Extracurriculars in the MBA application: choose wisely
Many of you may be in a panic because you don’t have a lot of volunteer engagement outside of what you do for work every day. This is common. What I wouldn’t recommend that you do is: six months before the application is due, add a whole collection of extracurriculars that have no connection to one another or any connection to you authentically as a person. Admissions is really good at sniffing this out, and it just doesn’t come across as honest and authentic to who you are. What I would do instead is focus in on what you’re already doing. The whole point isn’t that you’re necessarily volunteering, but that you show you have leadership and involvement outside of work, and that you’re a likeable person who has more to contribute to business school rather than just you professionally and your resume. Let’s say that you’re in a softball league. Could you take it up a notch and become a leader in the league? Or host some kind of fundraiser for another non-profit organization that you could pair with? Maybe you’re at work all the time and you just don’t have any time to do anything. Could you put together some kind of a mentorship program for new interns or analysts? Or could you take on some kind of a new cause at work that has meaning? Try to be creative and think outside the box, making sure that it relates to your authentic story and your application than it does just checking that box off for what you think adcom wants to hear.