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Political activity

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Political activity [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2009, 07:53
During my undergrad I was very involved in campus political groups. I have ties with many high-level members within my state and local party politics. I have done a significant amount of volunteering and running events for politicians. The party I have ties with is one of the major two national US parties.

I was thinking about how this would impact the admissions process. Does an adcom view this on par with "regular" volunteerism activities, a la Habitat for Humanity, or is this in a different (likely lower) tier of EC activity.

Furthermore, is it a big risk labeling myself as such a staunch supporter of one political party -- if the adcom's beliefs don't mesh with mine I could be dinged due to bias, subconscious or otherwise.

I have not been as actively lately as I was during my undergrad, but I have been thinking about becoming more involved. From an admissions perspective, is political involvement a strong net positive, strong net negative, or does it not make much difference either way?
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Re: Political activity [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2009, 08:10
Moss wrote:
During my undergrad I was very involved in campus political groups. I have ties with many high-level members within my state and local party politics. I have done a significant amount of volunteering and running events for politicians. The party I have ties with is one of the major two national US parties.

I was thinking about how this would impact the admissions process. Does an adcom view this on par with "regular" volunteerism activities, a la Habitat for Humanity, or is this in a different (likely lower) tier of EC activity.

Furthermore, is it a big risk labeling myself as such a staunch supporter of one political party -- if the adcom's beliefs don't mesh with mine I could be dinged due to bias, subconscious or otherwise.

I have not been as actively lately as I was during my undergrad, but I have been thinking about becoming more involved. From an admissions perspective, is political involvement a strong net positive, strong net negative, or does it not make much difference either way?


I think heavy involvement in any activity is great. Political involvement has the added benefit of giving you connections to people with power, which can improve your ability to be a difference maker post MBA. It doesn't really matter which party because a)there will always be important people you have connections to and b) the parties switch back and forth a lot.

You run the risk of having an adcom read your application that doesn't agree with your opinion, but the only way this is really a problem, I think, is if for some reason they find your statements offensive. If your "what would you bring to campus" story is about how you outfoxed the stupid democrats, or how you saved the country from the greedy republicans, that probably hurts you. But that's not really a problem with your opinion as much as it's a problem with being a jackass. As long as you show respect for people with different views it shouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Political activity [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2009, 08:15
I did volunteer work throughout the last Presidential campaign and I definately think that it was seen by the adcom as a great EC activity. I think that any political bias is left at the door when an application is reviewed.
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Re: Political activity [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2009, 08:23
I have a classmate who was on the staff of a republican senator and one who was on the staff of a democratic senator. So I dont think which side you are part of will be a major difference maker.
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Re: Political activity [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2009, 09:58
riverripper wrote:
I have a classmate who was on the staff of a republican senator and one who was on the staff of a democratic senator. So I dont think which side you are part of will be a major difference maker.


And I wrote about how I quit politics after being disillusioned ;)
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Re: Political activity [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2009, 04:47
Raabend wrote:
I did volunteer work throughout the last Presidential campaign and I definately think that it was seen by the adcom as a great EC activity. I think that any political bias is left at the door when an application is reviewed.


^^^This.

I worked on several campaigns and ran for City Council awhile back. For me, it has been a great talking point in interviews. Plus, I think the adcom looks at political activity as your commitment to the community. Remember, that biz schools are training future leaders. Definitely play it up if you have the experience.

As one poster said above, being involved in a activity (no matter what it is) is what the adcom is looking for. Were you engaged and really involved or did you just join to pad the resume and ensure you have some sort of EC? If you can convey your passion for the activity I don't think it matters what you did as long as you were engaged and made an impact.

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Re: Political activity [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2009, 13:12
I've spent a lot of time on campaigns. What I found during the application process was that the campaign experience in particular gave me a lot of examples to discuss my leadership and management. The great thing about campaigns is that young people are given an incredible amount of responsibility and independence. You work 100 + hrs/week and get paid next to nothing in exchange, but the experience is priceless. With one or two exceptions, almost every aspect of my applications were built around my experience in politics in one way or another. I may have gone over bored, but it probably distinguished me a bit from the rest of the pool.
Re: Political activity   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2009, 13:12
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