The Booth MBA admissions committee focuses on three key dimensions in evaluating applicants:
- Intellectual fit in terms of ability and motivation to optimize its Curriculum
- Personal and cultural fit in terms of synergy with its Community
- Professional fit in terms of past and future Career
This short series of posts will explore each of these 3 C’s and how you can integrate them into your application successfully.
You can find the first one here. Now I’ll address the second dimension of fit with Booth MBA.
Fit with Booth’s community
On its website, the Booth admissions committee lists numerous qualities that it seeks and evaluates regarding fit with community: leadership, collaboration/teamwork, respect for others, philanthropic inclination, ability to contribute to the school/culture, and individual perspective.
That’s a long and broad list. Here are some tips on how to consider it and use it to guide your application.
- It would be a mistake to strive to highlight each of these elements equally in your application. Assuming you are a fundamentally qualified Booth applicant, your candidacy overall will naturally or organically reflect these points. Do, however, check your application to ensure they are all represented – it’s fine if some are relatively brief. It’s natural that some will be more in-depth and significant than others.
- In your application, do zoom in on a couple of those factors on this list where you really shine—go in depth and let your individuality (as a leader and/or collaborator and/or philanthropist etc.) stand out. Has brilliant, nuanced collaboration fueled your career success? Has your leadership been tested and tempered through a major professional challenge with lots at stake? Does your life or career give you a distinctive perspective on an industry, on personal values, on organizational culture? Detail it through example and anecdote (in essays and possibly in interview). This means, basically, not trying to be “everything to everybody” in the application but rather taking a stand regarding your identity and your candidacy.
- The above advice is based in part on the fact that many (even most) of those items on the list are inter-related. For example, to be an effective collaborator necessarily involves respect for others. Philanthropic tendency, perhaps counter-intuitively, often pushes people to assume leadership roles. An individual perspective will inherently engender contribution to the school/culture and community.
Keep in mind that there is qualitative assessment of your activities. For example, in the application, the adcom reviews not only what activities you participate in, but seeks “long-term involvement,” “continued involvement” (with prior academic institutions) and “a sense of passion regarding social, community, or political issues.” This brings both opportunity and warning:
- Opportunity: if you have enduring, committed involvement in some way, DO highlight that commitment; make sure the adcom will see it!
- Warning: Do not try to “pump up” infrequent or short involvement and make it into more than it really is; the adcom will see through the smokescreen, and your effort can backfire, undermining rather than enhancing your candidacy. Instead, focus on those elements where, as noted above, you really do shine!
Do you want to ensure that your application demonstrates your fit with Chicago Booth? Do you need help highlighting your strengths and proving that you truly encapsulate the Chicago approach? I would be happy to work with you on your application and guide you to acceptance at Chicago Booth or any other of your top-choice MBA programs. Click here to get started.Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!