#3 – Communication skills. Schools have impromptu video questions, compulsory interviews, networking – in sum, communication skills comes into play in your application. If you feel insecure about yours, joining a nearby chapter of Toastmasters will indicate that you proactively solve challenges. Given all the presentations you need to do in business school, getting out in front of this is your best strategy.
#2 –This one is obvious. The main premise is that you need to show academic aptitude. If your grades are bad, this has to be stellar. Also – if you plan to go for a job with MBB – McKinsey, Bain or Boston Consulting Group, they only consider candidates with a GMAT of at least 720 if you are attending a top 20 school or 700 for a top 10 school. Many applicants forget – GMAT prep is not like a normal class. The questions you solve will not be on the test. It’s not about learning the material and regurgitating it on test day. Doing a ton of problems won’t guarantee you a good score. Rather, you want to develop a strategy – a replicable model – for each question type that will lead you down the path to solving the questions correctly. Also, you want to train your brain to perceive the questions in a different way. You need to learn new strategies, but also, you need to become aware of how you are perceiving and approaching the questions now. What are your blocks and blind spots? This generally requires 1-1 interaction with an outside observer to observe and determine these things. If you are thinking about retaking the GMAT, get started early. You don’t want to be studying for the GMAT while preparing your applications. I recommend private tutoring over any commercial classes, because each student has a completely different set of strengths and weaknesses.
#1 – Community service. Often, I hear candidates say, “can they really check on this?” No, the schools can’t really “check” on this, but it will still factor into your candidacy. There are ways to weave it into your letters of recommendation, resume and essays. Community service enriches you and so too will it enrich your essays and letters of recommendation. This is such a huge way to differentiate yourself, and sorely overlooked by overrepresented candidates. Deepen your engagement with a community service, or find a volunteer opportunity by clicking here