Extracurricular activities should assert the fact that you are an excellent candidate for the prospective business school. We have explained the importance of extra-curricular activities in MBA Application, the list of relevant activities and the importance of extracurricular for less experience MBA applicants.
Why do Business Schools consider Extracurricular to be an important part of MBA Application?
Firstly, schools would prefer candidates who are well rounded and has a life outside work. Past extra-curricular activities shows the organizations that you are associated with and the skills that you have leveraged for the community. More importantly, schools would like to know how you could contribute in the campus outside class work. Students clubs are an integral part of the learning environment, and schools would rather have a candidate who can actively contribute in one of the clubs than someone who is good academically, but has very little involvement outside of class discussions.
Continuous Commitment towards Community Service
Community Service is one of the extracurricular activities that have high weightage in MBA Admissions. Almost all candidates will have stories of how they were involved with a charity or had raised fund for a Non-Profit but a spur in community service (one or two months) every year will not convince the AdCom that you are committed towards the community. The involvement has to be continuous, and action should speak louder than words.
Coming out of Comfort Zone
Unfortunately, there are typecasts created in the minds of AdCom about each demography. For American applicants, being part of a marathon for a cause is a cliché now. Find out how you can include extracurricular that is atypical for an American candidate. Instead of running for a marathon, include how you were also part of the marketing, and organization of the event. Another example is organizing a Marathon outside US where English was not the medium of communication. This will show that you were ready to come out of the comfort zone and cross cultural and language barriers for a bigger cause.
Less Experienced MBA Applicants
For candidates with less experience, extracurricular activities are a great means to make up for lack of experience in your chosen field. Your continuous involvement in volunteer work will offer several opportunities to show your leadership skills, which would be tough to show in a work environment where you are working under an experienced individual. Communication and team building skills can be highlighted through work experience but leadership skills – planning, setting goals for the organization/team, handling conflicts, and communicating effectively, can be included in your essay through the experiences in volunteer or entrepreneurial projects outside of work.
Diversity of Experience – Essays
Although the number of essays and word limit has been reduced in this year’s application essays, AdCom would get very little insight about your personality if the essays were focused just on your work. Mix it up with extracurricular activities and Entrepreneurial projects that you have undertaken.
What are the Extracurricular or Volunteer Activities that are relevant for MBA Application?
- Any activity that shows your Entrepreneurial skills
- Any activity that shows your leadership, communication, and emotional intelligence
- Any activity or events that shows your ability to come out of your comfort zone - International travel, Learning a foreign Language & crossing cultural and communication barrier
- Any activity where you are involved with the Military or affiliated organizations
- Any activity that involve Organizing Events - At Work, College Level, or Alumni Association
- Any Hobby that involve practice on a regular basis - Football, Baseball, Cricket, Archery, Golf and other sports that require discipline and focus.
- Any activity that shows team building capability-> fund raising, volunteering for a local charity or setting up an online campaign for a bigger cause.
Hobbies and extra-curriculars in an MBA Application gives the AdCom an idea about who you are and what you believe in. Stacy Blackman has written an excellent E-Book - Designing Your Business School Brand. This guide provides insight into how an admissions committee operates and helps you position yourselves effectively. Read this E-Book.
Learn what Hobbies and Extracurriculars can be included in your essays, according to your target school. Pick your Guide
Chicago Booth Essay Guide
Columbia Business School Essay Guide
Harvard Business School Essay Guide
Insead Essay Guide
Kellogg School of Managment Essay Guide
MIT Sloan School of Management Essay Guide
Stanford MBA Essay Guide
Wharton MBA Essay Guide
Tuck MBA Essay Guide
For Interview Guides and Mock Video Interviews, here are some useful combo packages
Interview Preparation Videos + Wharton Interview Guide
Interview Preparation Videos + Kellogg School of Management Interview Guide
Interview Preparation Videos + Harvard Business School Interview Guide
Interview Preparation Videos + Columbia Business School Interview Guide
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