Do This if You Have No Extracurricular Activities
Are you applying to business schools in Round 1? Then the process of pulling your materials together will consume much of your life in the coming months as you focus on how to best position yourself. If youve taken on leadership roles in volunteer organizations or have actively engaged with a nonprofit youre passionate about, make sure you play up that angle in your materials. But what if youve done nothingon that front? No volunteering, no extracurricular involvement nada.
Is your MBA candidacy doomed?
Not necessarily. Admissions committees understand that its hard for some people to have meaningful involvement in an organization outside of work. This happens often with applicants whose jobs constantly keep them on the road. Or, maybe their typical workday doesnt even afford them the opportunity for a full nights sleep.
We have seen compelling candidates get into top programs, even though they lack post-college extracurricular involvement. But, if you had no extracurriculars as an undergrad, either, that might become a red flag. You'll leverage all facets of your life not just what youve achieved on the job to help your MBA classmates learn.
What do you do outside of work?
[caption id="attachment_35331" align="alignnone" width="734"] On a bowling league? Parlay your passion for the pins into a compelling extracurricular.[/caption]
If you have no extracurricular activities to talk about, brainstorm other relevant things you could share with fellow students. Think along the lines of travel or cultural experiences, or even a family situation. What else are you passionate about besides your job, and how has that passion manifested itself?
While it might look disingenuous to join a bunch of volunteer organizations in the months leading up to Round 1 deadlines, you could see if your employer has any community-focused committees or sponsors any local events that you could get involved with in the near future.
Take heart. You still have several months to create a meaningful impact before the first-round application deadlines, even with limited free time.
Main image credit: Flickr user Premier of Ontario Photography (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)