Peptalk from Around the Block: BE YOURSELF

Many people mistakenly think that applying to business school is just a stepping stone to find the right connections to, ultimately, help them land that higher level job.

But the truth is that one of the most important aspects of applying to business school is finding a program with the right fit for you. A program that is fully aligned with not just your goals, but also your values and your personality. A place where you can truly be yourself and not have to change to fit in. Only then can you truly maximize your learning and potential.

As a result, it is absolutely critical for your application, your story, to be truly authentic. Otherwise, you will never find your genuine fit and will miss out on the true MBA experience.

However, while many applicants often disagree with me on this topic, this is the scenario that quickly changes their minds.

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Think about the people closest to you in life. You feel comfortable with them because you can be yourself and speak your mind freely. You are not concerned with saying things just because you know that’s what they want to hear. And in return, they respect your opinions. They may disagree with you sometimes, but your bond only becomes stronger as a result.

Now imagine you are sitting in a classroom discussion. Do you want to be worried about how to speak amongst your peers? Or would you rather share your thoughts and engage in a fascinating dialogue that you’re passionate about?

Therefore, you should just be yourself in your applications. Don’t say or write what you think the admissions committee wants to hear. That’s exactly what they DON’T want. They are looking for authentic stories, which is an indication of leadership.

Your passion will naturally shine through in an authentic application and thus be much stronger. And you will actually enjoy the process! Just be yourself and have fun with it!

By: Linda El Awar

Expert Consultant at Admit Advantage

Linda is the author of Graduating from Google: Leadership Lessons. She is an alum of Harvard Business School and the University of Ross Michigan School of Business.


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