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The Diversity Card

The topic of diversity is a popular one when it comes to the MBA admissions process. However, when this subject is usually broached, it is typically interpreted through a rather narrow lens. If we were to consider the true meaning of this term, then it would encompass every aspect of a person’s profile that falls in an underrepresented category. And hence, it’s important to look beyond the usual interpretations to utilise the diversity card properly.

But first, let’s take a look at why diversity is important for business schools. An MBA program with a group of individuals who share similar characteristics will not go a long way when it comes to adding value to the candidates. However, a cohort with diverse candidates would have differing opinions and healthy debates leading to understanding management concepts through varying perspectives. This would be especially useful for the real business world.

It’s natural for candidates that belong to any diverse category to feel intimidated. However, they need to realize that business schools nowadays actively scout for diversity for the reasons mentioned above. These candidates should also bear in mind that they truly have a lot to contribute to their MBA cohorts. As such, they should wear their diversity like a badge of honour and use it to boost the competitiveness of their profiles.

So where does that leave the non-diverse candidates? The first thing they need to keep in mind is that they still make the majority of the participants in MBA programs globally. While diversity is important, business schools ultimately select candidates on the basis of the overall strength of their profile. Hence, the best way to tackle the admissions process is to create compelling applications that resonate with admissions committees.

However, there’s one more thing that all applicants should be aware of. While diversity is typically interpreted through macro categories, at the end of it, the idea is to celebrate the differences. These differences, however, are also present at a micro level for each and every candidate. Hence, every candidate should strive to present their own ‘diversity’ in any way they can and allow their own authenticity and uniqueness to shine.

In summary, the concept of diversity is an important one in the MBA admissions process. The idea is to bring in a variety of views and ideas into the classroom to expose the cohort to different thought processes and facilitate practical learning. While diversity is typically applied to prominent categories, MBA aspirants should also learn to celebrate their own differences and express their individuality to stand out in the applicant pool.


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