With so many MBA and other grad school applicants vying for the same spots, you are going to need to impress upon the admissions committee why you are the best candidate around. Of course, self-proclaimed manifestos of plans for future good deeds are hardly a convincing argument for these weathered pros who have already seen and heard it all before.
No, the best way for you to show a review board that you are a worthy candidate for their acceptance list is to ALREADY BE the kind of student they are looking for. Adcoms are looking for students who will be active, productive, and proactive, and you can show them that you fit this bill by illustrating how you have done just that in the past.
Scan your previous accomplishments for examples of such behavior, and then present your experiences and personal characteristics in one of the following ways:
Demonstrate that you know how to work hard
Desire is a strong motivator, but adcoms are even more impressed by action. Show them that you have the skills needed to get the job done, and you’ve already won half the battle. Let the committee see that you have worked hard to cultivate the very skills that they are looking for in a student already. Whether it was through a course, volunteer program, various work experiences, or another hands-on example, clearly discuss how you built these skills.
Don’t forget to add in any failures that you met with along the way, how you handled and grew from them, and how you used these setbacks to propel you forward for the future. By showing your failures and successes, you’ll be proving to the adcom that you know how to work hard and get results.
Dabble in the lost art of storytelling
Once you have them listening, it’s time to drive the point home even further. A good way to do this is by telling them a story that illustrates how you have already used these skills to make an impact on the world, or at least on your surroundings. Be as detailed as possible when explaining what sort of effect your contribution had, and don’t skimp on the skills you needed to make these accomplishments happen.
Show how your talents are transferable
It’s good to have past achievements, but if you can’t utilize these skills in new settings, then all your accomplishments will not amount to much. Instead, show the adcom that you can transfer your previous skills to your new environment, benefiting the student body, the school, and your chosen professional field.
Explain how you’ve found the perfect place for acceleration
Don’t forget to mention how THIS school is exactly the right place to further cultivate those previously discussed skills. You are ready and able to contribute as an active member of the student body, and with the training you’ll gain in the program, those skills will develop into even more productive traits that you can take out into the world.
So, you want to impress the adcom with your wealth of achievements and skills? Let your past be a guiding light for all that you can accomplish in the future, and the adcom will have plenty to be impressed by with your application. Also, grab your free copy of Leadership in Admissions for more tips on demonstrating your unique qualifications – and then just wait for those acceptance letters to start flooding your inbox.