What can I do to improve my chances for M7 in the next 2~4 years?

laughamout's picture
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Comments (18)

Apr 26, 2018

Extra curriculars / community involvement is huge. I was accepted to two M7 programs, both interviews focused heavily on my volunteer experience and on school even cited it in my acceptance call. It's important that it all fits together in a nice story - i.e., I'm a female in finance and a lot of my volunteer work was done with young girls and within the financial literacy place. Easy to connect that it's a true passion and not just a resume booster.

Also since you'd be applying on the low end of work experience, anything within your firm that demonstrates experience/leadership. Take advantage of any mentoring opportunities, maybe with interns, or auxiliary teams you could be a part of.

Apr 26, 2018

Thank you for your detailed response. What do you think is the fine line that divides community involvement that is genuine versus crafted for the purposes of resume boosting?

I have a wide variety of interests in arts, social activism, and volunteering for underrepresented minorities, but I was weakly involved in such activities in college. Even though I'm genuinely passionate in all of them, I'm worried admissions office might see them as fake. Do you think consistency in the years of involvement matters, or the way I express my involvement via essays that draws the fine line?

I'm aiming for a total of 3 or 4 years of WE, but I also want to get the best shot at getting into the best programs, so I'll see how I manage time once I start hitting the ground at work. Thanks so much for your advice!

Best Response
Apr 26, 2018

Hi laughamout,

As you mentioned, the GMAT is going to be important. Other suggestions:

  1. Assume leadership roles and responsibility when possible. Obviously as the most junior person when you join, that won't happen often n your new job, but to the extent it starts happening sooner than later, you'll be better off. And you can also assume leadership roles off the job which leads to...
  2. Get involved in something off the job and assume leadership roles there. It can and should be something that reflects your interests (perhaps in the arts or under-represented minorities. I saw your 2nd post Or what you mentioned in your first post. ). I wouldn't worry too much about consistency or lack thereof. If you start now and continue until you apply in ~3-4 years, you'll have consistency. If you start 6 months before you apply, you won't.
  3. Ace the GMAT.

For more suggestions, please see Prep for B-School: A 4-Year Guide for College Students & Recent Grads

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

    • 3
Apr 27, 2018

Hey Linda,

Quick Question: How much do B-Schools value leadership roles in college? For example, if you were President of a club in college in your senior year, will B-Schools consider that in a similar vein to extracurriculars once you're in the workforce?

Thanks!

Apr 26, 2018

Entrepreneur Hero,

They are highly valued. But it's not just that you had the title or won the election; what you accomplished as president matters.

I'm not sure I understand your second question. They are looked at in context. So if you were active in college and had leadership roles, but after college were much less active, they will look at your college leadership as evidence that you have leadership skills. They may understand, depending on your profession, that you had a demanding job and therefore couldn't be as active as you were in college. However if you were active in college and did nothing outside of work since college while your colleague ( and applicant competing for a spot in bschool) somehow managed to carve out time for a leadership role with impact in something they care about, that other applicant will look more impressive, all other elements being equal.

Did I answer your question?

Linda Abraham
President, Accepted | Contact Me | Admissions Consulting

    • 2
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Apr 27, 2018

Philanthropy. You need volunteer work, international travel, some kind of story you can weave about giving back. Right now you have ECs, an average GPA, and less-than-stellar work experience. You need a major hook to get an M7 school to bite.

Apr 27, 2018
A Posse Ad Esse:

Philanthropy. You need volunteer work, international travel, some kind of story you can weave about giving back. Right now you have ECs, an average GPA, and less-than-stellar work experience. You need a major hook to get an M7 school to bite.

Ah, I didn't realize that those things were important to adcoms. The student org I ran was a community service organization. I planned the club's largest fundraiser to date, traveled to Lima, Peru for a service project, planned the club's first domestic service trip, etc, etc.

I also spent 4 months studying abroad in Hong Kong at Asia's top business school. So check and check on community service and international travel.

I'm worried that my college experience will become less relevant 2-4 years down the road so I'll look into getting involved in some community service in my current location...possibly with a young professional organization or something. Thanks for the tips!!

Apr 27, 2018

I have no clue what you can do to improve your chances of getting into a top program but I wish you luck.

-Bretton

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Apr 27, 2018

With some post-grad ECs and a solid GMAT score, I don't see why you wouldn't be competitive at top 15 schools.

Apr 27, 2018

Your profile is fine, it just doesn't pop off the page. I had a friend who had higher stats - 3.8 / 760 from a school that is roughly equivalent with Ohio State, BBA finance, worked at a similar company with a good promotion schedule (he was in insurance though). He didn't have anything amazing for ECs and was in the dreaded Asian male in financial services category (equally bad as white male). It took him 3 tries to get in, and he eventually settled on Ross. There's nothing wrong with Ross, but he was definitely aiming higher and couldn't crack it.

Another guy I know had similar stats, 5 years of sales experience, nothing particularly on ECs and ended up at Kelley a few years ago (white male). Again -- great stats, management experience at work, etc. but it's not enough.

The point is, if you are in a bad demographic, you need something to help you stand out.

Apr 27, 2018

Time to think out of the box, professional organizations are like the key club in HS, everyone joins it cause they know they need to put something on their resume. Start something! What are you good at? Could you teach something you know to underprivileged kids/families? Is there some way you can give back to your community? And make sure it's something you actually like to do...

Apr 27, 2018

Based on your input as well as some of my own research and thoughts, I've decided that I need to devote my free time to one (or more than one) of the following projects. Which course of action do you guys think would benefit me the most in regards to applying to b-school?

  • Found a young professional organization - my current city is severely lacking in this department especially given its size
  • Start a 501(c)(3) organization - this is something I've always wanted to do, but I'm not sure what the focus of the org would be
  • Seek out more prestigious department at the bank I work at currently (mezzanine capital, M&A, etc) - this will be an uphill battle for sure since these departments usually require an MBA
  • Search for a new job in different industry (i.e. mgmt consulting)
  • Study my ass off for the GMAT

Thanks for all of the input so far...it's been very helpful!

Apr 27, 2018

Sounds like you have had some pretty solid international experience. Why not build on your experiences from college and start a 501(c)(3) organization for young professionals in your city to volunteer abroad? Maybe organize a Bankers Without Borders type trip where you can use your professional skills to work?

chocotaco99:

Based on your input as well as some of my own research and thoughts, I've decided that I need to devote my free time to one (or more than one) of the following projects. Which course of action do you guys think would benefit me the most in regards to applying to b-school?

  • Found a young professional organization - my current city is severely lacking in this department especially given its size
  • Start a 501(c)(3) organization - this is something I've always wanted to do, but I'm not sure what the focus of the org would be
  • Seek out more prestigious department at the bank I work at currently (mezzanine capital, M&A, etc) - this will be an uphill battle for sure since these departments usually require an MBA
  • Search for a new job in different industry (i.e. mgmt consulting)
  • Study my ass off for the GMAT

Thanks for all of the input so far...it's been very helpful!

Founder, Volunteer Forever
http://www.volunteerforever.com

Apr 27, 2018

Product roles are looked upon favorably in the VC world. Anything where you are significantly involved in launching and managing a specific product line or initiative tell a good story. Finance + product can also tell a good story for b-school apps.

Other roles I have seen VCs come from have been technical sales and business development.