How Supervisors, Company Culture and Extra-curricular define you

The first deliverable in Basic/Detailed profile evaluation is the creation of an IMPACT table. The joint exercise between the MBA admissions consultant and the applicant lists all possible events – successes, failures, individual projects (hobbies, extra-curricular and volunteering) and team projects (professional projects, group sports, and volunteering) that marked the applicant’s growth in the company or made their skills attractive for Business Schools.

What I learned evaluating hundreds of applicants’ growth is that individual projects tend to have a clear IMPACT over team projects. This seems counter-intuitive as what you do professionally as a team should have defined you as a person.

Unfortunately – it doesn’t

Team Size – Magic Number

When the team size crosses 5, individuals put less effort to reach the goals. This is not a conscious decision. We tend to fall for what Social Psychologists call Social Loafing.

As an individual – most tasks allocated to us has a clear performance indicator and deliverables. With a team, the burden of the responsibility is shared and depending on the company culture – individual performers are revered or hidden beneath team metrics.

As the complexity of the tasks increases and the success of the project depends on external conditions (market response/economy/manufacturing/supply/team performance), managers/supervisors rely on a group of functional experts to communicate pro-actively and complete the tasks. Unless everyone in the team is equally motivated and represent individuals with equal skill set – both are unlikely, team performance is a function of the median.

Managerial Skills of the Supervisor

Another factor that MBA applicants forget is that their success as a professional is heavily dependent on the managerial skills of the supervisor.

I had a client who used to allocate 1-hour every Friday as a Manager to offer specific praise for team members who have exceeded the expectation and met all quality guidelines for the project.

The secret was specificity. It was never – “good job creating the copy in 1 day” but “ I loved when you wrote…”

The constant engagement with the team increased the team’s output by 35% in just 6 months.

He monitored the mood of the team through the ease with each the daily morning meeting translated to the first deliverable for the day.

Everybody was required to deliver a micro-project in just 3 hours. The technique was to push the team member to perform as fast as possible without thinking.

By doing so, the Manager created a routine. After a month, the impossible 3-hour turnaround time became a norm for all the teams working under him.

He developed the process. This was not part of the company culture or best practice.

The Culture of the Company

The client who developed a new process that valued deliverable over theory/brainstorming was part of a rising media start-up in London.

We used the story for his strengths Essay.

This was not his one-off trick.

The start-up encouraged risk-taking.

He went on to share how two of his previous innovative project management techniques brought down the productivity of the team. The explanation became a backstory for his failure essay.

Most of you work for the Fortune 500 companies with little incentive to innovate as outrageous results – good or bad, are noticed and rewarded/punished over above average performance.

Extra-Curricular Completes the Picture

You can’t create fake stories and spin narratives that can’t be concurred by your supervisors.

Don’t worry.

The admission team understands the rigid hierarchy and bureaucracy of big companies, where completing the specific task before time is appreciated over any form of innovation.

Your Extra-curricular and volunteering experience should bridge the gap in your narrative.

The most common question that I get is regarding the relevance of extra-curricular in MBA Application.

I would say – list them all out.

The bigger picture of who you are as a person needs examples from volunteering, individual/group sports, and creativity outside work.

Work limits you to a stereotype.

Articulating IMPACT

For MBA applicants, the inability to articulate IMPACT can be the difference between a persuasive and a cliched essay narrative. Fortunately, most companies have established markers for evaluating IMPACT at an organization and team level.

The 360-degree feedback and appraisals should be used as data points for your MBA Application. What we offer is the context for each achievement.

Subscribe to our Basic Profile Evaluation or Detailed Profile Evaluation Service, and we will help you:

1) Shortlist the most relevant achievements and failures
2) Offer context for all your projects (Easy to read and understand)
3) Map your personality to the right MBA program/Post-MBA job function

Social Loafing: A Meta-Analytic Review and Theoretical Integration
Winning MBA Essay Guide

Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide

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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?


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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.

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Pages: 618

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)   

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   
    #3. Adventure   
    #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

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)

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