How to Improve my profile for a top MBA Program

 This seems to be an age-old question “how can I improve my profile”. My answer to this is pretty simple. I will, for a change, tell you first what NOT to

Don’t sit around your a$$ doing nothing. Don’t come back home, have a shower and go out with your friends to eat dinner at paratha point, come back home watch a movie/play video games and go to sleep. On the weekends don’t wake up at 1pm, have Maggi for lunch at 3pm and go to a pub to get drunk on KF beer.

If you *don’t* do the above – then my friend I am sure you will do enough stuff to improve your profile

And please, please don’t pursue stuff just to fluff your profile. 

 A) You will hate whatever you do.

B) It will stand out like a pimple on a bald head in your application.

About what you can do:

Essentially there are 3-4 things any b-school will look at. Your academic potential, your team-work/cross-cultural exposure, career progression and leadership skills. Now leaders are typically not restricted to showing it only in their workplace – they will leave a mark in other areas too. So if you are able to show how you have been able to constructively use your time, and channelize your energy into producing something that is sustainable and scalable for the betterment of society. And you need not have any socialistic ideals for doing so.

Let me give you an example – say you are interested in entrepreneurship and want to start your own business 5 years down the line. And you want to put that as a reason in your “Why MBA?” essay. Great – but it has a flaw.

If you are truly a leader and are genuinely interested in entrepreneurship then you will probably have done a lot more before that. Let me give an example of some things a true leader might do before writing that essay

1. Enroll for an online course on entrepreneurship on SkillShare, or Udemy.

2. Attend theevents organised by various entrepreneurial setups such as TiE in your city.

3. Read books on the topic entrepreneurship, and launching successful startups.

4. Dabble with your own concept, write a business case, get it reviewed (or rather ravaged) by others, re-think, go back to the drawing board, and finally enter it at various business plan competitions.

Get the drift?

What matters is that you are passionate about what you have chosen to do.

To quote a Metallica song “Nothing else matters”.


Arun Jagannathan is a member of Tutors Secret Society on LEAP

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