You are now in the most stressful stage of realizing your business school dream. You are at the university of your choice and now you have to apply to get into your major, usually after your first or second year. I would expect that if you don’t get admitted to the business program that you have a back-up plan/major in mind. If not, now is the time to consider the other majors on campus that would fulfill your interests. Building your candidacy for your schools’ business program is incredibly important, and
it will help separate you from the others who are just going through the motions. The following areas are the most important things to think about as you’re booking your ticket to the board room:
Make sure that you have researched thoroughly the coursework required at your college/university to get into this program. In most cases, you can take your transcript to the admissions staff of that program and they can advise you on the courses that you need to take or should take to enter the business program. Remember, it’s not quite like the process of getting into college from high school. This time, you’re already at the institution and you’ve been ostensibly successful there thus far. Don’t hesitate to get to
know the admissions staff or the directors of the business program at your school in order to get every bit of advantage you can in the process.
Grades are very important, but the process for admissions at this level is holistic of course. Grades, essays, activities, leadership potential are all part of the admissions decision; they all piece together to comprise your application persona, which you should be carefully crafting in your mind so that your vision for business school and your goals can become a reality. If there is an interview required, your essay and your resume will have greater importance to the question and answer portion of that meeting.
2. Credentialing Yourself –
In the LinkedIn era, people are getting increasingly better about conceiving of accomplishments, experiences, hobbies, and interests as line items on their resumes (or LinkedIn profiles). You should always be thinking about ways to codify your interests; in other words, you should be thinking of how to turn less concrete interests or hobbies into bona fide credentials.
As an applicant to one of these sophomore or junior programs, there are many areas that are available to give you the best possible opportunity for admissions. The following tips are centered on the activities/extracurricular area mostly. Since you have a bit more freedom to choose your activities in college there are many options for how you
can show your leadership potential. Please note that some schools will request that you exclude activities from high school and only will be looking at what you have accomplished in college. In any case, as a general rule, you should be touting more heavily your college activities because it is much more impactful to show that you’ve done something significant on campus rather than outside of that environment (especially if it relates to the skills you’ll further develop in the business program). If you haven’t
replicated or exceeded your high school experiences with the vast resources your college has to offer, it will plant a seed of doubt in the admissions officers’ minds.
A. Get involved. As a freshman you should find the clubs that most suit your interests. On most campuses, there will be a grand variety of themed clubs to choose from. Get involved as a freshman and stick with it! Take on responsibility and leadership roles so that you can show your strengths to your peers and then ultimately to the admissions office. Again, you do not need to be a part of a business club or fraternity to be considered, but you should be involved in something of that nature.