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I am planning to apply for fall 2009 and one of my concern for application is extracurricular activities. What kind of extracurricular ,schools are looking for. As i have some time, I want to improve in this area. volunteer work in communities is any help to address this concern.?
Schools do like ECs, supposedly some much more so than others. But you can get into schools without any if you present yourself well. Honestly, I think if you suddenly start doing stuff 5 months before you apply its going to look phony and like you are doing it only for your application not because you care. Its a little late to be starting any new ECs...not to tell you its not a good thing to do but you cant really write an essay about your long time devotion to a certain cause if you just started volunteering for it. If you already do stuff then use that or do more with it.
Dont limit your ECs to just thinking charity/volunteer work. Schools want to see you are a human being not a working machine...obviously dont write about your love of the Grand Theft Auto IV or something like that. If there is something you really love to do in your spare time use that. I think most people can come up with something...
I know I had no organized volunteer work but lots of personal activities, and still managed to get admitted to Kellogg, which has a reputation of being a school that really likes applicants to have lots of involvement. Its all in what you do with your time outside of work and how you present it.
Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
What river said. Definitely spend an essay talking about something you do OUTSIDE of work or professional societies. Is it a softball team you play on? Is it a model airplane hobby you have? Is it some book club that you organize? The key is not only to show you are human, but also show that you are passionate about that activity and maybe demonstrate leadership within that group (by being the point contact, organizer, etc...)
Don't start any new major EC's now, as it'll be super plain to the adcom that you're just doing it for the MBA apps.
I understand that anything started now wont have much effect. I am always interested in some environment work and I have done some tree planting in the past. Can I emphasise on that and do a bit more of this now. Would it skill look phony and will it work as EC.
Rather than mentioning the EC as a 'resume point' in your essays, you'll have a lot more impact if you can actually 'talk' about it. And the only way you can 'talk' about it without sounding phony is if you are really passionate about it. If hugging trees and planting them is what makes you tick, by all means mention it. Just make sure you explain why and how it matters to you.