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Lack Of Interest In Traditional Community Service

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Lack Of Interest In Traditional Community Service [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 21:05
Does this make me a bad person? I notice that many applicants to top schools volunteered in something like Habitat for Humanity / Boys & Girls Club / Homeless Shelter / Building schools in Kenya / etc

However I don't have an interest to do any of this. I feel like if I were to do this, it would only be to position myself for b-school and I wouldn't enjoy it very much. What do these elite b-schools look for in terms of community service?

If I were to do anything extracurricular, I am very interested in becoming a little league baseball umpire / HS basketball referee / HS Track & Field official. I've participated in these sports when I was younger and would like to be involved in some way again. Would that help in the admission process? What skills would I need to emphasize? (I'm not sure if there's any leadership involved, other than telling a bunch of kids what they can and cannot do...)

Obviously I wouldn't be paid for any of this.
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Re: Lack Of Interest In Traditional Community Service [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 07:15
NYCAnalyst,

There is no set definition for community service. Effective community service is when you can benefit the community by contributing your unique talents.

My clients have had many facets of community in their applications, including one who coached a football team for physically handicapped children. If sports are your interest and you feel you can contribute, go for it. By participating in something you are interested in, you will be more committed to making a meaningful impact rather than community service that you are doing only for the MBA application.
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Re: Lack Of Interest In Traditional Community Service [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 14:05
The most important things for adcom are not community services. Rather, demonstrating your potential for your stated goals.

1) Evidence of achievement. Achievements need to be significant either by the hurdles you had to overcome or by the net result.

2) Evidence of intellect. This is demonstrated partly through GMAT and previous academic record. In addition, a sophisticated level of analysis and a subtle and nuanced approach to intellectual problems in the workplace.

3) Evidence of character. Specifically:
a) Team orientation
b) Leadership potential
c) Self-awareness
d) Cultural sensitivity and awareness
e) Drive and ambition
f) Authenticity and Integrity

So the community services address the third aspect "evidence of character" in particular. If you can cite powerful experiences you have had in other aspects of your life outside of work and study, your application can be very convincing as well.

In short, find what makes you stand out, not merely following others' paths.

We have a great team of admissions consultants who are former admissions committee members. Please feel free to email us at admissions@manhattanreview.com. Our detailed services are outlined here:
manhattan-review-mba-admissions-consulting-services-overview-89049.html
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Re: Lack Of Interest In Traditional Community Service [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2010, 18:31
Thank you for your response. Now I have another question:

I just got certified to become a ref and according to league rules, I have to get paid per game (even though I would gladly do it without the compensation). This is cash off the books, so it doesn't show up on my tax returns. How will this affect my application? Does this still count as extra-curricular activity, or would I have to list it as a 2nd job? Does this still count as community service? Volunteering?
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Re: Lack Of Interest In Traditional Community Service [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2010, 13:00
Hi NYC Analyst,

I would still think of this as an activity, versus a side job.

By participating in these activities, you are demonstrating that you are committed enough to go to the effort of getting certified and regularly putting in your time and are building a host of soft skills including leadership, initiative and teamwork that are definitely outside the workplace. In this light, the fact that you are getting a small compensation becomes almost irrelevant. Focus instead on the benefits of this activity - both for you in terms of character-building and for those you are helping in the sports community.
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Re: Lack Of Interest In Traditional Community Service   [#permalink] 25 Jan 2010, 13:00
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