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How to market yourself in the MBA application?

Free advice from the world's top MBA consultants
This topic has expert replies
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 5
Joined: 26 Sep 2016
This write-up is aimed at showing elements that you should consider while applying to MBA programs. What you need to highlight in your MBA application depends on several factors such as what your target business schools want, what other applicants offer, and how your strengths of weaknesses compare with these applicants.


Understand exactly what those needs are and their order of importance.

All business schools need intelligent applicants and potential leaders because their goal is to teach them to be the leaders who will gain repute in their area. School's objective is, therefore, to enhance its reputation as well as generate donations from former students, who generally bolster the school's budget with significant contributions.

Your job is to identify each school's needs. To help you understand the qualities the schools look for, you have at your disposal:

The essay questions on the application, because they reflect what the school is looking to find out from the applicant.
The school's websites
The presentation sessions that the schools regularly organize around the world
School alumni
If you have the time and money, a visit to the campuses of the schools which interest you.
If you have successfully passed this first stage, the next step is to meet with those needs that you have identified.


Starting hereon, you must select from your past experiences those which best show the qualities that the school is seeking from potential students. In other words, the experiences that you choose to relate must demonstrate that you possess these qualities.

If you have problems finding suitable experiences, don't hesitate to talk about these issues with people who know you well. Ask them for examples of situations where you have shown such and such a quality. In general, this should prove very fruitful because others sometimes retain experiences that you yourself have forgotten.


After step 2, you will most likely have gone through a large number of experiences that should correspond to the qualities sought by the school. In order to be convincing, you must select the experiences which in themselves convey the idea that you possess the qualities required. Experiment with different ways to express this, so as to be as persuasive as possible.

a)Choose your most relevant experiences for each of the sought after qualities.

For each quality, we recommend that you identify the experiences that you have gone through. Then let your common sense decide: put yourself in the reader's position and ask yourself whether you would be convinced that the applicant possesses such and such a quality upon reading such and such an experience. Do this test and there is a strong possibility that one of these experiences will stand out from the rest. If, however, you still can't see the right choice, we would encourage you to reach out to people around you, describe your experiences and ask them which experience best conveys the quality in question.

b)Once you have selected the experience that best conveys the fact that you have the desired quality, you must work on the way you put this down on paper, in order to be as convincing as possible.

For this, we recommend you use the communication methods that can be summarized in four sequences: The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Result)

Situation: The goal is to explain the difficulty of the task you set for yourself, which will enable you to highlight your accomplishments with even more confidence. This part is all the more important given the lack of context for the admissions committee - they don't know if the organization of a university event in India is harder than managing a military unit or handing a building-site construction project. So you have to help them understand the context in which you are operating because that way they can better compare your qualities against those of other potential students.

Task: You have to indicate the goal that you were required to achieve. Generally, one line is enough.

Action: You must explain the actions that you took in order to show how you achieved the goal you mention above.

Result: The objective is to quantify the results gained, be they numerical results ("hard data", for example, the rise in sales) or human results ("soft data", like for example the improvement of the work atmosphere)

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