Once you have gathered sufficient evidence about possible Fit Qualities for the schools you are applying to, you need to take a step back from your research to weigh the evidence, create a short list of Fit Qualities, and rank them from highest importance down to least importance, based on the quantity and quality of your evidence.
Quantity of evidence matters. If one Stanford admissions officer mentioned intellectual vitality in her speech, it may or may not qualify as a Fit Quality. But if you have heard intellectual vitality or a synonymous term mentioned two or three times by a few different sources, then you are almost certainly on the right track and the quality should make it on your list.
Quality of evidence will also shape your ranking and that requires considering your sources. If three friends of yours who go to Stanford have told you that Global Work Experience is important, it should certainly be on your Fit List. But if the Director of Admissions at Stanford, stressed ”Legacy Leadership” in the information session you attended then you would want to rank it more highly than Global Work Experience on your list.
At the end of the day, it will come down to your judgment, but at least your judgment will be backed up by plenty of evidence.
Case Study: Rank the Importance of the Fit Qualities — Stanford
For the purpose of our Stanford case study, we have ranked some qualities according to the weight of evidence collected. These rankings are for example purposes only; you will need to do your own research and ranking if you happen to be applying to Stanford.
By discovering your strengths, defining your career goals, selecting your schools intelligently, and identifying a clear list of Fit Qualities you will have left a substantial portion of your competition in the dust.
Remember that 80% of your application will be the same for each school, and now you have the tools and insights to tailor the other 20% for each program. For example, based on your Fit Qualities list, you might choose to feature one of your character strengths over another in a particular application or highlight a particular Point of Difference that your research tells you is something that the school you are applying to will really care about.
You are now ready to design and build your “mosaic” for each of the schools you are applying to because:
- You have high quality Content Building Blocks
- You know how to select the right Building Blocks for each application
- You are ready to create a complete picture of you that proves you are a great fit.
Unlike your competition, you won’t have to rely on an over-worked admissions committee to put the Building Blocks together properly; you will have done the heavy lifting for them.
You can ensure that all the elements of your application – resume, essays, recommendation letters, and interview answers – prove that you are a better fit with the school than your competition.
Congratulations! You have taken another major step toward earning an acceptance letter. For the remainder of this website, we will progress from preparation and design to execution. If you have worked diligently on completing all the MBA Prep Step™ exercises presented thus far, then you have the Building Blocks and blueprint in hand for some outstanding applications. Now, it is time to start building!
Unit Review: Rank the Importance of the Fit Qualities
- When ranking Fit Qualities both the quantity and quality of evidence matters.
- Knowledge of a particular school’s Fit Qualities will allow you to tailor each application.
- Once you have completed all the preceding MBA Prep Steps™, you are ready to build a set of outstanding applications.