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What Do AdComs Look For?

It’s important for MBA applicants to understand that their admission to any business school hinges upon whether their application impresses the admissions committee. That is to say that if you can’t convince the admissions committee about your candidacy, you don’t get admitted to the MBA program. While each business school has its own values, there are five areas that business schools give importance to universally.

#1 Professional Experience

Work experience is an important factor for business school admissions since it plays a key role in not only contextualizing management concepts but also contributing meaningfully to classroom discussions. While a minimum of two years is usually necessary to be considered for admission, three to four years usually works better. However, it must also be kept in mind that the quality of your work experience is equally important if not more.

#2 Career Goals

While it’s absolutely fine to refine your career goals during the MBA program, admissions committees do want to know whether you’ve given this enough thought. After all, there wouldn’t really be an answer to the question on why you want to attend a particular school if you don’t know where you’re heading. It’s also a good idea to be realistic about your goals, especially the short term ones, to provide confidence about your employability.

#3 Leadership Potential

The reputation of a business school has a strong correlation to the success of its alumni. That’s why admissions committees are looking for the leaders of tomorrow. But what if you’ve never held any formal leadership positions? In such cases, you can always establish your leadership potential through talking about the times when you’ve led teams in activities such as sports or demonstrated leadership qualities while working on business projects.

#4 Intellectual Aptitude

The MBA program has a gruelling academic schedule. Naturally, admissions committees want to be sure that the candidates they admit have the intellectual capacity to cope with the rigor. The two parameters that are used to gauge this area are your undergraduate GPA and your GMAT or GRE score. However, it’s not all about the intellect as they’re also interested in understanding whether you bring in creativity to add to the diversity of the class.

#5 Interpersonal Skills

Finally, admissions committees are keen on understanding how well you relate to people. While interpersonal skills are important during the MBA to work in teams and network, they’re critical when it comes to succeeding in the business world. That’s why video essays and personal interviews prior to getting admitted are gaining in importance so that admissions committees can gauge how well you would fit within a school’s culture.

The MBA admissions process, while fairly straightforward, is also fiercely competitive. Aspiring candidates need to realize that their chances not only hinge upon the strength of their profiles but also on how well they can strategize and address the five areas mentioned above and present a convincing argument to admissions committees about their fit when it comes to the MBA program and the values of the b-school.


LemonEd can help you with all elements of your MBA application.

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