This is where I disagree.
I can understand your cynicism, having gone through this process for six months, but I've seen thousands of applicants over seven years, plus my own experiences as an applicant more than 10 years ago, as well as a host of b-school alums/classmates from different schools.
What you wrote will result in a very cookie cutter and uninspired profile, which can actually hurt your chances. And you end up hating yourself even more because you invested all this time "planning" for someone else's sake (or your career and life choices are dictated by your need for validation from some 3rd party), rather than pursuing stuff on your own terms.
Applicants think they can fool adcoms into believing a bunch of crap. Remember that they have seen more BS than you can make up. You're not going to fool anyone by volunteering for the poor.
And if you spent all these years reverse engineering your profile, choices, etc. to impress others and you don't succeed - what you're left with is a feeling of living someone else's life on someone else's terms. It can feel like you're living a lie. And you end up with the cynicism and self-defeatist attitude of a 45 year old going through a mid life crisis while still in your 20s.
Whether you succeed or fail (at getting into b-school, or anything else), reverse engineering yourself will more often than not lead to disappointment. If you fail, you'll feel like a loser who feels he's given up his self-determination for someone or something else. If you succeed, you'll have a hard time appreciating the success, and it will feel a bit empty.
Also, it's not about volunteering for the poor or underprivileged. Plenty of people are at the top schools without it.
What it comes down to is being talented and accomplished in whatever field you choose. It's no accident that at the top schools, you get a disproportionate number of folks with blue chip backgrounds and strong resumes.
More often than not, people don't end up with strong resumes because they make "building a strong profile for b-school" as the main goal. They have it because they were exceptionally driven to do well in their careers in the first place. Going to a top b-school isn't some lifelong goal, but one of many potential opportunities - it's not some "end goal".
There's a disproportionate number of folks at top schools who went to top undergrad schools. These folks as high school kids didn't choose these undergrad colleges because they wanted to go to b-school. They simply tried to get into the best undergrad schools they could get into, period. Same with those who end up going to McKinsey, Goldman, etc. -- they didn't do it for b-school, but because if they wanted to work for the best firms they could get hired at within banking/consulting. Moreover, there's enough folks at these top undergrad colleges who eschew the traditional route, and do other things that truly drive them (they got into a top college, so they're pretty bright people and succeed or not in these "nontraditional careers" they would've at least given it their best shot and learned from it).
The thing is, the stronger candidates for b-school aren't driven by resume building and reverse engineering their profile. They are driven by achievement - they're not "waiting" to get into b-school, but are simply seeing it as an opportunity, and are also fully confident that they can succeed without it.
And b-schools in a way are admitting folks who don't need the credential because they have the combination of experience and drive to succeed anyways without it. Sort of like banks being the most willing to lend money to those who don't need it.
So no, you do NOT plan for it. What you should be doing no matter what is working to your potential in whatever career or extracurricular that you're involved in.
Again, I can understand your cynicism, but to assume that it takes special "genes" to take initiative or to do what moves you is simply a mindset that comes from the tyranny of low expectations.
Which makes your post even more sad.
You call the MBA just an "expensive rubber stamp" - yet you are advising someone to reverse engineer their life for something that you downplay as a superfluous thing?
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