How to think like an AdCom?

MBA Game Plan carried two interesting blog posts on “How to think Like an AdCom?” I enjoyed reading both the posts. Some of the key points are:

  • there’s a critical first “moment of truth” — the first 60 seconds or so when an application reader picks up your application and starts to immediately form opinions about your candidacy
  • some applicants forget that their “brand” is not what they present, but rather whatadmissions officers perceive in their applications. Ex: applicant may think of himself as the “motivated banker who does Habitat for Humanity and wants to get into consulting,” but admissions officers might see a “pushy banker without any community impact with ill-defined career goals.”
  • Whether or not they’re thinking about it consciously, the question that runs through MBA admissions officers’ minds essentially boils down to this: “How much time should I devote to this application?”
  • MBA admissions officers are constantly asking themselves the “Worth my time?” question as they move from one application to the next, trying to find the best ones to recommend for further evaluation.
  • Objectivity is very important here, especially when asking yourself why an admissions officer might want to choose you over someone else who looks very similar to you on paper. This is also where another pair of eyes can help, ideally from someone who doesn’t know you too well. Your friends and family are biased… They think you’re amazing, but they’ve known you forever! An MBA admissions officer doesn’t have such an advantage.

Well, I am neither an expert nor a part of admission committee. But at the same time, while some of them are true, certain things have been exaggerated. I don’t believe that the Admission Committee’s of top B-Schools do follow them strictly. After all, they also know that a single candidate like that of Barack Obama in their school can develop the courage to change the world even though he does not have the courage to do it now. I feel it is a give and take policy. What can we contribute back to the school when we are studying and after our graduation matters the most to them because AdComs definitely know these high class B-Schools can give back to these students during their 2 years and after that.

Additionally, I completely agree with the Branding theory and the biasing factor our relatives, families and friends. This is where the choice of Reviewers come and could leave a major impact. I would suggest not to worry and hold on to your nerves even though one has a couple of hiccups in their applications. After all, we are human beings and are bound to make mistakes but then learning from those mistakes is what is going to matter towards the end.

Source: Part1 Part2

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