How is it going? I hope this email finds you well. I have been following your blog for a while now and have been continuously inspired by your willingness to ‘straight-up’ help people. I actually am not referring to you helping folks with career or school advice (although that in itself is great), but that your go steps further than that. By really opening up your self, and documenting both the ups and downs of your journey to the multitude of people who follow this blog, I am more than willing to bet that you have made a huger impact on people’s lives than you may realize. I for one appreciate all your efforts.
My research on all things ‘MBA’ led me to your blog and my goal is to matriculate in the fall of 2011. I would like to ask a question in regards to EC and essays. In your experience, are there any topics that are not recommended for discussion in ECs and Essays, e.g. ‘religion’?
My faith is very important to me. In fact, it plays a huge part in everything I do; actually I would go one step further and say it gives purpose to everything I do. My EC activities include tutoring and mentoring a 5th grader, volunteering in a food pantry, volunteering for rebuilding together, being part of a few committees at work, and tutoring high school students in Math. I am also part of a regional young professional organization. However the most significant consumer of my time outside of my job is the time I spend with the teens in my church’s Teen Ministry. Things I do range from co-ordinate bible studies, organizing fundraisers for/with them, supervising them, facilitating various discussions, organizing trips, giving them career/school advise, driving them around (lol), basically hanging out (formally and informally) with them with the ultimate end goal of helping them (and inadvertently me) to grow more in their faith and be better people.
While this is a huge part of my life, I am not sure how such a topic will translate to business school admissions or if they will even see this as an extracurricular activity. I am pretty busy as it is so I wouldn’t want to join a non profit just for the sake of it but I am thinking I may have to because I am not sure how much I can speak of my faith and the activities around it as I know that such topics are often regarded as ‘taboo’ in certain settings.
Would you advise to take the more conventional route and stay clear of topics as such that? There is a plethora of Non Profit organizations that I can easily fit in to, however that may require me spreading myself a bit thin or cutting out a few things. I could definitely accommodate either of those if push came to shove, however I wanted to get an additional opinion on this.
I understand you are busy. No rush here – I can wait for as long as needed. Thank you again.
My video response:
- If UB’s faith is as important as he says, then he should definitely mention it as a part of his business school application
– The MBA application is all about describing who the applicant is and what truly motivates him/her
– The MBA story should be ONE’S OWN STORY and I would never advise anyone to frame his/her MBA story around what he/she thinks the admissions committee wants to see (the Adcoms know how to figure that sort of thing out)
- Joining a non-profit could be a good move if there is one that he is truly passionate about, but participating for the sake of looking good on an application is not a good use of time, especially if that would require him to spread himself too thin