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Ask not what your college can do for you...

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Ask not what your college can do for you... [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2011, 08:19
I've asked many a question regarding service/extracurricular activities recently as this is the area where I am most lacking. I do not volunteer regularly, mostly due to my hectic work schedule, but I have finally found something that I feel like I can actually devote some meaningful time to (i'm still 1 year out from my application time of summer 2012 to begin in fall 2013). However, I'm worried that this may not seem "diverse" enough an activity to round out my application.

I've recently found an organization related to my alma mater through which I can, on a regular basis, give presentations and participate in panel discussions for the benefit of undergraduate business students. Not only does the timing of these events work well with my hectic work schedule, but I'm also very interested in this and would get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Taking into account that this is something very closely related to my undergraduate college, does this seem like a "weak" volunteer/service activity? I know it's a far cry from building schools in sub-Saharan Africa or being the VP of an international non-profit, but it is something that I'm passionate about (business education, financial literacy, etc) and something that I won't be forcing myself to do, I actually WANT to do it.

That being said, from a purely MBA application perspective, does this seem like a solid way in which to contribute to my community or is this at the level of "better than nothing"??

Any input is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Ask not what your college can do for you... [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2011, 09:21
I would say, regardless of the activity anything you pick up about a year before you apply will look questionable to the admissions directors. With that said, the purpose of volunteering is to give back to the community. I think this fulfills that and if you can find a way to talk about the impact you made with this organization and the impact the organization had on you in your application it will make the time look more meaningful.
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Re: Ask not what your college can do for you... [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2011, 09:29
rgupta83 wrote:
I would say, regardless of the activity anything you pick up about a year before you apply will look questionable to the admissions directors. With that said, the purpose of volunteering is to give back to the community. I think this fulfills that and if you can find a way to talk about the impact you made with this organization and the impact the organization had on you in your application it will make the time look more meaningful.



Well, i have only been out of school for about 18 months, during which I had to pass the CPA exam, so I've only very recently had any ability at all to contribute any amount of time to an extracurricular activity. Luckily, I was extremely involved in multiple organizations similar to this in college, so this opportunity will really kind of seamlessly integrate into the service activities that I was involved with pre-graduation. I think the fact that I have a history of volunteerism similar to this will add a little more legitimacy to it. But I do understand what you mean, if I had decided to pick up this activity out of the blue, 10 months before application time, it would certainly appear a little bit suspect.

Thanks for the input!
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Re: Ask not what your college can do for you... [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2011, 14:42
MU2011CPA wrote:
I've asked many a question regarding service/extracurricular activities recently as this is the area where I am most lacking. I do not volunteer regularly, mostly due to my hectic work schedule, but I have finally found something that I feel like I can actually devote some meaningful time to (i'm still 1 year out from my application time of summer 2012 to begin in fall 2013). However, I'm worried that this may not seem "diverse" enough an activity to round out my application.

I've recently found an organization related to my alma mater through which I can, on a regular basis, give presentations and participate in panel discussions for the benefit of undergraduate business students. Not only does the timing of these events work well with my hectic work schedule, but I'm also very interested in this and would get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Taking into account that this is something very closely related to my undergraduate college, does this seem like a "weak" volunteer/service activity? I know it's a far cry from building schools in sub-Saharan Africa or being the VP of an international non-profit, but it is something that I'm passionate about (business education, financial literacy, etc) and something that I won't be forcing myself to do, I actually WANT to do it.

That being said, from a purely MBA application perspective, does this seem like a solid way in which to contribute to my community or is this at the level of "better than nothing"??

Any input is greatly appreciated.


Has it really gotten to the point that people weigh their participation in an extracurricular/service activity by how it will look on b-school apps? Wow.

Look, get involved in what YOU want to get involved. It's not about what you do it's about how you do it. If increasing financial literacy is important to you then that's just as meaningful as the person who did a year long mission building schools in Botswana. How it plays into your b-school apps should be irrelevant. If it gives you great experiences that you can speak to in your applications, then great. However, that's really an afterthought.
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Re: Ask not what your college can do for you... [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2011, 16:56
Per your words,

It works with your schedule
You are interested in doing it
You will enjoy it
You are passionate about it
You WANT to do it

If you are willing to trade those off because you are worried it will not please an admissions officer, that is another issue altogether.

Remember, Business school can not be 'the goal', but a means to a goal. If this is something that means a lot to you, you should pursue it, and be PROUD of it. The undergrad students who will hear you speak will need you to do this with all conviction and commitment, not as someone doing it to 'check a box' on a b-school application. You are the one who actually will decide if this is 'solid' or 'better than nothing'. Not Adcom.
Re: Ask not what your college can do for you...   [#permalink] 07 Aug 2011, 16:56
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