking a lot from the school in terms of the knowledge you will gain and the resources you will have access to, it’s just as important to be able to show MBA programs what you will give.
Below are three broad ways in which you can contribute to business school. Keep these in mind as you delve into your MBA applications.
What you will contribute inside the classroom
Business schools are first and foremost academic institutions, and in addition to the core classes that most MBA programs require, there will be ample opportunity to take electives as well. Therefore, think about what you will contribute in class discussions, team-based academic projects, etc. The questions below will help you brainstorm what you can share in the classroom:
What knowledge do you have that you can share with your peers in the classroom? For instance, think about your academic background and your professional experiences to date.
What skills do you have that will be useful in class discussions, team-based academic projects, etc.? For instance, if you are a finance professional, perhaps you have very strong modeling and analytical skills that you can help your peers with. Or perhaps you are a lawyer and will help navigate discussions because of your strong negotiation skills. Think about the skills that you use on a daily basis in your job.
What unique personal perspectives do you bring to the classroom?
What you will contribute outside the classroom
Being able to contribute beyond the classroom is also vital to demonstrate in your applications. In particular, this includes extracurricular activities such as clubs as well as experiential activities. The questions below will help you brainstorm what you can share outside of the classroom:
What activities have you participated in, both in the past and currently? How can you contribute those experiences to business school?
What clubs and experiential activities do you see yourself getting involved in and why for each of the MBA programs that you are applying to? What do you think you can bring to those clubs and experiential programs?
What you will contribute to the broader community
While it can be easy to get stuck in an “MBA bubble” while in business school, it’s important to realize that each MBA program is part of a broader, vibrant community. For instance, both Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan are in the Boston area, both Kellogg and Chicago Booth are in the Chicago area, etc. As a result, think about how you can enhance the surrounding community. Here are some questions that can help you brainstorm what you can do to help the broader environment:
What activities have you participated in, both in the past and currently? How can you contribute those experiences to the surrounding community?
Are there ways in which you believe you can partner with your peers while specifically leveraging the school’s resources in order to positively impact the community and its citizens?
We are confident that there is a A LOT you can do to give back to the MBA programs and communities that you will join in the future – make sure that comes through in your applications!
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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