One of the most oft overlooked profile characteristics is employability. Marketing yourself as a potential MBA candidate who will be not only highly qualified on the back-end of the degree, but as someone whom recruiters will clamor over could be a great way to differentiate yourself in the application process.
Many applicants fail to realize that getting into a good school is a game. Not for you, for the school. It is in the school’s best interest to either remain highly ranked, or to always be climbing in the rankings (or both). Since it is no small feat to maintain a high ranking, schools are always focused on the various components that make up the MBA rankings. Some of the most obvious metrics are things like average GMAT score, GPA, alumni ratings or faculty research achievements. One of the most important criteria upon which rankings are based, however, is the number of students in an MBA program who have accepted job offers either at graduation or within three months of graduation. This metric is particularly important because it not only affects the rankings but it also is highly scrutinized by top applicants.
What good is an MBA if you end up in the 30% of graduating MBAs from that school who don’t have a job offer?
Schools want to bring students into their program who are sharp, intelligent, involved, passionate and…employable. Employability is graded partially on your work experience coupled with your educational pedigree, but it’s more than that. How well you interview and the general impression you make is also a big part of it. In other words, you can’t convince an admissions committee you are employable based only on your technical qualifications. This is why schools like to interview candidates in person before they offer admission. Just because you look good on paper doesn’t mean you have a winsome way with people.
A high IQ does not always correlate with a high EQ---and employers want both.
It goes without saying that the paper qualifications must be impeccable as well. Marketing your employability in your application is considering the profile characteristics and traits or strengths you possess which will be attractive to your targeted employer. One big mistake clients often make is to describe a career vision which has no connection to their past. You must convince schools that you can do more than just dream big---you must convince them companies will want to hire you.
Ensuring your career vision is a natural extension of your past experience is critical.
Make sure you demonstrate in your application that your vision includes an actual path to success. If your plan is logical and supported by evidence (think recommender feedback, work history and academic success), you are well ahead of the competition. Being humble, passionate, focused and presentable in your interactions with the school’s admissions office (including visits, phone calls and interviews if you get one), will balance the equation.
One last heads up for international applicants: employability is even more critical.
International applicants to US programs must have a plan for that first job after graduation, lest they place doubt in the adcom’s mind about whether or not they will be one of the MBA candidates without a job at the end. Work visa issues often come into play here, so you will need to address the elephant in the room early and often in the application process. Let us help you craft a story that convinces the adcom you are employable. It may just be your secret weapon to admissions success.