Transcripts verify your academic performance, and recommendation letter affirms your competency at work, but your involvement with non-profit through volunteering and your entrepreneurial initiatives need much more than a certificate of participation, or a ‘single line’ in a resume.
Why do Business Schools consider Extracurricular to be an important part of MBA Application? Learn more.
Firstly, schools would prefer candidates who are well rounded and has a life outside work. Your past involvement in extra-curricular activities is an indicator of the non-profit and start-up organizations that you respect and value. It also demonstrates the skills that you have leveraged for the community. More importantly, schools would like to know how you would contribute in the campus outside class work. Student 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 raised fund for a non-profit, but a spur in community service (one or two months) every year will not demonstrate your commitment 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 your 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 the 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 under the supervision of an experienced individual.
You develop communication and team building skills through work experience, but leadership skills require planning, setting goals for the organization/team and handling conflicts. Most of these experiences - you gain through volunteer or entrepreneurial projects, outside regular work.
Diversity of Experience – Essays
Although the number of essays and word limit have slightly gone up this year, AdCom gets very little insight about your personality if the essays were all about 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 event that proves your ability to come out of your comfort zone.
Ex: 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, basketball, soccer, archery, golf and other sports that require discipline and focus.
• Any activity that shows team building capability - fundraising, volunteering for a local charity or setting up an online campaign for a bigger cause.
Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide
"Pressed against the deadline, I ordered F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide as their blogs always had something interesting to say. It was by far one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Going through the Essay Guide, I learned the art of storytelling, using various ploys mentioned in the book. Most important one being the “W pattern,” a strategy of information sharing that creates a sense of excitement in the mind of the reader." - MIT Sloan MBA Candidate
Only 1 in 900 gains admission to Harvard MBA program. If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the 899 rejected applicants.
ATTENTION is the secret ingredient. How will you get the attention of the essay reviewer?
You know why parables shared 1000 years ago are still shared among us?
Yes, the art of storytelling has won presidency for Obama, transformed Apple from an unknown start-up to a brand synonymous with Quality, and gained admission for the average MBA Applicant.
F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay guide will teach you how to transform your essay to an epic life journey with trials and tribulations that will move the admission team.
Who Should Buy The Winning MBA Essay Guide?
If your essay looks too bland, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you, with examples, on how to use the elements of Storytelling like Incorporating "The Struggle", Using Emotional connectors, narrating the Journey and the use of Chronology, Vividness and Active Verbs to transform your essays.
If you are stuck in the Writing process, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to silence the Analytic Mind and overcome mental blocks.
If you feel that the essays are not persuasive, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will teach you how to use the W-Pattern narrative, Contexts, Turning Points and "The Show Don't Tell Approach" to write a Winning MBA Essay.
If you don't have enough leadership experience, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to highlight non-obvious qualities like Trust, Focus, Listening Skills, Personal Responsibility, Humility, Self-Knowledge, and other secondary traits to prove your leadership.
If you don't know how to review your essays, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will demonstrate how to improve readability with the power of iteration, and maintain your original voice by removing review biases.
Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back
Sample MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood)
+ Stanford MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample Essay A
+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
#1. Modern Art = Make you Think
#2. Teamwork and Individual Ambition
#4. Diversity = Creativity
#5. Classroom Experience
#6. Harper Center
+ Columbia MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay – Most Passionate About
Sample MBA Essay – Free Day
+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample Cover Letter
+ Kellogg MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample Essay - Leadership and Challenges
Sample Essay - How you have grown and intend to grow
+ Insead MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample Essay 1: Candid Description, Strengths & Weaknesses
Sample Essay 2: Achievements and Failures
Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are
+ Haas MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit
Sample MBA Essay: Technology
Sample MBA Essay: Marketing
Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired
Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture
Sample MBA Essay: Leadership
Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay – Investment Banker
Sample MBA Essay - Consultant
Sample MBA Essay - Technologist
Sample MBA Essay - Marketer
Sample MBA Essay - Entrepreneur
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band
Sample MBA Essay: Technologist (Idea to Action)
Sample MBA Essay: Creative Marketing (Idea to Action)
Sample MBA Essay: Consulting (Made a Difference)
Sample MBA Essay: Losing a Client (Resilience)
Sample MBA Essay: Finance to Marketing (extra-curricular)
Sample MBA Essay: I am Aware that I am different
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People
Sample MBA Essay: A valuable thing I have taught someone
Sample Essay – Part 2 (Short-term & Long-Term Goals, skills relevant to your career goals and how Ross
prepares you for the goals)
+ Wharton MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
8 Professional Gains
+ London Business School MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
London as the Financial Hub
London as the Technology Hub
London as the Consulting Hub
How to Cite the Curriculum (Example)
Sample LBS MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goals - How Prior Experience & LBS MBA will contribute (486
+ Darden MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Case Study Method
What is valued at Darden?
Framework for Answering the Darden Essay Question
Sample Darden Essay: When your opinion evolved through discussions (499 Words)
+ Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua Short-Answer Essay Questions
Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)
Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things
Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words)
Essay 3: Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six")
5 Examples with Images
+ Sample Essays
+ The Art of Storytelling
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses
Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (2018 Entering Class)