Most candidates approach the MBA application process by putting their own needs first. Perhaps you have decided to pursue an MBA because you want to achieve something new, change careers or advance more than you would otherwise.
However, what can set you apart from many candidates is thinking about what you can add to the business schools you are targeting. While everyone benefits from a diverse alumni network, what specifically do you want to give and receive from your classmates?
Applicants should frame their essays and interviews with the goal of convincing the admissions committee that they will enhance the student experience once on campus and will continue to make a positive impact as an alumnus down the road. Here are three ways to accomplish this.
1. Show how your skills and interests will benefit the program: Business schools strive to assemble a cohort filled with impressive individuals who will use their unique characteristics to enrich the learning environment. This is the perfect opportunity to distinguish yourself from those who may have a similar educational or work profile.
It’s effective to start with what you bring to the table. Think about what your points of differentiation are from other MBA candidates. Perhaps you have a distinctive leadership style or knowledge you can share with the class. Share with the admissions committee how you will contribute to the organizations that already exist, or mention your ideas for creating new ones.
Consider how you can add knowledge to a classroom. Maybe you have contacts in your industry that can help other students obtain jobs. Think about whether you can you provide connections to interesting speakers or if you will bring special skills to a club or classroom.
Remember, if your answers can be easily replicated by other applicants, they will add little to your candidacy.