Erin Kellerhals, Associate Director of Admissions for Berkeley’s FT MBA program recently shared some thoughts on the most frequently asked question she receives:
“What will make me stand out as an applicant?”.
On one level, her answer was perhaps somewhat generic:
“At Haas, we are looking for very smart, very diverse, very passionate leaders …”
We can’t think of a business school that isn’t looking for people with those characteristics. Thankfully her post then continued on to provide more useful, school-specific characteristics that anyone applying to Haas should be paying attention to:
- leaders who take intelligent risks
- leaders who consider the long-term impact of their actions
- leaders who have a high value for lifelong learning.
At MBA Prep School, we think of these as an individual school’s “fit qualities” — and is a key ingredient to differentiating yourself from other applicants. You need to demonstrate through the stories and experiences you highlight in your essays, recommendation letters, and interviews how you possess these characteristics.
Erin provides more advice on how to set yourself apart (that we think holds true regardless of which school you’re applying to):
- Being authentic
- Sharing with [the school] what motivates you
- [Sharing] what you want to achieve and how you will do so
Finally, she advises “Don’t write what you think we want to read.”
You can read the whole post here.