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Get Involved: Community Leadership Can Enrich Your MBA Application

Every year, the crop of candidates applying to top MBA programs become more and more competitive. Many applicants may think that the ideal candidate from the perspective of the admissions committee is largely based on a formula of numbers such as GPA and GMAT score. Although these numbers are important, top programs are looking for more: a well-rounded individual who can handle the academic rigor of a top MBA program as well as provide a unique perspective to his or her MBA class and to the program’s network. One important aspect of an applicant’s profile is community leadership.

Business schools care about community leadership because it demonstrates an applicant’s commitment to doing good in addition to doing well.  While certain programs place more value on community leadership than others, they all use it as a way to measure potential students. Community leadership is a great way to differentiate oneself as a candidate to schools while contributing to something greater. It will be a rewarding enterprise for you—both personally and professionally.

It is common for young professionals to be stuck in certain roles and responsibilities within a large, for-profit organization. Nonprofits are more willing to give young professionals the opportunity to take on leadership roles. Community leadership also provides an opportunity to work with an organization whose mission you care deeply about on a personal level.

It is important to get this experience now, so there is time enough for the work to speak for itself as a genuine interest and it can be reflected as such on your Round 1 applications. While it remains only one component of your overall application, community leadership experience is clearly valuable. The most critical aspect of such roles is to determine your genuine interests and issues that inspire you, and then take action sooner, rather than later, to develop a strong history of authentic leadership and service within that community or organization.

About Stratus

Stratus Admissions Counseling is a full service admissions counseling firm distinguished by its team based, multi-step process ensuring each application is crafted for optimum impact. Our MBA counseling team has a representative from virtually every top 20 MBA program, enabling us to provide school-specific guidance.

 

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