Over 700 on the GMAT? Check. Good grades in undergrad? Check. Distinguished job? Check. You’re a shoe-in for a top business school, right? Not so fast. You’re forgetting one very important component, arguably the most important component, and that’s YOU!
Business schools see countless applicants that meet the quantitative requirements like GMAT and GPA, but many of these applicants never even get invited to an interview. Solid numbers aren’t enough to get you there. Given the relatively small sizes of business schools, every student matters, and admissions officers take great pains to ensure that the personalities selected are the right ones for their schools. This is why schools are interested in learning about you and is why it’s so important for your personality to show through in your application.
Yes, schools want to see that you have demonstrated yourself as a leader, but personality goes beyond leadership even. What are your interests? Your passions? Your hobbies? How do you spend your “free” time? In essence, what kind of person are you? This is really what the application is about. It’s a standardized proxy for a person. The better you communicate your personality through the application, the easier it is for admissions officers to paint a picture of you as a person, rather than a collection of scores and job descriptions.
Will you contribute in a meaningful way to the school’s community and the larger global community? Or are you just trying to get into business school so you can make more money? This is an important point for schools, and they are able to differentiate the two. Think of the application as your opportunity to show business schools what kind of person you really are. As an added bonus, taking the time to reflect on who you are won’t just help you get into business school, it will also help you live a richer and more fulfilling life in general.