10 Tips for Getting Into Business School — Tip 10: Be Yourself
Happy August! Believe it or not, the summer is almost over — but not yet, so no need to be needlessly stressed. I’m finally going to discuss the 10th, and final tip of the 10 Tips to Make Your MBA Application Rock. It have been trying to stretch it out by interspersing with other blog posts, but now it’s time to wrap it up. (All 10 Tips can be found in the PowerPoint of the presentation I gave to 85 Broads. You’ll also find links to the first nine of the 10 Tips at the bottom of this post. )
The last of the 10 Tips is the most obvious: Be Yourself. I know it seems like a cliché, but I have heard admissions officers say over and over that they want to get to know YOU in the essays. Allison Davis, Associate Director of Admissions at Stanford GSB wrote those very words most recently in her July 7 blog post, even calling them “corny, but true.”
The only way for you to do that is to show your authentic self. Not the person you think the committee wants to read about. I guarantee this one fact: YOU are more interesting than that mythical person. They want to read about your successes and foibles. I recall Peter Johnson, of Berkeley’s Haas Business School, remarking that he loves reading the stories where people learn from mistakes or failure. Those stories show a lot about a person’s true character. Remember, every business school class is made up of human beings, and the more you show who you really are, the more you will stand out from the crowd of generic applicants. No kidding.
If anything, this is the most important of all the 10 Tips. You can Start Early, Take Inventory, Connect with Your Inner Rock Star, Explore Career Paths, and Perform Service. You’d be well-advised to Stay Sane , Daydream, Talk Around, and please, Work Only on what You Can Control.
But none of these 10 Tips will get you what you where you want to go unless you are the real you. So speak from your heart, be authentic, genuine, and just plain you.
The floor is yours.