From Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts), http://www.mbaadmit.com
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Many candidates write to me very concerned that they cannot be competitive at Top-10 business schools because they feel they do not have enough leadership experience. They ask, “How can I possibly discuss professional leadership in an MBA admission essay if I have never formally led a team?”
A quick way for me to quell your concern is to point out all of the investment banking analysts who apply successfully to Top-5 MBA programs. The typical investment banking analyst has 2-3 years of work experience and, as such, has never led a team in the core area of his or her work. A key to success in such a situation, though, is to still talk about the leadership skills you have developed in the workplace in other ways – both formal and informal. In terms of formal roles, you may have been assigned to lead a portion of a team’s project, or to lead a discrete, definable task as part of a larger project. In both cases, you can talk about the leadership skills you employed to bring success. How did you identify and articulate goals, delegate work, and manage workflow?
Similarly, some candidates are appointed to workplace committees (such as committees dealing with workplace morale or employee training), where they lead teams. While this is not a part of their “core” work, it is still valuable leadership experience that a candidate can write about in the MBA admissions process.
Informally, you may also have served as a mentor to junior professionals. You may have helped your team leader in ways that you can write about in the admissions process. Remember also, there are many different types of leadership – for instance, managing upward and managing across. Reflect on the breadth of your work experience. You likely have more to draw on than you at first realized.
Best wishes,Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.comhttp://www.mbaadmit.com
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Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com