After taking their GMAT test and scoring a 700+, many MBA applicants start thinking about the rest of their MBA application components and that’s when they start realising about the (most perceived) gaps and flaws in their otherwise bullet-proof armour. Then they resort to last-minute workarounds to cover up those shortcomings. And the results can be far from what you expected.
That’s the issue of approaching the MBA admissions as a checklist process. Let’s do a role-play. You are doing a status-check on your MBA application.
GMAT score: Done, 730 [smirk on the face]…I’m such a stud
TOEFL: Done, piece of cake [smirk still on]
Extra curriculars: Some sports work in college days…aah..how I miss the cheerleading…and the cheerleaders! [smirk expands to a silly grin now]
NGO / non-profit exposure: Damn…never thought about this. But I’ve still got 6 weeks before the Round 1 deadline. Hmmm…so what can I do to make the best use of that time. Let me list down a few easy, sasta and tikaoo options that won’t completely mess up my social life.
– Some fund-raising for a local charity (4-5 hours spread across 4 weekends)
– Organising a one-day outing for the orphanage kids (10 hours on 1 weekend)
– Teaching 2 days a week in the evenings at the municipal school in the neighbourhood (2 hours X 2 days/week X 6 weeks)
– All of the above if I can figure out a schedule that doesn’t conflict. Three for the price of 1, not bad!
Now put yourself in the Adcom’s shoes and imagine what they might be thinking as they browse through your application. Let’s continue the checklist approach here as well:
Academic Performance: decent
Professional work-experience: Average
GMAT test score: Good, but not great considering the competitive Indian pool
Non-profit / NGO work: Superficial, forced and downright ridiculous!!!
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by resorting your CV to window dressing. If you haven’t been involved in any social causes, don’t try to force it in at the last moment. It can turn the attention away from the good things about your profile and the implications can range from the mild (just a minor distraction) to the severe (why is this guy trying to portray an image that’s more of a facade than his real self?).
If you have already been involved in a cause that you truly believe in, talk about it in your apps. If you haven’t don’t think of ways to fix it at the last moment. Focus on the other aspects that make your profile unique.
Let us know what social causes you’ve been involved in, for how long and in what capacity. Don’t worry, if you share your ideas as comments here, others can’t and will not copy it. Why? Coz it’ll appear superficial on their CVs, but not on yours. So feel free to post your thoughts.
Compare your part-time exposure to what someone in a full-time non-profit job might do. For reference, here’s someone who shares about her experience in an Indian NGO.