MBA - Application Process

3 Ways to Demonstrate Professional Impact in Your MBA Applications

An important area that Admissions Committees will evaluate in your MBA applications is your professional trajectory.  In addition to evaluating your career progress, Admissions Committees will want to understand what you have accomplished in your roles, and in particular, the impact that you have had on organizations and people.

Your prior experiences will give the Admissions Committee confidence that you will continue to have impact as a student and in your roles post-MBA.

As a result, below are three ways in which you can demonstrate professional impact in your MBA applications to stand out.

Show that you are a leader in the workplace

Overall, business schools are seeking to develop leaders who give back to society.  Therefore, think about how you have been able to display leadership throughout your professional endeavors.

Note that it is very much possible to lead from below; you don’t necessarily need a senior title to lead.  What is most important is what you have accomplished and achieved in your roles, and in turn, how you have been able to implement positive change, despite your title and the number of years of work experience that you have.

Show that you take initiative and have an entrepreneurial mindset

Many candidates believe that they need to be working at a start-up or have started their own company in order to show that they take initiative and have an entrepreneurial mindset, but that is not true! It is very much possible to show how you are entrepreneurially minded even in conventional or traditional roles by taking initiative.

For instance, have you suggested new processes to make things more efficient within your team or the broader company?  Or have you perhaps started impactful groups within your company, such as a community service-oriented initiative to help colleagues band together and have meaningful impact?

These are just some examples; there are infinite ways in which you can show initiative in your professional roles.

Show that you are able to creatively solve problems

Think about ways in which you have demonstrated an ability to overcome obstacles or challenges by creatively solving and/or analyzing problems.  This can show how you are able to move things forward when the going gets tough or things get stuck.

In other words, business schools want to see that you are an active member of your team and not a passive one – do you make things happen by thinking outside of the box?

While pointing to your accomplishments and achievements in your applications is a given, it is extremely important to take that one step further by demonstrating impact and how you have contributed meaningfully in the professional realm.  In doing so, you will distinguish yourself from the broader applicant pool.

Shaifali Aggarwal is an MBA admissions expert, a graduate of Harvard Business School, and the founder of Ivy Groupe, a boutique MBA admissions consulting company.  Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out.  With this approach, Shaifali has successfully helped hundreds of applicants gain admission to top-tier MBA programs.

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