Avoiding Rejection From Your College’s Business Program

B. Working. If you don’t have the time to get involved in a club or activity because you are working to support yourself, don’t worry. Working is definitely a favorable attribute that you need to highlight. It shows your work ethic, responsibility, perspective, and can help you showcase other important traits. What are your skills, job duties, responsibilities, length of involvement? Do you manage a budget? Are you supervising anyone? Make sure this information is highlighted on your resume. If you can take on a role at your job that will expose you to more and help you learn more about that particular business, don’t be shy about asking to do so.

C. Scholar-Athlete. It is understood that collegiate athletes do not have the time for extracurricular activities other than their sport, but it is imperative that you show your leadership role on the team as you complete your application. And, don’t be shy about explaining the rigors of your training schedule so that the admissions officers can fully understand what it is that you do. As you probably know, college athletes are very heavily recruited by many companies both because of the amount of successful former athletes in the business world and because of the skills and habits you develop when you dedicate yourself to a sport in college.
Don’t underestimate how much you do as a team player, or as a mentor when you complete the application.

D. Case Competitions – if you are really excited about the study of business and you want to get a real taste of what it means to be a part of a consulting team, then you should try out for a case competition team. The business clubs usually host these case competitions and invite freshmen and sophomores to get involved. These competitions give you an insight into team dynamics, working under pressure, marketing, parsing out the problem in the case, telling the story, and of course public speaking. Undeclared majors are almost invited to join these competitions at most schools.

E. Non-profit work – Many students will work for non-profits, which shows a passion for working and actually making a difference in the community. This type of work is looked at very favorably because business programs have a strong social service core to their programs. Even more impressive would be starting your own non-profit .

F. Converting Interests into Credentials – Do you really want to show you are truly interested in real estate beyond the plain statement of your interest on your application or resume? Get a real estate license. Are you interested in accounting? Get certified. Nothing is more impressive than showing rather than telling when it comes to memorializing your passions and interests in your application.

3. Making the Most of Your Essays-

It is probable that you will have multiple essay prompts to complete for your business school essay. If you have a choice between several prompts, obviously you’ll want to choose the prompt that will allow you to best showcase your strengths and explain your weaknesses be advised to choose the prompt that could best show your strengths. In these programs, the admissions office is looking for students who have a passion, are leaders, have initiative, and are really excited about the program. I do suggest that you have a few people read the essays so that you have different opinions on your writing. Your application persona — and your thematic vehicles for getting that across — should be clear. As Janet Amador–a former admissions officer at Haas and now counselor at InGenius Prep–read these essays, she “wanted to be transported into your world, thoughts, and what makes you want this business program.” Here are some seemingly obvious things to avoid in your essays that she ran into quite frequently, even in otherwise great applications:

· Please don’t say you want to get into business just to make a lot of money.
· or “my parents told me to apply here”
· or “ I really don’t want to be a business major but I thought it would look good on my resume.”

If you are reading this, you are probably too wise to do the above, but it is a
cautionary statement nonetheless. Humor is wonderful, stories and anecdotes are great, but don’t go and tell the admissions office how you started a lemonade stand when you were 5 and that was when you knew you wanted to be a business major; they just aren’t going to buy it, and it’s going to make you look like you avoided seriously thinking about
why you wanted to be in the business program.

In the end, you are the sum of many parts of the application, and I can guarantee you that each admissions office is going to do a holistic read of your file. They are looking to build a passionate, smart, and innovative class. The fact that you were admitted to one of these universities already means you are smart, focused and ready to do the work, now you need to stretch just a bit more to make sure that you show them who you are and why you should be a member of their business school.

By Janet Amador and David Mainiero of InGenius Prep