There are four main qualities that top b-schools look for when reviewing MBA applications. If you’re aiming for the top 10, then you’ll want to make sure not only that you possess these qualities, but that you’ve highlighted them in your application.
1. Problem Solving Skills. This is probably the most important quality, at least initially. Schools want the types of students that exclusive consulting firms like McKinsey would take interest in, and that type of student is an expert problem solver. Everyone working in firms like McKinsey needs to be adept at solving a range of “problems” – top schools recognize this and seek out students who would eventually be an excellent fit at these top firms.
2. Drive/Ambition. Applicants must show evidence of longstanding drive for success in their applications, resumes, and interviews. Did you push yourself to succeed inside and outside the classroom in college? Do you have an ambitious vision for your career path? B-schools want students who will succeed in the business world once they graduate – if you prove that you have drive/ambition, then you’ll stand out as someone who they want in their classrooms, and beyond.
3. Interpersonal Impact. “Brains on a stick” just won’t cut it at business school and then later on in the business world. You also need to be dynamic and likable. You need to be able to work well on a team and gain the respect of your teammates, not to mention later on, your employers and employees. You can show the adcoms your interpersonal impact by highlighting your involvement in teams at work as well as in clubs, sports, or other socially driven activities. Additionally, choose recommenders who know you well and who will attest to this attribute.
4. Leadership/Management Capabilities. Demonstrating general interpersonal impact isn’t enough: top candidates need to show strong evidence of leadership experience and potential. Did you take on leadership positions in clubs, sports teams, and service organizations? You need to express that you are the type of person who will earn the respect of those around you so that they’ll be eager to follow your lead. In your application, resume, and interview, come up with concrete examples that show how you wielded authority with skill and integrity.
Do you need help highlighting these essential qualities in your MBA application? We’re here to help! Contact us so we can provide the one-on-one counseling you need to put together the highest-impact b-school application.