MBA Podcaster has posted its latest segment: “MBA Admission Strategic Plan: What You Can Do Now to Help Get Accepted Next Year.” And I am interviewed in this podcast. 😀
MBA Podcaster’s Janet Nakano also interviewed Scott Shrum and Omari Bouknight of MBA Game Plan. They seemed to waffle a little on the importance of community service in your application and the value of starting community service now if you are aiming for a Fall 2006 application.
I will let them clarify their views, but I want to make clear my view on this point: If you are planning to apply in Fall 2006, have your academic ducks lined up, and have not been involved in recent and regular community service, this is a great time from an admissions perspective to participate in your community. And I completely agree with Scott and Omari in the podcast, when they say that you should choose to serve in a way that reflects your passion.
I define community service as “active participation in and assumption of responsibility for your community.” That is an intentionally broad definition because “community” can be any group that you identify strongly with and want to contribute to. But this definition requires activity and commitment on your part .
Would it be better if you had a consistent community service track record going back several years? Yes. But you can’t turn the clock back. You can ensure that going forward you demonstrate the qualities admissions committees appreciate.
Bottom Line: Community service should reflect your values and talents and not be an instance of getting one more ticket punched on the trolley to b-school. Do it.